OTTAWA – Suspended Vice-Admiral Mark Norman will be shuffled out of his position as the military’s second-in-command on Thursday, as the criminal case against him works its way through the court system.The move comes 18 months after Norman was relieved of his duties as vice chief of defence staff for allegedly leaking government secrets to a Quebec shipyard, for which he faces one charge of breach of trust.The veteran naval officer has denied any wrongdoing and has said he plans to fight the charge in court.Defence chief Gen. Jonathan Vance had appointed several other senior officers to fill in on a temporary basis until the case could go through the judicial process.He has also shouldered some of the position’s responsibilities himself.But the Defence Department has confirmed that Vance has tapped army commander Lt.-Gen. Paul Wynnyk to take over as the Forces’ new vice chief, effective July 16.“Command and control, as well as leadership, are critical as the Canadian Armed Forces continue to deploy on operations and implement the defence policy,” DND spokesman Daniel Le Bouthillier said in an email.“The chief of defence staff is grateful for those who have stepped up to fill the gap, but at this juncture … the Canadian Armed Forces require a full-time vice chief of defence staff going forward.”The military just this week began to deploy troops to the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali.Norman will be moved to a supernumerary position within the defence chief’s office, Le Bouthillier added, where he will continue to serve as a member of the Forces until the court case plays out.It is believed Norman was informed of the shuffle ahead of time, as he and Vance have been in constant contact by email and the occasional phone call and letter since January 2017, though it’s unclear whether he agreed to it.The move is likely to spark anger from Norman’s supporters, including many former military members and even some politicians who have contributed thousands of dollars to help pay for his legal defence.The case against Norman revolves around the newly elected Liberal government’s decision in November 2015 to reconsider a $700-million contract the Harper Conservatives had awarded to Quebec-based Davie Shipbuilding.The contract was to convert a civilian vessel, the MV Asterix, into a temporary navy resupply ship that would be leased for five years, with another five-year option, until permanent replacements could be built in Vancouver.While the plan to revisit the contract was supposed to remain secret, court documents released last year show the RCMP suspected Norman was upset with the decision and worried the government would cancel the project.He was commander of the navy at the time and, according to the documents, allegedly worked with Davie to try to pressure the government to stick with the project.None of the allegations against Norman have been tested in court.The Liberals ultimately decided to proceed with the project and the MV Asterix is now being used by the navy.Norman was officially charged on March 9, at which point Vance issued a statement saying he needed to “consider the impact and implications” of the criminal charge against the military’s second-in-command.“This is a complex matter, separate from the judicial process,” Vance said at the time. “I need time to weigh these factors carefully and deliberately.”– Follow @leeberthiaume on Twitter.
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SURREY (660 NEWS) – When you put your child in their car seat in BC, you need to leave the car door open to be able to do it. But it turns out you may be found at fault if another vehicle hits your door.Kirsten Chalmers, a mother of three in Surrey, was found 100 per cent at fault, after a van’s mirror hit her open door.Kirsten and her mom were in the parking lot of a shopping centre, making sure her kids — aged 10 months, two, and five — were buckled in.“I had already put my 10-month-old into her car seat — she’s in one of those bucket seats that you just move into the car. I was buckling in my oldest daughter on the passenger side. It was my mom who was on the driver’s side, buckling in my son.”That’s when the van parked next to them backed out.The van’s mirror hit her car’s open door, but she never thought she would be found at fault.“In the Motor Vehicle Act, it states something along the lines of ‘the car door being opened for a period of time to get a passenger in and out.’ What is considered a safe period of time? Well in my opinion, whatever time it takes to properly buckle a child in.”The other driver is not seeking damages, which means Kirsten’s premiums won’t be affected. But she still wants answers.“I still feel like I’m deserving of some type of explanation. If you’re going to tell me that I can’t open my door to put my child in and that I’ll be found at fault for that, what if she had requested damages?”In an emailed statement to our partners in Vancouver, ICBC says the door was “opened further” into the moving van, which is why Kirsten was found at fault.According to the Motor Vehicle Act, a person must not open the door of a motor vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so.In this case, the vehicle door was partially open but then the door was opened further into the side of the moving vehicle. The responsibility for the impact lies with the door opener.Kirsten claims she never stated to ICBC that her mother further opened the door. “I think I would have been more accepting of a 50-50 type thing. But to just be told ‘You’re 100 per cent at fault’… I was blown away.”She says a manager told her it was “more of a he said, she said thing.”“That [the other driver is] actually claiming that… my car door was not open when she started backing out and that my mom actually would have had to come between the moving vehicle and my parked vehicle and opened the door with a two-year-old in her arms while she was already in the process of backing out. I’m not sure who would ever do that, especially not with a child.”She says it’s impossible for a parent to buckle their children without opening the door. “It’s not always a very quick procedure to get them into the car.”What should parents do in this situation?Kirsten wants to know what should be done to ensure this doesn’t happen to her — or another parent — again.“Are you recommending that if I’m in the process of buckling my kids and I hear a car start that I should actually stop what I’m doing, move out of the way, close the door, and let that person back out? I would like to know what I should do in the future.”In ICBC’s statement, the insurer says:Parking lots are very busy places. The key tip is to be aware of the vehicles around you when parking or returning to your parked vehicle and continue to watch for other drivers as you and your passengers enter and exit the vehicle. Don’t leave doors open longer than necessary and check before opening any door further. If an incident occurs, try to find an independent witness if possible.“This is crazy. This defies common sense,” said Kris Sims with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, a longtime critic of ICBC’s monopoly on car insurance.She thinks many cases like Kirsten’s go under the radar. While Sims admits she’s no expert on ICBC cases, she believes many come down to “he said, she said” situations.“Unless you get witnesses. Say, there’s a collision… say it’s in an intersection or something. Then you still need to usually get witnesses for things like that.”Sims argues if there was insurance competition, Kirsten could move to another insurer if she was unhappy with how she is treated.“I’m going to go up the street, I’m going to go online, I’m going to shop around because as a consumer… In British Columbia, you can’t do it. The only recourse is to make an issue of it.”