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Gov Jaspert signs controversial Bill to create alternative Gov't

-now known as the Virgin Islands Recovery & Development Act 2018
Governor Augustus J. U Jaspert aka ‘Gus’ signed the Bill assenting to it in Her Majesty’s name and on Her Majesty’s behalf on Thursday, April 12, 2018. Photo: VINO/File
Honourable Julian Fraser RA (left), Third District Representative and Honourable Melvin M. Turnbull (R2) (right) voted against the Virgin Islands Recovery and Development Agency Act 2018 on March 27, 2018. Photo: VINO/File
Honourable Julian Fraser RA (left), Third District Representative and Honourable Melvin M. Turnbull (R2) (right) voted against the Virgin Islands Recovery and Development Agency Act 2018 on March 27, 2018. Photo: VINO/File
Honourable Delores Christopher (R5) (left), Fifth District Representative and Deputy Speaker who was strongly against the bill, was absent on the day of the vote with an apology but confirmed she would have voted against the Bill presented by Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) (right). Photo: VINO/File
Honourable Delores Christopher (R5) (left), Fifth District Representative and Deputy Speaker who was strongly against the bill, was absent on the day of the vote with an apology but confirmed she would have voted against the Bill presented by Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) (right). Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - It was a heated two days of debate late last month that further placed a wedge in the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) led by 73-year-old Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL).

It was over the controversial Virgin Islands Recovery and Development Bill 2018 which the United Kingdom (UK) wanted in exchange for up to $400 million that the Territory can borrow from leading institutions and the British would guarantee the loans.

Outside of some small grants and technical assistance which included manpower, food and water immediately after Hurricanes Irma and Maria the British have offered nothing else.

We do not trust the NDP with money

The main purpose of the Bill was to keep the NDP politicians hands off the loan funds because of the UK mistrust of the Smith Administration and as a former Governor John S. Duncan OBE described them in public statements “their reckless spending and lack of priorities".

The Bill now an Act went through the committee of the whole House of Assembly (HoA) and was amended, however, the public to date is unclear what is in the Act as it has not been gazetted.

Elected members from both sides of the aisle sent mixed information, as to what is actually in the Act.

However, last Thursday, April 12, 2018, the UK appointed Governor Augustus J. U Jaspert aka ‘Gus’ signed the Bill assenting to it in Her Majesty’s name and on Her Majesty’s behalf.

Bill now a law of the land

In a government statement released last week, Mr Jaspert said, “The Premier has confirmed that the appointment of the most senior staff to the Agency and the procurement regulations Cabinet will approve, will be free from political influence in order to safeguard independence.”

In registering his office mistrust of the current government Governor Jaspert went on to note that the recovery agency “proves to the world that BVI is leading the recovery efforts with a clear set of accountability and good governance standards as a guide.”

His statement echoes the words of Sir Richard C. N. Branson letter on the Territory’s recovery when Governor Jaspert said that in setting up the Agency “we must now make sure that the practicalities... are achieved in a timely manner so that we can move swiftly towards a Stronger… smarter, greener, better BVI.”

Three was against & 2 stood the test of time

The Bill was passed on March 27, 2018, with a 10 for and 2 against vote with Hons Julian Fraser RA (R3) and Melvin M. Turnbull (R2) voting against. Fifth District Representative, Hon Delores Christopher, who was strongly against the bill, was absent on the day of the vote with an apology but confirmed she would have voted against the Bill.

Premier Smith said last week that members of the agency’s board will be appointed as soon as this week.

31 Responses to “Gov Jaspert signs controversial Bill to create alternative Gov't”

  • Shameful (17/04/2018, 08:41) Like (35) Dislike (2) Reply
    Yeah what I find disturbing is that such an action was taking to create this board and nobody was charged for anything and this Government is still in power over the people. I hope the chairman of the board is not some civil servant who lack of deep knowledge of finance and prudence help got us in this mess.

    This board and all its tough measures was a necessary evil and I hope the lessons learn to the BVI people is that when you go to the polls vote wisely. We need a code of ethics in the house of assembly that has consequences when broken. Our house is passing unethical Laws to fix immoral behavior in our society at the expense of hard working mothers and children.

    There are a number of reasons why we are in this position its not all about dollars and cents but ethics and morals.
    • Answered (18/04/2018, 03:15) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
      @ shameful
      Agree with your points; BUT who can the Governor turn to?
      Where is the Opposition ? Two divided “ man Congos”
      I have been preaching Lard Oil to Andrew but as usual here in “d bee wee ooiii” Not until we shout “ boii IF I HADDA KNO “
  • Josiahsbay (17/04/2018, 08:44) Like (3) Dislike (6) Reply
    Self determine rule, questionable. Retrograde direction, possibly!
  • Tricky (17/04/2018, 08:54) Like (50) Dislike (2) Reply
    HaHa! I like how you pretending the UK doesn't trust the NDP government.
    The UK doesn't trust ANY govt the BVI has had in the last 25+ years, you know that!
    Don't be trying to pretend is only the NDP that makes money disappear like magic.
    Also, don't be trying to pretend the UK is directly giving us money. The Recovery Act was about accepting certain terms from the UK (ie that all money lent to the BVI would be accounted for all the way to its final use) so the the BVI could go and get loans from anywhere else in the world, at a cheaper rate. (the UK's Triple A rating means because we are being backed by them, we get loans at lower interest rates).
    If we didn't accept this bill, those who are in a position to help would not have help. We would have shown them the BVI prefers to be arrogant and corrupt than let any outsider come in and help fix our problems - both Irma problems and all the self-harm we've done for so many years.
    • lodger (17/04/2018, 10:30) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
      I could like this one hundred times!
    • Josiahsbay (17/04/2018, 17:06) Like (1) Dislike (6) Reply
      We better start learning to fix our own problems because when outsider have to come in and fix our problem we end up with bigger problems. the UK don't do anything haphazardly. Their response are clearly though out and comes with a series of "if this" "then this" responses. We have to be careful where that roads leads us.
      • Tricky (18/04/2018, 11:05) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
        Josiahsbay, you could be right but: one, we are tiny little community. Most voters all went to the same school! We are a small village in the real world. To pretend we can do everything a bigger country can do is just craziness. Even big countries get outside help.
        Second: outsiders done a whole lot for this place, whether you like it or not. Two pillars? Tourism and Financial services - they weren't home grown. In fact, name an economic sector that is, aside from the civil service - a welfare scheme - and agriculture/fisheries - declined to death, almost.
        Last: the UK may seem like the bad guy all the time but in reality it is a) in chaos thanks to Brexit and doesn't know what's up in London today or tomorrow, let alone making secret plans to oppress the people of these tiny islands; b) so ... in real life ... happiness for the UK gov is any day they don't have to study this minor possession they don't really want. You think they don't got bigger fish to fry than we?
        So much talk here is about our terrible treatment by outsiders and so little is about our terrible treatment of ourselves by our own. Time to get real, get back on our feet and get our act together for the future.
        • Tolaallday (18/04/2018, 16:41) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply

          You know nothing of the bvi no outsiders started the tourist industry as it is today Cyril b Romney was the one who put the bvi on the map tourism wise before then the bvi was just a whole in the wall destination facts .if people In tortola will start thinking outside the box and get innovative the bvi can prosper very well but most people are zombies

          • Tricky (19/04/2018, 11:02) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
            HaHa! "Know nothing about the BVI".
            Love it!
            Yes, Cyril, yes, Ralph, yes, Laverty etc etc etc. Whether BVIslanders were central to our growth is NOT the point being made. Of course they were.
            But not one of them got things going without partners, loans, expert help etc.
            Let's not be too stupid to admit the truth. That way lies disaster.
      • Cooten (18/04/2018, 15:36) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        That road leads us to responsible government. Simple really. Our politicians are corrupt and the British want us to not steal the money they stand as guarantors for. Everything else is just fluff.
  • LOL (17/04/2018, 09:30) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply

    Create alternative Government. WOW!!! You guys really think there's anything stopping the UK from coming in here tomorrow and just taking over the show because our Government has shown that they are incapable of the simplest things? Instead of running the country everyone is trying to position themselves for power positions. The UK doesn't need an Act for an alternative Government, they can waltz in here and take over if they wanted to, be real.

  • tola (17/04/2018, 09:59) Like (17) Dislike (3) Reply
    If Hon. Christopher was so much against the Recovery Act, why was she not there to cast a vote against it?.She is the only member of the HOA who should have nothing to say.
    • @tola (17/04/2018, 12:16) Like (1) Dislike (7) Reply
      She said she was not well
      • tola (18/04/2018, 08:12) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
        The country "is not well" she was elected to represent the people of her district.She should have been there to cast a vote against it.
    • Peaches (17/04/2018, 14:35) Like (0) Dislike (10) Reply
      Didn't you hear the woman say she was sick? I am sure you called in sick to your job many times over the years?!
      • BAH (17/04/2018, 18:20) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
        Sorry, but this is arguably the most important vote of her political career. People elected her to represent them. Unless she was at the hospital in critical condition, there is no excuse for this. If I was in her position I would have been there even if you had to roll me in on a wheelchair with my doctor.
  • Well (17/04/2018, 10:22) Like (6) Dislike (3) Reply

    The Protocols which were direct results from the VIP mis-Gov is biting at the bit and with the same players. A fact which cannot be ignored by the UK. Thank God they are not in power or we would have really been in a mess. They were not even allowed to borrow or access what amounted to pennies compared to NDP when they seized the rein. I will guarantee that if VIP wins the next election, UK will takeover immediately and they are putting things in place just for that possibility.

  • Bandit (17/04/2018, 10:25) Like (5) Dislike (6) Reply
    what a slap in the government face
  • Same....different Day (17/04/2018, 11:14) Like (9) Dislike (3) Reply
    If the Board is made up of Locals it will be the same corruption. Everyone in for a piece of the pie. What’s disturbing was a comment made by a young man who replied to the question if he was working. His response was “ nah boss I just chilling till we get that money from UK. You know Mark going tek care of he boys.” And you think that’s bad a secretary for a particular Minister said she also waiting so she can get her new vehicle. Whether there is creditability to any of the statements it just goes to show what the present Government is made of.
  • just asking.... (17/04/2018, 12:51) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Who is watching the board?
  • Board announced this week (17/04/2018, 13:37) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    I can tell you now public Robert, Brodrick, Neil, Lorna? , Dawn etc, private Ryan, Ken, usual NDP suspects not really independent

  • one eye (17/04/2018, 18:59) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    well well well
  • qc (17/04/2018, 19:16) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    This is a must-read for the Chicken Littles who still claim the NDP is still the best hope!
  • ta ta (17/04/2018, 19:21) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    The right decision, in my view, but a difficult result in practical terms.
  • two cents (17/04/2018, 20:17) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    The UK and its territories should have a similar relationship like the US and the US Virgin Islands. Customs, Prison, Immigration, Labour and the Postal Services (Royal Mail) should be under the Crown. NHS and NHI should link.
    • cromwell (18/04/2018, 06:40) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
      Excellent suggestion, in fact, the sooner labour is closed down the quicker the island will get back on it's feet. They are an impediment to the island's future along with Immigration currently deporting people for one reason or another. If the BVI wants to survive it needs to become fully British like the USVI is fully American and be accessible by British passport holders without restriction. In short, stop the Belonger discriminatory process and replace circuits British Citizen.
  • The TRUTH (18/04/2018, 02:02) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    It's all about capturing the BVI Financial Services Industry. You guys are so clueless. Serves you right, you are a wicked set.
    • lmao (18/04/2018, 09:25) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      London wants to capture the BVI's Financial Services Industry that brings in a whopping US$200Mil annually? Okay!
  • open wide (18/04/2018, 11:57) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    where can I find this bill?
  • The TRUTH (18/04/2018, 12:20) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    @ lmao...will the real clueless please stand up....


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