FREDERICTON (GNB) – The following statement was issued by Premier David Alward following the death of former MLA and minister of education Clarence Cormier:

A proud resident of Westmorland County, Clarence Cormier was born in Saint-Antoine and studied at the former Collège Saint-Joseph in Memramcook as well as at Holy Cross Seminary in Montreal.  

He made his home in Dieppe, where he became a major part of the community and a significant voice for its growth and development.

Mr. Cormier began his work serving others early on. He was recruited by former premier Louis Robichaud to work with the provincial alcoholism program in the early 1960s, serving as director of the alcoholism treatment centre from 1975 to 1982.

He entered public life as a councillor and later as mayor of Dieppe in 1977. He served as the MLA for Memramcook from 1982 to 1987 and as minister of education under former premier Richard Hatfield. He had the distinction of being the first Acadian to serve as minister of education.

He remained active in public affairs in later life, serving as chair of the Dieppe Public Library Commission and in a number of roles in Greater Moncton, including the United Way/Centraide of Moncton, l'Association des anciens et amis de l'Université de Moncton and as member of the Conseil économique du Nouveau-Brunswick, l'Institut de Memramcook, the Club Optimiste and the Rotary Club.

His many contributions to the community he called home were honoured when the City of Dieppe named a street after him. He was honoured with le prix Assomption Vie - Louis-J.-Robichaud by the Association francophone des municipalities de Nouveau-Brunswick in 2009.

Mr. Cormier was a builder who gave of his time and his energy to make his community and our province a better and more vibrant place in which to live.  

On behalf of all New Brunswickers, I express our deepest condolences to the family, many friends and colleagues of Mr. Cormier for their great loss.