Parks Canada

Parks Canada

July 21, 2009 10:12 ET

Government of Canada Celebrates the Historical Significance of Leon Joseph Koerner

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - July 21, 2009) - The Honourable Jim Prentice, Canada's Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, today celebrated the national historic significance of Leon Joseph Koerner, whom he designated a national historic person of Canada upon recommendation from the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.

"Leon Joseph Koerner played a huge role in improving conditions for forestry workers in the province and was a leader in the British Columbia forestry industry," said Minister Prentice. "His success would allow him to donate generous amounts of his fortune to a programme of philanthropy aimed at stimulating the advancement of the arts, education and social progress on the West Coast."

"Through his acumen in business, Koerner became a leading figure in the British Columbia forest industry by developing an innovative use of western hemlock and promoting progressive forestry practices, including selective logging, reforestation, and the implementation of a sustained-yield policy," said the Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade, Minister for the Asia Pacific Gateway and Regional minister for the Province of British Columbia.

"We welcome the designation of Dr. Leon Joseph Koerner as a person of national historic significance and see this as a great and worthy honour to our founder", said Rosemary Cunningham, historian for the Leon and Thea Koerner Foundation.

Dr. Leon Joseph Koerner was an industrialist with progressive ideas regarding labour practices and relations. Koerner brought significant improvements in working conditions for forest workers by setting standards for workplace safety and cleanliness, benefits, and fair wages. Kroener also establishes logging camps and company towns that became models for the industry. In addition, Koerner also created a company bargaining agent until the workers were certified under the International Woodworkers of America in 1943.

Parks Canada works to ensure that Canada's historic and natural heritage is presented and protected for the enjoyment, education, appreciation and inspired discovery of all Canadians, today and in the future.

Also available on the Internet at under Media room.

Contact Information

  • Parks Canada
    Michele Monette
    Media Relations Officer
    Corporate Communications Branch