NEWS

Black, Drabinsky could lose Order of Canada

09/14/2011 07:25 EDT | Updated 11/14/2011 05:12 EST

Former media baron Conrad Black and theatre mogul Garth Drabinsky could both be stripped of their Order of Canada awards.

Spokeswoman Marie-Pierre Belanger told CBC News that the matter has been brought to the attention of the Advisory Council of the Order of Canada.

The 11-member panel will then make a recommendation to Gov. Gen. David Johnston.

Black, 67, was made an officer of the Order of Canada in 1990. He recently returned to a Florida prison to finish a fraud sentence.

Black had been free on bail for about a year after an appeal court reversed two of his three fraud convictions.

Drabinsky was made an officer of the Order of Canada in 1995. On Tuesday, the Court of Appeal for Ontario denied the appeals of Drabinsky and Myron Gottlieb for their 2009 fraud convictions.

While the court reduced the prison sentences for both men by two years, Drabinsky still faces five years behind bars.

Only four people have been removed from the Order of Canada: former NHL Players' Association head Alan Eagleson; controversial Saskatchewan First Nations figure David Ahenakew; disbarred Guelph, Ont., lawyer T. Sher Singh; and, cancer runner Steve Fonyo.

Another of Black's distinctions remains in limbo.

Former prime minister Brian Mulroney elevated him to the Queen's Privy Council for Canada — a rare honour for people who do not hold public office.

No one from the Prime Minister's Office could immediately say if Black will be expelled from the Privy Council.

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