McCall Gardens

Born, Winnipeg, April 24, 1946, died of metastatic liver cancer, Victoria, March 11, 2013. 

Predeceased by his mother Norma in 2008. Survived by wife Keltie Zubko, son Cadeyrn, daughter Kalonica, sisters Jane Christie and Myna Cryderman, brother Neil, father Douglas, and the extended Zubko family. 

Doug graduated with a double major in political science and philosophy from the University of Winnipeg in 1967. He moved to Vancouver where he graduated in law from UBC in 1970. He has lived in Victoria, B.C. since 1970, where he has maintained a sole proprietorship law practice in an age of large legal corporations, occupying a humble office the size of two parking spaces across from the courthouse. His practice initially focused on criminal law, but he later developed a deeply passionate interest in freedom of expression and civil liberties. Throughout his life as a lawyer, he embodied the true spirit of “pro bono publico” often representing clients of little means to ensure they had a voice. He was a born defense lawyer, brilliant cross-examiner, and tenacious arguer. 

As Canada’s most prolific defender of free speech, he appeared in the Supreme Court of Canada for this issue more times than any other counsel in Canada, to date.

He defended the landmark cases of Keegstra, Zundel, Malcolm Ross, John Ross Taylor, Canadian Liberty Net, and Finta, all before the Supreme Court of Canada. Doug also appeared in the Old Bailey and the Court of Appeal in London, England, and throughout Canada in all levels of court, and his family spent much time seeing him off and greeting him at airports. 

His wife Keltie worked with him as his legal assistant during the years before the children were born and together they worked on the case of which Doug was proudest. As defense counsel in Canada’s only war crimes trial (the Finta case), he took part in court proceedings for the defense in Hungary, Israel and Canada. After a 2 year investigation, millions of prosecution dollars and a 9 month trial, the accused was acquitted without calling evidence, in less than 2 hours on the basis of Doug’s cross examination. After the crown’s appeal to the Supreme Court, he was successful in having the law severely restricted and it has never been used again. 

Up until the time of his death, he continued to advise clients around the world on publication and free speech issues. Two and a half weeks before he died, he was struggling to finish a jury trial, fighting pain and nausea, but true to his aim, he still wanted to finish the trial to the best of his ability. He deeply regretted to the end that he was leaving his clients unrepresented by his illness and death. 

During the 1990’s he built a reputation as a major inspirational speaker for freedom, travelling the world speaking about its importance. 

In 1978, he created a political movement called the Western Canada Concept, for the Independence of Western Canada. As the major advocate of Western Canadian independence, he spoke in 100’s of meetings in most little towns and cities of Western Canada, on talk shows, to schools and universities, and widely varied associations. For example, in July of 1981, he gave 36 speeches in 30 days, travelling throughout BC and Alberta, advocating Western Canadian separation. He ran in many provincial and federal elections, always taking the opportunity to express his political opinions. 

Cadeyrn and Kalonica will greatly miss his ever-present guidance, encouragement, love and support as well as the spirited arguments he delighted in starting around the table at meals. Keltie is profoundly grateful for the great joy (amid the challenges) of life and work with him for 32 years. He was a kind and humorous man who gave freely all that he had of his wisdom, his fighting spirit, his off-the-wall solutions and his love of beauty. In memory of Doug, and in lieu of flowers, we ask simply that you do as he always tried to do: pass on any kindness shown to you, to someone else. 

Prayers will be held at McCall’s Downtown, Johnson and Vancouver Streets at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 14th. Funeral Mass will be held at St. Andrews Cathedral, 10 a.m., Friday, March 15th, with private interment to follow. There will be a reception at the Laurel Point Inn, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. All those who wish to share their memories or who were moved by his life, are welcome. Condolences may be offered to the family below.

McCall Bros. Funeral Home


  • bonnie m. cowan
    April 8, 2013

    To Douglas’s family, My sincere sympathy on the loss of your
    beloved partner and father. I was a very young person when I met him and actively followed his career over the past four decades.I have a wonderful memory of him riding his bicycle at top speed down Cook Street, singing I am I, Don Quixote at the top of his lungs. His enthusiasm for life was irrepressible. He may have tilted at windmills,much like Don Quixote, but his windmills were real to hm, as well as to others. Peace and prayers go with you, sincerely bonnie

  • Robin Corner
    March 18, 2013

    I would like to extend my deepest condolences to Doug’s family.

    I had known of Doug for over 30 years and had followed his courtroom career with passing interest, vaguely wondering why anyone would take on the task of defending the kind of clients he was most celebrated for defending and how it must be to deal with the level of criticism he inevitably faced as a result, being judged so wrongly as necessarily holding the same beliefs as his clients. I don’t think lawyers who cheerfully and lucratively defend organised crime figures ever face the shameful abuse that Doug had to merely for upholding fundamental rights and principles..

    I finally met Doug in person at Church a few years ago – he introduced himself only as “Doug” – and we often walked to our vehicles together after Mass. We would chat about this and that and I was impressed with his decency, humanity and gentle humour, none of which I would have expected from a lawyer of his stature and reputation. It was then that I began to appreciate the true measure of the man.

    We met again about a year ago at the Jubilee Hospital when we were both going for tests. Doug seemed more concerned about my welfare than about his own. My news as it turned out was reassuring, Sadly, Doug’s was not.

    I last saw him on a BC ferry a few months ago when he told me that his cancer had returned, but so calmly and matter-of-factly that I assumed the longer term prognosis must have been encouraging.

    When I heard two weeks ago that he was dying and listened to him being interviewed, I was not only shocked but deeply moved by his courage and acceptance.

    A splendid and principled human being has left us.

  • Elisabeth Westlake
    March 16, 2013

    To Doug’s family, my sincere condolences.

    I met Doug just once. In the 1980s, in my twenties, I worked at 844 Courtney Street, near Doug’s little office.

    I had gone to Fort Street to pick up some printing. When I saw the box I was a little dismayed, it was a bigger box then I expected and I wondered if it was too heavy to carry back to the office. I decided that it was only 3 blocks and that I could manage it, so I started back. By the time I turned off Blanshard Street onto Courtney, I thought my arms were going to drop off and my back was telling me clearly, “What were you thinking?” Then suddenly at my side, a tall gentleman appeared, and said in a slightly scolding tone, “That box is much too heavy, let me carry it for you.” He asked me where we were headed and we walked together to the reception area of my workplace. We didn’t chat, I was trying to get the feeling back in my fingers and arms and my back was still yelling at me. The gentleman deposited the box on the counter and I thanked him very much and then he left as unassumingly as he had appeared. A colleague in my office said, “Do you know who that is?” I replied, “A nice man who assisted a damsel in distress?” She said that it was Doug Christie.

    From then on, whatever the controversy and whenever Mr. Christie was in the news, I recalled the kindness of a stranger, knowing firsthand that Doug Christie was a good and kind man.

    I am so sorry for your loss.

    With warm wishes that the memories of your time together will bring comfort and warmth to the grief of losing your husband, father and friend.

  • Dino Vettri
    March 16, 2013

    Many of us in Brazil have been inspired by Christie’s struggle for freedom and have admired his brightness, courage and his determination in making this world more livable.

    We are lucky to have him in this generation, and while we may miss his body, his ideals and strength will be hosted and observed with love and care in our hearts and mind.

    Thank you Cristie!

  • Grant Reich
    March 16, 2013

    Dear Keltie,

    My sincerest condolences to you and your family. I will always remember Doug as a man of commitment and integrity…

  • Jenny&Ralph Watzke
    March 15, 2013

    Our condolences + sympathy to Keltie, Kalonica, Cadeyrn + all of Doug’s family, friends + his many clients, admirers + supporters who will miss him. We shall write a fuller tribute, to follow in due course. We only regret that it is not possible for us to pay our last respects in person. Rest in peace, and Godspeed!

  • Mike Stebih
    March 15, 2013

    It was an honour to call Doug my friend. He was the greatest person I have ever known. We met over a case and I’m certain our paths would never have crossed otherwise and it was the best thing that happened. My condolences go out to Keltie, Caderyn & Kalonica. I have the greatest respect for Doug.

    Rest in peace.

  • Hazel and Ray Colley
    March 15, 2013

    Dear Keltie, from our family to yours we would like to offer our love and sympathy at this sad time. We saw Doug regularly and regarded him as a true friend, we enjoyed his humour, and he always shared a hug and a smile. He helped our son Mike out a few times, he didn’t have to, but did because he had a kind heart, it didn’t matter how busy he was with other cases he found time. We will miss him deeply, as you will. We will be thinking of you, he will live on in the wonderful memories we all have.

    Love Hazel Ray and Family

  • Cameron McEwen
    March 15, 2013

    I was very saddened to learn of Doug Christie’s passing. His departure was untimely for a man with so much to offer and live for.

    Doug was my legal counsel, having faithfully and diligently represented me on many issues that affected my rights. His tenacity and spirit were an inspiration to me through difficult times and never once did I think anyone could have better represented me. Thank you Doug!

    Doug was also my friend; a relationship kindled from sharing the podium at numerous overseas speaking engagements. I recall the passion with which Doug delivered his messages about protecting human rights and the importance of fighting for freedom from oppression. He often included in his presentations bites from his movie favourite, Braveheart, to dramatize the importance of his message.

    Apart from the professional side of our relationship, I distinctly recall the numerous occasions I had to meet with Doug where we shared stories and ideas, future plans and respective philosophies while navigating the streets and alleyways of distant towns and cities. This is where I really got to know Doug, the man, and for this I will be forever enriched. Thanks for the opportunity and experience Doug!

    I’ve read many blogs about Doug, some complimentary, but some not. Those who spoke kindly of Doug apparently knew and understood the man; his capabilities, his passions, his beliefs. For those who criticized him I can only say they didn’t know or understand him at all and preferred to paint him with the same brush that they did with many of his clients. Such blindness is their loss and knowing Doug as good as I did I know such criticism would only roll off him like water off a duck’s back and motivate him even more to do the job that he felt compelled to do. If they had only taken the time…

    I extend my sincere condolences Keltie and family. Their sense of loss must be great. I know this because he often told me how much he loved his family.

    Thanks again for everything Doug, but most of all thanks for being my friend. I will miss you.

    With deep respect and admiration,

    Cameron McEwen,
    Hong Kong, S.A.R., China

  • Jj Siemens
    March 15, 2013

    “The wound is the place where the Light enters you…” by Rumi

    I didn’t know Doug personally, but it was impossible to not hear of him and what he represented. Can’t say I always agreed with him, but he did open my eyes and heart, and that is always a precious gift.

  • Robin
    March 15, 2013


    Sitting here at work reading all of the condolences and thinking how lucky I am to have met you and Doug. I will miss his smiling face and his way of making me smile no matter what was going on in my life. You both have changed my life. I will always remember Doug fondly and I do hope that you will continue to visit us at SCP. My thoughts are with you all, especially your children, who I know were his light and his future. He will live on in the lives of anyone he has touched.

    With continued thoughts of you all, Robin

  • Douglas Pearson
    March 15, 2013

    Douglas Christie was a great man. Although I only got to meet him on a few occassions, you could see the great man that he was. I was shocked by his sudden loss. If nothing else he was supposed to be around a few months longer. I am so sorry to see him go. Words cannot express my gratitude nor my appreciation for his commitment to our movement and our race.

    My deepest sympathies to his wife Keltie, son Cadeyrn, daughter Kalonica, sisters Jane Christie and Myna Cryderman, brother Neil, and father Douglas,

    He was my comrade and he is deeply missed.

    May Yahweh Bless.


  • Shawn MacDonald
    March 14, 2013

    It was an honour meeting with speaking and seeing you practicing your craft in my defense. All the best to Keltie, Cadeyrn and Kalonica at this time.

    “When it comes to my own turn to lay my weapons down, I shall do so with thankfulness and fatigue, and whatever be my destiny afterward, I shall be glad to lie down with my fathers in honor. It is human at least, if not divine.”

  • John and Lynda Mortl
    March 14, 2013

    Dear Keltie and family,

    Although we can’t be there in person our thoughts and love are with you and your family at this sad time. Doug was a giant of a man who will be remembered with love and admiration long after his detractors fade into the wilderness. We feel so grateful to have had the privilege to know him and to be a small part of the large battle he fought for the rights of Canadians to hold and express opinions freely.

  • Brian Dornan
    March 14, 2013

    My heartfelt sympathies go out to You Keltie and your son Cadeyrn and daughter Kalonica. I have been reading various internet comments and condolences on the passing of Doug and I am amazed at the impact he has made on the lives of so many. A true sign of a life well lived and legacy to admire. …….Once again sorry for your loss but his memory will last forever. From myself and the rest of the guys at Cine…..God Bless.
    Brian Dornan.

  • Mel R. Hunt
    March 14, 2013

    Keltie, Cadeyrn, Kalonica, and family,

    I was very sorry to learn of Doug’s passing and extend my condolences to all of you.

    I first met Doug at the Wilkinson Road jail in 1977 while we were both waiting to see clients. Over the ensuing years I would occasionally encounter Doug at the courthouse and we would chat about the state of the world, the justice system, etc.

    I always admired and respected Doug for his courage and integrity in defending those shunned and hated by many members of our society regardless of whether such disapprobation was warranted. For so acting with the integrity that he did and not ducking such clients as many lawyers would, Doug was subjected to much opproprium, death threats, vandalism and various vilifications by shallow-minded and cowardly individuals who clearly had no understanding of what freedom consisted of.

    Doug was the kind of person who deserved a monument but did not need one; his reward was in doing what he believed to be the right thing. There are very few like him and the world is a much lesser place with his departure.

    I will be attending the mass tomorrow morning but regret I will not be able to attend the reception. If there is anything I can do to assist you during this difficult period, please call me at 250-478-1731.

    Mel Hunt

  • Sonya Koppe
    March 14, 2013

    Doug Christie was an undeniable force within the lives of all those he touched, including mine. I feel privileged to have known Doug as well as I did. His tenacity, his moral ethics, his friendship will be missed. His death, like his life has had an effect on my entire family even those that did not have the honour to meet him. My thoughts are with Keltie, Caderyn, Kalonica and the entire family at this time.

  • Ian MacLeod Baird
    March 14, 2013

    To Doug’s family,
    I did not know Doug well, but we attended a few political rallies together. I always admired his honesty,and sincerity. Because he defended certain people, did not mean he shared their point of view. He believed in free speech and the right of public opinion. He held to his beliefs to the end of his days and his contribution helped to make the world a better place.
    My sincere condolences
    Ian Macleod Baird

  • Jana and John Weed
    March 14, 2013

    As you can well imagine, we are greatly sorrowed for the loss of such a beautiful man as Doug.
    Keltie, Cadeyrn and Kalonica, you are all testaments of what it means to be truly devoted to family. Our thoughts are with all of you at this very trying time.
    We wish we had of been home in time to pay our respects.
    Please know that we are here for you if there is anything we can do upon our return.
    With much love, John and Jana

  • Raymond Goodwin
    March 14, 2013

    My sincerest condolences on the loss of Doug. He was well-respected, well-thought-of, among ALL people with a sense of justice and fair play. I only know Doug through following his legal battles via print and computer, but felt close to him as a friend and ally. Doug would have fit right in with what TRUE Texas represents and been at home down here with his courage, straight-forward manner, and honesty. He will be sorely missed.
    Ray Goodwin
    Victoria, Texas

  • Peter and Donna Jackson
    March 14, 2013

    Our thoughts and prayers are for you especially for today and tomorrow.

  • Sheldon Smith
    March 14, 2013

    I never had the pleasure of meeting Doug, and my time Keltie with you only consisted of the 3 years we were in high school together. I admired your sence of conviction and your passion for the things you believed in. Therefore it did not surprize me that you chose a life mate that was equally if not greater in these areas than yourself.
    Please accept my heart felt condolences in this time of grief and celebration of Dougs life.

    Sheldon Smith

  • S. H. Pearson
    March 14, 2013

    Ever the champion charging into court on a white horse — powdered wig flying. That is how I will remember you. True as Confederate steel — as we say in the South. Something that will hold up to the clang. No doubt it comes from our Cross of St. Andrews mentality. Sometimes a man has to stand his ground, face his enemies and swing a claymore. You fought the good fight. You did everything right.

    To God be the Glory.

  • James Cunningham & Family
    March 13, 2013

    Our depest sympaty’s to you Keltie,Kalonica & Caderyn even though we are not with you our thoughts and prayers are, Doug was an inredible man that I could sit and listen to all day he taught me a lot just by speaking and made me stronger and more determined to push the free speech issue REST IN PEACE Doug Christie

    March 13, 2013


  • William Epps
    March 13, 2013

    Hey, so I met this Gentleman while Christopher played water polo with Cadaryn. Frankly, I think he thought he would shock me on his personal introduction. Of course that did not, I am not easily shocked and we became friends, easily accomplished when so much of what we believe in is so closely aligned. We did do a recreational trip to Sooke, his favorite playground, together and I will miss him.

  • Ellen Lewers
    March 13, 2013

    Douglas Hewson Christie has been a wonderful inspiration to all of our family. Through his encouragement and action he encouraged each and every one of us to stand tall and defend those who are suppressed by government and laws and to show kindness to those in need and not to judge. His legacy will live on in many. A big battle he fought , but he has left a legacy of soldiers to follow.
    God Bless all of the family with a great peace . Our love and support and prayers are with you all.
    Richard and Ellen Lewers

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