Success Stories

2007 Lieutenant-Governor's Dialogue Award Recipients

The winners of the 2007 Lieutenant-Governor’s Dialogue Award were announced at a ceremony on June 21 in Saint John. The recipients of the annual honour were: Arthur Irving, Janice LeBlanc, Richard Rice, and the New Brunswick Heart Centre.

Speaking to guests at Centre scolaire-communautaire Samuel-de-Champlain in Saint John, the Honourable Herménégilde Chiasson, Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick, said: “These three individuals and the staff of the New Brunswick Heart Centre are all role models who champion the principles of harmony and respect between our province’s Anglophone and Francophone communities. They exemplify, in their words

and deeds, the best intentions of all residents of Canada’s only officially bilingual province.”

Established in 2003, the Lieutenant-Governor’s Dialogue Award is given out annually by Dialogue New Brunswick (DNB) – a provincial, non-profit organization that promotes understanding, respect and appreciation between English-speaking and French- speaking citizens of the province.

According to DNB’s executive director, Carole Fournier, recipients are selected by a five-member jury.

“It’s never easy for the jury to choose one individual or institution over another,” she said. “There are so many deserving people in this province – so many who devote their time and energy to the cause of linguistic and cultural harmony and understanding. This year’s recipients follow in the tradition and lead in their commitment to these principles.” 

Front: M. Arthur Irving (businesses), Mrs. Janice LeBlanc (individuals), M. Richard Rice (individuals), M. William Teed on behalf of the New Brunswick Heart Center (Community organizations/public institutions). Second row: The Hon. Herménégilde Chiasson, Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick, Ms. Odette Snow & Mr. Rolf Spangenberg, Co-Chairs of Dialogue New Brunswick and Ms. Carole Fournier, Executive Director of Dialogue New Brunswick.

Arthur Irving

Arthur Irving has spent a lifetime in business with equal regard for both French and English. This was a life long philosophy of his father, K.C. Irving as well as Irving Oil since it was founded in the 1920’s. In his capacity at Irving Oil of Saint John, Arthur has never wavered in supporting the many initiatives designed to continue his father’s philosophy.

In the community, Arthur has always been a friend and supporter of the Acadian people. For example, recently the company christened a new tanker “Acadian”, donated a 1920’s gasoline station to the Acadian Village in Caraquet that will be opened this summer to the public and has provided scholarships to outstanding French-speaking students.

Arthur Irving is a true New Brunswicker who supports both French and English. Inclusive, welcoming and progressive, he embodies the virtues that this award honours.

Mrs. Janice LeBlanc

Janice LeBlanc demonstrates her commitment to producing a fluently bilingual New Brunswick through words and deeds. She has been a French Immersion teacher since 1978. Over the years, she has taught in Fredericton, Rothesay and Riverview, inspiring hundreds of students to acquire linguistic facility in both official languages.

In fact, Janice LeBlanc promotes language acquisition through various activities and cultural experiences in and out of the classroom. She has organized numerous excursions to historical sites for her students. She has worked to ensure that the schools in which she teaches employs a blend of motivational materials in both English and French.

She also works tirelessly in her capacity as mentor to beginning and early-career teachers, using her formidable skills to guide and nurture her colleagues. She is known throughout New Brunswick as an exemplary second language instructor, and she has hosted in her classroom several educators, administrators, and educational supervisors.

Janice LeBlanc continues to contribute daily to the enhancement of New Brunswick’s official languages, articulating understanding, respect and appreciation.

Mr. Richard Rice

Over the years, as Educational Supervisor of French as Second Language in New Brunswick’s School District 6, Richard Rice has worked to foster harmony between Anglophone and Francophone communities in New Brunswick. He has been diligent in nurturing French language education at national, provincial and local levels.

At the national level, he has been active in the Canadian French Second Language Teachers Association and the Association of French Immersion Teachers. At the provincial level he has led highly productive student exchanges with Quebec. During the 1980s, he served as New Brunswick’s French Second Language Consultant.

At the local level, he speaks to parents and community associations about second language acquisition on a regular basis. He conducts information sessions about available French second language programs, and recruits members of the community, who are able to speak in both official languages, to share their ideas and principles with others.

Richard Rice exemplifies service, leadership and commitment to the core values of linguistic harmony in the Province of New Brunswick.

New Brunswick Heart Centre

The New Brunswick Heart Centre, a program of the Atlantic Health Sciences Corporation, has made great strides in acquiring competence in both of New Brunswick’s official languages. The centre not only accommodates Saint John’s growing Francophone population, but French speakers across the entire province with outstanding service.

From the beginning, the institution – and its staff – have been committed to providing services to patients in the official language of their choice. To achieve this goal, the hospital worked with the University of New Brunswick to develop French language courses available to front-line staff in all divisions. As well, there are ongoing recruitment activities for bilingual personnel.

As a result, more than 50 per cent of the centre’s cardiac services nursing unit staff are bilingual; 75 per cent of the access coordination personnel are fluently bilingual; and 73 per cent of the nurse associates for interventional cardiology and cardiac surgery are bilingual.

An infectious spirit has flowed through the New Brunswick Heart Centre – that spirit is the enthusiasm to provide bilingual services and to expand linguistic horizons.