That, given the recent allegations of political interference against the Prime Minister and given that Canadians reject the Prime Minister’s excuse for his actions as simply routine government business, the House call on the government to show respect for the rule of law and immediately:
(a) comply with the letter and spirit of all court orders and requests in relation to the trial of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman;
(b) provide Vice-Admiral Mark Norman’s defence with all records relating to his prosecution, including but not limited to, memos, letters, emails, PIN-to-PIN messages, SMS messages, and handwritten notes, including records that exist on personal electronic devices;
(c) require all current and former Cabinet ministers and their respective political staff and employees of the Privy Council Office since November 2015 to sign an affidavit affirming that no evidence or records related to the prosecution of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman have been destroyed, and that they have personally complied with all relevant court orders; and
(d) indemnify Vice-Admiral Mark Norman and provide legal assistance within 30 days of the adoption of this motion for any invoices that are in arrears, and within 30 days of the invoice date for any subsequent invoices.
Madam Speaker, before I begin I want to advise you that I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for Durham.
This year has been a very troubling one for the rule of law in Canada. Of course the entire country is now familiar, and disgusted, with the disturbing case of the Prime Minister's political interference in the very serious corruption prosecution of SNC-Lavalin. Shockingly, this is not the only case that we know of.
Highly respected and regarded Vice-Admiral Mark Norman is under criminal prosecution for alleged leaks of cabinet documents, and was suspended from his role as the number two officer in Canada's military. This prosecution appears to have been politically motivated and Conservatives have said this since the beginning, but it is not just Conservatives who have this concern.
During preliminary court proceedings in an Ottawa courthouse just a few blocks from here, very serious allegations of political interference in this prosecution have been made. Honestly, we should not be surprised. The Prime Minister said publicly, and before the RCMP even completed its investigation, that it looked like this would be “before the courts”.
How in the world would the Prime Minister have known that? As the SNC-Lavalin mess has exposed, the Prime Minister and his government have an obsessive, unhealthy and seemingly corrupt fascination with meddling in criminal prosecutions.
How did this all happen in the first place? Sadly, just like the SNC-Lavalin affair, it all comes down to “Who do you know in the PMO?” Back in November 2015, right after the last election, the Liberals were drunk on power and arrogance, and had one of the first cabinet meetings of the Liberal government. Former Treasury Board president Scott Brison took the unprecedented step of trying to stop or delay the contract with Davie shipyard for a much-needed interim supply ship for the Royal Canadian Navy.
Why would he do that? What was behind that? Scott Brison and other Liberals from the Liberal caucus were looking out for well-connected interests from their own neck of the woods in Atlantic Canada. They wanted the contract changed.
Then there was a leak about it all from someone to CBC reporter James Cudmore, the same James Cudmore who, really interestingly, became employed in the defence minister's office just weeks after this big military scoop. Wow, what a coincidence. The Liberals got very angry and decided that they needed to blame someone.
We have seen the news in recent weeks, recent days in fact, about other government leaks. It is really interesting how these government leaks happen and the result of the government leaks, the response from the Liberal government, depending on what the leak is about, who leaked it and whether it helps or hurts them.
As part of the recent Liberal smear campaign against the former attorney general, we saw that it did not matter whose reputation the Liberals were going to tarnish when they were trying to tarnish her reputation. In fact, we saw, and it was very disturbing and disrespectful to see, the government leaks about applicants to the Supreme Court of Canada.
There has to be an investigation into how in the world leaks, misinformation and such a disrespectful campaign was allowed to happen against Chief Justice Glenn Joyal of the Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench, a highly respected individual, not only in Manitoba but across the country. As for the leaks around him, which were not true and which were disrespectful, the government is just saying, “That leak? Oh well, it happened. We'll make sure it never happens again.” However, there is no investigation from the current Attorney General.
Let us compare that to another leak. The National Post just ran a story about a PCO leak inquiring into finding the brave soul inside the government who let Canadians know about the $10.5-million deal cut with convicted terrorist Omar Khadr. That one has the government upset. That was something it wanted to hide. It did not come straight from its offices, apparently. That one, the government is going to get to the bottom of.
We can see how differently the government treats what it calls “leaks”, leaks that come from it and leaks that it thinks come from someone else. It would appear that whistle-blowers who blow the whistle on Liberals must be punished, if we read between the lines of what the government is doing.
The leak concerning the supply ship was also investigated. That investigation turned up six separate leaks from the cabinet committee meeting where the issue was discussed, and some 73 people having knowledge of the details of Scott Brison's meddling, yet it was Mark Norman who was charged under the Criminal Code.
Do members know what happened just before those charges were laid and a 30-plus year respected veteran officer of the Canadian Forces was suspended—