I often had in mind the existence of this character over the years because he was a journalist in the same media where I myself was a journalist, and was also press officer of a Prime Minister, in his case two.
I am Acadian myself and when I lived in Moncton in 1979, Romeo Leblanc was considered an icon. A humble man who was accessible but who was also very powerful. People said that he did not really knew the size of his power and that he could have got much more from Pierre E. Trudeau who respected him greatly, and who needed his presence in the cabinet. Some even say that he could have been Prime Minister but he thought that he did not have enough support to be considered. This was the same considerations and his humility that have almost prevented him from accepting his first job as a journalist with Radio-Canada. He asked himself whether it would be better to stay in Moncton and be a big fish in a small pound rather than a tiny fish in the ocean of Radio-Canada? Fortunately for Canadians, he chose the option to leave the comfort of his environment.
Roméo LeBlanc was always very engaging and extremely polite. He loved meeting people and talking with them, a personality trait of the Acadians. I compare him with Jules Léger in terms of his kindness to the public. He also had much in common with another great politician and Governor General, Jeanne Sauvé. All three had class and, above all, they were respectful of their peers. They were not in politics for their own benefit but for the betterment of their communities.
Roméo LeBlanc returned to finish his days in his home land, the village of Grande-Digue, near Shediac. He has lived the last months more or less conscious because of Alzheimer's disease which had significantly reduced his quality of life and the contact with his entourage. The fact remains that his accomplishments are noteworthy, not for their brilliance but for their generosity, respect and equality between cultures. Romeo Leblanc believed in the concept of multi-ethnicity and if he was a very strong supporter of french and Acadians, he was always very respectful and understanding of English culture. He had married an anglophone from Toronto, Diana Fowler. LeStudio1.com offers its condolences to his family and especially his son Dominic, the MP for Beausejour and we offer Roméo LeBlanc a mention in the gallery The Best 2009 - LeStudio1.com.
Bernard Bujold - www.LeStudio1.com
Photo 1: Roméo LeBlanc
Photo 2: Roméo LeBlanc in Ottawa (1998)
Photo 3: Beach in Shédiac - New-Brunswick
Photo 4: Roméo LeBlanc and Dominic ( Moncton - January 2006)_____________________________________________