Bureaucrat tried to undercut cabinet's powers with shipbuilding project leak: Crown

·1 min read

OTTAWA — Crown prosecutors accused a federal public servant of attempting to undercut cabinet's decision-making powers by intentionally leaking sensitive documents about a $700-million shipbuilding project.

Crown prosecutor Mark Covan levelled the accusation against Matthew Matchett during his opening arguments in the breach of trust trial.

The Harper government negotiated a deal in 2015 for Quebec shipyard Chantier Davie to lease a converted civilian vessel to the government to act as a temporary supply vessel.

But the Crown's first witness, longtime lobbyist Brian Mersereau, testified that Davie was worried the newly elected Trudeau government would scuttle the deal, which is why he was in contact with Matchett in November 2015.

Mersereau, who was working for Davie at the time, testified that a plain brown envelope with several documents was delivered to his office shortly after he spoke to Matchett about the issue.

However, Mersereau, under questioning from Covan, said he could not recall exactly what documents were in the envelope aside from a draft letter to federal cabinet and some other unclassified material.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 7, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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