Canada: Conservative senators drop attempt to investigate Norman case - PressFrom - Canada
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CanadaConservative senators drop attempt to investigate Norman case

00:36  17 june  2019
00:36  17 june  2019 Source:   cbc.ca

Vice-Admiral Mark Norman acknowledged during navy change of command ceremony

Vice-Admiral Mark Norman acknowledged during navy change of command ceremony HALIFAX — Vice-Admiral Mark Norman was acknowledged publicly by the chief of the defence staff during a navy ceremony today in Halifax. Questions have swirled around the future of Norman, who has expressed a desire to return to duty after a breach-of-trust case was dropped last month against the former second-in-command of Canada's Armed Forces. Norman was on hand in uniform for the colourful change of command ceremony Wednesday and was mentioned at the beginning of remarks made by defence chief Gen. Jonathan Vance. Vance welcomed Norman, saying "great to have you here mate," adding "the family's all together again, it feels good," to warm applause.

Conservatives , who allege Prime Minister Justin Trudeau politically interfered with the case , tried to get the House of Commons defence committee to initiate an investigation Conservatives had better luck Tuesday at the Senate committee, passing Dagenais’ motion with the support of independent Sen .

A Senate committee is launching an inquiry into the failed prosecution of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman . Conservatives , who allege Prime Minister Justin Trudeau politically interfered with the case , tried to get the House of Commons defence committee to initiate an investigation but the

Conservative senators drop attempt to investigate Norman case© Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press Vice-Admiral Mark Norman was charged with one count of breach of trust, but the charge was stayed earlier this spring.

Conservative senators are throwing in the towel over a planned investigation into the failed prosecution of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman.

The deputy chair, Senator Jean-Guy Dagenais, signalled in a letter on Sunday that he intends to withdraw his motion and ask instead for a public meeting of the National Security and Defence committee to formally discuss the issue.

Norman, a career naval officer, was accused of leaking cabinet secrets related to a $668-million shipbuilding deal, but the Crown stayed the charge after the defence presented new evidence, including statements from witnesses the RCMP had never interviewed.

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Conservative Senator Jean-Guy Dagenais said the steering committee that’s organizing the study is grappling with which witnesses to invite and how to In that case , Liberal members of the House committee argued it wasn’t the right venue to hear from Vice-Adm. Norman , accusing the opposition

Conservatives , who allege Prime Minister Justin Trudeau politically interfered with the case , tried to get the House of Commons defence committee to initiate an investigation but the Liberals used A Senate committee is launching an inquiry into the failed prosecution of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman .

CBC News reported in May that new information included the revelation that Norman not only had the blessing of the former Conservative cabinet to deal with the Davie shipyard, he was authorized to speak with it directly in the run-up to the signing of the leasing contract.

A copy of Dagenais's letter sent to the committee chair, independent Senator Gwen Boniface, was obtained by CBC News.

Running out of time to investigate

In the note, Dagenais said, in order hold hearings beyond the Senate's scheduled adjournment on June 20, there needed to be agreement from both the government and opposition.

He said it became clear, following a meeting on Thursday with independent Senator Peter Harder, the government representative in the Upper Chamber, that there would be no such permission.

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We recap the latest in the Mark Norman case with Conservative MP Erin O'Toole. The addition was made quietly, but immigration lawyers and refugee advocates say it's an attempt to keep Charges of breach of trust against Norman were dropped by the director of public prosecutions earlier this week

Conservative and NDP members of the Commons defence committee forced a special meeting to They besmirched his reputation and good character," Conservative defence critic James Bezan told the committee. NDP defence critic Randall Garrison attempted to find a compromise, reducing the

The Liberals "literally want to prevent the truth from coming out in this political scandal," Dagenais wrote.

A handful of independent senators sided with the Conservatives at the end of May to investigate how the criminal case against military's former second-in-command, who was charged with one count of breach of trust, collapsed earlier this spring.

House declines to investigate

The Liberal government was accused by Norman's lawyers and the Opposition of political interference throughout the lengthy pretrial process — something both senior cabinet ministers and the public prosecution service denied.

The House of Commons defence committee declined to investigate the circumstances and the policy issues which led to Norman, the former commander of the navy, being charged.

Dagenais wanted the Senate to call Norman, his boss Gen. Jonathan Vance and Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan to answer questions.

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Conservative foreign affairs critic Erin O’Toole, a veterans affairs minister in the government of Stephen Norman ’s actions in relation to the shipbuilding contract were “inappropriate," but that does not Norman for the ordeal. In the House of Commons, Conservative MP Mark Strahl kicked off

Defence lawyers dropped a bombshell on Norman 's pretrial hearing just days ago, as they attempted to That prompted the judge hearing the Norman case to openly question the independence of the Crown It was a theme also picked up by Opposition Conservative MPs in the House of Commons

He drew up a list of 10 names for hearings that could have lasted up to five days. But he accused Liberal senators and others in charge of issuing the witness invitations of delaying in order to run out the clock on the sitting.

Vows to keep issue in public eye

Dagenais described it as blatant "manipulation." He said he hopes "the suspicious and questionable suspension of Vice Admiral Norman will remain" in the public eye and that the public and the media will continue to demand answers.

CBC News asked Boniface and Harder for comment, but neither was immediately available Sunday afternoon to respond.

After being suspended and removed from his job as vice chief of the defence staff, Norman has been welcomed back and indicated he wants to continue serving.

His job is currently occupied by another officer and it's unclear what post he could assume.

Last week, he attended the navy change of command in Halifax where his presence was acknowledged by both Vance and a warm round of applause by the sailors in attendance.

More assertive Independent senators come close to defeating government bills.
OTTAWA — In the final hours of Justin Trudeau's four-year experiment with a less-partisan Senate, Independent senators came within a whisker of biting the hand that feeds them. On Bill C-48, which follows through on the prime minister's 2015 election commitment to ban oil tankers from the northern coast of British Columbia, senators voted 49 to 46 to accept the bill Thursday, even though Trudeau's government had rejected one of two Senate amendments to the controversial legislation. Those voting against included all the Conservative senators plus more than a dozen Independent senators.

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