OTTAWA, Dec. 11, 2012 /CNW/ - The Canadian Railway Hall of Fame (CRHF),
a virtual exhibit that pays tribute to the heroes, leaders and
communities of the Canadian railway industry, today announced its 2011
inductees. Across all three categories, each honouree's profound
efforts have made a resonating impact and have fostered the growth of
Canada's thriving railway sector for years to come.
The Leaders category recognizes those individuals who have had a
significant influence in the construction, development and promotion of
the Canadian railway industry.
This year's inductee is Paul Côté, former president of VIA Rail Canada,
the nation's only Class 1 passenger rail service. He was appointed head
of the Crown Corporation in March 2005, following his period as the
company's Chief Operating Officer.
Côté got his start in the rail industry with Canadian National (CN) in
1972. Six years later, he embarked on his career with VIA, where he
steadily mastered his knowledge of passenger trains. During his 32
years with the Crown Corporation, he managed a range of different
departments, including Marketing, Human Resources and Government
Affairs, to name a few.
Throughout his 38-year career, Côté was devoted to the passenger rail
sector. At VIA, he became known for his management philosophy which put
a clear emphasis on customer service and employee equality. He was the
driving force behind VIA's renaissance in the 1990's which was founded
on improved customer satisfaction.
"Mr. Côté's customer-focused management style motivated and empowered
every VIA employee," said Gérald Gauthier, Chairman and President of
CRHOF. "When we think of Paul Côté, we think of honesty, integrity and
A year before retiring from VIA in March 2010, he secured $900 million
from the federal government to invest in rail infrastructure and
equipment. The improvement and modernization of passenger trains is a
testament to the customer service and rider experience that Mr. Côté
prioritized throughout his career.
The Heroes category celebrates explorers, pathfinders and individuals
involved in the day-to-day delivery of service, operations and
maintenance of Canadian railways.
The 2011 inductee into the Heroes category is Cliff Mackay, former
President and Chief Executive Officer of the Railway Association of
Canada, the organization that promotes the safety, viability and
development of the railway industry within Canada.
While at the helm of the RAC, Mackay worked collaboratively with various
government and regulatory agencies to improve safety in the industry.
One of Mackay's most impactful efforts was his review of the Railway
Safety Act Review Panel work, which resulted in a valuable report on
how to improve rail safety in Canada. The association collaborated with
Transport Canada to implement more than 30 safety recommendations
contained in this report, including those dealing with Safety
Management Systems, safety data collection and research and innovation.
A staunch advocate of freight and passenger rail, Mackay spent the
twilight of his career ensuring that Canadian regulatory agencies, as
well as elected and non-elected officials, gained a better
understanding of the strategic economic role railways play in Canada.
Mackay's decades of experience and contributions improved the rail
sector and Canada's transportation industry as a whole.
Before being appointed head of the RAC in May 2006, Mackay was President
and CEO of the Air Transport Association of Canada (ATAC) for nine
Prior to taking on lead roles representing the transportation industry,
Mackay spent twenty years serving in the federal government. The
pinnacle of his federal government stint came when he was appointed
Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Industry and Regional Operations, at
Industry Canada. In 1992, he was named Senior Vice President
responsible for the Space Division at Spar Aerospace. Subsequently,
Mackay was appointed the head of ATAC in 1997, a position that he held
while serving on the Board of NAV CANADA.
"Cliff Mackay dedicated his career to transportation in Canada," said
Gauthier. "His experience and passion for the development of the sector
within Canada was unmatched and his legacy will undoubtedly live on."
This category honours communities across Canada that have current or
historical significance to the railway system, or the related
individuals associated with the railway industry who have been
instrumental in building communities.
Few Canadian communities have a richer rail history than this year's
inductee and one of the country's oldest railway centres: Brockville.
When the Grand Trunk Railway decided to route its Montreal-Toronto main
line along the St. Lawrence river, it made Brockville its first
division point west of Montreal. Couple this milestone with the
northward Brockville & Ottawa Railway which was already underway, and
Brockville became one of eastern Canada's busiest rail hubs midway
through the 19th century.
The community is also home to Canada's first railway tunnel, a
1,700-foot passageway completed in 1860.
Railway Association of Canada
Supported by The Railway Association of Canada (RAC), representing some
50 member, freight, tourist, commuter and intercity Canadian railways,
the Canadian Railway Hall of Fame plays a major role in promoting the
safety, viability and growth of the railway industry within Canada.
SOURCE: RAILWAY ASSOCIATION OF CANADA
For further information:
Railway Association of Canada