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Encyclopedia > Jack Penner

Jack Penner is a politician in Manitoba, Canada. He served in the cabinet of Progressive Conservative Premier Gary Filmon, and is a current member of the Manitoba legislature.


Penner was born in Halbstadt, Manitoba, and worked as a farmer both before and after entering politics. He has served as President of the Keystone Agricultural Producers, the Rhineland Pioneer Centre, and the Rhineland Agricultural Society along with other related organizations. Penner also worked for West Park Motors in Altona, Manitoba, for 12 years.


Penner was first elected to the Manitoba legislature in the 1988 general election, in the rural riding of Rhineland in the province's southeastern region. He received 5166 votes, against 1059 for his closest opponent, Liberal Walter Hebert. Penner was subsequently returned for the riding of Emerson in the provincial elections of 1990, 1995, 1999 and 2003, each time by a significant margin. He reportedly considered running for the federal Progressive Conservative Party in 1996, but ultimately declined.


When Gary Filmon was sworn in as Premier on May 9, 1988, he made Penner his Minister of Natural Resources, with responsibility for the Natural Resources Development Act. On April 21, 1989, he was shifted to the Ministry of Rural Development. Penner was dropped from cabinet on February 5, 1991, and was not re-appointed thereafter.


Recently, Penner has become an active spokesman for farmers affected by the BSE crisis, which has kept the American border closed to Canadian beef. On May 19, 2004, he was the leaning Progressive Conservative spokesman for an all-party parliamentary resolution on the issue.


Penner has also been linked to Farmers For Justice, a right-wing farming organization that opposes the monopoly status of the Canadian Wheat Board.


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