5 Nova Scotians named in 2020 top 100 most powerful women in Canada

RCMP Const. Heidi Stevenson is shown in an RCMP handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-RCMP

Three women who lost the lives in service in 2020, a deputy minister and a journeyperson have been named in this year’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada by the Women’s Executive Network (WXN), the province announced on Wednesday.

According to the province, the three women were named in this year’s new category, Women of Courage.

“This award recognizes women who champion our country and its values with courage and compassion, even as it means risking their careers, reputations and, sometimes, their lives,” the province said in press release.

Read more: Nova Scotia RCMP officer remembered by loved ones: ‘The gentle smile when you needed it most’

The three women are as follows:

  • Const. Heidi Stevenson served as a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for 23 years and lost her life in the line of duty, attempting to stop and apprehend an active shooter in April.
  • Sub-Lt. Abbigail Cowbrough was a naval officer serving on HMCS Fredericton. At the age of 23, she was one of six Canadians who died in a helicopter crash during a retrieval exercise in the Mediterranean Sea in April.
  • Capt. Jenn Casey, a public affairs officer with the Canadian Snowbird team, died in May in a jet crash during Operation Inspiration, the Snowbird’s salute to Canadians and frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also named among the top 100 is the longest-serving deputy minister in Nova Scotia, Kelliann Dean, who was chosen as a CIBC Executive Leader.

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The province said she has served and advised premiers and ministers since 2004. Currently, she is the deputy minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Trade and the chief executive officer for the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration.

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The other award recipient is Heidi Jamieson-Mills, senior vice-president of finance, reporting and treasury for Sobeys Inc. who received an Intact Professionals award, and Raelynn Hawco, a power technician journeyperson who is being recognized for excellence in the skilled trades.

In a statement, Premier Stephen McNeil is congratulated the five award recipients and their families.

“These incredible women should be recognized and celebrated for their remarkable work in their professional and personal lives, and for their sacrifices,” said Premier McNeil.

“The next generation of girls and women can take inspiration from these award winners as they pursue their own goals.”


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