Meet Stephen

Meet Stephen

HUSBAND, FATHER, SPORTS ENTHUSIAST AND MPP FOR ORLÉANS

Stephen advocating for Orléans at Ottawa City Council

Stephen has dedicated much of his professional life to public service to the residents of Orléans and Cumberland.

Stephen was elected MPP for Orléans on February 27, 2020 in a by-election. Shortly after being elected, the Government of Ontario declared the COVID-19 emergency.

Prior to serving as MPP, Stephen represented much of Orléans as City Councillor for Cumberland Ward on Ottawa City Council.

Stephen was first elected Councillor for Cumberland Ward with a strong mandate on October 25, 2010.

Stephen quickly made his mark securing early victories by having the City of Ottawa conduct an environmental assessment to widen HWY 174 and to extend Light Rail Transit to Orléans.

By the end of his second term Stephen had secured more than $100M in road and infrastructure investments for both the rural and urban sectors of his ward.

“One of his early accomplishments was securing an environmental assessment for the expansion of Highway 174.”

Joanne Chianello , Ottawa Citizen ∙ May 29, 2012

In addition to his focus on reducing commute times through investments in roads and transit, Blais prioritized local park construction.

In his first term of office 7 new parks were built in Cumberland Ward and Blais announced the ambitious plan to partner with the local homebuilding industry to complete an $8 million expansion of Millennium Park.

Blais Getting His Way

Jon Willing, Ottawa Sun ∙ April 17, 2014
Stephen is joined by Mayor Jim Watson for the groundbreaking of the François Dupuis Recreation Centre

Stephen also led the way to open the first new indoor pool in Ottawa since amalgamation with the construction of the François Dupuis Recreation Centre.

Stephen was re-elected in October 2014 with over 78% of the vote.

On December 10, 2014 Ottawa City Council named Blais as Chair of the Ottawa Transit Commission, the body responsible for overseeing OC Transpo.

While Chair of the Transit Commission OC Transpo has provided better and more affordable options to Ottawa residents. New service was added to Orléans expanding communities of Avalon and Cardinal Creek Village. Transit Commission eliminated the Express Fare premium, saving riders nearly $300 a year. The Transit Commission also introduced the EquiPass & EquiFare to provide deep discounts for low income residents.

Stephen was re-elected City Councillor for Cumberland Ward on October 22, 2018 with 89% of the vote. Each election, Stephen’s support has grown larger (from 52% in 2010, 78% in 2014).

On December 12, 2018 Ottawa City Council named Blais as Chair of the Transportation Committee.  During his time as Chair, the Committee approved the Road Safety Action Plan to reduce road deaths and make communities safer for pedestrians and cyclists. They approved photo radar in school and community safety zones to help keep our children safe and invested millions more in snow removal.

In 2018, after years of groundwork, Stephen was pleased to help make the biggest jobs announcement in the history of east Ottawa. 

Stephen announces the largest economic development investment in Orléans history

Amazon has partnered with Broccolini Construction to establish a 1 million square foot fulfilment centre in Carlsbad Springs. This represented a private sector investment of $200 million in Orléans. It created 1,500 jobs in 30 different trades during construction, and more than 600 permanent jobs once opened in 2019.  

Prior to his election as Councillor, Stephen faithfully served the residents of Orléans and Cumberland as their School Trustee on the Ottawa Catholic School Board from 2006 until 2010.

As a Catholic School Trustee, Stephen’s approach of fiscal conservatism balanced with a community conscience enabled him to deliver many local and board-wide accomplishments.

Stephen is joined by then MPP Phil McNeely and parent advocate Mike Buzzetti to celebrate the new addition at St. Matthew High School

In September 2010, after decades of inaction, two East End high schools, St. Matthew’s and Lester B. Pearson, finally received additions to replace many of their aging portables, as a result of Stephen’s tireless efforts.

During his term as Trustee, the Board passed four consecutive balanced budgets, grew reserve funds, adopted a greener approach and invested in the most vulnerable students. Stephen cites his decision to forgo the 150% trustee raise, which he personally donated to breast cancer awareness, supports for military families, the school breakfast program and a bursary for less affluent students, as his most important achievement.

Prior to his elected positions, Stephen’s steadfast belief in community service saw him help begin the St. Peter High School Alumni Association followed by sitting as President of the Queenswood Heights Community Association. Stephen also served as Orléans Ward representative on the City of Ottawa’s youth cabinet and as an inaugural member of the East End President’s Council.

Stephen plays with his son Stephen and wife Marta

Stephen’s professional career began following his graduation from the University of Ottawa with an Honours Degree in Political Science. He has worked at the Privy Council Office, served the people of Ontario as a staff member to the Minister of Consumer and Business Services and has worked at the Ottawa Hospital Foundation and Carleton University.

A lifelong resident of Ottawa’s East End, Stephen was raised in the Queenswood Heights and Fallingbrook area. Stephen, his wife Marta, a northern Ontarian, and their son Stephen Jr., are proud residents of the wonderfully bilingual and diverse community of Chaperal.

Ontario Liberals Launch Platform Consultation

Ontario Liberals Launch Platform Consultation

The Ontario Liberal Party (OLP) has launched its new #TakeTheMic platform consultation tool, as the next step in preparing for the 2022 election. #TakeTheMic offers grassroots Ontario Liberals a greater level of influence on party policy.

“I promised to change the way Ontario Liberals build their platform so that grassroots members could be heard,” said OLP Leader, Steven Del Duca. “For the first time in a long time, the Party’s leadership is simply going to listen.”

#TakeTheMic will roll out over the coming months, with two new policy topics being added to the website every week for members to weigh in on. The first week will focus on “Fixing Long-Term Care”and “Economic Dignity”.

“Ontario Liberals are building a grassroots led platform that will align with the values and aspirations of the people of this great province,” said platform co-chair and MPP, Michael Coteau. “Our consultation will help bring forward ideas that will best position Ontario to take on the challenges of today and tomorrow.”

“Ontarians want a government focused on bold ideas, not bumper sticker slogans,” said platform co-chair, Kate Graham. “We’re making sure that our 2022 platform is a direct reflection of everyday Ontarians and the ideas they have for their province.”

Those interested in taking part in #TakeTheMic can do so by visiting takethemic.ontarioliberal.ca.

Ontario Liberal Party Nominates Current MPP, Stephen Blais as 2022 Candidate for Orléans

Ontario Liberal Party Nominates Current MPP, Stephen Blais as 2022 Candidate for Orléans

Liberals in Orléans have nominated Stephen Blais, current MPP and Liberal critic for Municipal Affairs and Housing, Transportation and Infrastructure, Government and Consumer Services, and Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, as their Ontario Liberal Party (OLP) candidate for the 2022 provincial election.

“Over the past six months, Stephen has shown great commitment to his community,” said OLP leader, Steven Del Duca. “He has been hard at work since the day he got elected. I look forward to working with him for years to come to better the lives of people in Orléans and all across Ontario.”

Blais has deep roots in his community, previously serving as the Ottawa City Councillor for Cumberland from 2010-2020. Blais grew up in Cumberland and attended the University of Ottawa before entering politics.

“Having grown up in Orléans and serving the community for the last 14 years as school trustee and city councillor, it is an honour to be nominated to be the Liberal candidate in Orléans once again,” said Blais. “My work at Queen’s Park has just begun and I am grateful for the opportunity to continue advocating for real progress in our community, and help form a strong Liberal government to ensure nobody in Ontario is left behind.”

Strong Victory by Ontario Liberals in Ottawa By-Elections

Strong Victory by Ontario Liberals in Ottawa By-Elections

School board trustee Lucille Collard and local councillor Stephen Blais elected

The Ontario Liberal Party won two by-elections in Ottawa today. Local school board trustee Lucille Collard and city councillor Stephen Blais celebrated hard-fought victories after campaigning for months.

“I am so grateful to the residents of Ottawa-Vanier for trusting me to be your voice at Queen’s Park,” said Collard after the results were announced.

“Tonight, the residents of Orléans chose positivity over negativity to represent them at Queen’s Park,” said Blais. “They chose a successful local record over personal ambition. They chose an MPP who believes in Orléans above all else. We will provide strong opposition to the Ford government and its destructive policies.”

Thursday’s results show that voters in Ottawa know only Ontario Liberals can stand up to Doug Ford’s Conservatives and their disastrous cuts.

“Lucille Collard and Stephen Blais will be strong voices from Ottawa who will fight to protect the public services we all rely on,” said Interim Liberal Leader John Fraser. “Our growing caucus needs more people like Lucille and Stephen to stop Doug Ford from cutting health care, slashing environmental protections and making class sizes larger.”

“I’m proud of the campaigns run by Lucille Collard and Stephen Blais,” said Party President Brian Johns. “Their teams knocked on over 52,000 doors and made over 48,000 phone calls with the support of over 300 volunteers.”

“Our hard work in these by-elections is just one example of how our Party is doing better every day,” continued Johns. “Earlier this year we announced our party had grown to over 38,000 members strong, and on March 6-7 I look forward to welcoming over 2,500 attendees to elect our new Leader in Mississauga.”

Liberals nominate Stephen Blais as Ontario Liberal Candidate for Orléans

Liberals nominate Stephen Blais as Ontario Liberal Candidate for Orléans

Hundreds of local Liberals gathered on Saturday afternoon to nominate Stephen Blais as their Liberal Candidate for the upcoming by-election in the Provincial riding of Orléans.

“I am honoured that my community has chosen me to be their representative at Queen’s Park” said Mr. Blais. “Orléans deserves a strong advocate who will fight for real progress in our community. I am determined to continue this work at the provincial level and stand up for what’s right in the face of callous Conservative cuts.”

“With the nomination of Mr. Blais, it is clear that Ontario Liberals are ready for the by-elections in Ottawa,” said Brian Johns, President of the Ontario Liberal Party. “The nomination of candidates of the caliber of Stephen Blais in Orléans and Lucille Collard in Ottawa-Vanier are indicative of the momentum that our party has across the province.”

507 local party members came together on Saturday at Rendez-vous des aînés francophones d’Ottawa to cast their vote in the contest.

Stephen Blais was elected to be the municipal councillor for Cumberland in 2010 after serving as a trustee in Ottawa’s Catholic School Board. In his time as councillor, Blais was chosen as chair of the transit commission in his second term and chair of the transportation committee for the current term.

“Doug Ford’s priorities are out of whack with those of Ontario families” said Interim Leader John Fraser, “The people of Orléans and Ottawa-Vanier deserve to have their voice heard at Queen’s Park and I’m calling upon the Premier to call these by-elections right away.”

Orléans has spoken decisively in support of Ontario Liberals. We will continue to fight for those services Ontarians depend upon; a robust healthcare system, great schools, a healthy environment and supports for the most vulnerable.

Ontario Liberal Party Nominates Current MPP, Stephen Blais as 2022 Candidate for Orléans

Blais throws hat into provincial politics

Vows to put Orléans first at Queen’s Park

City Councillor Stephen Blais is pleased to announce his bid to become the next Member of Provincial Parliament for Orléans. The resignation of Marie-France Lalonde has opened-up a by-election in Orléans.

Under the Legislative Assembly Act, a by-election must be called within six months from the date of Marie-France Lalonde’s resignation from Queen’s Park. As a result, Premier Ford must call a by-election no later than March 23, 2020. The exact date will be determined by the Premier. 

Over the next few weeks, the Ontario Liberal Party will hold a nomination meeting in which Councillor Blais will be a candidate. If he is successful in this nomination, he will become the Ontario Liberal Party’s candidate for Orléans.

“As Councillor for Cumberland Ward I have represented one of the fastest growing suburban communities in Ottawa,” adds Blais.  “We’ve worked hard to balance the needs of a growing community of young families while maintaining a fiscal approach that ensures costs change predictably.”

>“We have accomplished so much together at City Hall, but Orléans needs a strong representative at Queen’s Park,” says Councillor Blais. “If I am fortunate to earn the trust of the voters, my track record demonstrates that I will work to ensure we get our fair share of investments to further help build our community.” 

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“Stephen has been an incredibly hard working, dedicated and strong voice for Orléans and the east end. From helping to secure jobs in his ward, to ensuring LRT goes to Trim Road, he’s a proven fighter for his community.”
Jim Watson, Mayor of Ottawa

“I am pleased to support my friend, Stephen Blais to be the next MPP for Orléans. Stephen has steadfastly protected Franco-Ontarians’ rights and has contributed to ensuring Orléans is a wonderful, bilingual and diverse community.”
Madeleine Meilleur, Former Minister of Francophone Affairs & Attorney General of Ontario

“After working closely with Stephen when he was a community association president, school board trustee and city councillor, I witnessed first-hand his unparalleled commitment to Orléans. Despite an uphill battle at city hall, we worked together to bring light rail to our community which is why we are not being left out.”
Bob Monette, Former Deputy Mayor and City Councillor, Orléans Ward

“We need Stephen in our corner at Queen’s Park to make progress on the issues that matter most to our community such as reducing commute times, attracting jobs and making life easier for families. Stephen knows Orléans and we need him as our partner at the provincial level – we deserve nothing less.”
Matthew Luloff, City Councillor, Orléans Ward

“Stephen and I may not always agree on issues, but he has demonstrated a willingness and openness to work with officials on all sides. Stephen has been a strong ally to strengthen Francophone heritage in Orléans and across Ottawa. We need this commitment and knowledge of municipal affairs at Queen’s Park now more than ever.”
Mathieu Fleury, City Councillor, Rideau-Vanier

“Stephen has been an excellent local representative and will be a formidable champion for Orléans as our next MPP.”
Linda Dunn, Former Cumberland Deputy Mayor

“For more than a decade, I have come to know Stephen as an individual deeply rooted in seeing Orléans grow as a bilingual, multicultural and flourishing community. His multi-partisan and collaborative approach is part of the reason why he has been able to secure investments to reduce commute times and to build parks, road arteries and rec facilities.”
Dan Boudria, School Board Trustee

Quick Facts about Stephen’s City Council accomplishments

A 2006 City of Ottawa report showed only $100 million in total investment in east end roads and transit in the previous 15 years (since 1991). Since taking office in December 2010, Stephen has helped to secure over $750 million in infrastructure investment in Orléans and Cumberland.

Stephen quickly made his mark securing early victories by having the City of Ottawa conduct an environmental assessment to widen HWY 174 and to extend Light Rail Transit to Orléans, as part of Stage 2 of Ottawa’s LRT program. (There had previously never been a plan to extend LRT to Ottawa’s largest suburb),

Since his election more than a dozen new parks have been built in Cumberland Ward.

Famous for stalling subdivision approvals until developers got on board with park construction, Stephen later worked with the development community to build an $8 million expansion to Millennium Park funded 100% by development fees.

The first new pool in Ottawa since amalgamation came to fruition under Stephen’s leadership with the construction of the François Dupuis Recreation Centre.  By 2018, the centre had already been expanded by adding a full gymnasium, soccer and cricket fields and plans for the addition of a Library – transforming the site into one of the most important community hubs in east Ottawa.

After years of groundwork, Stephen was pleased to help make the biggest jobs announcement in the history of east Ottawa. Amazon.com collaborated with Broccolini Construction to establish a 1 million square foot fulfilment centre in Carlsbad Springs, which represents a private sector investment of $200 million in Cumberland Ward. During construction this project created 1,500 jobs in 30 different trades. Once open, more than 600 permanent jobs were created.

Quick Facts about Stephen’s School Board Trustee accomplishments

In September 2010, after decades of inaction, two east Ottawa high schools, St. Matthew’s and Lester B. Pearson, finally received additions to replace many of their aging portables, as a result of Stephen’s tireless efforts.

During his term as Trustee, the Board passed four consecutive balanced budgets and grew reserve funds.

The Board adopted a greener approach and invested in the most vulnerable students.

Stephen cites his decision to forgo the 150% trustee raise, which he personally donated to breast cancer awareness, support for military families, the school breakfast program and a bursary at Carleton University, as his most important achievement.