Doctor of Letters
(honoris causa) DLitt
Jean Jacques Blais received the honorary degree, Doctor of Letters on Friday, June 8, 2007 at the 2:00 p.m. ceremony and delivered the convocation address to the graduates of Nipissing’s Faculty of Arts and Science.
Born and raised in Sturgeon Falls, Ontario, Blais is a lawyer, Queen’s counsel and Privy Councillor as well as a former Member of Parliament who served for eight years as a Minister of the Federal Crown. Throughout his career, Blais has served in a number of high profile roles including Postmaster General and Deputy House Leader, Solicitor General for Canada, Minister of Supply and Services and Receiver General for Canada, and Minister of National Defense. Since 1990, Blais has been a member of 11 election missions organized by the Commonwealth, the Organization of American States and the UN, including Deputy Chairman of the Provisional Election Commission of Bosnia Herzegovina in 1998; leader of an Elections Canada/IFES mission to Afghanistan for eight months and Head of an IFES mission to Iraq in 2003. In 2004, in Sri Lanka, he chaired a working group of parliamentarians reflecting on the use of parliament as a stabilizing agent in conflict affected societies.