B.C. MP John Duncan resigns as minister of aboriginal affairs and northern development
Minister of Canadian Heritage James Moore is now Canada's acting minister of aboriginal affairs and northern development.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced today (February 15) that he has accepted the resignation of Vancouver Island North Conservative MP John Duncan from the cabinet post.
"I would like to thank Mr. Duncan for his many contributions as Minister and for his service to the people of Canada," Harper said in a statement.
Harper noted that Moore, the Conservative MP for Port Moody-Westwood-Port Coquitlam, will serve as acting minister until a new aboriginal affairs minister is appointed.
Duncan, who held the post since 2010 and drew criticism for his muted response to the rise of the Idle No More movement, will continue to sit in the House of Commons.
In a statement, Duncan explained the reason for his resignation: “In June of 2011 I wrote a character reference letter to the Tax Court of Canada on behalf of an individual to whom my constituency staff was providing casework assistance on a Canada Revenue Agency matter.
“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.
“I take full responsibility for my actions and the consequences they have brought.
“It has been an honour to serve in the Cabinet and I thank the Prime Minister for placing his confidence in me on this most important file. I have every confidence that the Government will reach its goal of improving the lives of Aboriginal peoples across our country.
“I pledge that I will continue to work hard on behalf of the constituents of Vancouver Island North as their elected representative in Ottawa.”