Senate committee extends deadline for inquiry into Mark Norman case

Mark Norman

A Senate committee has breathed new life into an inquiry into the failed prosecution of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, after the Conservative senator behind the probe reversed course and decided not to kill it.

Conservative Sen. Jean-Guy Dagenais had indicated that he planned to abandon the study , saying the clock had effectively run out because of the Liberals.

But in a surprise turn of events during today's meeting of the Senate defence committee, Dagenais instead successfully lobbied fellow committee members to extend its original June 20 deadline for reporting the results of its study back to the Senate.

The committee voted 8-4 in favour of extending the deadline to Aug. 1, but that doesn't make it a done deal, it requires formal approval to sit into the summer.

Conservative senators appeared to try to pin that decision on Sen. Peter Harder, the Liberal government's top representative in the upper chamber, after Dagenais said the plan would require the approval of both Harder and his Tory counterpart.

But the committee was told that the Senate as a whole could also vote to allow the committee to continue the probe, setting the stage for a sharp debate in the coming days.