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Conservative MP distances himself from 'Khalistani extremism' motion he was promoting
By: Barfi Culture Team
Published: 8th March 2018

A motion by the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) condemning 'Khalistani extremism' is effectively dead after an MP considered to be its main advocate distanced himself from it.

Last week a CPC MP said the party would be introducing a motion in light of Justin Trudeau's "disastrous" trip to India.

The motion read:
"That the House: (a) value the contribution of Canadian Sikhs and Canadians of Indian origin in our national life; (b) condemn in the strongest terms all forms of terrorism, including Khalistani extremism and the glorification of any individuals who have committed acts of violence to advance the cause of an independent Khalistani state in Canada; and (c) stand with a united India."

But after an outcry from Canadian Sikhs the Conservative MP Deepak Obhrai emailed colleagues to say that "unfortunately" the motion had been delayed and would return in two weeks. "Hope you will tune in then," he added.

It was assumed he was the driving force behind the motion.

But the MP has now pointedly distanced himself from it. In a statement emailed to Barfi Culture today he says:

"The email which went out from my office on February 28, 2018 in regards to the title "Debate in Parliament on supporting a united India and condemning Khalistani extremism" was in regards to a Motion introduced by our Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs Hon. Erin O’Toole, on behalf of the Conservative Party of Canada. The Motion was approved by the Caucus."

"I don’t hold any shadow portfolio within the Conservative Caucus. Bringing forward the Motion is the responsibility of the shadow minister."

"I chose to speak on this party motion in support of contributions made by Sikhs in Canada for generations. I felt it was important I highlight the contributions made by the Sikh community in Canada, a practice I have done in the past in my speeches in Parliament and will continue doing so."

"I wish to reiterate that I had no role, or made any contribution towards drafting or initiating this Motion, originally scheduled for debate on March 1, 2018."

"After I received reactions from my constituents in the Sikh community, I immediately contacted our party leader Hon. Andrew Sheer on Saturday, March 3rd and conveyed their sentiments."

"As I have always done, I will continue providing my services to my constituents."

The release is dated 5th March, but Barfi Culture could not see the statement posted to any of the MP's social media accounts. His office emailed over the statement on request.

With its biggest public advocate now distancing himself from the motion it's unlikely the CPC will pursue it.

A few days ago the MP posted a message saying he was a "strong supporter" of Sikhs and cited an example of helping a man get a visa to India. After ridicule from readers he abruptly deleted the Facebook post.


Article published on 8th March 2018 in the Politics section




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