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Parzival (Parzi) Copes (1924- ), economist and charter faculty member at Simon Fraser University (SFU), was the University’s first Head in the Department of Economics and Commerce from 1964-1969. During his distinguished career at SFU, which spanned over 30 years, Copes conducted significant research in the areas of fisheries policy and fisheries resource management.
Copes was born on January 22, 1924, in Nakusp, British Columbia. His early education, from 1936 to1941, was conducted in Vierde Vijfjarige H.B.S., Amsterdam. After completing school, Copes remained in Amsterdam, where he worked for Mercurius Insurance Company (1942-1944). During this time, in 1942 and 1943, Copes received professional diplomas in accounting, commerce, and commercial correspondence.
During World War II, Copes was an active member of the Netherlands Resistance Army (1942-1945), and at one point spent time in a concentration camp. From 1945-1946, Copes worked for the Canadian Army and British Military Government in Germany as an interpreter and "denazification" specialist.
For his postsecondary education, Copes returned to Canada and studied at the University of British Columbia, where in 1949 he received a BA (first class) in Economics and Political Science, and in 1950 an MA (first class) in Economics. While at the University, Copes was also a member of the Canadian Officers’ Training Corps (1947-1950). From 1950-1963, Copes continued his affiliation with the Canadian Military as a "call-out" officer in the Canadian Army Militia.
From 1953 until 1957, Copes worked as an economist and statistician in Ottawa for the Dominion Bureau of Statistics in the Public Finance, National Income, and Public Health Sections. During this time, in 1956, Copes received a PhD in Economics from the London School of Economics at the University of London. In 1957, Copes left the Bureau of Statistics to take on an associate professorship at the Memorial University of Newfoundland. He was subsequently promoted to the status of professor (1962) and Head of the Economics Department. In 1961, Copes helped to establish Memorial University’s Institute of Social and Economic Research, serving as founding Director of Economic Research. This was also the year that Copes published the first of two seminal works on Newfoundland’s economy St. John's and Newfoundland: An Economic Survey.
In 1964, Copes left Memorial University to head the Department of Economics and Commerce at Simon Fraser University—a newly established institution, which was making preparations to open its doors in 1965.
While at SFU, in 1968, Copes developed the first executive MBA program in Canada. After a brief hiatus from the head position in the Department, Copes became the Department Chair from 1972-1975. During this time, in 1972, Copes published his second work on Newfoundland’s economy, The Resettlement of Fishing Communities in Newfoundland. In 1978 until 1985, Copes was the director of SFU’s Centre for Canadian Studies—a program he helped to develop. During that time he also became an associate member of the School of Resource and Environmental Management (1979). In 1980, Copes founded the Institute of Fisheries Analysis, where he served as director until 1994. He was also the initiator, director, and administrator of a Collaborative Research and Training Agreement between SFU and the Asian Fisheries and Social Science Research Network (1989 to 1994), which was sponsored by the International Development Research Centre. From 1991 until 1996, Copes was a member of the faculty of Master of Aquiculture Program. Throughout his career at SFU Copes instructed classes; he was a professor of economics from 1964 until 1991, and an adjunct professor of geography beginning in 1995.
During his career, Copes held several offices and positions within various associations, institutes and organizations, including Governor of the Institute of Canadian Bankers (1967-1971), President and Chairman of the Pacific Regional Science Conference Organizations (1977-1985), and Vice President of the Social Sciences Federation of Canada (1981-1983). As well, in 1976, Copes was seconded to the Canadian Department of the Environment as director and principal investigator of the Canada-Foreign Arrangements Project, to research and propose management arrangements for Canada’s Extended Fisheries Jurisdiction, which was declared in 1977. Copes also often acted as an Economics consultant and/or advisor in the areas of fisheries policy and fisheries resource management. He was also active on numerous arbitration and conciliation boards.
Copes received several honors and distinctions. In 1991, he received an honorary Doctorate degree from the Royal Roads Military College in Military Science, and was also distinguished as a professor emeritus in economics as SFU. In 1992, Copes was distinguished as a Foreign Fellow by the Academy of Natural Sciences of the Russian Federation. That same year, the Simon Fraser University Faculty Association named him an Honorary Life Member. In 1993, Copes received an honorary Doctorate in Philosophy from Norway’s University of Tromsø, and in 1994, Copes became the first recipient of SFU’s Sterling Prize in Support of Controversy in recognition of his controversial study and report on Newfoundland’s economy and fishing communities. In 1996, Copes received an honorary degree from Memorial University in recognition of his role in developing the university and for establishing public debate on fisheries. That same year, Copes received a Distinguished Service Award of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade.
Parzival Copes is widowed, and has three grown children.