In a searing letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, a Conservative senator demands that “Canadians have a right to know” details of the government’s settlement with now-retired Vice-Admiral Mark Norman.
“If you had the gall to give over $10 million to Omar Khadr . . . presumably you have paid Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, a dedicated servant of our country, even more,” writes Quebec Senator Jean-Paul Dagenais in his Canada Day missive.
Last week, the Department of National Defence announced that Norman and the government had reached a “confidential” settlement, barely two months after the Crown stayed charges against the former top soldier and fleet commander in May of this year.
In March of 2018, RCMP charged Norman with one count of breach of trust related to leaked confidential documents about a Conservative-era sole-sourced contract for a $610 million supply ship refurbishment for Davie Shipbuilding in Quebec.
The leak detailed a 2015 cabinet meeting decision shortly after Liberals won a majority election victory: to halt the Davie resupply project already underway. The reason: rival shipyard J.D. Irving had written to ask that the original DND contract be opened to competition.
Just hours after Norman exited Ontario Superior Court a free man, his lawyer Marie Heinen told reporters that “No person in this country should ever walk into a courtroom and feel like they’re fighting their elected government.”
“What you don’t do, is you don’t is put your finger and try to weigh in on the scales of justice,” Henein said of politics that went all the way to the top. “And I know Canadians are paying close attention.”
While Henein’s take on her client’s tribulations have been judicious, Dagenais pulls few punches in his message, accusing the PM of “lack(ing) courage” and mocking Trudeau’s “theatrical tears” in apologizing for the distant past instead of taking responsibility for his government’s actions.
“The mistreatment of this 38-year military (veteran) is no secret…how many millions did you pay, Prime Minister, to secure the silence of everyone affected by your schemes?” Dagenais writes. “Mr. Trudeau, you use taxpayers’ money to repair your political blunders.”