Obhrai takes oath as parliamentary secretary in Canada

November 8th, 2008 - 3:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Toronto, Nov 8 (IANS) Five-time Indian-Canadian MP Deepak Obhrai has taken oath as the parliamentary secretary to the Canadian minister of foreign affairs.Obhrai, who represents the East Calgary constituency in the Canadian House of Commons, was holding the same position in the last cabinet.

“I am honoured and privileged that the prime minister chose once again to reassign me to this portfolio,” said Obhrai.

Congratulating Obhrai after the oath-taking ceremony Friday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said: “Deepak, you know what to do. I know you will do a good job.”

Obhrai, who has served as parliamentary secretary to three former foreign ministers Peter MacKay, Maxime Bernier and David Emerson, said he was looking forward to working with the new minister Lawrence Cannon.

The position of parliamentary secretary in Canada is equal to that of a minister of state in India.

Tanzania-born, India-educated Obhrai was expected to be made a cabinet minister this time after his record fifth victory in the Oct 14 general election.

However, the inclusion of four Calgary-area MPs in the cabinet worked against him.

Harper, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney and Obhrai are among seven MPs from Calgary.

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