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Updated: Fri, 31 Jan 2014 22:58:37 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Conrad Black stripped of Order of Canada



Gov. Gen. David Johnston has removed Conrad Black as an officer of the Order of Canada, an honour presented to him in 1990. Mark Blinch/Reuters

Gov. Gen. David Johnston has removed Conrad Black as an officer of the Order of Canada, an honour presented to him in 1990. Mark Blinch/Reuters

Former media baron and convicted fraudster Conrad Black has been stripped of the Order of Canada by Gov. Gen. David Johnston.

The 11-member advisory council for the order, which made the removal recommendation to Johnston late Friday, reviewed Black's membership in the order following his 2007 convictions for fraud and obstruction of justice in the United States.

Black was made an officer of the Order of Canada in 1990.

In November, the Federal Court of Appeal dismissed an application by Black to address the advisory council on whether the honour should be terminated.

Black, on the recommendation of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, will also be removed from the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada.The largely ceremonial council is made up of current and former cabinet ministers, as well as other notable Canadians, who are appointed to advise the Queen.

The Governor General’s office said in a release that both decisions were effective immediately.

The Prime Minister's Office told CBC News it had no comment on thedecisions and the release "speaks for itself."

Black now becomes the sixth person to have lost Order of Canada honours. Those previous to him include:

- Garth Drabinsky (2012). 

- Steve Fonyo (2009). 

- T. Sher Singh (2009).

- David Ahenakew (2005). 

- Alan Eagleson (1999).

U.S. convictions

Black has been involved in a string of legal battles related to his U.S. convictions on fraud and obstruction of justice charges from when he was the head of the Hollinger newspaper business.

Black has argued repeatedly that the U.S. case against him was the result of an unfair prosecution, pointing to the fact that an appeals court later tossed two of the three fraud convictions against him and two other Hollinger executives.

In the end, he served 37 months of a 42-month sentence in a Florida prison and returned to Canada in May 2012.

He returned under a special temporary permit given that he is no longer a citizen, having renounced his Canadian citizenship in 2001 so he could accept a peerage in the British House of Lords.

Black is also currently fighting a tax court judgment that deemed him to be a Canadian resident in 2002 who owed taxes for that year.

Black, who now lives in Toronto, is a columnist for the National Post and co-hosts a current affairs talk show called The Zoomer on Vision TV.

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