Bill Blaikie

The Hon. Bill Blaikie – Bill Blaikie is a minister in the United Church of Canada who served in the  Canadian House of Commons as a Member of Parliament from Winnipeg  from May 22,1979 to October 19th, 2008. He retired as the Dean of the House of Commons and Deputy Speaker, having served in many capacities, including Parliamentary Leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada from 2003 to 2004. In 2007 he was voted Parliamentarian of the Year by his peers.

Blaikie was NDP Health Critic from 1980-84 in the fight for the Canada Health Act, NDP Environment Critic from 1984-1097, serving on the Special Committee on Acid Rain, and NDP External Affairs Critic from 1987 t0 1990, serving on the parliamentary committee that conducted country wide hearings on the Canada- US FTA, an interest he was able to follow up later as NDP Trade Critic during the late 90's when there was much debate about the terms of the WTO, the MAI, and the FTAA. He also has a longstanding interest in parliamentary reform, having served on the Special Committee on Reform of the House of Commons in 1984-86. In 2016 he co-authored a reflection on the outcome of the committee for the Journal of Parliamentary and Political Law. Following his lengthy time in national politics, Blaikie served as the Provincial Minister of Conservation in Manitoba from 2009 to 2011.  In 2011 his political memoir, The Blaikie Report – An Insider’s Look at Faith and Politics, was published by United Church Publishing House.  He is currently an adjunct professor of theology and politics at the University of Winnipeg, and serves on the board of the Canadian Health Coalition.  


L’honorable Bill Blaikie est un ministre de l’Église Unie du Canada qui a été député de Winnipeg à la Chambre des communes du 22 mai 1979 au 19 octobre 2008. Il a pris sa retraite alors qu’il était doyen de la Chambre des communes et vice-président, après y avoir occupé de multiples fonctions, y compris leader parlementaire du Nouveau Parti démocratique de 2003 à 2004. En 2007, il a été élu Parlementaire de l’année par ses pairs.

M. Blaikie a été porte-parole néo-démocrate en matière de santé de 1980 à 1984 au moment des débats entourant la Loi canadienne sur la santé; il a été porte-parole néo-démocrate en matière d’environnement de 1984 à 1997, siégeant alors au Comité spécial sur les pluies acides, puis il a été porte-parole néo-démocrate en matière d’affaires extérieures de 1987 à 1990, siégeant au comité parlementaire qui a mené des audiences d’un bout à l’autre du pays sur l’Accord de libre-échange Canada-États-Unis, un intérêt qu’il a poursuivi plus tard – soit à la fin des années 1990 - en tant que porte-parole néo-démocrate en matière de commerce, alors que les modalités de l’OMC, de l’Accord multilatéral sur l’investissement (AMI) et de la Zone de libre-échange des Amériques (ZLEA) faisaient l’objet de nombreux débats. Il s’intéresse également depuis longtemps à la réforme parlementaire, ayant siégé au Comité spécial sur la réforme de la Chambre des communes de 1984 à 1986. En 2016, il a - en collaboration avec un collègue – fait le bilan analytique des résultats des travaux de ce comité pour la Revue de droit parlementaire et politique.  Après avoir été longuement actif sur la scène politique fédérale, M. Blaikie est devenu ministre de la Conservation du Manitoba de 2009 à 2011. En 2011, ses mémoires politiques, « The Blaikie Report – An Insider’s Look at Faith and Politics », ont été publiées aux éditions United Church Publishing House.  Il est actuellement professeur adjoint de théologie et de politique à l’Université de Winnipeg et il siège au conseil de la Canadian Health Coalition.

Posts & Activities by Bill Blaikie

  • Happy 80th Birthday Ed Broadbent!

    Sign Ed's Birthday Card

    We will hand deliver Ed's messages to him - help us make his 80th special.

    Ed has been working for a more inclusive, fair and just Canada for more than 50 years. On his 80th Birthday, let’s celebrate his life & accomplishments! 


  • Are the culture wars over in Canada?


    The Canadian federal election that took place on October 19th was historic in ways that go beyond the popular account. Forgoing the wisdom of avoiding sweeping statements about history, something my church history professor warned me against forty years ago, it seems to me the election marked the end of at least one era in Canadian politics, an era that is sometimes called the culture wars.

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  • Can Pope Francis change the climate on climate change?


    Pope Francis has set out to transform the issue of climate change into a moral imperative, not just for the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, but for everyone. He is unambiguous about the role of human activity in producing the greenhouse gasses that are the decisive contributor to global warming and the connection between these climactic changes and global justice challenges facing humanity and the planetary environment. 

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  • Rethinking the role of faith in Canada's progressive movement


    The recent death of Fred Phelps, the infamous anti-gay activist and leader for many years of the independent Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas, is perhaps an appropriate occasion to reflect on the damaging way the media reinforced and amplified an already misleading stereotype of what Christians in the public square are like. He provided a certain shock value for those who couldn’t resist the temptation to exploit him as a caricature of a relationship between faith and politics that they objected to. The fact that all kinds of Christians belong to churches that take progressive stands on many issues just does not seem to be as interesting.

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  • Pope Francis and Catholicism's long ignored progressive tradition


    The wrath of the biblical prophets was often directed at those who enjoyed the inequality of their riches while ignoring the needs of the vulnerable at the other end of the economic scale. One of the earliest of such prophets was Amos, who condemned those who oppress the poor and crush the needy. According to biblical scholar Walter Bruggeman, Amos was protesting against the “self-indulgent economy of the urban elite.” In statements made both before and after he became Pope, it is clear that Pope Francis sees the prophetic tradition as integral to his understanding of what it means to be a good pastor of the flock.

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  • Can Pope Francis make ecology critical to the identity of the faithful?


    This year Pope Francis is expected to deliver an encyclical on ecology, one concerning the environment broadly and perhaps climate change more particularly.

    Believers and non-believers alike, united by a common concern for the future of the planet, have high hopes that someone who chose to name himself after that great lover of creation, Francis of Assisi, will say something truly transformational, for as a Canadian Council of Churches document lamentably observes, transformative change has not “found traction within political processes.”  

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