Joseph Daigle (New Brunswick politician)

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The Honourable

Joseph Daigle

Chief Justice of New Brunswick
In office
Preceded byWilliam L. Hoyt
Succeeded byJ. Ernest Drapeau
MLA for Kent North
In office
Preceded byRiding established
Succeeded byConrad Landry
Personal details
Joseph Zenon Daigle

(1934-06-23) June 23, 1934 (age 84)
Saint-Charles, New Brunswick, Canada
Political partyLiberal
Spouse(s)Rhéa April
Children4 children
ParentsAntoine J. Daigle &
Laura Daigle
EducationSt. Joseph's College, University of New Brunswick, University of Paris
OccupationLawyer, judge, politician

Joseph Zenon Daigle, CM QC (born June 23, 1934) is a Canadian lawyer and a former politician and Chief Justice of New Brunswick.

Early life and education[edit]

Of Acadian descent, Daigle was born in Saint-Charles, New Brunswick, and educated in his native New Brunswick, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Joseph's College and a Bachelor of Civil Law degree from the University of New Brunswick before studying public international law at the University of Paris in Paris, France . He entered private practise in 1960 and served as a provincial court judge from 1967 until 1974 when he entered politics.

Political career[edit]

In the 1974 New Brunswick general election, Daigle was elected to the Legislative Assembly as the Liberal Party candidate for the newly created riding of Kent North. In 1978 he became leader of the provincial Liberal party and assumed the role of Opposition Leader in the Assembly.

In the 1978 election, Daigle was personally reelected while leading his party to a narrow loss. His Liberals garnered 44.36 per cent of the popular vote, just 0.03 per cent less than the winning Progressive Conservatives, and captured twenty-eight seats to the Conservative's thirty. Dissension arose within his caucus following the party's election loss in which 3.5 per cent of the popular vote went to the Parti Acadien, a party made up mainly of disgruntled former Liberals. He also attracted criticism for a campaign speech in which he referred to Premier Richard Hatfield as a "faded pansy", alluding to the Conservative leader's then-rumoured homosexuality.[1]

Judicial career[edit]

Daigle resigned as leader and withdrew from political life, returning to the practice of law. In 1982, he was appointed Judge of the Court of Queen's Bench of New Brunswick and was named its Chief Justice in 1994. He was appointed Chief Justice of New Brunswick in 1998, serving until 2003 when he was elected supernumerary status.

Retirement and later life[edit]

In 2004, the Government of Canada appointed Daigle as chair of its Miramichi and Acadie—Bathurst Electoral Boundaries Commission that successfully dealt with what had become a contentious political issue.

In December 2015, he was appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada.[2]


  1. ^ Richard Starr, Richard Hatfield: The Seventeen Year Saga. Goodread Biography, 1988. ISBN 0887801536.
  2. ^ "Order of Canada Appointments". The Governor General of Canada His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston. Governor General of Canada. Retrieved 31 December 2015.

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
William L. Hoyt
Chief Justice of New Brunswick
Succeeded by
J. Ernest Drapeau
Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick
Preceded by
Robert J. Higgins
Opposition Leader in the
New Brunswick Legislature

Succeeded by
Doug Young
Leader of the New Brunswick Liberals
Doug Young
Preceded by
New riding
MLA for Kent North
Conrad Landry