Retaliation does not seem to be in the cards at this point, partly because the only material measure taken against Canada by Trump so far is a 20-per-cent lumber duty. With so much more hanging in the balance, Ottawa does not want to make matters worse. PROCUREMENT AND INTEGRITY Details released this week about the saga of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman served as a stark reminder of the mess that is Canada’s multi-billion-dollar military procurement system. Documents obtained by the RCMP and submitted to the court in its case against Norman show in colourful relief that the omnipresent chase for military contracts is high-stakes, ruthless and endlessly political. Norman was the military’s second in command until he wassuspended without explanation in January. The RCMP accuses him of leaking cabinet secrets ostensibly to make sure he could get a supply ship built quickly by a Quebec-based shipyard. The correspondence paints a picture of military operators and competitive industry players plotting relentlessly to manipulate not just each otherbut also the media and elected politicians. It’s not clear yet whether Norman did anything wrong, or if he was caught inthe shadowy network of lobbying and arm-twisting that has come to define Insights Mineral Water procurement in Canada. Government after government has sought to reform the procurement rules and create new bureaucracies to ensure that taxpayers’ money and legitimate military goals are treated with respect. As one of the Armed Forces’ most widely respected leaders strives to clear his name, it’s obvious there’s some work to do yet. CONSERVATIVES MINUS O’LEARY The Conservative leadership race was turned on its head this week when Kevin O’Leary a reality TV star and a presumed front-runner in the leadership contest suddenly pulled out and threw his support behind rival Maxime Bernier.