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Meng Wanzhou family photos hint at the Huawei CFO’s life in Vancouver

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Meng Wanzhou smiles alongside her family in front of landmarks such as the Lions Gate Bridge, in newly-released photos that hint at the Huawei CFO’s life in Vancouver.

The photos, released to media following a bail hearing on Monday, show Meng in various locations such as False Creek, where she sits in front of the Burrard Street Bridge.

Another image shows her in Victoria, where she can be seen in front of B.C.’s legislature building.

Coverage of the arrest of Meng Wanzhou on Globalnews.ca:


Meng has faced a bail hearing that lasted two days; it has provided various insights into her and her family’s life in Vancouver amid concern that she could pose a flight risk if she were released.

The hearing came after she was arrested at Vancouver International Airport on Dec. 1, on allegations that she violated U.S. trade sanctions on Iran.

A Crown lawyer on Monday said she poses this risk because of her wealth and a lack of ties to Canada.

Meng Wanzhou is seen in front of the B.C. legislature building in Victoria.

Court exhibit

Court documents released over the weekend hinted at the ties that Meng has kept on Canada’s West Coast.

Meng and her husband Liu Xiaozong own two properties in Vancouver, one at 4005 West 28th Avenue that was bought in 2009, and another at 1603 Matthews Street, which was bought in 2016, affidavits showed.

Together, the homes were assessed at just under $22 million in 2017.

Meng Wanzhou with her family.

Court exhibit

Meng has four children; two of whom went to school in Vancouver from 2009 to 2012, while her husband was studying toward a master’s degree in the city.

Once the kids were finished school, Meng would spend “many weeks, sometimes months” in Vancouver in the summertime, an affidavit said.

“I always try to spend at least two to three weeks in Vancouver every summer,” it said.

WATCH: China demands Meng Wanzhou’s release






Her in-laws had stayed at their home in the summer months since 2010, she added,

Meng’s legal team has said that she doesn’t pose a flight risk, owing partly to her links in Vancouver as well as a fear of hurting Huawei’s reputation.

READ MORE: Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou bail hearing hears plan for electronic monitoring

“My father founded Huawei and I would never do anything that would cause the company reputational damage,” she said in an affidavit.

“I believe that breaching my bail conditions would cause such damage.”

Meng Wanzhou with family members.

Court exhibit

If Meng were to flee to China, then bringing her to justice would prove that much more difficult, as the People’s Republic doesn’t have an extradition treaty with Canada or the U.S.

Should Meng be released, then private security provider Lions Gate Risk Management will have the authority to apprehend her if she breaches her bail conditions, her lawyer David Martin said Monday.

WATCH: More details released in Meng Wanzhou case after publication ban lifts






She would have 24/7 security with a driver and security team, a home security package, and she would have to provide them with a weekly itinerary, Lions Gate executive director Scot Filer said.

She would also be able to travel within a surveillance zone.

Meng Wanzhou with family near the Lions Gate Bridge.

Court exhibit

The Crown asked Filer whether he could assure the court that Meng would be prevented from breaching her bail.

He couldn’t provide guarantees but he said he was confident that her security would “satisfy the court.”

Meng Wanzhou with family near the Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver.

Court exhibit

Meng has received reference letters as part of her defence.

One of them came from Fan Bao, who described himself as the CEO of Chinese Renaissance Group, one of China’s “largest investment banks and private equity firms.”

He vouched for Meng’s character, saying, “based on my experience working with her, she has come across as a person of highest professional and moral standards.

“While I’m not privy to the circumstances of her detention, I see absolute [sic] no risk for her bail. Ms. Meng is very knowledge [sic] about the international laws and regulations and holds greatest respect for them. She is also a very proud person and will only utilize legal means to prove her innocence.”

Crown lawyers have noted that none of the reference letters came from anyone from B.C. or Canada.

Here are more photos of Meng Wanzhou and her family in the Vancouver area:

Meng Wanzhou with family near the Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver.

 

Meng Wanzhou with family.

Court exhibit

Meng Wanzhou with family in front of a home in Vancouver.

Court exhibit

Meng Wanzhou with family on a beach.

Court exhibit

Meng Wanzhou with family on a beach.

Court exhibit

Meng Wanzhou with family in front of a home.

Court exhibit

Meng Wanzhou with family.

Court exhibit

  • With files from Jon Azpiri, Simon Little and Rumina Daya

© 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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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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