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Medal of Good Citizenship honours Coquitlam community builder

Vishad Deeplaul, Burnaby's first manager of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), is one of 21 people receiving B.C.'s highest civilian honour this year.
Vishad Deeplaul is a Coquitlam resident who is the first EDI manager for the City of Burnaby.

A Coquitlam resident who immigrated to Canada with his partner and son after a legal challenge about parental leave in their native country of South Africa now has a provincial award for his community service.

Vishad Deeplaul is one of 21 British Columbians to receive a Medal of Good Citizenship (MGC) this year, the province’s ministry of tourism, arts, culture and sport announced today, Jan. 3.

The medal honours unsung heroes for their generosity, service and acts of selflessness in their communities.

"Their contributions serve as a reminder to all of what we can do in ways large and small to improve life for everyone," said B.C. Premier David Eby in a news release.

In late 2022, Deeplaul was appointed the City of Burnaby’s first manager of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI).

He has also volunteered extensively to help non-profit organizations in the Tri-Cities, including as a board member of the People’s Pantry Food Recovery Society in Port Coquitlam, with Backpack Buddies and the Diwali Celebration Society, as well as the United Way during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“His acts of kindness extended to preparing food for seniors and tending to a neighbour’s garden, exemplifying his innate generosity,” his nominator wrote.

Deeplaul also co-founded Tri-Cities United, a group that aims to combat isolation and make connections though events such as paint and chocolate nights.

Both the cities of Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam, as well as the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce, have recognized Deeplaul’s outreach.

Here is the full list of the 2023 MGC recipients, who will receive their awards this year:

  • Ruth Billmann, Cranbrook
  • Joyce Bueckert, 100 Mile House
  • Tim Cormode, Victoria
  • Brian DeBeck, Vancouver
  • Vishad Deeplaul, Coquitlam
  • Vivian Edwards, Ashcroft
  • Gail Elder, Winlaw
  • Craig Evans*, Nanaimo
  • Madison Fleischer, Surrey
  • Spring Hawes, Kelowna
  • Brian Ironmonger*, Elko
  • Mohammad Aminul Islam, Surrey
  • Talia Lorincz, Vancouver
  • Navjit Moore, Burnaby
  • Johannes Mulder, Hope
  • David Reid*, Squamish
  • Jim Sawada, Nelson
  • Rhoda Taylor, Duncan
  • Andrew Tom, Smithers
  • Ricky Tsang, Vancouver
  • Parminder Virk, Saanich

*posthumous appointment

Do you know someone who may be eligible for a 2024 Medal of Good Citizenship? The deadline is April 5, 2024, to nominate a current or former long-term resident of B.C.; youth and posthumous bids are also welcome.