- Posted June 20, 2012 by
Mulcair’s Rant Against Conrad Black
NDP Leader and Prime Ministerial hopeful Tom Mulcair seems to be a man in hurry. He violated common international courtesy and bad good bye to diplomatic niceties when he referred to India’s action liquidating a gang of terrorists as an act of invasion. And now he has blamed Minister Kenney for applying double standards while granting visa to Conrad Black. Mulcair said the government is not justified in allowing the "the British criminal Conrad Black" to return to Canada, while denying entry to other foreigners with criminal record. This is a simple case of a double standard on behalf of the Conservative government," Mulcair said. "There is obviously one set of standards for Conservative party insiders and another that applies to everyone else."
Mulcair compared Black’s case to that of Gary Freeman, an American-born man who has been denied re-entry into Canada because of a criminal record. The 63-year-old was involved with the Black Panthers, and was extradited to the U.S. in 2008 and pleaded guilty to shooting a police officer in 1969. After serving a 30-day sentence, he was denied re-entry to Canada, where his wife and four children live.
"It is a clear case of a double standard, one for an American black man from Chicago, another for a British white man coming out of federal penitentiary," Mulcair said
Conrad Black's application for a temporary resident permit was approved in just weeks, and an analysis of documents clearly shows that there is not an iota of truth in the statement of Mulcair. There was no political interference to expedite or influence the outcome of the file.
According to records from Citizenship and Immigration Canada on the former media baron's controversial return to Canada, Black's lawyer first contacted the department's case management branch in mid-February to advise that his client intended to submit an application for a temporary resident permit.
The same solicitor informed a government official by email on March 1 that the application was submitted. It was approved three weeks later, on March 22.
Citizen and Immigration confirmed that the average time to process an application is one to three years, but can be faster if an applicant has previously received a temporary resident permit, as Black had done.
What is amazing is that CBC’s Power and Politics had to acknowledge that Mulcair was indulging in day dreaming. Normally the host is heavily loaded against all acts of harper Government- right or wrong. But for once, he simply could not ignore the facts; since the records, obtained by CBC News Network's Power & Politics under the federal Access to Information Act, suggest that there was no political interference to fast-track or approve Black's application.
"The file was handled by the visa office in Buffalo by an experienced immigration officer, and no direction was given as to the processing of the application or the result of the application," one CIC document on the case reads. "Decisions by immigration officers cannot be fettered."
What puzzles me that the host was ignoring the action of Mulcair in trying to create a racial divide? The very act of alleging and hinting at racial discrimination shows the latent intent of Tom Mulcair and that is unworthy of a person aspiring to be Prime Minister. It shows lack of national conscious approach. Mulcair clearly forgot that Freeman was guilty of shooting a cop- and to compare a cop shooter to charges against Conrad black is stretching the imagination much beyond the limits of credibility.
Coming back to Conrad’s case, the reviewing officer determined that a one-year, multiple-entry temporary resident permit, or TRP, was appropriate because Black's family home is in Toronto and his wife and children are Canadian citizens who reside in Canada. Black, convicted in the United States of one count of fraud and one of obstructing justice following his 2007 trial and years of appeals, was also deemed a low risk to the public.
"It was also determined that he was unlikely to reoffend, that the risk of him engaging in any questionable activities would be slight and that he would not constitute a danger to the health or safety of Canadians if allowed entry into Canada," the documents read.
Records on the decision also note that "it is common practice to issue a subsequent TRP to clients not yet eligible for rehabilitation who have compelling reasons for entry to Canada if there have been no additional convictions or other issues that would raise concern in the interim, which is the case with Mr. Black."
U.S. authorities were only allowing him to seek entry to Canada upon his release from a Florida prison if they were satisfied he had a temporary resident permit at least three weeks prior to being liberated, according to the documents.
Black received two earlier TRPs, in 2005 and 2006, after he was indicted in the U.S. but before his conviction. Citizenship and Immigration Canada said it grants more than 6,000 permits to people with criminal backgrounds each year.
Briefing notes prepared for Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney on April 27, before an appearance at a parliamentary committee, outline the government's "key messages": that the minister can not provide details on individual cases due to privacy laws; that someone who is not a citizen and has been convicted of a crime in another country is normally inadmissible to Canada; but that individuals who are normally inadmissible may apply for TRPs and, if granted, be permitted to come to Canada.
TRPs give Citizenship and Immigration Canada the flexibility to address "exceptional circumstances" to allow a person to enter Canada when there are compelling humanitarian and compassionate reasons to do so, the briefing note reads.
Black renounced his Canadian citizenship in June 2001 to get a seat in Britain's House of Lords. And the facts show that he was in fact forced to renounce his citizenship by a fiercely opposing Prime Minister. Strangely, the same Prime Minister who forced Conrad Black to renounce Canadian citizenship for accepting the honour of being on House of Lords, had no compunction in accepting Order of Merit from Her Majesty? Clearly what is sauce for the goose is not sauce for the gander.
During an interview with CBC News chief correspondent Peter Mansbridge after his post-incarceration return to Canada, Black denied requesting special treatment from the Conservatives, and insisted he made "absolutely no contact, direct or indirect" with any government officials. He was responding to suggestions from NDP Leader Tom Mulcair that the government of had given "special treatment" to the prime minister's "insider friends."
Black also said he was not pleased with Mulcair's characterization of him as a "British criminal" in the House of Commons. "If he wants to divest himself of his parliamentary immunity, it would certainly be my pleasure to sue him for defamation," Black told Mansbridge. Has Mulcair the guts to do so? Hiding behind the safe walls of parliamentary immunity and shooting poison dipped arrows at others shows moral degradation and political ineptitude.
The authorization of a temporary permit is the first step in Black’s quest to return to Canada long-term — but he will have to pass through a series of immigration hurdles to become a Canadian citizen again.
In 2001, the Montreal-born Black gave up his Canadian citizenship to accept a peerage in Britain’s House of Lords. He did this because then-prime minister Jean Chretien would not allow him to accept the title as a Canadian citizen.
Black was forced out of the global publishing empire he had built after shareholders in the U.S. questioned payments he and other Hollinger executives received from the sale of corporate assets. In 2003, Black refused to respond to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission about those payments.
Mulcair conveniently forgot that the U.S. Supreme Court tossed out the "honest-services" law that had formed the basis of his 2007 conviction.
He was released in 2010 while the courts re-examined his case. Ultimately, some of the counts for which he was previously convicted were droppe
Before his run-in with U.S. prosecutors, Black was one of the world’s most successful media moguls. In the 1990s, he bought a stake in the Southam newspaper company and founded the National Post in 1998.
Elsewhere, his newspaper titles included Britain’s The Daily Telegraph, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Jerusalem Post and the Sydney Morning Herald.
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney clearly stated that he would not say whether Black had been granted the permit. But he did answer questions about the case in general. He said that foreign nationals are eligible to apply for temporary resident permits to come to Canada. He said he couldn’t comment on Black’s case in the absence of Black’s explicit permission without violating the Citizenship Act."It’s the only legal answer I can give," Kenney told reporters. "If anyone of you can obtain a waiver from the Privacy Act from Mr. Black, we’d be happy to release all the details of any application, how it was considered and according to what criteria."
Kenney said he expected there might be an application forthcoming, so he instructed his officials in February "to deal with any such application on their own, without any input from myself or my office to ensure that it was handled in a completely independent fashion."
"Every year, officials from the Citizenship and Immigration Department approve more than 10,000 temporary resident permits for foreign nationals
, he said, and "a very large number" of those permits help to overcome inadmissibility for foreign nationals with criminal records if federal officials determine it’s a non-violent offence, the individual poses a low risk to reoffend and does not pose a risk to Canadian society.
"Federal officials also will consider such other criteria as whether the person has long-standing ties to the country, family connections, and humanitarian and compassionate considerations, Kenney added.
Black will have to fight an uphill battle to regain Canadian citizenship, Kenney said. Foreigners must first become permanent residents before applying for citizenship, he said, and one can’t become a permanent resident with a "relatively fresh criminal record."
"For a foreign national with a criminal record, even one that’s non-violent, it’s a fairly lengthy process to establish Canadian citizenship," he said And still Mulcair would ignore all such averments!
It was purely Liberal politics that made the man renounce his citizenship. Anybody can hold dual citizenship why can't he ? He suffered entrapment by US prosecutors. But for many years his newspapers trained young Canadians in journalistic and media endeavours, giving those young Canadians a strong basis in the newsroom. Let him have his birthright if he desires, because he was born in this country. And allow him to be a British Lord, we still have the commonwealth!
Mulcair must learn to think like a country leader, and not the evince petty, narrow-minded approach that his comment show. Three excellent reasons for the permit come to mind. They are that Black must be treated the same as everyone else, that Canada asks other countries to take back people that originated there whether or not they are citizens currently, and that Black would be a citizen if Chrétien had not used (abused?) his power to action his personal jealousy and envy. Think this over Tom.
And strangely Tom Mulcair along with his Liberal friends has been advocating the return of dreaded convicted terrorist Omar Khader. Their weeping hearts have shed copious tears over his fate and despite his being a murderer of soldiers they would welcome him with open arms. I'd think Omar Khadr was a greater risk to Canadians. Don't you think so?
Omar Khadar is allowed back in Canada but a man born in Canada is not. Lets use rationalize this, a person who committed murder whether or not they are a terrorist who went to fight with a foreign power against Canadian Soldiers vs a man who committed fraud among other things. I ask the leader of the opposition why is he willing to fight for one person but not the other? Is it because one is a business man who doesn't follow the NDP's ideals and the other is, apparently in his mind a brainwashed child soldier. I would like to see killers kept out of my country who aren't Canadian. Come on Mr Mulcair show some consistency when dealing with criminals
Didn’t the NDP once defend Conrad Black in the past and demand the Conservatives give him back his citizenship and demand Conrad Black be repatriated to Canada. The only double standard is the oppositions Flip Flops I wonder how they will find away to flip flop and cry wolf to smear Harper when Omar Khadar comes back to Canada who they also defended in the past. Truly a pathetic display of the opposition grand standing and unalloyed hypocrisy! Thomas Mulcair is playing the race card, for shame .
Conrad Black’s return is being used by Mulcair to increase racial tension, in a vain bid to advance his personal agenda. His arguments are fallacious, irresponsible and only show his innate hunger for power by means that are only foul.