National Driver of the Year awarded to Georges Leblanc

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CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — Georges Leblanc isn’t just an ordinary guy anymore, according to Brent Weary, regional vice-president of sales and marketing for Volvo Trucks, as he presented Leblanc with the 2004 National Driver of the Year Award.

Leblanc won last year’s Driver of the Year award for the Atlantic Provinces region and this year he has the National counterpart to add to his collection of achievements.

"I’m not one to look for the limelight but it’s not everyday that you get to apply for such a prestigious award," Leblanc said humbly. "It was such a wonderful surprise when I found out I won and it is such an honour to be awarded this title."

The National Truck Driver of the Year Award is presented to a Canadian driver who demonstrates a high level of professionalism both on and off the road, courtesy and sometimes bravery at roadside.

Leblanc was chosen from the 2003 provincial drivers of the year across Canada. The selection committee included representatives from Transport Canada, Canada Safety Council, Traffic Injury Research Foundation and the Canadian Trucking Alliance.

Leblanc has driven 5.2 million collision-free miles for Armour Transportation Systems in a 33-year driving career. He helps out with Armour safety meetings and assists with training and evaluation of new drivers.

"Georges is exactly what we want in our industry for the perfect highway professional operator. He is extremely good at his job, smart and has a positive attitude, very caring for others, excellent with customers, an outstanding safe driver, understands all safety and highway regulations and complies with them without being managed. Most of all, he is just an outstanding individual," said Wesley Armour, president of Armour Transportation Systems.

Hailing from Memramcook, N.B., Leblanc and his wife Jocelyne made the trek across the Confederation Bridge to Charlottetown P.E.I. where he was presented with his national award at this year’s Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association’s annual convention on Oct. 29.

Although Georges sees himself as just your average guy who works hard for to make a living, volunteers in his community and leads a happy married life, Weary said "the guy who is considered the best driver in the country is not your average guy anymore."

At 52 years-old, Georges has decided to cut back a little bit on driving and take some additional vacation away from the highways and his 2002 Volvo.

"I want to put in a few more years but my plan is to take on a sort of semi-retirement schedule," said Georges.

Georges was presented with a $1,000 cash prize, his national plaque, that will hang along side his provincial plaque, and a trip for two to any destination in Canada. He thinks he and his wife will use it towards a vacation on the other side of the country in Alberta because they have never been there before and would like to explore a little bit of the West.

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