|Minister of Transport|
September 19, 1967 – April 30, 1969
|Prime Minister||Lester B. Pearson|
|Preceded by||Jack Pickersgill|
|Succeeded by||James Armstrong Richardson|
April 30, 1968 – April 23, 1969
|Prime Minister||Pierre Trudeau|
|Preceded by||First in office|
|Minister of National Defence|
April 22, 1963 – September 18, 1967
|Prime Minister||Lester B. Pearson|
|Preceded by||Gordon Churchill|
|Succeeded by||Léo Cadieux|
|Member of Parliament|
December 15, 1958 – July 7, 1974
|Preceded by||Edward Lockyer|
|Succeeded by||Aideen Nicholson|
|Member of Parliament|
June 27, 1949 – June 9, 1957
|Preceded by||John Ritchie MacNicol|
|Succeeded by||Douglas Morton|
Paul Theodore Hellyer
August 6, 1923
Waterford, Ontario, Canada
|Died||August 8, 2021 (aged 98)|
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|Political party||Canadian Action Party (1997–2017)|
|Liberal (1949–1971, 1982–1997),|
Action Canada (1971–1972),
Progressive Conservative (1972–1982)
|Spouse(s)||Ellen Jean Hellyer (d.2004); Sandra Hellyer (m.2005)|
|Children||2 sons, 1 daughter|
|Years of service||1939–1946|
|Unit||Royal Canadian Artillery|
Paul Theodore Hellyer(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.
Hellyer was born and raised on a farm near Waterford, Ontario, the son of Lulla Maude (Anderson) and Audrey Samuel Hellyer. 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.
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.
Hellyer earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto in 1949.
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.
Hellyer returned to parliament in a 1958 by-election in the neighbouring riding of Trinity, and became an effective opposition critic of John Diefenbaker's Progressive Conservative government.
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.
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.
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. His approach did not meet with universal acceptance. Some provincial and municipal governments were openly skeptical, and Heward Grafftey, a left-leaning Progressive Conservative with an interest in housing, called for a more radical approach.
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". 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.
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.
Despite this loss, Hellyer contested the PC leadership election of 1976. His views were too right wing for most delegates, and alienated many Tories 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.
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 Tory MP in the adjacent riding of Trinity.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
On June 3, 1967, Hellyer flew in by helicopter to officially inaugurate 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. The sign beside the pad reads:
The area under the World's First UFO Landing Pad was designated international by the Town of St. Paul as a symbol of our faith that mankind will maintain the outer universe free from national wars and strife. That future travel in space will be safe for all intergalactic beings, all visitors from earth or otherwise are welcome to this territory and to the Town of St. Paul.
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. He said that, although he had discounted the experience at the time, he had kept an open mind to it. He said that he started taking the issue much more seriously after watching ABC's UFO special in February 2005.
In 2007, the Ottawa Citizen reported that Hellyer is demanding that world governments disclose alien technology that could be used to solve the problem of climate change:
I would like to see what (alien) technology there might be that could eliminate the burning of fossil fuels within a generation...that could be a way to save our planet...We need to persuade governments to come clean on what they know. Some of us suspect they know quite a lot, and it might be enough to save our planet if applied quickly enough.
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. According to him, they "don't think we are good stewards of our planet."
Hellyer was one of the earliest investors in the Toronto Sun in 1971. He also served as a syndicated columnist for the newspaper between 1974 and 1984. Hellyer died of complications from a fall at a hospital in Toronto on August 8, 2021, two days after his 98th birthday.
Hellyer resided in Toronto. He has three children and five grandchildren.
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.
|1949 Canadian federal election: Davenport, Toronto|
|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|
|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|
|Progressive Conservative||M. Douglas Morton||8,989||40.7||-0.4|
|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|
|Progressive Conservative||Joe Lesniak||4,404|
|Co-operative Commonwealth||John Elchuk||1,724|
|1962 Canadian federal election: Trinity, Toronto|
|Progressive Conservative||Stanley Frolick||6,124|
|New Democratic Party||Thomas Paton||3,740|
|Social Credit||David E. Hartman||227|
|1963 Canadian federal election: Trinity, Toronto|
|Progressive Conservative||John Wasylenko||5,171|
|New Democratic Party||Thomas Paton||3,512|
|1965 Canadian federal election: Trinity, Toronto|
|Progressive Conservative||John Brazill||4,375|
|New Democratic Party||Enzo Ragno||2,773|
|1968 Canadian federal election: Trinity, Toronto|
|Progressive Conservative||Ed Robertson||5,360|
|New Democratic Party||Jim De Candole||4,177|
|1972 Canadian federal election: Trinity, Toronto|
|Progressive Conservative||Paul Hellyer||8,518|
|New Democratic Party||Edward Boucher||3,725|
|1974 Canadian federal election: Trinity, Toronto|
|Progressive Conservative||Paul Hellyer||6,537|
|New Democratic Party||Jonathan Cohen||2,637|
|Independent||Martin K. Weiche||64|
|1997 Canadian federal election: Etobicoke—Lakeshore|
|Progressive Conservative||Charles Donley||10,509||22.9||-8.0|
|New Democratic||Karen Ridley||4,085||8.9||+3.9|
|Canadian Action||Paul Hellyer||770||1.7|
|Natural Law||Geraldine Jackson||139||0.3||-0.3|
|Total valid votes||45,828||100.0|
|2000 Canadian federal election: Toronto Centre—Rosedale|
|Progressive Conservative||Randall Pearce||8,149||17.21||-2.13|
|New Democratic||David Berlin||5,300||11.19||-9.22|
|Canadian Action||Paul Hellyer||1,466||3.10||+2.44|
|Natural Law||David Gordon||224||0.47||-0.11|
|Total valid votes||47,359||100.00|
|Total rejected ballots||246||0.52||−0.38|
|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.