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CanadaFormer Harper ministers MacKay, Kenney and O'Toole helped Vice-Admiral Norman's defence

06:52  10 may  2019
06:52  10 may  2019 Source:   cbc.ca

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Former Harper ministers MacKay , Kenney and O ' Toole helped Vice - Admiral Norman ' s defence Three former federal cabinet ministers have confirmed they spoke to

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan told reporters on Wednesday that the government would cover Norman ’ s legal fees, did not provide an exact © Canadian Press photos Former Conservative cabinets ministers (from left) Jason Kenney , Erin O ' Toole and Peter MacKay all say they spoke with

Former Harper ministers MacKay, Kenney and O'Toole helped Vice-Admiral Norman's defence © Canadian Press photos Former Conservative cabinets ministers (from left) Jason Kenney, Erin O'Toole and Peter MacKay all say they spoke with Vice-Admiral Mark Norman's defence team but were not asked for extensive interviews by the RCMP.

Three former federal cabinet ministers have confirmed they spoke to Vice-Admiral Mark Norman's defence team about information that may have been key to the Crown's decision to halt the criminal prosecution of the military's former second-command.

Peter MacKay, who held the justice and defence portfolios, Erin O'Toole, the former veterans affairs minister, and Jason Kenney, the last defence minister in former prime minister Stephen Harper's government, all say they spoke to lawyers representing the career naval officer.

The roots of the Mark Norman trial

The roots of the Mark Norman trial Matt Gurney: For over a decade multiple governments bungled efforts to replace the navy’s supply ships. It all led to the current case now haunting the Liberals.

Three former federal cabinet ministers have confirmed they spoke to Vice - Admiral Mark Norman ’ s defence team about information that may have been key to Peter MacKay , who held the justice and defence portfolios, Erin O ’ Toole , the former veterans affairs minister , and Jason Kenney , the last

Mounties defend their handling of Vice - Admiral Mark Norman case: Former Harper ministers MacKay , Kenney and O ' Toole helped Vice - Admiral Norman ' s defence Th Vice - Admiral Mark Norman not only had the blessing of the former Conservative cabinet to deal with a Quebec shipyard

Norman was charged with a single count of breach of trust, kicking off a high-stakes political drama that reached a climax Wednesday when prosecutors stayed the charge.

CBC News reported Wednesday night that the case began to collapse in March — partly under the weight of information suppled by the ex-ministers and by several former Conservative government staffers who were key players in the previous government's decision in 2015 to lease a supply ship for the navy for $668 million.

Norman, the former head of the navy, was accused of leaking cabinet secrets on 12 occasions to the Davie Shipyard — the Levis, Que. operation which won the supply ship contract — and former CBC journalist James Cudmore.

None of the Conservatives were ever formally questioned by the RCMP or the Crown before the breach of trust charge was laid a year ago.

Who is Marie Henein? A look at Mark Norman's high-profile defence lawyer

Who is Marie Henein? A look at Mark Norman's high-profile defence lawyer Those close to Marie Henein say the only thing the high-profile criminal lawyer defends more relentlessly than her clients is the justice system itself. Henein displayed that commitment to the fairness and transparency of the system this week, friends and colleagues said, as she secured a legal victory for Vice-Admiral Mark Norman. After representing Norman for more than two years in a breach of trust case, the charge was stayed Wednesday partially on the strength of information Henein and her team shared with prosecutors.

Vice - Admiral Mark Norman not only had the blessing of the former Conservative cabinet to deal with a Quebec shipyard, he was Mounties defend their handling of Vice - Admiral Mark Norman case. Former Harper ministers MacKay , Kenney and O ' Toole helped Vice - Admiral Norman ' s defence .

Former Harper ministers MacKay , Kenney and O ' Toole helped Vice - Admiral Norman ' s defence . Mounties defend their handling of Vice - Admiral Mark Norman Vice - Admiral Mark Norman . Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan. Minister of Justice David Lametti.

Both MacKay and Kenney said they believe the information they gave the defence factored into the eventual decision to stay the charge.

"Absolutely," MacKay told CBC News in a telephone interview from Minneapolis on Thursday, adding that his discussion with Norman's Toronto-based lawyer Marie Henein "was very involved." He said he made it clear to Henein that Norman was working with the full support of cabinet to deliver the temporary supply ship.

MacKay said he was contacted only once by the RCMP on the "very narrow issue" of an email exchange he had several years ago with Norman.

The National Post reported Thursday that Kenney also had a long conversation with Henein, which has since been confirmed by CBC News.

Document delays frustrated defence: O'Toole

In an Instagram post, Kenney said that as minister of defence he "worked directly with then-commander of the navy, Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, to come up with an accelerated process which ended up with the cabinet deciding to sign a contract with Davie Shipyards to produce an interim joint supply ship."

Mounties defend their handling of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman case

Mounties defend their handling of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman case The RCMP say they conducted a “thorough” investigation of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, whose criminal case ended dramatically this week when the Crown stayed a single charge of breach of trust. The Mounties released a statement Friday afternoon defending their handling of the entire matter and stating they respect the decision of the Public Prosecution Service to stay the charge. The comprehensiveness of the investigation into the military's former second-in-command was called into question when it was revealed that the case was dropped because of new information unearthed by Norman's defence team.

Vice Admiral Mark Norman arrives at the Ottawa courthouse with lawyer Marie Henein on Wednesday, May 8, 2019. Former Harper ministers MacKay , Kenney and O ' Toole helped Vice - Admiral Norman ' s defence . Information from former Conservative cabinet ministers helped put an end to

Vice - Admiral Mark Norman listens to a question during a news conference, after his Conservative foreign affairs critic Erin O ’ Toole , a veterans affairs minister in the government of Stephen Harper Alberta Premier Jason Kenney , who was defence minister at the time, said that prosecutors did not

The meeting with Norman's lawyers, he said, took place last year in Toronto and he "gave them information, which I believe would have helped with his exoneration had this case gone to trial."

O'Toole said he also spoke with the defence team, but does not believe what he said would have been material. He said he questions how critical the information provided to the defence by Conservatives was to the decision to stay the charge against Norman.

"I think it's a simplification to say that the defence questioned a few Conservatives and that led to this going away," he said.

The Crown "didn't question me and they clearly felt they had a case against Admiral Norman before," O'Toole added. "I really think it was the slow and deliberate delays by the Trudeau government on the release of information that Mark Norman needed to defend himself."

Smearing the Mounties?

Neither the Crown nor the defence would say what information led to the case being abandoned. Henein told reporters at a news conference on Wednesday that the information uncovered by her team was directly related to the lease contract four years ago.

Norman case another blow to Canada’s justice system

Norman case another blow to Canada’s justice system Another year, yet another unsuccessful highly public prosecution. On Wednesday, federal prosecutors announced a stay of charges against Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, ending a four-year circus that took an untold toll on the reputation, finances and family of a career public servant with an otherwise unblemished reputation. The decision by the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC) also had a benefit for the Liberal government. It ended the awkward prospect of a trial, which would have featured a parade of high-level cabinet ministers (current and former) along with their colleagues from the Prime Minister’s Office and the Privy Council Office.

The Conservatives faced attacks on social media on Thursday, with some suggesting they should have come forward sooner to help clear Norman's name.

O'Toole fired back, saying former prime minister Stephen Harper publicly offered to waive cabinet secrecy surrounding the agreement — something that was rejected by the Liberal government.

Arif Vernani, the Liberal parliamentary secretary for justice, accused O'Toole during question period today of trying to smear the Mounties.

"What I think is important to underscore is there are men and women in uniform, namely the RCMP, that took charge of the very investigation that he's impugning," he said. "And he's impugning the law enforcement officials and the independence of their work."

Henein told reporters that the information the defence presented to the Crown at the end of March was something that would have been in the possession of federal bureaucrats — but was not shared with either the RCMP or the Crown.

New Democrats have called for an inquiry to find out who withheld the information.

Norman said he wants to get back to work and the military's top commander has said he would welcome Norman's return.

"We have missed Vice-Admiral Norman a great deal and I look forward to welcoming him back to work as soon as possible," Vance said Wednesday.

The two have not met to discuss when that will happen, nor what job Norman would do once reinstated, said a spokesman in the office of the chief of the defence staff.

Read more

Justice Minister David Lametti grilled by MPs Tuesday night.
Justice Minister and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti appeared before MPs tonight to answer questions about SNC-Lavalin, the prosecution of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman and the independence of the Canadian justice system. Lametti's grilling took place during a committee of the whole — a rare occasion when the entire membership of the House of Commons sits as a parliamentary committee, with the deputy Speaker chairing the session. The questioning started shortly after 5:30 p.m. ET and continued until just before 10 p.m.

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