South Asian Canadians

First-Ever Hindu Elected to Canadian Parliament Deepak Obhrai dies of Cancer at 69!

Calgary MP Deepak Obhrai, a beloved figure on Parliament Hill, dean of the federal Conservative caucus and the first Hindu politician ever elected to the House of Commons, has died after a brief and aggressive battle with liver cancer, his family announced Saturday morning.

Late Hon Deepak Obhrai with Indian PM Narendra Modi

In a note to the public on Late Hon Deepak Obhrai’s twitter account, his family mentioned that they are shocked by his sudden departure.

Note from Late Deepak Obhrai’s twitter account

Andrew Scheer, the leader of the Conservative Party wrote a heartfelt note about Deepak Obhrai’s sudden demise.

Jill and I were heartbroken this morning to learn of Deepak Obhrai’s passing. Deepak fought a brief but courageous battle against cancer and passed away last night in Calgary with his family by his side.

Deepak was the longest-serving Conservative Member of Parliament, having been elected first as a Reform MP for Calgary-East in the 1997 election and then serving in a range of roles – both in opposition and in government – as a Canadian Alliance and then Conservative MP. He was always a champion for his riding and fought hard for his constituents. His decades of hard work to advance the conservative movement and ultimately strengthen Canada will not be forgotten.

Deepak was a constant source of joy inside the Conservative caucus. He brightened every room he walked into and often injected warmth, kindness, and good humour into our deliberations. I know I speak on behalf of my Conservative colleagues when I say that he will be missed tremendously.

Personally, I will always have fond memories of the time we spent together during the Conservative Party of Canada leadership race. In addition to the laughs and good memories we all shared on the campaign trail, his campaign was a testament to his strong beliefs in freedom, prosperity, and inclusiveness. He was the first Hindu ever elected to the House of Commons.

My prayers are with Deepak’s wife Neena and their children and grandchildren during this time.

Late Hon Deepak Obhrai with former Candian PM Stephen Harper