Jan Reimer served as Edmonton's first woman mayor from 1989 to 1995. Prior to that, she was a City Councillor for 9 years. Her many initiatives included:
- Safer Cities (which the Conference Board of Canada cited as a model for bringing about strategic change and which the United Nations included in the United Nations’ Global Best Practices 100 List.)
- a waste management plan that saw the introduction of the blue box program, eco stations, the toxic round-up, composting, and a solution to the City’s landfill crisis
- improving the water quality of the North Saskatchewan River
- policies to promote equitable hiring practices
- an economic development strategy for the City
- the Edmonton Arts Council
- the Aboriginal Advisory Committee
- preservation of the City’s River Valley and extension of the River Valley Trail system
As Chair of the City’s budget committee, she implemented a new budgetary process, which won the City an International Award of Excellence.
She has received a Woman of Distinction Special Award from the YWCA, an award from SPARE (Society for the Protection of Architectural Resources in Edmonton) for her role in developing the City's historical policies and the restoration of the Gibson Block, and was made an honorary member of the International Association of Mayors of Northern Cities. She has recently received the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal and was one of the 100 Edmontonians of the Century recognized during the City’s centennial celebrations and was one of the YWCA’s Women of Distinction. Most recently, Jan was one of six Canadians who received the Governor General’s Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case (2006) and the University of Alberta’s Alumni Award of Excellence(2007) for her ability to find local solutions to global problems and for being a force for positive change throughout her career.
She continues to work on the Senior Friendly Program to combat ageism in our society, a project chosen by the federal government to be undertaken on a national basis for 1999, the International Year of Older Persons. The program also won a 1999 Laurel Award for innovative programming in the non-profit sector and is now being delivered by seniors’ groups across in Canada.
Jan Reimer chaired the Red Shield Campaign for the Salvation Army and served on their Community Advisory Committee. She recently completed a term as a member of the Federal Government Committee on Judicial Appointments and was a member of the Child Welfare Caseload Review Committee. In addition, she serves on the Canadian Standards Association’s Technical Committee on Design for Aging, which developed a standard for products, services and environments for seniors and the Steering Committee for the Premier’s Roundtable on Family Violence and Bullying.
In addition, Jan Reimer is the Provincial Co-ordinator for the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters, an organization that supports the sheltering movement in Alberta and is a well-known resource on family violence issues and woman abuse. She has served in this capacity for the last five years and was instrumental in achieving core funding, salary increases to market levels for shelter workers, and in realizing a family violence prevention strategy for the province of Alberta
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