About Bill Blair
Bill Blair served the people of Toronto for over 39 years, starting as a beat officer in downtown Toronto, and continued with assignments in drug enforcement, organized crime units, and major criminal investigations. Promoted to senior ranks of the Toronto Police Service, his postings included Divisional Commander, Community Policing Programs, and Detective Operations, responsible for all specialized investigative units, including the Homicide Squad, Sex Crimes Unit, Fraud Squad, Forensic Identifications Services, Intelligence Services, and Organized Crime Enrolment, including the Guns and Gangs Unit, and the Repeat Offender Program. In 2005, Bill was named Chief of the Toronto Police Service, overseeing the largest municipal police service in Canada, and one of the largest in North America.
As Chief of Police, he oversaw important efforts to combat violent crime, while supporting local policing initiatives through Community Response Units and the ‘neighbourhood police officer’ program. Bill also served as President of both the Ontario and Canadian Associations of Chiefs of Police.
Bill retired as Chief of Police in April 2015 and was elected as the Member of Parliament for Scarborough Southwest in October 2015. In December 2015, Bill was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, and in January 2016, he was named as the Government liaison to the task force responsible for creating a plan for the legalization and strict regulation of cannabis. In 2017, Bill received additional responsibilities for the cannabis file as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health. In July 2018, Bill was named to Cabinet as the Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction. Following his re-election in October 2019, he was re-appointed to Cabinet as the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. In this role, Bill was one of the lead Ministers responsible for the Government of Canada’s response to COVID-19 and brought forward a ban on assault-style weapons in May 2020. In 2021, Bill was named President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness. In this role, Bill coordinates and convenes the federal response to disasters, while strengthening Canada’s preparedness across all hazards.
In recognition of his contributions to the policing profession, Bill was named an Officer of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces in 2007, becoming a Commander of the Order of Merit in 2012. He is the proud recipient of the 2011 Beth Sholom Brotherhood Humanitarian Award, a member of the Most Venerable Order of St. John, and was honoured in 2013 by the Canadian Tamil Congress for his leadership and tremendous service to the people of Toronto.
Bill holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Toronto with dual disciplines of Economics and Criminology (1981), a Certificate in Law Enforcement Administration from the University of Toronto (1983) and a Certificate in Criminal Justice from the University of Virginia (1990). He is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy (1990), the Police Leadership Program of the University of Toronto, Rotman School of Business Management (2002) and the National Executive Institute (2006).