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Canadian soldier comes to the aid of downtown Windsor shooting victim

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As shots fired in downtown Windsor early Friday morning, a Canadian soldier who was home for Thanksgiving sprung into action.

Windsor police say a man in his mid-20s remains in critical condition following a shooting in downtown Windsor early Friday morning. It happened outside near Ouellette Avenue and Maiden Lane.

Cpl. Brandon James Liddy, originally from Tecumseh, is an imagery technician for the Canadian Armed Forces — stationed in Gatineau.

Shortly after arriving home for the holiday weekend, Liddy headed to a downtown Windsor club for an event. Moments before the shooting, he was outside « catching some air with a friend. »

Windsor police are investigating a shooting that happened in downtown Windsor at about 1:45 a.m. Friday. (Bob Becken/CBC)

« Within a few minutes of being outside, shots rang out. I immediately took cover, » he said, adding a lot of people in the area seemed to confuse the shots for a cap gun.

« I was sure that it was an actual firearm. After which, I had seen a man who was shot stumbling and then came to his knees and fell down. »

With the victim lying down in the street, Liddy approached him and introduced himself.

Ouellette Avenue from Wyandotte Street to Park Street were closed while police investigated the scene. (Bob Becken/CBC)

« When I came to notice this guy was shot, or had a strong feeling, I had a moral obligation as a soldier to go in, » he said. « I checked for the different things we’re supposed to look for — wetness for blood and holes for gunshot wounds and whatnot. »

Upon observing a gunshot wound on the victim’s arm, he removed his belt and used it as a tourniquet — but there was another wound to the victim’s upper torso.

« I pointed at a bystander and said, ‘Hey, I need you to take your shirt off. It needs to be pushed on this guy’s body to stop the bleeding.’ I then called on another guy to hold pressure on the wound while we did other checks and whatnot. »

Liddy said he worked alongside emergency personnel before more arrived on the scene, adding the way they handled stuff was « very professional and in a kind manner. »

‘Windsor’s changed a lot’

Liddy, 35, is no stranger to the downtown Windsor scene. He said he remembers hanging out with friends and grabbing a drink in the area during his mid-20s. With the exception of the occasional fist fight, he recalls very « minimal gun and knife violence. »

« It’s definitely changed and it’s very sad to see this because a lot of people in Windsor notice this. There’s definitely a hard need for change and I wouldn’t even know where to start with that because I now live in Ottawa, » he said.

« But for the people here, there’s a lot of tension. »

When I came to notice this guy was shot, …  I had a moral obligation as a soldier to go in.– Cpl. Brandon James  Liddy

Grateful to save a life

Liddy said he feels empowered to have the training necessary to involve himself in such a dire situation, adding he started to doubt if he’s every going to need to refer to his training after many years of being in the force.

« It happened last night. It felt good knowing that I had that confidence through training to help someone and possibly save a life. »

According to Windsor police, the victim underwent surgery after being rushed to hospital.

Nobody has been arrested and a suspect description has not been released.

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‘Business as usual’ for Dorel Industries after terminating go-private deal

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MONTREAL — Dorel Industries Inc. says it will continue to pursue its business strategy going forward after terminating an agreement to go private after discussions with shareholders.

« Moving ahead. Business as usual, » a spokesman for the company said in an email on Monday.

A group led by Cerberus Capital Management had previously agreed to buy outstanding shares of Dorel for $16 apiece, except for shares owned by the family that controls the company’s multiple-voting shares.

But Dorel chief executive Martin Schwartz said the Montreal-based maker of car seats, strollers, bicycles and home furniture pulled the plug on a deal on the eve of Tuesday’s special meeting after reviewing votes from shareholders.

“Independent shareholders have clearly expressed their confidence in Dorel’s future and the greater potential for Dorel as a public entity, » he said in a news release.

Dorel’s board of directors, with Martin Schwartz, Alan Schwartz, Jeffrey Schwartz and Jeff Segel recused, unanimously approved the deal’s termination upon the recommendation of a special committee.

The transaction required approval by two-thirds of the votes cast, and more than 50 per cent of the votes cast by non-family shareholders.

Schwartz said enhancing shareholder value remains a top priority while it stays focused on growing its brands, which include Schwinn and Mongoose bikes, Safety 1st-brand car seats and DHP Furniture.

Dorel said the move to end the go-private deal was mutual, despite the funds’ increased purchase price offer earlier this year.

It said there is no break fee applicable in this case.

Montreal-based investment firm Letko, Brosseau & Associates Inc. and San Diego’s Brandes Investment Partners LP, which together control more than 19 per cent of Dorel’s outstanding class B subordinate shares voiced their opposition to the amended offer, which was increased from the initial Nov. 2 offer of $14.50 per share.

« We believe that several minority shareholders shared our opinion, » said Letko vice-president Stephane Lebrun, during a phone interview.

« We are confident of the long-term potential of the company and we have confidence in the managers in place.”

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Anglais

Pandemic funds helping Montreal businesses build for a better tomorrow

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Many entrepreneurs have had to tap into government loans during the pandemic, at first just to survive, but now some are using the money to better prepare their businesses for the post-COVID future.

One of those businesses is Del Friscos, a popular family restaurant in Dollard-des-Ormeaux that, like many Montreal-area restaurants, has had to adapt from a sit-down establishment to one that takes orders online for takeout or delivery.

“It was hard going from totally in-house seating,” said Del Friscos co-owner Terry Konstas. “We didn’t have an in-house delivery system, which we quickly added. There were so many of our employees that were laid off that wanted to work so we adapted to a delivery system and added platforms like Uber and DoorDash.”

Helping them through the transition were emergency grants and low-interest loans from the federal and provincial governments, some of which are directly administered by PME MTL, a non-profit business-development organization established to assist the island’s small and medium-sized businesses.

Konstas said he had never even heard of PME MTL until a customer told him about them and when he got in touch, he discovered there were many government programs available to help his business get through the downturn and build for the future. “They’ve been very helpful right from day one,” said Konstas.

“We used some of the funds to catch up on our suppliers and our rents, the part that wasn’t covered from the federal side, and we used some of it for our new virtual concepts,” he said, referring to a virtual kitchen model which the restaurant has since adopted.

The virtual kitchen lets them create completely different menu items from the casual American Italian dishes that Del Friscos is known for and market them under different restaurant brand names. Under the Prasinó Soup & Salad banner, they sell healthy Greek options and their Stallone’s Sub Shop brand offers hearty sandwiches, yet the food from both is created in the same Del Friscos kitchen.

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Downtown Montreal office, retail vacancies continue to rise

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Some of downtown Montreal’s key economic indicators are heading in the wrong direction.

Office and retail vacancies in the city’s central core continued to climb in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to a quarterly report released Thursday by the Urban Development Institute of Quebec and the Montréal Centre-Ville merchants association. The report, whose first edition was published in October, aims to paint a socio-economic picture of the downtown area.

The survey also found office space available for sublet had increased during the fourth quarter, which may foreshadow even more vacancies when leases expire. On the residential front, condo sales fell as new listings soared — a sign that the downtown area may be losing some of its appeal to homeowners.

“It’s impossible not to be preoccupied by the rapid increase in office vacancies,” Jean-Marc Fournier, the former Quebec politician who now heads the UDI, said Thursday in an interview.

Still, with COVID-19 vaccinations set to accelerate in the coming months, “the economic picture is bound to improve,” he said. “People will start returning downtown. It’s much too early to say the office market is going to disappear.”

Public health measures implemented since the start of the pandemic almost a year ago — such as caps on office capacity — have deprived downtown Montreal of more than 500,000 workers and students. A mere 4,163 university and CEGEP students attended in-person classes in the second quarter, the most recent period for which figures are available. Border closures and travel restrictions have also brought tourism to a standstill, hurting hotels and thousands of local businesses.

Seventy per cent of downtown workers carried out their professional activities at home more than three days a week during the fourth quarter, the report said, citing an online survey of 1,000 Montreal-area residents conducted last month.

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