New Brunswick Lt.-Gov. Jocelyne Roy Vienneau has died after a battle with cancer.
Roy Vienneau’s death was announced on Friday in a short news release from her office.
Roy Vienneau, 63, became the province’s 31st lieutenant-governor in October 2014. She was previously the vice-president at the University of Moncton’s Shippagan campus, as well the assistant deputy minister of post-secondary education in New Brunswick’s Department of Education.
She also held several positions at the College Communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick in Bathurst, including director general and dean of education.
Roy Vienneau announced in September 2018 that she was diagnosed with cancer.
In a statement, Premier Blaine Higgs called Roy Vienneau a “passionate advocate for (New Brunswick) and its people.”
“She gave so much to New Brunswick and will be missed by everyone whose life she touched,” Higgs stated.
“At this sad time, Marcia’s and my thoughts and prayers are with her husband, Ronald Vienneau, and their family and friends.”
Roy Vienneau was one of the first women to graduate from the faculty of engineering at the Universite de Moncton and went on become vice-president of a campus at the Universite de Moncton and the first woman to direct a francophone community college in the province.
She also served as an assistant deputy minister for post-secondary education in the province and worked for 23 years as a dean, a department head and professor at the New Brunswick Community College in Bathurst. She was principal during her last six years at the college.
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Last October she was thrust into the middle of a political storm when the Liberals sought to remain in power following a provincial election that left them with one less seat than the Progressive Conservatives. The Conservatives ultimately formed the government.
“Her steadfast leadership during the historic election and transition period last fall provided stability to our province,” Higgs said.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau praised Roy Vienneau’s career and achievements.
“A former engineer and educator, Ms. Roy Vienneau made many important contributions to her home province and the Acadian community,” Trudeau said in a statement. “Her work will continue to inspire future leaders for years to come.”
The announcement of her appointment as lieutenant governor was made by former prime minister Stephen Harper before the opening of the World Acadian Congress in Edmundston, N.B. in August 2014.
“Jocelyne Roy Vienneau’s career as an engineer, educator, manager and senior administrator, as well as her immense contributions to business and community development in New Brunswick, make her an excellent choice as lieutenant-governor, ” Harper said at the time.
“She has been a tireless champion of her community, the province’s business sector and its post-secondary education system.”
The province said Friday that official events at Government House in Fredericton were cancelled until further notice and funeral details would be made available in the coming days through the provincial Protocol Office.
With files from The Canadian Press