By Abdelkader Bouaziz
For the past three days, we have been talking about Fredericton where four people were shot dead, including two policemen. The shooting ended with the arrest of a suspect who is accused of four premeditated murders. The city has never had to deal with something like this. I know it because I lived there for the last 3 years. It’s known with its peacefulness “atmosphere” and the legendary kindness of its residents.
Fredericton. The smallest “provincial capital” of Canada. I call it the silent Victorian, because there are many houses with a Victorian character and it inspires a feeling that imposes tranquility.
While strolling through the arteries of the city, it looks like we are in the 1800’s, where the structure of the houses makes us think of an open-air museum of Victorian houses. Its down-town exudes a singular charm and the Saint John River (that cross the city in north and south area) contributes to this peaceful feeling.
People are courteous, and they exchange a “good morning! … hello! … hi! …” every time they cross each other, in the street, in the supermarket, in the library, in the park,… and we can’t talk about the city without mentioning the City’s traditional market he Fredericton Boyce Farmers Market. Recognized as one of Canada’s top 10 community markets, it’s a Saturday morning (6am-1pm) gathering spot, for fresh and healthy foods, craft, creativity and most of all: a place of ritual meeting of its inhabitants who keep this tradition of long time.
There is rarely traffic jam during peak hours (no more than 10), the nature is abundant; Odell Park, the centrepiece of the city’s parklands and highly acclaimed by its citizen, takes up almost a quarter of the southern part of the city. Renowned as one of the most beautiful parks, of its kind in Canada. It contributes also to this feeling of a rural aspect within the city itself.
Numerous gatherings, weddings, graduation parties or other occasions have been organized in this beautiful place, and it has served as a backdrop to pictures shooting, in addition of being a great place to do family/friend picnic. We can walk there and feel the sights and sounds of the 4 seasons.
Fredericton residents are known for helping out when a major emergency or disaster occurs. Statistic Canada revealed that more than half (57%) of people who experienced an emergency received help during or immediately after the event. Family members (26%) and friends (17% were the most common sources of help.
Living in small city, having shorter commute times comparing to bigger cities, having smaller population densities, and living close to families, foster strong social ties and feelings of belonging. And that is what I felt when I used to live in Fredericton.
Our heart thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of this tragedy and their families!
About the writer : Living in Canada for almost 15 years, originally from Morocco, spending all his childhood in France, Abdelkader is active in social-cultural life of immigrants, in Montreal QC, where he used to live for 3 years, then Ottawa ON for 6 years, then Fredericton NB 3 years and a half, before moving back to Ottawa. He contributes voluntarily with writings and stories that touch lives of immigrants in Canada. He wrote columns in immigration websites and answered interviews in a few blogs for expatriates.
Graduated from the National School of Public Administration of Quebec, with a master degree as International Analyst, he has a particular interest in immigration news, international student experiences, cultural activities and social media.
He discovered his passion for writing during his first years of immigration, when it became clear that sharing the daily life of an immigrant and telling stories, are how he will appease the struggling of a new life for an immigrant, in Canada.
His moto is ” Dream about your future, learn from the past, and live your present!”