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City of Saint John to set aside roll-out of Recreation Card Program thanks to external sponsorship


Having discussed this with his Council colleagues and having received their general support, and pending a formal change to the previous resolutions on this matter at the next Common Council session, Mayor Darling is pleased to announce the following:

The City of Saint John will set aside the roll-out of the Recreation Card Program for the 2019-20 winter season, thanks to an external group’s commitment to sponsor the use of the City’s arenas for all regional users this year.

The Saint John Hotel Association confirmed yesterday that it will provide the equivalent of all expected regional user fees for one year, enabling the City to achieve its budget goal with respect to its arenas while giving the City and surrounding communities more time to arrive at a sustainable solution.

This means that non-residents from the region will no longer have to pay $200 + HST this year to receive access to the City arenas’ ice surfaces. All those who have already purchased a recreation card for the 2019-20 season will receive a refund. As a result, all users will be exempt from carrying recreation cards this season, removing the need for enforcement.

“This is an incredible show of leadership and support from the private sector in our community,” says Mayor Don Darling. “The Saint John Hotel Association has been our partner since 2007, and we thank them for coming to the table. This gives us the time we need to work with our colleagues in neighbouring communities to develop a new model of sharing and a permanent solution well in advance of next season.” 

Paulette Hicks, President of the Saint John Hotel Association, says it was the right thing to do for the community and province. “We are in the hospitality business, and we’ve long been a partner with both the City of Saint John and Hockey NB. Sponsoring regional users of our City’s arenas to make game time a little easier was a natural fit for us.”

Nic Jansen, Executive Director of Hockey NB agrees. “Saint John is a key hockey town in New Brunswick, and there is a ton of activity in the city throughout the season. This news will make it much easier for all of our players to hit the ice.”

Over the next 30 days, the City will inform all those who have already purchased a recreation card on the process for full refund. 

The Recreation Card Program was approved by Saint John Common Council on June 17, 2019 to support ongoing operational costs associated with the City’s arenas: the Stewart Hurley Arena, Charles Gorman Arena, Hilton Belyea Arena, Peter Murray Arena and the Lord Beaverbrook Rink. 

The City of Saint John remains focused on reducing its structural deficit in strategic, collaborative ways in the best interests of taxpayers and the whole region, with a focus on long-term sustainability.


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