Sihota, Sidhu Make Vancouver’s Power 50 List


VANCOUVER – Vancouver Magazine’s annual Vancouver Power 50  list is out and it has two prominent Indo-Canadians on it. Political power player Moe Sihota and business topper David Sidoo are the only Indo-Canadians to make the list which is topped by Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson as the most powerful.

Sihota and Sidoo were presented with power ranking plaques from Lori Chalmers, Publisher of Vancouver Magazine, on Monday night at a reception hosted by top Vancouver realtor Bob Rennie at this Gallery in Chinatown, which was also attended by LINK editor R. Paul Dhillon as well as other prominent Indo-Canadians such as commercial realty king Avtar Bains and Kwantlen professor Chamkaur Cheema.

Moe Sihota, the current President of BC NDP, makes the list at 45. The Indo-Canadian “GoldenBoy” of Canadian politics made his history when he was elected in 1986 as the first ever Indo-Canadian to be elected MLA in Canada. He was a star in the NDP governments in the ’90s with a political charisma and know-how. Sihota was a gifted speaker, a powerful figure in the Sikh community (where he remains a cherished figure), and a respected environment minister. While Sihota — a position that won’t return him to cabinet but could restore some of his political influence if the NDP wins the next election. Age 57

David Sidoo, a well known investment banker and philanthropist, comes in on the list at 47. Sidoo, who makes a comeback on the list after a brief absence, is a former CFL star and played football for the Saskatchewan Roughrider. He is still riding high on last year’s news that his East West Petroleum Corp. won exploration rights to 400 square kilometres of oil-rich northeast India (this in addition to producing assets in Egypt and Canada, plus positions in Egypt, Yemen, and Eastern Europe). Closer to home, he’s ascended to angel status for his support of breakfast programs for schoolkids in Vancouver and New West and, through his foundation with wife Manjy, high-school and university sports programs (he’s UBC’s largest sports scholarship donor), domestic-violence initiatives with the VPD and RCMP, and arts events through the Vancouver Opera and David Foster Foundation. His standing on this year’s list, though, rests equally on his political connections: he’s become a go-to figure for journalists and lawyers, developers and politicians in the Indo-Canadian community locally. Oh, and in February, UBC renamed its Thunderbird Stadium field for the guy. Age 53

How does Vancouver magazine measure power?

“By looking at who signs the deal or who drafts it in the first place? Who gets calls returned or who can block them at will? We reward all these players, and pay special attention to the innovators, those with the ability to thrive in uncertain times,” Vancouver Magazine editor John Burns said.