Madam Speaker, Canadians watching can see why the Liberals do not want to talk about these issues. They are trying desperately to stop us from raising this case. As I said, many members, including Scott Brison, the Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs and the member for Halifax West, had long-standing connections that went into questions about that decision. At the very first cabinet meeting, they were interfering with contracts in a way that appeared to be favouring interests some of them later had to declare conflicts with.
There was a news story written at the time about this, which I will quote. It states:
There are also allegations from different high-level sources in those same corners that Irving Shipbuilding Inc., a longtime competitor of Davie, meddled in the decision by sending letters to several cabinet ministers about the deal, an event that in the words of one defence source “tipped over the apple cart.”
Who wrote that story about the attempts by the new Liberal cabinet to interfere with the shipbuilding contract? A CBC reporter, James Cudmore, wrote that on November 20, 2015. What is funny is that there was an early Christmas present for James Cudmore in December of 2015. The Prime Minister's Office offered him a job. I would invite Canadians to go to the CBC website. His last two stories were on Liberal corruption in relation to the shipbuilding contract, and those were his last stories. He was then working for the defence minister. The Prime Minister's Office hired him to silence him. I invite Canadians to look into this.
Canadians now know Gerry and Katie, G and K in a lot of the text messages we have seen. The Prime Minister said to his caucus at the first caucus meeting that anything from Gerry or Katie was the same as coming from him.
Who did management in the PMO put in charge of issues on the shipbuilding crisis caused by their first cabinet meeting? It was a person named Zita Astravas, the go-to person for issues management in the PMO on these issues. How did Gerry and Katie know she would be the right person for the job? It is because they all worked together for Dalton McGuinty.
If Canadians outside Ontario do not know about the Ontario gas plant scandal, that gas plant scandal and the refusal to release information related to the gas plant scandal led to the prorogation of the Ontario legislature, the retirement of Dalton McGuinty and parliamentary proceedings against the attorney general, at the time Chris Bentley, who then left politics. That was the same crew that brought us the $1-billion gas plant scandal in Ontario. Why was the attorney general in Ontario held in contempt? It was because they used code words to avoid the disclosure of documents on the gas plant, such as “Project Apple” and “Project Vapour”, mysterious words that would not come up when searching emails or trying to disclose documents for ATIs, parliamentary inquiries or lawsuits.
They were all there: Gerry, Katie and Zita. Within months, they were back at it. It was revealed at the Norman trial that the same thing happened to Mark Norman. He was not called Apple or Vapour. He was called “Kracken” or “MN3”. In fact, Ms. Astravas was questioned on the stand as to whether those code words were used, “Kracken” and “MN3”. She was asked by Mark Norman's legal counsel if she discussed this matter with Gerry Butts. Her response was that she could not recall. That is farcical.
Canadians should be outraged. This is worse than the SNC scandal. We may have issues with bad practice by a company, but here is a Canadian who gave three decades of his life to his country, and before that grew up in a family serving the country, who is being hung out to dry. He is not Kracken. He is Mark Norman.
Canadians should be concerned that at the very first cabinet meeting under the Prime Minister, the old Liberal Party was back helping insiders. Four months later, SNC started lobbying. However, in November 2015, mere hours after that lovely stroll up to Rideau Hall with that lovely cabinet, most of whom are now gone and thrown under the bus by the Prime Minister, including Mr. McCallum, Mr. Dion and the friend of ours who now sits on this side, and after all the sunny ways rhetoric, in the first cabinet meeting, the Liberals were back to helping their insider buddies. It is who one knows in the PMO.
Why is this so outrageous? Mark Norman was relieved of command in January 2017. He was not charged with a single charge of breach of trust until March 2018. The Prime Minister said in April 2017 that Mark Norman was going to end up in court. That was a year before charges were laid. The Prime Minister already knew what was coming for Mark Norman. The Liberals' own Privy Council investigation, headed by Michael Wernick, I guess, revealed that 73 people were aware of leaked details from that first cabinet meeting, but only one has been set up as the fall guy.
That is why Conservatives here today are not going to turn the page on the rule of law corruption from the government. We are going to continue to stand up for Mark Norman. I hope Canadians now recognize that the same cabal that gave Ontarians the gas plant scandal, the prorogation of Parliament and the end of Dalton McGuinty's political career moved down the highway and are into the same practices. Canadians should be outraged. It is time to release the Kracken.