Minister Garneau announces appointments at VIA Rail Canada

News release

March 29, 2019    Ottawa, Ontario    Transport Canada

The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, today announced the following appointments to VIA Rail Canada:

  • Ms. Cynthia Garneau (appointed as President and Chief Executive Officer, term of five years starting on May 9, 2019); She is a lawyer and has been President of Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Ltd. since 2016.
  • Mr. Grant Christoff (appointed as director, term of four years); He is a lawyer and has been Counsel for the First Nations Health Authority and Saulteau First Nations since 2015.
  • Ms. Miranda Keating Erickson (appointed as director, term of four years); She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce, and has been Vice-President of Alberta Electric System Operator since 2010.
  • Ms. Viola Ann Timmons (appointed as director, term of four years); She holds a Ph.D. in Education Psychology, and has been President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Regina since 2008.

These appointments were made under the Government of Canada's new approach to Governor in Council appointments. This approach supports open, transparent and merit-based selection processes that strive for gender parity and reflect Canada's diversity, to support Ministers in making appointment recommendations for positions within their portfolio by providing them with information and referrals.


“I am pleased to announce that these highly qualified Canadians have agreed to play important roles in the leadership of VIA Rail Canada. Their appointments will ensure continued good governance.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Yves Desjardins-Siciliano for his valuable service over the past five years. As CEO, he has accomplished a great deal at VIA Rail Canada, including growing ridership, advancing the fleet renewal project and developing the proposal concerning High Frequency Rail.”

The Honourable Marc Garneau,
Minister of Transport

Quick facts

  • The Minister of Transport is responsible for appointments to 55 portfolio organizations, which include:

    • 9 Crown Corporations;
    • 4 administrative tribunal/agencies;
    • 21 Canadian Airport Authorities;
    • 18 Canada Port Authorities; and
    • 3 shared governance organizations.

Associated links


Delphine Denis
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport, Ottawa

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

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