This afternoon in a Chicago court room Judge Amy St. Eve granted Conrad Black bail until his sentencing on November 30, retained his passport, raised his bail, restricted his movements to Chicago and Palm Beach, Fla., and said she would rule later on whether or not he could return to his home in Toronto.
What should Canada’s stance be if Black is allowed to return to Canada? Of course, he is no longer a Canadian citizen and he is a convicted felon. And Prime Minister Harper has said Black should receive no special treatment from Canadian immigration officials.
But would special treatment be needed? Under existing regulations Black could be allowed into Canada as a temporary resident. As many as 1,000 people a year with criminal convictions entailing sentences of a decade or more are let into Canada every year.
There is a side to Conrad Black that has been lost in all these legal proceedings. As I wrote in a letter published in The Gazette this morning that I worked for Conrad Black for somel years when I hosted a talk show at CJAD when Black controlled the station through Standard Broadcasting. On the several occasions I met him I found Black charming, challenging and informed. It is sad that this positive side of Black hasd been so little noted during his trial and conviction.
I agree with the editorial in today’s Gazette saying that “Black is a Canadian; it’s churlish to pretend otherwise.”
Would you agree that Black should be allowed to return to his home in Toronto while waiting for his sentencing at the end of November?