Thank you, Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, for your service.
Canadians from all regions and walks of life rallied to your side as increasingly we became aware of the current federal government’s mission to destroy not only your exemplary military career, but also to ruin you financially and taint the remainder of your life with a criminal record.
Canadians stepped up. The GoFundMe page opened to generate support for your legal costs, raised $442,810 pledged by 3,547 people who, in the name of fairness, gladly contributed what they could.
Incrementally, we learned of how you angered those sitting at the federal cabinet table for doing your job. For delivering on budget and on time HM Asterix, the first new naval supply ship to enter service with the Royal Canadian Navy in half-a-century. A ship desperately needed in order for the Navy to perform its obligations on a global stage, and without which the RCN would have been limited to a compromised coastal defence role.
Canadians learned the prime minister twice publicly mused you would see the inside of a courtroom, and this before any criminal charge was laid against you, Vice-Admiral. We became privy to the information that while you were denied payment of your legal expenses, Mr. Trudeau green-lighted himself and others in government to engage outside counsel at taxpayer expense. This in the event they might be called by your lawyer Marie Henein during the trial.
Of course, there would be no trial. The prosecution last month blinked, declared ‘no mas’ and stayed the criminal charge. Canadians cheered. We learned your legal expenses would be covered by the government. More cheers.
You expressed a strong desire to return to military life, Vice-Admiral. Your words were “immediate reinstatement and return to serving Canada.” The chief of defence staff expressed enthusiasm.
A return to your position as head of the Navy and second-in-command of the CAF? Not going to happen, declared the federal defence minister in parliament. They were clearly afraid.
You told Canadians you wanted to share much about your story publicly, Vice-Admiral. I thought they wouldn’t let you. And they haven’t and won’t. Were you to have that public conversation, it might serve to compromise a prime minister, himself paddling furiously toward October 21, attempting to salvage the leaky Liberal Party ship.
And then this week came the release of a four-paragraph announcement that you are leaving military service following a separation agreement negotiation. It’s non-disclosure, so Canadians will never learn of the details.
No one begrudges you a fair settlement, Vice-Admiral Norman. God knows you’ve suffered and the entire situation must remain bitter and galling.
Taxpayers, who are ultimately paying millions of dollars in total costs to satisfy a small-minded government vendetta, are left in the dark.
WATCH: Global News coverage of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman
Canadians, including those who served with you, won’t be afforded the opportunity to salute your stellar career in a dignified military manner. No official ceremony. No traditional thank you. You’re a cardboard box and elevator ride from the sidewalk.
I do hope we hear from you again, Vice-Admiral Norman. I would encourage you to engage in the political arena. Perhaps in time for October 21, even. However, that may be rushing things and perhaps the NDA includes a provision you won’t seek election in 2019.
Full sails and fair winds to you, Vice-Admiral. We’ll remember on a day in October.
Roy Green is the host of the Roy Green Show on the Global News Radio network.