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Deepak Obhrai

Deepak Obhrai
PC MP
Member of Parliament
for Calgary East
Assumed office
1997
Preceded by Alex Kindy
Personal details
Born (1950-07-05) July 5, 1950
Oldeani, Tanzania
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Neena Obhrai
Residence Calgary
Profession dry cleaner, businessman
Religion Hindu
Website www.deepakobhrai.com

Deepak Obhrai, PC, MP (born July 5, 1950 in Oldeani, Tanzania) is a Canadian politician, representing the riding of Calgary East for the Conservative Party of Canada. He is currently serving as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.[1]

He was first elected in 1997 for the Reform Party of Canada, and was re-elected when the Reform Party became the Canadian Alliance in 2000. In 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2011 he was elected as a member of the Conservative Party of Canada. He was also one of four Alliance MPs who agreed to sit with the Progressive Conservative caucus after the December 9, 2003 creation of the merged Conservative Party. The Progressive Conservative and Canadian Alliance parliamentary caucuses were not officially merged until a few weeks later.

As an opposition member he served as the Opposition critic for International Cooperation, Multiculturalism, International Trade and of CIDA.

On September 19, 2013, Obhrai was appointed to the Queen's Privy Council for Canada by Governor General of Canada David Johnston on the advice of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

In September 2014, Obhrai received the Pride of India Award from the Indo-American Friends Group of Washington DC and the Indo-American Business Chamber in a dinner ceremony held on Capitol Hill for his contributions towards strengthening Canada’s political, social and cultural relations with India and for his role in increasing Indian diaspora participation in pluralistic political activity.[2]

Contents

  • Controversy 1
  • Electoral results 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

Controversy

Obhrai attracted local and national criticism during the 2011 Canadian Federal Election for refusing to appear in an all-candidates debate in his riding, citing that he "does not wish to debate a Liberal from Toronto," a reference to Calgary East Liberal candidate Josipa Petrunic, who is in fact a born and raised Calgarian.[3][4] The controversy was accentuated by the fact that Obhrai himself has not lived in the riding since winning the then Reform party nomination in 1997, as his primary residence is actually in the federal riding of Calgary Northeast.[5]

Obhrai has gained notoriety in the Conservative caucus for his eccentricity.[6] Following his victory in the 2011 Election, he discovered that as a result of Gurbax Singh Malhi's defeat in Bramalea—Gore—Malton, he was now the longest serving remaining member of parliament who was of South Asian and/or African ancestry.[7] To this effect, he penned a letter to the editor to the Calgary Herald in which he boasted about being the "most senior South Asian and African member of Parliament", despite having never held office in India or Africa. Obhrai went on to proclaim that: "In my birth country, Tanzania, I would henceforth be referred to by the respectful title of Mzee. In South Asia, I would receive the title of Pradhaan. This means I have now reached the ranks of respected elders.".[8] To wind it up, Obhrai gleefully exclaimed that, despite his senior status, "I still look young!".[9]

Electoral results


Canadian federal election, 2011
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Conservative Deepak Obhrai 23,372 67.43% +0.96%
New Democratic Al Brown 4,894 14.12% +2.37%
Liberal Josipa Petrunic 4,102 11.83% +1.68%
Green Scott Milton 2,047 5.91% -4.70%
Communist Jason Devine 246 0.71% -0.30%
Total valid votes/Expense limit 34,661 100.00%
Total rejected ballots
Turnout %

Canadian federal election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Conservative Deepak Obhrai 21,311 66.47% -0.63% $77,330
New Democratic Ian Vaughan 3,768 11.75% +0.88% $831
Green Nathan Coates 3,403 10.61% +3.20% $2,722
Liberal Bernie Kennedy 3,255 10.15% -2.95% $6,934
Communist Jason Devine 323 1.01% +0.41% $417
Total valid votes/Expense limit 32,060 100.00% $83,826
Total rejected ballots
Turnout %
Conservative hold Swing -0.8

Canadian federal election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Conservative Deepak Obhrai 26,766 67.10% +5.99% $79,928
Liberal Dobie To 5,410 13.56% -7.71%
New Democratic Patrick Arnell 4,338 10.87% +1.01% $2,762
Green J. Mark Taylor 2,955 7.41% +0.36% $1,910
Communist Jason Devine 239 0.60% -0.08% $279
Canadian Action Ghazanfar Khan 183 0.46% $99
Total valid votes 39,890 100.00%
Total rejected ballots 181 0.45%
Turnout 40,071 50.45%

Canadian federal election, 2004
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Conservative Deepak Obhrai 21,897 61.11% -9.61% $55,864
Liberal James Maxim 7,621 21.27% +0.81% $50,725
New Democratic Elizabeth Thomas 3,535 9.86% +5.55% $5,211
Green Dean Kenneth Christie 2,529 7.05% $1,526
Communist Jason Devine 245 0.68% +0.14% $750
Total valid votes 35,827 100.00%
Total rejected ballots 207 0.57%
Turnout 36,034 47.79%


Note: Conservative vote is compared to total of Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservative vote in 2000.


Canadian federal election, 2000
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Alliance Deepak Obhrai 18,141 54.25% +9.27% $50,082
Liberal Doug Perras 6,843 20.46% -2.34% $13,817
Progressive Conservative Roger Richard 5,510 16.47% -8.15% $26,576
New Democratic Kaie Jones 1,444 4.31% -2.18% $4,528
Marijuana Grant Adam Krieger 1,222 3.65% $1,331
Communist Jason Devine 152 0.54% $415
Natural Law Neeraj Varma 124 0.37% -0.73%
Total valid votes 33,436 100.00%
Total rejected ballots 118 0.35%
Turnout 33,554 48.19%


Note: Canadian Alliance vote is compared to Reform vote in 1997.


Canadian federal election, 1997
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Reform Deepak Obhrai 13,348 44.98% $47,624
Progressive Conservative Roger Richard 7,306 24.62% -34.23% $40,312
Liberal Nagah Hage 6,766 22.80% -0.77% $20,633
New Democratic Kaie Jones 1,926 6.49% -7.19% $6,993
Natural Law Santo Esposito 329 1.10%
Total valid votes 29,675 100.00%
Total rejected ballots 175 0.59%
Turnout 29,850 47.88%

References

  1. ^ Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada Website.
  2. ^ http://www.voiceonline.com/deepak-obhrai-awarded-pride-of-india-award-for-fostering-indo-canadian-relations/
  3. ^ Obhrai criticized as Tory incumbents avoid Calgary election debates.
  4. ^ Cone of silence tightens on Tories
  5. ^ Whitepages
  6. ^ Deepak Obhrai, the peacock of South Asian MPs
  7. ^ Ibid
  8. ^ Deepak the elder
  9. ^ Ibid

External links

  • Deepak Obhrai's Member of Parliament Profile
  • Deepak Obhrai’s voting record
  • Deepak Obhrai
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