Family “shocked” after Conservative MP Deepak Obhrai dies of cancer at 69

CALGARY — Conservative MP Deepak Obhrai has died after a brief and aggressive battle with liver cancer.

Relatives of the Calgary politician say he passed away Friday in Calgary surrounded by his family. He was 69.

Obhrai represented Calgary Forest Lawn since 1997 and was dean of the Conservative caucus.

He was the longest-serving Parliamentary Secretary to a Minister of Foreign Affairs in Canadian history, and also the longest-serving Indo-Canadian MP in Parliament.

Born and raised in Tanzania, Obhrai studied on three continents before settling in Calgary with his family in 1977.

He was set to contest his eighth federal election in the fall, but was diagnosed a few weeks prior with stage 4 liver cancer. Relatives said in a release that they were “shocked by his sudden departure.”

“We want all his friends, constituents of Calgary Forest Lawn, his supporters from all over the world, and all his colleagues to know that their support and love for our dad continued to inspire him to break every glass ceiling, and overcome every obstacle, so that he could continue doing what he loved the most — standing up for human rights,” they said.

Obhrai leaves behind his wife Neena, children Priti, Kaajal, and Amman, and grandchildren Davin Jacob and Evasha.

Books of condolence will be available at his constituency and parliamentary offices, and messages can be sent by mail to Obhrai’s parliamentary office in Ottawa or emailed to deepak.obhrai@parl.gc.ca.

Details for the funeral arrangements will be announced shortly.

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