Former media mogul Conrad Black says he has a new found appreciation of Canada.

The country’s most notorious white collar criminal made the statement during one of his first public appearances to the Empire Club of Canada, Friday.

“Living in the belly of the great American beast as I did and having seen the underside of Norman Rockwell’s and even Bill Buckley’s America in these times, gave me a refreshed perspective on Canada and its evolution and distinction from the United States,” said Black who spend 42 months in a Floria prison.

Black was convicted in 2007 of fraud and obstruction of justice while in control of Hollinger Inc., and returned to Toronto last month.

In the meantime, Black is suing the author and publisher of a book about Bay St., for $1.5 million.

According to the National Post, Black said the publication of Thieves of Bay Street brought him into “hatred, ridicule and contempt”, and both author Bruce Livesey and two editors at Random House are named in the defamation lawsuit.

Random House Canada said it stands behind the author and his right to report on matters of fundamental public interest.

The Post said Black offered to settle for an apology and monetary payment toward a charity and his legal fees.

Random House of Canada owns publisher McClelland and Stewart which published his recent memoir, A Matter of Principle.