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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

We now have the Norman case ... SNC-Lavalin ... and a shipyard dispute where the Prime Ministers Office, or Ministers, are accused of interference in legal issues -- or contracts

'The prosecution should not be discussing trial strategy with the (PMO's) right hand person' – Mainville
Murray Brewster ~~ CBC News ~~ Feb 11, 2019

A pretrial hearing in the breach-of-trust case against Vice-Admiral Mark Norman took a sudden political turn Monday when the defence alleged that prosecutors have been talking trial strategy with the bureaucratic department that supports Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's office and the federal cabinet.

Former Commander of the Royal Canadian
Navy, Vice-Admiral Mark Norman
The federal government is fighting defence requests for the release of un-redacted notes from meetings between officials at the Privy Council Office (PCO) and Crown lawyers ... that prompted defence counsel Christine Mainville to accuse the Prime Minister's Office of trying to direct the case.

Mainville said the discussion with PCO is "more concerning" than the allegations at the centre of the SNC Lavalin controversy because it involves direct dealings between the PCO and prosecutors.

"The prosecution should not be discussing trial strategy with the Prime Minister's Office's right-hand person," she said, referring to the PCO legal counsel.

CLICK HERE to read the full story:

My goodness. This gets more and more interesting.

  • That prompted a cutting remark from the judge hearing Norman's case. 
  • "So much for the independence of the PPSC (Public Prosecution Service of Canada)," said Judge Heather Perkins-McVey.
  • The Crown has been ordered to deliver an uncensored version of the requested notes, under seal, to the judge by Friday, when lawyers will argue the question of whether the documents are privileged.

Apparently, the Judge hearing the Norman case is not as certain as the Prime Minister, the Prime Ministers Office (PMO) and Privy Council Office (PCO) that legal privilege is sacrosanct.

We now have the Norman case ... SNC-Lavalin ... and a shipyard dispute where the Prime Ministers Office, or Ministers, are accused of interference in legal issues -- or contracts.  They are trying to hide behind lawyer-client privilege, or cabinet confidentiality, or other excuses for keeping the highest levels of government operations secret.

We have not seen similar efforts to hide government actions since Mackenzie King issued an Order in Council effectively attaching the Privy Council to the Prime Minister’s Office, rather than acting as counsel to the Governor General and Queen.

Paul Wells’ column ‘Canada, the show’ in Maclean’s is worth a read, but too long to include here. 

John Feldsted
Political Consultant & Strategist
Winnipeg, Manitoba


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