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Aug 17, 2015

Scandal of Canadian PM’s ex-ally dominates election campaign

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada’s ruling Conservative party is trailing the two main opposition parties for the first time, according to a poll, as a high-profile bribery and fraud trial involving a former Senate ally to the Prime Minister overshadowed election campaigning.

Stephen Harper has struggled to distance himself from the months-long criminal trial of Conservative Senator Mike Duffy, who was appointed by Harper and was once a key party fundraiser, as former key aide Nigel Wright testified for a fourth day.

Aug 14, 2015

Ex-aide to Canada PM says directed Senate how to handle scandal

OTTAWA, Aug 14 (Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister Stephen
Harper’s aides were so concerned about the fallout of an ethics
scandal involving a high-profile Conservative senator that they
took tight control of Senate actions to try to limit the damage,
a court heard on Friday.

Emails released during the third day of testimony by
Harper’s former chief of staff, Nigel Wright, at the fraud and
bribery trial of Senator Mike Duffy showed Wright and other
aides directing actions in the Senate, the upper chamber of
Canada’s Parliament, to try to quell an uproar in 2013 over
C$90,000 ($68,700) in dubious expense claims made by Duffy.

Aug 13, 2015

Expenses in Canada Senate scandal likely legal: PM’s ex-aide

OTTAWA, Aug 13 (Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister Stephen
Harper’s aides forced a political ally to repay expenses he was
probably entitled to because they wanted a damaging ethics
scandal put to an end, Harper’s former chief of staff testified
on Thursday.

Conservative Senator Michael Duffy is on trial for bribery
and abusing expense claims in a high-profile case that could
hurt the governing Conservatives in the runup to Canada’s Oct.
19 election. The Conservatives, in power since 2006, are seeking
a rare fourth consecutive term.

Aug 13, 2015

Canada PM unaware of payment made to quiet ethics scandal – ex-aide

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper did not know that in order to quiet an ethics scandal his former chief of staff had secretly repaid expenses claimed by the senator at the heart of the affair, the ex-aide testified on Wednesday.

The trial of Conservative Senator Mike Duffy, who is accused of receiving a bribe and abusing expense claims, comes as Harper campaigns ahead of Canada’s Oct. 19 election. Opposition parties say the affair shows voters should end the Conservatives’ near 10-year grip on power.

Aug 12, 2015

Canada PM could get election shock when ex-aide appears at trial

OTTAWA (Reuters) – A former top aide to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper could reveal potentially damaging details about a corruption scandal as he takes the stand on Wednesday at a trial that threatens to eclipse the ruling Conservative’s re-election bid.

Harper’s former chief of staff, Nigel Wright, is the highest-profile witness to testify in the months-long trial of Conservative Senator Mike Duffy, who is accused of receiving a bribe and abusing expense claims two years ago.

Aug 7, 2015

Canada’s buoyant Greens say they don’t favor oil sands shutdown

OTTAWA, Aug 7 (Reuters) – The leader of Canada’s small Green
Party, which has a long-shot chance of holding the balance of
power after the country’s Oct. 19 election, said on Friday she
does not favor shutting down the Alberta oil sands, a favorite
target of environmentalists.

Elizabeth May, fresh from a praised performance in the
opening election debate on Thursday, said her party instead
wants the energy industry to upgrade bitumen from the sands at
home rather than shipping it raw to be refined abroad.

Aug 7, 2015

Canada’s Trudeau, under pressure, comes out swinging in debate

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, in desperate need of a boost to revive a struggling campaign, came out swinging at Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Thursday in the first debate ahead of Canada’s Oct. 19 election.

Trudeau, derided by Harper and official opposition leader Thomas Mulcair as not being ready to take power, said Harper had failed to manage an economy suffering from low oil prices.

Aug 6, 2015

Canada Liberal leader Trudeau looks to prove himself in debate

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, who won headlines in 2012 by whipping a Conservative senator in a charity boxing match, will try to prove he’s a heavyweight in the political arena in Canada’s first electoral debate on Thursday.

The 43-year-old Trudeau, who has fallen to third from first in the polls, will face three-term Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, 56, as well as 60-year-old Thomas Mulcair, leader of the New Democratic Party. The debate will have to vie for attention with Donald Trump and the U.S. Republican primary debate on the same night.

Aug 5, 2015

Canada June trade deficit narrows sharply as exports soar

OTTAWA, Aug 5 (Reuters) – Canada’s long-suffering export
sector snapped a five-month losing streak in June, showing the
strongest surge in more than eight years and cutting the
country’s trade deficit significantly, Statistics Canada said on

The trade shortfall for the month was C$476 million ($361
million), much less than the C$2.80 billion deficit forecast by
analysts and far below the C$3.37 billion seen in May.

Aug 2, 2015

Canada PM calls Oct 19 election, focus on sluggish economy

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Sunday called a parliamentary election for Oct 19, kicking off a marathon 11-week campaign likely to focus on a stubbornly sluggish economy and his decade in power.

Polls indicate that Harper’s right-of-center Conservative Party, which has been in office since 2006, could well lose its majority in the House of Commons.

    • About David

      "I have been the National Political Correspondent in Canada for Reuters since 1999, focussing on politics, defence (in particular Canada's role in the Afghan War) and the environment. I won the award for Reuters Treasury scoop in 2009 for my work at the G20 summit. From 1995 to 1999 I worked in London, mainly covering foreign affairs, and from 1989 to 1995 I was stationed in Moscow where I covered the collapse of the Soviet Union and the many conflicts this helped trigger."
      Joined Reuters:
      English, French, Russian
      Treasury scoop of the year 2009
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