Joseph Gerard Leonce Bernard

Joseph Gerard Leonce Bernard

Served during the following dates: 1975-11-03;1978-04-24;1979-04-23;1982-09-27;1986-04-21;1989-05-29

BERNARD, HONOURABLE JOSEPH GERARD LEONCE, manager of tourism complex, manager of credit union, executive director of venture capital group, and chair of village commission; b. 23 May 1943 in Abrams Village, son of Joseph Antonin Bernard and Marie Emma Cormier; m. 27 July 1968 Florence Gallant of Cape Egmont, and they had tour children, Michel, Pierre, Francine, and Charles; Roman Catholic.
Bernard, a Liberal, was first elected to the Legislative Assembly in a by-election held 3 November 1975 for 3,J Prince. He was re-elected in the general elections of 1978, 1979, 1982, 1986, and 1989. On 2 May 1986 he was appointed Minister of Industry and Minister Responsible for the Prince Edward Island Development Agency. From 1989 to 1991, Bernard served as Minister of Community and Cultural Af fairs and Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture. On 15 November 1991 he resigned from Executive Council to accept a position as general manager of Le Village de L’Acadie, but remained a Member of the Legislative Assembly until 1993. On 28 May 2001 Bernard was sworn in as Lieutenant-Governor. He is a former chair of the Village of Wellington and also chaired the Wellington Housing and Planning Committee. In 1991 Father Eloi Arsenault, president of the Societe Saint-Thomas-d’Aquin, stated that “Leonce has helped tremendously in bringing the concerns of the Acadian people to the top levels of government. His honesty and hard work have not only earned him a great deal of respect, but have brought respect to the Acadian community.”
From 1949 to 1960, Leonce Bernard attended the school in Mont Carmel, and, from 1960 to 1962, studied at Evangeline Regional High School in Abrams Village. From 1963 to 1967, Bernard served in the Royal Canadian Air Force. From 1970 to 1986, lie was manager of the Evangeline Credit Union. Bernard was an executive director of the Baie Acadienne Venture Capital Group, a president of the Conseil Co-operative de l’Ile-du-Prince- Edouard and was the province’s representative on the Canadian Council of Co-operatives. He was a member of the executive of the Federation of Municipalities, a president of the Credit Union Managers Association, and a treasurer of the Evangeline Tourism Association. Bernard served as director of the Centre Goeland, the Baie Acadienne Industrial Commission, the League Data Computer Company, and the Prince Edward Island Credit Union Stabilization Board. He was district chairman of the Co-operators Advisory Committee Board. Bernard held the positions of a director of the Unit 5 School Board and a vice-president of the United Way. He served as treasurer of the local Minor Hockey Association and the Wellington Boys and Girls Club. Bernard was a member of the Wellington Club, the Wellington Firemen, and the Wellington Royal Canadian Legion.
In 1987 he was recognized by Atlantic Insight, Atlantic Canada Plus, and the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council as Innovator of the Year in 1987. Bernard was given the aw»ard in recognition for the work he carried out with his constituents to set up a locally owned co-op potato chip factory, Olde Barrel. Leonce Bernard and his wife reside in Charlottetown at Fanningbank, the official residence of the Lieutenant-Governor.
Florence Bernard is the daughter of Albenie Gallant and Alina Arsenault.

References: Atlantic Guidebook p. 30; CPG 1977. 1996; WWPEI p. 14; Atlanta Insight 10(1) January 1988; Guardian A April 1986. 15 November 1991. 16 November 1991; Journal-Pioneer 30 December 1987. 14 November 1991, 15 November 1991, 13 February 1993. Guide to abbreviations

Photograph courtesy of PEI Public Archives and Records Office, Reference Number Acc2755/142