In the thick of the 2011 federal election, Stephen Harper appeared in the Indo-Canadian heartland of Ontario with a ringer, reports National Post.
At a campaign stop in Brampton, Bollywood mega-star Akshay Kumar praised the then prime minister, danced on stage with his wife, Laureen Harper, and thrilled the audience.
It’s unclear if Kumar’s stumping had any impact on voters, but a few weeks later the Conservatives swept every riding in Brampton and nearby Mississauga that has a large south Asian population.
And at some point, the Harper government invoked a little-known law to grant the actor Canadian citizenship, circumventing the usual, stringent residency requirements for would-be Canadians, says a former Conservative cabinet minister. That Canadian passport recently caused a commotion in Kumar’s native India, where he has fashioned himself as an Indian patriot – and promoted nationalist Prime Minister NarendraModi in the election that just ended. But the way he became a Canadian raises questions about his participation in this country’s politics, too.