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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. -The Fort St. John Chamber of Commerce hosted a Speaker Luncheon on Thursday with departing Mayor Lori Ackerman.

During the luncheon, Mayor Ackerman sat down with chamber of commerce 1st Vice Chair Adam Reaburn, to reflect upon her accomplishments during her 11-year tenure as the first female Mayor of Fort St. John.

Ackerman emphasized the importance of recognizing the difference in environment between the Peace region in contrast to other parts of the province and left a departing message for Fort St. John community members. 

“We either have winter here or it’s construction and there are communities out there that wish they had the construction. We do in one year what most municipalities do in 10 years,” said Ackerman. 

“People need to start looking at the bright side of things. A detour? Wow. That means something’s happening,” she continued. 

“Sometimes we get caught up in the negativity that’s going on.”

Ackerman encouraged community members to take the taxpayer debt, infrastructure investments, and amenities of other communities into perspective. 

“You’re gonna find home when you come across the South Taylor Hill, and you see Fort St. John,” said Ackerman.  

From building relationships with our neighbouring First Nations communities to improving the city’s infrastructure, Ackerman revisited her achievements with pride.

“Back in 2003, over 50 per cent of our roads in this community were gravel with open ditches,” said Ackerman. 

“We worked really hard, and although it was maybe halfway through my term as mayor, we had put in well over $225 million into roads and related infrastructure.”

Fort St. John Mayor Lori Ackerman’s last day in office is November 7th. 

She will be replaced by the newly elected, former city council member, Lilia Hansen. 

The outgoing mayor will begin her new position as CEO of Blueberry River Resources Ltd. this Friday.

*Adam Raeburn is the owner of Moose FM and Energeticcity.ca

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Jordan Prentice is a multimedia reporter for energeticcity.ca and a recent graduate of BCIT’s Broadcast and Online Journalism program. Born and raised in Vancouver, Jordan’s passion for broadcast and journalism began with her dream of becoming a hockey journalist and play-by-play commentator. During her schooling, Jordan discovered a deep passion for reporting on Indigenous issues, culture and affairs. Jordan is also passionate about connecting with and listening to stories from people...