2. Gregor Robertson
Mayor, City of Vancouver
November 17, 2015
Age: 51 | 2014: #3
What a difference a year makes. Before last November’s election Gregor Robertson had to apologize publicly to save his Vision Vancouver party from what looked like sure defeat. Vision’s win at council had a whiff of scraping through, though the mayor himself got a record-setting 83,000 votes. And he’s taken some hits, from friends and political allies, over the purchase and sale of his home, his divorce, and his relationship with Chinese-born pop star Wanting Qu.
But he and his party still hold the reins as incredible change sweeps through Vancouver these days, and Robertson has lately been flexing his muscles and scoring some wins. Over the objections of some in his party, he decided that the rule of city manager Penny Ballem was over and terminated her contract. He’s garnered attention for his attendance at international climate-change gatherings in D.C., Paris, and the Vatican. During his New York trip in September he got starry-eyed coverage from Bloomberg, which supported his claims that Vancouver has transformed itself from a resource town to a high-tech hub.
No Vancouver mayor has ever given the city such a high international profile, and the Conference Board of Canada says that Vancouver’s economy is poised to perform better than that of any other city in the country. Politics, like comedy, is all about timing.
To see who else made 2015’s Power 50, click here >>