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Politics Politics Briefing: Opposition calls for a Norman review

Good morning,

Liberals on the House of Commons national defence committee have a decision to make this week: Will they allow a review into the investigation and prosecution of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman?

The decision facing the committee after opposition members called for an emergency meeting to discuss the matter will undoubtedly conjure comparisons with the ethics committee review of the SNC-Lavalin affair that was abruptly shut down amid the cries of opposition members.

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A letter signed by Conservative MPs James Bezan, Cheryl Gallant and Richard Martel and NDP MP Randall Garrison calls for a review of the prosecution of Vice-Adm. Norman and sets out a lengthy list of witnesses, including: Vice-Adm. Norman, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, former clerk of the privy council Michael Wernick, former Treasury Board president Scott Brison, Chief of Defence Staff General Jonathan Vance, Justice Minister David Lametti, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Service and Procurement Carla Qualtrough and former procurement minister Judy Foote.

In addition, they would like to call on the Prime Minister’s chief of staff, Katie Telford, his former principal secretary Gerald Butts, Liberal MP Andrew Leslie and James Cudmore, director of policy for the minister of democratic institutions.

An emergency meeting is triggered when four MPs on the committee write to the clerk to call one − but the Liberals hold a majority, so it will be up to government members of the committee to decide whether to allow the process to proceed. The opposition members request that the committee convene within five days.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said on CTV’s Question Period that his party would like to hear from individuals with knowledge of the case to appear before a parliamentary committee to find out “what went so wrong here."

“We had a highly respected and decorated vice-admiral go through the wringer for the sole crime of speaking the truth and trying to do what is right for the Canadian navy, so far we haven’t been able to get any of those answers in [the House],” he said.

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

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Huawei Technologies has launched a major lobbying and public-relations campaign to boost its standing with Canadians and federal decision-makers as the Chinese telecommunications giant tries to avoid being banned from supplying equipment to next-generation wireless networks.

Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou says she has been left “in tears” by the support of the tech giant’s staff, who she calls sons and daughters of the company.

Nearly half of Canadians say asylum seekers who have not already made a refugee claim in the United States should be given a full hearing upon crossing the border, but are divided over how people who already claimed asylum in the U.S. should be treated, according to a new poll

Nearly two-thirds of Canadians oppose provincial governments spending taxpayers’ dollars to battle the federal carbon tax, says a new poll released Monday as the Ontario government launched a new television ad slamming the levy.

Former U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning says she’ll refuse to testify on Thursday before a second grand jury investigating WikiLeaks.

British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservatives have fallen to fifth place in an opinion poll ahead of the May 23 European parliamentary election as pressure grows for her to set a date for her own departure.

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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand will attempt this week to use the terrorist attack that killed 51 Muslim worshippers in Christchurch mosques in March to demand that the biggest internet platforms do more to stamp out violent and extremist content.

Indians voted in the next-to-last round of a six-week-long national election marked by a highly acrimonious campaign that has seen Prime Minister Narendra Modi blame opposition party chief Rahul Gandhi’s family for the country’s ills.

Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on the NDP’s election hopes: “In 2015, Mr. Mulcair started the election campaign with many believing he could win power. Mr. Singh doesn’t have that. And it’s getting harder to hold NDP constituencies together.”

Andrew Coyne (National Post) on Andrew Scheer’s policy speeches: “The speeches arrive at a moment of opportunity for the Conservative leader. The threat to his right flank posed by Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party seems not to have materialized. He has the chance now to reach out to centrist voters, if only he will take it.”

Naomi Buck (The Globe and Mail) on Ontario’s speed limit increase: “Who is this policy designed to please? A 10 km/hr increase on a few stretches of highway won’t impress the pedal-to-the-metal contingent. Nor is it likely to ease commutes or cross-border transport, as the Minister hopes.”

Elizabeth Renzetti (The Globe and Mail) on Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s priorities: “Every government struggles with deficits, and each one decides where its priorities lie. We can at least thank Doug Ford for making it clear where his priorities lie, because it’s certainly not the future. Ontario: If you’re a kid, it’s a place that blows. Is it too late to change the licence plates?”

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The Globe and Mail Editorial Board on Doug Ford vs. Toronto: “It is in the entire province’s interest to have a booming, liveable Toronto that generates billions in tax revenues for the government. Yet, instead of cheerleading for his province’s greatest economic asset, Mr. Ford beats it with a stick at every opportunity. That may bring a smile to some of his voters. But in the long run it will hurt the city, and the province.”

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