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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Fort St. John’s mayor and council took their oaths during a swearing-in ceremony on Monday.

The inaugural meeting oversaw the welcoming of the city’s new mayor Lilia Hansen, as well as incumbent councilors Trevor Bolin, Gord Klassen, Jim Lequiere, Byron Stewart, and Tony Zabinski, and newcomer Sarah MacDougall. 

Hansen will replace Lori Ackerman, who was mayor for 11 years before deciding not to seek re-election.

Hansen herself was a member of council for five years before deciding to run for mayor.

“My goal, with council and staff’s help, is to work towards each day having a positive impact on our community,” Hansen said in her inaugural speech.

Hansen told that she feels strength and confidence in her council.

“I know they’re committed.”

Alongside the five returning council members was a new face, Sarah MacDougall.

MacDougall says she feels excited and motivated to start working with her fellow council members.

Right now, taking in as much as possible is top of mind for the political newcomer.

“I did try to read most things during the campaign season so I could be up to speed and hit the ground running,” said MacDougall.

Multiple municipalities in the Peace region also held their inaugural meetings on November 7th, including Dawson Creek and Fort Nelson.

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Katherine Caddel is a recent graduate of Laurentian University's English Media and Rhetoric program. They grew up in Northern Ontario and recently decided to make the North Peace their new home. When not at work, Katherine enjoys horror movies, playing video games and Dungeons and Dragons.