One of Canadian Force’s top senior officials has been charged after a two-year criminal investigation into the Quebec shipyard and classified government information that was leaked.Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, who was once thought to be the next successor as the chief of the defense, was charged with breach of trust.
Norman’s lawyer, Marie Henein released a statement this weekend in response to the charges. “Vice-Admiral Norman has devoted his entire career to serving Canada and our military. This is a very sad day for an extraordinary Canadian who we should be celebrating rather than prosecuting. Our public resources should be put to better use.”
This accusation revolves around the Liberal government’s decision to reconsider a $700 million dollar contract that the Harper Conservatives had awarded to the Quebec company Davie Shipbuilding. This was shortly after the Liberal government was newly elected in November of 2015. The RCMP started their investigation in December of 2015 in response to multiple complaints from people in the government that the project might be canceled. This caused the Mounties to seize emails and documents from two lobbying firms in Canada. Then in January of 2017 Mark Norman was suspended as vice-chief of defense staff. It was not announced until April of last year why Norman had been suspended.
The contract which was to convert a civilian ship into a resupply ship that would be leased for up to ten years. The plan by the Liberal government to reconsider the contract was originally meant to be a secret, but court documents show that the RCMP thought that Norman was upset with the decision and might just cancel the project.
The Liberals ended up deciding to proceed with the contract as planned, and the new ship, MV Asterix, was delivered to the navy just this week.