Ian David Sinclair

Ian David Sinclair




Class of 1985

Ian David Sinclair, a man whose authority was based on personal toughness and an unsurpassed ability for negotiations. After taking a job with Canadian Pacific Railway legal department in 1942 he soon became known as a first rate litigation lawyer and an extremely able labour negotiator. Newspapers called him the Perry Mason of Railway law. At the age of forty he became Canadian Pacific’s General Counsel.

Ian scored some impressive victories for the company. He helped CP Air win the right to compete against Air Canada on transcontinental routes. When the MacPherson Royal Commission on freight rates was launched – resulting in the 1967 National Transportation Act – Ian Sinclair participated in 26 months of exhaustive, cross-country hearings. It’s not surprising he was appointed to the CPR Board’s executive committee and in 1996 he became president and in 1997 chairman of the company. He fought for changes to the Crows Nest Freight rates and a break from money losing passenger lines.

Ian Sinclair described his own career this way: “You look back and realize that you sure gave up a lot of things that people today seem to have fun doing. But, you also get fun out of accomplishment.”

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