Canada column for Sunday, Dec. 17/17
THE CANADIAN REPORT
(c) By Jim Fox
Police say the deaths of the billionaire founder of Canadian generic drug firm Apotex and his wife are “suspicious.”
The bodies of the philanthropist couple Barry and Honey Sherman were found about noon on Friday in their home in Toronto’s North York.
Barry Sherman’s net worth was estimated at $4.77 billion, making him the 15th richest person in the country and he had recently put the house up for sale, asking $6.9 million.
Constable David Hopkinson said police were called in response to a “medical complaint” and autopsies this weekend will determine the cause of death.
Barry Sherman founded Toronto-based Apotex Inc. in 1974 and turned it into the largest Canadian-owned pharmaceutical company, producing more than 300 generic drugs and employing 10,000 people.
The company has manufacturing and research facilities in the Toronto area and Winnipeg, and fills 89-million prescriptions a year, exporting to 115 countries.
Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins said the Shermans were “generous philanthropists, kind and compassionate individuals, devoted to their family, their friends, their community, this province and this country.”
Men who are often maligned for exaggerating their flu or cold symptoms might need some compassion, says a Canadian researcher.
Dr. Kyle Sue, a family physician and professor at Memorial University of Newfoundland, wrote in the British Medical Journal that “man flu” is an unfairly used term.
It usually applies to men exaggerating the effects of their illness and severity of symptoms.
“There’s actually some evidence that suggests men actually do experience worse and longer-lasting symptoms,” Sue said.
Research suggests that hormones affect the severity of symptoms and “it’s not fair to write all men off as exaggerating whenever they have a cold.”
News in brief:
- The Canadian economy has made excellent progress this year but there is still important work to be done on several longer-term issues, Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz said. He told the Canadian Club in Toronto the economy was the fastest-growing among the Group of Seven nations. Issues such as the threat of a cyber-attack, high house prices, elevated household debt and the tough labour market for young Canadians continue to be a preoccupation, he added.
- A hunting accident has taken the life of John Hickey, mayor of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador. Police said he was shot in the lower face while alone near the Trans-Labrador Highway. Hickey was checking rabbit snares when his shotgun discharged but he managed to get onto his snowmobile and reached a nearby highway to get help.
Facts and figures:
Canada’s dollar is slightly higher at 77.86 cents U.S. while the U.S. dollar returns $1.284 in Canadian funds before exchange fees.
The Bank of Canada’s key interest rate is steady at 1 percent while the prime-lending rate is 3.2 percent.
Stock markets are mixed, with the Toronto exchange index down at 16,041 points while the TSX Venture index is higher at 801 points.
The average price for gas in Canada is lower at $1.136 a liter or $4.31 (Canadian) for a U.S. gallon.
Lotto 6/49: (Dec. 13) 12, 29, 30, 40, 45 and 48; bonus 27. (Dec. 9) 8, 10, 11, 14, 19 and 33; bonus 30. Lotto Max (Dec. 8) 1, 17, 31, 33, 39, 46 and 49; bonus 42.
- Hydro One, one of Canada’s largest electricity companies, has grounded its fleet of eight helicopters after a crash killed four workers. Investigators are trying to determine what caused the helicopter to crash in a rural area in Tweed, Ontario. All aboard the chopper were killed in the mid-day crash as they were completing work on a transmission tower. The company held candlelight vigils and allowed crews to take a break from their jobs.
- Nova Scotia is the first place in North America to ban unnecessary cat declawing. The Nova Scotia Veterinary Medical Association said elective and non-therapeutic declawing is ethically unacceptable. As well, the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association said the practise causes unnecessary and avoidable pain and is urging other places to also ban the procedure.
Jim Fox can be reached at email@example.com