Dean of Conservative caucus succumbs to liver cancer
Conservative MP Deepak Obhrai died of liver cancer at age 69.
The Alberta politician’s relatives report that he died Friday in Calgary. He was surrounded by his family.
Mr. Obhrai represented the riding of Calgary Forest Lawn since 1997 and was the Dean of the Conservative Party of Canada Caucus.
As parliamentary secretary, he set a record number of years in the service of a Canadian foreign minister. He is also the Indo-Canadian Member of Parliament for the longest time in Parliament.
Born and raised in Tanzania, Mr. Obhrai studied on three continents before moving to Calgary with his family in 1977.
He was about to run for his eighth federal election in the fall, but he had been diagnosed with Stage 4 liver cancer a few weeks earlier.
A statement released by his family on Saturday said they were “shocked by his sudden departure.”
“We want all of his friends, his constituents in Calgary Forest Lawn, his supporters around the world and all his colleagues to know that their support and love for our father continued to encourage him to break every glass ceiling and overcome the obstacles, so that he could continue doing what he loved most: defending human rights, “reads their statement.
Conservative leader Andrew Scheer praised the “short but courageous battle” of his colleague and former rival in the party leadership race.
His campaign for the nomination “reflected his strong beliefs in freedom, prosperity and inclusion,” he added.
“Deepak was a source of constant joy in the Conservative caucus. He illuminated every room he entered and often brought warmth, kindness and humor to our deliberations, “said Scheer.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also paid tribute to this elected member of the opposition.
“Our parliamentary family is mourning a colleague and exceptional friend today. Deepak Obhrai has dedicated his life to serving the people with the highest integrity, and we will miss him a lot, “he wrote on Twitter.
Mr. Obhrai is survived by his wife Neena, his children Priti, Kaajal and Amman and his grandchildren Davin Jacob and Evasha.
Details regarding the funeral arrangements should be announced shortly.