WHY THE CHRISTIE COMMUNITY BIKE RIDE @ MCGILL LAW?
The bike ride was founded at McGill Law in 2009. This fourth bike ride, slowly becoming a tradition at McGill, will honour Dugald Christie, a Vancouver lawyer who offered legal services to low-income people and set up several pro-bono clinics across western Canada. He charged extremely low fees and challenged the courts on legal aid regulations that impaired the ability of poor people to have access to legal representation. In 2006 Christie began biking across Canada to raise awareness about the inadequacies of legal assistance programs in Canada. Tragically, four months into his campaign, he was struck and killed by a van.
So, we are doing this because most of us come into law school because we want to fight for and support justice, not just as some abstract concept that we see in the movies – but we want to be a part of the movement that tries to remove obstacles to accessing justice that people face every day. We believe that Dugald Christie died in this pursuit – he could have easily made hundreds of thousands of dollars as a corporate lawyer but he believed that it was crucial that poor people, disadvantaged people and people that were unaware of their rights also had an opportunity for a just solution to their problems. We want first year students to know his story as soon as they walk through the Law Faculty’s door. We want the lens through which they read their cases and learn the law to be one that focuses on the importance of people having access to laws which are created to better society for all.
We hope you can join us.