Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Abe Kovnats (1928-1996)

Businessman, MLA (1977-1981), MLA (1982-1986), MLA (1986-1988).

Born at Winnipeg on 22 March 1928, youngest son of Michael and Mary Kovnats, he worked in his father’s shop in Norwood. His involvement in the film distribution business led to a move to Thompson where he managed the Brad Theatre. Moving back to Winnipeg, he formed Kodiak Parking Services.

Defeated in the 1973 provincial general election, he was elected to the Manitoba Legislature in 1977 representing the Radisson constituency and served as Deputy Speaker. He was re-elected at the 1981 and 1986 election but was defeated in 1988. He was later Vice-Chairman of the Licence Suspension Appeal Board. He also served on the Board of Winnipeg Enterprises and the Winnipeg Convention Centre Board. He was a member of the Masons, Rotary Club, and Shriners. An enthusiastic athlete, he played softball and basketball in his earlier years, played football with the Norwood Legionaires that won the Canadian championship in 1952, rowed competitively with the Winnipeg Rowing Club, and curled at the Granite Club. He was the first Sports Director of the Winakwa Community Club. He became a referee in the Canadian Football League in the early 1960s. In 1977, he received the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal.

He died at his winter home at Lady Lake, Florida on 6 March 1996.


Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 4 May 1996, page 49.

Members of the Legislative Assembly (deceased), Legislative Assembly of Manitoba.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 18 June 2019

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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