Thursday, November 26, 2015

CIES Mourns the Passing of Manmeet Bhullar

It is with heavy hearts that we recognize the tragic passing of Mr. Manmeet Bhullar, Member of the Legislative Assembly for Calgary-Greenway, who passed away on November 23rd, 2015.

Mr. Bhullar became active in politics early on by helping Rick D. Orman, the first MLA for Calgary-Montrose, in his re-election campaign. ​Bhullar first sought public office in the 2008 provincial election in the constituency of Calgary-Montrose. At 28 years of age, he became the youngest member elected to Alberta's 27th legislature. He was appointed to the position of Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Advanced Education and Technology on March 12, 2008, making him the youngest politician to serve as a parliamentary assistant or secretary in Canada at the time. More recently, in late 2013 Mr. Bhullar was promoted to the position of Minister of Human Services putting him in charge of the third largest ministry by expenditures in government and overseeing more than 4,000 employees.There he has been credited with fixing Alberta's child intervention system.He changed the law to empower families to speak up about their experiences with the system, made new investments in mental health supports for families involved in child intervention, hosted the first ever Alberta Minister's Forum on Child Sexual Abuse and began a campaign to find a mentor for every child in care in the province. Mr. Bhullar was one of only 10 Progressive Conservative MLAs who were returned in the May 5, 2015 provincial election that defeated the Prentice government. He sat on the opposition benches in the Alberta legislature until his death.

Mr. Bhullar was a distinct voice in Alberta politics and was known for his contributions to the immigrant community. A frequent visitor to our offices, Mr. Bhullar was involved in the planning stages of our Northeast Welcome Centre and was one of the supporters who helped bring the project to fruition with his focus and guidance. We have been honoured by his presence and would like to extend our sympathies and support to his family and those who worked alongside him.

He will be sorely missed.