Vice-Admiral Mark Norman of the Canadian military has been removed from his position following an investigation regarding the leak of classified information. Although it is not yet clear what specific information was disclosed, it could be related to the officer’s concerns regarding Canada’s new warships.
Vice-Adm. Norman, the second-highest ranking military officer in Canada, was relieved of his duties by General Jonathan Vance, the country’s Chief of Defense Staff. The decision to temporarily remove him from position came after he was implicated in the leak of top secret documents.
The investigations regarding this issue are still ongoing but the Canadian military refused to clarify if the leak involved another country, journalists or business entities. The Royal Canadian Mountain Police also refused to identify the exact parties involved in the investigation.
“The RCMP does not generally confirm or deny who or who may not be the subject of an investigation,” Sergeant Harold Pfleiderer told The Globe and Mail. “This is done to protect the integrity of an investigation, the evidence obtained and the privacy of those involved.”
Although the RCMP did not name Vice-Adm. Norman as the subject of the case, his removal from position strongly suggests his involvement. As a high-ranking officer in the military, Norman is prohibited by various laws including the Security of Information Act from disclosing sensitive documents without seeking permission to the appropriate departments.
The case against the vice-admiral may have stemmed from the public statements he made in December of 2015. During that time, he publicized his concerns regarding the allocated budget for Canada’s new warships through an interview with CBC-TV.
With a budget of $30 billion, which greatly exceeded the allocated funds for the warships, Vice-Adm. Norman warned that the over-spending could force the Canadian military to settle for less-capable or fewer ships in the future.