Deepak OBHRAI

OBHRAI, The Hon. Deepak, P.C.

Personal Data

Party
Conservative
Constituency
Calgary Forest Lawn (Alberta)
Birth Date
July 5, 1950
Website
http://deepakobhrai.com
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=9f0040ba-a9d7-4aa4-b2e4-f3213a4e024f&Language=E&Section=ALL
Email Address
deepak.obhrai@parl.gc.ca
Profession
businessman

Parliamentary Career

June 2, 1997 - March 26, 2000
REF
  Calgary East (Alberta)
March 27, 2000 - October 22, 2000
CA
  Calgary East (Alberta)
November 27, 2000 - May 23, 2004
CA
  Calgary East (Alberta)
December 12, 2003 - May 23, 2004
PC
  Calgary East (Alberta)
February 2, 2004 - May 23, 2004
CPC
  Calgary East (Alberta)
June 28, 2004 - November 29, 2005
CPC
  Calgary East (Alberta)
January 23, 2006 - September 7, 2008
CPC
  Calgary East (Alberta)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs (February 7, 2006 - September 18, 2013)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation (March 26, 2008 - November 6, 2008)
October 14, 2008 - March 26, 2011
CPC
  Calgary East (Alberta)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs (February 7, 2006 - September 18, 2013)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation (March 26, 2008 - November 6, 2008)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Cooperation (November 5, 2010 - January 29, 2011)
May 2, 2011 - August 2, 2015
CPC
  Calgary East (Alberta)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs (February 7, 2006 - September 18, 2013)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and for International Human Rights (September 19, 2013 - November 3, 2015)
October 19, 2015 -
CPC
  Calgary Forest Lawn (Alberta)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and for International Human Rights (September 19, 2013 - November 3, 2015)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 371)


June 11, 2019

Hon. Deepak Obhrai

Mr. Speaker, actually my hon. colleague is my member of Parliament, so he can ask me that question. However, he brought up a point rightly. We just said that we are resource rich across this country. Every region has its strengths and weaknesses. Every region has its own natural resources. Right now, there is fossil fuel in Alberta, softwood lumber, when we talk about British Columbia, and fisheries and lobster across the east.

It is critically important that when we sign free trade agreements that we take all of that into account and do not just sign sector by sector by sector, which is why this is critically important. I have seen TPP in Australia and New Zealand and their issues. There is no question or doubt about the free trade agreement and natural resources. There is no question about being environmentally friendly. Climate change is there, and it is important that we take that into account now that we are developing our resources.

I can assure my friend that when we were in power, we did well. When we are in power, we will do better.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Canada–United States–Mexico Agreement Implementation Act
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June 11, 2019

Hon. Deepak Obhrai

Mr. Speaker, it was very clear right from the first, when the tariffs were put here, that we took a very strong stand, which Jason Kenney has done. However, for the government to take credit for it is not right. As my colleague has said, all of us worked on it, including members of the trade committee, who went to the U.S. and lobbied everywhere. Let me put it this way: Irrespective, it was good for Canada.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Canada–United States–Mexico Agreement Implementation Act
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June 11, 2019

Hon. Deepak Obhrai

Mr. Speaker, we are a small country. The U.S.A. is a very large country. Naturally, being a small country, we have to safeguard our cultural industries. Otherwise, we will be overpowered by big American companies.

This is why we have stated that we will support the free trade agreement. However, we need to improve on it. There are finer details to note on the issues the member raised, but in the larger scheme of things, indeed Canadian culture is thriving.

Governments do not have to give money for Canadian culture. Governments do not have to give money for newspapers to stay alive. Right across the country, wherever I go, Canadian culture is thriving.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Canada–United States–Mexico Agreement Implementation Act
Full View Permalink

June 11, 2019

Hon. Deepak Obhrai (Calgary Forest Lawn, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise once more in the House to talk about the NAFTA trade deal. I listened to the talking points of the Liberals. They talk about all the good things international trade and the free trade agreement do. They are the same old talking points.

Once upon a time when we were in government, we said the same thing in support of free trade. However, I need to remind members on the other side that it was the Conservatives who were the party that pushed for free trade. NAFTA came about because of the Right Hon. Brian Mulroney. No one in the country would say that NAFTA was not a good deal for Canada.

However, as my colleague from Prince Albert has just eloquently said, the problems are with NAFTA .5. When the parliamentary secretary says why .5 and not .0, simply and straightforwardly, we do not trust the Liberals to set up any kind of a good deal, knowing the results since they have come into power.

I remember very clearly that it was the Liberal Prime Minister who shunned TPP in Vietnam. He was the only leader not to go. At that time, he had his own idea of free trade. Even the Chinese shut the door in his face. The point of this story is the reason why the Conservative Party supports this, despite all the flaws and everything here, because the business community needs this. The Conservative Party has always been a very proud free trade party. During the time of Prime Minister Harper, we signed a lot of free trade agreements around the world because we knew it is right.

The biggest one for everyone was NAFTA. Today, we call it NAFTA .5. The Liberals want to call it NAFTA 2.0. Mexico calls it NAFTA 8. The fact is that, yes, the business community needs stability. The business community is looking for some kind of stability in this economy so it can move forward. This is one way in which we can bring that kind of stability.

However, to remind all Canadians, since the Liberal government has taken power, five premiers have written to the Prime Minister today. They has said that under his regime, Bill C-69 and Bill C-48 will threaten national unity. That has never happened before, where five premiers have written to say that Liberals have created an environment in the country that is not conducive to business and actually threatens the security of national unity. It is unprecedented. That is the record the Liberals have for the economy, which is why we do not trust them to get NAFTA back.

However, there is some hope in the sense that even with this flawed NAFTA deal, the business community will have some kind of confidence in the economy, forgetting about what the Liberals have done. The country needs to do it. We do not know where the Liberals are going with the Trans Mountain pipeline. Hopefully very soon we will have shovels in the ground.

I come from a province that has taken a massive hit by the Liberals' economic policy, and it continues. Right now, confidence in Canada is declining under the government.

Under Prime Minister Harper's government, confidence in Canada was going up. Under the current government, investor confidence in Canada is going down. We can talk to anyone out there, in London or New York and so on. If it comes to Canada, they slowly turn their heads away. The sunny days and sitting on the international stage by the Prime Minister has all evaporated in the air. He is no longer the darling of anything and if he continues the way he is, we could face serious economic poverty.

Hopefully, on October 21, Canadians will have a choice and will send the Liberals packing on their economic record, which is one of the most important things that needs done, because jobs bring stability.

I saw the most foolish ads yesterday when watching the Raptors. They were so-called third party advertisements against the leader of the official opposition. I have never seen a more idiotic advertisement. They will make Canadians more angry.

Unifor, the so-called journalists' union, is absolutely at the forefront of this sentiment, making it very clear that it does not like the Conservative Party. What it seems to forget, however, is this is not about Unifor; it is about Canadians and jobs. Unifor keeps saying it wants to fight for jobs. However, if it wants to fight for jobs, it should be honest about it. It should work for all Canadians and not be partisan.

Once more, I am standing in the House of Commons to stand up for free trade. We all know free trade has immense benefits for our country and for our jobs. If there were no tanker ban, no problematic Bill C-69, there would be such confidence in Canada. We would be a model country.

We have been blessed with natural resources. We do not have just one natural resource, but multiple. We should develop them, although I agree 100% that this should be environmentally sound.

Let us look at our oil production. We have one of the best systems in the world. We can compare it to those in countries like Venezuela and Nigeria, where there are no environmental standards. They are moving full steam ahead. Let us be honest. Let us work environmentally. It is time for the country to move forward with developing its natural resources.

With respect to the new NAFTA that has just been signed, all my colleagues have, very eloquently, made it clear that it has serious flaws. We want confidence. It is the one piece of legislation the government has brought forward that can give some kind of confidence to the business community that Canada is a free trade country.

Many people do not understand the amount of money Canadian businesses invest overseas. It is in the trillions of dollars. If it were not for free trade agreements, Canadian businesses would be unable to invest overseas. The Canadian investments of over $1 trillion will, in the longer term, help our country's economy, making businesses very strong.

Free trade agreements go both ways. They are for us and the countries with which we sign. That is why so many are signing on to the TPP. I am glad that the government finally, after insulting the leaders of the TPP, came to its senses. This came after China told us to take a hike when Canada went to China to sign a free trade agreement.

In the end, the Conservatives will support the bill because we believe Canadians need confidence, the economy needs confidence and the business community needs confidence so we can proceed forward and create jobs that will benefit each and every Canadian.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Canada–United States–Mexico Agreement Implementation Act
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June 4, 2019

Hon. Deepak Obhrai

Mr. Speaker, it is simple and straightforward. The government's priority is not the economy. The Liberals have other priorities and have put money in other areas. The economic advantage Canada had and will continue having is not on their agenda.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Budget Implementation Act, 2019, No. 1
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