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Drabinsky stripped of Order of Canada

Disgraced theatre impresario Garth Drabinsky has been stripped of his Order of Canada appointment and is going to court to try to get it back.

Drabinsky was released to a Toronto halfway house earlier this month after serving part of his five-year sentence for fraud.

He and business partner Myron Gottlieb were convicted in 2009 for a book-cooking scheme that ultimately resulted in the demise of now-defunct Livent Inc. — the company behind such hits as Phantom of the Opera and Ragtime.

Drabinsky is asking the Federal Court to order the advisory council of the Order of Canada to reverse its decision, which he says was made without properly hearing from him.

In documents filed Tuesday, Drabinsky says he was first informed that the council was considering revoking the honour in June, when he was still in prison, so he couldn’t prepare an adequate response.

Drabinsky says he sent in some preliminary but incomplete submissions and then didn’t hear anything else until Feb. 1, when his lawyers got a letter saying the Governor General had accepted the council’s recommendation to remove Drabinsky from the Order of Canada.