When B.C.’s Attorney General Barry Penner announced last week he was stepping down from cabinet immediately and would not run in the next provincial election it was met with surprise.
Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett was one of the people close to Penner who didn’t see it coming.
“It was a sad day for the people of the province and the government,” Barnett said.
Barnett, who spent years as mayor of 100 Mile House, said she worked with Penner when she was a municipal politician and an MLA.
“I think Barry was the best environment minister that I ever worked with,” she said. “He was honest, forthright … he was articulate and such a great guy.”
Barnett added that Penner has recently been married and even more recently became a father and that can change a person’s priorities.
“He’s got a beautiful baby and I don’t blame him. Children grow too quickly and every day of their lives they do something different. He gave 15 years of his life to the province and to the public and I commend him for that.”
Penner is the MLA for the Chilliwack Hope riding, a former environment minister, former attorney general and former minister of aboriginal relations and reconciliation.