Government of New Brunswick

The names of the recipients of the 2016 Order of New Brunswick were released as part of New Brunswick Day celebrations.

The award honours current or former long-time residents of New Brunswick who have demonstrated a high level of individual excellence and achievement in any field, having made outstanding contributions to the social, cultural or economic well-being of New Brunswick and its residents.



Biographical Notes




Chief Kenneth Barlow has spent his career raising awareness of the Mi'kmaq culture and heritage, and promoting economic development on Indian Island.

After 17 years serving as Councillor of Indian Island, Chief Barlow was elected as Chief of the Indian Island First Nation in 2007. During his time as Councillor, he was primarily self-employed in the forestry and fishery sectors. He did not hold a paid position with the Band so that other Band members could have full-time employment. Shortly after being elected as Chief, he began promoting economic development as a way to create jobs in his community.

In 2008, Chief Barlow developed a substantial oyster business which resulted in 10 seasonal jobs. In addition to his aquaculture work, he has helped develop a community wind energy project, infrastructure to protect his community from sudden rises in sea level, and the implementation of important structural changes on Indian Island including housing renovations and improved road conditions.    

Chief Ken Barlow oversees all Band operations; and has a lead portfolio over the fishery. He was elected by acclamation several times as recent as last November 2014 in the past 9 years of his tenure; and serves actively with the Mi'gmawe'l Tplu'tagunn Incorporated (MTI) of New Brunswick Mi'Kmag Chiefs;  and North Shore Micmac District Council. As well, Chief Ken is an active board member with Ulnooweg Development Group Inc and Ulnoowegeweg Lending Board.

Chief Barlow understands the history and culture of the Mi'kmaq people and the importance of keeping the traditions alive and save the Mi’kmag language.  Chief Barlow continues to build positive relationships with other indigenous communities, while also building cooperation between the Native and non-Native communities living in New Brunswick.

Kenneth Barlow is receiving the Order of New Brunswick for his progressive work in the economic development of Indian Island First Nation, and for his passion and commitment to keeping the Mi’kmaq language and traditions alive in his community.





John P. Barry’s extraordinary legal career is driven by an enlightened vision of what a profession should be, and he is often described as a “dean” of New Brunswick’s legal profession. His belief in, and support of, how members of professions could and should positively promote and protect the common good has influenced him throughout his distinguished career. This same desire to protect the overall health and wellness of his community led to more than 50 years of provincial and national volunteerism which has positively impacted a diverse array of healthcare, educational and social organizations, not only in his local Saint John community but also provincially and nationally.

Mr. Barry has conducted a diverse and large legal practice, arguing passionately and successfully at every level of the court system. He is recognized for his strong leadership, high standards of legal care, integrity, generosity and willingness to help others. Determined to give back, Mr. Barry has mentored articling students and young lawyers, while devoting extraordinary amounts of time volunteering with groups aligned with his views on the impact of education and health on a community’s overall wellness. 

Admitted to the New Brunswick Bar in 1966 and appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1977, Mr. Barry was recognized for both his community contributions and legal competence in 2000, when he was invited to become a Fellow of the prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers and, and in 2003, when he was honoured with the Queen Elizabeth ll Golden Jubilee Medal.

Mr. Barry’s contribution to the province, both in his professional life and through his volunteerism with organizations such as the Kidney Foundation, Lung Association, Red Cross and Community Living, will continue to have an irrevocable impact on families across New Brunswick and Canada.

John P. Barry is receiving the Order of New Brunswick for his dedicated, visionary leadership and competence within his profession, and for the positive impact and clear and lasting impression he has made on the wider community through many years of volunteerism within health care, educational and social organizations across the province.





Judith Chernin Budovitch is regarded for her passion, integrity and work ethic in the areas of art, culture and education.

Ms. Budovitch earned a Bachelor of Arts from Dalhousie University, and Bachelors of Education and Laws from the University of New Brunswick. She taught as a middle school teacher before completing law school and practicing in the public sector.

Ms. Budovitch’s dedication to her community through voluntary service is commendable. She has contributed time to many organizations including
the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, where she played a pivotal role in the
Gallery’s successful defense against the ownership claim by the Beaverbrook Foundation.

She has also served voluntary roles with the University of New Brunswick’s Associated Alumnae Council, the Board of Govenors for Mount Saint Vincent University and the University of New Brunswick, the Board of Directors for the Chalmers Regional Hospital Foundation, the Board of Jewish Canadian Congress, and the United Israel appeal of Canada.

Ms. Budovitch was the recipient of the Lescarbot Award from the Government of Canada for her contributions to the cultural community, the Alumni Award of Excellence from the University of New Brunswick, the Distinguished Citizen’s Award from City of Fredericton, and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal. In 2000, she was appointed a Queen’s Council, and in 2008, a Member of the Order of Canada.

Judith Chernin Budovitch is receiving the Order of New Brunswick for her unwavering and enthusiastic commitment to the advancement of the arts, culture and education in her province.





Phil Comeau is a successful Acadian filmmaker and author who has directed and written more than 100 films and television programs.

His works have been filmed in more than 23 countries and have received more than 40 awards in Canada, the United States, France, Belgium and Italy. In addition, Mr. Comeau has been nominated for the Gémeaux, Gemini, Génie, Eloizes and DGC Awards.

He moved to Moncton in 1974 and began studying drama at the l’Université de Moncton. In 1976, he started directing his first professional films with the Moncton studio of the National Film Board.

His cinematographic successes include the first Acadian feature film, Le secret de Jérôme, which was recently selected as a Canadian film classic. Mr. Comeau also directed the first Acadian film for children, Le tapis de Grand-Pré, and the first Acadian comedy, Les gossipeuses. His recent film, Ron Turcotte, jockey légendaire, earned the best film award at the international film festival in Palermo, Italy.

In addition to film, he has directed many Acadian series including La Sagouine, which has become a bestselling DVD in Canada.

He has also filmed several popular series including Emily of New Moon, Lassie, Pit Pony, Risk Takers, Mayday and his Quebec series,

He has received many honours for his work including the Order of Canada, Chevalier de l’Ordre des arts et des lettres de la France, the Ordre des francophones d’Amérique,  and the Order de la Pléiade, the Prix Acadie-Québec and the Prix France-Acadie. The Université de Moncton awarded him an honorary doctorate in recognition of his film and television work and his support for the national and international promotion of Acadian cinema.

Phil Comeau is receiving the Order of New Brunswick for his dedication in portraying the rich and vibrant Acadian and Francophone culture through dozens of his films.





Gérard Friolet has a reputation as one of the pioneers of modern shipbuilding.

Mr. Friolet learned the boatbuilding trade from his father, who also excelled in the field, and built his first vessel at the age of 20. At 28, he had already built a number of fishing vessels including longliners and trawlers.

He made history when he built the first two trawlers financed and built by the Government of New Brunswick. The government commissioned the construction of Gloucester 1 and Gloucester 2 in order to relaunch the province’s fishing industry. These trawlers gained widespread fame and approximately 40, were built.

Mr. Friolet’s success with shipbuilding in New Brunswick led the Government of Quebec to hire him to build ships for that province. As a result, he helped build 17 vessels in a yard close to Gaspé.

Following his years working in Quebec, he continued his career in shipbuilding and repair in Bas-Caraquet where approximately 200 vessels were launched from the shipyard.

In 1975, Kings Landing Historical Settlement hired Mr. Friolet to construct, using the traditional methods, a replica of the 1837 cat-rigged schooner, the Brunswick Lion, which sailed the Saint John River carrying freight, particularly lumber.

In addition to his contributions to shipbuilding, Mr. Friolet served the Village of Bas-Caraquet as a municipal councillor for nine years.

In recognition of his accomplishments in the shipbuilding industry, the street leading to the New Brunswick Naval Center is named Gérard-Friolet Street.

Gérard Friolet is receiving the Order of New Brunswick for his vital role in the advancement of the modern shipbuilding and fishing industry in New Brunswick.





Dr. Abraham Gesner was renowned for his pioneering work as a geologist in New Brunswick.

Born in Cornwallis Township, Nova Scotia, in 1797, Dr. Gesner moved to Saint John in 1838 where he was appointed the first government geologist in a British Colony. For five years, he travelled New Brunswick, mapping the geology and documenting the province’s mineral wealth.

Dr. Gesner developed a collection of rocks, minerals and fossils that became one of the first public museums in Canada which is now known as the New Brunswick Museum in Saint John. His specimen collection is one of the oldest extant geological collections in Canada. He was responsible for discovering the first fish fossils at the Miguasha UNESCO World Heritage Site in Gaspé, Quebec.

He may be best known for his work to develop a process to the distillation of kerosene, work he began while living in the Maritimes. He used bitumen named ‘Albertite’ after Albert County in his early experiments. Albertite comes from the same rocks still explored in New Brunswick for its oil and gas.

Dr. Gesner is considered a founder of the modern petroleum industry and recognized by the Canadian Petroleum Hall of Fame. For this discovery, he was credited with saving the whale, as the development of kerosene meant the end of whale oil as a source of energy.

The Atlantic Geoscience Society recognizes his contributions through the awarding of the Gesner Medal, the Distinguished Scientist Award of the Society. In 2000, Canada Post honoured Dr. Gesner with a postage stamp as part of its Millennium Collection.

Dr. Abraham Gesner is posthumously being awarded the Order of New Brunswick for his advancements in the study of geology in the province, and for his revolutionary contributions to the global petroleum industry.





Nancy Hartling was the founder and executive director for Support to Single Parents (SPPI) for its entire 34 years tirelessly serving families within the Greater Moncton area.

While working for another non-profit organization, Ms. Hartling recognized there were no real supports in place for single parents. In 1982, she founded SPPI to offer relevant, life changing programs to single parents. Her organization was the first to include single parent men as clients.

In her work, Ms. Hartling met clients affected by domestic violence and poverty. This led her to mobilize women in New Brunswick to participate in the World March of Women in 2000. She brought a petition to Fredericton asking for the elimination of poverty and violence, locally and internationally. Ms. Hartling traveled with the NB Women via bus to Montreal, Ottawa and New York City to meet with other women to promote these issues.

As a result of the petition, she was asked to co-chair the New Brunswick Minister’s Working Group on Violence against Women. She also co-chaired the December 6 committee from 1995 to 2001 and served on the board of the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research.

Ms. Hartling spearheaded  a community  development project using an anti-poverty approach to empower low income women to gain skills to develop and operate small cooperative  business enterprises or create other employment opportunities  to become financially independent. 

For her work, Ms. Hartling has been recognized with the Leadership Award from the Atlantic Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health, the YWCA Moncton’s Women of Distinction Award and the Governor General Award in the Commemoration of the Person’s Case.

Nancy Hartling is receiving the Order of New Brunswick for her leadership role in advancing the social and economic rights and opportunities for women in her community and across the province.





Deborah Lyons graduated from the University of New Brunswick and was the first female valedictorian in the university’s history. She was selected as a civilian representative for the International Studies Program at Canada’s National Defence College which she completed in 1993.

Ms. Lyons is the former owner of a hunting and fishing lodge on the Miramichi River as well as an energy management company. After several years as an entrepreneur, she began her career with the federal government as an energy conservation specialist.

During her career with the federal government Ms. Lyons held positions of increasing responsibility with the Department of Natural Resources, Privy Council of Canada and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.

In 1999 Ms. Lyons was asked to join the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and to represent Canada as the Counsellor for high tech industries at the Canadian Embassy in Japan. After five years in Tokyo, Ms. Lyons returned to Ottawa to become the Director of International Finance, followed by a three year assignment as the Director General for North American Commercial Affairs. Ms. Lyons was then promoted to the position of Assistant Deputy Minister for Strategic Policy and Planning and Chief Strategist for the department.

In 2010, Ms. Lyons became the Deputy Head of Mission at the Canadian Embassy in Washington where she was responsible for over 300 diplomats and American staffers.

In recognition of her accomplishments in Washington, Ms. Lyons was appointed as Canada’s Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan - the second  woman to hold this position. In Afghanistan, she was a prominent promoter and protector of the equality of women.

In July 2016, Prime Minister Trudeau announced her appointment as Canadian Ambassador to Israel. She was also honored for her achievements by her alma mater, the University of New Brunswick, which conferred upon her the degree of Doctor of Letters honoris causa.

Deborah Lyons is receiving the Order of New Brunswick for her extraordinary foreign affairs service, and for her courage and determination in making a difference in the lives of women and children in some of the world’s most oppressive and dangerous countries.





Jean-Guy Rioux holds a Master of Arts degree specializing in educational psychology from the Université de Moncton. A career teacher, he spent five years as a co-operant in Africa working with the Canadian International Development Agency. He also occupied various administrative positions at the Shippagan Campus of the Université de Moncton, including as Vice-President from 1979 to 1990, as well as Administrative Director and Founder of the Marine Products Research and Development Centre, and Secretary General and Acting Treasurer of the Association canadienne d’éducation de langue française (ACELF).

His contributions also extend to the voluntary sector: municipal councillor and deputy mayor of the Town of Shippagan, President of the ACELF, President of the Peat Research and Development Centre, President of the Société des Acadiens et Acadiennes du Nouveau-Brunswick, Vice-President and President of the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadiennes du Canada, Chancellor of the Compagnie des Cent-Associés francophones, and Founding President of the Shippagan-Loudun (France) twinning committee, to name but a few. He chaired the Organizing Committee of the World Acadian Congress from 2005 to the holding of the Congress in 2009. From July 2012 to June 2016, he was the Chair of Education Council of the Francophone Nord-Est school district.

His commitments within the Francophonie have also been recognized on many occasions, including by the Town of Shippagan, the Association des enseignantes et des enseignants francophones du Nouveau-Brunswick, the ACELF, the Compagnie des Cent-Associés francophones, the Conseil supérieur de la langue française du Québec, the Government of France, the Minister of Éducation nationale (France), the Renaissance française, the Ordre de la Pléiade, and by the Université de Moncton, which bestowed on him an honorary doctorate in social sciences. In 2011, the Government of Canada made him a member of the Order of Canada.

Jean-Guy Rioux receives the Order of New Brunswick for his passion for and commitment to promoting Francophone education in his province and his country.





Dr. Sheldon H. Rubin has impacted the lives of thousands of people through his dedication, compassion, professionalism, and expertise in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

Since he began practicing in Moncton in 1975, Dr. Rubin established the Hematology and Oncology Service at The Moncton Hospital; established the first oncology clinical trials service and the first hemophilia comprehensive care services in the province; and,  was the first hematologist and oncologist at the Dr. Georges L-Dumont University Hospital Centre (DGLDUHC) and the Dr. Léon Richard Oncology Centre. For his early years of practice he was the only clinical hematologist and medical oncologist serving all of New Brunswick.

Dr. Rubin has contributed to the treatment and healing of thousands of cancer patients in the province and across the region during his career as a hematologist and oncologist.

Although his priority has always been his patients, Dr. Rubin is also committed to his community. He has volunteered for numerous organizations including the Canadian Cancer Society and, has served on a number of societies and governmental committees. These include the Hemophilia Directors of Canada, the National Cancer Institute of Canada Clinical Trials Division, the New Brunswick Medical Society and on advisory committees on oncology care for the province.

In 1999, Dr. Rubin received the Dr. Garfield Moffatt Medal, which recognizes outstanding work by a physician to patient care and service in the community. In 2012, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth ll Diamond Jubilee Medal. He also received the Paul Harris Award from both the Riverview and Moncton Rotary Clubs.

Dr. Sheldon H. Rubin is receiving the Order of New Brunswick for his compassion, high quality of patient care, and for his tremendous contributions to cancer prevention and treatment.