Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- For the Polish partisan leader, see Jacob Penner (World War II) .
Jacob Penner (August 12, 1880 - August 28, 1965) was a popular socialist politician in Canada. Penner was born and raised in a Mennonite family in Russia and immigrated to Winnipeg in 1902. A Marxist, he helped found the Social Democratic Party of Canada and was an opponent of conscription during the Conscription crisis of 1917 and was an organiser of the Winnipeg General Strike in 1919.
In 1921 he participated in the founding of the Communist Party of Canada and was the party's western organiser. In 1933 he was elected to Winnipeg's city council as an alderman, a position he held until 1960 becoming the longest serving elected Communist alderman in North America. When he retired, fellow Communist Joseph Zuken succeeded him on City Council and was to serve until the 1980s.
Penner was very popular among his constituents in the city's impoverished north end and attracted support from across party lines. He was an early advocate of a minimum wage and unemployment insurance and used his political position to campaign for these reforms. His son, Roland Penner joined the Manitoba New Democratic Party and served as the province's Attorney-General in the 1980s.
In addition to his service in municipal politics, Jacob Penner also sought federal or provincial office on four occasions:
- Winnipeg North, 1921 (federal), 565 votes (winner: Edward James McMurray , Liberal)
- Winnipeg , 1927 (provincial), 2015 votes on the first count, not elected (Winnipeg elected ten members by preferential balloting during this period)
- Winnipeg , 1932 (provincial), 1106 votes on the first count, not elected
- St. Johns, 1958 (provincial), 588 votes (winner: David Orlikow , CCF)
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