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Former N.S. union president Greg Blanchard dies

Greg Blanchard, who served as president of the Nova Scotia Government & General Employees Union from 1980 to 1994 – seven consecutive terms – died on Saturday.

Served seven consecutive terms from 1980 to 1994

Greg Blanchard, who served as president of the Nova Scotia Government & General Employees Union from 1980 to 1994 — seven consecutive terms — died on Saturday.

A statement from the union said he passed away peacefully, surrounded by family.

Blanchard worked in the labour movement for 40 years. He started at NSGEU when he was an instructor at Cape Breton University, and he was elected secretary-treasurer in the late 1970s.

"I considered Greg a mentor and friend who was always supportive. He has been a vital part of our history and his legacy will live on in our union," said current president Joan Jessome.

Blanchard led the organization as it attracted new members from across the public sector, including correctional officers, Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation employees and school board support staff.

This June, Blanchard attended the groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the union's new building in Burnside, which will be named in Blanchard’s honour.

"Greg's energy, wisdom and interest in people were an inspiration and catalyst for me to become involved in the union. I was fortunate to have enjoyed a close friendship with him for many years. He will be greatly missed," said Keiren Tompkins, NSGEU's executive director.

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