What if Conrad Black divorced Barbara Amiel and married Paulina Gretzky .. where would that leave Canadian citizenship?

May 2nd, 2012 | By | Category: In Brief

It has now become clear beyond any reasonable doubt that, in the language of the first people who called themselves Canadians: “Le Globe and Mail écrivait hier que le ministère de l’Immigration et de la Citoyenneté avait accordé un permis de résidence temporaire d’un an au  magnat de la presse déchu,” Conrad Black.

Moreover: “M. Black doit sortir de prison en Floride vendredi … Né à Montréal, Conrad Black a renoncé à sa citoyenneté canadienne en 2001 après que la Chambre des lords britanniques lui eut offert de le faire pair, une proposition que le premier ministre de l’époque, Jean Chrétien, lui a interdit d’accepter tant qu’il détiendrait un passeport canadien.”

My own first reaction to all this is that the convicted US/UK felon Conrad Black’s return to Canada (on a “one-year temporary resident permit … valid from early May, 2012, until early May, 2013”) is already getting far more attention than it deserves. But then I remember that, as the estimable Steven LeDrew almost passionately urged on TV torontois this morning, M. Black is what my father used to call “good copy.”

And this is exactly what the counterweights editors have asked me to provide, no later than midnight, May 2, 2012  — the first anniversary of the May 2, 2011 Canadian federal election, in which the Harper Conservatives at last won a majority of seats in the Canadian House of Commons. (With less than 40% of the cross-Canada popular vote. And see also: “A recap of the Harper government’s first year scandals,” and “Mulcair rallies NDP, declares ‘beginning of the end’ of Tory rule.”)

Speaking of good copy, over the past few days I have also noticed that : “Paulina Gretzky spotted out in LA wearing lingerie … Wayne Gretzky’s daughter has clothing-optional dinner”; “Paulina Gretzky Instagram Photos Cause Stir” ; “Paulina Gretzky brings the sexy back … again … Shocking bikini shots creep up on Instagram” ; and “Paulina Gretzky posts new provocative photos on Instagram, then deletes them.”  (Again!)

Putting both pieces of good copy together has led me to contemplate the concept entertained in the title to this posting above. And, with the risk of a costly lawsuit in mind (well … at least a bit Walter Mittyishly, no doubt), I hasten to underline that as far as anything I’ve ever read goes, M. Black is still deeply in love with his current wife and would never think of casting her aside for a 23-year-old daughter of probably the greatest hockey player of all time.

Yet, with a major hockey fan and author as prime minister right now, it is vaguely possible, in principle at any rate (strictly as a concept etc), that marriage to “hockey’s First Daughter” could help M. Black in his ongoing efforts to regain the Canadian citizenship he gave up to become a British lord, once his current one-year resident permit expires.

(On the other hand, the fact that Paulina Gretzky was born in Los Angeles, to an American mother and a Canadian father, might not help the Black case all that much. Even so, what 67-year-old-man, with enough money to purchase regular doses of Cialis for Daily Use, would not want to be married to a cute 23-year-old girl from Los Angeles who wears lingerie in restaurants — in principle, and not as something that would ever actually happen, of course, etc, etc.)

Barack Obama, 22, and his first serious girlfriend, Genevieve Cook, 25.

At the same time again, all this does pale in significance when set beside the possibly intriguing ways in which US President Barack Obama has just been pulling various brands of wool over various eyes (including his own?), on the future of the US military in Afghanistan.

(Although, as good copy no doubt, even this pales beside yesterday’s revelation that : “When Barack Obama met Genevieve Cook in 1983 at a Christmas party in New York’s East Village, it was the start of his most serious romance yet. But as the 22-year-old Columbia grad began to shape his future, he was also struggling with his identity: American or international? Black or white? Drawing on conversations with both Cook and the president, David Maraniss, in an adaptation from his new Obama biography, has the untold story of the couple’s time together.”)

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