OTTAWA, June 10, 2013 — The Honourable Bill Blaikie, former Member of Parliament from the riding of Elmwood–Transcona, Manitoba, was honoured by the Canadian Association of Former Parliamentarians (CAFP) with this year’s Distinguished Service Award on Sunday, June 9, 2013 in Ottawa, in recognition of his years of parliamentary service, his contribution to and respect for the institution of Parliament and for his continued interest and activity in the promotion of human welfare, human rights and parliamentary democracy in Canada and abroad. The Award was presented by the Speaker of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Commons.
Bill Blaikie is a United Church Minister who served in the House of Commons as an NDP MP from Winnipeg from 1979 to 2008. He retired as the Dean of the House of Commons and Deputy Speaker.
In 2003, in his capacity as Parliamentary Leader of the NDP, he was sworn in as a Privy Councillor. In 2007 he was voted Parliamentarian of the Year in a poll of his peers conducted by McLean’s Magazine. From 2009 to 2011 he was the Minister of Conservation in Manitoba.
His political memoir, The Blaikie Report – An Insider’s Look at Faith and Politics, was published by the United Church Publishing House. He is currently an adjunct professor of theology at the University of Winnipeg.
Mr Blaikie has been awarded Honourary Doctor of Divinity Degrees from the University of Winnipeg, and Victoria University, Toronto.
The Distinguished Service Award is a peer-nominated award presented annually for exceptional contributions by the CAFP to a former parliamentarian. Previous recipients are Hon. Reverend Walter McLean, Dr. Jim Hawkes, Keith Penner, the Hon. Douglas Roche, O.C., the Hon. Sheila Finestone, P.C.; the Hon. Jacques Hébert, O.C.; Mr. Wilton Littlechild, Q.C.; Mr. J. Roland Comtois; Dr. Bruce Halliday; Ms. Aideen Nicholson; the Hon. John M. Reid; Mr. Douglas M. Fisher; Mr. Stan Darling and the Hon. John Ross Matheson.
The Canadian Association of Former Parliamentarians was created in 1987 and is composed of former Parliamentarians who served in either the Senate or the House of Commons. An Act of Parliament (Bill C‑275) established the Association in 1996.