Harper’s Get-Tough-On-Crime Government Has No Problem Letting Conrad Black Back Into The Country

A Brief Commentary by Doug Draper

Imagine if you or I or most of us, for that matter, showed up at the Canadian border with a criminal record to a point where we had spent time in prison, had no Canadian citizenship and expected to drive right through with the intention of residing and possibly doing business in Canada.

Thanks to Harper/Nicholson government, ex U.S. convict Conrad Black will be allowed in Canada

 

How far do you think we would get? Probably not much farther than the first gate Customs and Immigration officers would open to turn us around and send us back to where we came from. 

Well not if you are ‘Lord’ Conrad Black and the Stephen Harper Conservative government in power – as much as it pretends to be tough on crime, allows the former media baron in with a “temporary resident pass” from Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration department.

Never mind that Black, who renounced his Canadian  citizenship 11 years ago so he could assume the title of Baron Black of Crossharbour in the British House of Lords, and has since served more than three years in a federal prison in Florida for obstruction of justice and defrauding shareholders of his former Hollinger newspaper empire. If ‘His Lordship’ wants back in Canada, the Harper regime automatically lets him in. 

You and I can be sitting at a customs booth at the Peace Bridge or Rainbow Bridge for a half hour or more, waiting our turn to report how much we spent on groceries or a few articles of clothing in Buffalo or Niagara Falls, New York. We might be asked to quote our licence plate number (just so they can determine whether or not we stole our car, I guess), and sometimes the odd officer even asks us why we could not have seen whatever movie we went over to view on our side of the border.

Yet Black, with a criminal record and no Canadian citizenhip, will be allowed to cross the border into Canada  just like that. And this is a guy who once ridiculed this country as some kind of backwater compared to how much better he argued things were in the United States. That’s until the U.S. sought to procecute him for white collar crimes, that is.

Perhaps someone should ask Canada’s justice minister, Rob Nicholson from Niagara Falls, why he is so intent on throwing some poor desperate, misguided  kid caught with a bag of marijuana in jail and yet doesn’t seem to mind letting a white collar individual convicted of crimes in the United States and with no Canadian citizenship into our country. Perhaps, he should also be asked why this same individual was never prosecuted, as he was in the U.S., when so many of those in his former Hollinger company who were impacted by his conducted are Canadians?

In the meantime, Mr. Justice Minister, don’t tell us there isn’t one set of rules for the rich and privileged, and another for the rest of us.

(Niagara At Large invites our readers to share their views on this post. Please remember that we will only post views with a real first and last name attached to them.)

 

14 responses to “Harper’s Get-Tough-On-Crime Government Has No Problem Letting Conrad Black Back Into The Country

  1. Once more, the Harper government has shown its contempt for the citizens of Canada. Despite Immigration Minister Jason Kenney’s disclaimer that he had anything to do with the decision, the majority of thinking Canadians, I suspect, will not believe him, given his government’s record of lying to the electorate about everything from the true projected costs of F-35 jets to Peter MacKay’s luxury airlift from his cottage last summer.

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  2. Justice may be blind, but it can SMELL money!

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  3. Linda McKellar

    Is anybody surprised? The country wasn’t good enough for Black when he wanted his title of Lord Plushbottom but it’s great for a haven when your a convicted felon.

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  4. I recently learned that a young man–a refugee claimant–whom I have come to respect and admire and who is making a solid contribution to the community is being sent back to his native land. He has not committed a crime, has not harmed anyone, nor has he been anything but a “good citizen”. Unfortunately, he is not a citizen, and though he would chose to live in Canada he is not going to be allowed to do so. He is young and vulnerable with little or no money to fall back on or to fight his deportation.

    Now Conrad Black on the other hand has money. He chose to turn his nose up at Canada in exchange for the prestige of a title in England. He gave up his citizenship and all the rights and protections it provides, and he did so quite willingly. He is a convicted felon, flaunted his nose at a court order by removing potentially incriminating records from his office, and shows absolutely no remorse over his crime: a crime that, at least financially, hurt others. He is both arrogant and callous with a great sense of entitlement.

    Yet, the Harper Government, as hard on crime as they want to appear, have apparently allowed Black to return to Canada — even if temporarily — while more deserving people get deported. And the appropriate cabinet minister, quite selectively, decides to declare that he ought not interfere but let his minions decide. Yet, cabinet ministers have interfered in other situations. This one chooses not to own the problem. Perhaps money does talk! Certainly there seems to be a law for the rich and a different one for the poor.

    Where is the justice?

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  5. I recently learned that a young man–a refugee claimant–whom I have come to respect and admire and who is making a solid contribution to the community is being sent back to his native land. He has not committed a crime, has not harmed anyone, nor has he been anything but a “good citizen”. Unfortunately, he is not a citizen, and though he would chose to live in Canada he is not going to be allowed to do so. He is young and vulnerable with little or no money to fall back on or to fight his deportation.

    Now Conrad Black on the other hand has money. He chose to turn his nose up at Canada in exchange for the prestige of a title in England. He gave up his citizenship and all the rights and protections it provides, and he did so quite willingly. He is a convicted felon, flaunted his nose at a court order by removing potentially incriminating records from his office, and shows absolutely no remorse over his crime: a crime that, at least financially, hurt others. He is both arrogant and callous with a great sense of entitlement.

    Yet, the Harper Government, as hard on crime as they want to appear, have apparently allowed Black to return to Canada — even if temporarily — while more deserving people get deported. And Jason Kenny, quite selectively, decides to declare that he ought not interfere but let his minions decide. Yet, cabinet ministers have interfered in other situations. This one chooses not to own the problem. Perhaps money does talk! Certainly there seems to be a law for the rich and a different one for the poor.

    Where is the justice?

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  6. This “lord” denounced his Canadian citizenship, is a convicted fraud artist of the highest order and yet these Cons are letting him come back? It’s an outrage!

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  7. I am certain that I did not VOTE for these Conservative goons for I would not dirty my hands on them or trust them as far as I could throw them on a wet ice surface…. BUT my friends….many peoples did VOTE for them, enough votes to win and a majority at that??? Yes There are people I know, blue collared people who DID VOTE for them and did so with a sense of pride???? So I ask Why?… Do they dine with the Blacks and feel they are better then their neighbor???? I don’t know BUT there has to be a reason why some quite intelligent (at least they think so) people cannot see the damage being caused to Canada by these messengers of the Fraser Institute and the American Enterprise Institute. That felon Conrad Black was allowed back into this country is a blow to every Canadian and to a judicial system that is questionable at best. but in my opinion this Conrad thing is the last nail in the coffin of decency in a country where decency and respect of law was ONCE rated very high. That was before Harper and his gang took control.
    God Bless Canada No! No1 absolutely No …….Better God HELP Canada

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  8. I don’t understand the Conservative (Reform) government. Black is no fan of Harper, but maybe Harper is a fan of Black?

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  9. Dave Chappelle

    If Black comes back we’re doomed. Kanukistan will never be the same. Immigration Kanukistan has already kicked out poor innocent refugees to make room for him. Oh the humanity.

    Please people, do a little research. All of you above are the problem with our country — too many opinions, not enough facts.

    He went to the USA to defend his name. He knew he was in the right. Yet he was convicted anyway. And then the assclowns who took over his business ran it into the ground, proving they were incompetent.

    Mr Black was proven innocent. He was acquitted on most charges, and the one he was convicted on set aside by the US Supreme Court. That he is still serving time in the USA proves the legal system there is corrupt. The USSC sent him back to Chicago — the most corrupt place in the USA, and there are a lot of candidates for that title — and the judge who sentenced him decided to send him to prison for no damn reason.
    How would YOU feel about being treated that way?

    As for his citizenship, he was the victim of that foul, evil, petty, disgusting Lieberal PM, who in a fit of pique prevented him from receiving a title. Why did the little Shawinigan throatshaker do that? Because Black had the audacity to start the only national newspaper that didn’t blow sunshine right up Crouton’s butt.
    There are Kanuks with multiple citizenships. For crying out loud, you’re all excited about an imaginary arbitrary line on a map.

    And now all of you think he’s a foreign criminal. Well, do your research. He’s innocent. Even the USSC said so.

    As for your upright upstanding refugee sob story… How many companies has the gentleman started? How much in taxes has he paid while here? How many jobs has he created?
    Black has started dozens. He’s paid millions. He’s created hundreds if not thousands. His track record is proven.
    Perhaps the Conartists are doing the right thing by acknowledging the USA legal system as corrupt, and letting a Kanuk businessman who still owns property here come back, start up some businesses, and help pull our butts out of this mess his old white male counterparts put us in. It’s not like the losers who trumped up the charges against him have anything left of the businesses they took over.

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  10. Will MacKenzie

    I thought the Hamilton Spectator cartoonist, Graeme MacKay, had a particularly appropriate suggestion:

    http://www.thespec.com/opinion/cartoons/article/716788–may-3-editorial-cartoon

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  11. Dave, the legal system in the US may be corrupt, but at least white collar crime is recognized and penalized, unlike here inn “Kanukistan”.

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  12. Dave Chappelle

    You’re happy an innocent man was imprisoned?
    And white collar crime isn’t recognized here?
    Oh come on Angela. Making those statements tosses away any credibility you might have had.

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    • Dave
      I can’t let your rather sarcastic and somewhat caustic remarks go without a response.

      Your comments remind me of the story about the mother who was watching a Remembrance Day parade, “Look. That’s my son. Everyone is out of step but him.”

      You suggest that almost everyone in the U.S. legal system is corrupt and falsely accused and imprisoned Conrad Black. You further suggest the rest of us, but you, of course, are bleeding hearts — otherwise why the sarcastic “Oh the humanity.” Black did take records out of his office against a court order, he did break the law and commit a “white collar” crime, and he did serve time in jail for it. Surely you don’t really believe virtually everyone is “out of step” but Mr. Black (and perhaps you).

      Perhaps, Dave, on this one you might just be the one out of step. Americans are tougher on white collar crime than Canadians. Read “White Collar Crime,” by Tedd Mann: an older book but on the mark. Compare Canadian sentence for WCC with those for other monetary crimes and with WCC in the U.S. The difference is huge. The consequences are that white collar crime in Canada is a crime that pays well in relation to the sentence: sometimes as much as a million or more dollars in stolen or otherwise ill-gotten money per year of jail. Not a bad income for a year on the public purse, eh?

      And, Black did turn his back on Canada. I don’t want him in Canada in lieu of more humane and less arrogant refugees. He chose to give up his citizenship for what he felt was a higher honour. The refugees I know would die for Canadian citizenship and for Canada. Would Black?

      I usually don’t get very personal in my comments regarding the remarks of others in this column. However, you made your remarks rather personal and dismissive and really offer little “evidence” for the sweeping statements you make about the American justice system. While there may be corruption – power does tend to corrupt – there sure is more justice than not or the whole system would collapse.

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  13. Dave Chappelle, you still believe he was innocent? After several appeals, he was still convicted of some of the charges. In Canada, you can steal billions from other people through white collar crime and get a slap on the wrist if anything.

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