HDC Staff Blog

The loss of community policing is a serious setback for Saint John’s priority neighbourhoods. Following Common Council’s decision to cut $1.25 million from next year’s police budget, the complement of community police officers will close shop in their six priority neighbourhood locations and return to patrol duties on January 1...

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The minimum wage debate is polarized. On one hand, there are those that claim that increasing legislated minimum wages will force many employers to reduce staff hours, lay off employees or close their doors.

On the other hand there are those who advocate (AIMS prefers “agitate”) for wages that take into account rising inequality and the real costs of meeting basic needs like shelter and food...

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New Brunswick has yet to regulate its payday loan industry.


Almost 14 months have passed since the government set a deadline for responding to draft regulations. Until detailed regulations are approved, the industry operates without oversight. It generates millions of dollars from charging usurious interest rates and untold fees on working poor residents of New Brunswick.

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Saint John Needs United Response To Poverty

Saint John is my hometown. I grew up in Portland Place in the north end. I lived in war-time housing on Montgomery Crescent and attended public schools in Saint John. My parents actually took in boarders to help with expenses. On one hand, you might say we didn’t have much in terms of material things but we had the benefit of a warm and loving family. I walked back and forth to school each day including lunch hour. In grades one through five it was to Dufferin School and then from six through nine it was to Princess Elizabeth. I took the city bus to Saint John High School. Read More Here 

2015 Federal Election Needs To Focus On Solving Poverty

 We haven’t heard enough from the federal parties during this election campaign on how they would address the issue of poverty. While we have had lots of talk about the middle class, there has been little said about those on social assistance or the working poor. Saint John has its share of both. Read More Here

Counting What Counts


The Telegraph Journal recently printed the following letter from the HDC's Executive Director, Randy Hatfield.
The letter is a response to an anonymous editorial titled "Another study on poverty," which critiqued the Ward Profiles recently released by the HDC as "simply updating a picture that many who work in the non-profit sector have known about for years."

Have a read and let us know what you think: do we need to have better data on/awareness of poverty in Saint John on the ward level?

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And Now He's Homeless

Anyone who lives in an urban center in Canada is aware of homelessness.  While I understand that sometimes it is necessary to call the police, and other times people just want something to be done immediately, homelessness isn't something the police can solve; it is a social issue whose origins can be traced directly back to policy changes in the 80’s and 90’s.[1]  Since then, it has been getting worse, and now tens of thousands of our fellow Canadians are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Read more here

Income Inequality

Income and wealth inequality have climbed to near the top of the list of the public’s concerns. According to a nationwide survey conducted by the Broadbent Institute in 2014, 86% of Canadians view the gap as a “very big problem” or “somewhat of a problem”, regardless of geography, gender, income, age or support of political party. Read more here

Poverty Concentrated in Two Wards - By Randy Hatfield

It will hardly come as a shock to anyone to hear that Saint John's neighboring municipalities enjoy higher family incomes and lower poverty rates than the City. Neither should it come as a surprise that the rates of overall and child poverty vary among neighbourhoods in Saint John. After the 2006 census, we were able to collect data for small geographies and identify five “priority neighbourhoods”– Crescent Valley, the Old North End, the Lower West Side, the South End and the Waterloo Village area. At that time, neighbourhood levels of poverty ranged from 24.0% to 52.6% (using Statistics Canada’s Low Income Cut Off – LICO), Read More Here