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Tory senator signals plan to drop probe of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman case

Vice Admiral Mark Norman reacts during a press conference in Ottawa on May 8, 2019. Conservative senators are expected to drop their bid to conduct an inquiry into the failed prosecution of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman. Members of the Senate defence committee will meet later this afternoon where Conservative Sen. Jean-Guy Dagenais has indicated he plans to withdraw his motion to hear from Norman and other witnesses about the case. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

OTTAWA — Conservative senators are expected to drop their bid to conduct an inquiry into the failed prosecution of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman.

Members of the Senate defence committee will meet later this afternoon where Conservative Sen. Jean-Guy Dagenais has indicated he plans to withdraw his motion to hear from Norman and other witnesses about the case.

Dagenais’s motion to examine the circumstances that led to the military’s second-in-command being suspended and charged with breach of trust was successfully adopted last month with help from fellow Conservatives as well as Independent Sen. Diane Griffin and unaffiliated Sen. David Richards.

But in a letter to committee chairwoman Gwen Boniface, Dagenais says time has run out for the committee to hear from Norman, chief of defence staff Gen. Jonathan Vance, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and others.

Dagenais says Liberal senators need to agree for the committee to sit past Thursday, but that such agreement does not appear to be forthcoming.

The National Post has reported that Norman’s lawyer Marie Henein also wrote a letter to the committee on Sunday, questioning the value of the committee’s planned probe given its lack of time and the complexity of the case.

The Canadian Press