LCol MacKinnon presenting Shelley Perkins of BMO a certificate of appreciation for their support of Lt Dhanjal in giving him time off to serve with the Canadian Armed Forces’ COVID-19 response efforts. (Submitted)

Bank of Montreal Abbotsford recognized for military reservist support

Local bank has allowed employee to work exclusively in his reservist role to aid COVID-19 relief

The Abbotsford Bank of Montreal main branch has been honoured by the Canadian Armed Forces for its support to Operation Laser, the military’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For four months, the BMO located at 32988 South Fraser Way, has allowed employeee Amarjot Dhanjal to work exclusively in his army reservist capacity. He holds the title of Lieutenant in the military.

Working largely behind the scenes for more than a year now, military reservists across the country have been coordinating closely with federal, provincial and territorial governments, ready to bring the might of the Canadian Armed Forces to bear should those governments request pandemic-related assistance.

“These employers are helping us out immeasurably,” stated Lieutenant-colonel Chuck Mackinnon, commanding officer of the Royal Westminster Regiment. “Allowing reservists like Private 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.”

MacKinnon recently met with representatives from the Bank of Montreal to deliver a certificate of appreciation and his personal thanks.

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

Reservists balance their civilian work with their military careers, education, and families. In helping reservists by adapting leave policies and offering flexible options, businesses are making a strategic investment in their employees, their community, and in Canada’s national security.

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