The Crown has withdrawn criminal charges of breach of trust against the Royal Canadian Navy Vice Admiral Mark Norman.
The case involves the stop-gap purchase and conversion of a cargo-ship into a naval re-supply vessel.
The officer was accused of leaking sensitive government information to the ship builder and to a reporter.
CBC military issues reporter Murray Brewster has followed the case.Listen
As far back as 1994, the government had been discussing replacement for Canada’s two naval re-supply vessels. By 2015 with no ships under construction, the two ships were out of service and paid off leaving the Royal Canadian Navy scrambling without any such resupply vessels.
In haste the Conservative government accepted a proposal by the Davie Shipyard to convert a former container ship. This was said to be the fastest and least expensive option to get a re-supply vessel operating.
The charge against Vice Admiral Norman relates to alleged release of government information to the shipyard, and to a reporter.
Brewster says even though the charges have been withdrawn the result has been a sort of ‘’chill” amongst those involved in the military equipment procurement process, being more reluctant to discuss issues with reporters and allegedly less willing to challenge decisions about the procurement.
CBC: M Brewster: May 8/19: Prosecution to drop criminal charges
CBC: Brewster/Harris: May 8/19-Adm Norman “I acted with integrity”
Global News: A Connolly: May 8/19: Norman vindicated-charges stayed
PostMedia:R Warica: May 9/19: Adm Norman’s lawyer damages Trudeau brand
PostMedia: A Coyne: May 9/19: Trial over, but many questions remain