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John Duncan resigns as Minister of Aboriginal Affairs

Catchfire
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Joined: Apr 16 2003

J/k not for gross incompetence or neglect of Aboriginal Peoples! 'Cause he wrote this one letter that one time.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper wrote:

“Today, I have accepted the resignation of John Duncan as Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development.

“I would like to thank Mr. Duncan for his many contributions as Minister and for his service to the people of Canada. Mr. Duncan will continue to serve as the Member of Parliament for Vancouver Island North in the House of Commons.

“The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, will serve as the acting Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development until a new Minister is named.”

The Formerly Honourable John Duncan wrote:

“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.”

Must be Friday afternoon!


Comments

KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

Two birds with one stone.

Harper rids himself of obvious deadweight- even to the lets do nothing but make it look like something goals of this government.

Even Harper wouldnt do anything to protect Duncan.


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

So he resigns over a minor conflict of interest rule violation and not because he was totally incompetent as a minister for Aboriginal Affairs. And there are plenty more idiots where they found that one. Good grief.


Serviam6
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Joined: Nov 7 2012

Fidel wrote:

So he resigns over a minor conflict of interest rule violation and not because he was totally incompetent as a minister for Aboriginal Affairs. And there are plenty more idiots where they found that one. Good grief.

 

This was a convienient out for him thats all.


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

Greg Rickford will probably replace Duncan - he's the one that has been voicing government policy anyway, Duncan's been a no-show for years.

 


ryanw
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Joined: May 24 2012

I think a day or two after Hurricane Katrina the head of emergency organization FEMA Michael Brown was overheard to be mulling over the correct choice of cufflink to wear when offering his resignation, and saying something to the effect "this thing can't be over soon enough"

I wonder why I thought about that just now


jerrym
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Joined: May 30 2009

John Duncan was useful because many people thought it was his incoherent defence of the status quo that was the problem with aboriginal issues when he was simply implementing Harper's agenda. I grant that Duncan was quite happy to do so. Afterall, he began his Reform political career by saying that an aboriginal fishery would be a racist act against white fishermen. However, make no mistake that he was implementing Harper's aboriginal agenda that, if it is going to change at all, it will only be because Harper is now concerned that Aboriginal reaction could interfere with his natural resource exploitation at all costs agenda. Even the reporters on Power and Politics basically agreed with this in their comments today. 


Catchfire
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Joined: Apr 16 2003
Lol@ryanw!

Catchfire
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Joined: Apr 16 2003

Do you think John Duncan is planning on running for pope? Genocide, racism, homophobia, incompetence...he's certainly qualified!


NDPP
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Joined: Dec 28 2008

There's some rumour that his replacement could be Kenney...


Catchfire
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Joined: Apr 16 2003

That's Karl Nerenberg's "endorsement." Personally, I can't think of a bigger disgrace.

It will be the kiss of death for Kenney to get an endorsement from this quarter; but, given the available options, he may be just the right person for the job.

Kenney has been focused, strategic and frequently almost ruthless in his current job. Nobody could deny that, for the most part, he seems to have mastered his files. He is never at a loss for words -- in the House, on the stump, or in front of the media.

Kenney is one of the few ministers in the current Government who is not afraid to expose himself to the media in the Parliamentary Press Gallery-controlled National Press Theatre, across the street from the Parliament Buildings.

For the most part (with some rather disturbing exceptions) Kenney has not felt the need for some theatrical backdrop, far from the Ottawa home of the national media, to announce new policy.

He is confident, glib and obviously has the respect of the Prime Minister.

Of course, Kenney has been mercilessly demagogic on the matters of Roma refugees and refugee health care -- but that's par for the course for this government and this Prime Minister, who seems to encourage that sort of rough stuff.

 


KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

Havent listened to or read any of these speculations about Kenney.

But there is a major flaw: Kenney is seen as irreplacable in building the party's ties with new Canadian communities. And that is a central pillar of their future.


Debater
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Joined: Apr 17 2009

Unfortunately I don't think this will hurt Harper - nothing ever does.  That guy is like Teflon and every scandal seems to bounce right off him.  Bruce Carson, Chuck Cadman, Prorogations etc.  As Harper said at the start of the last election, "Canadians don't care about Parliamentary ethics"  standing in the snow outside Rideau Hall.

Why he wanted a loser like John Duncan as a Minister though, I have no idea.  He was not only a weak Minister, but wasn't even strong in his own riding - even lost his seat to the NDP a couple of elections ago and had to win it back.  Too bad Catherine Bell didn't run again to put this old fart out of his misery.


kropotkin1951
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Joined: Jun 6 2002

Debater wrote:

Why he wanted a loser like John Duncan as a Minister though, I have no idea.  He was not only a weak Minister, but wasn't even strong in his own riding - even lost his seat to the NDP a couple of elections ago and had to win it back.  Too bad Catherine Bell didn't run again to put this old fart out of his misery.

Not many MP's on Vancover Island to chose ministers from and his North Island riding has many FN's.  John Duncan came out of the BC Fisheries Survival Coalition, a very openly racist organization, however his wife is of aboriginal ancestry.  He is also a yes man with no original thoughts.  Seems to me he was Harper's ideal minister.


felixr
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Joined: May 6 2012

Gary Lunn was a cabinet minister from Vancouver Island but got canned after some very suspicious robocalling/vote suppression around the 2008 election. Harper was regularly forced to visit his riding from the 2004 election onwards. He lost in 2011 to Elizabeth May.


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

Q: how many MPs do the Cons have in BC?


David Young
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Joined: Dec 9 2007

Cons hold 21 of B.C.'s 36 seats.


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

Thanks. I thought it was far less.


kropotkin1951
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Joined: Jun 6 2002

I think it is 21 but only two of them are from Vancouver Island. 

It should be interesting to see who runs in place of Duncan next election.  By taking Courtenay and Cumberland out of the riding they have made the air force base at Comox even more of a factor. 


David Young
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Joined: Dec 9 2007

It's one less than it was in 2008!

 

 


NDPP
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Joined: Dec 28 2008

Minister's Resignation Viewed With Skepticism

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/canada/ministers--resignation-viewed-wi...

"The surprise resignation of Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan is being met with raised eyebrows among some First Nation leaders, who call it a diversion as aboriginal issues gain momentum on the national stage. Isadore Day, chief of the Serpent River First Nation in Ontario, said Duncan's decision came at a convenient time for the Conservative government, which is under mounting pressure from aboriginal groups to address treaty rights and other issues.

'It appears he's getting out when the getting's good and that's again being seen as a strategy of proactive disengagement...'"


KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

Didnt know about Courtenay and Cumberland coming out of the riding. That puts a harder lock for the NDP on Nanaimo, but makes this always close one harder for the NDP.

I didnt notice Duncan saying if he was not re-offering- but I think that one is a foregone conclusion. His health may have made that dubious even before this came up. Duncan was a good candidate for the Cons on North Island. Not irreplacable; but barring getting someone with deep popular appeal, they'll have a harder time keeping the seat without him.


kropotkin1951
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Joined: Jun 6 2002

Nanaimo is not affected by the redistribution of Van Isl North.  Comox is over a hundred kilometers from Nanaimo with Royston, Union Bay, Hornby Isl and Denman Isl,  Bowser, Little Qualicum, Qualicum Beach, Parksville and Nanoose Bay in between. 

 


jerrym
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Joined: May 30 2009

James Moore is the temporary replacement for Duncan at Aboriginal Affairs, but a lot of people see Greg Rickford as the likely long-term replacement since Moore is already Heritage Minister. What they have in common is that they are both smooth talkers, unlike Duncan. From Harper's strategic point of view, this is important since he can no longer count on Aboriginal issues remaining a form of background noise that most voters and corporations (because of Aboriginal natural resource issues becoming increasingly prominent) don't pay any attention to. Harper therefore now needs someone in the job who is good at bafflegab. However, make no mistake, Harper will be calling all the shots, just as he did with Duncan.


KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

So much for Harper appointing a heavy hitter.

The new Minister is Bernard Valcourt.

Right: "who?"


kropotkin1951
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Joined: Jun 6 2002

I remember him from the Mulroney years. And didn't he lead the NB Cons to nowhere.

He will do as he's told like a good Harper Minister should. How hard can it be to meet with aboriginal leaders once or twice a year and make phoney high sounding promises that contain no substance.


Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005

I remember him well. He was a rising star in the Mulroney government. He lost an eye in a terrible motorcycle accident in 1989, then stepped back from cabinet (I think) for a while. He lost his seat (like everyone else) in the demolition of the PCs in 1993, then went provincial. Honestly, until I heard his name today, I hadn't even noticed that he had been reelected federally in 2011, after an 18-year hiatus (I wonder if that's some kind of record!?).

 


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

CBC's National  is running footage of Valcourt from his Mulroney years. I recognised him instantly. They also showed footage from his "drunk motorcycle accident" where he lost an eye and was forced to resign.


KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

Even being in the region and a political junkie- I only knew that he was back in the House of Commons. That's it.


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

Homework for the new Minister of Aboriginal Affairs

excerpt:

As Prime Minister, Valcourt's one-time boss Brian Mulroney was sincerely interested in Aboriginal issues.

The former Progressive Conservative PM set up the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples headed by former Assembly of First Nations National Chief George Erasmus and Quebec Judge René Dussault.

The exhaustive Report of that Royal Commission contained proposals that were at once far-reaching and radical, and eminently practical.

The Report bears reading (or re-reading) by anyone interested in the centuries' long struggles of Canada's First Peoples.

excerpt:

Now, a Minister who was part of the Government that established the Royal Commission is charged with Aboriginal Affairs.

Bernard Valcourt should dust that Royal Commission Report off and read it very carefully.

Progressive Conservative MPs of Mulroney's time report that the former Prime Minister would often unashamedly lecture his caucus on Canada's responsibilities toward its First Peoples.

Valcourt was in the room back then. For part of that time he was even Associate Minister for Indian Affairs (as it was then called).

Can we hope that his experience taught him something?

Is there a chance his well-known reputation for toughness and tenacity will make Valcourt not so much an apologist for the government's policies toward First Nations as an advocate within the Government for Aboriginal rights and interests?

That may be a lot to hope for.

As a start, one hopes Valcourt and those advising him will do some serious homework. They should consider the Royal Commission Report, and, of more recent vintage, there are the Auditor General's Report of spring 2011 and the National Panel on First Nations' Education that reported just a little more than a year ago.

 


Debater
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Joined: Apr 17 2009

Unionist wrote:

I remember him well. He was a rising star in the Mulroney government. He lost an eye in a terrible motorcycle accident in 1989, then stepped back from cabinet (I think) for a while. He lost his seat (like everyone else) in the demolition of the PCs in 1993, then went provincial. Honestly, until I heard his name today, I hadn't even noticed that he had been reelected federally in 2011, after an 18-year hiatus (I wonder if that's some kind of record!?).

 

Becauuse of NDP vote-splitting in the 2011 election, a number of Liberal ridings went Conservative, including Madawaksa-Restigouche where Valcourt edged out Liberal MP Jean-Claude D'Amours.  Hopefully we will re-take that riding in 2015 and put Valcourt out.  

Justin T. is in N.B. today touring the area.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canadavotes2011/myelection/ridings/027/


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