In-Depth with Deepak


Meeting the 2019 CPC Internship Class

Every summer for the past few years I have been lucky enough to get to address the interns living and working in Ottawa for our caucus and party from all over Canada. This past month the same happened. I got to share from my experiences, the barriers I had to overcome over 22 years ago as an outsider to politics, and most importantly, I encourage our interns to remain involved in civic life, and in politics more specifically, and make a difference. Good luck to the 2019 CPC Internship Class and may we hear great things from you in the near future! Cheers, Deepak

Deepak on the Reform Act

There has been a lot of talk about my colleague Michael Chong’s bill passed in the previous parliament, The Reform Act. By now you know what it does, especially with the controversies in the news about my colleagues, MPs Jody Wilson-Raybould, and Dr. Jane Philpott.   When it was introduced, and then passed, I opposed this bill, and I still do. Let me tell you why: I believe it took the power of grassroots away and gave it to MPs when it came to the future of Party Leaders. I expressed my disagreement publicly with this bill while in the Canadian High Commission in London, very near to the mother of our Parliament, Westminster.   Coincidentally, after the 2015 election, the bill made me “King for a Day”. As Dean of the Caucus (longest continuously serving MP of a party caucus), I chaired the meeting…

Venezuela and I – some backstory

Friends, some of you might have seen my tweet from last week on the Maduro regime in Venezuela. It is right here, again, for context. I mentioned in my Retweet a story from a few years back, when dictator Hugo Chavez passed away. I’m here to provide you with more context and background than a tweet can allow. At the time of Chavez’ death, as Parliamentary Secretary of Foreign Affairs, I acknowledged in a press release the dictator’s death and expressed hope for a more democratic and prosperous future for the Venezuelan people. This was routine and part of my duties. Pretty standard, right?! I was also asked by Prime Minister Harper to attend the funeral ceremonies taking place subsequently in Caracas – this is normal practice for ceremonials abroad to foster continuous bilateral relations (I also accompanied PM Harper in another instance to attend…

Ending Cosmetic Animal Testing Campaign

I was pleased to meet with young reps from The Body Shop stores in one of the shopping centers, Sunridge Mall, in my riding of Calgary Forest Lawn. This campaign matters to them and it matters to me. I agree that a ban would bring Canada into line with the established standards around the world, and I encourage the Minister of Health to revamp the Food and Drugs Act, which this bill would affect, to bring it more in line with the international community.

Racism in Politics vs. Racism in Politics to further ones Agenda

Asking questions that help Canadians understand policies, behaviours and a politicians’ opinion IS NOT RACIST, and preventing this line of questioning goes against the very foundations of grassroots politics. This is a big concern for me! Make no mistake, during my 20 years of public service, I have faced racism firsthand. During my first successful campaign, I dealt with the ugly face of racism. You can read about it in the following article, however at this moment, I want to talk about the difference between facing racism and using racism as a way to shut down an uncomfortable line of questioning – a disturbing trend that is happening in Politics today. From M103 and its potential to shut down and label any discussion or questions of Islam as being Islmaphobic, to the newly elected NDP leader Jagmeet Singh shutting down questions regarding his own stance towards…

Deepak’s Take on Current Issues (Sept – Oct 2017)

Topics covered this month include Senator Lynn Beyak’s comments regarding Indigenous peoples, the Liberals’ $10.5M  payout to Omar Khadr and his take on the 2017 German election.  For Deepak’s most recent in-depth pieces, follow him on Twitter (@deepakobhrai). On why Senator Lynn Beyak’s  comments regarding Indigenous Peoples is disagreeable .   It is a fact that Canadian courts have all agreed that treaty rights MUST be recognized. These treaties were signed by the Crown and Indigenous leaders. We simply cannot throw out these agreements on a whim. Indigenous peoples already enjoy Canadian rights, because they are Canadian citizens. They form our founding history, along with the French and English. Ultimately, we must respect their rights, as guaranteed in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and recognized under the treaties. On why Liberals giving Omar Khadar a 10.5M payout sends the wrong message. In the previous government, I…