TORONTO — Long-time politician and political maverick Paul Hellyer, who grew up on a pioneering ginseng farm near the town of Waterford, died last month in Toronto at age 98, after a fall.
Hellyer tried twice to establish his own party, made runs for leadership of the federal Liberal and Progressive Conservative parties and even considered joining the NDP. He was known for being outspoken and not a team player. He even developed his own monetary policy.
He studied aeronautical engineering in California and was a licensed pilot. He was a Liberal Member of Parliament from 1949 to 1957 and again from 1958 to 1972. He served as Minister of Transport and later as Minister of Defence.
He switched parties and was a Member of Parliament for two years as a Conservative. He left the Tories saying they were not conservative enough. He finally tried to start his own movement, The Canadian Action Party, opposing globalization and tried unsuccessfully to merge with the NDP.
He wrote 13 books, was an early investor in the Toronto Sun and had a fascination with UFOs, saying he believed the earth has been visited by extraterrestrials.