Toronto billionaire and philanthropist Barry Sherman and his wife were found dead in their mansion Friday, and police said they were investigating the deaths as suspicious.Const. David Hopkinson would not identify the two bodies found at the home of Apotex founder Bernard “Barry” Sherman and his wife Honey. But Ontario’s health minister said the couple had been discovered dead.Hopkinson noted that it was early in the police investigation.“The circumstances of their death appear suspicious and we are treating it that way,” Hopkinson said at a news conference held outside the couple’s home. “Our investigators are inside investigating and taking apart the scene.”Hopkinson said police were called to the Shermans’ home in an upscale neighbourhood of north Toronto just before noon on Friday in response to a “medical complaint.”He declined to say whether the bodies showed signs of trauma and did not provide details on the time or cause of death.Hopkinson said the deaths are not currently being treated as homicides, adding that more investigation will be necessary.Honey and Barry Sherman, chairman and CEO of Apotex Courtesy of Linda Frum Postmedia Files “There may be suspicious circumstances. It’s an investigative tool,” he said. “Until we know exactly how they died, we treat it as suspicious. Once a determination has been made by the pathologist and the coroner, then we move forward from there.”Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins sent a tweet expressing shock at the death of his “dear friends,” who he described as “wonderful human beings.”“I am beyond words right now,” Hoskins wrote in his tweet. “Incredible philanthropists, great leaders in health care. A very, very sad day.”Barry Sherman founded Toronto-based Apotex Inc. in 1974 with two employees and gradually turned it into the largest Canadian-owned pharmaceutical company.Along the way he amassed a vast fortune, recently estimated by Canadian Business magazine at $4.77 billion, making him the 15th richest person in the country.Sherman faced legal action from family members alleging they had been cut out of the company over the years.As a producer of more than 300 generic pharmaceutical products, Apotex has itself seen a fair number of litigation issues, as companies have pushed back on its efforts to sell cheaper no-name options.One of the most high-profile of those clashes occurred when pharma giant Bristol-Myers Squibb sued Apotex in 2006 to try and stop it from selling the first generic form of the heart-disease treatment Plavix.Today, the company has more than 10,000 people in research, development, manufacturing and distribution facilities world-wide, with more than 6,000 employees at its Canadian operations. Those include manufacturing and research facilities concentrated in the Toronto area as well as in Winnipeg.Honey Sherman is presented a Senate medal by Senator Linda Frum in Ottawa on Nov. 29, 2017 for her and her husband Barry Sherman’s contributions to the community. Filling more than 89 million prescriptions in a year and exporting to 115 countries, the privately held company says its worldwide sales exceed $2 billion a year.Sherman’s wife, Honey, was a member of the board of the Baycrest Foundation and the York University Foundation. She also served on the boards of Mount Sinai’s Women’s Auxiliary, the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the International American Joint Distribution Committee.The Shermans were among Canada’s most generous philanthropists and also organized funding of charitable causes through the Apotex Foundation. The couple made numerous multimillion-dollar donations to hospitals, schools and charities and had buildings named in their honour.A University of Toronto website lists the Apotex Foundation and the Shermans as donors in the range of $10 million to $25 million during 1995 and 2003. They also donated roughly $50 million to the United Jewish Appeal.In a statement on the Jewish Foundation of Greater Toronto’s website, the Shermans expressed their particular “obligation” to support the Jewish community.“We are fortunate in being able to contribute,” the couple is quoted as saying. “You can’t take it with you, so the best alternative is to put it to good use while you are here.”The chair of the Sinai Health System’s board said the Shermans’ deaths was a big loss.“Their visible leadership on our hospital and foundation board of directors was infused with warmth, passion and a fierce intelligence,” Brent Belzberg said in a statement. “Their loss will be felt by our organization, our community, and our country.”Apotex called news of the deaths “tragic.”“All of us at Apotex are deeply shocked and saddened by this news and our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time,” the company said in a statement.The address where the bodies were found was recently listed for sale for $6.9 million. Neighbours confirmed that the property was the couple’s home.— with files from Michael Oliveira in Toronto and Ian Bickis in Calgary.
British new car market stable in February, rising 1.4% following January dip, marking solid start to 2019.81,969 new cars registered on UK roads in the quietest month of the year ahead of crucial March plate change.Demand for alternatively fuelled cars rises 34.0%, marking 22 consecutive months of growth as buyers respond to growing model choice. SEE CAR REGISTRATIONS BY BRANDDOWNLOAD THE PRESS RELEASE AND DATAThe UK’s new car market enjoyed marginal growth in February, up 1.4% following five straight months of decline, according to the latest figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). 81,969 new cars were registered on UK roads in the month (a year on year uplift of 1,164 units), traditionally one of the quietest of the year, ahead of the crucial March plate change.Demand for alternatively fuelled vehicles continued to surge, up 34.0% and marking the 22nd consecutive month of growth for the segment as new and existing cutting-edge models attracted buyers into showrooms. Registrations of zero-emission electric cars enjoyed particular growth, more than doubling to 731 units, although they still accounted for less than 1% of the market (0.9%).Meanwhile, in the four months since the October 2018 reform to the Plug-in Car Grant, the market for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) has only grown by 1.7%, compared with 29.5% over the first 10 months of 2018.1 This suggests that removing the incentive for PHEVs is having an adverse effect.Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,It’s encouraging to see market growth in February, albeit marginal, especially for electrified models. Car makers have made huge commitments to bring to market an ever-increasing range of exciting zero and ultra low emission vehicles and give buyers greater choice. These cars still only account for a fraction of the overall market, however, so if the UK is to achieve its electrification ambitions, a world-class package of incentives and infrastructure is needed. The recent removal of the plug-in car grant from plug-in hybrids was a backward step and sends entirely the wrong message. Supportive, not punitive measures are needed, else ambitions will never be realised.The news comes as vehicle manufacturers prepare to launch some 14 all-new electric and plug-in models to a global audience at the Geneva Motor Show today. Already there are around 40 plug-in models on the market in the UK, with more than 20 more expected to arrive in showrooms in 2019. Notes to Editors1: SMMT analysis Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)