Friday , May 7 2021

The second ship leakage probe abandoned after "confidential" information was found was widely shared

Only a few months after the alleged failure of the cabinet credentials, which led to the removal of Vice President Mark Norman as the second commander of the Canadian forces, the police launched another investigation into a different leak of federal shipbuilding information – but renounced after it was discovered they were distributed so widely in the government and the defense sector that the finding of a culprit is impossible.

In March 2016, the Office of the Interim Council complained to the military police that the potential cost of the new fleet of warships had been expelled by someone from the Canadian forces or the National Defense Department.

The complaint was prompted by a report by the Canadian Press wire service that the price of the Canadian Navy Surface Fighting Program, in which a new fleet of warships would be built, could be as much as $ 104 billion.

Military investigators ultimately determined the cost estimate in the story came from a report prepared by a consulting firm hired by the government to estimate the potential costs of the project, according to the Canadian forces of the National Investigation Service, which received Postmedia in accordance with the Access to Information Act.

"Due to the widespread distribution of reports both inside and outside the department, the possibility of determining who caused the leak is not possible," concluded the investigators.

However, there were suggestions that the Office of the Interim Council could have made a mistake in arguing that the release of the number violates the confidentiality of the government, which is why it is illegal to publish certain information – often contained in the notes, discussion documents or ministers' briefing – that members of the government decide in making decisions. The survey pointed out that the agreement with the consultant enabled the report and the number of costs to be shared, and the police concluded that "many departments and private companies had access to the report".

Documents received from Postmedia suggest pressure on the Liberal government to put the departments on the fight against unauthorized disclosure of information. "This issue gets heat and light from the PCO, and downstream of the DND / CAF," said Colonel John Pumphrei, Lieutenant General Lieutenant General. Rob Delanei, then a military top police officer.

However, although the PCO triggered the investigation, some of its officials did not think that the military police would be successful in hunting the source of the source.

Interim Council spokeswoman Louise Lacelle told investigators "the ability to determine who posted the information is small, but the information obtained from the underlying investigation could result in recommendations that could help prevent a recurrence."

This question reflects the case of Norman, who is on trial Friday. In this case, the PCO urged the RCMP in November 2015 to investigate the alleged leakage by a reporter of the trust in the cabinet regarding the potential delay in the purchase of a new naval ship for supplies. After the RCMP searched Norman's home in January 2017, he was suspended from the post of vice president of defense staff, and in March this year he was charged with a number of violations of trust.

Vice-Admiral Mark Norman arrives at the Ottawa court on September 4, 2018.

Adrian Wild / Canadian Press / File

The crown will have to prove that Norman was the source of information in the alleged leakage of delivery. Norman lawyer Marie Henein claims that the information was known in the government and the surrounding area. She argues that there is no evidence that Norman has ever published cabinet papers and states that the leak has actually come from a government employee. In a recent submission to the court, Henein pointed out that in Ottawa transient leaks were endemic and that an internal investigation by the PCO found at least 42 people in advance of the planned dispute commission discussion. The Investigation of the Treacherous Council also found that 73 people knew of the outcome of a government meeting on a ship's ship after its conclusion.

"The CCP's investigation revealed that there were six separate leaks related to an ad hoc committee, including two separate CBC journalists, Radio-Canada and Fleishman & Hillard lobbying firm," Henein said in a document filed in court last month . "Most of the samples identified in the PCO investigation remain unknown."

Henein's application to the court claims that, far from interfering in the shipbuilding contract for personal gain or preference, as the Crown claimed, Norman is working to ensure that the orders of elected officials are respected.

His trial is scheduled for 2019.

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