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New!: Find your MP with your postal code.

Note: Some of the following information is out of date:

Here are lists of contact information for our elected representatives:

Here are some sample letters.

  • List of email addresses, suitable to cut and paste, of “all the Fredericton & Saint John MLAs as well as the city councillors,” courtesy of the UNBSJ Education Society blog:;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 29, 2007 2:02 pm

    The following is my (not to be published outside this blog) letter to my LEG REP, which hard copy I will hand-deliver. I am in the third stage of mourning: anger.

    Greg Cook, 156 Sydney St, Saint John, NB E2 2M3
    29 November 2007

    Honourable Ed Doherty
    38 Water Street
    Saint John, NB E2L 2A5

    Hon. Dr. Ed Doherty,
    I find you – and from all you have said, and failed to say, up to this point – quoted correctly in the Telegraph-Journal this morning (p. A-10): “It takes a great deal of political will, but the opportunity is there for Saint John to develop a world-class university program….”

    Do you not have the slightest idea what the implications of your statements are? Has no one told you that over the past 40 years UNBSJ has brought world-class teachers and researchers to New Brunswick?

    Has no one told you that is why the students had continued to pay to study there? Has no one told you that you are saying to the alumni and students enrolled today that they bought a pig in a poke? Or have you never gotten your hands dirty enough to understand my metaphor?

    Has no one told you more recently that your’s, and your Premier’s, ineptitude in handling this file – even though the unprofessional leak of the PSE Report by one of its Commissioners gave you a two-week lead to right matters – that world-class students, faculty, and staff of UNBSJ have since mid-August left the province and/or are making arrangements to leave as soon as possible?

    Your government’s complete mismanagement of this file is making you and your cohorts the laughing stock of the civil world. If you are in doubt about this, ask your Premier to share with you his mail from out of province.

    Your unfortunate neo-liberal partisans remind me (never mind John Howard in Australia) of a pack of dogs running wild after deer. None of them were bred to hunt dinner. None of them were trained to hunt in packs. But the barking of “change is difficult” and “the status quo is not an option” gave them the scent of blood.

    The self-fulfilling prophecy is that they tasted blood when they brought down their prey. Unfortunately such former pets had to be put down themselves. And, in the first opportunity available, I have no doubt voters will exorcise such a franchise.

    This is, to use your own words, the “highest … gold standard” by which you will be judged as soon as possible. If your Premier doesn’t think he can be influenced by class action suits, you are best advised to get him a better lawyer. I expect a prompt and full reply to this letter.

    Greg Cook, Whose hands know the wisdom of dirt.

  2. December 21, 2007 1:40 pm

    The misguided Minister responsible for PSE replied on December 11 that he is also gagged, e.g. “We are giving the Working Group time to complete its work before commenting further.” (I noticed that this gag didn’t apply to the speech from the throne.)

    What follows is my letter of 7 December to MP Paul Zed who has not found either time or inclincation to reply:

    Dear Paul Zed,
    I have received a copy of your letter to Miriam Jones, thank you.

    It is always good to hear people wanting to make some things “absolutely clear,” as you say. At least you haven’t qualified the Port City University you foresee as a “presence.”

    What has not become “clear to all” is whether next year there will be a UNBSJ liberal arts and sciences program, including graduate degree courses.
    The Premier seemed “very clear” about the future of St. Thomas, as well as Mount Allison, some time ago; but to Ms. Blaney’s question in the house on Thursday, December 6, about UNBSJ’s future the Premier was perfectly unclear by declining any direct or appropriate answer. Here was her question:
    Mrs. Blaney: “Last week, the Premier made a statement that students throughout UNB, both campuses, are actually hailing as a victory. The Premier deviated from previous remarks about a university presence and actually said last week, during question period, that there would be UNBSJ presence and that it would exist in Saint John. Of course, the key word is UNBSJ. The students are really excited about this, and they are believing that the Premier meant what he said that UNBSJ is here to stay. Can the Premier confirm today that he meant what he said?”

    (I am attaching a copy of the Premier’s non-answers.) [Found elsewhere on the blog. Note: In the debate the Premier never made any reference whatsoever to UNBSJ.]

    As I have told the Premier and Dr. Doherty, if I want to visit the “presence” of my father who died a Canadian soldier in Holland in 1944, I can visit a Commonwealth Cemetery in the Netherlands. Unfortunately, the language used by the Premier and the Minister of Higher Education conjures a graveyard for UNBSJ at Tucker Park.

    The “Saint John Ministers and Members of the Legislature made it clear that the government had received the message of protest,” as you say.

    However, by the time this was said the Graham government had already failed to subvert the crises created as early as mid-August when the report was leaked. While continuing now in the fourth month to fail to distance itself from the report, which “is not government policy” (according to the Premier), the throne speech prophesied three recommendations from the report would be implemented – before the group of principals and presidents completed their work.

    Has the Premier and his government no idea how much damage has already been caused by their failure to distance themselves from the report and reassure stakeholders in UNB? As a result of the government’s lack of clarity, a number of students, faculty and staff have left and/or are making plans to leave UNBSJ. Can you blame them?

    Prospective students are looking elsewhere –including out of province for their university education. Why do you think this is so, if not for the provincial government’s communication breakdown?
    The PSE report can be taken as a self-fulfilling prophecy, if it was intended to see a significant number of international students and a healthy portion of the city’s creative class leave Saint John and the province. By fumbling this ball, the Graham government is responsible for damages to the institutions it boasts it is improving. No by-standing institution should feel safe. (You will have noted references in the PSE report to the ambiguity of the future funding status of Saint Thomas and Mount Allison universities.)

    In the legislative debate on the whimsical speech from the throne the Premier claimed to put student interests ahead of what he called the parochial defense of constituency institutions by members of the opposition. However, the Premier seems unable to acknowledge: that students left as early as September, and that the students currently enrolled have suffered first-term long demoralization as a result of his obstinacy. The Premier doesn’t seem to understand this is the time of year students apply for admission to university programs next year. The Minister responsible for Post Secondary Education choked on the possibility of saying the word “university” for too long before he referred to the subject of UNBSJ – instead of using the word “institution.” He doesn’t seem to understand that he appears to have guaranteed the loss of his seat in the legislature, should he opt to run for election a second time.

    Will it take a class action suit to wake this government up? Or would it like to see a Supreme Court ruling on the human rights sanctity of collective agreements it has threatened by giving credence to the PSE report – not to mention the current state of mind and the future careers of students already in the system?

    Rather than these options it may fall to you to counsel your provincial colleagues to avoid these options – even though already considerable fiscal damage, which should be repaired as promptly as possible, has been inflicted by their continued mishandling of the process.

    Otherwise, if the status of UNB is downgraded nationally and internationally by this episode, New Brunswick will become a laughing stock footnote in the history of higher education in Canada.

    Greg Cook

  3. Charlie McKendy permalink
    January 8, 2008 11:41 am

    I am still waiting for Shawn to reply to this letter:

    Charlie McKendy
    546 Havelock St
    Saint John, NB, E2M 2Y2
    October 15, 2007
    Shawn Graham, Premier
    Province of New Brunswick
    Fredericton, NB

    Dear Sir:

    I wish to join the thousands of voices in pleading with your government to keep UNBSJ the vibrant and essential institution that it is. I get very upset when you talk about consulting the ‘stakeholders’ before meeting with students and the concerned public. We are all stakeholders and the University belongs to the community. Please listen to my story about how UNBSJ changed my family’s life.
    Thirty years ago I was working as a child protection social worker for the provincial government in Saint John. As a result of changes in professional certification standards I realized that I would no longer be able to work in my chosen field without returning to school. I was the sole breadwinner with a wife and two toddlers. Over a four year period I was able to take courses from UNBSJ in social work through a decentralized program and to then qualify as a registered social worker.
    Many years later my wife was faced with job redundancy and realized that the only way of securing her future was to seek post secondary education. In the early ‘70’s she had completed certificate in business from the NB Community College in Saint John. She was able 20 years later to negotiate with UNBSJ to enter the International MBA program on a part time basis. She was able to have credit for some of her community college courses. Six years ago she was awarded her MBA and now has a challenging and rewarding career.
    If the recommendations of the report were implemented neither of us would be in the position we find ourselves in today. I shudder to think of what would have happened had UNBSJ not been there.
    You have frequently been quoted as saying: “ The status quo is not an option”. I am not sure of what you mean when you use this cliché. Both our experiences clearly show that UNBSJ has been flexible and has worked positively in responding to changes in the environment. UNBSJ has recognized NBCC courses and allowed students credit for such courses. UNBSJ has worked with employers, professional bodies and other universities to offer programs for people in the community. We did not need the Miner report to achieve this. In both our cases UNB in Fredericton refused to make any accommodation to our needs. I think UNB in Fredericton stood by the status quo not UNBSJ.
    The Miner report lacks the data to back its conclusions. It makes a sweeping conclusion with no factual foundation . It begins by concluding the present system is failing but does not show how or where there is failure. It bandies about the term polytechnic like a magic wand. It is cowardly in arguing for a polytechnic in Saint John and not then requiring that the forestry and engineering programs of UNB Fredericton be transferred to Saint John. It accepts the arguments that St Thomas needs to be supported in Fredericton yet it refuses to recognize that the largest city in the province requires as a Liberal Arts university as well.
    The report must be rejected if your government is truly interested in leaving a positive legacy for this community and for the province. By all means you should undertake a study on the future of post secondary education – but this report lacks the depth, integrity and I venture to say the academic discipline for it to be of much use.
    Governments come and go. What today appears as a clear mandate can tomorrow fade to memory. The buzz words you use today , like “status quo” and “energy hub” , in a few years will be forgotten. A liberal arts university on the other hand, offers a community a solid foundation for development and growth. It enriches us all in countless ways.
    Please ensure that UNBSJ is preserved and enhanced not dismantled. We are voters here and you would not be in power without the Saint John area Liberal MLA’s. We will remember and next time at the polls we will not vote for a party who stole our university from us!


    Charles McKendy

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