Date: May 07 2012
Canada is a country of second chances, and there is nothing wrong with that. Conrad Black [a disgraced media baron] has asked for a second chance at a life here, and the Canadian government was right to give him that chance.
The decision on his return should not be about partisanship, political or otherwise. It is about larger values of Canada that are applied whether an individual is universally loved or reviled, or some mix of the two. In the eyes of some Canadians, his criminal wrongdoing should make him ineligible to return, at least for a period of time. In the eyes of others, his decision to renounce his citizenship was such a slap at Canada that he should be made to accept, forever, the harshest possible consequences of that action.
This is not a country that makes people pay forever for their mistakes or wrongs, especially when they can be reasonably expected to move beyond [them] and contribute to their community. (Lord Black may not accept that he did wrong, but the US Supreme Court did …) He has been serving a term of 42 months in a US prison. It is unlikely that he will reoffend.
This is an edited extract of an editorial published in The Globe and Mail, of Toronto, on May 2.
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