Following a career in social work, as Secretary General of the Société Nationale de l’Acadie and in the practice of law, Bernard Richard served as an MLA in New Brunswick from 1991 to 2003. During that time, he occupied several cabinet positions (Intergovernmental and Aboriginal Affairs, Justice, Education and Social Policy Renewal). In opposition, he served as Interim Leader, Caucus Chair and House Leader.
In January, 2004, Mr. Richard assumed the responsibilities of New Brunswick’s 6th Ombudsman. In November 2006, Mr. Richard was appointed New Brunswick’s first Child & Youth Advocate. He retired from both positions in March 2011. He has since worked on a variety of assignments as a lawyer (City of Fredericton; PEI Auditor General), consultant (NB Legislative Assembly; Canada-Newfoundland-Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board; NB Assembly of First Nations Chiefs) and mediator.
He was appointed as BC’s second Representative for Children and Youth in November 2016.
He has been the recipient of several prizes and awards and has worked with a number of non-profit organizations focused on the rights and interests of children and youth, in particular in the area of mental health (ACCESS Canada – Open Minds; Partners for Youth; Dots NB), the plight of children in developing countries (Plan International Canada; the Working Group on the Rights of the Child in Francophone Countries) and the wellbeing of Indigenous children (First Nations Children Futures Fund).
He is currently an advisor with Mi’gmaq Child and Family Services of New Brunswick Inc., a child protection organization serving six Mi’gmaq First Nations. He also operates a weekly newspaper, Le Moniteur Acadien, founded in 1867.