The return of Conrad Black (pictured) to his native Canada has been met with much criticism, mainly by those on the political left. The fact that Black renounced his Canadian citizenship sticks in the craw of many of us, but for many others it’s the fact he is a rich—some say arrogant and rich—man who came a cropper with the law and for whom no punishment is too great.
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair thought blocking Black’s entry to Canada was important enough to raise the issue in the House of Commons.
Perhaps those folks don’t actually hate Conrad Black, but only seem to. Most have never actually met the man, but dislike him intensely nevertheless and want the government to bar him from the country.
His turning his back on Canada for something as silly as a British peerage did bother me quite a bit at the time, but there was an extenuating circumstance: Jean Chrétien. The former prime minister, out of pure cussedness, had blocked Black’s request to accept the peerage.
Anyway, Black has now decided to return to Canada, and I believe we should welcome him home. After all, he has served his prison-time, his wife and children are Canadian, he owns property here—and presumably pays taxes on it—and, most importantly, he has contributed enough to Canadian society before becoming a Brit to earn him the privilege of living here.
Now, let’s hope the press/media will leave the man and his family alone to carry on their lives in peace. Camping out at his residence seems pretty tacky stuff to me—there must be better ways for journalists to earn a living.
(Photograph credit: Ottawa Citizen, National Post)