Calgary MP Deepak Obhrai is joining the race for the leadership of the federal Conservative Party.
Obhrai, who represents the Calgary Forest Lawn riding, was first elected in 1997 as a member of the Reform Party.
Obhrai wants the Conservative Party of Canada to become more inclusive of people from all walks of life. “We are a party that is for all Canadians, no matter where they come from or whether they’re disabled, visible minorities, or young, women,” he told CBC News. “They should have an equal voice in this party.”
In April, Obhrai broke ranks with the Conservative establishment over proposed changes to the party’s rules, including boosting the annual fee for individual members to $25 — the highest among all federal parties — and the registration fee for party leadership contenders to $100,000.
The change would prevent hundreds of thousands of Canadians from joining the Conservatives and turn the party into an “elitist, white-only club,” Obhrai said at the time.
The party’s national council ultimately backed down and reduced the one-year membership fee to $15.