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Industry Achievement
Cliff Mackay (2011)
Cliff MackayThe 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, Mackey 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 years.

Michael Bourque (President, RAC), Joan Mackay (wife of Cliff Mackay), The Honourable Denis Lebel (Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities)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, particularly the rail industry,” said Gauthier. “His experience and passion for the development of the sector within Canada was unmatched and his legacy will undoubtedly live on.”
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