(Adds background on the Shermans, comments from Canadian
leaders, paragraphs 1-2, 4-5, 8-9, 11-14)
By Chris Helgren
TORONTO, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Canadian police said they were
investigating the mysterious deaths of Barry Sherman, founder of
Canadian pharmaceutical firm Apotex Inc, and his wife, Honey,
one of the nation's wealthiest couples whose bodies were found
in their mansion on Friday.
Police said they learned of the deaths after responding to a
midday (1700 GMT) medical call at the Sherman's home in an
affluent section of northeast Toronto. Two bodies covered in
blankets were removed from the home and loaded into an unmarked
van on Friday evening.
"The circumstances of their death appear suspicious and we
are treating it that way," said Constable David Hopkinson.
Homicide detectives later told reporters gathered outside the
home that there were no signs of forced entry.
Their neighbors, business associates and some of Canada's
most powerful politicians said they were saddened by the deaths.
"Our condolences to their family & friends, and to everyone
touched by their vision & spirit," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
wrote on Twitter.
Toronto Mayor John Tory said in statement he was "shocked
and heartbroken" to learn of the deaths, noting that the couple
had made extensive contributions to the city.
"Toronto Police are investigating, and I hope that
investigation will be able to provide answers for all of us who
are mourning this tremendous loss," Tory said.
The Shermans recently listed their home for sale for nearly
C$7 million ($5.4 million). A real estate agent discovered the
bodies in the basement while preparing for an open house, the
Toronto Globe and Mail reported, citing a relative.
Sherman, 75, founded privately held Apotex in 1974, growing
it by introducing large numbers of low-cost generic drugs that
took market share from branded pharmaceuticals. He stepped down
as chief executive in 2012 but remained executive chairman.
Forbes has estimated Sherman's fortune at $3.2 billion.
Apotex is the world's No. 7 generic drugmaker with 11,000
employees and annual sales of more than C$2 billion in more than
45 countries, according to its website.
The couple was known for their philanthropy, giving tens of
millions of dollars to hospitals, universities and Jewish
organizations, CBC reported.
"They were extremely successful in business, but also very,
very giving people," former Ontario Premier Bob Rae told CBC.
"It's going to be a very, very big loss."
The Globe and Mail reported in February that Lobbying
Commissioner Karen Shepherd was investigating a complaint about
a 2015 political fundraiser that Trudeau had attended.
($1 = 1.2858 Canadian dollars)
(Writing and additional reporting by Julie Gordon in Vancouver;
Editing by Jim Finkle, Leslie Adler and Paul Tait)
First Published: 2017-12-16 02:20:30
Updated 2017-12-16 06:14:53
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