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Victim of triple homicide near London was in relationship with man found killed on same road last year

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One of three people from Six Nations found murdered in a pickup truck abandoned in a field off a country road in Middlesex County was the common law partner of another Six Nations man found murdered on the same road last year.

On Nov. 4, shortly before 10 a.m., OPP were called to the field off Bodkin Rd. and Jones Dr., south of London, Ont., near Oneida Nation of the Thames First Nation, after someone spotted an abandoned grey 2006 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck. Inside police found the bodies of 37-year-old Melissa Trudy Miller, 33-year-old Alan Grant Porter and 32-year-old Michael Shane Jamieson — all of Six Nations of the Grand River, more than 100 kilometres away, near Brantford.

OPP and Six Nations Police are calling on community members to help solve the murders of three people found dead in a pickup in Middlesex County.
OPP and Six Nations Police are calling on community members to help solve the murders of three people found dead in a pickup in Middlesex County.  (OPP)

In August 2017, the body of Douglas Hill was found several kilometres down Bodkin Rd. in Oneida Nation of the Thames territory. The 48-year-old Brantford man, also from Six Nations, had been reported missing in June.

According to their obituaries Hill was in a relationship with Miller before his death. One person who knew them described them as being “very much in love.”

So how did she end up dead in a car with three other men on the same stretch of road so far from home?

OPP has said investigators are aware of similarities in the cases, but the triple homicide is being investigated separately.

Middlesex OPP say a news conference with the case manager Det. Insp. Pete Liptrott of the OPP criminal investigation branch is being planned for later this week.

Over the weekend, OPP and Six Nations police released a poster with the images of all three recent victims and a grey 2006, Chevrolet Silverado, with a plea to help catch their killer.

In Hill’s death, Six Nations Police and OPP had been searching for a dark-coloured SUV with tinted windows and possible front-end damage that was seen on the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation, also south of London, and possibly Oneida Nation of the Thames.

The families of Miller, Porter and Jamieson thanked the community for the outpouring of support and sympathy in a statement released through Six Nations Indigenous Victims Services.

“We know that our families are not alone in our sadness as the loss of Melissa, Al and Mike has left our community in shock and grief,” they said, asking for patience and privacy at this time.

They called on the public to help police investigating the murders.

According to her obituary Miller was a mother of six and a grandmother. A funeral was held at Styres Funeral Home in Ohsweken Monday, followed by cremation.

Grant was a father of two. His funeral was held Sunday at Six Nations Pentecostal Church, where he was also buried in the cemetery.

Jamieson was a father of five. His funeral was held at Soursprings Longhouse on Sunday.

Anyone with information can call Six Nations Police at 519-445-2811, a police tip line at 1-844-677-5050, or to remain anonymous call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Nicole O’Reilly is a reporter with the Hamilton Spectator. Email: noreilly@thespec.com

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Anglais

‘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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Anglais

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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