New Brunswick

Top MFU official one of 2 men killed in Miramichi crash

The director general of the Maritime Fishermen's Union was one of two men killed in a head-on collision Monday morning on Route 11 in Lower Newcastle.

A female passenger was taken to hospital after crash on Route 11

Christian Brun, director general of the Maritime Fishermen's Union, was killed Monday in a head-on collision near Lower Newcastle. Another man was also killed in the crash on Route 11. (Radio-Canada)

The director general of the Maritime Fishermen's Union was one of two men killed in a head-on collision Monday morning on Route 11 in Lower Newcastle.

Christian Brun, 46, of Cormier Village was the driver of a car that collided with a car driven by a 69-year-old man from Miscou. The name of the older man was not available.

"The Acadian community has just lost a great person," Gilles Thériault, a fisheries consultant, who was visibly shaken by the news of Brun's death, told Radio-Canada in French.

Thériault called Brun a leader in the fisheries industry, a poet and an artist.

The Maritime Fishermen's Union is the second largest fishermen's organization in Atlantic Canada, next only to the Fish Food and Allied Workers Union in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Brun worked in international development and spent eight years in Africa. He had been with the Maritime Fishermen's Union since 2004, according to the Canadian Council of Professional Fish Harvesters.

Fishing Impact

Officials from both provincial and national levels of government reacted to the news of Brun's death Monday.

"I am shocked and deeply saddened at the news of the tragic death of Christian Brun earlier today," wrote Dominic LeBlanc, the federal fisheries minister, in a statement. "I have known and admired Christian for many years and feel privileged to have called him a friend."

"As Executive Secretary of the MFU, Christian worked hard to defend coastal communities in Atlantic Canada," wrote LeBlanc. "He always had the best interests of fishers at heart and he advanced their interests with vigour, dedication and principle."

LeBlanc also referred to him as a devoted husband and father, who will be profoundly missed. 

Respected in the industry

"He was a fierce negotiator," said Rick Doucet, New Brunswick Minister of Agriculture, Aquaculture & Fisheries. "We often found ourselves on opposite sides of the negotiating table, but we enjoyed a strong mutual respect."

Doucet says he spent years working with Brun and called the list of improvements he made for fishermen in the province 'massive.'

"He certainly left a legacy, something that all fishermen should be proud off," said Doucet. "The number of files we worked on is daunting."

Doucet said he had a tremendous amount of respect for Brun. 

"He was a champion of the minimum size carapace, to protect the stock and improve the returns for the fishermen," said Doucet. "Market access. Improving the quality of lobster with the onboard container system. The rehab program he put together for herring, the list goes on and on."

Passenger injured

Investigators are trying to determine the cause of the crash, which happened on dry pavement and in good weather, police said.

The crash happened between McHardy Road and Route 450 at about 9:45 a.m.and kept the highway closed until about 2:15 p.m.

A female passenger in the other car was taken to Miramichi Hospital with serious injuries, police said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shane Fowler

Reporter

Shane Fowler has been a CBC journalist based in Fredericton since 2013.

with files from Radio-Canada

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