Indo-Canadian Sikh elected head of police services board

Toronto: An Indian-American Sikh has been elected the new head of the Canadian Police of Peel region in Ontario, media reported.

Amrik Singh Ahluwalia was unanimously voted as the chair of Peel Police Services Board, reports said on Friday. He also received the backing of both Brampton Mayor Linda Jeffrey and Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie.

“My first thoughts are, what a wonderful country we live in,” he was quoted as saying in Toronto Star.

After briefly describing how he arrived in Canada 40 years ago, “with $7 in my pocket,” he said, at the time, he could not have fathomed one day being bestowed with the “honour” and responsibility of what was just bestowed upon him.

“I am honoured. This is a great responsibility, I take with humility and with a sense of purpose that I want to do my very best,” Ahluwalia was quoted as saying.

“I will do my best to serve the public and serve the police force… the men and women in the force who day in and day out do such an exemplary job,” he added.

After Navdeep Singh Bains and Harjit Singh Sajjan who became the first Sikh Cabinet ministers in Canada, Ahluwalia is the third Indo-Canadian to rise in the country’s government affairs.

He was first appointed by the provincial government to the board in February 2011 and reappointed for a second term in April 2014.

Popular for his volunteer work and organisational skills in the Punjabi-Canadian community, Ahluwalia has organised several youth camps and has served as president of the Sikh Society Calgary.

The Peel Regional Police is Canada’s third largest municipal police force, responsible for the provision of adequate and effective police services, law enforcement and crime prevention within the region, a duty it discharges through the enactment of policies.