He was elected to the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick, representing Nepisiguit, in the general election of 1999 and became deputy speaker of the Legislature. He was defeated in his bid for a second term in the 2003 election by former Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) Frank Branch. Branch had represented the area from 1970 to 1995, when he retired and did not seek re-election.
Bernard was one of several defeated Progressive Conservative MLAs who were appointed to government positions by Premier Bernard Lord following their defeat in the 2003 election. These appointments were widely criticized as excessive patronage by the media and the opposition Liberals.
Bernard had been appointed to oversee and economic development fund for the Restigouche-Baie des Chaleurs region. He was criticized for being clearly partisan when he took a leave of absence from his position in March 2004 to be a Conservative candidate in the 2004 federal election. He finished a distant third place with 10.9% of the vote.
On March 17, 2005, Bernard announced he was leaving his position because of criticism from Liberals. He said that his resignation would be effective May 31, but he would leave sooner should he secure a job he was pursuing in Ottawa. He was successful, and moved to Ottawa shortly thereafter and, in late April, announced he would be a candidate for the Conservative nomination for the riding of Ottawa—Orléans for the next federal election. On May 16, he was defeated by Royal Galipeau, a former member of the Liberal Party of Canada, for the nomination by a margin of 174 to 126, who went on to win the seat in the election.
From 2006 to 2008, Bernard held the position of Senior Policy Advisor in the office of Stockwell Day, Minister of Public Safety in the new Conservative government.
In the 2008 federal election, the Conservative Party brought Bernard to Nova Scotia to run against Conservative-turned-Independent Bill Casey in the riding of Cumberland–Colchester–Musquodoboit Valley. On election night, Casey was re-elected by over 22,000 votes, with Bernard finishing third, polling just under 9%.
Bernard is now the Senior Policy Advisor for aerospace, procurements, industrial regional benefits and the auto file to Tony Clement, Minister of Industry Canada.
He lives in Ottawa, Ontario with his two children, Lilianne and Samuel.