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Paul Tellier

The Honourable
Paul Tellier
President and Chief Executive Officer of Bombardier Inc.
In office
Succeeded by Laurent Beaudoin
10th President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian National Railway
In office
Preceded by Ronald E. Lawless
Succeeded by E. Hunter Harrison
Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet
In office
August 12, 1985 – June 30, 1992
Prime Minister Brian Mulroney
Preceded by Gordon Osbaldeston
Succeeded by Glen Shortliffe
Deputy Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources
In office
Minister Jean Chrétien
Gerald Regan
Pat Carney
Preceded by Marshall A. Cohen
Succeeded by de Montigny Marchand
Deputy Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development
In office
Minister Jake Epp
John Munro
Preceded by Arthur Kroeger
Succeeded by Maurice Lafontaine
Personal details
Born 1939 (age 76–77)
Joliette, Quebec
Relations Sir Joseph-Mathias Tellier (grandfather)
Louis Tellier (great-uncle)
Parents Maurice Tellier
Alma mater Laval University
Linacre College, Oxford
Occupation Businessman, civil servant, lawyer

Paul Mathias Tellier, PC CC (born 1939) is a Canadian businessman and former public servant and lawyer.

His son Marc P. Tellier has been the President and CEO of Yellow Media.[1]


  • Biography 1
  • See also 2
  • Notes and references 3
  • External links 4


Born in Joliette, Quebec, Tellier earned his undergraduate degree from Laval University and his law degree from the University of Oxford.[1] He entered Canada's civil service in the 1970s and rose through the ranks of the federal bureaucracy through several high-profile deputy minister portfolios, culminating as the nation's top civil servant from August 12, 1985 to June 30, 1992, when he was appointed Clerk of the Privy Council, in the Privy Council Office of Canada, during Brian Mulroney's ministry. Mulroney reduced Tellier's role as Clerk between 1986 and 1989, when he appointed Dalton Camp as his personal Deputy Minister.[1]

In 1992, he left the civil service and was appointed by Mulroney as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Crown corporation Canadian National Railway (CN). Tellier was a driving force behind the successful privatization of the company in 1995 and was widely seen as being the principal instigator behind CN's purchase of Illinois Central, which saw the company expand its focus from an exclusively east-west orientation into a north-south one. As such it was one of the first companies to reap the benefits of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Following a failed bid to merge CN with BNSF Railway in 2000, Tellier oversaw the purchase and integration of Wisconsin Central.[2] He also was responsible for hiring a management team that focused on making CN a "scheduled" freight railway, largely by promoting former Illinois Central president Hunter Harrison to a vice-president position at CN.

In January 2003, Tellier stepped down from CN, (Harrison assumed the presidency of the company) to take a three-year posting as the President and CEO of Bombardier. This was largely seen in the Canadian business community as an attempt by Bombardier to turn itself around following several lacklustre years of growth in the aerospace and passenger rail vehicle markets. Tellier oversaw Bombardier and sold its recreational vehicle production to the Beaudoin family, Bombardier's majority shareholders. Tellier also made several major cuts in the workforce and attempted to adjust and refocus the company on its core business activities. On December 13, 2004, it was announced that Tellier was leaving Bombardier, after he told the company that he did not want to stay for the full three years of his contract. Tellier also serves as an executive on the board of directors of Bell Canada and Rio Tinto Alcan.[3]

In 1992, he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada.[3] In 2004, the second St. Clair Tunnel was named in his honor.

Since November 2006, Paul Tellier has served as joint chairman on the Prime Minister's Advisory Committee on the Public Service of Canada. This committee gives advice to the Prime Minister and the Clerk of the Privy Council on the renewal of the Public Service, with the objective of shaping it into an institution geared to excellence, distinguished by highly engaged and highly skilled people performing critical tasks with professionalism and efficiency.

In October 2007, he was appointed by Prime Minister Harper to a panel responsible for reviewing Canada's military mission in the War in Afghanistan.

Paul Tellier is the son of Maurice Tellier, and the grandson of Sir Joseph-Mathias Tellier, who was the brother of Louis Tellier. He is also a third cousin of Luc-Normand Tellier.[4]

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b "Paul Tellier". NNDB. Soylent Communications. 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-28. 
  2. ^ "CN Agrees to Buy Wisconsin Central". Chicago Tribune. 2001. Retrieved 2012-12-05. 
  3. ^ a b "Paul Mathias Tellier Profile". 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-28. 
  4. ^ Jean Hétu, "La famille Tellier: une grande famille de juristes", Droit Montréal, automne 2014, no 19, p. 22-23.

External links

  • Order of Canada Citation
Business positions
Preceded by
Ronald E. Lawless
President of Canadian National Railway
1992 – 2002
Succeeded by
E. Hunter Harrison
Preceded by
President of Bombardier
2003 – 2004
Succeeded by
Laurent Beaudoin
Preceded by
Robert D. Krebs (ATSF) and
Gerald Grinstein (BN)
Railroader of the Year
Succeeded by
David R. Goode (NS)
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