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Can Man Dan sets record-breaking donation: ‘This is Edmonton’s record’ – Edmonton

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‘Can Man Dan’ Johnstone aims to pay it forward, and now he’s breaking records in doing so.

Johnstone set the record for the most toys collected by a single person for 630 CHED Santa’s Anonymous during his four-day camp out outside of Famous Toys Warehouse.

In total, he raised over $50,000 worth of toys — an entire truckload.

The toys will be delivered to children across the city next weekend, and Santa’s Anonymous is nothing short of appreciative.


READ MORE:
Can Man Dan’s latest Edmonton campout in support of 630 CHED Santas Anonymous

The charity said in an Instagram post, “your dedication is incredible”.

Though he achieved landmark success in the charitable effort, he simply will not take all of the credit.

“It’s not my record, this is Edmonton’s record,” said Johnstone.

“They’re the ones who donate. They come out in droves and see me. I just stand there like a fool.

“People were coming all hours of the day and night just to donate – whether it was one toy or 10 toys.”

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WATCH: Can Man Dan camps out to support Edmonton’s Food Bank






Right now, the anti-poverty activist is on a mission for the city. He’s on his third of five camp outs, and the next is for the Edmonton Food Bank.

“It feels good,” Johnstone remarked, “but I still have a lot of work to do before Christmas.”

When it comes to exactly how he was able to raise over $50,000 in toys for Santa’s Anonymous, he said it comes down to the relationship he has with Edmonton.

“This city and I have this weird relationship where I can ask them for whatever I want,” Johnstone said. “Whether I want to fill a truck full of food, clothes, or toys, they’ll just do it — and that’s why I love Edmonton.”

But it doesn’t happen overnight. Can Man Dan is an initiative that started when Johnstone turned 18, after being on the other side of those donations.

“Growing up poor kick-started this whole initiative,” he said.

“I remember vividly some of the things I got as a kid and I wanted to keep the cycle going.

“We relied on so many different social services like the Food Bank and Santa’s Anonymous- basically every program you could think of.

“So, I turned 18 and started the whole Can Man Dan initiative and since then we’ve raised millions for our city.”


READ MORE:
Edmonton families line up for free school supplies, haircuts as kids return to class

Since the initiative started, he’s helped thousands of people and there’s always another project he’s working on.

This is his eighth year of camp outs for local charities, and in total this year, he’s spent 12 days outside in Edmonton’s bitter cold climate.

“It was cold, to be honest,” he said, but he does find a way to stay warm.

“Seeing all those smiles, and getting all those hugs and handshakes, and loading all these toys into the truck, that’s what kept me warm,” Johnstone said.

“The Christmas spirit was alive and well. It was special.”

Johnstone was born and raised in Edmonton, and has a tireless love for the city.

“I love this city. There’s not a thing I wouldn’t do for it.”

He’s able to achieve charitable successes like this one because of Edmonton’s generosity — and Johnstone says it’s chart-topping.

“This is the most generous city in the entire world. I know I might be a bit biased, but I truly believe it,” he said. “I’m so glad we could help thousands of kids this Christmas.

“This victory is for Edmonton specifically.”

You can find Can Man Dan camping outside of the Heritage Safeway at 2304 109th Street from December 13th to 16th, and again at Southbrook Sobeys at 1109 James Mowatt Trail from December 22nd to December 24th.

He’ll be gathering food, toy, and monetary donations for Edmonton’s Food Bank.

LISTEN BELOW: Full Interview with Can Man Dan about his record-setting donation


© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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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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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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