Mitel founder honour enrages Canada
Knighthood for Terry Matthews provokes international punch-up
The phone lines between Canada and the UK have today been hot with invective after it was announced that Welsh-born business supremo Terry Matthews has been bestowed a knighthood in the Queen's birthday honours.
Canadian prime minister Jean Chrieten has been on the blower to Tony Blair to express his displeasure at the news.
It seems that Mr Matthews' knighthood will breach Candian protocol which prevents Candian citizens from accepting foreign honours.
Matthews holds dual British/Canadian nationality. Although he is based in Canada, he does, however, still retain a modest estate in the land of his fathers.
Indeed, Matthews meteoric career began in Wales. He entered telecoms at the humble age of 16, working for British Telecom Research labs. He went on to found Mitel Corporation in 1972 and Newbridge Networks Corporation in 1986. His success has made him the world's only Welsh billionaire, or, if you prefer, the world's foremost Welsh/Candian billionaire.
Whatever your stance, it's clear that the man is basically as Welsh as a cartload of leeks. With a few maple leaves and seal pelts mixed in, it's true. But why the Candian PM expects to be consulted on this matter escapes us. ®