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Keith Penner

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Name  Keith Penner
Role  Canadian Politician
Party  Liberal Party of Canada

Keith Penner 2010 Distinguished Service Award Keith Penner CAFPACEP
Education  University of Toronto, Queen's University, University of Ottawa, University of Alberta

B. Keith Penner (born May 1, 1933) is a Canadian public official and former politician. He is best known for having chaired a House of Commons committee on Indian self-government in the early 1980s, and for the report of the committee known as the Penner Report.


Early life

Raised in Alberta, Penner later moved to Northern Ontario. Penner completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Alberta and earned master's degrees from the University of Toronto and the University of Ottawa. He also pursued post-degree studies at Queen's University and McMaster University. He is the grandfather of Kaleigh Penner-White.

Political career

Penner entered politics in the 1968 federal election and was elected the Liberal MP for Thunder Bay, Ontario. He was re-elected in 1972 and 1974 for Thunder Bay and then in the 1979, 1980 and 1984 federal elections representing Cochrane) (later Cochrane—Superior). Penner served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Science and Technology and to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. He did not seek re-election in the 1988 election.

Indian Affairs and Northern Development

In the 1980s, Penner was Chair of the Standing Committee on Indian Affairs and Northern Development. The Committee released a report on Native Self-governance in 1983. Often referred to as the Penner Report, it recommended the recognition of First Nations people as a distinct, constitutionally protected order of government within Canada and with a full range of government powers. The Report recommended that the provinces be removed from any jurisdiction concerning Aboriginal affairs and that a government structure for First Nations be regarded as the equivalent to a province, with financial support from the federal government in an arrangement that would be recognised in the Constitution of Canada. While the Liberal government of the day tabled in the House of Commons a relatively favourable response on March 5, 1984, a few months later Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau had resigned, John Turner became Prime Minister, Indian Affairs Minister John Munro was not named by Turner as a Minister, and in September 1984, the Conservative Government of Brian Mulroney swept into power.

During the academic year 1987-88, prior to announcing that he would not seek re-election, Penner was a visiting fellow in the School of Political Science at Queen's University. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Transport (North America), based on his appointment as a member of the Canadian Transportation Agency in 1996. Penner served with the agency until his retirement, in 2003.

In 2010, Penner was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award of the Canadian Association of Former Parliamentarians, cited in particular for his "continued interest and activity in the promotion of education, aboriginal rights and parliamentary democracy in Canada and abroad."


Keith Penner Wikipedia