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Politics with kindness: Former mayor Lenore Harwood left lasting legacy in Hudson’s Hope

Harwood helped transform community with new curling rink, pool, seniors housing, visitor centre, medical clinic
lenore-harwood-1996
Mayor Lenore Harwood at her desk in 1996.

The Hudson’s Hope community is mourning the loss of long-time former Mayor Lenore Harwood after she lost her battle with pancreatic cancer last week.

Harwood contributed to numerous efforts, initiatives, and projects in the district for well over 20 years, and is being fondly remembered by friends and family for putting community first in everything she did.

Wally Harwood says his wife always practiced politics with kindness in mind at all levels of government, bringing an apolitical perspective and the tenacity to do what's right. 

“When she saw something that needed to be done, she would go all for it," he said. "She spent a lot of time dealing with people in the various ministries. It didn’t matter whether they were NDP or Social Credit, she would just put that all aside. There was no politics in what she did. It was all about doing what’s right.”

Harwood first entered municipal politics in 1985 as a district councillor before taking the mantle as mayor in 1993, a position she held until her retirement in 2008. She received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her service in 2012.

Harwood's highlights included fundraising for a new curling rink, replacing the town’s old, aging swimming pool, developing new seniors housing, creating the town’s log cabin visitor’s centre, and pushing the Ministry of Health for a new medical centre after it burned down in 1995.

Harwood was also a strong advocate at the regional level, helping to create provincial fair share agreements with the Peace River Regional District in 1994, which ensured that millions of dollars generated through oil and gas flowed back to the region.

Electoral Director Karen Goodings (Area B) was chair of the PRRD board at that time, and said Harwood worked hard to make life better for all residents in Northeast B.C. Harwood never shied away from a difficult task, she said.

“We worked on a lot of projects together. She was always dynamic and held her punch. She was great,” said Goodings. “She was a small community person, but her thinking was always regional – she wanted what was best for everybody, not just Hudson’s Hope or just one area.”

Dave Heiberg, the current mayor of Hudson's Hope, says Harwood will be greatly missed by the community. District flags continue to sit at half-mast in her memory.

“She’s deeply missed and a very important part of our community,” said Heiberg.


Tom Summer, Alaska Highway News, Local Journalism Initiative. Email Tom at tsummer@ahnfsj.ca