Kash Heed

Kash Heed B.C. minister of public safety and solicitor general

Kash Heed

B.C. minister of public safety and solicitor general

When I first joined the Vancouver Police Department in 1979, there were very, very few visible minorities in the department. It wasn’t an easy time to crack an organization that had been predominantly Anglo-Saxon male for a period of time. I remember my mother telling me that it wasn’t going to be easy. As a matter of fact, she was dead against me going into policing. But she let me try it, and she told me, “Don’t try to be popular; just keep doing the right thing.”

At the outset of my policing career it was tough, but I was able to go to her for encouragement. I managed to make it through the ranks of the VPD in a short period of time, and then I moved on to West Vancouver in June 2007. My mother had left us by that time, but I thought of her when I had to make some significant changes in the department that were not popular.

She was probably the most influential person in my life. She was very strong-willed. She left my father when I was only 11 years old, and she basically raised the four children on her own. In our culture, that’s a very rare thing to happen.

I often wonder now what she would have said to me if I could have told her I was entering the world of politics. I’m sure she would have had some sound advice, which would not have strayed very far from her original guidance of simply doing the right things, not the popular things.