Open Letter from SJPA President

​May 6th, 2020

Open Letter / Media Release

RE: Saint John, New Brunswick

The decision by the Mayor and Council to reduce the budget for Saint John Police Force by $1,175,000 will have serious negative effects on police protection for the citizens of Saint John. 

Further to this at the Council meeting Monday May 4th, 2020 a motion passed proposing further funding reductions of $1 million to be found in city wide workforce adjustments. This was not supported by the City Manager. This unilateral decision was taken without Councilors knowing what ramifications to police protection would result from this cut in funding. We foresee these decisions having a negative impact on the quality services delivered to our citizens.

There are currently 142 police officers from the Chief of Police to 4th Class Constables. Since this council took office there has already been a reduction of 9 officers within the Saint John Police Force. 

Policing is a public safety service provided to the citizens and costs associated will never be eliminated, there will always be a need to have police officers on our city streets.

Not one of our City Councilors or our Mayor ran for office on a mandate to cut protective services but that is what has happened and there are more to come in the future as a result of these funding decisions.

There are other options …. 

Fourteen years ago I moved to Saint John , New Brunswick to work as a police officer, my wife is from Saint John and we started our family here. I live in the north end but I’ve also lived on the lower west side and on the east side. I’ve worked the majority of my career in the Waterloo Village, Uptown, and South End areas of the city. As you can expect in my profession I have experienced the good and the bad of this city but I am very proud to support the City of Saint John to anyone who will listen. I love Saint John and all it has to offer.

The city of Saint John has fallen and we NEED to UNITE to pick it back up.

We cannot cut ourselves to prosperity, that will not get us to where we need to be.

Saint John needs tax reform, this is not a want from the Mayor and Council this is a need for survival of this city. A vague promise of a review of taxation by the current provincial government is too little too late.

This is not a knock on our neighbors or industry these are just some issues that need to be accepted.

The citizens of Saint John cannot continue to subsidize heavy industry and we also cannot ignore that 33 000 non-city residents commute into Saint John daily and services are provided to them.

At this point in time we have to ask, where are our Provincial Elected from Saint John Members of the Legislative Assembly? 

We know where Liberal MLA Gerry Lowe stands on taxation but several Saint John MLA’s are cabinet ministers in this conservative minority government, Dorothy Shephard, Glen Savoie, Andrea Anderson Mason, and Trevor Holder.

As a constituent, a taxpayer, and advocate for my members I am disappointed that we have not heard from these MLA’s after the city of Saint John’s repeated calls for assistance. The letter received by the City of Saint John Monday May 4th, 2020 from Local Government Minister Jeff Carr was nothing more than a dismissal.

To the Saint John area MLA’s now is your time to prove to us that you have the best interest of Saint John in mind and will work for the people who elected you. 

The residents of Saint John are proud people, the provincial government in Fredericton will hear us we just need to work together. 

Check the attitudes and bias at the door, we are stronger together, Mayor and Council, Local businesses, RESIDENTS, Community groups, Associations and Neighbors now is our time to stand together join forces as ONE team and demand our local MLA’s stand up for Saint John New Brunswick and be our representatives in Fredericton not Fredericton’s representatives in Saint John.

“Together We Can” 

Duane Squires

President Saint John Police Association

Concerned Resident of Saint John, NB. Taxpayer and Constituent 

506-333-5202 ​

Open invitation to contact me via email and let’s work together and collaborate what we need to do for Saint John!