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Consumer Protection Bill is not to tilt scales in anyone’s favour- Sharie B. deCastro

- Consultations begin July 9, 2019
According to Junior Minister for Trade and Economic Development, Honourable Sharie B. deCastro (AL), the Consumer Protection Bill has not been put forward for its Second and Third Readings in the House of Assembly (HoA) because Government had promised that a Bill of such great importance would be properly discussed with the people of the Virgin Islands. Photo: GIS/File
An important aspect of the proposed Consumer Protection legislation is that it will create a Tribunal to hear and resolve disputes between consumers and suppliers of goods and services. Photo: Internet Source
An important aspect of the proposed Consumer Protection legislation is that it will create a Tribunal to hear and resolve disputes between consumers and suppliers of goods and services. Photo: Internet Source
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- The long awaited Consumer Protection Bill, a campaign promise by the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) in the lead up to the General Elections of February 25, 2019, will be taken to the public for its input from next week before it is returned to the House of Assembly (HoA) for the Second and Third Readings.

After making tweaks to the draft document weeks after taking office, the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Government took the Bill to the House of Assembly on May 17, 2019 where it was introduced as the “Consumer Protection Act, 2019” and had a First Reading.

And according to Junior Minister for Trade and Economic Development, Honourable Sharie B. deCastro (AL), the Bill was not put forward for its Second and Third Readings because Government had promised that a Bill of such great importance would be properly discussed with the people of the Virgin Islands.

“Because of our government’s desire to ensure that the bill is as thorough as possible and has a positive impact on trading here at home, it is important that we discuss this legislation - and all have a say in the various matters addressed; so that the final document will be something we all agree on and will all be proud of.”

Public consultations

In a statement late yesterday, July 5, 2019, Hon deCastro announced the dates that consultations on the Bill would be held.

The first public consultation will be held from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm on Wednesday July 10, 2019 at the Eileene L. Parsons Auditorium at H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC) in Paraquita Bay, Tortola.

The next public forum will be held from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm on Thursday July 11, 2019 at the Catholic Community Centre on Virgin Gorda.

On Sunday July 14, 2019 consultations will be held on Jost van Dyke at 3:00 pm upstairs Foxy’s Restaurant and Bar.

On Monday July 15, 2019 at 10:00 am, residents of Anegada will get their opportunity to have their say on the Bill when consultations are held at the Anegada Community Centre.

And to specifically address the concerns and get input from the business community, two sessions have been scheduled.

The first session for the business community will be held on Tuesday July 9, 2019 from 6:00 pmto 8:00 pm at Maria’s by the Sea, Tortola.

The second session will be held on Thursday July 11, 2019 from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm, at the Village Cafe Conference Room on Virgin Gorda.

Bill is not to tilt the scales to anyone’s advantage

Meanwhile, Hon deCastro said the objective of the proposed Consumer Protection Bill is not to tilt the scales to the disadvantage of anyone, but to create a fair environment for trade.

She clarified that the Bill is designed to create a balance between protecting the consumer, while at the same time providing safeguard measures to ensure that businesses are not subject to frivolous and fraudulent claims by customers.

An important aspect of the proposed legislation is that it will create a Tribunal to hear and resolve disputes between consumers and suppliers of goods and services.

“Let me make it clear that the only persons who would be adversely affected by this consumer protection legislation are the few bad apples who, if not monitored, could spoil the whole bunch.”

Hon deCastro said she could not emphasise enough how long in coming this legislation is, and that she must pause and follow in the steps of Premier and Minister of Finance Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) in thanking the previous Junior Ministers of Trade for the work that they have done to advance this legislation.

“But not only them, as this Bill has gone through many hands so I also wish to thank all those persons who contributed to this necessary document.

“We do not claim that this legislation is absolutely perfect, but with sections that deal with complaints and investigations, consumer rights, duties of suppliers, unfair trade practices, unfair terms, and consumer safety we believe that this document is a great start.”

9 Responses to “Consumer Protection Bill is not to tilt scales in anyone’s favour- Sharie B. deCastro”

  • we the people (06/07/2019, 12:25) Like (4) Dislike (5) Reply
    Thank you VIP FOR IF ndp had gotten back this bill was dead in the water
  • wize up (06/07/2019, 13:46) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
    let me say this; we have laws in our territory for even spitting on the streets however enforcement of our laws is the issue: it is very offensive when you going shopping and after reaching your home some of the products you paid for have already expired:when I go shopping these days I have examine the goods before I purchase: i went shopping in pasea; paid for 3 bags of cherries, gone to pig out on these cherries and most of them rotten: there is another issue in our territory, some car dealers will sell you a 2016 automobile for very same price as the 2019 vehicle and that is wrong: life in BVI, the powers to be will throw at book at some of we while some others can do what the muck they want: just putting that out there: we have laws in this BVI against smoking in public!!(look around)
  • ... (06/07/2019, 15:24) Like (6) Dislike (10) Reply
    Our young most votes getter would have been better off in the Ministry of Education
    • wize up (06/07/2019, 18:26) Like (8) Dislike (2) Reply
      @... what the muck is your point: Hon Decastro now have the opportunity to broaden her horizons in another role in her own territory: Hon Decastro will now expand her knowledge and serve her people: the young woman will do an excellent job
  • spider (06/07/2019, 15:36) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
    Thanks Hon. Decastro for hearing the voice of the people.. and yes “Wise up”. I agree with u on what to u’ve said; part of the problem is that our laws are not always enforced.. for e.g. look at the child’s passenger safety law; the wearing of helmets law when on a motorcycle, and yes the smoking law.. as a people we need to stand together and help to enforce some of these laws..don’t be afraid to speak u for we already know some police officers see and they keep on their merry way..this consumer bill was long awaited.. I really hope this legislation truly protect us the consumer.. unsure whether rent hikes by landlords will be covered in it? .. for after Irma some of these unscrupulous landlords raise the rent on their tenants..cost of living here is really too high and for this reason monies leave the BVI supermarkets for places like cost-u-less and Kmart in St Thomas..
  • Charley Rose (06/07/2019, 16:28) Like (5) Dislike (4) Reply
    Thank you Hon. De Castro. I am proud of you as a member of the Cabinet. It shows clearly that our youths are talented. I see Hon. De Castro as the future Deputy Premier of this territory. When I see these young politicians performing so well, I am convinced that this country will have a bright future. Congrats Hon. De Castro. I am of the opinion that the senior politicians can sit in the pavilion and watch these young people.

    I must say that the Hon. Premier job will be easy once these young ministers perform the way they are at present. We should express our gratitude to the veteran politicians and tell them to GO AND SIT DOWN because the country is in safe hands.
  • Love for My Country (06/07/2019, 16:47) Like (4) Dislike (6) Reply
    I hope that this legislation makes to the House of Assembly. The first draft of this bill has been around from the 1990s under VIP and successive governments have turned a blind eye to it. It was obvious that certain entities did not want it to go forward and so legislators did not take it forward. Hope it does not meet with the same fate.
    • wize up (07/07/2019, 10:24) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
      @ love for my country: NDP was preoccupied with the rich foreign investors: VIP usually look out for the little folks and I trust this tradition will continue under Hon Fahie and his administration
  • my yute (07/07/2019, 13:28) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Hon De Castro The youths believe in you, end of story


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