The City of Miramichi is renowned for its splendid natural scenery and culture, which attract tourists and students from across the world. However, many people, including locals, don’t know the history of the city.
Founded on the first day of 1995, the City of Miramichi was a result of a strategic plan by the-then powerful Premier in the name of Frank McKenna to promote peace and bring together the people of Newcastle and Chatham. Frank wanted the major communities around Chatham and Newcastle to work together, not against each other, to the benefit of all people. A united and larger voice, according to the Premier, would sell the region across Canada and the entire world.
Most people, from both Newcastle and Chatham, were against Frank’s idea of forcefully amalgamating the two communities to work together to have a better bargaining power politically and business-wise. The major communities weren’t doing badly and they thought that they were capable of achieving their goals independently. In fact, the two communities and other many smaller communities had different strong identities and expressed the greatest rivalry in sports, politics, government seats, and business.
The major communities vehemently rejected the transition team appointed to oversee the amalgamation process. Two councilors from Newcastle sued the team appointed to lead the city, arguing that a fair election was to be held to determine the best fit to lead the city. They won, causing the city to have elections in February 1995. Janice Morrison won the February mayoral elections and served as the first mayor until Rupert Bernard took over. The city’s second mayor served for two terms. Predictably, the coming together of the communities limited local rivalries and gave the region a larger, united voice. In contrast, though, the smaller communities felt that the amalgamation led to the loss of the “Miramichier” identity and was detrimental to tourism.