News East West
TORONTO: Tributes from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, defence minister Harjit Sajjan and Alberta premier Rachl Notlye were read for Indo-Canadian MLA and former Alberta minister Manmeet Bhullar, 35, who died in a road accident last Monday, at a memorial service for him in Calgary on Sunday.
Bhullar, the MLA from Calgary-Greenway in the Alberta assembly, was on his way from Calgary to Edmonton when he got out of his vehicle to help a stranded vehicle on the icy highway. When he got out of his car, he was hit by another vehicle which got out of control and veered off the highway near Red Deer.
At the memorial service, former Alberta premier Jim Prentice, who was instrumental in bringing Bhullar into politics and making him a cabinet minister, paid glowing tributes to his protege.
Prentice praised Bhullar’s life as an inspiration to Canadians and said the late MLA would have been `surprised and humbled’ by the outpouring of grief for him.
He said Bhullar didn’t fear death because of rock-solid faith in his Sikh religion.
“His faith was absolute. He always said that he would return to God when he was needed,’’ said the former Alberta premier about Bhullar who during his short life served three portfolios as a minister – Human Services, Infrastructure and Service Alberta.
Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi talked about Bhullar’s faith and his turban as an inspiration for Canadians.
“It (Bhullar’s turban) says to every single kid in this community that it doesn’t matter what you look like, or where you come from, or what you wear on your head or who you worship or whom you love, it doesn’t matter,’’ the Calgary mayor said in his tribute to Bhullar.
Bhullar’s sister Tarjinder thanked everybody for the outpouring of grief and support for the bereaved family.
“Never when my parents immigrated to this country over 40 years ago, would they have imagined that one day their son would be this loved by Calgarians, Albertans and Canadians as one of their own,’’ said Tarjinder.
Messages from the prime minister and the Alberta premier were read and a video of defence minister Harjit Sajjan’s tribute was shown at the gathering.