Husband, father, sports enthusiast and Councillor for Cumberland Ward.
Stephen has dedicated much of his professional life to public service to the residents of Orléans and Cumberland.
Stephen Blais was re-elected City Councillor for Cumberland Ward on October 27, 2014 with 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.
Stephen has pushed OC Transpo to become more compassionate and affordable by introducing the EquiPass & EquiFare discounts for low income residents. He’s also eliminated the express fare premium saving commuters nearly $300 a year and increasing bus service in our growing communities.
“But certainly Blais’ most important success so far has been convincing his council colleagues to direct city staff to consider bringing light rail to Orléans sooner rather than later.” – Joanne Chianello, Ottawa Citizen
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.
“One of his early accomplishments was securing an environmental assessment for the expansion of Highway 174.” – Joanne Chianello, Ottawa Citizen
In addition to his focus on reducing commute times through investments in roads and transit, Blais prioritized local park construction.
Since taking office 12 new parks have been built in Cumberland Ward and Blais delivered on his 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
Stephen identified a need to connect our community and worked hard to build the Trans Orléans Multiuse Path. The 6.5 km pathway from Trim to Tenth Line builds on Stephen’s work to connect communities with the completion of the north/south hydro pathway – creating a seamless pathway network through Avalon.
Serving Orléans & Cumberland families as School Trustee.
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.
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.
A lifetime dedicated to the community.
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’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 as Policy Director for Canada 25, served the people of Ontario as a staff member to the Minister of Consumer and Business Services and has most recently 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 and their son Stephen Jr., are proud residents of the wonderfully bilingual and diverse community of Chaperal.