Historian Tells The Struggle To Form Canada's First Police Association 100 Years Ago.

Posted on Thursday, October 11, 2018 11:28 AM

A real eye-opening history lesson for those attending the Atlantic Police Federation Bargaining Conference at the Delta in Saint John on Thursday.

Historian Harold Wright gave a presentation on the struggles to form what became the first police association in Canada, in Saint John, back in 1918.

Wright says the members all decided to form an association in hopes of getting better treatment from what newspapers of the time called a "Dictatorial Commissioner of Public Safety".

Wright says the ultimatum from the Commissioner was blunt " resign or you're fired, they were all fired, no discussion, take your name of the list or you're gone."

They were eventually re-hired in early 1919 by a new Commissioner. 

Bob Davidson of the NB Police Association says history is repeating itself and the struggle continues for police today. 

"Here we are now in 2018 the officers continue to be under attack by politicians like they were in 1918, we have a Mayor in Saint John that's bound to try to undermine the collective bargaining process," says Davidson.