Romeo LeBlanc passes away at 81

Self-described "country bumpkin" became the people’s governor general

Romeo LeBlanc, the former governor general and Liberal cabinet minister, has died after a battle with Alzheimer’s. LeBlanc, who was a journalist and teacher before entering politics, was fisheries minister under Pierre Trudeau and later became Canada’s first Acadian governor general. He was celebrated for putting a compassionate face on the vice-regal’s position, opening the grounds of Rideau Hall to the public, created an award for volunteerism and reaching out to the francophone community. “Many people consider their time there under Roméo as the highlight of their career,” recalls a former speechwriter. “He was a gentleman, very down to earth, and had a kind of wisdom about him. And in the case of the fisheries, I would call him a visionary, the most standout minister since Confederation.”

Ottawa Citizen