|Shadow Minister for International Development|
20 November 2015
|Preceded by||Hélène Laverdière|
|Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Calgary Forest Lawn
Calgary East (1997-2015)
June 2, 1997
|Preceded by||Alex Kindy|
July 5, 1950 |
|Profession||dry cleaner, businessman|
Deepak Obhrai, PC, MP (born July 5, 1950 in Oldeani, Tanzania) is a Canadian politician, representing the riding of Calgary Forest Lawn for the Conservative Party of Canada. He formerly served as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. He, along with Gerry Ritz and Jason Kenney are currently the longest continuously-serving Conservative MPs.
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.
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.
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. 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.
Obhrai has gained notoriety in the Conservative caucus for his eccentricity. 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. 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.". To wind it up, Obhrai gleefully exclaimed that, despite his senior status, "I still look young!".
|Canadian federal election, 2015: Calgary Forest Lawn|
|New Democratic||Adbou Souraya||4,006||9.76||–3.39||–|
|Democratic Advancement||Max Veress||134||0.33||–||–|
|Total valid votes/Expense limit||41,047||100.00||$206,437.77|
|Total rejected ballots||345||0.83||–|
|Source: Elections Canada|
|Canadian federal election, 2011: Calgary East|
|New Democratic||Al Brown||4,894||14.12%||+2.37%|
|Total valid votes/Expense limit||34,661||100.00%|
|Total rejected ballots||–||–||–|
|Canadian federal election, 2008: Calgary East|
|New Democratic||Ian Vaughan||3,768||11.75%||+0.88%||$831|
|Total valid votes/Expense limit||32,060||100.00%||$83,826|
|Total rejected ballots||–||–|
|Canadian federal election, 2006: Calgary East|
|New Democratic||Patrick Arnell||4,338||10.87%||+1.01%||$2,762|
|Green||J. Mark Taylor||2,955||7.41%||+0.36%||$1,910|
|Canadian Action||Ghazanfar Khan||183||0.46%||–||$99|
|Total valid votes||39,890||100.00%|
|Total rejected ballots||181||0.45%|
|Canadian federal election, 2004: Calgary East|
|New Democratic||Elizabeth Thomas||3,535||9.86%||+5.55%||$5,211|
|Green||Dean Kenneth Christie||2,529||7.05%||–||$1,526|
|Total valid votes||35,827||100.00%|
|Total rejected ballots||207||0.57%|
Note: Conservative vote is compared to total of Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservative vote in 2000.
|Canadian federal election, 2000: Calgary East|
|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|
|Natural Law||Neeraj Varma||124||0.37%||-0.73%|
|Total valid votes||33,436||100.00%|
|Total rejected ballots||118||0.35%|
Note: Canadian Alliance vote is compared to Reform vote in 1997.
|Canadian federal election, 1997: Calgary East|
|Progressive Conservative||Roger Richard||7,306||24.62%||-34.23%||$40,312|
|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%|
- Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada Website.
- Obhrai criticized as Tory incumbents avoid Calgary election debates.
- Cone of silence tightens on Tories
- Deepak Obhrai, the peacock of South Asian MPs
- Deepak the elder
- "October 19, 2015 Election Results — Calgary Forest Lawn (Validated results)". Elections Canada. 20 October 2015. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
- Elections Canada – Preliminary Election Expenses Limits for Candidates