The social housing sector is mourning the passing of prominent community leader Charan Gill, who passed away on Feb. 2 after a fight with cancer. Gill, 84, former CEO of the Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society (PICS), worked tirelessly to fight racism, support immigrant workers and women’s rights. He was a co-founder of the Canadian Farmworkers Union in 1978, executive member of the B.C. Human Rights Coalition and President of the B.C. Organization to Fight Racism. Gill also founded the Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society (PICS), which provides a wide range of programs and services for the community including several affordable housing developments.
PICS operates independent and assisted living for seniors, transition housing for women and children, and will soon open a long-term care home and Diversity Village, a 125-bed facility that will serve the multicultural community.
Gill was recognized for his outstanding contributions to the non-profit housing sector with BCNPHA’s Denise LeBlond Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017.
Tributes have poured in for Gill this week remembering his lifetime of community service; Premier John Horgan and former attorney general Wally Oppal recalled Gill’s humanitarian efforts and invaluable contributions to the province.