Former defence minister on the defensive over ship contracts

Former defence minister Jason Kenney is rejecting suggestions he pushed the Harper government to negotiate a $700-million deal with a Quebec shipyard because of electoral considerations.

The current Alberta opposition leader says his only thought as the Conservatives were weighing the sole-sourced deal with Davie Shipbuilding in 2015 was the navy's urgent need.

The comments are in response to a Canadian Press article this week that cited an RCMP interview with a federal civil servant who attended secret cabinet meetings about the controversial project under both the Harper and Trudeau governments.

A partial transcript of the Mounties' interview with Privy Council Office analyst Melissa Burke was filed in court by suspended Vice-Admiral Mark Norman's lawyers and made public last week.

Her comments have not been entered as formal exhibits or tested in court.

Norman was charged this past March with one count of breach of trust for allegedly leaking cabinet secrets to Davie.

He has denied any wrongdoing and vowed to fight the charge.