Parzival Copes

September 20, 1994

"I never deliberately sought controversy, but I am attracted to problems that require solutions and to conventional wisdoms that need to be challenged," Copes argues when receiving the 1994 Sterling Prize.

The recent sharp decline of Newfoundland’s fish stocks, as well as those off the coast of British Columbia, accompanied by extreme levels of unemployment, have reaffirmed Copes’ work. Parzival Copes created a national controversy in predicting that Newfoundland’s economy would be unable to provide jobs for a large segment of its population in his 1961 salient study, St. John’s and Newfoundland—An Economic Survey, followed by his 1972 report, The Resettlement of Fishing Communities in Newfoundland, along with his critical analysis of "individual fishing quotas."

The accuracy of his predictions have been widely acknowledged as both provinces enacted closures of their fisheries and which, in the case of Newfoundland, resulted in struggles for economic survival.