Duncan resigns from Aboriginal Affairs
John Duncan, federal minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, has resigned as minister.
Duncan submitted his resignation on Feb. 15, citing an inappropriate letter he wrote to the Tax Court of Canada as reason for stepping down.
“In June of 2011 I wrote a character reference letter to the Tax Court of Canada on behalf of an individual who my constituency staff was providing casework assistance on a Canada Revenue Agency matter,” Duncan said in a statement.
“While the letter was written with honourable intentions, I realize that it was not appropriate for me, as a Minister of the Crown, to write to the Tax Court. I have therefore offered my resignation as Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development to the Prime Minister, which he has accepted,” he said.
Duncan will remain MP for Vancouver Island North.
Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore will serve as the acting minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development until Duncan’s replacement is named.
NDP Aboriginal Affairs critic Jean Crowder commended Duncan for taking responsibility for his actions. But Crowder added that the government now has to find a permanent replacement in the near future.
“At this crucial time in First Nation, Metis and Inuit relations, the Prime Minister must move quickly to replace Duncan with a full-time minister – not someone who’s time is split between three ministries – who can help the Conservative government change direction and start building a more respectful nation-to-nation relationship with First Nations, Metis and Inuit,” Crowder said in a press release.
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