(OTTAWA) Former media mogul Conrad Black says his Canadian citizenship has been restored, more than 20 years after he renounced it.
Mr. Black had renounced his Canadian citizenship in 2001, following a high-profile row with the then Liberal prime minister. Jean Chrétien reproached him for having accepted an appointment to the British House of Lords.
Prime Minister Chrétien had even warned Queen Elizabeth II that the government believed a Canadian should not be appointed to the House of Lords, citing a non-binding 1919 resolution. Mr. Black, who had dual Canadian-British citizenship, alleged that Mr. Chrétien sought revenge for past criticism. He eventually renounced his Canadian citizenship so he could become a British lord.
Conrad Black has provided La Presse Canadienne with a copy of an opinion piece he says will be published Saturday by the National Post, the daily newspaper he founded and to which he regularly contributes. In this forum, he says he received his Canadian passport at his home this week.
He recalls that his status in Canada was “for some years a matter of controversy and curiosity”, adding that “these unpleasant memories” made the arrival of the passport “by express delivery … a particularly welcome occurrence”.
The Montreal-born former media mogul was convicted of fraud in 2007 in the United States and spent time in federal prison in Florida. Prosecutors alleged a scheme to embezzle millions of dollars from the sale of newspapers owned by Hollinger, of which he was CEO.
Mr. Black was deported to Canada and later pardoned by then US President Donald Trump, of whom he had written a glowing biography and called his friend. Under US law, a presidential pardon represents a full pardon in the legal sense. Mr. Black has always maintained that he was the victim of an unfair justice system.
A spokesman for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Sean Fraser said the department and minister were not commenting on specific cases, citing the Privacy Act.