Via Jim Henley, who has been all over this, we discover that the National Post has apologized for the badges story. It isn't being too generous about internet access either to the story or to the apology.
The Post's reporting never had a lot of credibility, although they initially had a decent art section and still have some not-bad opinionating. Conrad's folly was good for the world of Canadian newspapers, and probably, on balance, opened up Canada's narrow political culture in the late nineties. The trouble was the relentlessness of the political agenda, and the lack of real concern about journalistic values.
The Post has been a big money loser for a long time. If this story (promoted in the most inflammatory way possible) seals its fate, it will be difficult to complain about the justice of the result.