Toronto

Conrad Black barred from publicly traded companies in Ontario

The Ontario Securities Commission has barred former media baron Conrad Black from participating in publicly traded companies for the rest of his life, but he can still trade securities on financial markets in the province, it announced on Friday.

Former media baron avoids ban on trading securities, however

Conrad Black has been banned from serving as an officer or director of any public company in the province by the Ontario Securities Commission. (Mark Blinch/Reuters)

The Ontario Securities Commission has barred former media baron Conrad Black from participating in publicly traded companies for the rest of his life, but he can still trade securities on financial markets in the province, it announced on Friday.

The regulatory commission ordered Black to resign all positions he currently holds and instituted a lifetime ban on becoming a director, officer or promoter of public companies.

The ban also extends to former Hollinger International Inc. director John Boultbee.

The ruling severely limits Black and Boultbee's ability to take on roles in capital markets in the province, though both can still trade securities on exchanges. A proposal to limit their ability to trade was rejected by the OSC as going too far.

The OSC said the ban was in the public interest as it would prevent them from "conduct in the future that would be detrimental to the integrity of Ontario's capital markets."

Black, who is out of the country, dismissed the impact of the OSC's decision saying, as he did in testimony at the regulator's hearings last year, that he did not have plans to hold a position as a corporate director or officer within Ontario.

"It was never a material issue, since, as I testified, no one could pay me enough to be a director or officer of a public company in that jurisdiction," he wrote in a statement Friday, forwarded by his spokesman.

"The decision is at least welcome as the comparatively inoffensive end of more than 11 years of persecution," Black added.

Black was convicted in the United States for taking payments from the proceeds of the sale of Hollinger newspapers. He was also convicted of obstruction of justice, when he was shown to have removed boxes of potential evidence from Hollinger’s office in Toronto. Boultbee was convicted on similar charges.

Read the security commissions findings here.

With files from the Canadian Press

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