Barry Penner knows exactly where everything in The Environment belongs, and you had better believe that he will exercise all of his Minesterial Might to make sure that things stay where they belong, from the mightiest tree to the littlest fuzzball. Long story short, a yellow-bellied marmot (native to BC’s southeast) has appeared in Victoria, without even the decency of being elected  to the legislature! This, of course, represents a threat to local Marmots, who aren’t smart enough to suck up to the people staying at the Empress for free food.

You can watch the whole video below, but if you don’t feel like watching a minute and a half of pointless cute animal scampering (and I wouldn’t blame you), click here to go to the really important part.

Just look at this face. This is the face of disease, the face of parasites, the chunky, chubby face of evil.

Chilling.

Of course, that’s not the whole story. Barry Penner doesn’t just show up when the press is around, oh no. He patrols the grounds at all times, looking for the nogoodniks that feed this threatening alien marmot.

Penner caught two women feeding the marmot Rice Krispie squares.

“I expressed my opinion that Rice Krispie squares would not likely be part of its natural diet,” Penner said. “We then had quite a conversation about marmots.”

Can’t you just picture it? Two shady-looking women, glancing around furtively to make sure the coast is clear, then offering the fuzzy little mooch a snack. All of a sudden, Barry Penner springs from behind a bush! “Ladies,” his booming, authoritative voice rings across the lawn, “I can’t help but notice that you are feeding that yellow-bellied marmot (a cowardly, untrustworthy creature which is technically not a marmot at all, but a ground squirrel, and is not native to this particular region of the province and may be carrying disease or parasites which may be deadly to the honest and hardworking Vancouver Island marmot, which is itself already recovering from dangerously low population levels) some sort of dessert square! I hardly think, and I expect you would agree, that such a creature as that would usually eat such a meal in his natural habitat (which is far away from here), though his chunky chubby girth may hint otherwise! Please stop immediately!” Abashed, they hand over the Rice Krispie square, and Barry Penner grins widely. “Now, who wants to learn more about Marmots?”   I think you know how it goes from there.

Geographically displaced marmots eating marshmallow treats?  Thank goodness we have Barry Penner to protect us from this madness.

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It’s Easter, the only holiday to prominently feature wildlife creatures (well, save Moose Wednesday, but who cares about that?).  Here is Barry Penner’s Easter message to the people of British Columbia, as shared by Public Eye Online (starts at about the 30 second mark, though everything before that is still Pure Barry Penner Gold):

So Barry Penner says no to rabbits, no to tribbles, and his actions speak for themselves when it comes to cats… what small fuzzy pets are going to be left? I think perhaps Barry Penner owns stock in a guinea pig farm. It certainly would explain a lot.

Also, was I the only one that thought he’d end the sentence “far too many of them end up…” with “on fire”? I don’t know why, it’s just the first thing that popped into my head. Huh, weird.

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I assume by now everyone has seen Barry Penner’s 2009 Christmas Holiday Greeting video. It’s full of best wishes, inspiring words, and special effects that rival the best Hollywood can put out. Truly inspiring stuff.

One important thing to note, however, is all that snow. As anyone in the best BC riding in all the world (Chilliwack-Hope) can tell you, we don’t have snow. We had a bit of snow for about about three minutes a few weeks back, but the rain put a stop to that nonsense rather fast. I guess the only possible explanation is that Barry Penner, being responsible for all the outdoors as he is, has the ability to command the skies to bring forth the white stuff whenever it suits him, such as when he needs a picturesque backdrop for a Holiday Greeting video. We are lucky he uses his powers for good and not for evil.

Anyhow, Merry Christmas to all you out there in Barry Penner Land. Hope you have a wonderful day full of family, fun, and Environment Ministers. I’m taking a few days off myself, so don’t expect any weekend posts. See you all on Monday!

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There was a little exchange during question period the other day that is certainly worth a quick look. Barry Penner answered a question (showing off his undeniable skill with the English language), but it’s what came immediately before that grabbed my attention. Here, have a read (draft transcript from here):

GRAVEL EXTRACTION
FROM FRASER RIVER

V. Huntington: Last week emergency management B.C. announced that the province will proceed with gravel extraction along unspecified portions of the lower Fraser River from January to March 2010. The province has insisted that this is all about public safety and reducing the flood risk. However, a former regional director with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans has stated that there is a general lack of information that demonstrates that gravel removal has or will reduce flood hazard. [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]

Similarly, the federal environment commissioner said in a report earlier this year that engineering and scientific studies concluded there was no reduction in the flood profile after gravel removal and that gravel removal would not significantly affect the potential for flooding. [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]

My question is to the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. What scientific studies has his ministry used or conducted to justify the removal of gravel for flood protection measures? [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]

Interjection.

Hon. B. Penner: Thank you for the intervention from the member for Delta North. [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]

The B.C. government is committed to flood protection, and certainly, given the recent weather events, the last 72 hours, we can see that our investments are paying dividends. It’s important that we continue to maintain our flood protection programs in British Columbia but that we do it in a balanced way. [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]

In the 1990s we know that the other party did put a moratorium on gravel removal and walked away from a federal-provincial funding program for flood protection in the province. Our government ran on a commitment to restore our protection programs and to return to a well-managed, environmentally sustainable and balanced gravel removal program in order to advance flood protection. That has been our commitment, and that has been what we’ve delivered. [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]

Well, as fascinating as that is (investments! dividends! Even more proof that Barry Penner is doing the job of the Finance Minister as well as his own when looking after the province’s water)… I’m wondering what exactly the listed interjection is from the member for Delta North. It must have been something notable to have Barry Penner take the time to thank him for it, professional that he is.  Well, you can get the video (here), so let’s go to the tape.  The ‘Interjection’ is about a minute in, if you don’t care whatsoever for context):

For those of you that don’t have all of the MLAs and their ridings memorized (you weirdo), the member for Delta North is none other than Guy Gentner, NDP.  So there you go… Barry Penner is so awesome that even the Official Opposition has to admit it. It’s now a matter of public record.

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