Mike Hudema, Age: 37
Hometown: Medicine Hat
Influential Because: He makes a big spill about spills
Oil spills never tell their own stories in Alberta. For those, especially in 2013, the province came to rely on Mike Hudema. He grew up in Medicine Hat, got his law degree at the University of Alberta and then spent some formative time in India. But it wasn’t until Hudema returned and started being bold about his politics that Alberta took notice of him. In 2004, Hudema set up a fake open-pit mine on Anne McLellan’s constituency office lawn. He’s been doing similarly startling – perhaps even abrasive – things ever since. His foray into the world of politics, as an actual politician, was highly unsuccessful: in 2001, he placed third out of four candidates when he ran for the Alberta NDP, in Edmonton Meadowlark. Still, back in the world of public perception, Hudema is becoming a force. He drills home his message to Albertans and beyond – that the oil sands are a dirty business.