The recent announcement that Isle Madame native, former Strait area lawyer and current Nova Scotia Supreme court Justice Arthur Joseph LeBlanc will be Nova Scotia’s next Lieutenant Governor was great news for many reasons.
Last Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the appointment, noting that Justice LeBlanc “is an exceptional Nova Scotian, well respected for his legal background and his many contributions to private and volunteer organizations and the legal and academic communities,” adding that “I have no doubt that he will make many important contributions to the future of his province.”
Justice LeBlanc was born in West Arichat and attended primary and secondary schools in Isle Madame. He graduated from StFX in 1964 with a Bachelor of Commerce Degree and he earned a Bachelor of Laws Degree from Dalhousie University in 1968. Following graduation, he was admitted to the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society in November 1968.
Justice LeBlanc practiced law for over 30 years, including as senior partner of the Port Hawkesbury law firm LeBlanc MacDonald and Pickup, later becoming LeBlanc MacDonald. He maintained a solicitor’s practice and subsequently concentrated his practice in civil litigation. In 1983, Justice LeBlanc was appointed as Queen’s Counsel in recognition of his distinguished law career. He is also the recipient of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal.
While practicing law, Justice LeBlanc served as a director with several corporations and development authorities. He was also active with the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society and the Strait of Canso Barristers’ Society.
The LeBlancs are very interested in the performing arts, in particular young and emerging artists. His wife, Patsy, is an active volunteer, having served on several boards and is currently volunteering for two health-related causes.
Premier Stephen McNeil called Justice LeBlanc “a well-respected jurist who has distinguished himself as a lawyer and judge.” The Premier also mentioned the “numerous contributions” LeBlanc has made to the Acadian community throughout his distinguished career.
In 1998, he was appointed as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia (General Division). Justice LeBlanc will remain a member of the bench until he is sworn in as Lieutenant Governor. Justice LeBlanc will replace Lt.-Gov. J.J. Grant, who has held the position since 2012. The date of the installation ceremony, where Justice LeBlanc will be sworn in as Nova Scotia’s 33rd Lieutenant Governor since Confederation, has not yet been set.
This appointment is very important, not only to the Acadian community, but even more so to the entire Strait area since Justice LeBlanc was born and raised here, and continued to live and work in this region for most of his life.
Justice LeBlanc is living proof that success can be achieved without having to move away. His life demonstrates that great things can be achieved while living here and that a person can be recognized by contributing to this community.
This is a great example to future generations that they can dream big, and to current residents and volunteers that they are not toiling in obscurity.