William Blakie

Honorary Doctorate

William Blakie

The Honourable Reverend Bill Blaikie, MP, PC is an outspoken social justice advocate, a proud graduate of The University of Winnipeg in Philosophy and Religious Studies (BA ’73) and the longest-serving present Member of Parliament. The University will honour Blaikie for his achievements as an exceptional parliamentarian and outstanding public voice on the environment, globalization and human rights with an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity at a special convocation ceremony, Sept. 14, 2007.

Blaikie (Elmwood-Transcona) is known as the “dean” of the House of Commons, with a career spanning 28 years, culminating with his current position as Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons. As the first New Democrat to hold this auspicious position, his election was a sign of the universally high regard in which he is held by all parties.

Blaikie announced last winter that he will not seek re-election in the next federal election and has been appointed Adjunct Professor in Theology and Politics at The University of Winnipeg once his parliamentary obligations are completed.

“Bill Blaikie is one of the most respected parliamentarians in Canada,” said Dr. Lloyd Axworthy, President & Vice Chancellor of The University of Winnipeg. “We are proud to have him as one of our alumni and soon-to-be faculty member, working towards the further development of the University’s Centre for Theology and Progressive Public Policy.”

After eight prime ministers and nine elections, Blaikie has participated in some of Parliament’s most important decisions concerning the Canada Health Act, Reform of the House of Commons and the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

“While serving so completely in Parliament, Bill has also honoured the responsibilities of his ordination in faithful service to the United Church of Canada both locally and nationally,” said James Christie, Dean of Theology at The University of Winnipeg. “Bill’s connection to The University of Winnipeg is firmly rooted within the theological and political traditions of United College. Bill represents the best of the traditions of the United Church of Canada: a committed clergyman, a great advocate of social justice and a tireless defender of the abiding role of theology in public discourse.”