timeline

New Brunswick

New Brunswick is one of three provinces collectively known as the "Maritimes." Joined to Nova Scotia by the narrow Chignecto Isthmus and separated from Prince Edward Island by the Northumberland Strait, New Brunswick forms the land bridge linking this region to continental North America.

St. Martins, New Brunswick

April 01, 1776

People  

First Loyalists Arrive

The first United Empire Loyalists — 1,124 refugees from New England — arrived in Halifax, NS. Another 40,000 or so followed them to NS and to Québec. The immigration resulted in the formation of New Brunswick and Upper Canada.

September 03, 1783

Government and Politics 

Treaty of Paris 1783

This treaty ended the American Revolution, recognizing the independence of the American colonies. The boundary between British and American territories was set along the St. Lawrence River and through the Great Lakes. Post-war life in the United States was very difficult for British Loyalists, who endured property loss and discrimination. Many left and began to arrive in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Québec and Ontario. Famous migrant Loyalists include Lieutenant James Moody, Laura Secord and Richard Pierpoint.

December 12, 1783

Communication and Transportation 

First Newspaper in NB

The first newspaper in New Brunswick, the Royal Saint John Gazette and Nova Scotian Intelligencer, was published by William Lewis and John Ryan at Parrtown.

August 16, 1784

Government and Politics 

New Brunswick Separates

New Brunswick was established as a separate colony from Nova Scotia.

January 09, 1786

Government and Politics 

First Legislature in NB

The first legislature of New Brunswick, elected in 1785, opened at Saint John.

January 01, 1808

Government and Politics 

Birth of Charles Fisher

Politician and lawyer Charles Fisher was born in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Fisher was the first premier of New Brunswick and a Father of Confederation. After Confederation, Fisher served one year in Parliament before leaving to join New Brunswick’s Supreme Court.

January 31, 1809

Government and Politics 

Birth of Lemuel Wilmot

Lemuel Wilmost was born in Sunbury Co, NB and later became the province's first native-born Lieutenant-governor.

July 01, 1812

Indigenous Peoples 

Neutrality Agreement with First Nations

New Brunswick authorities negotiated agreements of neutrality with the Passamaquoddy and Maliseet First Nations.

February 16, 1813

People  

Winter march of the 104th Regiment of Foot

Governor-in-Chief Sir George Prevost ordered the transfer of soldiers from the Atlantic region to the Canadas to help protect them from impending US attacks. Soldiers from New Brunswick began their snow-shoed march from Fredericton to Québec City, eventually reaching Kingston, Ontario. Some died of frostbite on the nearly six week journey.

November 25, 1817

Resources and Environment 

Land Decisions

Land commissioners determined that Moose, Dudley and Frederick Islands belonged to the US, but that all other islands in Passamaquoddy Bay, and Grand Manan Island in the Bay of Fundy, were part of New Brunswick.

January 01, 1818

Government and Politics 

Birth of John Mercer Johnson

John Mercer Johnson was born in Liverpool, England. He was first elected to the New Brunswick assembly in July 1850 as a liberal in favour of responsible government. Johnson was a consistent advocate of Confederation and was defeated in the first New Brunswick election centred on Confederation in 1865. He led the poll in the May 1866 vote that paved the way for the London Conference, which he attended in December.

May 08, 1818

Government and Politics 

Birth of Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley

Samuel Leonard Tilley was born in Gagetown, New Brunswick. A Father of Confederation, he attended every Confederation conference. New Brunswick was not wholly supportive of unification, which resulted in Tilley losing his seat in 1865. It is believed that he proposed the name “Dominion” for the new nation at the London Conference in 1866.

March 25, 1820

Sports and Culture 

Bank of New Brunswick

The Bank of New Brunswick was incorporated, and was the first in the colony.

January 04, 1824

Government and Politics 

Birth of Peter Mitchell

Peter Mitchell, a Father of Confederation, was born in Newcastle, New Brunswick. Known for his communication skills and strong political ideals, Mitchell worked to find compromise with anti-Confederation groups in New Brunswick. Mitchell’s loyalty to the Confederation cause was rewarded with a Senate appointment in 1867.

February 10, 1829

Sports and Culture 

King's College Founded

King's College at Fredericton (later the University of New Brunswick) received a royal charter. UNB was incorporated in 1859.

January 10, 1831

Government and Politics 

NB Border Decision

The King of the Netherlands announced his decision in the dispute over the boundary of New Brunswick and Maine. The US and Britain both rejected it.

February 08, 1839

Resources and Environment 

Aroostook War

New Brunswick and Maine clashed over lumbering in what became known as the Aroostook War (sometimes called the Pork and Beans War), over the undefined border.

April 05, 1842

Sports and Culture 

First Public Museum

Abraham Gesner, a physician and geologist best known for inventing kerosene, opened Canada’s first public museum — which he called “Gesner's Museum of Natural History” — in Saint John, NB. He displayed wildlife specimens, rock and mineral samples, and a variety of artifacts. Although the museum wasn’t financially successful, its collection eventually became the basis of today’s respected New Brunswick Museum.

August 09, 1842

Resources and Environment 

Webster-Ashburton Treaty

The frontier between Canada and the US was defined by the Webster-Ashburton Treaty, which was signed by the US and Britain. The treaty also provided for the surveying, mapping and marking of the agreed NB-Maine boundary, and was completed in June 1847.

January 01, 1843

Government and Politics 

New Brunswick Women Disenfranchised

Officials in New Brunswick passed a law restricting the right to vote to men. Previously, the province’s 1795 electoral legislation had allowed “persons” meeting certain qualifications to vote. There is evidence that some women voted in New Brunswick prior to the 1843 legislation.

January 19, 1843

Sports and Culture 

Mount Allison Founded

Mount Allison Wesleyan Academy was opened in Sackville, NB.

April 17, 1851

Communication and Transportation 

Marco Polo Launched

The clipper Marco Polo was launched at Saint John, NB. It was the fastest ship in the world in its day, and set records on the run from Liverpool to Australia.

February 15, 1852

Government and Politics 

Birth of Pascal Poirier

Pascal Poirier, one of the leading figures of the Acadian Renaissance, was born in Shediac, NB. In 1885, he became the first Acadian appointed to the Senate.

February 22, 1855

People  

Birth of Grace Lockhart

Grace Lockhart, the first woman in the British Empire to receive a bachelor's degree, was born at Saint John, NB.

September 16, 1858

People  

Birth of Andrew Bonar Law

British Prime Minister Andrew Bonar Law, the only British prime minister born outside the UK, was born at Rexton, NB. As a boy, Bonar Law moved to Glasgow to live with wealthy relatives. After a successful career as an iron merchant, Bonar Law moved into politics. He became prime minister in 1922 but served only 209 days. He resigned due to ill health and died six months later.

October 10, 1864

Sports and Culture 

Collège Saint-Joseph de Memramcook founded in NB

Father Camille Lefebvre, member of the congregation of the Fathers of Sainte-Croix, founded the Collège Saint-Joseph in Memramcook, New Brunswick. The establishment of this institution was significant because the graduates quickly began to play active roles in the Acadian community and, with the help of the clergy, started questioning their own identity and asserting their aspirations as francophones in an anglophone environment. Collège Saint-Joseph was one of three colleges that merged in 1963 to become the Université de Moncton.

March 04, 1865

Government and Politics 

Tilley Defeated in NB

The New Brunswick government, led by pro-Confederation Leonard Tilley, was defeated in the only election held on the issue of Confederation.

December 04, 1866

Government and Politics 

London Conference

Sixteen delegates from the Province of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick met with the British government in London, England. During the three month conference, delegates reviewed the Québec Resolutions — creating a document that would form the basis of the British North America Act — chose "Canada" as the name of the new country and designated it a Dominion.

March 05, 1867

Communication and Transportation 

Le Moniteur Acadien founded

The first Acadian newspaper, Le Moniteur Acadien, was founded by Israël Landry in Shediac, New Brunswick. The paper, whose first issue appeared on 8 July 1867, marked the beginning of the Acadian Renaissance.

March 08, 1867

Government and Politics 

British North America Act

The British North America Act was passed by the British Parliament and given royal assent by Queen Victoria on 29 March. It came into effect on 1 July. The Act joined the colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in one federal union.

July 01, 1867

Government and Politics 

Canada Comes Into Existence

The Dominion of Canada came into existence, consisting of Ontario, Québec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

November 08, 1868

Government and Politics 

Death of John Mercer Johnson

John Mercer Johnson, a Father of Confederation, died in Chatham, New Brunswick. Johnson was as an active yet controversial participant in New Brunswick politics. Applauded for his rhetoric, Johnson was dogged by his lack of organizational ability. Johnson supported John A. Macdonald’s vision of Confederation and became a Member of Parliament in 1867.

October 04, 1869

Disasters 

Saxby Gale Hits Bay of Fundy

The Saxby Gale, a hurricane in the Bay of Fundy that coincided with an unusually high tide, caused extensive damage along the coasts of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. It flooded rivers and farmland, destroyed sections of railway, and caused over a hundred deaths. The cyclone may also have caused the formation of the isthmus that connects Partridge Island, NS, to the province’s mainland.

July 03, 1870

People  

Birth of Richard Bedford Bennett

Prime Minister R.B. Bennett, who saw the creation of the CBC and the Bank of Canada, was born at Hopewell Hill, NB.

January 01, 1871

Sports and Culture 

The Red Ensign in Canada

Soon after Confederation, Canadians began flying the Red Ensign with the quartered arms of Ontario, Québec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in the fly. As provinces joined Confederation, the arms of Canada increased in detail. By 1921 nine provinces had joined Confederation, and the shield was difficult to recognize, especially at sea.

May 17, 1871

Sports and Culture 

New Brunswick Schools

The New Brunswick government passed the Common Schools Act to strengthen and reform the school system. At the same time, it abandoned an informal system of separate schools that had grown up since the 1850s.

December 09, 1873

Government and Politics 

Death of William Henry Steeves

Father of Confederation William Henry Steeves died in Saint John, New Brunswick. A prominent businessman, Steeves turned to politics in the 1840s and supported reform during a turbulent period in New Brunswick history. After Confederation and his appointment to the Senate, Steeves became an advocate for persons with mental illnesses

June 20, 1877

Disasters 

Fire Destroys Saint John

Fire destroyed a large area of Saint John, NB. It destroyed most of the wharf-side structures, the schooners docked in the slip and much of the city core. Eleven lives were lost.

February 25, 1880

Disasters 

NB Legislature Burned

The New Brunswick legislature in Fredericton was destroyed by fire.

December 08, 1880

Government and Politics 

Death of Charles Fisher

Charles Fisher, a Father of Confederation, died in Fredericton, New Brunswick. The first premier of New Brunswick, Fisher advocated for responsible government, educational improvements and Confederation. Fisher had his share of troubles. As premier, his prohibition laws faced opposition, and he was ousted in 1861 over a lands scandal.

July 20, 1881

People  

First National Acadian Convention

The first National Acadian Convention was held in Memramcook, New Brunswick. Chaired by MP Pierre-Amand Landry, the convention drew over 5,000 people and saw the establishment of National Acadian Day on 15 August, Assumption Day.

July 25, 1883

Communication and Transportation 

The Marco Polo Runs Aground

The famously fast clipper Marco Polo, which had been launched 32 years earlier from Saint John, NB, ran aground on the coast of Prince Edward Island. Local residents rescued the crew. Among the spectators was a young Lucy Maud Montgomery, who would publish her first newspaper article, “The Wreck of the Marco Polo,” eight years later.

November 23, 1887

Communication and Transportation 

Launch of the L’Évangéline

Established by Valentin Landry in Digby, Nova Scotia, this Acadian newspaper was moved to Moncton, New Brunswick in 1905 and published until 1982.

February 13, 1891

Government and Politics 

Death of Robert Duncan Wilmot

Father of Confederation Robert Duncan Wilmot died in Sunbury County, New Brunswick. Wilmot followed his father into the shipping business and political ring. He served in the New Brunswick Assembly, as an alderman and as the mayor of Saint John.

April 04, 1894

People  

New Brunswick Women’s Enfranchisement Association Founded

The New Brunswick Women’s Enfranchisement Association was established in Saint John. It emerged from a small society seeking to become a branch of the Dominion Women’s Enfranchisement Association. Wanting to form connections outside the region, the WEA voted to send a member to the National Council of Women convention in Ottawa.

January 01, 1896

People  

Saint John Hosts Association for the Advancement of Women Convention

The Association for the Advancement of Women, an American women’s rights organization, held its convention in Saint John. In an ironic twist, noted American suffragist Julia Ward Howe stayed at the home of NB Chief Justice William Tuck, who didn’t believe women should be permitted in the public sphere.

March 14, 1899

People  

Birth of Kenneth Irving

Industrialist Kenneth Colin Irving was born at Buctouche, NB.

January 12, 1901

Sports and Culture 

Birth of Jack Humphrey

Painter Jack Weldon Humphrey was born at Saint John, NB.

January 15, 1912

People  

Women’s Equality Association Hosts Sylvia Pankhurst

The New Brunswick Women’s Equality Association hosted a public talk by famous British suffragette Sylvia Pankhurst at the Saint John Opera House. Pankhurst spoke of the power of strategic militancy. Local suffragist and social reformer Emma Skinner, a leading voice for the Women’s Enfranchisement Association, shared the stage with Pankhurst.

September 15, 1916

People  

Canadians Take Courcelette

The 22nd Battalion from Québec, the 25th from Nova Scotia, and the 26th from New Brunswick captured Courcelette and took over 1,000 prisoners.

April 17, 1919

Government and Politics 

New Brunswick Women Get Vote

New Brunswick women won the right to vote but not to hold provincial office.

September 03, 1920

Government and Politics 

Birth of Gilbert Finn

Born in Inkerman Ferry, NB, Gilbert Finn is an Acadian businessman. After working 37 years at the Assumption Mutual Life Assurance Co, he served on the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council and the Economic Council of Canada, was president of the Université de Moncton and was active in Acadian and New Brunswick community groups. His service to his people and province was rewarded with membership in the Order of Canada. Upon his retirement in 1987 he was appointed lieutenant-governor of New Brunswick, the second person of Acadian descent to be so honoured. He served in this capacity until 1994.

February 28, 1923

Government and Politics 

Peter John Veniot becomes NB premier

Born in Richibucto, NB, Peter John Veniot, "Pierre," was the first Acadian NB premier and served from 1923 to 1925. He succeeded W.E. Foster as premier in 1923 and supported public ownership of the provincial hydro system and the Maritime Rights Movement. He was recognized as the leader of Acadian Liberalism. Following the defeat of his party in 1925, he ran successfully as MP for Gloucester and was appointed postmaster general by Prime Minister W.L. Mackenzie King. He sat as an MP until his death in 1936.

March 09, 1934

Government and Politics 

NB Women Gain Right to Hold Office

New Brunswick women won the right to hold provincial office.

March 15, 1935

Sports and Culture 

Birth of Mary Pratt

Painter Mary Pratt was born at Fredericton, NB.

July 17, 1935

Sports and Culture 

Birth of Donald Sutherland

Donald Sutherland, whose career in film and television includes more than 100 roles in a truly remarkable gallery of screen personae, was born at Saint John, NB.

August 20, 1937

Resources and Environment 

Miramichi Strike

1500 millworkers and longshoremen along the Miramichi River in northern New Brunswick struck at 14 lumber firms for increased wages.

April 18, 1950

Sports and Culture 

Birth of Jane Coop

Pianist Jane Coop was born at Saint John, NB.

June 23, 1953

Sports and Culture 

Birth of Raymonde April

Photographer Raymonde April, whose practice has influenced the development of photography in Québec and Canada, was born at Moncton, NB.

February 02, 1955

Resources and Environment 

NB Record Low

New Brunswick's record low temperature of -47.2° C was measured at Sisson Dam.

July 01, 1959

People  

Hospital Plan in New Brunswick

The federal-provincial hospital plan went into effect in New Brunswick.

July 12, 1960

Government and Politics 

Louis J. Robichaud becomes premier of NB

Elected leader of the NB Liberal Party in 1958, Louis Joseph Robichaud led it to victory over Hugh J. Flemming in 1960, served as attorney general between 1960 and 1965, and as minister of youth in 1968. The first Acadian elected premier of NB, he introduced far-reaching social reforms through the centralizing Programme of Equal Opportunity. His government passed an Official Languages Act, established Université de Moncton, increased Acadian administrative influence, and encouraged the mining and forestry industries.

January 01, 1963

Indigenous Peoples 

First Nations Gain Right to Vote in New Brunswick

Status Indians in New Brunswick were granted the right to vote in provincial elections.

June 19, 1963

Sports and Culture 

Université de Moncton is founded

Université de Moncton was founded by the New Brunswick legislature in accordance with the recommendations of a royal commission. Université de Moncton began with the amalgamation of three institutions which agreed to suspend their charters in order to become affiliated colleges: Saint-Joseph (founded 1864), Sacré-Coeur (1899) and Saint-Louis (1946). As amended in 1977, the university's charter authorized campuses in each of New Brunswick's three francophone regions: Moncton, Edmundston and Shippagan.

January 01, 1969

Resources and Environment 

​Kouchibouguac National Park Established

Kouchibouguac National Park was established. Situated on the eastern New Brunswick shore of Northumberland Strait, the park is a delicate blend of beaches, sand dunes and salt marshes. A 25 km long barrier-island system shelters lagoons from the often violent sea. Several rivers flowing across the park inspired its Mi'kmaq name "river of the long tides."

September 09, 1970

Communication and Transportation 

First Deep-water Terminal

North America's first deep-water terminal for supertankers officially opened, at Mispec Point, New Brunswick, near Saint John.

April 24, 1972

Resources and Environment 

Fishing Ban

The federal government banned fishing off the New Brunswick coast and the area around Port aux Basques, Nfld, to conserve dwindling fish stocks.

May 23, 1974

Government and Politics 

New Brunswick's Bilingual Acts

New Brunswick became the first province to draft statutes in both official languages.

August 15, 1977

Sports and Culture 

Acadian Historical Village Opens

The Acadian Historical Village (Village historique acadien) is an ambitious living history site located on the Rivière-du-Nord near Caraquet, NB, in the heart of the Acadian Peninsula. It presents the rich tangible and intangible cultural heritage of the large Acadian population who settled in this province.

August 12, 1994

People  

First Congrès mondial acadien

The first Congrès mondial acadien (World Acadian Congress) was held in Moncton and various communities of southeastern New Brunswick from 12 August to 22 August 1994.

March 21, 1995

Government and Politics 

Rose-Marie Losier-Cool appointed to the Senate

Born in Tracadie-Sheila, NB, Rose-Marie Losier-Cool became the first Acadian woman appointed to the Senate.

October 07, 1997

Government and Politics 

McKenna Retires

NB premier Frank McKenna retired after 10 years in office.

May 02, 1998

Government and Politics 

Thériault Becomes Premier

Camille Henri Thériault was sworn in as premier of New Brunswick.

June 07, 1999

Government and Politics 

Conservatives Win in NB

The New Brunswick Progressive Conservative Party won a surprising landslide victory in the provincial election. Thirty-three-year-old Bernard Lord became premier.

April 28, 2000

Sports and Culture 

Northrop Frye Literary Festival Opens

The first Northrop Frye Literary Festival opened at the esteemed literary critic's hometown of Moncton, NB. Forty authors gave readings.

August 06, 2002

Government and Politics 

Moncton becomes a bilingual city

Moncton, NB, became the first officially bilingual Canadian city.

August 29, 2003

Government and Politics  Sports and Culture 

Herménégilde Chiasson is installed as New Brunswick's lieutenant-governor

Herménégilde Chiasson was born 7 April 1946 in Saint-Simon, NB. He is an artist, poet, playwright, film director and lieutenant-governor of New Brunswick. An Officer of the Order of Canada, winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award, and New Brunswick's 29th lieutenant-governor, Chiasson is considered the father of Acadian modernism and is one of Canada's foremost advocates of Acadian culture and the arts. He is also notable for his insistence upon Acadian culture being a living culture rather than a persecuted and exiled one.

September 21, 2005

Indigenous Peoples 

First Female First Nations Senator Appointed

Sandra Lovelace Nicholas, a Maliseet woman from the Tobique First Nation in New Brunswick, became the first First Nations woman appointed to the Senate.

May 08, 2009

Sports and Culture 

Edith Butler receives the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement

Born in 1942 in Paquetville, NB, Édith Butler has popularized a number of traditional Acadian songs.

September 10, 2009

Government and Politics  Indigenous Peoples 

Nicholas Appointed Lieutenant-Governor

The Honourable Graydon Nicholas was appointed New Brunswick's 30th lieutenant-governor, and was first aboriginal person in the province to hold the honour.

September 27, 2010

Government and Politics 

Alward Becomes Premier

The Progressive Conservative Party won the New Brunswick election. Party leader David Alward became the province's 32nd premier, replacing Liberal leader Shawn Graham.

November 13, 2012

Sports and Culture 

France Daigle wins the Governor General’s Literary Award

France Daigle, an Acadian author born 18 November 1953 in Dieppe, a suburb of Moncton, New Brunswick, is the leading representative of postmodern Acadian literature. Her work has sparked a great deal of interest in Québec, English Canada, and other parts of the Francophonie. She won the Governor General’s Literary Award for her masterpiece entitled Pour sûr (2011).

June 04, 2014

Disasters 

Moncton Shootings

Justin Bourque shot five RCMP officers in Moncton, NB, killing three and injuring two. A 28-hour manhunt ensued, during which time Moncton’s New North End neighbourhood was placed in lockdown. Bourque was found and taken into custody on 6 June.

July 31, 2014

People  

New Brunswick Morgentaler Clinic Closes

The Morgentaler Clinic in Fredericton, NB, closed. New Brunswick was the only province with a private abortion clinic that did not receive provincial funding for the procedure. As such, the clinic could not afford to continue performing abortions.

September 23, 2014

Government and Politics 

Brian Gallant elected premier of New Brunswick

Brian Alexander Gallant was born 27 April 1982 in the Acadian community of Shediac Bridge, New Brunswick. He was a lawyer and leader of the New Brunswick Liberal Party. At 32 years of age, he became the country’s youngest premier. Gallant is the son of Pierre Gallant, who is of Acadian heritage, and Marilyn Scholten, the daughter of Dutch immigrants.

October 31, 2014

People  

Justin Bourque Sentenced to Life

Justin Bourque, who shot five RCMP officers in Moncton, NB — killing three and injuring two — was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for 75 years.

June 13, 2015

Sports and Culture 

Matt Stairs Inducted Into Baseball Hall of Fame

Former Major League Baseball player Matt Stairs, of Fredericton, NB, was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. A 19-year veteran of the big leagues, Stairs holds the records for most pinch-hit home runs (23) and the most teams played for by a position player (13).

October 05, 2017

Resources and Environment 

Energy East Pipeline Project Cancelled

TransCanada announced that it had cancelled plans to build the Energy East pipeline, which would have carried crude oil from Alberta and Saskatchewan to refineries in Québec and New Brunswick. From there, oil would have been exported to other countries. The company cited changing market conditions and delays in assessments carried out by the National Energy Board as reasons for its decision. The project’s supporters, including premiers Rachel Notley and Brad Wall, expressed disappointment and criticized the federal government’s approach to the review process. Energy East’s opponents, including municipalities in Québec and Indigenous communities along the proposed path of the pipeline, hailed it as a victory.