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Trudeau sommé de produire des documents en vue du procès du vice-amiral Norman

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La nouvelle a été révélée vendredi lors d’une nouvelle journée d’audience préliminaire dirigée par la juge Heather Perkins-McVey, au moment où le gouvernement Trudeau est aussi soupçonné d’ingérence politique dans le dossier de SNC-Lavalin.

L’ancien secrétaire principal de M. Trudeau, Gerald Butts, sa cheffe de cabinet, Katie Telford, le greffier du Conseil privé, Michael Wernick, et la cheffe de cabinet du ministre de la Défense Harjit Sajjan, Zita Astravas, ont également reçu des assignations à produire des documents.

Les documents sont réclamés par l’avocate de Mark Norman, Marie Henein, qui souhaite faire tomber l’accusation visant son client lors d’une requête qui doit être débattue en mars. Elle compte plaider que le dossier a fait l’objet d’ingérences politiques.

Si cette requête devait être rejetée, le procès du vice-amiral irait de l’avant cet été, et il pourrait se poursuivre en pleine campagne électorale fédérale.

« Ces requêtes sont pendantes depuis un certain temps », a expliqué Me Henein lors de l’audience. « Je veux simplement m’assurer que le matériel, qui pourrait être pertinent pour la requête en arrêt des procédures, se retrouve au sommet des priorités. »

Depuis que les audiences préliminaires ont commencé, l’automne dernier, l’avocate du vice-amiral Norman se bat pour obtenir des milliers de documents du gouvernement, susceptibles, selon elle, de prouver l’innocence de M. Norman.

Les avocats du gouvernement ont assuré vendredi qu’ils sont toujours en train de récolter l’ensemble des documents réclamés, mais n’ont pu dire quand ils pourraient être remis à la défense.

« Nous en avons fait une priorité, parallèlement à d’autres tâches prioritaires », a déclaré Robert MacKinnon, l’avocat du ministère de la Justice qui supervise le processus. « Je crois que vous pouvez comprendre que tout le monde travaille à pleine vitesse. »

Le bateau de ravitaillement Astérix construit par le chantier naval DavieLe navire Astérix a été converti en bateau de ravitaillement pour les Forces canadiennes par les travailleurs du chantier naval Davie. Photo : Radio-Canada

Le vice-amiral Mark Norman a été accusé d’abus de confiance en mars 2018, plus d’un an après avoir été suspendu de ses fonctions de commandant en second de l’armée canadienne et de commandant de la Marine.

La Couronne avance qu’il a divulgué des secrets du Cabinet aux dirigeants du chantier naval Davie de Lévis en novembre 2015 pour sauver un contrat de 668 millions de dollars visant à convertir le porte-conteneurs civil « Astérix » en navire de soutien pour la Marine.

Ce contrat avait été accordé à la Davie par le gouvernement conservateur de Stephen Harper, mais le gouvernement Trudeau, élu quelques semaines plus tôt, avait annoncé qu’il voulait revoir le tout.

Le contrat a finalement été maintenu et l’« Astérix » a été livré à la Marine en novembre 2017.

Un fonctionnaire qui travaillait pour l’Agence de promotion économique du Canada atlantique, Matthew Matchett, a été accusé la semaine dernière d’avoir divulgué illégalement des secrets du Cabinet à des parties non autorisées dans cette affaire. Il doit comparaître en cour le 5 mars.

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City staff propose ‘gold belt’ to hem in future Ottawa development

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The City of Ottawa is about to have a second marathon debate about where to allow future suburbs to be built, and this time staff propose hemming in development by creating what’s being dubbed the “gold belt.”

Eight months after city council decided to expand the urban boundary by 1,281 hectares to help house a growing population, senior city planners have released the map of which properties should be developed — and which property owners stand to see values soar if their lands are rezoned. 

They include areas north of Kanata on March Road, near the future Bowesville O-Train station in the south end, and at the southern edge of Orléans.

Scoring rural properties on such things as how close they are to transit and how costly it would be to build pipes and roads proved a challenge over the past several months, however.

“The easy land has been gobbled up in years past, in previous boundary expansions,” said Coun. Scott Moffatt, who belongs to a group of councillors that meets about the new official plan. “So now we’re looking at those leftover pieces and where we can [grow], knowing council was clear we would not be touching agricultural lands.”

270 hectares short of goal

Staff struggled to come up with all 1,281 hectares council approved adding in May 2020 because they had too many issues with “sub-optimal” lands.

Instead, they recommended converting 1,011 hectares of rural land to urban for now to meet provincial requirements, and then spending the next five years studying three options for making up the 270-hectare shortfall.

That opens the door to creating an entirely new suburb. 

For instance, one option involves a huge parcel near the Amazon warehouse southeast of the city where the Algonquins of Ontario envision a community of 35,000 to 45,000 people called Tewin, which they would build with developers Taggart.

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How an Ottawa woman built a majestic snow dragon in her front yard

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OTTAWA — You may sometimes feel winter drag on, but one Ottawa woman is not letting that dim her creativity.

Dr. Mary Naciuk is family doctor and rural emergency room physician. She spent some of her free time this weekend building a majestic snow dragon in front of her south Ottawa home.

“It’s just fun to get outside and do something creative,” she told CTV News on Sunday.

There was plenty of snow to use, after Ottawa saw a record 21 cm of snow on Saturday.

She said that after her husband cleared the driveway, the pile of snow left behind lent itself to being turned into a magnificent dragon, but it takes more than just the right kind of snow to make a sculpture like this.

Naciuk tells CTV News a shovel, a butter knife, a spoon and even a blowtorch were used to give the dragon its sharp edges and defined scales.

“Anything pointy with a small detail is really hard to do with just your fingers or the butter knife and spoon I was using, so (the blowtorch) just makes a fine point,” she said.

Her son tweeted about it on Saturday and Naciuk says many people have stopped to take a look.

My mom has reached the pass me a blowtorch and shovel and watch me make a snow dragon stage of the pandemic

(I was only allowed to shovel piles of snow) pic.twitter.com/aphZotpHiC — Tom Naciuk (@NaciukThomas) January 16, 2021

“A lot of people stop on their way to the ice rink and have a look and take pictures. It’s kind of fun,” she said.

It was a welcome relief to spend some time working on something creative outdoors, Naciuk said.

“Get outside, get some exercise, clear your mind, do something that is not COVID for a few hours. It obeys all the rules. It was great,” she said, adding that the dragon took her about five hours to build.

She’s been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic for months. 

“It’s been a steep learning curve. It’s been exhausting,” she said. “A lot of the time is learning how to deliver care to people and maintain all the precautions that we need to. That’s been hard. A lot of people are not able to work from time to time, so we fill a lot of extra shifts. It’s been a lot more hours of work than it used to be, that’s for sure.”

Naciuk returns to work on Monday after a weekend of respite but says if the conditions are right—a nice mild day, a good snowfall, and some free time—another sculpture may well appear.

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Keeping the vaccines flowing, staying at home, and a new American President: Five stories to watch this week

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OTTAWA — The rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in Ottawa continues, but there are questions about supply. How are police and bylaw handling the new stay-at-home order? And, a day of prayer for a beloved spiritual leader.

CTVNewsOttawa.ca looks at five stories to watch this week.

Vaccine rollout continues

Residents of Ottawa will continue to roll up their sleeves for COVID-19 vaccines but there are new questions about how much supply the city will have.

Last week, it was announced that Pfizer would be cutting shipments of its COVID-19 vaccine to Canada in half over the next month because of an expansion of its European factory. That means it’s unclear how many additional doses Ottawa will be receiving in the coming weeks.

On Saturday, Mayor Jim Watson told the CTV News at Six that between 5,800 and 6,000 doses were expected in the city on Tuesday, but now he’s unsure if that will be delivered.

The City’s vaccination teams have visited all 28 of the city’s long-term care homes and are expected to begin working with residents and staff of the city’s high-risk retirement homes soon.

Will COVID-19 cases keep climbing?

It has now been three weeks since the provincewide shutdown began in Ontario and it remains to be seen if Ottawa’s curve will start to bend toward lower rates.

The number of active cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa more than doubled in the first two weeks of January and the number of people in hospitals nearly quadrupled. However, the number of new cases per 100,000 residents over a seven-day period has been slowly dropping in the past few days.

It is still too early to tell whether the stay-at-home order that came into effect on Jan. 14 has had any effect on transmission.

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