Legislators in Canada’s Alberta pay tributes to late Sikh MLA

Toronto, Nov 26 (IANS) Legislators from the Canadian province of Alberta paid tributes to colleague Manmeet Bhullar, who was killed earlier this week in a road accident, a media report said.

A legislator from Calgary-Greenway provincial electoral district, Bhullar was remembered in the legislature as a “spiritual mountain of a man” who worked tirelessly for his community and travelled the world to help others, Calgary Herald reported on Wednesday.

Those present frequently broke down as they talked about Bhullar’s commitment to women’s issues, government transparency and ending persecution of Sikh and Hindu minorities in Afghanistan, the report said.

Wearing Bhullar’s trademark T-shirt bearing the slogan ‘With great beard comes great responsibility’ under his suit jacket, Progressive Conservative Party leader Ric McIver offered condolences on Bhullar’s death.

“Farewell Meeta,” McIver said, using Bhullar’s nickname.

“Thank you for the time you gave us. Thank you for your inspiration. We loved you. It is now up to all of us to continue the great work you have always done.”

“Bhullar was always on the go. Sometimes, heck, often, I did not know where he was,” McIver said jokingly.

He said Bhullar inspired young immigrants to “dream big and to be part of the solution”.

“He was a fierce defender of the underdog and would not stand for bullying of minorities,” he said.

Another legislator Rick Fraser even asked the government to consider renaming the newly renovated federal building in Edmonton City in Bhullar’s honour.

Bhullar, 35 and a former minister in Canada’s Alberta province, was killed in a road accident on Monday while he was on his way from Calgary to Edmonton.

According to reports, Bhullar and another vehicle stopped on the highway to help passengers of a vehicle that had skidded off the icy highway and rolled into the median.

Bhullar was standing outside his vehicle when another passing vehicle lost control and hit him. He succumbed to his injuries in a hospital.

He was the youngest Indian Canadian MLA, when he was elected from Calgary at the age of 28.

In 2011, he was appointed minister of service. Re-elected in 2012, he was elevated as minister of human services in 2013.

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