Peace Region mayors named two of B.C.'s most influential women

Two Peace Region mayors are among the most influential women in the province, according to BC Business.

On Wednesday, the magazine released its list of the top-35 most influential women in B.C. The list includes Fort St. John Mayor Lori Ackerman, who was recognized for working "steadfastly" to make sure her city benefits from the Site C dam. 

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She was joined by Hudson's Hope Mayor Gwen Johansson, who was recognized for being a powerful voice of opposition against the dam. 

Johansson said it was an honour to be included. 

"I have to say that I have never noticed that influence," she joked. "I can't put my finger on anything that has happened because of my voice."

But, she added, it's nice for the community to know that people are listening to their concerns.

Fort St. John Mayor Lori Ackerman.

The people most directly impacted by projects such as Site C should receive the greatest benefits and compensation, Johansson told Alaska Highway News. 

"That's not how this works unfortunately," she said. 

Johansson has advocated for a Peace River version of the Columbia Basin Trust, which compensates communities on the Columbia River impacted by hydroelectric projects. 

"The Peace has never received that kind of consideration," she said. "You can talk to individuals and point that out and the say 'oh, that's right.' But nothing ever comes of it."

Ackerman could not be reached for comment.

BC Business consulted with a panel of experts to decide who would be on the list.

The panel included, among others: Fiona Douglas-Crampton, president and CEO of the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education, and chair of the Vancouver Board of Trade's Women's Leadership Circle; Tracey McVicar, managing partner, CAI Capital Management Co.; and Rebecca Scott, director of public affairs for Global Public Affairs.

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