Canada Aboriginal Affairs Minister Duncan Quits

Canadian Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan resigned over a letter he wrote to the Tax Court of Canada.

Duncan said in a statement that he wrote a “character reference letter” in June 2011 to the court, which hears appeals on income-tax assessments and other matters. The letter was written “on behalf of an individual to whom my constituency staff was providing casework assistance,” he said.

“While the letter was written with honorable intentions, I realize that it was not appropriate for me, as a Minister of the Crown, to write to the Tax Court,” Duncan said.

Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore will serve as acting Aboriginal Affairs Minister until a new minister is named, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a statement.

Duncan said he will continue to serve as a Conservative member of parliament for the district of Vancouver Island North in British Columbia.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Mayeda in Ottawa at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scanlan at

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