WINNIPEG—A Mennonite pastor known for his vocal support of COVID-19 vaccinations has been named one of the “top 100 (plus) most fascinating Manitobans for 2021” by Winnipeg radio DJ Ace Burpee. Kyle Penner, assistant pastor at Grace Mennonite Church in Steinbach, was included in the list, which the Winnipeg Free Press published at the end of December. “[He] went on the record early and often in support of COVID-19 vaccinations,” Burpee wrote of Penner, who uses social media to promote vaccinations and who served on the advisory committee for Protect MB, the provincial government’s vaccination outreach initiative. “There has been backlash along the way, but he’s put in a ton of time communicating facts while also trying to ease concerns and clear up misinformation.” Burpee, who is known for using his platform to highlight interesting people and charitable causes, contributes the list to the Free Press every year. Among the people who made the list were a Juno Award-winning jazz musician, a board game creator, the founders of a non-profit residential treatment centre for people seeking recovery from substance abuse and the doctor leading the charge for Manitoba’s vaccination efforts.
—By Aaron Epp
Kyle Penner, pictured after receiving his second vaccination last June. He is wearing “stickers” that his children made. (Photo courtesy of Twitter.com/kyle_penner)