B.C. finance minister Mike De Jong in Punjab to raise diabetes awareness

Published: December 6, 2012

B.C. finance minister Mike de Jong holds a model of the Golden Temple presented by Punjab state public relations and information minister Bikram Singh Majithia (right) and Shiromani Akali Dal party member and MLA Inderjit Singh Bolaria at a hotel in Amritsar on Dec. 2, 2012. Narinder Nanu/AFP/Getty Images


B.C.’s finance minister Mike De Jong is in Punjab to raise awareness about diabetes, although political analysts in India believe the length of his stay suggests there is a political motive at play as well, says an article by Neha Arora of the Hindustan Times.

Punjabis dominate politics in British Columbia, as evident from the fact that a Punjabi-origin Canadian, Ujjwal Singh Dosanjh, is a former premier and Punjabi elected MLAs have held ministerial portfolios.

De Jong denied that his diabetes awareness trip had anything to do with politics. However, the fact he has chosen to arrange a nearly two-week tour in the state as part of his itinerary is signal enough of the political motives behind the extensive trip, what with the province’s next election looming in May of 2013, the article says.

Interestingly, De Jong could have been treated as a state guest if he would have informed the state government but preferred to classify his visit as non-official.

De Jong said statistics show one in every four Punjabis in B.C. suffers from diabetes. He is urging people to exercise daily and change their lifestyle to prevent diabetes.

De Jong is travelling with Dr Gulzar Singh Cheema, former B.C. health minister, Patty Sahota, former tourism minister, MLA Pargat Singh, civil surgeon Dr. RL Bassan, and district health officer Dr Ashwani Sondhi.



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