Sep 25th, 2020
Apr 16th, 2020
By Steven Sitcoff
Like other lawyers, I have been receiving calls from clients seeking guidance on facing the business challenges raised by the COVID-19 crisis, but then came an particularly important one. On Friday, March 20, my client Pro Form Products Ltd. of Milton, Ontario called me saying, “Steven, we have to do something to help.” Pro Form is a family owned, vertically integrated chemicals manufacturer with deep roots in its community. Pro Form wanted to shift their factory’s production to make large quantities of hand sanitizer for use by hospitals, clinics and other institutions, something that the company has not previously done.
It was clear that regulatory approval would be needed from Health Canada before Pro Form could proceed but, as I began to investigate the process, I knew that this matter was far too time sensitive to go through normal channels. I began to make inquiries throughout my network and by the end of that weekend we had developed contacts with senior officials in the Ontario and federal governments who had gotten involved to help push our cause forward and put us directly in touch with the appropriate personnel at Health Canada. Ultimately, by mid-week we had finally managed to obtain the necessary licenses from Health Canada to begin production.
Following an effort to develop contacts with health and procurement officials across Canada, a provincial government placed a significant recurring order shortly thereafter. After numerous late nights and weekends working with my client and the dedicated federal and provincial public servants, we finally saw this project through to its fruition.
To have achieved regulatory approvals, secured the first government order, and began production and distribution, all over the course of just over two weeks, is unprecedented. I am honoured to have played a part in this effort, which is certainly the most important thing I have done in my professional career as it has the potential to have an impact on so many lives.