It is with deep sadness that IAM Canada announces the passing of Vincent Blais, former Administrative Assistant on 21 February, 2020 in Gatineau, QC. at the age of 75. He became a member of the IAM in 1966 and was a 50-year member.
Vincent leaves behind his grieving spouse Ginette, daughter Natalie (2 grandchildren) and son Marc-André
“As an IAM representative, Vincent was a true journeyman. He represented our membership at every level of the organization, from the shop floor to the Canadian Headquarters,” said Stan Pickthall, IAM Canadian General Vice-President (GVP). “He will be truly missed, and we send Solidarity, love and blessings to his family. Thanks for sharing him with us.”
“He was the personification of a rank-and-file member who came up from the ranks to one of the most important positions in the IAM,” said Dave Ritchie, IAM Canadian GVP from 1997-2016. “His only thoughts were for the membership and his work proved it time and time again.”
Trained and certified as an Aircraft Avionics Maintenance Ct. 38, Blais served as Steward, Trustee, Recording Secretary, Secretary-Treasurer of Local Lodge 1751 in Montreal and eventually elected as General Chairperson for the former District 148 in 1979. He became President and Directing General Chair (PDGC) of District 148 in January 1986 and was appointed Grand Lodge Representative (GLR) in mid-1988.
Vincent was appointed Administrative Assistant to General Vice-President Val Bourgeois in 1990 and continued serving under GVP Dave Ritchie until 2002, when he retired from the IAM.
Retired GLR Léo Giuliani, who worked closely with Blais, said of his former colleague, “Brother Vincent was a man of integrity, principle and hard work – and he worked for all the members. He was involved in so many fights that it would be too long to enumerate. Two of them I remember well were his involvement against Bill C-129 (Privatization of Air Canada) and when he represented our members in maintenance in the Gimli Glider Incident.
Born in 1945, Vincent lived the IAM’s commitment to “Service to the Community” to the very end by volunteering for Red Cross Canada. Rest in peace brother. We’ll take it from here.
The funeral will be March 21 at the St-Alexandre church, 1 Chemin des Érables in Gatineau, QC at 11:00 AM.
The Family will be at the Church to receive condolences starting at 10:00 AM.
Messages of condolences can be sent at www.cfo.coop.
Donations can be sent to the Canadian Cancer Society or the Canadian Red Cross.