Member of Parliament
Deepak Obhrai was born in Tanzania and attended school in three separate continents: in Tanzania, India and the United Kingdom. He immigrated to Canada with his family in 1977.
In Canada, Deepak became heavily involved in his community, acting as President of the India – Canada Association, Monterey Community Association and the Hindu Society of Calgary. He was also Vice-President of the National Indo-Canadian Council.
Deepak was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Calgary East in 1997. He was then re-elected in 2000, 2004, 2006 and 2008; successively receiving a larger percentage of the popular vote. In the most recent election held in May 2011, Deepak was re-elected with 67.4% majority.
After the Conservative Party won the general election in January 2006, Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed Deepak as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. In March 2008, Deepak was vested with the additional responsibility of Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation.
In the current Parliament, Deepak serves as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. He also serves as Chair of the Canada-Indonesia Parliamentary Friendship Group.
As the founder and former chair of the Canada-India Parliamentary Friendship Group, Deepak initiated many activities leading to further strengthening of Canada’s relations with India. For the past ten years, Deepak has also hosted the annual Diwali celebration on Parliament Hill, which has today blossomed into Canada’s national Diwali celebration.
Africa is Deepak’s other great passion. Born and raised in Tanzania, he has travelled widely across Africa and continues to work hard to build bridges of understanding between Canada and countries of Africa. He is a member of the Canada-Africa Parliamentary Association.
Deepak remains committed to ensuring that the voices of Canada’s multicultural communities are heard in Ottawa. In this capacity, he has traveled extensively across Canada and built a wide spectrum of support for Canada’s Conservative Government.
In January 2009, the Government of India recognized Deepak for his contribution in strengthening Canada-India relations by awarding him the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman award, which is the highest honour given to overseas Indians. In 2008, India Abroad newspaper named Deepak as one of 35 most influential Indo-Canadians in Canada.
Deepak Obhrai and his wife, Neena, have two daughters: Priti and Kaajal, a son: Aman, son-in-law: Robin Martin, grandson: Davin Jacob and granddaughter: Evasha.