16. Rich Coleman
Minister of Natural Gas Development & Housing, Deputy Premier
November 17, 2015
Age: 61 | 2014: #4
Not for nothing is Rich Coleman referred to as “Minister of Everything.” First elected in 1996, he’s held many of government’s trickiest ministries and knows where all the bodies are buried. His reputation was forged under Premier Gordon Campbell and continues under Christy Clark.
When Clark needed someone to handle her most important file—liquefied natural gas—Coleman was handed the job. It may be his toughest assignment yet. With a provincial election only two years off, the government is desperate to ink at least one major LNG deal. After all, the riches that LNG is supposed to deliver formed the basis of Clark’s 2013 election win. Of course, there have been setbacks. The company expected to be the first to sign a major deal, the Malaysian energy giant Petronas, is dealing with horrible publicity after an audit exposed catastrophic lapses in safety at their operations. To make matters worse, the Malaysian government, which owns Petronas, has been rocked by a scandal involving the country’s PM, Najib Razak.
Through it all, Coleman has remained a picture of calm. He was one of the few who assured naysayers that the Liberals would win another majority in 2013, and he’s anxious to show LNG doubters—who are also legion—that they, too, are wrong.
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