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Veteran Saskatoon city councillor Glen Penner dead at 82

Glen Penner in a 2012 interview with Rob MacDonald, following the announcement of his retirement. Glen Penner in a 2012 interview with Rob MacDonald, following the announcement of his retirement.

Long-time city councillor and former Saskatchewan Liberal MLA Glen Penner died on Monday at Royal University Hospital after a short illness, according to a Saskatoon obituary.

Penner served on city council for over two decades in total. His first term in the role that was then-dubbed alderman was in 1972.

In 1975, Penner was elected as MLA in Saskatoon Eastview for the provincial Liberal party. He returned to civic politics in 1979. Most recently, Penner served as Ward 8 councillor from 2000 until 2012.

“I was very sad to hear that Glen Penner has passed away,” Mayor Charlie Clark tweeted on Wednesday.

“I was on City Council with Councillor Penner for his last two terms and through some pretty big debates. We didn’t always agree, but we had great discussions. He always took time to give me advice and hear my perspective as a young Councillor.”

Some of those debates parallel discussions today.

In 2011 the city faced a budget shortfall as fuel costs rose 30 per cent, year-over-year. City crews could only manage road repairs on a “worst-first” basis and councillors weighed their options on how to improve service levels — from finding cuts elsewhere to raising taxes.

Penner had other ideas on how to raise funding.

“It is significant enough that to do it on property tax alone isn’t going to be sufficient,” Penner said at a Sep. 2011 spending review.

“I think we need dedicated resources from the two senior levels of government in order to adequately deal with the problem.”

When people provide their tax dollars to the city, Penner said, they expect to see roadways improved.

Clark says Penner benefited from discussion with the other councillors and wasn’t afraid to change his mind.

“Councillor Penner had a calmness that came from experience and often helped bring the temperature down in debates,” said Clark.

A memorial for Penner takes place on June 27 at Saskatoon Funeral Home. Top Stories

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