Dhillon, settlement stories steal show at forum

Surrey RCMP Insp. Baltej Dhillon role plays with newcomers.


Adbullah from Syria and Lebanon shares his Mission settlement story.

Mission Community Services’ New to Canada Department hosted an immigration forum at Copper Hall on March 17.

Featured speaker was Baltej Dhillon, the first member of the RCMP to be permitted to wear a turban.  His presentation was on Tolerance is Not Enough.  Other settlement stories by newcomers from Syria (Abdullah) and India (Neison) were heard.  Mission Coun. Pam Alexis shared her stories and provided an official statement on immigration from the District of Mission.

Mission Local Immigration Partnership coordinator Rick Rake outlined the #AllAreWelcomeHere campaign, moderated a session to determine what the audience thought they could do personally, at the community level and what government in general can do to make Mission a more welcoming community.

Rake also presented on property management in the community and the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords, in particular for newcomers who sometimes don’t have references or credit information.

MCSS YouTube channel includes video vignettes from this forum:  LINK.

Forum coverage in the Mission Record newspaper can be found here: LINK.

Message from the District:

“There are over 5,000 people in Mission today who weren’t born in Canada. We are a diverse community.
“The diversity of our backgrounds mean we all bring unique experiences and perspectives to our common belief and shared commitment to fostering a healthy and welcoming community.
“In coming together we build networks that are stronger, more resilient, adaptable, and vibrant.
“We share the belief that everyone deserves opportunities to thrive. Together, we can work to make sure that everyone truly is welcome here.”

The forum, sponsored by IRCC (Immigration Refugees Citizenship Canada) and the District of Mission Social Development Department, was also an opportunity to launch the MCSS settlement and integration department and Mission Local Immigration Partnership (LIP) #AllAreWelcomeHere bumper sticker campaign to continue efforts to make Mission a more welcoming community for newcomers.


Neison from India shared his settlement story.

District of Mission Coun. Pam Alexis has her own settlement stories to tell. She is a founding member of the Mission Local Immigration Partnership Council.