John Winston Foran (March 13, 1952 – September 6, 2023) was not just a revered figure in New Brunswick politics but also a dedicated police officer. Throughout his life, he was committed to serving his community, evident in both his political endeavors and his tenure in the police force.
Born in Newcastle, New Brunswick, Canada, Foran’s inclination towards community service was evident early on. He was an active member of the local school board and committed four terms to the Newcastle municipal council. His leadership qualities shone through as he served roles such as deputy mayor and acting mayor. This was before Newcastle merged into the larger City of Miramichi.
In a seamless transition, once Miramichi was established as a city, Foran took on the role of superintendent for the Miramichi Police Force. This came after his commendable tenure as the chief of police for Chatham.
Foran’s political journey began as early as 1986 when he served on the Newcastle town council, a commitment he upheld until 1995. However, with the fusion of Newcastle into Miramichi, he chose to retire from municipal politics to focus on his role as the city’s police superintendent.
Foran’s dedication to his community and state was reflected in his longstanding association with the New Brunswick Liberal Association. Riding on their ticket, Foran marked his victory in the legislature in the 2003 election. His keen insights were vital when he served in the parliamentary opposition shadow cabinet, specifically as the critic for Public Safety.
His dedication and hard work led him to be re-elected in the 2006 elections. This victory saw him ascend to the position of Minister of Public Safety under Premier Shawn Graham. Among his notable achievements was the successful introduction of Bill 75, the New Brunswick Building Code Act, which received Royal Assent on June 19, 2009. Despite the controversies, such as the one surrounding Wayne Mercer’s courtroom, the act remains in place.
However, the ebbs and flows of politics meant that Foran, along with the government he was part of, faced defeat in the 2010 elections.
His love for community service drew him back to municipal politics, and in 2012, he was once again elected to the Miramichi city council. 2014 saw him vie for the Liberal nomination in the expanded riding of Miramichi Bay-Neguac, though he was defeated by Lisa Harris.
Sadly, on September 6, 2023, John Winston Foran passed away at the age of 71. His death came after a brief yet courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. His legacy, marked by unwavering commitment to his community and state, continues to inspire many in New Brunswick and beyond.