Former MLA Barry Penner moving to Myanmar

Former Chilliwack MLA and his family were preparing to board a plane and take up residence far away from Chilliwack in Southeast Asia.

Barry Penner and his wife

“I called to say goodbye.”

The family was in the car. The movers were in his Chilliwack home.

Barry Penner was making his farewell calls to some local media.

The former Chilliwack MLA and his family were preparing to board a plane and take up residence far away from Chilliwack in Southeast Asia.

“I wouldn’t be making this move without the enthusiastic support of my wife, Daris and what we hope will be support from our three-year-old daughter, Fintry,” Penner writes on his Facebook page.

“We will miss B.C. very much, but expect to be back to visit. If you happen to be in Myanmar, please look us up. I’m sure we will be eager for news from Canada.”

This week they were boarding a plane and heading to Myanmar, as in formerly known as Burma, where Penner will be working in his field in an atmosphere he described as a “frontier market.”

They were going to Bangkok, Thailand first en route to Yangon, Myanmar.

“However, we were in Myanmar in January and visited certain parts of the country, including Bagan (see in the online photo attached).

Penner’s first visit to the area was in 2004, shortly after the tragic Asian tsunami.

“As for the work I will be doing, I hope to be able to assist in Myanmar’s transformation into a more open society and economy. There is enormous untapped potential but poverty is widespread.

“Compared to Thailand and some other southeast Asian countries, Myanmar has missed out on the benefits of an economic boom that started more than 15 years ago.

He will be working with Mynamar Legal Services to assist in managing their increasingly busy office, as investment flows into the  developing country. He worked as a Law Co-op student in Thailand 23 years ago, and the firm Chandler & Thong-ek is associated with the new firm in Myanmar.

He kept in touch and it led to an opportunity.

“It’s obviously a big step for my family and I, and it is not without some trepidation that we are embarking on what will undoubtedly be an interesting personal and career adventure.”

Penner’s political contributions from his time in Chilliwack include his fight against the SE2 power plant, and for supporting run-of-the-river and other green energy projects. He held the portfolios like Attorney General of British Columbia, Deputy House Leader, Minister of Environment and Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation.

Penner was first elected as a Chilliwack MLA in 1996 and re-elected in 2001 and 2005 (Chilliwack-Kent) with some of the highest margins in the province. He was re-elected in the 2009.

Just Posted

Chilliwack’s oldest school, Central elementary, celebrates 90 years

Historic photos, scrap books, the school song all part of upcoming 90th celebration

The Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk strolls into Chilliwack next month

Photographers meet up to spend a few hours socializing, capturing images, and sharing with like-minded people

Libraries call on reading buddies, dads to take part in literacy programs in Chilliwack

The annual Reading Buddies program and the brand-new Man in the Moon story time start this month

Westbound crash on Highway 1 in Langley causing extreme traffic delays

Collision occured just after Glover Road, cars backed up all the way to 264th Street

Chilliwack Chiefs blow out Prince George Spruce Kings in home opener

Ethan Bowen scored three goals as the Chiefs dumped their Mainland division rivals 6-2.

VIDEO: A moment to remember during the World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor Championship in B.C.

Diego Hernandez Valenzuela’s team lost, but he felt like a winner Saturday

Over 200 Hotel Georgia hospitality workers join ‘open-ended strike’

Unionized workers at Hyatt Regency, Westin Bayshore and Pinnacle Harbourfront have also walked out

B.C. Lions hype-man marks 15 years of cheers

Crazy P cheers, chants, bangs his drum and spreads a message of love

Hiker rescued after spending night on Crown Mountain

North Shore Rescue spotted the woman by helicopter over Hanes Valley

PHOTOS: Steller sea lion with plastic around neck rescued on Vancouver Island

Rescue staff determined the plastic band cut the protected animal’s neck approximately two inches

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Most Read