Looking back at the beginning of the Justin Trudeau reign as Canada’s Prime Minister, it is clear that serious missteps, errors and deception started early and continued at very regular intervals through the four years the Liberals have been in government. Many Canadians bought into Trudeau’s claims that he was going to be so much different than previous regimes, in that he would be open and transparent, feminist and diverse, an ardent advocate for the middle class and those working hard to join it, a booster of indigenous people’s fortunes, fiscally responsible and burnish Canada’s image on the world stage. Four years later, it has become clear that “Brand Trudeau” was just like a lot of sales jobs – misleading, phony and dishonest. Many Canadians have justifiably been left feeling duped and betrayed.
Some of the Trudeau government’s early moves immediately contradicted the claim that this government had any intention of living up to its advertising of being transparent. The genesis of the Vice-Admiral Norman debacle started barely a few weeks following the Liberals’ election in October 2015, when they tried to reverse a contract for a Navy supply ship that had previously been awarded by the Conservatives to Davie Shipyard. It turned out that the Irving family, who are longstanding Liberal supporters, wanted this contract for themselves, and even though it had already been awarded, now that their Liberal buddies were in power they thought they could reverse the decision. Despite the best efforts of Trudeau and his cronies to keep secret the fact they were considering upending this contract on political grounds, the information leaked out and was very embarrassing to these “transparent” Liberals very early in their term. Trudeau was reportedly enraged that his plans to mess with this procurement contract were effectively derailed by the leak, and the absurd accusations and ultimately charges against purported leaker Vice-Admiral Norman – a career military man with an impeccable record of service – were launched.