The announcement came late on Friday by the Governor General of Canada, David Johnston. A spokeswoman for the Governor General, Marie-Pierre Belanger, said that the advisory council met late Friday to make its recommendation the the governor general. The council members include the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, Beverley McLachlin, and Wayne Wouters and the clerk of the Privy Council, Canada’s top public servant.
The announcement means that Black can no longer wear the titles of OC and PC. While the Canadian government permitted Black to return Canada after his prison term, since Black had given up his Canadian citizenship in order to become a member of the House of Lords in Westminster, the removal from the Order of Canada came on a recommendation of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Conrad Black is Canadian born and a former publisher, author and columnist, who was convicted of fraud in the US. Black controlled Hollinger International which was once the third largest English language empire. Thus Black controlled much of the printed press in Canada, with its obvious downside. Hollinger International also published The Daily Telegraph (UK), Chicago Sun Times (U.S.), The Jerusalem Post (Israel), National Post (Canada), The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia), and hundreds of community newspapers in North America.
In 2004, a shareholder-initiated prosecution of Black began in the United States over $80 million in assets claimed to have been improperly taken or inappropriately spent by Black. He was convicted of three counts of fraud and one count of obstruction of justice in a U.S. court in 2007 and sentenced to six and a half years’ imprisonment. In 2011, two of the charges were overturned on appeal, and he was re-sentenced to 42 months in prison on one count of mail fraud and on the one count of obstruction of justice. Black was released on May 4, 2012.
Black’s removal from the Order of Canada puts him in an exclusive club of five more Canadians, Alan Eagleson, David Ahenakew, T. Sher Singh, Stephen Fonyo Jr. and Garth Drabinsky. Removal from the Order of Canada can occur for various reasons, according the the Governer General’s office. These included being convicted of a crime, actions deemed not benefiting of the honor, or a member being reprimanded or fined by a professional association.