Steinbach's new Honourary Street Naming Policy will be used for the first time to remember Jim Penner. 

Penner owned and operated the iconic Penner foods which eventually became Sobeys, and was also a prominent politician serving locally and provincially. 

Steinbach MLA Kelvin Goertzen put forward the request. In his letter to Steinbach City Council he says “Mr. Penner was a prominent business person in Steinbach and Manitoba through the operation of Penner Foods, the largest independent grocer in Western Canada at the time. He employed many local residents during their youth and many throughout much of their lives.” 

Steinbach has named many facilities and parks after former mayors and members of parliament, and with that in mind Goertzen notes “following this tradition, I am asking City Council to consider naming a street after the late Jim Penner for his contributions to Steinbach.” 

Councillor Michael Zwaagstra moved to approve Goertzen’s request noting this is a great use of the city’s new policy. 

“I think we should consider this request,” notes Zwaagstra. “his contributions were significant both as an MLA for Steinbach and a business owner. He also served on council in the past as well and so Mr. Jim Penner does seem exactly like the type of person that we would consider doing an honourary street renaming for.” 

Mayor Earl Funk spoke in favour of the motion noting “he was a great man for the community and he built the Clearspring Mall which changed the dynamics of the number 12 Highway. In hindsight, we have a second Main Street now.” 

Steinbach’s Honourary Street Naming Policy was approved by city council in April of this year. It has not yet been used. According to the policy, the legal name of the street will not be changed even if the street is given an honorary name. Rather, an honorary street name sign would sit on top of the existing street sign. 

Council gave MLA Kelvin Goertzen’s request full support.  

The motion did not specify which street would be given the honourary name. City administration says this will be worked out with MLA Kelvin Goertzen and city council.