Memorable Manitobans: Maitland Bernard Steinkopf (1912-1970)
Lawyer, businessman, MLA (1963-1966).
Born at Winnipeg on 10 September 1912, son of Max Steinkopf and Hedwig Meyer (1880-1961), he graduated in law from the University of Manitoba in 1936. As a student he had organized the athletic board of control and was vice-president of students’s union. He succeeded his father as honorary consul for Czechoslovakia in 1937. During the Second World War he served in the Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps and was awarded membership in the Order of the British Empire (1945).
He operated the Canada West Shoe Company and served as President of Bonded Investments Company, L. H. Packard Company, J. Leckie Company, Dayton Shoe Manufacturing Company, and R. S. Robinson and Sons Company. Active in real estate development, he was one of the founders of the Polo Park Shopping Centre. He was a director of Tip Top Tailors Limited, Monarch Life Assurance Company, National Trust Company, and Canadian Pacific Railway.
In 1962 he was elected MLA for River Heights, serving as Provincial Secretary and Minister of Public Utilities from 1963 to 1966. He resigned in 1964 over a controversial land transaction but was re-elected at a by-election in September 1964. He served as Chairman of a special committee of the Manitoba Legislative Assembly on consumer credit (1966) and Chairman of the Manitoba Centennial Corporation from 1963 until his death. He was also Chancellor of Brandon University (1967-1970).
In 1947, he married Helen Estelle Katz and they had five daughters and a son, including Justine Estelle Steinkopf (1950-2020). In recognition of his community service, he was made a Queen’s Counsel (1960), received a Manitoba Centennial Medal from the Manitoba Historical Society (1970), and was inducted into the Manitoba Order of the Buffalo Hunt (1961) and the Order of Canada (1970).
He died of a heart attack at his Winnipeg home, 203 Oxford Street, on 22 November 1970 and was buried in the Shaarey Zedek Cemetery. He is commemorated by the Maitland B. Steinkopf Foundation for the Mentally Retarded. Extensive holdings at the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada including items relating to his political and business activities, personal life and charitable works, including work relating to centennial projects.
Birth registration [Maitland Straus Steinkopf], Manitoba Vital Statistics.
“Ten Manitobans on honors list,” Winnipeg Free Press, 31 December 1960, page 1.
“Maitland Steinkopf dies at age 58,” Winnipeg Free Press, 23 November 1970, page 53.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 23 November 1970.
Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.
Obituary [Justine Estelle Steinkopf], Winnipeg Free Press, 3 December 2020.
We thank Oliver Bernuetz (Legislative Library of Manitoba), George Penner, and John Perrin for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 8 February 2023