Memorable Manitobans: Leonard Salusbury “Len” Evans (1929-2016)
Economist, MLA (1969-1973), MLA (1973-1977), MLA (1977-1981), MLA (1982-1986), MLA (1986-1988), MLA (1988-1990), MLA (1990-1995).
Born at Transcona on 19 August 1929, son of Welsh immigrants David Evans (1892-1964) and Blodwen Salusbury (1894-1985), he was educated at the Trancona Collegiate, United College, University of Manitoba (MA Economics), Simon Fraser University, and University of Ottawa. He worked at the Dominion Bureau of Statistics in Ottawa before returning to Manitoba and working for two years as a Regional Economist for the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation. He then accepted an assistant professorship in Economics at Brandon College.
Defeated as a candidate in the 1953 federal general election, he was elected to the Manitoba Legislative at the 1969 general election and was re-elected in 1973, 1977, 1981, 1986, 1988, 1990, and 1995. He did not stand for re-election in 1999. He held numerous ministerial portfolios during the governments of Edward Schreyer and Howard Pawley, including Minister of Mines and Natural Resources (1969), Minister of Industry and Commerce (1969-1977), Minister Responsible for Manitoba Housing and Renewal Corporation (1976-1977), Minister of Natural Resources (1981-1982, 1986-1988), Minister Responsible for Manitoba Telephone System (1981-1982), Minister of Community Service and Correction (1981-1983), Minister of Employment Services and Economic Security (1983-1988), Minister Responsible for A. E. McKenzie Company (1983-1984), and Minister Responsible for Manitoba Data Services (1987-1988). After leaving politics, he served on the Public Utilities Board and the Board of Governors for Brandon University.
On 27 June 1953, he married Alice Lorraine Mazinke (1934-2015) at Transcona. They had three children. In recognition of his community service, he received the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal (1977) and Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2002), he received an honorary doctorate from Brandon University (2001), and he was inducted into the Manitoba Order of the Buffalo Hunt (2016). He is commemorated by the Len Evans Centre for Trades and Technology at Assiniboine Community College in Brandon.
He died at the St. Boniface Hospital on 2 January 2016.
Obituary [David Evans], Winnipeg Tribune, 7 November 1964, page 70.
“Transcona pair exchange vows,” Winnipeg Free Press, 15 July 1953, page 17.
“Blodwen Evans,” Winnipeg Free Press, 4 August 1984, page 28.
Obituary [Blodwen Evans], Winnipeg Free Press, 17 October 1985, page 74.
Members of the Legislative Assembly (deceased), Legislative Assembly of Manitoba.
Obituary [Alice Lorraine Evans], Winnipeg Free Press, 27 June 2015.
“Len Evans, former NDP cabinet minister, dies at age 86,” Winnipeg Free Press, 2 January 2016.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 9 January 2016.
We thank Brenda Evans for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 6 July 2021