BY: LEO KNIGHT
As a former member of the RCMP I am absolutely embarrassed by the Force’s handling of the investigation into Vice Admiral Mark Norman.
They investigated for more than a year into the allegations emanating from the PMO that Norman inappropriately leaked information to Davie Shipyard relative to a federal procurement contract for a desperately needed supply ship for the Canadian Navy.
Norman was relieved of duty on January 2017 and charges of breach of trust were filed in March of 2018. That solitary charge was stayed this month with the Crown saying there was not a reasonable expectation of a conviction.
Really? What changed in the interim?
Well, three former federal cabinet ministers came forward with information about their involvement in the procurement process essentially saying Vice Admiral Norman was instructed to make a deal in the interests of efficiency.
So why didn’t the RCMP interview these men? A good question and one I cannot answer. It seems so obvious to any investigator worth his salt. You start at the beginning and work your way through it. But the whiz kids in Ottawa apparently couldn’t figure this out.
And just yesterday the Superintendent in charge of this debacle, Mike MacLean, the boss of these whiz kids said in an interview with the Canadian Press the former cabinet ministers could have come forward to them if they had germane information.
Perhaps MacLean has spent too much time as a carpet cop in Ottawa but in the real world, investigators go to the subjects who may assist an investigation.
Let’s be honest here. The RCMP booted this one around the block out of the gate. The Prime Minister’s Office wanted a political result and the leadership of the RCMP tried to deliver but ultimately failed because there was nothing there yet the PMO was quite happy to destroy an honourable man’s life.
And the RCMP, as an institution, was complicit in that. And for that, as a former member, I am disgusted.
The national police should be totally free from political interference. But it’s hard in these circumstances to believe they are anything but the enforcement arm of the Liberal Party of Canada.
And that’s a very sad thing.
The RCMP that I joined back in the ’70s was apolitical. Or at least that was the way they portrayed themselves. We were told in training we were the best of the best. It was drilled into us. Politics was just not an issue. Justice and protecting our communities was the task we were trained for.
The remarks by MacLean betray those ideals and yet he still seems to think he occupies the higher ground despite his squad conducting a sub-par investigation.
Carpet cops. I’m disgusted.