Before entering politics, Bill demonstrated his ability to unite and engage people and communities through his work on various policing forums provincially, nationally, and internationally. His natural leadership and charisma served him well in his role as President of both the Ontario and Canadian Associations of Chiefs of Police. During his time as President of these associations, Bill received the distinction of Commander of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces. While serving as Toronto’s Chief of Police, Bill was recognized by a host of organizations for his decades-long work of bringing the people and communities of Toronto together. Bill is the proud recipient of the 2011 Beth Sholom Brotherhood Humanitarian Award, and was honoured by the Canadian Tamil Congress for his leadership and tremendous service to the people of Toronto in 2013.
Shortly after retiring as Toronto’s Police Chief in 2015, Bill entered politics as the Liberal candidate for the riding of Scarborough Southwest. In the fall of the same year, Bill was elected as Member of Parliament for the riding, after successfully resonating his messages of inclusiveness and progressivity with members of the community. Shortly after taking office, Bill went on to serve as both the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General of Canada, and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health. During his time as a Parliamentary Secretary, Bill took a lead role in addressing the opioid crisis in Canada, and was the Prime Minister’s point person in safely legalizing cannabis.
On July 18 2018, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed Bill to be Canada’s first ever Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction. In this role, Bill worked closely with the provinces and territories to ensure the safety and security of Canada’s borders, and travelled the country to address the serious issue of illegal money laundering.
Following another successful election in October 2019, Bill was appointed as Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness – a role well suited for a former Police Chief. In this position, Bill is working alongside his cabinet and caucus colleagues to help make Canada safer and more prosperous for all.
Bill is dedicated to many social causes, having worked with some of Toronto’s most respected and effective organizations such as Covenant House, the United Way, and Children's Aid Society Toronto. Bill currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Scarborough Hospital Foundation, and is Vice-Patron of the Good Neighbours' Club – a day centre for older, homeless and unemployed men.