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Northern B.C. cabinet minister quits over HST

Lekstrom says he has to listen to consitutents

Energy Minister Blair Lekstrom has resigned his cabinet post and left caucus over the Harmonized Sales Tax.

The B.C. Liberal government announced this morning that the Peace River South MLA advised Premier Gordon Campbell he was resigning immediately.

Lekstrom said in a news release that his first priority as an elected official is to the people of his constituency who elect him and then to the political party he represents.

"It is clear to me that the residents of Peace River South are opposed to the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) and are unhappy with the way in which our government moved forward with this policy," he said. "The people of my riding face additional challenges as a border community.

"I recognize and admit that I supported the HST when our government made the decision to move forward with it last summer. And, as a member of Caucus and Cabinet, I can confirm that the HST was not contemplated before the May 2009 election. This is not about being right or wrong; in fact, I firmly believe that government is making a decision they believe will help the province, but as we have been unable to bring the public along, I acknowledge there is a need to re-evaluate this decision. "