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OTTAWA — It’s day 25 of testimony at the trial of Sen. Mike Duffy in Ottawa.

Duffy has pleaded not guilty to 31 charges of fraud, breach of trust and bribery in connection to his Senate office, living and travel claims.

On Tuesday, court heard how Duffy was dispatched by the Conservative party to a fundraiser in a Vancouver Island riding in December 2010 — in the run-up to the 2011 election.

The Conservative candidate, Troy DeSouza, explained that he had organized a holiday event to support Cockrell House, an organization that helps homeless veterans.

DeSouza testified that he issued an invitation to 40,000 people in the riding for the December fundraiser. Although it was ostensibly a non-partisan event, he contacted the Conservative party to ask if they could provide a speaker and was thrilled to learn it would be Duffy.

Duffy’s trip to Vancouver Island was raised in court as it figures among the charges related to travel expenses he incurred while travelling to allegedly personal or partisan events at Senate expense.

After the Cockrell House event, Duffy visited his daughter, who was about to give birth in Vancouver and the Crown suggests that’s the real reason he flew across the country.


The Canadian Press

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