Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The stripped club

A recent article about Conrad Black's fight against removal as an officer of the Order of Canada mentioned that only four others have been stripped of this honour.

I must admit I drew a blank on this, and I'm guessing some of you may also be scratching your heads, so your humble correspondent went searching for the answer.

And here it is:
• Alan Eagleson, disbarred Canadian lawyer and convicted felon in two countries. After a high profile and seemingly meritorious career in the hockey world, spent time in the slammer for defrauding Bobby Orr, Darryl Sittler, and other clients, and enriching himself illegally from other sources. Many of you will be saying, "How could I have possibly forgotten that?"

• David Ahenakew, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations. You remember him now, don't you? His boo-boo was a speech in which he made mention of "goddamn immigrants." Then, in the following Q & A session, said that Jews were a disease in Germany and that Hitler was trying to "clean up Europe" when he "fried six million of those guys." Expulsion was predictable.

• T. Sher Singh a prominent Sikh lawyer and race relations advocate who was disbarred in 2007 for mishandling client's funds. The amounts were quite small, just a few thousand dollars. This a sad tale of a respected man who made a few bad decisions, and paid the consequences. Frankly, I didn't remember this guy at all. If you did, you get bonus points.

• Steve Fonyo, the amputee who completed a coast-to-coast marathon, raising $14 million. Now prompted, you'll recall him, of course. Despite his achievements, many Canadians seemed to resent him as a copycat of the revered Terry Fox, and Fonyo's life spiralled down into brushes with law that included assault with a weapon, aggravated assault, fraud, and possession of a stolen vehicle. Another man who did something good, and then saw it all go away in an uncontrollable rush.
So, this is the company in which Lord Black now finds himself --- a club even more exclusive than the Order of Canada.

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