VANCOUVER. March 26, 2013. The last of four memorial meetings sponsored by the Canadian Association for Free Expression across Canada took place here this evening. Friends, former clients, admirers and members of Doug Christie's Western Block party gathered to remember the Battling Barrister.
Cecilia "Sissy" von Dehn is a former nurse and midwife who, with a friend, several times passed out copies of Bill 48, the draconian legislation, brought in by the former NDP government, that sets up bubble zones around abortion clinics where no protests are allowed. "I felt no one knew what a bubble zone was. I distributed the law. We never discussed abortion. Apparently telling people what the law is in British Columbia is illegal. Our sign said: 'You are in a bubble zone, Read Bill 48,'" Mrs. von Dehn explained.
The Vancouver abortion clinic called the police and Mrs. von Dehn and her friend were arrested. She approached many law firms. "They were afraid of an unpopular case. I am grateful Doug Christie fought for another unpopular cause in my case," she added.
Another Doug Christie client, Terry Tremaine, spoke. Mr. Tremaine has been victimized by Richard Warman through a human rights complaint, a Criminal Code "hate law" complaint, three "contempt of court" complaints and a complaint to the University of Saskatchewan which resulted in the loss of his teaching position. "This whole country has become a bubble zone against free speech," he said.
"Doug Christie was my lawyer, but he was also my friend," Tremaine said. "I haven't been so affected by the death of anyone since the death of my own father in 1985," he added. "No only have I lost my lawyer, I have lost my dear friend."
Mr. Tremaine was teaching at Red Deer College in 1983 while the James Keegstra "hate law" case was in progress. A student whose father had been Mr. Keegstra's principal invited him to attend court one day. This was the first occasion Mr. Tremaine saw the Battling Barrister.
James Keegstra was testifying. Mr. Tremaine had been prepared to see a monster from hyperventilating stories in the press. "But James Keegstra didn't have horns. He was a sincere and thoughtful person and he started me off on a course of research that continues to this day."
"Doug Christie's life was built on principle. He was devoted to freedom of speech and fought against people being fed into an unjust system."
"Doug Christie's life was based on principle and he would withstand the rejection of lesser men. He was not swayed by the opinions of insignificant men. Doug was a hero for freedom," he concluded.
In his wrap-up, CAFE Director Paul Fromm reminded the audience that Doug Christie often said: The only freedoms you have are the ones you're prepared to fight for."
"We have had thirty years of Trudeau's lying Charter. He hijacked our Anglo-Saxon Common Law and replaced it with continental Napoleonic Law, where the state stingily doles out 'rights' to the serfs. The Charter, despite the apparent guarantees of freedom of speech, freedom of belief, and freedom of religion is a fraud. We are far less free today, in terms of free speech, than we were before the Charter," Mr. Fromm said.
"In the Whatcott decision, traditional Christians have just had the boots put to them by a Supreme Court panel of six who included three Jews, who, and we're not supposed to notice this fact, constitute less than one percent of the population. Made up rights, like self actualization and satisfaction for privileged minorities, have trumped freedom of speech for Christians. These are hard times."
"Doug Christie helped hold back the censors' onslaught. He got the archaic 'false news' law thrown out at the Zundel trial and developed many challenges to the hate law which have not been adjudicated. He achieved the acquittal of Chief David Ahenakew and the staying of charges against Terry Tremaine in hate law cases. We must carry on with his work," Mr. Fromm pledged.