Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Harper Invites Moncton CEO to Cabinet Table


April 1, 2009
Ottawa, Ontario

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced that he will invite Mr. Ken LeBlanc, President & CEO of to become the newly created Minister of State for Youth Entrepreneurship.

"Inspiring the next wave of young entrepreneurs and the impact they have on the Canadian economy is of paramount importance to our Government,” said the Prime Minister. “I am confident that Mr. LeBlanc has the expertise required to independently examine key factors that lead to entrepreneurial success and make recommendations on how we can best direct government seed programs to deliver optimum results".

LeBlanc, the Moncton-based entrepreneur who bootstrapped a $100 dollar investment into a national franchising juggernaut was among a select group of business leaders who conferred with the Prime Minister recently at a private gathering organized by the Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) in Toronto.

LeBlanc believes with unemployment climbing and research showing more young people than ever anxious to get into business, it was important the Prime Minister recognize the unique opportunity Ottawa has to jump start the economy at the grassroots level. LeBlanc, a member of the board of directors with the Canadian Franchise Association pointed out, “Time and time again, the numbers tell us that people who want to start their own business, dramatically improve their odds of success when they buy into an established and reputable franchise organization. I wanted the Prime Minister to know first hand that the world of Canadian franchising has never been brighter and that opportunities are everywhere for self-starters who want to control their own destiny. Change always brings opportunities and we know change is all around us and so are the opportunities”.

Observers feel LeBlanc in cabinet demonstrates the level of commitment that federal government has in terms of accelerating an Economic Action Plan which starts with a $10 million grant to help more than 500 aspiring young entrepreneurs start new businesses and contribute quickly to Canada’s economic recovery. In total, by 2010, more than 900 entrepreneurs will start a business as a result of the government’s funding. These 900 new businesses will create an estimated 5,000 new jobs, $135 million in sales revenue, $32 million in tax revenue.

But it doesn't stop there.

"Having Ken LeBlanc at the cabinet level will allow him to work closely with Minister Peter MacKay (National Defence, Atlantic Gateway) and Minister Keith Ashfield (ACOA) on protecting and advancing Canada’s interest and entrepreneurial values on the world stage,” commented the Prime Minister. “He will also take on the additional responsibility of creating a new Secretary of State (Youth Entrepreneurship), determine what is required from a staffing and budgeting perspective and be an excellent representative for young business people internationally. ”

LeBlanc was unavailable for comment, but is said to be giving the Prime Minister's offer serious consideration and hopes to have an answer in the not too distant future.

LeBlanc is the youngest person ever elected to the Atlantic Business Hall of Fame and has been recognized as a 5-time Top 50 CEO by Atlantic Business Magazine. His company,, based in Moncton, NB has 116 franchise locations across Canada, making it the largest private home sale network in North America. The firm acts as the marketing arm for people who want to handle the heavy lifting themselves, such as showing the home, fielding calls from potential buyers, negotiating price while avoiding the cost of real estate commissions.

We will update this story as more details become available.

1 comment:

Ian Varty said...


Having dabbled briefly in agriculture, I'm more than qualified to wade though a pile of manure when I see it. Your fertile mind is clearly spreading some highly nutritional hilarity.

If Ken ever goes to Ottawa, then it will surely be as the captain of the Ottawa Senators, and not as a politician. Perhaps, while in Ottawa, Ken could plant a round PG sign on the front lawn of 24 Sussex Drive (sale includes contents). No bull____, I'm serious.