Before joining the CRTC, Mr. Blais was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Board Secretariat’s Government Operations Sector. In this capacity, he provided advice on the management oversight and corporate governance of various federal departments, agencies and crown corporations. The Department of Finance, the Privy Council Office, the Canada Revenue Agency, Shared Services Canada and the Department of Public Works and Government Services were among his client departments.
From 2004 to 2011, he was Assistant Deputy Minister of Cultural Affairs at the Department of Canadian Heritage. His responsibilities included legislation, policies and programs related to copyright, broadcasting, the cultural industries (film, books, periodicals and music) and the arts. Soon after assuming his duties, he created the Task Force on New Technologies to study the impact of the Internet and digital technologies on Canada’s cultural policies, which led to a new approach focused on Canadians and innovation. He contributed to the successful transition to digital television by co-chairing the Government-Broadcaster Committee. In addition, he served as Director of the Canadian Television Fund.
His responsibilities also included cultural trade policy and international policies and treaties, such as the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expression. As the Director of Investment from 2004 to 2011, he reviewed transactions in the cultural sector under the Investment Canada Act and provided advice to the Minister of Canadian Heritage.
Mr. Blais served, between 2002 and 2004, as Assistant Deputy Minister of International and Intergovernmental Affairs at the Department of Canadian Heritage. He played a pivotal role in the rapid adoption of the UNESCO Anti-Doping Convention and in garnering international support for the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Anti-Doping Code. Moreover, he represented the Government of Canada on the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games Bid Corporation.
As the CRTC’s Executive Director of Broadcasting from 1999 to 2002, he notably oversaw the development of a licensing framework for new digital pay and specialty services and led reviews of major ownership transactions. He previously was a member of the Legal Directorate, serving as General Counsel, Broadcasting and Senior Counsel. From 1985 to 1991, Mr. Blais was an attorney with the Montreal-based firm Martineau Walker.
Mr. Blais has been a guest lecturer at various universities including Harvard, MIT, Carleton, Melbourne and the University of Ottawa.
In 2010, he received the Award for Excellence in Leadership from the Association of Professional Executives of the Public Service of Canada.
Throughout his career, he has demonstrated a strong support for community service, including as Co-Chair of the Ottawa Hospital Foundation President’s Breakfast for the Public Service for a number of years. In 2016, he received the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers in recognition of his ongoing dedication to the Ottawa Hospital and its Foundation.
Mr. Blais holds a Master of Laws from the University of Melbourne in Australia, as well as a Bachelor of Civil Law and a Bachelor of Common Law from McGill University. He is a member of the Barreau du Québec and the Law Society of Upper Canada.
His term ends on June 17, 2017.
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