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The Right Honourable Roméo LeBlanc, P.C., C.C., C.M.M., C.D. 

Sworn in: February, 8, 1995.
Born: Memramcook, New Brunswick, in 1927



Roméo LeBlanc


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When Romeo LeBlanc was appointed Governor General in February 1995 he became Canada's first Maritimer and first Acadian to fill the position. LaBlanc who also studied in France began his career as an educator and then became involved with Radio Canada as a correspondent in 1960.

With his background in the media and his apparent sympathy for the Liberal Party positions, he was brought into the Liberal Government by Prime Minister Lester Pearson as his Press Secretary. He continued in that role when Pierre Trudeau became Prime Minister in 1968 and asked him to stay on.

By 1972 he turned his attention to elective politics and ran for MP in the Westmoreland-Kent riding of New Brunswick.  By 1974 he was promoted to the Minister of Fisheries, and entered the Cabinet. He campaigned for stronger Canadian control of the maritime resources and managed to have extend Canadian authority to the 200 mile limit.

By 1984 as the Liberal Government had fallen in the polls, Trudeau appoint LeBlanc the Senate where he was elevated to the speakers position in 1993. In 1994 LeBlanc was chosen by Prime Minister Jean Chretien to become the 25th Governor General of Canada. Due to LeBlanc's strong ties to the Liberal Party two leaders of Canadian regional parties, Preston Manning or the Reform Party and Lucien Bouchard of the Bloc, refused to attend the swearing in ceremony.

Once in office he promoted his love of education and appreciation of Canadian history and heritage by creating and promoting the Governor General's Award for excellence in Teaching Canadian History. He extended this recognition of achievement to awards for Visual and Media Arts and the Governor General's Canadian History Medal.

LeBlanc also extended his area of interest and support to Canada's aboriginal community where he campaigned for respect and recognition of native peoples rights and culture. He became a visible symbol of Federalism in Quebec where he travelled extensively after the 1995 referendum. LeBlanc was not a radical or dramatic Governor General but did manage to present the office in a functional, connected role which pleased most Canadians. His tenure was a period of particularly partisan politics when it came to traditional Canadian offices and positions and the normally above the fray office of the Governor General was under continual attack by the Reform party and Bloc due to LeBlanc's families continual role in the Liberal party.

Upon leaving the office in October of 1999, LeBlanc returned to New Brunswick where he became engaged in a lengthy battle with Alzheimer's which ended on June 24, 2009 when he passed away. He was honoured much more in death by all parties and was given a state funeral.

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