And his team had a surprise in store for him.
Bernard thought that the program's Word Lady, Johanne Blais, was going to record her last Word of the Week with him. She had come in to Montreal from Ottawa for the occasion.
But instead, Johanne surprised Bernard by presenting him with a touching tribute.
Without Bernard knowing it, in the weeks leading up to his retirement, the team had reached out to a range of people Bernard had interviewed or worked with over his 40 years as a journalist.
Each of them paid tribute to Bernard.
Those people included the Official Languages Commissioner, Graham Fraser, former Quebec Premier Jean Charest, and the Official Opposition leader in Ottawa, Tom Mulcair.
Some of his colleagues to pay tribute included The Current host Anna Maria Tremonti, and the National's weekend anchor, Wendy Mesley.
Governor General award winning translator Sheila Fischman also had kind words to say about him.
Listen to the tribute and watch Bernard's reaction here: