Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan resigned on Friday due to having written a letter to a tax judge on behalf of a constituent.
“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,” 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.”
Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a statement that he has accepted Duncan’s resignation.
“I would like to thank Mr. Duncan for his many contributions as minister and for his service to the people of Canada,” Harper said.
Duncan will continue to serve as a Conservative MP for Vancouver Island North.
James Moore, the minister of Canadian heritage and official languages, will temporarily take over the Aboriginal Affairs department until a new minister is named.
Last month the federal ethics commissioner Mary Dawson said Finance Minister Jim Flaherty acted inappropriately when he sent a letter to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission on behalf of a company in his riding for a broadcasting license.
Flaherty said he was acting as an MP for a firm in his riding, rather than using his capacity as a minister, and said his act was regrettable.
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