US Success Could Be Reason Bureaucrats Rejected ‘Bonanza’ Star Lorne Greene As Canadian Of ‘Historic Significance’

REUTERS/Mathieu Belanger

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief
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A panel of bureaucrats who decide whether Canadian personalities are significant enough to be remembered with an official plaque from the Canadian government has rejected actor Lorne Green — again — for that honor.

Greene, who starred as iconic Ben Cartwright in the TV series “Bonanza” from 1959-73, was also in dozens of feature films, did Shakespeare on the Canadian stage and was called “The Voice of Doom” as a CBC Radio Second World War news anchor because of his deep baritone.

As CBC News reports, the decision by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (HSMBC), a division of Parks Canada, reads: “In light of the information before it and what is known about Lorne Greene’s career at this time, the board was not prepared to recommend his designation as a person of national historic significance.”

Greene was born in Ottawa, Ontario in 1915 and, despite living in California for the latter stages of his career, he remained a Canadian citizen, something his son noted in an interview with CBC News. (RELATED: If You’re Feeling Sorry For Canada After All Those Trump Tweets, Go To #ThankCanada)

”There was never any question in his mind where he was from or whose country he was citizen of,” Chuck Greene told CBC.

Saying the decision “makes little sense,” Greene noted that “Canada never had trouble asking him to do stuff, and he always said yes.”

Greene suggested the bureaucrats are ignoring Greene’s overall importance because he enjoyed such success in the U.S. and “it’s not surprising because I’ve seen this kind of ebb and flow of concern for Canadians who’ve moved to the United States or elsewhere to make their careers blossom when they can’t do it in Canada.”

Records from the HSMBC meeting in June 2017, when the group first rejected Greene, do indicate that the panel had an issue with Greene’s achievements in the U.S.

Obtained by CBC News, the rejection notice read, “Greene had several phases to his career and the early years represent his contributions in Canada.”

Parks Canada spokeswoman Audrey Champagne told CBC that “if new, significant information is discovered or if applicable criteria or guidelines change” Greene may be reconsidered for recognition.

The panel of bureaucrats may not have found any “significant information” in Greene’s file but previous Canadian governments did. He was awarded the Order of Canada in 1969, received a lifetime achievement “Gemini” award in 1987 for his contributions to television and was even recognized with a stamp from Canada Post in 2006, among other honors.

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