The truth finally begins to emerge on no-nonsense, taxpayer's hero Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, DND's 2nd-in-command who continually stood up to political interference by notorious closed-door lobbyist 'Big Bad Jim' Irving (and btw, 'Big Bad Jim', for God's sake, why so much lobbying ?), whose team he endearingly refers to as the 'Horsemen of the Apocalypse' in now un-redacted court papers. Judge states he can't understand why Irving thought the already-awarded contract was "up for grabs" and rules that Norman's alleged actions are "hardly the stuff of stigma or moral turpitude", and at its worst, all Norman was doing was "trying to keep a contractual relationship together so the country might get itself a badly needed supply ship" .. so whose heads should really be rolling in yet another Irving shipbuilding debacle ? It certainly says something when the head of the Navy refers to self-proclaimed 'Canada's Shipbuilders' as "greedy .. self-serving .. assholes". (Yes, it's all here in the judge's ruling) Admiral Mark Norman for next Prime Minister .. or the Order of Canada at least ?
While Canada left holding the back with their derelict dud subs ..
After Jim Irving "meddled in the decision", judge says that the only "potential allegation against Vice-Admiral Norman is that he was trying to keep a contractual relationship together so that the country might get itself a badly needed supply ship". Judge adds that he can't understand why some in the shipbuilding industry came to believe that the already awarded contract was "up for grabs" just because of a change in government. Having read the sealed evidence, Justice Phillips says there are "no smoking guns". More ..
They call it 'sustainment support', a hodge-podge of after-sale up-sells & scope-creeps. Opaque stuff like 'contractor logistics support' and 'in-country field services support' .. not to mention 'aircraft maintenance, contractor engineering & logistics support services, publications & technical documentation' .. plus 'major modification & retrofit kits support, and technical support'. Wait, there's more, yes, 'support equipment, alternate mission equipment, software support, spares, personnel training and training equipment'. Yup, a quarter-billion dollar's worth of nifty doo-dads and neat-o's, give or take a few dozen million dollars with the currency exchange rate ups and downs. The deal is so big and so complex, it actually needs US Gov't sign-off before it can be ok'd. Both Boeing & Lockheed are in on the gig, btw.
Rumours have been swirling for weeks. But after Big Jim Irving threw his weight at cabinet minister cronies to delay a competitor's contract, did Vice-Admiral Mark Norman blow the whistle on political meddling only to then get 'caught in the crossfire' ? Now top Canadian political scientist Michael Byers is wondering if Norman was 'removed b/c Liberal gov't embarrassed 'by questions about Irving's influence in Ottawa'.
As potential sub-contractors in the sole-source open-budgeted sweetheart deal rightly seek to delay the bidding process, now 'concerns that the federal government seriously misjudged on the amount of money needed to build the Canadian Surface Combatants'. Insiders, activists, and innocent bystanders alike will be right to scratch their heads in wonder or shake it in blind rage if we are seeing yet another massive military procurement that needs to be scrapped and re-started from the beginning. Developing ..