Who are the francophones who hold political, social and economic power? Who makes the decisions that have the most impact on the province? As is the tradition of the end of the year, the editorial committee of Acadie Nouvelle has looked into these questions. Here is our annual list of the 30 most influential Francophones in New Brunswick.
(Last year’s rank is shown in parentheses. The asterisk means a new entry in the ranking)
1 – Louis Leger (3)
Chief of Staff to Blaine Higgs
A close collaborator of the Prime Minister, Louis Léger is at the heart of power in Fredericton and leads it behind the scenes. He may be less present in the public arena than others, but he is no less influential. This former leader of a marketing firm is one of the main architects of the victory of the Progressive Conservatives in the provincial elections of September 14, 2020. Majority in the Assembly, the troops of Blaine Higgs now have free rein and plan important reforms.
2 – Dominic LeBlanc (2)
Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
The Member of Parliament for Beauséjour occupies a prominent place in Ottawa as Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and President of the Privy Council. Lieutenant and long-time friend of Justin Trudeau, he is regularly called upon to intervene in various cases which directly or indirectly affect New Brunswick. Relegated to the sidelines for nine months while battling cancer, he made his return to the House of Commons last January 2020.
3 – Daniel Allain *
Minister of Local Government and Local Governance Reform
This former CEO of NB Liquor has long been in Progressive-Conservative circles. A star candidate in Moncton East in the last election, he easily defeated outgoing Liberal MP Monique LeBlanc. The Prime Minister gave him a key post as Minister of Local Government and Local Governance Reform. He now has the mandate to lead a long-awaited and promising major reform.
4 – Bernard Lord (1)
Chief Executive Officer of Medavie
Former Prime Minister Bernard Lord has not twiddled his thumbs since leaving active politics. From 2008 to 2016, he was the CEO of the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association before becoming the CEO of Medavie. With the privatization of various services by the provincial government, this non-profit organization is set to take more and more place in New Brunswick. It notably administers Ambulance New Brunswick, the Extra-Mural Program and Tele-care.
5 – Dr France Desrosiers *
CEO of Vitalité Health Network
This doctor, who held the post of vice-president of medical services, succeeded Gilles Lanteigne at the head of Vitalité in November. She takes the helm as the Higgs government prepares for major health care reform. Dr. Desrosiers will surely be called upon to play a key role in the implementation of the vision of the Progressive Conservatives.
6 – Roger Melanson *
Acting Leader of the Official Opposition
The member for Dieppe, who has represented his riding since 2010, took off after his party collapsed in the last election. After the defeat, his colleagues chose him to occupy the interim chiefdom. His role gives him enormous visibility in the media and gives him a place on the Cabinet’s multi-stakeholder committee on COVID-19, which has a great influence on the management of the pandemic.
7 – Paul D’Astous (5)
Principal Secretary of Blaine Higgs’ Cabinet
This staunch Progressive Conservative works in the shadows, much like Louis Léger. A close associate of the Prime Minister, he has a real influence on what goes on in Cabinet and in Fredericton in general. He also played a key role in the victory of the Blues in the last provincial elections. Elections that allowed Blaine Higgs to win the majority that had narrowly escaped him in 2018.
8 – Dr Denis Prud’homme *
Rector of the Université de Moncton
This physician and career seeker became rector and vice-chancellor of the Université de Moncton on July 1. He has his work cut out for him, as the institution bears the brunt of the consequences of the pandemic. As if that weren’t enough, he will soon be venturing into the minefield where others have broken their teeth before him, revising programs.
9 – Robert Moreau (8)
CEO of UNI Financial Cooperation
This manager is at the head of the largest cooperative in Acadia. UNI continues to evolve under his leadership. The changes made recently are not only happy, such as the closure of the Grande-Anse point of service. One thing is certain; Robert Moreau cannot be blamed for maintaining the status quo.
10 – Sébastien Dupuis (11)
CEO of Assumption Life
A long-time Assumption Life employee, Sébastien Dupuis was appointed CEO in January 2019. The results have been positive since he took office. In February, the insurance and financial products company reported profits of $ 7.5 million and surpassed the billion in assets under management (in investments and pensions) for the first time in its history.
11 – Ginette Petitpas Taylor (12)
Deputy Whip of the Trudeau Government
The Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe MP lost her rank when she was removed from cabinet in 2019. She remains one of New Brunswick’s most influential elected officials in Ottawa, where she is deputy government whip and member. of the Board of Internal Economy. She is also a member of two procedural committees in the House of Commons.
12 – Marc Richard *
Chief Justice of New Brunswick
This eminent jurist was appointed Chief Justice of the province in 2018. Before landing this important post, he was a judge of the New Brunswick Court of Appeal for almost fifteen years and enjoyed a long career as a lawyer. . The judgments he and his colleagues render have a major impact on the legal world and on a host of provincial cases.
13 – Monique Boudreau (15)
Director General of the Francophone Sud School District
This experienced manager – who began her career in 1994 as a teacher – has been at the head of the largest French-speaking school district in New Brunswick since 2013. Her decisions have an impact on thousands of students and staff members throughout. in a territory that covers almost half of the province.
14 – Pierre Zundel (25)
CEO Community College of New Brunswick
No news, good news. After tumultuous times when her predecessor was in office, the CCNB now seems to be going through a quieter period under the leadership of Pierre Zundel. The institution is not spared by COVID-19, but seems to be doing well despite everything. Its CEO will not be short of work in the coming months.
15 – Serge Cormier (13)
Member of Parliament for Acadie-Bathurst
Serge Cormier stood out during his first term, from 2015 to 2019, by holding three parliamentary secretary positions. Today, he is less influential, but remains a member of the parliamentary committee on fisheries and oceans. He intervenes from time to time in the media on various files.
16 – Kevin Arseneau (14)
Member of Parliament for Kent-North
The Rogersville farmer – who rose to prominence on the provincial scene as president of FÉÉCUM and then SANB – is now one of three Green MPs in Fredericton. He and his colleagues saw their power melt away when Blaine Higgs won a majority of seats last September. Kevin Arseneau remains one of the most visible MPs in public.
17 – Francis Sonier (17)
Editor-General Manager of Acadie Media
This journalist by training is the big boss of Acadie Nouvelle – the only French-language daily and the only independent daily in New Brunswick – and of Éditions de la Francophonie. He also has national influence as president of the Association de la presse francophone (APF).
18 – Patrick Parent *
CEO of NB Liquor and Cannabis NB
Appointed in 2019, Patrick Parent has succeeded in particular by transforming Cannabis NB, which is finally generating profits. It remains to be seen whether the Higgs government will decide to privatize this crown corporation, or whether it will go with the status quo now that it is no longer in the red. He has just announced his departure to return to the private sector.
19 – Isabelle Thériault (30)
Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party
The member for Caraquet is one of the rising stars of the Liberal Party. Reelected with an overwhelming majority last September against the Progressive Conservative candidate, Mayor Kevin Haché, she then gained a little extra money and was named Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party. She is also the opposition critic for tourism, heritage, culture and women’s equality.
20 – Robert Gauvin (4)
Member of Parliament for Baie-de-Shediac-Dieppe
At this time last year, Robert Gauvin was Deputy Premier and the only Northern MP in the Higgs government. Today he is in the official opposition and is much less influential, which explains his tumble in our rankings. He remains a well-known Member of Parliament who has a good place in Roger Melanson’s shadow cabinet as the spokesperson for rural affairs and social development issues.
21 – Yvon Lapierre (18)
Mayor of Dieppe
This veteran of municipal politics is at the head of the largest French-speaking city in the Atlantic provinces. A growing city that continues to evolve under the leadership of Yvon Lapierre. The elected official also sits on the board of directors of the Association of Cities of New Brunswick.
22 – Frédérick Dion *
Director General of the Association francophone des municipalities du N.-B.
Few New Brunswickers know the municipal world and its challenges better than the CEO of the AFMNB. Frédérick Dion will have plenty of work to do in the square over the coming months, as the Higgs government sets in motion its reform of municipal governance.
23 – Gaëtan Thomas (9)
CEO of the New Brunswick Economic Council
The ex-CEO of NB Power has not stayed home going in circles after retiring last May. A few weeks later, he was appointed CEO of the Conseil économique du Nouveau-Brunswick, the main lobby group defending the interests of Francophone entrepreneurs in the province.
24 – Michelyne Paulin (23)
Chair of the Board of Directors of Vitalité Health Network
2020 has not been an easy year for Michelyne Paulin. Council members slammed the door in the wake of the failed reform of rural emergencies. We have also seen to what extent this advice does not weigh heavily in the balance and that the CEO and the minister make it rain and shine. She will be back in the spotlight again soon, as the Higgs government plans to reform the health care system.
25– Jolène Richard (22)
Chief Justice of the Provincial Court of New Brunswick
This lawyer by training was a judge of the Provincial Court of New Brunswick for nine years before being appointed Chief Justice in 2017. She is not present in the public square – like almost all magistrates – but remains still influential in her community.
26 – Alexandre Cédric Doucet *
This law student and former student leader won the elections for the president of the Société de l’Acadie du Nouveau-Brunswick in June 2020. He has no tongue in his pocket and does not hesitate to raise his voice when ‘he feels the need to defend the interests of francophones in the province.
27 – Nathalie Savoie *
Chairman of the Board of the Savoie Group
This entrepreneur has been at the head of Groupe Savoie – one of the largest employers in Restigouche – since April 2016. In addition to being the chair of the board of directors of this big player in the forest industry, she also holds the position of position of vice-president of human resources.
28 – Madeleine Dubé (19)
Vice-Rector of the University of Moncton – Edmundston Campus
This former provincial politician was appointed head of the Edmundston campus of the Université de Moncton – an important institution in the region – in 2018. The institution managed to maintain its enrollment level during the last school year despite COVID-19.
29 – Louise Imbeault (24)
President of the Société Nationale de l’Acadie
In addition to being the president of the SNA – which defends the interests of Francophones in the Atlantic provinces – Louise Imbeault is active in the cultural community as owner-editor of the Bouton d’or Acadie youth publishing house. .
30 – Carol Doucet *
Artist manager, record label owner, booking agent, press relations officer; Carol Doucet wears several hats. She notably helped launch the careers of Lisa LeBlanc, the Hay Babies, Pascal Lejeune and Joseph Edgar. Few people in the music industry are as big as this Moncton entrepreneur.