Barry served as Attorney General for the Province of British Columbia from December 1, 2010 until August 18, 2011 when he announced that after four successful election campaigns, he would not be seeking re-election to the British Columbia Legislature. Barry also stepped down from his ministerial portfolio to spend more time with his young family.
Barry Penner previously served as BC’s Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation from October, 2010 to March, 2011 and Minister of Environment from June, 2005 to October, 2010. He was BC’s longest serving Environment Minister.
Barry was raised in Chilliwack, BC. He received his Bachelor's degree from Simon Fraser University after studying government and economics, and subsequently earned his law degree from the University of Victoria. Barry was employed as a BC park ranger during his summer breaks. In 1991, he worked for an International law firm in Bangkok, Thailand and then practiced law in Chilliwack until his election to the Legislative Assembly in 1996.
|Barry frequently meets with school groups during their tours of the Legislature.|
Barry was first elected to the BC Legislature in 1996 for the electoral district of Chilliwack. He helped lead the charge against the Sumas Energy 2, Inc. (SE2) power plant, which would have added 2.5 tonnes of air pollution every day into the Fraser Valley. He also helped rally community support which resulted in the new Chilliwack Courthouse. Barry was re-elected in 2001 to represent the riding of Chilliwack-Kent, and was re-elected again in 2005. In 2009, Barry was re-elected and currently represents the constituency of Chilliwack-Hope.
Along the way, Barry has been recognized for his efforts and contributions. In 2010, he was given the “Power 50” award which recognizes the most influential people, with Vancouver Magazine calling him “one of the most credible [cabinet] ministers” in British Columbia. Barry has also received the “Hot Potato” Award from the Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER), for tackling cross-border issues, and was named to the “Order of the Smashed Brick” by the Canadian Consulate in Seattle, Washington for working to reduce tensions and barriers between Canada and United States.
Barry has promoted the expanded use of Canada's DNA database to help identify and catch convicted criminals, and introduced a motion in the Legislature calling on the BC Government to introduce an 'AMBER Alert' system in BC to assist police in safely returning abducted children to their parents. The motion passed in 2003, and the 'AMBER Alert' system became operational in 2004.
Barry led BC's delegation to the Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER - see www.pnwer.org) from 2001 to 2005. He served as PNWER's vice-president before becoming President in June, 2002. Barry remains actively involved in PNWER, meeting with legislative leaders in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska, as well as Alberta, Yukon, Saskatchewan and Northwest Territories.
|About 300 people attended Barry's 8th annual BBQ and Corn Roast at the Chilliwack-Kent Open House on September 13, 2003.|
In February, 2004, Barry was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Finance Minister, after previously serving as Chair of the Government Caucus Committee on Natural Resources and as Chair of the Legislature’s Standing Committee on Parliamentary Reform, Ethical Conduct, Standing Orders and Private Bills. Barry has also chaired the Cabinet Committee on Environment and Land Use and the Cabinet Committee for Legislative Review.
In April, 2005, Barry was appointed co-chair of the Alternative Energy and Power Technology Task Force. He has a strong interest in encouraging responsible methods of energy generation, advocating for small-hydro, wind power and other renewable energy sources. Barry is also working to encourage greater use of natural gas as a cleaner burning transportation fuel.
Barry, his wife, Daris, and daughter, Fintry, live in the electoral district of Chilliwack-Hope. Email him at email@example.com.