Moe Sihota

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Moe Sihota
Moe Sihota.jpg
Minister Responsible for Constitutional Affairs of British Columbia
In office
November 5, 1991 – September 15, 1993
Premier Michael Harcourt
Minister of Labour and Consumer Services of British Columbia
In office
November 5, 1991 – September 15, 1993
Premier Michael Harcourt
Preceded by James Thomas Rabbitt
Succeeded by Dan Miller
Minister of Environment, Lands and Parks of British Columbia
In office
September 15, 1993 – May 10, 1995
Premier Michael Harcourt
Preceded by John Cashore
Succeeded by Elizabeth Cull
Minister of Multiculturalism & Human Rights of British Columbia
In office
September 15, 1993 – May 10, 1995
Premier Michael Harcourt
Preceded by Anita Hagen
Succeeded by Ujjal Dosanjh
Minister of Environment, Lands and Parks of British Columbia
In office
August 16, 1995 – June 17, 1996
Premier Michael Harcourt, Glen Clark
Preceded by Elizabeth Cull
Succeeded by Paul Ramsey
Minister of Education, Skills and Training of British Columbia
In office
June 17, 1996 – December 12, 1996
Premier Glen Clark
Preceded by Paul Ramsey
Succeeded by Joy MacPhail
Minister of Labour of British Columbia
In office
June 17, 1996 – December 12, 1996
Premier Glen Clark
Preceded by Penny Priddy
Succeeded by Joy MacPhail
Minister Responsible for Public Service of British Columbia
In office
October 20, 1998 – July 21, 1999
Premier Glen Clark
Succeeded by Helmut Giesbrecht
Minister of Social Development and Economic Security of British Columbia
In office
July 21, 1999 – February 24, 2000
Premier Glen Clark, Dan Miller
Succeeded by Jan Pullinger
Personal details
Political party New Democrat

Munmohan Singh "Moe" Sihota (born 1955) is a former Canadian broadcaster and politician.

He was born in Duncan, British Columbia and attended St. George's Boys School, Vancouver, on scholarship. He earned a bachelor's degree in social work from the University of British Columbia in 1977, was awarded a scholarship to Warwick School of Economics, London, 1981 and a law degree from the University of Victoria in 1982. He was a social worker in White Rock in 1978-9 and an attorney in Esquimalt in 1984.

Political career[edit]

His political career began during his undergraduate years at UBC:

  • Ombudsman, UBC (1975).
  • Vice president, UBC, Board of Governors (1977).
  • President, Young New Democrats (1978).
  • President, Federal Riding of Cowichan/Malahat/The Islands (1981–84).
  • Successfully managed election campaigns for Frank Mitchell (1983) and Jim Manly (1984).
  • Alderman, Esquimalt (1984)
  • Elected M.L.A. for Esquimalt/Port Renfrew (1986).
  • The first Indian-Canadian to be elected to any federal or provincial riding and the first Indian-Canadian cabinet minister in a province of Canada.

He served in several cabinet posts under the New Democratic governments of Mike Harcourt, Glen Clark and Ujjal Dosanjh, but was forced to resign from cabinet several times.

During his career, he created 200 new Provincial Parks, extended Workers Compensation Coverage to farmworkers and changed BC logging practices.He also served on the Board of Directors of BC Hydro and Power Authority, Insurance Corporation of BC, Workers Compensation Board and the BC Buildings Corporation.[1]

Controversy[edit]

BC Law Society misconduct[edit]

Sihota resigned as Minister of Labour in 1995 after the Law Society of BC suspended his license to practice for 18 months, due to finding him guilty of professional misconduct.[2] He was reinstated to Cabinet in 1996, but resigned again December of the same year due to new allegations of corruption, abuse of office, and conflict of interest. The new allegations were due to actions he performed while in office that benefited his friend and former Vancouver MP Herb Dhaliwal.

BC Hydro appointment[edit]

In 1991 Sihota helped his friend Dhaliwal become appointed to the board of B.C. Hydro in 1991, after Dhaliwal provided Sihota with a substantial mortgage guarantee.[3] The opposition BC Liberals then requested an investigation by Conflict Commissioner Ted Hughes. Hughes later found that Sihota had not been in a conflict of interest. However, Hughes also said at the time of the finding that had the new laws been in place during Dhaliwal's appointment in 1991, Sihota would have been found to be in a conflict of interest.[4]

Limousine licences[edit]

In 1996 Dhaliwal had applied to the Motor Carrier Commission for several licenses related to a limousine company partly owned by Dhaliwal and run by Sihota's cousin. It was later revealed by the former Commission chairman that Sihota had made repeated calls and wrote several letters to the commission in relation to Dhaliwal's applications.[3] Sihota again resigned from cabinet in 1996. A new investigation was started not by the Conflict of Interest Commissioner, but by fellow NDP party member and Glen Clark deputy minister Doug McArthur. Although McArthur found that Sihota had "exercised poor judgment and bullied commission staff", he found that Sihota had not been in a conflict of interest.[4] Glen Clark then reappointed Sihota back to cabinet in 1998.

Post Glen Clark era[edit]

After retiring from politics following the NDP's defeat in the, 2001 provincial election, Sihota became a television host for The New VI (formerly A-Channel now CTV2) in Victoria. He left the station in 2004 when his phone-in show, VILand Voices, was cancelled due to re-organization. He currently provides political commentary for CBC Radio's Early Edition Political Panel.

Since 2004, Sihota has pursued several business opportunities and is currently a part-owner and director of the Northern Bear Golf Club (Edmonton, AB), Four Points Sheraton (Victoria, BC) and Walton's Lakefront Resort (Osoyoos, BC).

BC NDP president[edit]

In November 2009, Sihota was elected to the position of President of the BC New Democratic Party. In October 2010, the media revealed that Sihota was being paid a salary for his position as President,[5] with payments from The Canadian Union of Public Employees, United Steelworkers and the BC Federation of Labour.[6] Sihota was elected to a second term at the 2011 party convention.[7]

Sihota, along with party leader Adrian Dix, faced criticism for running a poor campaign following the NDP's unexpected defeat in the 2013 provincial election. On September 21, 2013, the day after Dix announced his intention to step down as leader, Sihota announced that he would be stepping down as party president at the end of his term in November 2013.[7] He was credited with modernizing the NDP's fundraising capacity and implementing an outreach to the business community during his term.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Sihota currently lives in Victoria, British Columbia and is married with two children, Rajan and Karina.

References[edit]

External links[edit]