Susan Ann Johnston has been elected as Hope's next mayor

Johnston’s plan to re-enter politics succeeds

Former councilor earns mayors chair after three year hiatus

Municipal politics comes naturally to Susan Ann Johnston.

Her father was a politician on the East Coast, and her late brother was the mayor of Pelly, Saskatchewan.

“I think it was passed down,” she said during an interview in her home. “It’s in my blood.”

It’s just days after she’s been elected as the new mayor of the District of Hope, and she is pondering the job ahead of her. There have been a few surprises, such as the media that’s been calling to chat.

“I’ve had four media interviews already,” she said. “I hadn’t been thinking about that part of the job.”

She’s been more concerned about the issues surrounding Hope, and getting down to what’s needed to be done. Some of the hot issues surrounding the election include the debate over who should be collecting garbage. While it was an interesting election issue, she said, the fact is that the current contractor has been contracted already.

“The contracts are signed, sealed and delivered, and now we have to live with that,” she said.

She hopes to look into the area’s recreation services, and is hoping to work with Citizens on Patrol. On Wednesday afternoon, she was getting ready to meet with senior administration to discuss each councilor’s portfolio.

Of course, Johnston is no stranger to Hope’s politics. She served on council for nine years, taking the last three off intentionally. Johnston knew she wanted to take a run for mayor while she was sitting on council, but didn’t feel prepared for the job.

She decided not to run in the 2008 election, and got involved in the community through a number of activities, including the Chamber of Commerce.

But it wasn’t just about brushing up for the next election, she said.

“We have to pay it back, always,” she said. “You can’t sit back and complain and then not doing anything about it. You get involved in your community because it’s where you live.”

On Saturday night, Johnston and her adult son walked down to the high school, just before the polls closed at 8 p.m

She had a feelings she would win, but didn’t know the numbers would be so far in her favour.

Defeating current Mayor Laurie French was bittersweet, as she regards him as a friend.

“We both love Hope, and we both want the best for Hope,” she said. “But it’s not about the people. It’s about the politics, and I really felt I could do a lot for the community.”

Johnston is one of many women that now govern municipalities in the Fraser Valley and Metro Vancouver.

“I think it’s wonderful, and I also think it’s long overdue,” she said. Premier Christy Clark’s success at the polls may warmed voters to the idea of women in political power. But strong women have been always been around.

Johnston’s looks to former Lieutenant Governor Iona Campagnolo’s career for inspiration. Campagnolo was the first female lieutenant governor, was a cabient minister under Pierre Trudeau, and holds the Order of Canada (1973).

“She was such a good role model,” Johnston said.

The new council will be sworn in on December 5 in council chambers.

The results of Saturday’s election were:

Mayor:

Susan Johnston, 898 votes

Laurie French, 682 votes

Council:

Gerry Dyble, 1193

Scott Medlock, 1117

Peter Robb, 1,085

Donna Kropp, 946

Ronald Smith, 860

Tim Hudie, 814

 

Not elected:

Cindy Koszegi, 648

Walter Rawlinson, 473

Dan Williams, 365

Robert Haley, 246

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Water fee increase for Hemlock Valley waiting on written hearing

Residents will get until Sept. 17 to provide their comments and concerns

Rescuers pluck climbers off rock face near Mt. Slesse

Chilliwack SAR team members used long-line suspension to assist climbers

Autism counselling centre could be coming to Agassiz

A rezoning application for a home on Pioneer Avenue could pave the way for the education centre

Bands on the Beach returns to Harrison for long weekend

The ninth annual two-day concert will be taking place this September

Hope’s only public wheelchair-accessible vehicle stolen

More than 300 clients left in lurch after volunteer group discovers van stolen

Sts’ailes invites adults to become engaged in Halq’eméylem with new video series

‘Qw’oqwel te Qw’oqwel’ gives language learners an immersive way to learn Halq’eméylem

More women may need breast cancer gene test, U.S. guidelines say

Recommendations aimed at women who’ve been treated for BRCA-related cancers and are now cancer-free

Couple could go to jail for taking 88 lbs. of Italian sand

Pair said they didn’t know it was illegal to take the sand, which is protected as a public good

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft: RCMP

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

VIDEO: RCMP unveil new, state-of-the-art forensics lab

The laboratory is expected to handle thousands of forensic services from across Canada annually

Scheer promises EI tax credit for new parents if Conservatives form government

The government currently taxes employment insurance benefits for new parents

Border agents carry out raid at Hastings Racecourse

Dozens were spoken to, witnesses say

B.C. Speaker tight-lipped about aide’s legislature security tour

B.C. Liberals question Alan Mullen’s drive across Canada, U.S.

Most Read