Intergovernmental and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Felix Collins doesn’t know what he’s going to do later this spring when he loses his job as a minister.
As part of the 2013 budget, Premier Kathy Dunderdale decided to axe one of her cabinet ministers, so on June 1, Collins will get the proverbial pink slip.
“It was part of the deliberation of the last three months, in trying to find efficiencies and ways to save,” Collins said. “It was a good process, and a process I completely support.”
The Intergovernmental and Aboriginal Affairs Secretariat is one of the least busy cabinet posts.
It has a total budget of less than $3.5 million, and according to its website, the secretariat is “responsible for co-ordinating the Provincial Government’s intergovernmental policies and strategies and managing government’s activities related to Aboriginal affairs, including developing policy and programs, managing federal-provincial agreements, negotiating land claims and public information.”
“Certainly I have no intention of going home and lying down at this stage of the game. But what my options are in the future, they’re always under consideration.” Aboriginal Affairs Minister - Felix Collins
Collins said it provides “vital services,” but he agrees with the decision to fold the Intergovernmental Affairs portfolio in with the rest of Executive Council and eliminate his position as minister.
Aboriginal Affairs issues will now be merged with Labrador Affairs, to create the new Office of Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs.
Finance Minister Jerome Kennedy said the cabinet change will happen on June 1, and it will be up to the premier to decide then whether Collins goes back to being a backbencher, or if she does some sort of cabinet shuffle.
Collins wouldn’t say whether he’s thinking about retiring then, or what.
“When you get to my age, that’s always an option,” he said.
“Certainly I have no intention of going home and lying down at this stage of the game. But what my options are in the future, they’re always under consideration.”