Canada’s youngest lawmaker to help India in oil, farm sectors

March 9th, 2008 - 10:19 am ICT by admin  

By Gurmukh Singh
Toronto, March 9 (IANS) Canada’s youngest legislator Manmeet Bhullar, who was elected to the Alberta state assembly this week, says he will work to deepen ties between India and Canada. The 27-year-old Calgary-born Bhullar, who is also the first turbaned Sikh to become a lawmaker in Canada, told IANS in an interview that he “would definitely contribute to bringing our two countries closer in various areas. India is my on my radar.”

He said: “Though I was born in this country, I am very proud of my roots in India which my parents left in 1970. Trade and general ties between Canada and India have been growing steadily in recent years, and I would love to give extra push to this process.”

Bhullar said since his Alberta province was rich in oil resources, “we are the richest state in North America. India could gain from us. Their economy needs oil to fuel its growth, and we in Alberta can work with them in this field.”

He said India could also benefit from Alberta’s expertise in agriculture. “I know the first Green Revolution in India is over. Their agriculture is stagnating, not contributing much to the economy. We would love to help with our know-how in the agriculture sector. I would propose a tie-up between Alberta and Indian Punjab in agriculture so that they can replicate our success over there.”

Bhullar said India was an example for its “thriving” democracy. “I would love to continue progress towards stronger democracy. But there should be the rule of law so that nobody is above the law.”

He said he would like more and more Indo-Canadians to get engaged in the decision-making process.

“Politics is a very good mechanism to make change. I got involved in it at a young age and worked my way up. I ran the national campaign for Jim Prentice when he contested for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party.”

Still pursuing his law degree away in Ontario, Bhullar was summoned by Alberta Premier Ed. Stelmach to contest from the Calgary-Montrose constituency because of his service to the people.

“It is a great honour for me to be given this opportunity. The premier came twice to campaign for me.”

With the swearing-in of the new government slated for April 7, the premier is likely to assign a suitable role for his young prot

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