An iconic figure in Manitoba politics is in palliative care, his family says.
Bill Blaikie, who represented Elmwood-Transcona (and earlier ridings in the same area) as a member of Parliament from 1979 to 2008, has been fighting kidney cancer in recent years.
Blaikie also served in the provincial legislature as MLA for Elmwood from 2009 until his retirement from politics in 2011.
In a statement Wednesday, which came after Blaikie revealed his terminal status on Facebook, his family said they’re thankful for the support the longtime member of the NDP has received from his political colleagues and the community at large.
“We have been grateful for the many messages flooding in from around the country. We appreciate the well wishes and stories of how Bill’s contributions to the democratic socialist movement in Canada have inspired others in their own work.
“We offer our thanks to the dedicated team of health professionals who are supporting Bill and our family as we surround him with love during his last trial.
“This is a difficult time for our family. We appreciate respect for our privacy as we say our goodbyes.”
Read more: Neck and neck race in Elmwood-Transcona
Blaikie’s son Daniel currently represents the Elmwood-Transcona riding for the NDP in the House of Commons. He was first elected to his father’s former position in the 2015 federal election.
Rebecca Blaikie, Bill’s daughter, has also been active in New Democrat politics, serving as the federal party’s president from 2011 to 2016.