12. Mike Magee
Mayor's Chief of Staff
November 17, 2015
Age: 51 | 2014: #7
If there’s an overlooked reason why Gregor Robertson won re-election as mayor last year, it’s his chief of staff. It was Mike Magee who, during the municipal campaign, mediated between the scorched-earth and kinder-gentler camps in the Vision Vancouver party. After the election, some blamed him for Vision losses on the school board and park board, but he steered the campaign deftly enough between aggression and humility to help Vision eke out a win.
In the early 2000s Magee helped solidify Vision into a real party, and he’s been by the mayor’s side ever since. He and city manager Penny Ballem were considered the two who ran the show at city hall; now that Ballem is gone, and Magee’s close friend Sadhu Johnston is acting city manager, Magee is all the more powerful. There’s been speculation about whether he’ll decamp to the federal Liberals (he was involved in raising money for a group of union and centre-left types to run ads against Stephen Harper and the Tories). Meanwhile, he’s handling the difficult files and standing by the mayor’s side whenever Robertson gives a speech, cuts a ribbon, or meets a Pope.
To see who else made 2015’s Power 50, click here >>