Business, Economics and Jobs

Canada crying foul with Conrad Black headed back

Former press magnate Conrad Black leaves federal court on June 24, 2011, in Chicago. Black is to return to Canada after his prison sentence is completed on Friday.


Brian Kersey

Fallen media mogul Conrad Black received a one-year permit to re-enter Canada after his sentence for fraud and obstruction of justice ends Friday, the Globe and Mail reported.

Opposition politicians are furious, accusing the Conservative government of double standards for allowing Black, a convicted criminal who renounced his citizenship to become a British lord, back into the country.

“I think he should be allowed back in this country for 24 hours – long enough to strip him of his Order of Canada (honor),” New Democrat MP Pat Martin told the Globe.

Black’s Hollinger International media company owned several flagship dailies, including the Jerusalem Post, Daily Telegraph, Chicago Sun-Times and Sydney Morning Herald.

However, he was convicted in 2007 after shareholders accused him of bilking millions from the company.

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After appeals and a short release, two of his convictions were overturned and he was resentenced last year to 42 months.

He’s expected to be released Friday from a Miami prison, and fly to Canada where his wife lives, the National Post said. 

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said there is nothing different about Black’s case considering Canada issued 11,000 similar permits last year.

Given the potential backlash, he told staff “to deal with any such application on their own, without any input from myself or my office to ensure that it was handled in a completely independent fashion,” the Post said.

Black renounced his Canadian citizenship in 2001 to become Baron Black of Crossharbour in the British House of Lords.

Many Canadians have long viewed Black as an arrogant elitist caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

He still faces an uphill battle, however, if he wants to become a Canadian citizen again, the Toronto Star reported. 

The application process generally requires five years, Kenney told the Star.

That might not be what he’s thinking, though, telling the Star last year he had “absolutely no intention whatsoever” of reapplying.

“I don’t believe there is any difficulty being a temporary resident in Canada,” Black told the Star then.

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