At DIVERSEcity’s Annual General Meeting on September 25, 2019, we were honoured to have Baltej Singh Dhillon speak to our staff, board and community stakeholders about his journey.
A longstanding RCMP officer rising to the ranks of Inspector, Baltej is perhaps best known for fighting for the right to wear a turban while on duty. It’s a legacy that exemplifies what Canadian multiculturalism and religious freedom is all about.
“I made a decision at that point to not stay silent, but rather take the opportunity to educate,” said Baltej.
This summer, he retired after almost 30 years with the RCMP, where he most recently headed BC’s Federal Serious and Organized Crime Intelligence Group and was the Officer in Charge of Emergency Preparedness in B.C. He has now joined the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of BC, as program manager of its Crime Guns Intelligence Group.
Baltej lives in Surrey and is an avid community volunteer (having volunteered here at DIVERSEcity long ago!), a certified yoga instructor and sought-after motivational speaker.
“Everybody starts with not knowing, you can’t stay not knowing; that’s a choice,” expressed Baltej.
We were all touched by his presentation about his journey and his message of belonging, advocating for us all to go beyond tolerance to acceptance and understanding. Here’s a clip of his speech.