Hellyer, Paul Theodore

Paul Theodore Hellyer, politician, journalist (b at Waterford, Ont 6 Aug 1923). A successful businessman, Hellyer sat in the House of Commons from 1949 to 1957 and was re-elected in a by-election in December 1958. From 1958 until 1963, when the Liberals gained power, Hellyer was instrumental in developing the party's defence policy and urged Lester PEARSON to accept nuclear weapons. After the election victory, Pearson appointed him minister of national defence, and under Hellyer's direction, the Canadian ARMED FORCES were unified. The controversy surrounding the unification likely did not help his political career and in 1967 Hellyer was moved to the Ministry of Transport.

In 1968 he ran unsuccessfully for the Liberal leadership. The victor, Pierre TRUDEAU, gave him the additional responsibility for housing policy. After the report of his Task Force on Housing and Urban Development did not win Cabinet approval in 1969, Hellyer resigned from the Cabinet and later from the Liberal Party. He tried to form a new political movement in 1971, Action Canada. When it faltered, he drifted towards the Conservative Party, winning re-election under that banner in 1972 before losing his seat in 1974. Hellyer then unsuccessfully ran for the leadership in 1976. He has not re-entered the House of Commons since, but has voiced political views through a syndicated column he wrote from 1974 to 1984 and through several books. In 1997 he created a new political party, the Canadian Action Party, and promoted economic reform, particularly in the area of monetary policy. In that year's general federal election he ran for the Canadian Action Party in the Ontario riding of Etobicoke-Lakeshore but lost to the incumbent Liberal.