Scandal Hits Canada Election Campaign

Scandal Hits Canada Election Campaign

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 Prime Minister Stephen Harper have overshadowed election campaigning.

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, Reuters reported.

The premier fired Wright at the height of the 2013 scandal after it was discovered that he secretly gave Duffy a C$90,000 check to cover improper expense claims.

A poll released over the weekend put the Conservatives in third place for the first time since the campaign started in early August. The New Democrats are leading with 33% public support.

Seeking a fourth consecutive term, Harper faces a barrage of questions about the case at several campaign stops while his pledge to increase the number of military reserves to 30,000 from 24,000 drew little attention.


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