Louis R. Comeau
Doctor of Commerce
Born in Meteghan, Nova Scotia, Mr. Comeau has proven himself an extremely capable entrepreneur, academic and politician.
Educated initially at College Sainte-Anne, he graduated from Saint Mary's University in 1962, with a diploma in Engineering and a Bachelor of Science degree, followed the next year with a Bachelor of Education degree from Dalhousie University and a Master of Science degree from the Universite de Moncton in 1967. From 1968 to 1973, he was a Member of Parliament for South West Nova, and served as the Vice-Chairperson for the Conservative Caucus of Natural Resources Committee of the House of Commons, responsible for matters relating to natural resources, energy and the environment. Just before his political term ended, he assumed the Presidency of College Saint-Anne (now the Universite Saint-Anne), and in that capacity, led the University through a dramatic growth in all areas, developing quality education programs. He oversaw the construction of a new campus, including eleven new buildings and a tremendous increase in assets. The student body grew from eighty-five to three hundred and fifty with corresponding increases in the faculty. This enabled an increase in the programme offerings, including the establishment of French Language Immersion programmes and extension programmes for the French speaking communities. Such was his success as President, that the library of the Universite Saint-Anne is named la Bibliotheque Louis R. Comeau. In 1994, he was installed as the Chancellor of this same institution.
During the late 1970s and early 1980s, he was President and owner of E.M. Comeau and Sons (1977) Limited, and also Kingston Lumber and Building Supplies Limited, both of which were active in the production and sale of cut timber and building supplies. He increased the revenue of these two entities from $535,000.00 to a total of $9,000,000.00. He oversaw the development of lumber production to a position in the top ten of Nova Scotia mills.
In 1983, he was chosen as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Nova Scotia Power, assuming the overall responsibility for the management of the company. One of the highlights of his thirteen year career in this capacity was his successful promotion and implementation of its privatization to Nova Scotia Power Inc. This was the largest ($650,000,000.00) treasury public offering ever done in Canada. In addition, he increased the profitability of the company during his tenure from $83,000,000.00 subsidization to $94,000,000.00 profit. He further instituted the employee values programme and a cultural change process, resulting in a more cohesive workforce and participative management by managers and supervisors. He also directed the construction of additional power generating facilities, thereby doubling the capacity to 2200 megawatts. He recently retired from this position, and will therefore, undoubtedly have more time to pursue his sports and hobbies which include golf, racquetball and gardening.
He has a long and important connection with Saint Mary's University, not only from his student days, but more latterly, as a member of the University's Board of Governors.
In addition, a few of his current directorships and affiliations will show the breadth of his interest and impact in the Province. He is a Director and Past Chairperson of the Canadian Electrical Association; a Director of the Metropolitan Halifax Chamber of Commerce; Chairman, Power Smart Inc,; Director of the Conference Board of Canada; Director, Friends of Nova Scotia Museum of Science Industry. In the past, he has also served on the Board of the Energy Council of Canada; the Halifax Board of Trade; the Izaak Walton Killam Children's Hospital; Maritime Lumber Bureau; Nova Scotia Wood Manufacturers Association; Council for Canadian Unity; and the Victorian General Hospital Foundation.
Extremely proud of his Acadian ancestry, he must have been delighted in 1980, when he was honoured by the International Association of French Parliamentarians for "outstanding achievement in the pursuit of good relations in the culture, economic, and social interests of Francophones throughout the world."
His tireless energy, enthusiasm, and expertise have earned his honorary doctorate degrees first in 1986, from Universite Saint-Anne in Education, and secondly in 1993, in Civil Law from Acadia University. This year, in addition to receiving an honorary degree from Saint Mary's University, he will also be honoured by the Universite de Moncton.
He and his wife, Clarice Theriault, have three children, Louise Anne, Jacques (who graduated from Saint Mary's University), and Martine.