Social Justice and the City in New Brunswick

Social Justice and the City in New Brunswick


Event by Tertulias and NB Media Co-op
Online Event
Wednesday, May 5, 2021 at 7:30 PM Atlantic time by Zoom
Price: Free
Public Anyone on or off Facebook
As we head into municipal elections, New Brunswick cities face new challenges – some of them part of lively public debate, others simmering below the surface. Forty years of federal and provincial austerity has downloaded an increasing number of social problems onto the city. Are we able to deal with them?
Panelists Rachel Bryant, Julia Woodhall-Melnik and Valerya Edelman help us face the way social exclusion shapes our cities, and how we think about what a city is for. Home-ownership has historically been the priority of municipal government. Exclusion from home-ownership had devastating effects on groups who were marginalized in our cities, and who became the focus of postwar institutional supports that have been eroded away. Current urban social problems, such as the growing homelessness and affordable housing crises collide in urban spaces that have been privatized and individualized. The panel explores the future prospects of these exclusions, and the ongoing fight for the right to the city.
Wednesday, May 5 at 7:30pm Atlantic Time
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the event.
Watch on Facebook live at Tertulias Fredericton
Rachel Bryant on “Toward the Sharing of Saint John: Reckoning with the City Charter”. Rachel Bryant is a writer, researcher and educator in Menahkwesk/Saint John. She will speak about how British settlers consolidated their interests in land ownership from the Charter of the city of Saint John as early as 1785 to the exclusion of Indigenous people with whom they promised to share. Bryant’s first book, The Homing Place, was short-listed for the Atlantic Book Award for Scholarly Writing and awarded the New Brunswick Book Award for Non-Fiction.
Julia Woodhall-Melnik on “The Unprotected & Ignored Renter: Movement toward rental policy reform, poverty reduction, and vibrant communities in Saint John”. Julia Woodhall-Melnik is Assistant Professor at UNB Saint John, the lead investigator on a 5-year Institutes of Health Research project grant that explores affordable housing and mental health, and Research Director of the Housing, Mobilization, Engagement and Resilience Lab (HOME-RL). She will speak about the gentrification of the central peninsula in Saint John, and the effect of the city’s overheating housing market on lower-income residents. Who is included and who is excluded in the future of Saint John
Valerya Edelman on “Dear City, Stop Hurting Us”. Valerya Edelman is a social worker and community activist who helped develop Clinic 554 and the peer worker programs at River Stone Recovery Centre in Fredericton. Her MA thesis from University of Victoria is “There Goes the Neighbourhood: A Case Study of Social Mix in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.” She will speak on New Brunswick’s urban addictions problem, and how public policies continue to demonize, infantilize and exclude people who might otherwise find a place in the city.
This panel is being organized by the Canada Research Chair in Global and International Studies, Tertulias Fredericton and the NB Media Co-op.
For more information, email

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