Left to right: Bruce van den Brink, John Englund, Private Mason Furdal of Delta Company, The Royal Westminster Regiment and Commanding Officer of The Royal Westminster Regiment, and LCol Chuck MacKinnon. (Submitted)

Left to right: Bruce van den Brink, John Englund, Private Mason Furdal of Delta Company, The Royal Westminster Regiment and Commanding Officer of The Royal Westminster Regiment, and LCol Chuck MacKinnon. (Submitted)

Employee at Chilliwack’s Canex Building Supplies helps with Operation Laser

Mason Furdal is a military reservist and Canex has given him time off to help with pandemic response

Chilliwack’s Canex Building Supplies is being applauded by the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) for contributing to Operation Laser.

Over the last four months, Canex has allowed employee Mason Furdal time off to serve as a full time army reservist. Serving in the Royal Westminster Regiment, the infantryman has joined military reservists across the country preparing to offer COVID pandemic-related assistance to any Canadian government (federal/provincial/territorial) that asks for it.

According to the Operation Laser webpage, Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC) is directing six regional joint task forces that are active in key locations across the country.

“Employers like Canex are helping us out immeasurably,” said LCol Chuck Mackinnon, commanding officer of the Royal Westminster Regiment. “Allowing Reservists like Pte Furdal to focus exclusively on Operation Laser is a huge sacrifice to a business, but it means the army in B.C. can carry out its duties and be ready to support Canadians.”

RELATED: 24,000 Canadian Forces members ready for COVID-19 response: Defence Minister

RELATED: Defence chief says CAF will be ready after ordering COVID-19 vaccine prep last week

John Englund is the manager of the finishing division at Canex, where Mason usually works, and said Canex is proud to support the CAF and what they do for the community.

“If somebody is in the reserves and they get called up, they have to go and we’ll make sure they have their job when they come back,” Englund said. “We don’t pay Mason while he’s gone, so it’s not a financial difficulty. But he is a key employee and sometimes he has to go without notice if there’s something going on, and that is a challenge. But this is what Mason has decided he wants to do, and we are fully supportive of him.”

As an example of what the CAF is doing, on Tuesday 10 CAF members were deployed to Garden Hill First Nation in Manitoba to assist with vaccine roll-out.

“We like to think of our reservists as ‘twice the citizen,’ because they lead two very separate working lives, one devoted to their regular job and the other to serving their country,” Mackinnon said. “But the truth is, that just wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of their civilian employers.”


Like us on

chilliwackLocal News

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Motorists breaking travel rules can be fined $230 for failing to follow instructions or $575 if the reason for travel violates the essential travel health order, at this Highway 3 check area near Manning Park. Photo RCMP
RCMP begin checking drivers on BC highways

Four check points are set up Thursday May 6 around the province

The Aquilini Investment Group has agreed to a proposed contract of five years to run the Abbotsford Centre. (File photo)
Proposal to run Abbotsford Centre offered to Canucks ownership group

Planned five-year contract to cost city $750K annually, starting Jan. 1, 2022

JANGO the police dog helped track down a suspect on Luckakuck Way in Chilliwack. (RCMP photo)
Alleged thief in Chilliwack can’t fool the nose of JANGO the police dog

An Edmonton man who allegedly broke into a storage container on Luckakuck Way was arrested

Chilliwack RCMP nab two alleged thieves targeting bait vehicle

A man from Port Coquitlam and a woman from Delta were stopped and arrested at Eagle Landing Parkway

The AHL Board of Governors has approved the Vancouver Canucks decision to move their franchise to Abbotsford. (File photo)
AHL approves Canucks’ franchise relocation to Abbotsford

Board of Governors approves move, season set to start on Oct. 15

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Surrey RCMP is investigating after a serious three-vehicle crash at the intersection of King George Boulevard and 128th Street Thursday afternoon (May 6, 2021). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
VIDEO: Serious crash in Surrey sends 1 to hospital

Surrey RCMP say one of the drivers fled on foot, but was later found at an area hospital

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

John Paul Fraser, executive director of the BC Salmon Farmers Association. (Screen shot)
Salmon farmers warn Surrey jobs on line as feds end Discovery Islands operations

344 full-time jobs at risk in Surrey and 1,189 B.C.-wide

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C.’s first electric school bus making the rounds in Victoria suburbs

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

Victoria police say the photo they circulated of an alleged cat thief was actually a woman taking her own cat to the vet. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Photo of suspected cat thief released by Victoria police actually just woman with her pet

Police learned the she didn’t steal Penelope the cat, and was actually taking her cat to the vet

Most Read