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Conrad Black takes his seat at a luncheon at the Empire Club in Toronto.Chris Young/The Canadian Press

Conrad Black says the United States' loss could be Canada's gain.

In a speech to the Empire Club of Canada today, the former media baron said Canada has a shot at seizing more global influence in a time when the U.S. and many other countries are struggling.

The speech marks his first major public appearance since his return to Canada after serving 42 months in a Florida prison.

Although he gave up his Canadian citizenship in 2001 to accept a seat in Britain's House of Lords, Mr. Black returned to his Toronto home last month after he was granted a one-year temporary resident permit.

Mr. Black originally faced more than a dozen charges laid by U.S. authorities, but he was convicted of just four by a jury.

Two of the convictions were overturned after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that one of the laws used to convict him had been too broadly applied, and his lawyers are now asking that the two remaining convictions be dismissed.