VIA Rail Canada is undergoing multiple personnel changes, including the appointment of a new CEO, according to a recent announcement from Marc Garneau, Canada’s Minister of Transport.
Among the changes is the appointment of Cynthia Garneau as president and CEO for a five-year term that will go into effect May 9. The intercity passenger rail service said she is a lawyer and has served as an aerospace executive while president of Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Ltd. since 2016.
Grant Christoff has also been appointed as director of VIA Rail Canada for a four-year term. He is a lawyer and has served as counsel for the First Nations Health Authority and Saulteau First Nations since 2015, VIA Rail Canada said.
Miranda Keating Erickson was appointed to serve as director for a term of four years, as well.
Keating Erickson holds a bachelor’s degree in commerce, and has been vice president of Alberta Electric System Operator since 2010.
Also appointed as a director was Viola Ann Timmons, who will serve a four-year term as well. Timmons holds a Ph.D. in education psychology and has been president and vice chancellor of the University of Regina since 2008.
“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,” said Marc Garneau.
VIA Rail Canada said the 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,” a statement said.
Marc Garneau also credited Yves Desjardins-Siciliano for his service during the past five years. As CEO, Marc Garneau explained that Desjardins-Siciliano has accomplished “a great deal” at VIA Rail Canada, noting Desjardins-Siciliano’s ability to grow ridership, advance the system’s fleet renewal project and develop a proposal related to High Frequency Rail.