Bill Blaikie is a retired United Church Minister, who graduated from the University of Winnipeg in 1973 with a BA in Religious Studies and Philosophy, and in 1977 with Master of Divinity Degree from Emmanuel College, Toronto School of Theology.
Bill was elected to Parliament in 1979, re-elected eight times, sat across from eight different Prime Ministers, and retired from federal politics in 2008, as the Dean of the House. He served most notably as NDP Health Critic during the fight for the Canada Health Act, NDP Trade Critic, House Leader, Parliamentary Leader, and Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons. He has the record of being the longest continuously serving CCF or NDP MP in Canadian political history.
Bill was a friend and political understudy of Canadian social gospel political icons Tommy Douglas and Stanley Knowles, and officiated at their respective funerals in 1986 and 1997.
In 2003 he was sworn in as a member of the Queen’s Privy Council. In 2007 he was voted Parliamentarian of the Year, and received the Solidarity Award by the National Union of Provincial Government Employees In 2013 he was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the Canadian Association of Former Parliamentarians. He has been awarded Honourary Doctorates by Victoria University in Toronto, and the University of Winnipeg.
From 2009 to 2011 he was the MLA for Elmwood and Manitoba’s Minister of Conservation. In 2012 he received the Prairie Crocus Award from Nature Manitoba for creating five new provincial parks in one year while he was Minister of Conservation.
His political memoir, The Blaikie Report – An Insider’s Look at Faith and Politics, was published by United Church Publishing House in October 2011.
Bill and his wife Brenda live in the Transcona neighbourhood of Winnipeg.