Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Vice-Admiral Mark Norman arrives at the courthouse in Ottawa, in a May 8, 2019, file photo.

CHRIS WATTIE/Reuters

The federal government rang up more than $1.4-million in legal costs during the failed prosecution of retired vice-admiral Mark Norman.

Revealed this week by Justice Minister David Lametti in a written response to a question from the official Opposition Conservatives, the figure indication of the financial price of the high-profile and politically charged case.

Lametti did not provide any further details about the costs – including whether the figure included Norman’s legal fees, which the government has said it would pay.

Story continues below advertisement

“To the extent that the information that has been requested is protected by solicitor-client privilege, the federal Crown can only reveal the total legal costs related to the case,” Lametti wrote in response to the question from Conservative MP and leadership contender Erin O’Toole.

“Based on the hours recorded, the total amount of legal costs incurred amounts to approximately $1,425,389.68, as of Dec. 9, 2019.”

The minister also did not respond to the Conservatives’ question about how much the RCMP spent on the original investigation into allegations Norman leaked cabinet secrets about a $700-million federal shipbuilding contract.

That investigation prompted chief of the defence staff Gen. Jonathan Vance to suspend Norman as the military’s second-in-command in January 2017. The popular vice-admiral was charged with breach of trust in March 2018.

The Mounties and Crown prosecutors alleged Norman leaked information about the contract to pressure the new Liberal government in 2015 to move ahead with the project to convert a civilian ship into a temporary support vessel for the navy, rather than cancel it.

Norman pleaded not guilty before his lawyers spent months in court fighting the Crown and government for access to thousands of documents they said were essential for ensuring their client received a fair trial.

Throughout the process, Norman’s lawyers alleged the case against their client was politically motivated and that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government were interfering in it, a charge that was picked up by the Conservatives and that the Liberals denied.

Story continues below advertisement

Crown prosecutors eventually stayed the charge in May 2019, telling the judge that new evidence they’d received from Norman’s defence team had led them to conclude there was no reasonable chance of a conviction.

Following the failed prosecution, Norman asserted that he wanted to return to duty. But he and the government instead reached a financial settlement, the details of which have not been made public, before the vice-admiral retired last year.

Conservative defence critic James Bezan said the $1.4-million in legal costs is only part of the real price of what he described as the Liberal government’s “witch hunt” against Norman.

“This was taxpayer money and Canadians deserve to know how much was paid in compensation both to cover his costs as well as damages for this malicious mistreatment of vice-admiral Mark Norman, one of our top-ranked officers who was just doing his job.”

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies