Saying Goodbye to a Dear Friend and Colleague

The Liberal Party of Canada and the Senior Liberal Commission are mourning the loss of Doug McDonald, a visionary and long-time supporter of Liberal values. The following outpouring of condolences only begin to express the loss we feel. Following are but a few of these messages shared within our community. Please add your comments. We will advise Doug’s widow, Rae, of the existence of this site so the family can appreciate how much he meant to so many.  Flowers were sent to his wife and family from the SLCBC with the following message:

To serve alongside  Doug was a privilege. He was both mentor and friend; passionately championing his vision for Public Policy that will form his enduring legacy. We will miss his friendship, intellect and political acumen. Please accept our sincere condolences for your loss. “

The McDonald family have sent these messages of thanks :

To the SLC: I want to express my deep appreciation for the flowers that were sent from the Board of Directors of the Senior Liberal Commission. The message that you sent was very moving and consoling as I and the family grieve our loss.  I would appreciate if you could share our gratitude for this kindness with the Board. The Senior Liberal Commission was a major part of Doug’s life and something to which he gave his full focus and consideration up to his last days. It is heartening to realize that he has left a legacy that may be developed further.

Best regards,
Rae McDonald

And to SLCBC: – The family and I wish to express our appreciation to the Senior Liberal Commission of BC for the very beautiful flowering plant arrangement and accompanying message that we received prior to the service for Doug McDonald. The message was very moving, and we thank you for your thoughts and wishes.

Best regards,
Rae McDonald


Mr. Ken Hardie (Fleetwood—Port Kells, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, today I pay tribute to Doug McDonald, a wonderful member of our Liberal family, who passed away May 22 in Vernon, just shy of his 79th birthday. Doug and I served on the federal Senior Liberals’ Commission in B.C., he as policy chair and I as president. Doug was a catalyst, someone with a fine mind and a gentle but firm and focused disposition, who guided substantial policy resolutions from B.C. seniors to adoption at our 2014, 2016, and 2018 Liberal conventions, resolutions such as “Reclaiming and Sustaining Canada’s Healthcare” that have helped build our platforms and, though them, improve life for all Canadians right across our country. Quietly, efficiently, and effectively, this intelligent, thoroughly gentle man made a difference, from his days managing energy research with the Government of Alberta to his un-retiring retirement in B.C.

    We thank his wife Rae and his wonderful family from the bottom of our hearts for sharing Doug with us.

  • Greg Guptill – Against the advice of many, Doug chose to fly to Fort McMurray in March to fulfill a business commitment.  He did this partly for business but mostly as a ‘test’ to determine if he would be able to travel to convention in Halifax in April.  The three day trip triggered a COPD flare up and an extended bout of pneumonia that he simply could not overcome. Doug had been fighting COPD for the last several years.  In Rae’s own words from an email to me on May 23rd, “Doug passed away yesterday. He had viral pneumonia and with the severely compromised state of his lungs he was not able to recover.” Doug will be missed but his Liberal Policy legacy will live on. Doug and I became very close friends over the last nine years.  I will miss Doug and the regular chats we had. Bon voyage to a great friend a great Liberal and a strong supporter of the SLC
  • Daphne Gabriel – SLC-RDOWe all share a degree of pain in the loss of a colleague.
  • Dianne King –  I am so very saddened to learn of Doug’s passing.  What a terrible shock.  How vital he was right up until now and how deeply committed he was to the Party.
  • Anne Marie –  I enjoyed working with Doug on the Policy and Charter committees. He will be missed.
  • Thomas Kendell, President NL – Doug’s passing came as a shock to me this morning. I am so saddened to hear this terrible news. He and I have had many conversations over the past couple of years about policies, the province of BC and the Liberal Party. He was a great man and a great advocate for seniors. He has left a great legacy and will be sorely missed by us all. I would like to express my condolences and sympathy to Doug’s family from all the people of Newfoundland and Labrador…I am so sad! My father passed away with COPD ten years ago.
  • Doug Brydges, SLC – Roger and I learned of that very sad news this morning that Doug McDonald, our past Policy Chair, passed away yesterday afternoon at the hospital in Vernon BC . Thanks to all those who brought this to our attention by email overnight and earlier this morning.This morning Roger and I authorized James Christie to arrange for flowers to be sent to Doug’s wife and family on behalf of our Commission to share our condolences.Doug’s volunteer contributions of time and energy to the Liberal movement and – in particular – the improvements to our Commission’s policy formulation process and his desire to ensure his legacy continues – have been significant and will not be forgotten. Doug will be sorely missed.
  • Ian Munroe – This is indeed a shock–I had no idea that Doug was this ill.  What is impressive is how completely Doug lived his life fully to the end–even guiding the policy team in Halifax directly from his hospital bed, with no complaint or hint of the seriousness of his situation. I will remember Doug as gentleman in the very best sense of that word.  Doug was the exemplary team player, facilitator and mentor.  And while Doug was an energetic contributor to any debate, he always remained respectful and considerate of others. I have learned a lot from Doug and therefore he has changed me for the better.  Whoever changes someone remains part of that person. And I am very glad for that. Rest in peace friend.
  • Ron Mazur – SLC LPC (MB) – Please extend my condolences and prayers to Doug’s family. I have noted Doug’s work on SLC policy  over the past year that I have been involved. I was most impressed by the evidence-based research that supported the policies. Our challenge is to honour Doug by ensuring this evidence-based policy approach is adopted across the Liberal Party. Doug contributed greatly and will be missed.
  • Barb Hart – I was saddened to hear of Doug Mc Donald’s passing.  He certainly gave a great deal to the SLC and to Policy development overall.  His COPD was obviously causing more problems than we had anticipated.  My thoughts and prayers are with his family, may he rest in peace.
  • Don Reid, PEI Liberal Seniors’ Commission  – Please extend my condolences and prayers to Doug’s family. I have never met Doug but have seen his  work on SLC policy over the past year that I have been involved and was impressed. We need to honour Doug in some way but I cannot think of how we can do this?
  • Nena – I am truly sorry to hear that Doug had passed away. What a loss!
  • Deb Schulte – Liberal Seniors Caucus – Please accept my condolences at the loss of our senior’s champion, Doug McDonald. It is a sad day. I am sorry I will not be able to attend the celebration of his life, however I will remember his contributions to moving the senior’s commission discussion and recommendations forward.
  • Karl Trudel, Policy Commission Chair of LPC(Q) Pierre Choquette, Director of LPC(Q) – Please accept our deepest sympathy at Doug’s untimely passing! As President of the Policy Commission for the Liberal Party of Canada (Quebec) I had the pleasure of working closely with Doug in his capacity as Policy Chair for the Senior Liberal’s Commission of Canada. This past year was special as the party was introducing a new policy process for the entire country and Doug was shepherding us all through this process. It wasn’t just his ability and mastery of the task that was impressive, but also his personal skills that were valued and appreciated by everyone. Doug will
    truly be deeply missed from coast-to-coast-to-coast. We cannot be with you on the 29th, but it would be a great comfort to us to know that this message was read aloud to everyone gathered there. Once again, please accept our deepest condolences.
  • Judith  Higgenbotham -I was shocked and saddened when I heard the news about our friend and dedicated volunteer Doug. It was sudden and unexpected to hear of his passing. I know he was dedicated and thorough in anything he put his mind to. And I know he will be missed. His skills were beyond the ordinary volunteer and he did excel in his ability to write resolutions that were meaningful and relevant. He enjoyed his role. God bless him and may he rest peacefully.
  • David Wallace – It is with great sadness and sorrow that I read and reply to your note on Doug McDonald. I am shocked to hear of his death. I talked to him by phone about a month ago He had returned to the hospital and was on oxygen while waiting for his medical team.

    Doug will be missed.


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Hilary Williamson
Hilary Williamson
2 years ago

Though I never met Doug in person, I had the privilege of working closely with him for almost a year on healthcare policy in a national Senior Liberals’ Commission Working Group. All of us who did so, already miss his guidance, his wisdom, and his humor very much. We had hoped to meet and share a meal at Halifax, and I am so very sorry to have missed getting to know him better. Before Doug encouraged my involvement, I was very cynical about serious LP commitment to members’ policy input. He made me believe that it was possible, and I… Read more »

Camylle Tremblay
Camylle Tremblay
2 years ago

I worked with Doug now and again in the last 4 years, mostly on the translation of documentation but also on the survey as well as chatting about our beliefs as to areas of concern for seniors and the work of the Commission. He had invited me to visit him and stay there for a few days with my friend when I went to Victoria for my regular visit to my friend, but something happened and we could not go. I enjoyed talking and discussing with him as he was a Liberal with a capital L and a devoted, determined… Read more »