Last Sunday families and friends gathered in Abbotsford to remember three workers, Sarabjit Sidhu, Amarjit Bal and Sukhwinder Punia, who were killed in a van accident on March 7, 2007. The van was driven dangerously by the van’s owner, a labour contractor, who did not have a proper driver’s licence.
It gives me great pleasure and honour to speak about an unsung hero and a forgotten legend. Mr. Balbir Singh has won three Olympic gold medals in field hockey — the first, in 1948, in London, winning India’s first gold medal as a sovereign nation.
Every year, the city of Burnaby has identified and recognized local heroes. These individuals are of diverse interests and backgrounds who give back to their community in a wide variety of ways. Examples of activities include volunteering for a local agency or a community school, coaching a local sports team or helping recent immigrants settle into the community. Their contribution to the community is over five years through a minimum of two activities.
Last Saturday our family and our friends got together to celebrate the 65th birthday of my very dear friend and brother-in-law, Harinder Mahil. Harinder came to Canada in 1970. He became very active in the IWA, International Woodworkers of America. Shortly after he joined the union he became the editor of the newspaper called Chipper. He was very active. When I came to Canada in 1973, he was the one who guided me, to teach me how to work in the Canadian labour movement, and he introduced me to many other friends.
I’m very proud to be living in Burnaby-Edmonds. Apart from its physical beauty, this community is very diverse. We speak more than 100 different languages and dialects in Burnaby-Edmonds. People in Burnaby-Edmonds, along with the businesses and the community organizations, do their best, working day in and day out, to keep it more vibrant and prosperous.I want to talk about two of the organizations in Burnaby-Edmonds today.