Friday, April 7, 2017

Search warrant shows VCDS was under RCMP surveillance months prior to suspension

Vice Admiral Mark Norman, Vice Chief of the Defence Staff
There are new details about the reasons why the Chief of the Defence Staff suspended the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff (VCDS), Vice-Admiral Mark Norman last January.

As noted by Global Television on April 6, 2017 on The National,  the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have been conducting an investigation into these alleged leaks which took place in late 2015.Documents released yesterday, including the Search Warrant which had been sealed on the grounds of national security, show that VAdm Norman had been under RCMP surveillance for months prior to his suspension in January 2017.

LEAK OF "CABINET CONFIDENCES"

An April 6, 2017 news report issued by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) also reveals details contained in the RCMP's (redacted) search warrant. These records show that senior officials of a shipbuilding company received documents revealing that the Liberal cabinet had paused the $668-million project to supply the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) with an interim supply ship.

This information is considered a secret in Canadian law. Such information is labelled as  "Confidences of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada" [See section 39 of the Canada Evidence Act and section 69 of the Access to Information Act].  "Council" means the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, committees of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, Cabinet and committees of Cabinet. A confidence is considered privileged and classified for a period of twenty (20) years.

Wrongful disclosure of such classified information is prohibited under section 4 of the Security of Information Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. 0-5) and could lead to charges under section 122 [Breach of Trust] of the Criminal Code of Canada.

Allegedly,  the privileged information then made its way through a high-profile Ottawa lobbying firm and then to the media, which broke the story on Nov. 20, 2015 — one day after the Cabinet Committee had called a temporary halt to the interim supply ship project.

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