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Five stories in Canada we’re watching

Today in the news: Nigel Wright, forest fires, a new poll on student debt


 
Nigel Wright, former chief of staff to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, arrives with his lawyer Peter Mantas (right) at the courthouse in Ottawa on Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015 for his second day of testimony at the criminal trial of embattled Sen. Mike Duffy. (Justin Tang/CP)

Nigel Wright, former chief of staff to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, arrives with his lawyer Peter Mantas (right) at the courthouse in Ottawa on Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015 for his second day of testimony at the criminal trial of embattled Sen. Mike Duffy. (Justin Tang/CP)

NIGEL WRIGHT BACK ON THE STAND

Former Harper chief of staff Nigel Wright can expect another grilling today at Mike Duffy’s fraud trial. Duffy’s lawyer, Donald Bayne, pressed Wright hard on Friday about the $90,000 he gave the suspended Tory senator to repay his disallowed expenses. Bayne suggested Wright pressured Duffy to go along with a scheme he really wanted no part of. The email evidence presented also suggested that several people in the PMO knew about the scheme. Duffy has pleaded not guilty to the 31 charges he’s facing.

B.C. WILDFIRES GUT 30 HOMES

A raging wildfire has destroyed 30 homes in southeastern B.C. and forced hundreds of residents to flee with little more than the clothes on their backs. The Rock Creek fire is just one of more than 200 burning across the province. Premier Christy Clark is predicting the cost of fighting fires this season could balloon to as much as $400 million— nearly seven times what the province budgets for an average year.

A RHINOCEROS PARTY PRESSER

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau and NDP boss Tom Mulcair will both bring their campaigns for the October 19 election to Ontario today. Trudeau will be making an announcement in Ajax, just east of Toronto in a riding the Liberals hope to take from the Tories. Mulcair has an event planned in Niagara Falls. Stephen Harper heads to Fredericton, New Brunswick today where party sources say the Conservative leader will be making an announcement about defence. And there could also be some laughs as the head of Rhinoceros Party holds a news conference at a Montreal Tim Horton’s.

MORE DELAYS IN GUN-MARKING REGULATIONS

The federal government is again delaying implementing regulations intended to help police trace crime guns—the seventh time it’s done so. Just days before the election call, the government quietly deferred the firearm marking regulations until June 1, 2017. The measures would require specific, identifiable markings be stamped on firearms. The regulations were drafted back in 2004, but the government says further consultations “with a broad range of stakeholders” are necessary before they can be implemented.

CIBC POLLS STUDENTS ON DEBT

A poll issued the by CIBC suggests nearly half of all post secondary students fear they won’t be able to repay their student debt after they graduate because they won’t be able to find a good paying job. However, experts say learning to keep their finances in check will help students better manage their money so they don’t drown in debt upon graduation.


 
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