When new members are welcomed into the Order of Canada, a civil servant writes a citation explaining why each of them deserves this honour. On Oct. 24, 1990, when the 46-year-old Conrad Black was invested at Rideau Hall, his citation made him sound like a standardbred Establishment citizen:
“A distinguished Toronto entrepreneur and publisher, he is a man of diverse achievements within the realms of Canadian commerce, education, literature and the arts.”
That, and references to his foreign interests and his charities, did the job. He was obviously the kind of respectable Canadian for whom the Order of Canada was invented.