Fort St. John, Hudson’s Hope Mayors make B.C.’s most influential women list

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VANCOUVER, B.C. — BC Business posted their second-annual top-35 most influential women in B.C. on Wednesday, and the publication has noted a handful of women with ties to the Peace Region have made the list.

“As with last year’s feature, this is far from a definitive list; there are many more names that were considered or could be considered,” BC Business wrote. “Rather, it is a snapshot of 35 women who are making a difference in 2016—in very specific and meaningful ways.”

Fort St. John Mayor Lori Ackerman is one of those women, along with Hudson’s Hope Mayor Gwen Johansson, and Site C project manager, Diane McSherry. BC Hydro’s CEO Jessica MacDonald was also on the list.

Much of BC Business’s discourse about each woman was tied to Site C.

BC Business wrote that Mayor Ackerman was named on the list because, ‘as the leader of a small northern community facing big changes imposed by natural resource projects, Ackerman has seen the negative impacts of the LNG boom, including stretched health services and depleted affordable housing, and she has steadfastly worked to make sure Fort St. John will benefit from Site C.”

Mayor of Hudson's Hope, Gwen Johansson. (Photo by Hudson's Hope City Hall)
Mayor of Hudson’s Hope, Gwen Johansson. (Photo by Hudson’s Hope City Hall)

“As of the tiny community of Hudson’s Hope in northeastern B.C. — and a former BC Hydro board member — (Gwen) Johansson has been a powerful voice for sober second thought as the province pushes ahead with Site C,” the publication wrote about the Hudson’s Hope Mayor.

“She has been a consistent voice for Hudson’s Hope, long advocating for the oversight of the BC Utilities Commission, which was excused from its usual role in scrutinizing public projects by the BC Liberal government in 2010.”

Of BC Hydro’s influential women, BC Business noted of CEO Jessica MacDonald, her position is ‘that Site C is the right solution to provide clean, reliable and affordable electricity for future generations, and that almost a decade of research and consultation has been enough.’

McSherry, the top manager of Site C, has ‘ushered in the trucks to carve out access roads, build foundations and set up temporary work camps,’ said BC Business.

B.C.’s Premier Christy Clark was named the most influential woman on the list.