Conservatives dispel rumours John Duncan unfit to continue

Conservatives on Capital Hill in Ottawa are spreading the word that Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan is fit to continue serving in his controversial portfolio.

Duncan, the Tory MP for Vancouver Island North, was hospitalized recently to deal with complications from heart valve surgery in late 2010. That surgery had caused him to take a temporary leave from his duties.

The National Post reported last week that “whispers in the salons of Ottawa suggest that John Duncan ... is facing health issues and may have to be relieved.”

However, Conservative sources are saying he has made a “full recovery” and is not on the verge of stepping down.

Duncan’s director of communications Michelle Yao has told reporters her boss isn’t going half-speed.

“He is fully engaged on his files and continues to advance priorities of the government.”

Yao added that Duncan is looking forward to participating in the Crown-First Nations summit later this month involving Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo.

Duncan has recently come under firing for his handling of the Attawapiskat housing crisis.

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