Office of the Premier

Premier's message on the death of Jean Gauvin (07/06/07)

NB 726

June 7, 2007

FREDERICTON (CNB) -- The following statement on the death of former provincial cabinet minister Jean Gauvin was issued today by Premier Shawn Graham.

"It was with great regret that we learned today of the sudden passing of former Progressive Conservative minister and long-time member of the Legislative Assembly, Jean Gauvin.

"Mr. Gauvin was a key figure in the government of the late Richard Hatfield. He was a strong advocate for the rights and advancement of francophone New Brunswickers, and of the fishing industry with which he was so closely associated.

"Jean Gauvin was born in the Acadian Peninsula and made his home and his career in the region he loved. First elected as a member for Shippagan-les-Îles in 1978, he was soon named minister of fisheries by Premier Hatfield.

"A man with a colourful personality and a passion for his portfolio, Mr. Gauvin was a key member of Mr. Hatfield's government and of his government's work to improve bilingual services throughout New Brunswick.

"He made his return to the legislature in 1991 as a member of the opposition, retiring in 1995. He played an important role in the work of the legislature under the government of Frank McKenna to have the principles of Bill 88 entrenched in the Canadian Constitution, guaranteeing the equality of New Brunswick's two linguistic communities.

"Jean Gauvin's later career was marked by his work as head of the Association des crabiers du Nord-Est, where has was instrumental in the revitalization of this important fishery. His sudden death leaves the fishing industry in our province without one of its greatest advocates and friends.

"On behalf of the Government of New Brunswick, I want to express my condolences to the family of Jean Gauvin, his many friends and former colleagues in the Acadian Peninsula and throughout our province for their tragic loss."