The Honourable J. Léonce Bernard
Joseph Gérard Léonce Bernard O.PEI (born May 23, 1943) is an Acadian-Canadian politician and a former Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island, the third Island Acadian to hold this position.
Born in Abram Village, Prince Edward Island, he received his early education at Evangeline School in Abram Village, becoming a member of the first class to graduate from the school after the completion of its construction, in 1962. He then went on to take courses in bookkeeping and accounting while a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force. Soon after, he married Florence Gallant of Cap-Egmont, located in the same area as Abram-Village. Together, they have four children, Michel, Pierre, Francine, and Charles, as well as three grandchildren.
Before entering politics, Bernard served as office manager with McGowan Motors in Montague and as general manager of the Evangeline Credit Union in Wellington, Prince Edward Island.
He was first elected to the Legislative Assembly, as a member of the Liberal Party of Prince Edward Island, representing the district of 3rd Prince in a by-election in 1975, and was re-elected in 1978, 1979, 1982, 1986, and 1989, serving as a member of the Official Opposition from 1979 to 1986. He was Minister of Industry and Chairman of the P.E.I. Development Agency from 1986 to 1989, and from 1989 to 1991 was Minister of Fisheries and Community Affairs.
Mr. Bernard has always been a strong supporter of the co-operative movement, both provincially and nationally, having served as President of the Conseil de la coopération de l'Î.P.É as well as Vice-President and Treasurer of the Conseil Canadien de la coopération . Among other positions, he also served on the Advisory Committee of the Federal Minister responsible for co-operatives.
He is also very active in community affairs, having held executive positions throughout the years with such organizations as the Federation of Prince Edward Island Municipalities, the French Language School Board, the Wellington Boys & Girls Club and the Evangeline Tourism Association.
He was appointed Lieutenant Governor on May 28, 2001. His term ended in 2006.
Photograph courtesy of Lieutenant Governor's Office.