Justin Trudeau has been implicated in another case of political interference in Canada’s criminal justice system.
Earlier this year, it was widely reported that Justin Trudeau had politically interfered in the independent criminal prosecution of SNC Lavalin. This led to the firing of then Attorney General, Jody Wilson-Raybould, when she refused to submit to pressure from the Prime Minister and his staff to illegally intervene on behalf of the Quebec company (and long time Liberal donor). This time Trudeau’s target was the number 2 Man in the Canadian Forces.
The story begins with yet another (alleged) case of political interference, this time by former Trudeau Cabinet Minister, Scott Brison. In the fall of 2015, it was reported that Brison stepped in to put a hold on a $668 million Navy ship building contract with Quebec’s Davie Shipyard (Brison, has close ties with Davie’s rival, Irving Shipyards). This move cost Canadian taxpayers millions in penalty fees. The Liberal plan to kill the deal was leaked to the CBC.
The Prime Minister asked the RCMP to investigate the leak, claiming the information was protected as a cabinet confidence, making its release illegal without authorization.
In January of 2017, Vice Admiral Mark Norman was suddenly suspended from duty without any explanation. A short time later, the Prime Minister stated that Norman’s case would “inevitably” end up in court. This is strange because, at the time, Norman had yet to be charged with a crime.
One month later he was charged by the RCMP on one count of breach of trust.
From the very beginning something wasn’t quite right with the Norman case. Before charges were even laid, Justin Trudeau stated more than once that the case would end up in court. No records were kept from a meeting between Chief of Defense Staff General Jonathan Vance, Trudeau, Principal Secretary Gerald Butts and Chief of Staff Katie Telford (both implicated in the SNC scandal) to discuss the investigation. Code names were used to evade Access to Information requests and to get around disclosure rules. Government lawyers coached witnesses. Privy Council Clerk, Michael Wernick (also implicated in the SNC scandal), completely redacted a memo from his office to the Prime Minister related to the Norman case. Privy Council Office (PCO) staff aggressively fought to withhold documents from Norman’s lawyers.
Then, two weeks ago, former General and Liberal star candidate, Andrew Leslie announced that he would not run for re-election as a Liberal and testify on behalf of Mark Norman against the government. Four days after this announcement, the Crown stayed all charges against Vice-Admiral Mark Norman. His defense team finally obtained documents—documents that the PCO should have handed over to the RCMP—proving his innocence. The prosecution made it clear that the documents Justin Trudeau and the Liberals were fighting to keep secret from them and from Vice-Admiral Norman were the very documents that caused his charges to be dropped.
Justin Trudeau and his Liberal Government gave convicted terrorist Omar Khadr $10.5 million to avoid fighting him in court, but they have spared no expense in their attempt to destroy a decorated officer in the Canadian forces. Why?
Justin Trudeau should be less concerned about leaks and more concerned about his own conduct. He should be concerned with running an ethical government, one that is open and transparent with Canadians.
There is so much more to this story and Canada’s Conservatives will continue to push for the answers that Mark Norman, and all Canadians, deserve.