British Columbia

Bennett loses B.C. cabinet post over profanity-laced e-mail

East Kootenay MLA Bill Bennet will stay in the Liberal caucus after quitting a junior cabinet post over an e-mail spiked with profanities that he sent to a constituent.

East Kootenay MLA Bill Bennett will stay in the Liberal caucus after quitting a junior cabinet post and admitting he sent an e-mail full of profanities to a constituent, B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell says.

Bennett, who has represented the riding in B.C.'s southeast cornersince 2001, resigned Tuesday as minister of state for mining.

"He's clearly taken a significant hit as far as his personal accountability, measured by the fact that he's stepping aside from cabinet," Campbell said, "and I frankly value his voice on behalf of the Kootenays.

"He's done an exceptional job as minister of state for mining that in no way excused the e-mail exchange, and that's how Bill felt, and I agree with him."

Bennett had been angered by an e-mail he received from a constituent, Maarten Hart of the Fernie Rod and Gun Club.

Hart said the government was insulting British Columbia residents with overly generous big-game allocations to guides and outfitters at the expense of local hunters.

He accused the government of bowing to the dollar and facing toward Wall Streetthree times a day.

Bennett replied in sometimes scatological terms, calling Hart, along other things, a self-inflated, pompous know-it-all.

"I took offence to his e-mail and got angry and fired off an e-mail without even reading it and realized in minutes it was a very stupid thing to do," Bennett said.

"So I'm paying the price for my own lack of prudence."