Message from Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada, on the death of the Right Honourable Roméo LeBlanc
June 24, 2009
OTTAWA–Today is a day of mourning, as much for Canadians throughout the country as for the team at Rideau Hall in Ottawa and at the Citadelle of Québec.
The news came to us from Grande Digue, New Brunswick, that my predecessor, the Right Honourable Roméo LeBlanc, governor general of Canada from 1995 to 1999, passed away, surrounded by his loved ones.
My husband, Jean-Daniel Lafond, and I wish to express our sincere condolences to his family, his wife Mme Fowler LeBlanc and their children, to his friends, and to all Acadians for whom he was a proud ambassador.
He was a man known for his simplicity, his serenity and his generosity. From the beginning of my mandate in 2005, not one day has passed that those who have worked with him in this house, which was both his home and workplace, have not shared with me fond memories of a man who cared so deeply about his fellow Canadians and their day-to-day lives. It is not surprising that his legacy was aimed at recognizing compassion and civic responsibility with the creation of the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award.
In addition, he was a proud and tireless defender of la francophonie, both at home and abroad. He carried in him a love of the French language, in particular the accents, colours and rhythms of his Acadian roots, where he took his last breath, facing the ocean that cradled him in his youth.
I invite all Canadians to sign the book of condolence, which will be available tomorrow, at Rideau Hall, from 10 am to 5 pm, and at the Citadelle, from 11 am to 5 pm.