by Mary Scianna
William Right, associate merchant at Loblaw Companies Limited, is taking a four-month leave of absence to serve in a Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) operation that is preparing to assist Canadian communities dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Right, a reservist seving with the Governor General's Horse Guards who joined the CAF in 1995, began his four-month training on April 6. He, along with other reservists and CAF soldiers, are currently training at the Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Borden for what is being termed “Operation Laser.”
Right says he is appreciative of the company’s support, and adds that Loblaw has a history of supporting reservist-employees with their commitments to the CAF. Indeed, in 2015, Loblaw Companies Limited received a Canadian Forces Liaison Council (CFLC) Certificate of Recognition for its support of employees who are also in the Reserves.
“We have not received a ‘Request for Assistance’ yet. but we are training at CFB Borden to be able to respond to emergencies. Our priorities are to help efforts to slow the spread of Covid-19, provide support to vulnerable communities and assist provinces, territories and municipalities with logistics. We could play a critical role in providing humanitarian support and delivering supplies.”
Right says the decision to join the operation was a difficult one because it will take him away from his family, but he wants to do his part to assist Canadians during this period.
“I want to thank the Canadian Armed Forces for assisting Canadians during this pandemic and my employer, Loblaw Companies Limited, for giving me a four month leave of absence to volunteer for deployment on Operation Laser.”
Right is a musician in the Reserves and through his service, has been able to “carry on my passion of performing and composing music. Through employment with the military, I was able to produce two albums, which are available on Spotify, Apple Music and other digital platforms.”
He makes note of these digital platforms because proceeds from his first music release “Going Home” will go to the Toronto Military Family Resource Centre and Wounded Warriors of Canada. He adds that proceeds from his second music release, “God’s Wonderland” from his upcoming musical “Black and White” (that he began writing in high school), will go to the soon-to-be-created Natasha Williams Memorial Scholarship and Bursary for a Northview Heights Secondary School graduate seeking a career in music.
In addition to his current song-writing initiatives, he formed a not-for-profit organization last year called “Black and White Music Productions” that among other things, enables Right to ensure that proceeds from the sale of his music go to assist soldiers who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Operational Stress Injuries and will also go to other projects he is working on.