Paul Hellyer
Hellyer, c. 1967
Minister of Transport
In office
September 19, 1967 – April 30, 1969
Prime MinisterLester B. Pearson
Pierre Trudeau
Preceded byJack Pickersgill
Succeeded byJames Armstrong Richardson
Senior Minister
In office
April 30, 1968 – April 23, 1969
Prime MinisterPierre Trudeau
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byVacant
Minister of National Defence
In office
April 22, 1963 – September 18, 1967
Prime MinisterLester B. Pearson
Preceded byGordon Churchill
Succeeded byLéo Cadieux
Member of Parliament
for Trinity
In office
December 15, 1958 – July 7, 1974
Preceded byEdward Lockyer
Succeeded byAideen Nicholson
Member of Parliament
for Davenport
In office
June 27, 1949 – June 9, 1957
Preceded byJohn Ritchie MacNicol
Succeeded byDouglas Morton
Personal details
Paul Theodore Hellyer

(1923-08-06)August 6, 1923
Waterford, Ontario, Canada
DiedAugust 8, 2021(2021-08-08) (aged 98)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Political partyCanadian Action Party (1997–2017)
Other political
Liberal (1949–1971, 1982–1997),
Independent (1971),
Action Canada (1971–1972),
Progressive Conservative (1972–1982)
Ellen Jean Ralph
(m. 1945; died 2004)

Sandra Bussiere
(m. 2005)
Children2 sons, 1 daughter
Alma materUniversity of Toronto (BA)
Military service
Branch/service Canadian Army
Years of service1939–1946
Rank Gunner
UnitRoyal Canadian Artillery

Paul Theodore Hellyer PC (August 6, 1923 – August 8, 2021) was a Canadian engineer, politician, writer, and commentator. He was the longest serving member of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada at the time of his death.[2]

Early life

Hellyer was born and raised on a farm near Waterford, Ontario, the son of Lulla Maude (Anderson) and Audrey Samuel Hellyer.[3] Upon completion of high school, he studied aeronautical engineering at the Curtiss-Wright Technical Institute of Aeronautics in Glendale, California, graduating in 1941. While studying, he also obtained a private pilot's licence.[4]

After graduation, Hellyer was employed at Fleet Aircraft in Fort Erie, Ontario, which was then making training craft for the Royal Canadian Air Force as part of Canada's war effort in World War II. He attempted to become an RCAF pilot himself, but was told no more pilots were necessary, after which he joined the Royal Canadian Artillery and served in Canada as a gunner for the duration of the war.[4]

Hellyer earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto in 1949.[4]

Early political career

Hellyer in the 1940s (age early 20s)

First elected as a Liberal in 1949 federal election in the riding of Davenport, he was the youngest person ever elected to that point in the House of Commons of Canada. He served a brief stint as Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of National Defence. He was then named Associate Minister of National Defence in the cabinet of Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent. This post was short-lived, though, as Hellyer lost his seat when the St. Laurent government lost the 1957 election two months later.[citation needed]

Hellyer returned to parliament in a 1958 by-election in the neighbouring riding of Trinity, and became an opposition critic of John Diefenbaker's Progressive Conservative government.[5]

Cabinet minister and Liberal leadership candidate

When the Liberals returned to power in the 1963 election, Hellyer became Minister of National Defence in the cabinet of Lester B. Pearson. This was the most significant period in Hellyer's political career. As Minister of Defence, he oversaw the drastic and controversial integration and unification of the Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Army, and the Royal Canadian Air Force into a single organization, the Canadian Forces.[citation needed]

Hellyer contested the 1968 Liberal leadership election, placing second on the first ballot, but slipped to third on the second and third ballots, and withdrew to support Robert Winters on the fourth ballot, in which Pierre Trudeau won the leadership. He served as Trudeau's Transport Minister.

Politics 1969–1988

In 1969, Hellyer issued a major report on housing and urban renewal in which he advocated incremental reforms rather than new government programs. He called for greater flexibility in Canada's mortgage loan system, and encouraged corporate pension funds to invest more money in housing programs.[6] His approach did not meet with universal acceptance. Some provincial and municipal governments were openly skeptical,[7] and Heward Grafftey, a left-leaning Progressive Conservative with an interest in housing, called for a more radical approach.[6]

Hellyer's report also called for the suspension of the "wholesale destruction of older housing" and for "greater selectivity... in the demolition of existing houses".[8] Grand urban renewal projects would come to an end as a result of his Task Force. Hellyer resigned from the cabinet in 1969 over a dispute with Trudeau over the implementation of the housing program.[citation needed]

Hellyer sat in Parliament as an independent beginning in 1971. After his 1971 attempt to form a new political party, Action Canada, failed, Progressive Conservative leader Robert Stanfield invited him to join the PC caucus. He returned to prominence as an opposition critic and was re-elected in the 1972 election as a Progressive Conservative. He lost his seat, however, in the 1974 election.[citation needed]

Despite this loss, Hellyer contested the PC leadership election of 1976. His views were too right wing for most delegates, and alienated many PCs with a speech attacking Red Tories as not being "true conservatives". He finished a distant sixth of eight contestants on the second ballot; Joe Clark won the leadership.[citation needed]

Hellyer rejoined the Liberal Party in 1982, but remained mostly silent in politics. In 1988, he contested the Liberal nomination in the Toronto riding of St. Paul's, losing to Aideen Nicholson, who had defeated Hellyer 14 years previously when he was a PC MP in the adjacent riding of Trinity.[citation needed]

Under Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, he also served as Canada's only Senior Minister from April 1968 until 1969, when he resigned from the post.[9][10]

Canadian Action Party

In 1997, Hellyer formed the Canadian Action Party (CAP) to provide voters with an economic nationalist option following the collapse of the National Party of Canada.[11] Hellyer believed that both the Progressive Conservative and Liberal parties were embracing globalization, and that the New Democratic Party was no longer able to provide a credible alternative. CAP also embraced Hellyer's proposals for monetary reform: that the government should become more involved in the direction of the economy by gradually reducing the creation of private money and increasing the creation of public money from the current ratio of 5% public / 95% private back to 50% public and 50% private.[12][13]

His party remained a little-noticed minor party, and Hellyer lost bids for a seat in the House of Commons of Canada in the 1997 and 2000 elections.[citation needed]

Following the 2000 election, and a resurgence for the New Democratic Party, Hellyer approached NDP leadership to discuss the possibility of merging the two parties into 'One Big Party'. This process was furthered by the passage of a unanimous motion at the CAP's convention in 2003.[citation needed]

In early 2004, after several extensions of the merger deadline, the NDP rejected Hellyer's merger proposal which would have required the NDP to change its name. Hellyer resigned as CAP leader, but remained a member of the party. Rumours that he might run for the NDP in the 2004 election proved to be unfounded.[citation needed]

Extraterrestrial intelligence claims

On June 3, 1967, Hellyer inaugurated an unidentified flying object landing pad in St. Paul, Alberta. The town had built it as its Canadian Centennial celebration project, and as a symbol of keeping space free from human warfare.[14]

In early September 2005, Hellyer made headlines by publicly announcing that he believed in the existence of UFOs. On September 25, 2005, he was an invited speaker at an exopolitics conference in Toronto, where he told the audience that he had seen a UFO one night with his late wife and some friends.[citation needed] In 2007, the Ottawa Citizen reported that Hellyer was demanding that world governments disclose alien technology that could be used to solve the problem of climate change.[15] In an interview with RT (formerly Russia Today) in 2014, Hellyer said that at least four species of aliens have been visiting Earth for thousands of years, with most of them coming from other star systems, although there are some living on Venus, Mars and Saturn’s moon.[16]

Personal life

Hellyer was one of the earliest investors in the Toronto Sun in 1971.[17] He also served as a syndicated columnist for the newspaper[18] between 1974 and 1984.[5][19] Hellyer died of complications from a fall at a hospital in Toronto on August 8, 2021, two days after his 98th birthday.[20][21]

Hellyer resided in Toronto. He has three children and five grandchildren.[22]


Hellyer has written several books on Canada and globalization, including One Big Party: To Keep Canada Independent, in which he promoted the merger of the CAP, NDP, and various left-wing activists to save Canada from the effects of globalization, as well as possible annexation by the United States.[citation needed]

Electoral record

1949 Canadian federal election: Davenport, Toronto
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Paul Hellyer 11,431 39.0 +10.5
Progressive Conservative John Ritchie MacNicol 10,476 35.8 -12.9
Co-operative Commonwealth David B. Archer 7,366 25.2 +6.9
Total valid votes 29,273 100.0
1953 Canadian federal election: Davenport, Toronto
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Paul Hellyer 8,919 41.1 +2.1
Progressive Conservative Harold McBride 6,998 32.3 -3.5
Co-operative Commonwealth Fred Young 4,968 22.9 -2.3
Labor–Progressive Hector Harold MacArthur 802 3.7
Total valid votes 21,687 100.0
1957 Canadian federal election: Davenport, Toronto
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Progressive Conservative M. Douglas Morton 8,989 40.7 -0.4
Liberal Paul Hellyer 6,665 30.2 -2.1
Co-operative Commonwealth F. Andrew Brewin 6,414 29.1 +6.2
Total valid votes 22,068 100.0
December 15, 1958 by-election following Lockyer's death: Trinity, Toronto
Party Candidate Votes
  Liberal Paul Hellyer 5,175
  Progressive Conservative Joe Lesniak 4,404
  Co-operative Commonwealth John Elchuk 1,724
Labor–Progressive Sam Walsh 488
1962 Canadian federal election: Trinity, Toronto
Party Candidate Votes
  Liberal Paul Hellyer 9,615
  Progressive Conservative Stanley Frolick 6,124
  New Democratic Party Thomas Paton 3,740
Communist Leslie Morris 449
  Independent Peter D'Agostino 295
Social Credit David E. Hartman 227
1963 Canadian federal election: Trinity, Toronto
Party Candidate Votes
  Liberal Paul Hellyer 10,595
  Progressive Conservative John Wasylenko 5,171
  New Democratic Party Thomas Paton 3,512
Communist Leslie Morris 391
1965 Canadian federal election: Trinity, Toronto
Party Candidate Votes
  Liberal Paul Hellyer 9,897
  Progressive Conservative John Brazill 4,375
  New Democratic Party Enzo Ragno 2,773
1968 Canadian federal election: Trinity, Toronto
Party Candidate Votes
  Liberal Paul Hellyer 13,126
  Progressive Conservative Ed Robertson 5,360
  New Democratic Party Jim De Candole 4,177
1972 Canadian federal election: Trinity, Toronto
Party Candidate Votes
  Progressive Conservative Paul Hellyer 8,518
  Liberal Aideen Nicholson 8,334
  New Democratic Party Edward Boucher 3,725
  Unknown Norman Freed 330
  Unknown Rae Greig 134
1974 Canadian federal election: Trinity, Toronto
Party Candidate Votes
  Liberal Aideen Nicholson 10,683
  Progressive Conservative Paul Hellyer 6,537
  New Democratic Party Jonathan Cohen 2,637
Communist William Kashtan 234
Marxist–Leninist Jim Turnbull 90
  Independent Martin K. Weiche 64
1997 Canadian federal election: Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Jean Augustine 21,180 46.2 +4.1
Progressive Conservative Charles Donley 10,509 22.9 -8.0
Reform Robert Beard 8,697 19.0 +0.2
New Democratic Karen Ridley 4,085 8.9 +3.9
Canadian Action Paul Hellyer 770 1.7
Green David Burman 315 0.7
Natural Law Geraldine Jackson 139 0.3 -0.3
Marxist–Leninist Barbara Seed 133 0.3 +0.1
Total valid votes 45,828 100.0
2000 Canadian federal election: Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Bill Graham 26,203 55.33 +6.08
Progressive Conservative Randall Pearce 8,149 17.21 -2.13
New Democratic David Berlin 5,300 11.19 -9.22
Alliance Richard Walker 5,058 10.68 +2.83
Canadian Action Paul Hellyer 1,466 3.10 +2.44
Marijuana Neev Tapiero 722 1.52
Natural Law David Gordon 224 0.47 -0.11
Communist Dan Goldstick 121 0.26
Marxist–Leninist Philip Fernandez 116 0.24 -0.11
Total valid votes 47,359 100.00
Total rejected ballots 246 0.52 −0.38
Turnout 47,605 57.19 −9.82
Electors on the lists 83,243
Sources: Official Results, Elections Canada, Poll-by-poll Result Files, Elections Canada, and Financial Returns, Elections Canada.

Note: Canadian Alliance vote is compared to the Reform vote in 1997 election.


There is a Paul Hellyer fonds at Library and Archives Canada.[23]

See also


  1. ^ "Paul T. Hellyer". The Toronto Star at Retrieved August 16, 2021.
  2. ^ "Current Chronological List of Members of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada". Privy Council Office. Archived from the original on February 15, 2016. Retrieved June 17, 2013.
  3. ^ "The Canadian Parliamentary Companion". 1963.
  4. ^ a b c Hellyer, Paul (20 February 1958). Inflation vs. Unemployment (Speech). The Empire Club of Canada: Speeches 1957–1958. Archived from the original on 12 September 2007. Retrieved 1 September 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Paul Hellyer". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved September 1, 2019.
  6. ^ a b Winnipeg Free Press, January 25, 1969, p. 11.
  7. ^ Winnipeg Free Press, January 30, 1969, p. 6. It was noted that Toronto councillor David Rotenberg was a supporter of Hellyer's proposals.
  8. ^ Milner, J.B. (1969). "Review of Report of the Federal Task Force on Housing and Urban Development by Paul T. Hellyer". University of Toronto Law Journal. 19 (3): 442. doi:10.2307/825051. JSTOR 825051.
  9. ^ Ottawa Citizen, "A Heartbeat From The Top", Charles Lynch, November 10, 1982, pp.3
  10. ^ Reading Eagle, "Hellyer Quits Cabinet Job", P, April 24, 1969, pg.47
  11. ^ "Canadian Action Party: Our History". Archived from the original on October 9, 2006. Retrieved July 27, 2005.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  12. ^ "Canadian Action Party:Policies (2006)". Archived from the original on October 9, 2006. Retrieved July 27, 2005.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  13. ^ "Canadian Action Party:Policies (2005)". Archived from the original on December 1, 2005. Retrieved July 27, 2005.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  14. ^ "UFO Landing Pad". Heritage Community Foundation Alberta Encyclopedia Online.
  15. ^ Ottawa Citizen (28 February 2007). Alien technology the best hope to 'save our planet': ex-defence boss. Ottawa Citizen, 28 February 2007. Retrieved on 2008-04-30 from "Alien technology the best hope to 'save our planet:' ex-defence boss". Archived from the original on 30 April 2008. Retrieved 30 April 2008..
  16. ^ "Aliens miffed at Earth's warmongering ways, former Canadian defence minister says". January 7, 2014. Retrieved August 12, 2015.
  17. ^ "Play it again, Paul: Hellyer fights to run as Liberal", Cruickshank, John. The Globe and Mail; Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]Aug 15, 1988: A.3.
  18. ^ Writers Directory. Springer. March 5, 2016. ISBN 978-1-349-03650-9.
  19. ^ Hellyer, Paul T.
  20. ^ The Honorable Paul Hellyer
  21. ^ "Former federal defence minister Paul Hellyer dies at 98 | The Star". Toronto Star. August 13, 2021.
  22. ^ Hellyer at "Midland Park Toronto"
  23. ^ "Paul Hellyer fonds, Library and Archives Canada". November 25, 2016. Retrieved September 4, 2020.
Party political offices Preceded bynone Canadian Action Party leaders 1997–2003 Succeeded byConnie Fogal