Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Moncton CEO Staying Put. Declines Cabinet Seat


April 1, 2009
Moncton, NB

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

However, the Moncton-based entrepreneur has turned down the offer.

After taking time to weigh his options in leading a newly-created government department, designed to accelerate youth entrepreneurship in Canada, LeBlanc felt now was not the time to be anywhere else but steering the ship.

In a statement to reporters, LeBlanc said, "Our brand is making hay coast-to-coast and the real fun is only just beginning. As flattering as it is to receive an offer like that from the Prime Minister of Canada, it just doesn't make sense at this point for me either personally or professionally. It would be like Ray Kroc, Steve Jobs or Michael Dell heading to Washington just before McDonalds, Apple or Dell exploded in the marketplace. I know we're on to a great thing here and I want to be around when really takes off".

LeBlanc, a Lakeburn native 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 likely received the offer to sit at the cabinet table after making the Prime Minister aware of 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 was quoted as saying, “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”.

The Prime Minister has not been available for comment on LeBlanc's decision, but insiders tell TSB that he may put a hold on creating the new government department until he can find a leader of LeBlanc's calibre to run it. A spokesman for the PM's office has also denied any talk of a "Draft Ken" movement to try and change the mind of Lakeburn's favorite son.

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.

"Even the gods love jokes" PLATO

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