Government of New Brunswick

The names of the recipients of the 2019 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




Patricia Bernard is a Wolastoqey woman, grandmother, lawyer and Chief of the Madawaska Maliseet First Nation in northern New Brunswick. Her commitment to resolving a 250-year-old specific land claim dispute, for the benefit of her community, has been ongoing for the past 23 years. But this major file is only one of many of her accomplishments.

Focusing on Aboriginal history and law, Ms. Bernard earned a degree in education and became the first Wolastoqey woman to graduate with a law degree. She was called to the New Brunswick Bar in 2000.

Along with her focus on the land claim, Ms. Bernard has served as a councillor for her community since 2007, becoming Chief in 2013. While a councillor and legal and governance advisor to her community, Ms. Bernard focused much of her time on developing and implementing policies and bylaws that promote transparency, accountability, fairness and good governance.

As Chief, she was instrumental in bringing unity to the Wolastoqey Nation. In her first year as Chief, Ms. Bernard held the first meeting in her community towards uniting the Wolastoqey communities and was the leading promoter until a unified organization was structured.

Ms. Bernard continues to be instrumental in advocating for the advancement of all Indigenous people of New Brunswick by having Aboriginal and Treaty rights recognized and implemented within this province and in advancing the important work of reconciliation.

Self-determination and self-government are continuous goals for Ms. Bernard. Madawaska First Nation's Grey Rock Power Centre is a major economic driver in the region and contributes revenue not only for her community, but also for the local municipality and for the province.  The Power Centre employs over 300 people from the surrounding region. Ms. Bernard's exemplary leadership has been recognized through numerous awards.

Patricia Bernard is receiving the Order of New Brunswick for her outstanding achievements in uniting the Wolastoqey Nation in New Brunswick and for her work in the economic development of the Madawaska region.





Héliodore Côté’s business leadership and volunteer efforts have had a profound impact, both on his community and in the Grand Falls region as a whole.

Mr. Côté is a well-known businessman from Grand Falls. He has been in business since the age of 19 and has been the manager of his own business since 1954. His company, Meubles Côté’s Furniture Ltée, began selling musical instruments, radios and televisions. Over the years, product offerings have expanded and today, it specializes in the sale of furniture, appliances, electrical appliances, as well as other items.

Mr. Côté was born in Saint-Quentin. He married Patricia Gagnon in 1956 and the couple had four children: Michel, Micheline, François and Françoise, all of whom participated in the development of the family business. The death of François in 1987, as well as the death of Patricia in 2008, were difficult times for the whole family.

Mr. Côté has been very active in a number of community organizations in the Grand Falls region, including the Chamber of Commerce, the School Board, the Parish Council, the Grand Falls Development Economic Commission, and the Conseil économique du Nouveau-Brunswick, to name a few. He’s also been active politically at both the local and provincial levels, serving as a Grand Falls Municipal Councillor, as well as a Member of the Legislative Assembly from 1978 to 1982.

Mr. Côté is still very involved and engaged in the region and at the provincial level, particularly in the activities of Club Richelieu Grand Falls and Richelieu International, where he was appointed international president in 1989. Throughout his 30 years as a Club Richelieu member, Mr. Côté has been actively involved in founding and setting up three other Richelieu Clubs. He also remains very involved in his parish and the diocese of Edmundston.

Héliodore Côté is receiving the Order of New Brunswick for his long-standing commitment and leadership through his volunteer work in his community.





Michel Doucet is a distinguished lawyer well-known for his expertise and significant contributions to the understanding and advancement of language rights in New Brunswick.

Mr. Doucet was a law professor at the Université de Moncton until July 1, 2017, where he focused his time teaching and researching about linguistic rights. During his time at the university, Mr. Doucet created the International Centre for the Common Law in French, where he served as the director from 1989 to 1995. He also created and served as director of the International Observatory for Linguistic Rights in the Faculty of Law from January 1, 2010 to the date of this retirement.

In 1992-1993, he worked with the International Agency of La Francophonie (AIF) and was assigned to Paris in the Support Program for the Democratic Process and the Promotion of Human Rights. During this time, he participated in numerous electoral observation missions in the French-speaking world.

Mr. Doucet was dean of the Faculty of Law at the Université de Moncton from 1995 to 2000. He also pursued an active law practice, focused primarily on language rights. This work continues today and has resulted in appearances before numerous Canadian courts in different provinces, including the Supreme Court of Canada.

From 2002 to 2010, he was a member of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. He has also been recognized with many different awards, including the Order of Francophones of America from the Quebec government and the Certificate of Civic Merit from the Government of Canada. He was recognized for his commitment to linguistic and legal duality in Canada at the National National Symposium on Official Languages marking the 10th anniversary of the 1988 Official Languages Act and, in 1999, the Association des juristes d’expression française du Nouveau-Brunswick awarded him the title of jurist of the year.

Mr. Doucet was appointed Queen's Counsel in 2008. In 2009, the Société de l'Acadie du Nouveau-Brunswick awarded him the A.-M.-Sormany Award for his contribution to the advancement of Acadian society.

He has lectured on language rights across Canada and in several countries and has written several book chapters, books and legal studies on language rights.

Michel Doucet is receiving the Order of New Brunswick for his extraordinary commitment to the legal profession and for his outstanding contributions to language rights in New Brunswick.





Léo Johnson is a passionate advocate for social justice who has dedicated his life to reducing poverty in his community.

Having volunteered with several agencies, Mr. Johnson’s real mission begin in 1979 when he began volunteering with Maison Nazareth / House of Nazareth, a temporary shelter for the homeless. He was the first volunteer to join the agency, created by Sr. Rita Barrieau. Over the years, many clients wanted to change their lives and often asked that Mr. Johnson assist them in finding a job to help them out of poverty. That's where he got the idea to pick up unwanted furniture from people in the community, cleaning it and selling it to low-income families.

In 2011, under Mr, Johnson’s leadership, the South-East Enviro-Plus Group was created. The agency’s mission is to reduce poverty and give new life to used furniture. In February 2013, the store opened in Moncton with a modest 2,000 square feet. Thanks to the determination of Mr. Johnson and his team, the agency moved to a new location with17,500 square feet. The reputation of the organization, now known as Second Chance Workshop Inc., was such that in August 2017, a fundraising campaign enabled them to buy the building where they were located.

For Mr. Johnson and his entourage, the real success of Second Chance Workshop Inc., is the programming it offers, especially to social assistance recipients who want to follow a more positive path. Hundreds of clients have gone through the programs offered and according to statistics from the Department of Social Development, 60 per cent are successful in finding work.

None of these results would have been possible without the dedication and compassion of Mr. Johnson and his wife, Jeannette. For the couple, the most rewarding element of their work is seeing the smiles on the faces of learners as they improve and reach new levels of success.

Mr. Johnson has received many awards and recognitions for his volunteer work, including the Sovereign's Medal for Volunteers from Governor General David Johnston in 2016 and in December 2017 the Order of Moncton.

Léo Johnson is receiving the Order of New Brunswick for his passion for social justice and for his commitment to protecting vulnerable people in his community.





Lois Scott is a trailblazer who has worked tirelessly to improve clinical services and access to health care for all New Brunswickers.

As a young girl living in Stonehaven, a small fishing community in northern New Brunswick, Ms. Scott knew she wanted to be a nurse.

She graduated from nursing programs at The Moncton Hospital School of Nursing, Université de Moncton and Dalhousie University. Over her 44-year nursing career, she held a variety of positions in the emergency department at the Moncton Hospital, with the Department of Health, and as a member of the senior management team of two large, international private sector companies. In addition, she served on many government and professional nursing and health-care boards, advisory committees and/or task forces which focused on quality care and clinical standards.

In the early 1990s, Ms. Scott initiated the first public-private tele-care service in Canada with 24/7 access. With great tenacity, a strong entrepreneurial spirt, skilled advocacy and the support of a dedicated and competent team, she led the clinical and business development of this service from a small pilot program in New Brunswick to one that provided Canada-wide services within four years.

Because Canada was recognized as a global tele-health leader and Ms. Scott as one of its pioneers, she was asked to assist with the creation of the International Council of Nursing’s Tele-nursing Network and other global tele-health initiatives. Her reputation as an international leader also resulted in invitations to speak at many health-care conferences across North America and Europe.

In addition to her impressive leadership within health care, Ms. Scott also participated in the advancement of other social, economic development and post-secondary organizations, serving in governance roles for many different organizations, including NBCC, IWK Health Centre, National Research Council, Friends of The Moncton Hospital Foundation and Enterprise Greater Moncton.

Ms. Scott’s contributions have been recognized with awards of distinction by several organizations, including NBCC Alumni, Dalhousie University, Canadian Nurses Association, The Moncton Hospital, New Brunswick Nurses Association and International Society of Telehealth.

Lois Scott is receiving the Order of New Brunswick for pioneering the establishment of a provincewide telehealth service and contributing to the well-being of all New Brunswickers.





Robyn Tingley is an internationally renowned expert whose passion for equity, diversity and inclusion is helping to support gender equality and challenge stereotypes, in New Brunswick and around the world.

Born and raised in Campbellton, Ms. Tingley spent many years working abroad as an international executive for a Fortune 100 Company before settling in Rothesay and founding GlassSKY Inc., an organization that works with major employers to support equity, diversity and inclusion strategies.

GlassSKY creates free media content and research projects to support gender equality and challenge stereotypes. The company also supports micro-loans for female entrepreneurs in developing countries, creates opportunities for young talent in New Brunswick to network with established leaders in the community and supports numerous organizations and special projects.

Along with her work at GlassSKY, Ms. Tingley is the Honorary Lieutenant Colonel with the Canadian Armed Forces 37 Service Battalion, vice-chair of the board of governors of the University of New Brunswick, and a founder and driving force behind Women for 50%, an initiative that focuses on increasing female representation in the New Brunswick Legislature.

Ms. Tingley has received several awards and recognitions over the course of her career.

Her work promoting gender diversity has been recognized by Oxford University, where she was one of 30 women globally to pilot a new program on how women can transform leadership and where she keynoted their 2015 International Women’s Day forum. King’s College has recognized her with the Judge J. Elliott Hudson Distinguished Alumni award for her community service, and she was named St. Francis Xavier University’s young alumni of the year.

For her outstanding work driving change in the corporate world, Ms. Tingley was named to the Women Worth Watching list of top female executive trailblazers in Europe and North America, and was selected as one of the 20 Most Powerful & Influential Women in California. She was named by WXN as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women for speaking up and driving change. She is also an author and sought-after speaker who has engaged audiences around the world on topics like women in leadership, embracing young talent, and bias-free workplaces.

Robyn Tingley is receiving the Order of New Brunswick for her extraordinary achievements in leadership and her commitment to women’s equality in New Brunswick.





Abraham Beverley Walker was a lawyer and journalist whose commitment to civil rights continues to inspire today.

Born in Belleisle in 1851, Mr. Walker was the son of William Walker and Patience Taylor. Mr. Walker’s loyalist ancestor was among the first blacks to settle on the Kingston peninsula, upriver from Saint John.

It is believed Walker was educated in the school operated by William Elias Scovil, Anglican rector of Kingston, whose method of shorthand he mastered. As a young man he worked as a stenographer and secretary for a touring lecturer in various provinces of Canada, the US and Europe. After a studentship in the office of lawyer George Godfrey Gilbert, supporting himself as a shorthand reporter, he attended the National University in Washington, D.C., returning to Saint John, law degree in hand.

He was admitted as an attorney of the Supreme Court of New Brunswick in June 1881. He was called to the bar in June 1882.

Mr. Walker opened a law office in Saint John, but the practice struggled and he faced racial discrimination from his white colleagues. This resulted in a decision to move to the United States, heading to Georgia. Within two years, he returned to Saint John and, in October 1892, he was the first student to enrol at the newly organized Saint John Law School – now the University of New Brunswick faculty of law.

He served as the librarian for the Saint John Law Society between 1893 and 1899, was active in federal politics working for both the Conservative and Liberal parties, and, in 1903, he became the first black New Brunswicker to publish a magazine with the publication of Neith, which ran five issues before it ceased publication.

After the collapse of Neith, Mr. Walker founded and promoted the African Civilization Movement, which aimed to recruit educated and skilled blacks from Canada and other developed nations to build a model colony for blacks in Africa. Mr. Walker died of tuberculosis in 1909.

Abraham Beverley Walker is receiving the Order of New Brunswick for his inspiring achievements as one of Canada’s first black lawyers admitted to the bar and for his commitment to civil rights in New Brunswick and across North America.





James “Jim” Wilson is a passionate nature educator whose vast knowledge about biodiversity has had a significant impact on conservation efforts in New Brunswick.

Mr. Wilson’s interest in nature began in childhood. Born in Gondola Point, Mr. Wilson – an only child – grew up reading and listening to stories about nature and taking regular walks in the woods with his father, riding on his shoulders when he was too little to walk too far. This was where his fascination with birds began.

Mr. Wilson enrolled at the University of New Brunswick with a goal of becoming a wildlife biologist but eventually decided to keep nature as a hobby and studied accounting instead. For nearly 25 years, he worked in the soft drink industry, much of that time as Chief Financial Officer of Maritime Beverages Limited based in Saint John and later, after acquisition by Pepsi Cola, as Atlantic Chief Financial Officer for Pepsi Cola Canada.

He married his wife, Jean, in 1969. Despite opportunities to work elsewhere, the couple made the decision to stay in New Brunswick – a decision neither regrets making.

Mr. Wilson retired in 2002. While he does keep up with soft-drink industry related issues through regular consulting work for the corporation responsible for recycling used beverage containers across New Brunswick, retirement enabled him to devote more time to his nature interests.

Mr. Wilson has served on the board of Nature NB, and chaired the NB Wildlife Trust Fund, the NB Bird Records Committee, the Point Lepreau Bird Observatory and a number of other committees and projects. He has given nature-related talks across the province to nearly 10,000 people, conducts regular interviews on CBC Radio, and provides weekly comments on nature photos submitted to the provincial newspaper, The Telegraph Journal. In June 2018, he received the Roland Michener Conservation Award from the Canadian Wildlife Federation.

James “Jim” Wilson is receiving the Order of New Brunswick for his outstanding commitment to conservation in New Brunswick and his vision in establishing the Point Lepreau Bird Observatory.





Claire Wilt has dedicated her life to making her community and province a better place for all.

Born in New Carlisle, Gaspésie, Ms. Wilt comes from a family of 17 brothers and sisters. She was married to the late Andy Wilt for 52 years and the couple have three children – Chris, Debbie and Brenda – and four grandchildren – Raymond, René, Julie and Allison.

Her unique qualities and “joie de vivre” approach to life has enabled her to experience many accomplishments across various fields over the years.

The first of many successes was being re-elected as a member of the Bathurst Municipal Council which allowed her the honour of serving the citizens of Bathurst for a total of 19 years. Along with her service on council, Ms. Wilt is the only female Honorary Member of the Bathurst Kinsmen Club. On the provincial stage, Ms. Wilt was the first female to serve as a candidate for the Progressive Conservative Party in her riding.

Along with her political accomplishments, Ms. Wilt has served as an active member of multiple non-profit organizations that enabled her to provide aide to countless people.

Of particular note, Ms. Wilt was actively involved with the Canadian Cancer Society. This work saw her touch the hearts and lives of many as she made important contributions to key campaigns, including the Relay for Life, Curl for Canada, Jail & Bail and Daffodil Campaigns. Her significant contributions to this work were honoured at her retirement, where Ms. Wilt received an honorary staff award in recognition of her longstanding service and dedication.

In addition to her political accomplishments and remarkable volunteerism, Ms. Wilt is well-known and deeply respected in her community for her enthusiastic personality and warm, caring demeanor. In times of despair, she is known to emanate sincere empathy to those around her and provide comfort to those who need it.

Claire Wilt is receiving the Order of New Brunswick for her longstanding service to her community and extraordinary volunteerism.





John Wood has inspired many New Brunswickers with his giving spirit and drive to improve the lives of New Brunswickers living with significant disabilities.

Diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy at the age of four and ventilated in order to breathe at the age of 16, the Oromocto native has faced countless obstacles. In spite of the difficulties faced by Mr. Wood and his family, they have remained positive. Mr. Wood focuses on leading a meaningful life, surrounded by family and friends and contributing to his community.

From 1998 to 2012, Mr. Wood supported the Muscular Dystrophy Association, raising approximately $300,000 through various fundraising initiatives. Although this was very rewarding to Mr. Wood, he wanted to do more.

Mr. Wood’s dream to give back to the community became reality in June 2012 when The John Wood Foundation was officially incorporated in New Brunswick.

Operating with a volunteer board, the foundation raises money for New Brunswickers with significant physical disabilities in need of financial support. At this time, the foundation has committed $394,000, which has leveraged $2,369,000 worth of equipment and services required due to serious disabilities for individuals and families – that’s six dollars for every dollar shared. As Mr. Wood knows first-hand the many challenges people encounter, his goal is for his foundation to be a source of comfort and support to those in need.

Mr. Wood has been recognized with many awards and distinctions for his community leadership. He is a member of the Oromocto and Area Sports Wall of Fame (builder category) and a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Award, the New Brunswick Human Rights Award, the Paul Harris Fellowship Award by Rotary International and the Fredericton Community Foundation Philantrophy in Action Award for his dedication to social development.

At the age of 40, Mr. Wood continues to lead an active life of charity and community service. Mr. Wood enjoys a variety of activities and inspires many with his community spirit of giving, with the support of his parents, Lynne and Wayne, his brother Art and his spouse Tanya, his nephew Gage, his nieces Brooklyn and Ava, as well as his extended family and circle of friends.

John Wood is receiving the Order of New Brunswick for his incredible fundraising efforts through his own John Wood Foundation to raise money and awareness for Duchenne muscular dystrophy in New Brunswick.