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Welcome to the Official Schedule for RightsCon Toronto 2018. This year’s program, built by our global community, is our most ambitious one yet. Within the program, you will find 18 thematic tracks to help you navigate our 450+ sessions

Build your own customized RightsCon schedule by logging into Sched (or creating an account), and selecting the sessions that you wish to attend. Be sure to get your ticket to RightsCon first. You can visit rightscon.org for more information. 

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Last updated: Version 2.3 (Updated May 15, 2018).

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avatar for Pierre Blais

Pierre Blais

Pierre Blais was appointed on May 1, 2015, as Chairman of the Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC).

Mr. Blais was born in Berthier-sur-Mer, on December 30, 1948. He is the son of Edmond Blais and Marguerite Mercier.

He attended Collège Ste-Anne-de-la-Pocatière and received a Bachelor of Arts from Laval University in 1968, and a Licentiate in Laws from Laval University in 1976. He was then called to the Quebec Bar in 1977, and to the Ontario Bar in 1993.

Subsequently, he practiced law in Montmagny with the law firm of Morin, Lemieux, Blais, from 1977 to 1984. As a part-time lecturer, he taught business law at the Cégep of la Pocatière from 1980 to 1982. During that time, he also taught business law at the University du Québec in Rimouski in 1980, and industrial legislation (ethic and professional liability) at Laval University in 1983 and 1984; in addition, he taught for the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec, also at Laval University in 1983 and 1984.

He was elected to the House of Commons for Bellechasse in 1984; subsequently, he served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and to the Deputy Prime Minister before joining the Cabinet as Minister of State for Agriculture in 1987.

Subsequently, he served successively as Solicitor General of Canada, Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, and President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada.

He retired from political life in November 1993 and joined, as a partner, the law firm of Langlois, Robert (later Langlois, Gaudreau) with offices in Montréal, Québec City and Montmagny.

While he held ministerial portfolios (from 1987 to 1993), he was a member of most Cabinet Committees, in particular, the Priorities and Planning Committee; in addition, he was Chairman of the Special Committee of Council and Deputy Chairman of the Government Operations Committee.

Mr. Blais has also been very active in community and social affairs. He has contributed, successively, as administrator, Vice-President and President, to a number of organizations, such as the Conseil de développement de la Côte-du-Sud, the Corporation culturelle Popularti, the Chamber of commerce of Montmagny, the Club Richelieu Montmagny, the Caisse populaire de Berthier-sur-Merthe Corporation Le Havre de Berthier-sur-Mer, the Fondation de l’Hôtel-Dieu de Montmagny, the Fondation des services universitaires Chaudières-Appalaches, the Club export agro-alimentaire du Québec.

As Minister of Agriculture and Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs, he was actively involved in the negotiations that resulted in the North American Free Trade Agreement with the United States and Mexico; he also took an active part in the GATT negotiations in Geneva from 1986 to 1993.

During that period, he took part in a large number of political, economic and commercial missions in the United States, Europe, Israel, Mexico, China and South America.

Mr. Blais was appointed Judge of the Federal Court of Canada, Trial Division on June 23, 1998 and Judge of the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada on December 3, 1998, to the Competition Tribunal as a judicial member in October 2002, and Chairperson of the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Tribunal in July 2007. He was also designated by the Chief Justice to hear national security cases matters from 2000 to 2008. Indeed, he completed in 2008 a "Fellowship" at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies of the University of London U.K, whereby he did comparative research about the treatment, by Canadian and English courts, of evidence undisclosed on national security grounds. He was appointed Judge of the Federal Court of Appeal on February 20, 2008 and Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Appeal on September 9, 2009.

He retired from the Court on June 23, 2014.

He enjoys tennis, cycling, swimming, fishing, and reading and writes novels in his spare time.