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Governor Jaspert is the new Finance Minister- John I. Cline

- said Governor seems to be taking over the position since the NDP Gov't is failing to replace Dr Smith
Former Chairman of the BVI Health Services Authority (BVIHSA) and clergyman, Mr John I. Cline, right, believes Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert, left, is virtually the new Minister of Finance. Photo: VINO/File
Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr the Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) is under pressure to give up the portfolio of Finance but refuses to be budged. Photo: VINO/File
Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr the Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) is under pressure to give up the portfolio of Finance but refuses to be budged. Photo: VINO/File
Bishop John I. Cline was a guest of the online radio show, Fresh Radio Vybz with host Paul A. Peart aka 'Gadiethz', left, aired on December 22, 2017. Photo: Facebook
Bishop John I. Cline was a guest of the online radio show, Fresh Radio Vybz with host Paul A. Peart aka 'Gadiethz', left, aired on December 22, 2017. Photo: Facebook
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- “Since the Government themselves would not appoint a new Finance Minister, the Governor, almost literally is taking that position,” says former Chairman of the BVI Health Services Authority (BVIHSA) Board and clergyman, Mr John I. Cline.

The outspoken Bishop Cline was at the time speaking on the online radio show, Fresh Radio Vybz with host Paul A. Peart aka 'Gadiethz', aired on December 22, 2017.

Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) has been under pressure to give up the portfolio of Finance by his own National Democratic Party (NDP) members. In January this year, Virgin Islands News Online had first and accurately reported that former legislator and NDP spokesperson Eileene L. Parsons OBE had written a letter in November 2016 to NDP Members stating that Dr Smith needed to let Minister for Health and Social Development Honourable Ronnie W. Skelton (AL) take over the reins of Finance.

Bishop Cline had publicly supported the call and was subsequently sacked as Chairman of the BVIHSA by Premier Smith.

And recently, Second District Representative Hon Melvin M. Turnbull declared in the House of Assembly that members of the NDP agree that Premier Smith was not the right person to manage the Territory's purse.

In fact, Hon Turnbull made it clear that he feels Hon Skelton was the best man for the job.

'Stop the bus from going over the cliff'

Returning to the subject that cost him is chairmanship of the BVIHSA Board, Bishop Cline said the issue of leadership should have been addressed by the party ever since Ms Parsons had brought it to the attention of party members.

“We come back to this tree, this mountain we’ve been going around, from the day Hon Eileene Parsons sent this letter in recognising that this thing was about to fall off the cliff and we need to make a move to stop the bus from going over the cliff where you don’t have control over it anymore.”

Bishop Cline also stated that Premier Smith should do the decent thing and resign, since his leadership lacked vision.

“A good leader would recognise when they have nothing, no new vision, no new direction, nothing else to give to the position that they are in and the honourable thing to do when you have reached point is to pass the baton along. I think that time has come for our Premier, that he passes the baton along to someone a little more astute. We need visionary leadership, we need strong leadership to navigate what the UK is now putting on our laps and on top of our heads to carry.”

UK taking advantage of Dr Smith's weaknesses

Documents unearthed by our newsroom recently showed that the United Kingdom (UK) has put a tight grip on the Virgin Islands' borrowing and spending.

In order for the Territory to get any money for its rebuilding efforts following hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017, they had to agree to a new set of rules. They had to agree to good governance and transparency in all ministries. The UK also wants an Investment Development Agency Board to manage the money, taking it out of the hands of the politicians.

The UK is to have an additional representative on the investment board, and the VI cannot get any loans going forward unless they adhear to these polices where the UK will manage the hurricane funds.

The measures, already signed off by the Smith Administration, has tied incoming governments' hands for years, according to a senior NDP Cabinet Member, and many believe that Hon Smith has sold the country out, taking us back to grant-in-aid.

“What England is recognising is that we are not in a position to negotiate. Then they send the Minister of Finance to negotiate this loan and him not being astute in terms of financial negotiations just thinks it’s a good thing. He [Premier Smith] is a nice man but when you are negotiating these kind of things, you have to say no to some things, accept some things, go away think about it…. He was not protected because he didn’t take wise counsels from the people that support him, hence we find ourselves here,” Bishop Cline asserted.

He further explained that the disunity in the last vote in the House of Assembly of December 20, 2017 was because of lack of knowledge. According to him, the backbenchers don’t know that the frontbenchers were thinking nor do they know what the monies would be spent on.

It was during the continuation of the Twelfth Sitting of the Second Session of the Third HoA on December 20, 2017 that the NDP Government failed to get full support from its Members while voting on a Motion to borrow some sixty five million, two hundred and ninety one thousand dollars ($65,291,000), according to Government "for the purpose of rehabilitation and assisting the Territory in recovering from the impact of Hurricane Irma while reducing risks associated with high winds and flood hazards and to support the population in re-establishing sustainable livelihood."

Speaking about the Governor, UK National Augustus J. U. Jaspert, Bishop Cline said, “He is going to be the one basically dictating how the money is spent, he is literally playing the role of the Minister of Finance.”

See links below to radio show, Fresh Radio Vybz with Paul A. Peart aka ‘Gadiethz’: Freshradiovybz-s297104/ and

39 Responses to “Governor Jaspert is the new Finance Minister- John I. Cline”

  • Hmmm (27/12/2017, 11:46) Like (60) Dislike (10) Reply
    If the NDP had listen to Hon. Andrew Fahie then we wouldn't be in this mess. The NDP put us back into slavery.
    • True (27/12/2017, 12:19) Like (14) Dislike (13) Reply
      your ancestors if slaves would be appalled that you think this is slavery
    • Local (27/12/2017, 13:44) Like (24) Dislike (0) Reply
      We cannot blame the UK . The premier is the leader of this place and all he do for us is give away and waste our money from the treasury. You all think that the UK will trust him with money. When we were crying out no one listen now we all have to pay the heavy price for his government in the dark if he had a government in the sun .shine as he had promise he would not have been not to be trusted. I guess we all see the young man was right what he was saying .
      • laughable (27/12/2017, 17:08) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
        The government is in the sunshine... They are being fed, members well paid.
        We are the ones in the dark... And suffering. So yes they are making good on their promise

        "A Government in the Sunshine".
        ...It is all about perception and perspective.
    • please (27/12/2017, 14:50) Like (9) Dislike (4) Reply
      Who started the culture of bad spending and not providing financial statements??
  • Hind sight (27/12/2017, 11:49) Like (67) Dislike (3) Reply
    If all elected members had joined Fahie in supporting the vote of no confidence in the Minister of Finance earlier this year then this would have been avoided.
  • voter (27/12/2017, 11:57) Like (35) Dislike (6) Reply
  • So true (27/12/2017, 12:14) Like (50) Dislike (3) Reply
    Miss P and Hon. Fahie had seen long ago in the Minister of Finance what we only now see...that he is a waste of time. Thanks to this government that we cannot trust and who never tell us the truth we the people of the BVI are in trouble.
  • BRAD BOYNES (27/12/2017, 12:26) Like (28) Dislike (0) Reply
    I WILL JUST LEAVE THIS HERE; You cannot control what you are not willing to confront.
  • Happy New Year ! (27/12/2017, 12:54) Like (5) Dislike (8) Reply
    Best thing that could happen.
  • BVIslander (27/12/2017, 13:02) Like (27) Dislike (5) Reply
    Thank you governor Jaspert and the UK government for putting these things in place. We have to have transparency and accountability. If it takes this, then so be it!

    This government has managed to steal so much money from the treasury and not only steal but bad spending, it is unbelievable! And none has spent one night in prison. Thank you UK government and Gov Jaspert. Thank you for putting things in place where the money is out of the POLITICIANS hands....
  • Online Now (27/12/2017, 13:10) Like (8) Dislike (14) Reply
    Why are “social commentators” allowed to chat such piss? Stop being so divisive and try to do something that benefits the Territory.
  • wize up (27/12/2017, 13:24) Like (1) Dislike (3) Reply
    1834 meant nothing to some of us here we are in 2017(will someone do some prison time is the million dollar question?????) we go right back to the cotton and cane fields !!!!!! what ah ting so don't care which party wins any other election(be careful what you wish for....u just might have to live with it!!!!!)
    • @wizeup (27/12/2017, 14:46) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
      So the UK wants good governance and transparency over how the Goverment spend the people's money and u think that it is cotton and cane fields of 1834? Wasn't you a few blogs who was saying that the territory would have been better off had the British stayed in the territory? The future of our nation is under threat by politicians who are hell bent on our total destruction. This is serious and while we have the freedom to express ourselves through blogs let us do so with common sense and not for likes. We someone rightly blogged our forefathers will roll in their graves over what we call slavery.
      • wize up (27/12/2017, 16:14) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
        @@@ wize: my question to you "BIG Brain" should the United Kinggdom Have to say this to your Leaders...stupid old me run a few companies and each worker have to be accountable much less dealing with tax payers money all those millions in bank loans(don't blog because you have free time).....back in the 70s; this territory was removed from granting aid my goodness 2017 the British Virgin Islands right back in the 70s( All due to political greed and bad political leadership) that now!!!!!!
        • @wize up (28/12/2017, 04:28) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
          As soon as I get an "expert"to make sense of your jumble I will talk about it.
  • chad (27/12/2017, 13:45) Like (6) Dislike (15) Reply
    What really does this man want ? You were asked to serve and later dismissed!!! Just an ax to grind in my opinion..
  • NDP supporter (27/12/2017, 14:35) Like (7) Dislike (30) Reply
    Tell John go sit down. We fire him. We fire Claude and when the year turn we will fire the young rude elected disrespectful one to the Premier. The whole family can't stop the NDP from winning again.
    • John2 (27/12/2017, 16:40) Like (7) Dislike (2) Reply
      He already crossover andrew Promise him ministry th ats y he behaving like that re ad between the lines people
  • question (27/12/2017, 14:47) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Who will be the governor?
  • BVIislander (27/12/2017, 14:50) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    trouble.. so u no half of NDP will want resign bc they cant get into the cookie jaw no more
  • kelo (27/12/2017, 16:54) Like (21) Dislike (4) Reply
    NDP must go bottom line
  • Eagle and Buffalo (27/12/2017, 17:46) Like (6) Dislike (5) Reply
    The territory is regressing, not progressing. Since the early 1970s (under the Wheatley government?), the VI weaned itself off of grant-in-aid. Now, due to lack of financial accountability and transparency, and alleged mismanagement of financial resource, the UK is putting us back to pre 1970 days. They are taking project borrowing and project executing out of the hands of local government and putting it in the hands of an Investment Development Agency Board; UK want a front row seat and is demanding membership on the IDAB. It is back to the days of colonialism. All the gains that were attained by other governments have been pitch out the window. For Virgin Islanders, this is huge let down and an embarrassment. It feeds into the olde stereotype that persons of African descent cannot lead and manage their own affairs. This is a false notion and belief. It is an anomaly by this government.

    Let’s lead like eagles, not careen off the cliff like buffaloes.
    • Nero Lass (28/12/2017, 03:55) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      Back to colonialism? Where have you been son/daughter of this soil? The BVI IS AN OVERSEAS TERRITORY of the UNITED KINGDOM to this day in 2017 going into 2018.
      • Eagle and Buffalo (28/12/2017, 09:40) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
        @ Nero Lass, snap. True, if you put ruby red lipstick on a pig, it is still a pig. I guess OT, OD, colony.....etc 6 of one 1/2 dozen on the same. Nonetheless, would you not agree that inspite of status the VI made some internal self governing progress, self supporting gains.........etc that it is receding from, giving the UK cause to return to the desolate bird sanctuary?
    • hawk (28/12/2017, 06:58) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
      What gains are you talking about Mr Eagle? Look at our infrastructure prior to Irma. Look at the unprofessionalism and unproductivity of government workers. If you had vision you would see that something has to change. If it takes the UK to jump start thaf change then so be it. Stop talking nonsense about colonialism or else say that yolu support independence.

      We must face the fact that the BVI is lawless and CORRUPT. The events following the hurricanes prove that. Now we have to follow a different path or we will descend into failed state status.
      • Eagle and Buffalo (28/12/2017, 14:06) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
        @ Hawk, what gains? I think you would agree that VI after Emancipation in 1834 was left as a bird sanctuary. The legislature was suspended in 1902 and restarted in 1950 with some direct representation after the big 1949 March. Since that time and starting in 1960s, it transitioned from subsistence agriculture to services (tourism and financial services). In 1967, a new constitution was rolled out and ministerial government started. The iconic HL Stoutt was the first Chief Minister. Then in 1971 or there about, it ditched the gran-in-aid programme from the UK. Since that time, then UK funded the prison and partially funded the new Giovernment House. The shift from subsistence agriculture to tourism and financial services propeled the VI to having one the higher standard of living and quality of life in the region. Its $41K per capita is one of the highest in the region.

        No argument from me on the quality of governing performance. Further, the territory needs to pursue greater internal self governing arrangements, ie, contro of civil service, control of RVIPF, control of HMP.........etc. BVI is not ready for independence. The natural disasters demonstrated that it is not ready.

        Let’s us lead like eagles, not careen off the cliff like eagles.
    • RealPol (28/12/2017, 07:00) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
      This is deep. The current situation that the government/people find itself in is a self inflicted wound. The practice of political patronage (looking to government for everything) resulted in people looking the other way, pretending that all was well and that the governing train was firing/operating well on all 8 cylinders. But this was a faulty reality. The populace was into self interest and showed little interest or need to hold government accountable, responsible and transparent. As long as we were getting a sliver of the pie and living the BIGS (big job, big house, big car, high fashion, latest electronic gadgets), all was well. Well, now the chickens are coming home roost.

      Moreover, government poor governing performance, especially in financial management, paved the way for the UK to come in and set borrowing guidelines and take control of our finances. Indeed, to use the phrase of another blogger (think it was Socrates), government’s piss poor performance set the table for the Governor becoming the de facto MoF. What a ting! What an embarrassing tory! Further, government’s abnormal financial management approach put it in this unenviable position. It has created the opportunity for return to colonialism. It has taken us backward, not forward, with its poor financial management.

      Further, was poor staff work, lack of leadership, poor management..............etc the catalyst that thrust us into this position, setting the territory back decades. We cannot put all the blame on Irma and Maria, for the territory was dangling off the financial cliff before the monster hurricanes roared ashore with a vengeance so Irma and Maria just fling it (VI) off the cliff. Every refutable company, agency, government entity........etc produce periodic(annual) financial statements to see how they are performing and to make adjustments, if any, as needed. Nonetheless, the BVI bucked this trend by going 5-6 years without issuing any certified audited financial reports. Who will loan the BVI hundred of millions of dollars or even a farthing without reviewing the financial reports? Thus, the UK has to come to the rescue by co-signing loans for us. Of course, if I’m co-signing a loan for you, I will take actions to protect my interest.

  • Warning!!! (27/12/2017, 18:23) Like (9) Dislike (20) Reply
    It seems when locals look out for locals its corruption and when whites look out for whites its called business. Pay attention! I hope when the UK delegation comes in and starts taking care of their own you guys dont go running to the same elected officials that you are bashing now. You are cheerleaders for a UK takeover because you lack understanding. Look at the state of pollitical and economic affairs of the UK and tell us what qualifies them to takeover anything. I will leave you with one thing. Do you think a local performing in the same manner as the current Prison Head or Police Commisioner would have lasted this long without public condemnation? They are both abject failures and the proof is there but we say nothing because we are self-haters. Those are two examples of the UK 'help' that was sent for us, how helpful have they been? Pay attention and dont get lost in our hatred for eachother.
  • Thank you UK (27/12/2017, 21:02) Like (8) Dislike (2) Reply
    These people sound whack! Thank you UK for requiring funds to be placed in the hands of a committee of which some uk personnel must be on board. Jaspert must really be reading the blogs. I hope the financial records will also be accessable to the public? Look, there is no way funds should be placed in the hands of the NDP government thieves. This is the most sensible approach. You've got to protect yours. Now, if NDP was sensible enough to use this approach with BVI airways, they would know where the hell their 7.2mil went. Don't bother with the set that talking about slavery. I never see a bunch that label themselves so much, sounding so retarded. Business is business.
  • BVI Voice (27/12/2017, 21:28) Like (11) Dislike (2) Reply
    If this administration, as well as the previous one, had bothered to produce financial statements for the past several years then it is likely that such additional accountability requirements would not be necessary. However, the fact is that there has been no accountability for years. If you were a lender would you be prepared to hand over millions of dollars with no idea as to where millions previously ended up? The tax revenue for the islands over the last 8 years is over $2 billion. $2 billion for a population to size of a small town. We should have the best infrastructure in the region but somehow we do not. It really is perplexing....
    • BVI Voice 2 (27/12/2017, 22:29) Like (1) Dislike (3) Reply
      The UK are no better. They have sent us help who turned out to be far worst than our own. What does that say? If there is corruption or untoward behavior why isnt the UK taking action like they did with Turks?
      • BVI Voice (28/12/2017, 23:12) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        I didn't know that. What help did they send that was worse? To answer your question though, the action that the UK is taking appears to be their request to have a representative on an investment board.
  • foxy (28/12/2017, 04:37) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply

    Pay back is a bi#$h keep pounding john your pal Ronnie needs that portfolio fast fast

  • hawk (28/12/2017, 06:35) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Wow. So many corrupt voters and residents on these blogs.

    The days of wasteful spending is coming to an end. The feeding trough is empty - sub standard work and outrageous invoices will no longer be tolerated. Get used to the new reality.
  • I dont know (28/12/2017, 07:54) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    but why most leaders always went to be minister of finance or more so over the country money .They can't sometimes control their own personal ones much less our own. Listen the calypsonian Abba no better than Sabba. I think the country resources should be put in the hands of the women of the country they will surely do a good job. Most men will just do what come to their mind and take action one time but the ladies will look look around and look for the most feasible option that will benefit all.
  • Just Me (28/12/2017, 09:13) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    hope the governor finds the files, if they weren't destroyed, of all the reports and complaints about certain banks
    treatment of customers here. the premier sat on those and did nothing. maybe he gets a pension check from
    toronto canada to not touch anything. bvi as a financial center? good place to bank? ha ha ha ha ha....yeah sure.
  • Rock mann (29/12/2017, 08:44) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply

    This is the best thing that could have happened, now we get to see where the money going.we tried to have faith in these local politicians obviously they been robbing the territory

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