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Plastics pioneer Barney Danson dies at 90

Canadian plastics industry veteran and federal politician Barney Danson died in Toronto on October 17, at the age of 90.


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October 20, 2011 by Canadian Plastics

Canadian plastics industry veteran and federal politician Barney Danson died in Toronto on October 17, at the age of 90.

A Lieutenant Colonel in World War II, he took part in the Battle of Normandy. Returning to Toronto, he founded the Barnett J. Danson & Associates Ltd. plastics machinery sales firm in the early 1950s. The company thrived, was renamed Danson Corporation Ltd., and by the mid-1960s was grossing $6 million annually. A longtime proponent of manufacturing equipment in Canada for use in Canada, Danson transitioned the company into building its own processing and auxiliary units, making extruders for Hartig under the name Danson/Hartig and granulators for Nelmor under Danson/Nelmor. Over the years, the company also represented such leading machinery suppliers as Natco, Farrel and Metalmeccanica. Danson himself also served as the first president of the Society of the Plastics Industry of Canada, the forerunner of today’s Canadian Plastics Industry Association.  

Danson left the industry in the late 1960s for a career in politics. He was first elected Liberal MP for the Toronto-area riding of North York in 1968, and went on to hold a number of portfolios in the government of Prime Minister Trudeau, the last of which was Minister of National Defense of Canada. He was also decorated with Canada’s highest distinction and honor, the Companion of the Order of Canada (C.C.); and France’s highest distinction and honor, the Chevalier (Knight) of the Order of the Legion of Honor.


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