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Former British Columbia cabinet minister Peter Hyndman, 64, died early yesterday morning in Vancouver after a battle with cancer. He was at home with his family.

A former Conservative, he had hoped to resurrect the provincial Conservatives. When that failed, he switched in 1974 to the Social Credit Party, helping build the party under Bill Bennett and running successfully in 1979.

Mr. Hyndman served until 1983 as the elected member for Vancouver South, and was seen as one of the brightest Socreds and heir apparent to the premier. He was minister of consumer and corporate affairs in the early 1980s.

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He resigned from cabinet in 1982 amid criticism of some of the expenses he had charged to the government. The then-auditor-general found no intent to defraud, but said that he showed a "disquieting failure" to apply the correct rules and procedures for expenses. Although later cleared of criminal wrongdoing by the RMCP, he had by then been shuffled to the backbenches.

A year later he opted to return to private life rather than run again. In a statement, he cited 1982 as "a tumultuous political year" and said he wanted to spend more time with his family.

After politics, he became a senior executive at the Loewen Group, then the largest funeral service corporation in Canada. He returned to full-time law six years ago with the firm Fasken Martineau.

He remained closely involved in the political process, said Maureen Fauman Hyndman, a lifelong friend who became his wife four years ago. He was a newspaper junkie who was keenly anticipating the federal Liberal leadership race and, as a former Albertan, was fascinated with the end of Ralph Klein's premiership.

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