Politics

Mike Duffy Trial: Who is Nigel Wright?

As Senator Mike Duffy's fraud and breach of trust trial resumes Wednesday, here's what you need to know about Stephen Harper's former chief of staff.

A quick sketch of the former PMO chief who begins testimony Wednesday

Nigel Wright, former chief of staff to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, makes his way through a crush of media as he arrives to testify at the criminal trial of embattled Senator Mike Duffy in Ottawa Wednesday. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)

A look at Nigel Wright, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's former chief of staff and the first witness when the Mike Duffy trial resumes Wednesday:

Born: May 18, 1963, in Hamilton, Ont.

Education: Masters law degree from Harvard Law School, bachelor of laws from the University of Toronto Law School, bachelor degree in politics and economics from Trinity College at the University of Toronto.

Political career: Wright took a leave of absence from Onex, a private equity firm, from 2010 to 2014 to work as chief of staff for Prime Minister Stephen Harper. He left Harper's office — he said he resigned, but the prime minister said he was "dismissed" — after it became public that he gave Mike Duffy $90,000 to help the embattled senator repay disputed Senate expenses. Prior to joining Onex in 1997, Wright was a partner at the law firm of Davies, Ward & Beck. Before that, he worked on policy development in the Prime Minister's Office.

Personal life: Wright is fiercely religious Anglican and he has been an active volunteer. He has assisted a program for the homeless, a residential summer camp for children with cancer and the Ottawa Mission.

Quote: "In light of the controversy surrounding my handling of matters involving Sen. Duffy, the prime minister has accepted my resignation as chief of staff. My actions were intended solely to secure the repayment of funds, which I considered to be in the public interest, and I accept sole responsibility. I did not advise the prime minister of the means by which Sen. Duffy's expenses were repaid, either before or after the fact."

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