Hédard Albert, the Liberal member for Caraquet, was reelected to the 58th Legislature in the provincial election on September 22, 2014. He is Government House Leader and Chief Whip. He sits at the Cabinet table and is a member of the Priorities Board and the Legislative Instruments and Regulations Board.
He was first elected to the Legislative Assembly in the provincial election on June 9, 2003. As a member of the official opposition during the 55th Legislature, he sat on the Select Committee on Health Care and was Critic for areas of interest relating to intergovernmental affairs, official languages, culture, and sport.
He was reelected in the provincial election on September 18, 2006. On October 3, 2006, he was appointed Minister of Human Resources and Minister Responsible for the Francophonie. He retained responsibility for the Francophonie during the 56th Legislature. He was appointed Minister of Wellness, Culture and Sport on October 31, 2007, a position he held until September 27, 2010. He also served as Acting Minister of Tourism and Parks from February 5, 2010, to May 10, 2010.
Reelected in the provincial election on September 27, 2010, Mr. Albert was a member of the Standing Committee on Privileges and the Standing Committee on Procedure. He was Official Opposition Critic for areas of interest relating to education and early childhood development, agriculture, aquaculture and fisheries, the New Brunswick Provincial Capital Commission, finance, economic development, Invest NB, and the Regional Development Corporation.
He was born in Saint-Simon, in the Acadian Peninsula. He received a Bachelor of Arts with a major in biology and a Bachelor of Education from the Université de Moncton.
Mr. Albert’s career spanned 34 years at the New Brunswick School of Fisheries, in Caraquet, where he held various positions, including that of director. His long association with the fisheries and aquaculture sector played a role in the development of a major industry for the economy of the Acadian Peninsula and New Brunswick as a whole. Over the years, in addition to being responsible for training fishermen, plant workers, and aquaculturists, he was regional administrator at the Fisheries and Aquaculture office in Caraquet. Mr. Albert was also responsible for aquaculture research at the Aquarium and Marine Centre, in Shippagan, as well as for quality assurance, research in fishing techniques and methods, and selective fishing gear programs.
He has been involved in various international development projects with CIDA and other organizations and institutions. He took part in establishing an international association of Francophone fisheries schools and helped implement partnerships with France, Mauritania, Senegal, Tunisia, Benin, Togo, Morocco, and Haiti. He was the eastern representative on a committee of the Association of Canadian Community Colleges, which assessed international project proposals.
Mr. Albert is married to Ginette Blanchard, and they have a daughter, Stéphanie. He is the proud grandfather of Gabrielle and Samuel, the two children of Stéphanie and her husband, Éric.