Canadian Packaging

United We Stand or Fall

George Guidoni   

Alcoholic beverage producers get a lot of flack from many sectors of modern society for a broad range of health and other reasons, but to give credit where it’s due, most Canadians would find it hard to resent the efforts by Windsor, Ont.-based Hiram Walker & Sons Distillery to do what it can to help in the current life-and-death struggle to get the relentless spread of deadly COVID-19 virus under some semblance of control.

Even before mandatory self-isolating and social distancing measures became the new normal towards the end of March, the 160-plus-year-old distillery proceed to dedicate a significant part of its daily distilling capacity of 160,000 liters of alcohol to the production of much-needed hand sanitizer for free distribution in Windsor and Toronto, notably at the garages and collector booths operated by the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC).

While admittedly a drop in the bucket compared to the desperate shortages of sanitizers, protective masks and clothing, and other vital supplies needed in the fight against coronavirus, such altruistic gestures do help restore one’s faith in humanity to some degree at a time of what can be humanity’s closest brush with extinction ever.

“The health and safety of our employees and our communities is our top priority,” said Patrick O’Driscoll, chief executive officer of Corby Spirit and Wine Limited in Toronto.


“In times like this, it is important that everyone, especially companies with strong Canadian roots like ours, prioritize good corporate citizenship and step up in the name of the greater good.

“I am glad that we were able to form this public/private partnership and repurpose our spirits production facilities to meet a pressing need,” said O’Driscoll, citing close cooperation with all levels of government to help implement the program in virtually real time.

“Corby is proud to support the efforts of the Canadian and Ontario governments and communities across the country in fighting the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic,” O’Driscol stated.

“In coordination with local and senior levels of government, we are utilizing our production capacity and Windsor distillery to help provide hand sanitizer to areas where it is in need.”

With many prominent manufacturers also retooling their operations to churn out respirators, protective wear and other critical supplies to help protect the welfare of front-line healthcare and other first-response personnel across the country, Canadians should in fact be grateful to have its corporate and legislative leaders on the same page in trying to prevent a complete social meltdown with potential to do irreparable harm to our way of life.

Nothing unites people like existential threat to their livelihood, which is sadly what we are facing at the time of this issue of Canadian Packaging going to press.

That said, we would like to take this opportunity to invite all readers of this publication to let us know how they’re coping with the coronavirus crisis and, more notably, what steps they are taking to help make the countless sacrifices and suffering across the country and the plant all worthwhile at the end of a very dark tunnel.

Just tell us your story online, and we’ll be happy to share it with our loyal readership base that, for all intents and purposes, will remain our primary raison d’être to our very last breath.


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