FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The City of Fort St. John will be welcoming a group of women leaders from Peru and Columbia as part of an international study tour on gender equality and women’s empowerment this weekend.
The delegation, which will be visiting the Energetic City from May 6th – 13th, will tour local resource facilities, educational institutions, and visit non-profit organizations. The women, who are sponsored through a program with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, will also meet with local First Nations, business and community leaders to discuss inclusivity and gender diversity.
“We are delighted to welcome these women to the City of Fort St. John and share our community’s expertise,” said Mayor Lori Ackerman. “As a resource-based city, we have worked hard to create a sustainable and inclusive community through collaborative partnerships, and hope to share this knowledge with these remarkable community leaders who are making a difference in Peru and Columbia.”
In 2017, City Council passed a resolution to sign an agreement with the mayors of Chumbivilcas province in the Cusco region of Peru to work on strengthening the planning of local economic development and the inclusion of women in municipal development. The program had a delegation including Mayor Ackerman visit the Cusco region last year to help local governments with sustainable economic development planning, government transparency and accountability in mining areas, and share best practices in effective local government operation.
The goal of the program is to help build more sustainable and inclusive communities in resource-based regions of Columbia and Peru through learning opportunities from their Canadian counterparts. The Sustainable and Inclusive Communities in Latin America is a five-year program and funded through grants from Global Affairs Canada.
A number of other municipalities from B.C. and across Canada that have successfully diversified their local communities from single-employer and/or resource-based economies have also participated in the program.