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Federal ministries launch investigations after officials provide Irving Shipbuilding with information about Postmedia journalist

Federal ministries launch investigations after officials provide Irving Shipbuilding with information about Postmedia journalist
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Owned by one of the richest families in Canada, Irving Shipbuilding is also the subject of allegations of political interference in a project that involved a rival firm’s plan to supply the Royal Canadian Navy with a supply ship. Irving denies any political meddling. The supply ship project is at the heart of the current legal battle involving Vice Admiral Mark Norman.

“We are unaware of your source of information but wish to advise you that you are being misled,” Henley wrote. “There are no material issues with the welds on the AOPS and there is certainly no plan to take the first AOPS out of the water. Any story that suggests this would be false and defamatory to Irving Shipbuilding.”

The Royal Canadian Navy’s first Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship, the future HMCS Harry DeWolf, is assembled at Irving Shipbuilding’s Halifax Shipyard in December 2017. Irving Shipbuilding Inc. via CP

“We are currently verifying whether this constitutes a violation of the Privacy Act,” DND said in a statement. “Regardless of that outcome, we have already issued interim direction to anonymize media requests pending further information.”

PSPC issued a similar response.

Neither defence minister Harjit Sajjan nor procurement minister Carla Qualtrough responded to a request for comment, and a spokesperson said PSPC deputy minister Bill Matthews was not available for comment.

In the ongoing Norman case, the former second-in-command of the Canadian Forces has been charged with one count of breach of trust for allegedly leaking confidential information to Davie Shipbuilding, an Irving rival which had a deal to convert a commercial vessel into a supply ship for the navy.

After forming government in the fall of 2015 the Liberals received a letter from Irving complaining the company’s own supply ship proposal had not been given due consideration. Irving has consistently denied it made any attempt to undercut a rival shipbuilder via political interference. Nonetheless, after receiving the letter the Liberals decided to pause the Davie project, a decision that leaked to the media. The resulting backlash was seen as a factor in the Liberal’s decision to eventually proceed with the Davie deal.

In the aftermath, federal officials called in the RCMP to hunt down the source of the leak.

In building a defence for Norman, his lawyers have taken aim at former Treasury Board President Scott Brison’s links to the Irving family and Brison’s role in the government’s plan to delay the Davie deal.

Brison has denied any wrongdoing or lobbying on behalf of the Irvings. In late January he asked for legal standing in the Norman case to “protect against unmerited intrusions into his privacy, and to ensure that disclosure requests are clear and complete.” Brison announced in January he was resigning from cabinet and would not seek re-election, and last month he quit as the MP for the Nova Scotia riding of Kings-Hants.

He routinely switches false beards, moustaches and hairstyles, even fake tattoos. She swaps wigs, scarves, glasses. Both have a catalog of fantasy names

I am reminded of the Gomery inquiry. Quid pro quos, greasy influence over civil servants, too much power in the PMO: It all seems awfully familiar, doesn’t it?

There’s not much anyone can do about it. In our system, the prime minister decides whether the prime minister should be held to account

In this occasional series, Jordan Peterson writes from his international speaking tour for his book, 12 Rules for Life
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