June 17, 2024
The roots of the Mark Norman trial
HMCS Protecteur returns to Victoria in an Oct. 24, 2008 file photo.
HMCS Protecteur returns to Victoria in an Oct. 24, 2008 file photo.

Lt.-Gen. (Rt.) Andrew Leslie is an impressive guy. He’s a former commander of the Canadian Army and currently a Liberal MP for an Ottawa-area riding. On Friday, CTV reported that Leslie, who is not running again, was willing to testify on behalf of his old friend Vice-Admiral Mark Norman—testify, that is, against the government he’s a member of.

Norman is accused of leaking government secrets to a Quebec-based shipyard, an allegation he strongly denies. The government has apparently known of Leslie’s willingness to testify for a year, and was reportedly not pleased to hear it.

It’s not surprising Leslie would choose to leave politics. It is somewhat surprising that the Liberals may soon find themselves once again taking fire on legal matters from a well-respected, highly credible member of their own caucus.

But what is absolutely surprising is just how dysfunctional and bizarre the entire story is. In a weird way, we can trace this all the way back to former prime minister Paul Martin. The story is that twisted and long.

For those who haven’t followed Norman’s legal woes, the government alleges that he inappropriately communicated with Quebec-based shipbuilder Chantier Davie Canada Inc. (Davie, for short). Davie had been selected by the Tories in 2015 to convert a civilian vessel into a supply ship for the Royal Canadian Navy.

When the Liberals won that year’s election, the shipyard was nervous, and sought reassurance. The government alleges that Norman communicated cabinet secrets to Davie, as part of a concerted effort to pressure the government into moving ahead with the project.


See Also:

(1) U.S., Canada clash over purchase of new fighter jets

(2) How the Mark Norman trial could be ‘a huge political circus’

(3) ‘SNC Lavalin is a good dry run for the Mark Norman trial’: Andrew Scheer FULL Press Gallery Dinner speech

(4) Andrew Scheer has a problem

(5) Still hard to believe Butts on SNC-Lavalin affair