THUNDER BAY – Ontario has dedicated Highway 664 to Leo Bernier, former MPP for Kenora and Minister of Northern Affairs. The Leo Bernier Memorial Highway is 17 kilometres long and runs from Hudson to the junction of Highway 72 near Sioux Lookout.
Mr. Bernier was born in Sioux Lookout and was a lifelong resident of the area. Prior to entering political office, he was a bush pilot, general store manager, and worked in the family lumber business. During his time in government, he earned the nickname “King of the North” for his accomplishments for Northern Ontario and his riding.
“Leo Bernier was a great man with a great vision for Northern Ontario. He left an impressive legacy and set a high standard for those of us who had the privilege of following him. I couldn’t be more proud to be part of a tribute that will permanently honour his many contributions and his life,” shared Michael Gravelle the Minister of Natural Resources and MPP for Thunder Bay-Superior North.
Minister of Transport Bob Chiarelli commented, “This highway dedication is a fitting tribute to Mr. Bernier, who made significant contributions to the health, welfare and prosperity of Northern Ontarians during his many years of public service.”
- First elected in a 1966 by-election, Leo Bernier served as MPP for 21 years until his retirement in 1987.
- Mr. Bernier served in the governments of Premier William Davis and Premier Frank Miller as Minister of Mines and Northern Affairs (1971-72), Minister of Lands and Forests (1972), Minister of Natural Resources (1972-77) and Minister of Northern Affairs (1977-85).
- In 1975, Mr. Bernier selected amethyst as Ontario’s mineral emblem.