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uation ceremony. However, Doug’s active social life did not limit his developing
political interests, as 6:00 p.m. would invariably find him glued to the
nightly news. Thus began a lifelong passion for politics.
Doug graduated from Carleton University with a bachelor of arts degree
in 1986, majoring in political science. His interest in politics had continued
at Carleton, where he served on student council and as a junior delegate in
the 1984 Liberal leadership campaign. However, a trip to Vancouver for
Expo ’86 led Doug to at least a geographic change of path. He fell in love
with the natural beauty and temperate climate of Vancouver and moved
west for law school in 1987.
Doug graduated from UBC with an LL.B. in 1990 and joined the civil litigation
branch of the Ministry of the Attorney General. He quickly distinguished
himself as a skilled litigator with a varied practice that suited his
intellectual curiosity. During the course of his career, Doug appeared before
all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada. His appearances
before that court spanned a variety of issues, including the test for accommodation
under human rights legislation, the assessment of damages for
environmental harm and the applicability of principles of no-fault liability
in claims against government.
Doug’s extremely busy practice covered everything from public injunctions
and complex forestry compensation claims to the most challenging
cases for children in care. Doug’s former colleagues recount “war stories”
that include a helicopter flight over remote Hunlen Falls in Tweedsmuir
Provincial Park to assess fire-fighting strategies, site visits to the property of
known gang members in furtherance of pending civil forfeiture proceedings,
and the scaling of a Howe truss bridge to test the allegation that it had
been negligently designed.
Doug’s charm, sense of humour and intelligence carried him through all
such adventures. A colleague recalls the time Doug managed to talk his way
onto a commercial flight home following a long hearing day despite having
no ID on him. The ticketing agent obviously found out what the rest of us
had long discovered: it was very difficult to resist the charms of Doug.
Given his natural leadership abilities, it is not surprising that Doug had a
long history of mentoring junior lawyers in the Ministry of the Attorney
General, including as an articling principal. Doug’s former students include
a university professor and several senior, leading members of the British
Columbia bar. Doug was deeply involved with professional development
initiatives in the Ministry and in his spare time (to the extent he had any)
led workshops for young lawyers on areas such as civil forfeiture practice.
He was a regular at the Law Courts Inn, encouraging social connections