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The Canadian Business Journal
Prince Rupert on a straight line but is 455km
away by road and about a 1,500km drive north-
west of Vancouver.
“Stewart was built during the gold rush time
and it became a mining town and the spirit of that
industry is still alive. Mining is always on our radar,
but we do have a diversified economy and we
want people to know that,” begins Mayor Durant.
After emigrating from Russia 20 years ago
Durant got married and settled in Stewart where
she has served two terms on council and is now
in her second term as mayor. Drury is just three
months into his new job after coming from
Prince Rupert where he had been working with
Metlakatla First Nation where he held the posi-
tion of Service Enterprise Director. By the way,
Drury’s permanent home of more than 30 years is
a 3.5-hour drive north of Stewart. Distance is all a
matter of perspective depending on what part of
Canada one happens to live.
As the CAO, Drury executes the strategic
direction for the community, which is deter-
mined by the mayor and council. It is his job
to harness the resources and use them as
efficiently as possible to achieve those strate-
gic objectives. Working alongside Drury in the
town’s main office are three other full-time
employees – a chief financial officer, an admin-
istrative assistant and the clerk. The public
works department can fluctuate from six to 10
people depending on the seasonal require-
ments. “A big part of my mandate and what I’ve
been tasked with involves integrating the capital
infrastructure. It needs to be rehabilitated and
there will be a main focus on that. We’re clos-
ing our landfill and building
a transfer station in
the next year,” he says. “My focus is on making
sure that the dollars we have are spent wisely for
such things as water, wastewater and the water
distribution system in the community.”
Open for Business
A small community such as Stewart faces many of
the same obstacles as a larger centre, but with a
smaller resource pool to work from. There is the
ongoing requirement to deliver essential services
such as water and sewer and snow removal, the
latter of which can be challenging given that it’s
not unheard of for Stewart to receive up to three
District of Stewart Mayor Galina Durant
1,2,3,4 6,7,8,9,10,11,12
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