Green Party MP Elizabeth May speaks in the House of Commons in remembrance of her friend, former MP Bill Blaikie, on Wednesday. (Screenshot: Green Party of Canada/YouTube)

Topics: Ethical Living | Politics

Elizabeth May calls Bill Blaikie ‘prophetic voice’ in tribute

MPs across the political spectrum recognized the late MP and United Church minister in the House of Commons


In Canadian politics, respect for some politicians transcends partisan lines. 

Former NDP MP and United Church minister Bill Blaikie, who died of kidney cancer last month, was one of those politicians.

MPs of all stripes paid tribute to the 71-year-old in the House of Commons on Wednesday, including Green Party MP Elizabeth May, who considered Blaikie a friend and inspiration. 

“He is and was and will always be a prophetic voice in Canadian politics that says we don’t leave behind the downtrodden, we don’t forget what it is to say we have faith, and we believe and miracles are possible,” she said, ending her speech with a prayer. 

May said Blaikie was “universally respected” amongst his parliamentary colleagues. But she also highlighted his steadfast belief in the social gospel, “something that we don’t hear about very much in this place,” referring to Parliament Hill, and his criticism of worshiping the free market. 

“Bill knew you cannot serve God and mammon at the same time,” May said, quoting Matthew 6:24. Mammon is a term used in some translations of the New Testament to refer to debasing material wealth.

You can listen to May’s full speech below. 

Members of the House of Commons rose in a standing ovation Wednesday to recognize Blaikie, and members from the NDP, Liberal, Conservative and Bloc Québécois parties stood up to speak in remembrance.

Liberal MP Kevin Lamoreux, who represents the riding of Winnipeg North, said that Blaikie understood that his first responsibility was to his constituents. 

“There are individuals in Manitoba, whether they are Conservative, New Democrats, Liberals or any other political affiliation, that look at Bill Blaikie as an inspiration, as someone that understood the principles of what it meant to be [a] parliamentarian,” he said.

Blaikie served as an MP for nearly 30 years.

Interested in more stories like this? Subscribe to Broadview’s weekly newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Conservative MP James Bezan highlighted the importance that Blaikie placed on his faith and his passion for his Scottish heritage.

“He was one of the best pipers Canada had to offer,” Bezan said. 

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh recognized Blaikie’s role in shaping the 1984 Canada Health Act, but also his love of nature.

“Before it was ever fashionable, Bill was an environmentalist,” Singh said. 

House speaker Anthony Rota praised Blaikie’s “trademark wit and good humour” and noted that he had inspired his children. Since 2015, Daniel Blaikie has served as an MP in his father’s former riding, Elmwood-Transcona in Winnipeg.

“My sisters and I will be forever grateful for the many long conversations that lasted well into the wee hours of the morning where we got to investigate the mysteries of theology, politics and history with a master of the arts that cared for us deeply,” Daniel Blaikie said in his tribute to his father.


Emma Prestwich is Broadview’s digital editor.

We hope you found this Broadview article engaging. 

Our team is working hard to bring you more independent, award-winning journalism. But Broadview is a nonprofit and these are tough times for magazines. Please consider supporting our work. There are a number of ways to do so:

  • Subscribe to our magazine and you’ll receive intelligent, timely stories and perspectives delivered to your home 8 times a year. 
  • Donate to our Friends Fund.
  • Give the gift of Broadview to someone special in your life and make a difference!

Thank you for being such wonderful readers.

Jocelyn Bell



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.