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Politics Politics Briefing: New information in the Mark Norman case

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Chantier Davie – the Quebec-based shipbuilder at the centre of the breach-of-trust case against Vice-Admiral Mark Norman – gave the senior naval officer’s defence team a trove of documents in March, the company said Monday.

Did these documents factor into the Crown’s decision to suddenly stay the charge against Vice-Adm. Norman last week? It’s unclear.

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Alex Vicefield, chairman and chief executive of Inocea Group, said in an e-mail Monday that the documents provided “a fulsome account of meetings and correspondence with bureaucrats and political staff." But Mr. Vicefield would not provide specifics or say whether he believes the information Davie provided led to the Crown’s decision.

Crown prosecutor Barbara Mercier said last week that the defence brought new information to the prosecution in late March, and lawyers on both sides discussed the matter on March 28.

“This new information definitely provided greater context to the conduct of Vice-Adm. Norman and revealed a number of complexities in the process that we were not aware of,” she said.

A source with knowledge of the Davie documents provided to the defence said they included e-mails and notes and showed a chronology of meetings related to the contract.

Meanwhile, CBC News reports that Vice-Adm. Norman was authorized to speak with the Quebec shipyard directly in the run-up to the signing of the $668-million leasing contract.

This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Aron Yeomanson. It is available exclusively to our digital subscribers. If you’re reading this on the web, subscribers can sign up for the Politics newsletter and more than 20 others on our newsletter signup page. Have any feedback? Let us know what you think.

TODAY’S HEADLINES

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Conservative senators will attempt this week to block a $15,000 payment for a public-opinion poll they say is being used by independent senators to support the Liberal Party’s 2019 election campaign.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says his party will cut Canada’s emissions almost in half over the next decade as he tries to stake out a claim to the climate change agenda in the looming federal election.

Premier Jason Kenney is preparing to cut corporate taxes in a bid to boost Alberta’s economy with a policy that will cost the province billions of dollars in forgone revenue over the next four years.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s chief of staff took multiple steps to urge police forces across the province to launch raids on illegal marijuana storefronts in the weeks after cannabis was legalized, records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act show.

Ontario faculty associations say they’re consulting with lawyers after being stonewalled in their attempts to meet with the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities about proposed legislation they say threatens to force elderly university and colleges professors to work for no salary.

Staff at the Toronto District School Board are proposing cuts to programs and services, including music and the busing of French immersion students, in an effort to tackle a deeper budgetary hole than previously estimated.

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China and the United States have agreed to keep talking about their trade dispute, the Chinese government said, as U.S. President Donald Trump said he thought recent discussions in Beijing would be successful.

U.S. President Donald Trump objected to a judge’s plan to fast-track his lawsuit seeking to block a congressional subpoena for information about eight years of his personal and business finances.

Attorney General William Barr has appointed a U.S. attorney to examine the origins of the Russia investigation and determine if intelligence collection involving the Trump campaign was “lawful and appropriate,” a person familiar with the matter told the Associated Press.

Iran and the United States could trigger a conflict by accident in an already unstable Gulf region, Britain’s Foreign Minister said on Monday.

John Ibbitson (The Globe and Mail) on the Norman case vs. the SNC-Lavalin affair: “Suspicions are not allegations. Innuendo is not evidence. According to the available facts, the Liberals did not interfere in the Norman case.”

Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on the U.S.-China trade war and Canada: “What will Canada’s leaders do? Mr. Trudeau’s Liberals still seem to think the problems with China will pass. Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has just outlined a policy of pulling back from China and redoubling ties with the United States, because Mr. Trump’s time will pass. The NDP isn’t really on the case. The thing is, the politicians don’t just need a China policy, they need a policy on the hard new two-superpower world.”

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Andrew Coyne (National Post) on the U.S.-China trade war: “Perhaps it will seem unrealistic to expect China to discover the virtues of free trade on its own. But it seems to me even less realistic to expect it to surrender at the point of an American trade gun.”

The Globe and Mail Editorial Board on Ontario’s anti-carbon-tax ad: “The Ford government’s 30-second spot is an unapologetic partisan ad, and you’re paying for it. It erases the line between party and government. It’s not informing citizens about a public program; it’s simply attacking the policies of a different level of government, occupied by a rival political party. The Oscar for shameless innovation goes to…”

Elinor Sloan (The Globe and Mail) on fighter jet procurement: “Some may question the federal government’s decision to relax the ITB rules, and to grant this certification sign-off. But whatever Canada buys must be able to address threats to us and to our allies until well into the 2060s. Our relationship with the United States, both in terms of geopolitics and military technology, is crucial. Despite our trade tiff, the United States remains our most important strategic partner. Canada can either take an active part in our own security, or leave it to the United States.”

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