OTTAWA: The Board of Directors of The Railway Association of Canada (RAC) today announced the passing of its president and CEO Cliff Mackay on January 26 after a battle with cancer. Cliff was 64 and is survived by his mother and stepfather, wife Joan, three children and two grandchildren.
“The Board wishes to acknowledge Cliff’s valuable contribution to the leadership of the Association and our industry and wishes to express its sincere condolences to his family,” said Claude Mongeau, chairman of RAC, and president and CEO of CN. “His spirit and wise counsel will be sorely missed by the Board, employees and members of the RAC.”
Under his leadership, the industry worked in close partnership with various government and regulatory agencies to accomplish a great many benefits, including a successful review of the Railway Safety Act Review Panel for which results are now before Parliament. Other industry efforts during his tenure resulted in increased capital cost allowances for Canadian railways that generated significant savings and investment for the industry and new infrastructure support for short line railways.
Prior to his appointment to the RAC, Cliff had a distinguished career in the aerospace industry and the federal government. He was President and CEO of the Air Transport Association of Canada (ATAC), senior VP at Spar Aerospace, and a board member of NAV CANADA. His twenty years of experience in the federal government culminated in his appointment as senior assistant deputy minister, industry and regional operations, at Industry Canada.
“RAC staff was inspired by the way he dealt with his illness with no complaint, a fighting spirit and endless optimism,” said Bruce Burrows, VP, public and corporate affairs. “He was a fine leader, a valued colleague, and a good friend. We will miss him profoundly.”
Burrows, a VP of the RAC since 2000, was recently appointed interim President and CEO until a decision is made on who will be named as the new RAC leader.