Theodore Hellyer, PC (born 6 August 1923) is a Canadian
engineer, politician, writer and commentator who has had
a long and varied career. He is the longest serving current
member of the Privy Council, just ahead of Prince Philip.
was born and raised on a farm near Waterford, Ontario.
Upon completion of high school, he studied
Aeronautical Engineering at the Curtiss-Wright Technical
Institute of Aeronautics in Glendale,
in 1941. While studying, he also
obtained a private pilot's licence.
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 as
a private for the duration of the war.
earned a Bachelor of Arts from
the University of Toronto in 1949.
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 Canadian House of Commons. He served
a brief stint as Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister
of National Defence, and made a good impression. 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
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
minister and Liberal leadership candidate
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 notable 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.
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,
and was Senior Minister in the Cabinet, a position similar
to the current position of Deputy Prime Minister.
political nomad, 19691988
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
report also called for the suspension of the "wholesale
destruction of older housing" and for "greater
sensitivity... in the demolition of existing housing"
(Milner, 1969). Grand urban renewal projects would come
to an end as a result of his Task Force. Hellyer resigned
from cabinet and the Liberal caucus in 1969 over a dispute
with Trudeau over the implementation of the housing program.
sat in Parliament as an independent for several years.
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.
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.
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
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.
party remained a little-noticed minor party, and Hellyer
lost bids for a seat in the Canadian House of Commons
in the 1997 and 2000 elections.
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.
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 remains a member of the party. Rumours
that he might run for the NDP in the 2004 election proved
to be unfounded.
in space and UFO advocacy
3 June 1967, Hellyer flew in by helicopter to
officially inaugurate an Unidentified flying object landing
pad in St. Paul,
Alberta. The town had built the landing pad
as its Canadian Centennial celebration project, and as
a symbol of keeping space free from human warfare. The
sign beside the pad reads:
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."
his life, Hellyer has been opposed to the weaponization
of space. He supports the Space
Preservation Treaty to ban space weapons.
early September 2005, Hellyer made headlines by publicly
announcing that he believed in UFOs. On 25 September 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 Peter
Jennings' UFO special in February 2005.
UFO special prompted Hellyer to finally
read U.S. Army Colonel
Philip J. Corso's book The
Day After Roswell, about the Roswell
UFO Incident, which had been sitting on
his shelf for some time. Hellyer told the Toronto audience
that he later spoke to a retired U.S. Air Force general,
who confirmed the accuracy of the information in the book.
In November 2005, he accused U.S. President George W.
Bush of plotting an "Intergalactic War".
The former defence minister told an audience at the University
United States military are preparing weapons which could
be used against the aliens, and they could get us into
an intergalactic war without us ever having any warning...The
Bush Administration has finally agreed to let the military
build a forward base on the moon, which will put them
in a better position to keep track of the goings and comings
of the visitors from space, and to shoot at them, if they
told the audience that in December 2004, he had enjoyed
reading and had endorsed a book by Alfred Webre entitled
Exopolitics - Politics, Government
and Law in the Universe. He ended his 30-minute
historical talk with a standing ovation by stating:
turn us in the direction of re-unification with the rest
of creation, the author is proposing a Decade of
Contact an era of openness, public
hearings, publicly funded research, and education about
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:
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
2010, Hellyer accused Stephen Hawking of spreading misinformation
about threats from aliens. Hawking has warned humanity
against contacting aliens. According to Hawking, if human
beings tried to contact aliens, they could invade us and
take away our most important resources. Hawking had also
said that though most extraterrestrial life could be only
in the form of small animals, there could also be "nomads,
looking to conquer and colonize" other planets. Hellyer
told the Canadian Press that:
reality is that they (aliens) have been visiting earth
for decades and probably millennia and have contributed
considerably to our knowledge."
Hawking for scaring mankind about aliens, he said, "He
(Hawking) is indulging in some pretty scary talk there
that I would have hoped would not come from someone with
such an established stature."
and personal life
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, and
possible annexation by the United States.
was an early investor in the Toronto
Sun, and for a time a columnist for the newspaper.
Hellyer currently resides in Toronto. He has three children
and five grandchildren.