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Canadian aboriginal affairs minister quits over inappropriate lobbying

Published on Feb 16, 2013 10:23 AM

OTTAWA (REUTERS) - Canadian Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan resigned unexpectedly on Friday after admitting he had inappropriately written a letter to a tax court on behalf of a constituent.

Mr Duncan leaves a month after thousands of unhappy natives mounted protests across Canada about poor living conditions. He is the first minister to resign on a point of accountability since the Conservatives of Prime Minister Stephen Harper came to power in early 2006 vowing to clean up Ottawa.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty was formally reprimanded last month for urging the telecommunications regulator to grant a radio licence to a company in his parliamentary constituency. He kept his job.

Mr Duncan said he had sent a character reference letter to the court in June 2011 on behalf of a constituent who was dealing with the Canada Revenue Agency.

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