Barry Penner must think he's got an enormous capital L tattooed on his forehead. Despite having more political smarts than most cabinet ministers, Mr. Penner languished in the backbenches for two years before the premier named him parliamentary secretary to House Leader Gary Collins. At the time, Mr. Penner was told he was being groomed for his new boss's job. But now it looks like the premier has passed him over for the house leader spot, instead putting Labour Minister Graham Bruce into that position. We're pretty sure this decision has made Mr. Penner very, very, very happy. But we're just guessing. Of course, Mr. Penner's predicament will come as no surprise to Ralph Sultan, the Harvard economist, former bank executive and government MLA who also remains inexplicably excluded from cabinet.
December 14, 2004