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‘Gov’t does not have to follow everything BVICCHA says’- Violet Thomas-Gaul

-as BVICCHA complains to media Gov’t did not respond to letters
With the BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association (BVICCHA) complaining to the media that Government has ignored some 5 letters in relation to the COVID-19 crisis but still used some of its recommendations while ignoring much advice given, a local talk show host and former BVICCHA chairperson has said Government does not have to follow very advice from the BVICCHA. Photo: VINO/File
Mrs Violet Thomas-Gaul is the host of the radio talk show, Talking Points, and a former chairperson of the BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association (BVICCHA). Photo: VINO/File
Mrs Violet Thomas-Gaul is the host of the radio talk show, Talking Points, and a former chairperson of the BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association (BVICCHA). Photo: VINO/File
From left: Violet Thomas-Gaul, Damion C. Grange and Elvin Grant on the August 17, 2020, edition of Talking Points. Photo: VINO/File
From left: Violet Thomas-Gaul, Damion C. Grange and Elvin Grant on the August 17, 2020, edition of Talking Points. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- With the BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association (BVICCHA) complaining to the media that Government has ignored some 5 letters in relation to the COVID-19 crisis but still used some of its recommendations while ignoring much advice given, a local talk show host and former BVICCHA chairperson has asked whether Government has to follow every advice from BVICCHA.

The chamber in a press release on August 19, 2020, said its last letter to the government was on June 24, 2020.

Is Gov’t obligated to BVICCHA?

Speaking on the show, Talking Points, on ZBVI 780AM on Monday, August 31, 2020, host Mrs Violet Thomas-Gaul said it was a ‘very interesting statement’ from the BVICCHA but asked, “Does the Government have to adhere to everything the BVICCHA says?

“I don’t think so,” Mrs Thomas-Gaul said.

Further commenting on the complaint that much of the advice from the BVICCHA was not being followed by Government, Mrs Thomas-Gaul said, “The Government does not have to follow everything the BVICCHA says.”

Noting that she had been the Chairperson of the BVICCHA some time back, Mrs Thomas-Gaul said “and I don’t recall the Government of the day following anything I told them.”

The talk show host noted; however, that it would be good for the Government to “sit down and chat” with the BVICCHA since is a big stakeholder and represents the business community. “So it would be nice to know that they do have a good relationship.”

Should we always run to media?

Meanwhile, co-host Mr Elvin James said he hadn’t read the article but asked “Should we always run to the media as the first protocol or could this have been handled quietly behind closed doors with the [Permanent Secretary] PS or something like that. Maybe they have tried that I don’t know? When you take things to the media it sensationalises it somewhat and everyone gets defensive and you sort of get on a divergent path.”

Another member of the panel, Mr Damion C. Grange, noted that the Government may be very busy in a middle of a crisis that is evolving, which could be a reason for the delay in responding to the BVICCHA.

Mr Grange pointed out; however, that it would be courteous for Government to respond to the BVICCHA and have dialogue to hear what the business community is thinking.

‘Be careful how you phrase things’

Meanwhile, Mrs Thomas-Gaul, in referring to the complaint by BVICCHA, said persons and organisations have to be careful how they phrase things to people, “that we are not demanding. Nobody likes to think that they are being told what to do.”

The Interim-Chairman of the BVICCHA is Ms Shaina S. Smith, who unsuccessfully contested for a seat in the First District with the National Democratic Party (NDP) in the 2015 general elections.

14 Responses to “‘Gov’t does not have to follow everything BVICCHA says’- Violet Thomas-Gaul”

  • Rubber Duck (09/09/2020, 18:10) Like (4) Dislike (9) Reply
    This so called association represents next to no one but itself. How many hotels are paid up members ? None I suspect. The government is quite right to ignore them.
    • jokes (09/09/2020, 19:58) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
      You are uneducated, do some research before posting lies.
    • @rubber duck (10/09/2020, 16:02) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      It is another useless BVI organization, run by people who are after titles and not very enlightened or know how to run a Chamber of Commerce. But perhaps I'm wrong and they are just a symptom of the typical BVI business model - only your friends or fellow club or church members can get decent service because any kind of customer service doesn't really exist here. Also, product knowledge rarely exists. I'm always grateful for YouTube. But, all businesses will gladly offload you off your money if you give them a chance. I don't care what business you enter or hire, or whether the business is owned by white or black expats or locals; they are all the same. So, of course the chamber of commerce can't be any different.
  • ... (09/09/2020, 18:29) Like (9) Dislike (3) Reply
    she is correct Shana is playing politics but she is unelectable
  • Nothing new (09/09/2020, 18:48) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    Waste of time going through a PS.

    A survey could show how many letters go unanswered, which is a norm.
  • True (09/09/2020, 18:54) Like (9) Dislike (3) Reply
    these people at the BVICCHA are just using COVID-19 to recruit new member s by implying they hold weight and sway over government decisions ,I used to think they were an important orginization this has been proven false. EVERY single thing they have said they could do they haven't done a single thing. The onlky thing they have done is increase their coffers in this time of a fragile economy . They are just like guys who think they are important in the marine industry becasue they are in an association ,they are not. The government will do what they want to, when they want to.
  • Ser (09/09/2020, 19:07) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Grandma say the hottest word u can give some one is to try and ignore them thay will feal like a fish out of water
  • jokes (09/09/2020, 20:02) Like (12) Dislike (2) Reply
    So the private sector that pays a lot of the bills and hires the most people writes 5 letters, is completely ignored but must remain silent?
    How can government plan in a vacuum?
    The defense of the current administration is both ludicrous and embarrassing.
    • @ jokes (09/09/2020, 21:06) Like (0) Dislike (6) Reply
      Stop tell lies they wrote two letters
      • 2 or 5 letters dont matter (10/09/2020, 02:51) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
        They showed an interest in been part of the process rightfully so,..Did they ever get a sit down face to face with the govt. Anyone knows ?
    • 1st District (10/09/2020, 05:05) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
      I totally agree with you and since you have more lucrative invested in the BVI touristm sector and the don't acknowledge you. Sail on!! But I'm sure that they welcomed some of you ideas and implemented them. Shame on them a set of loosers!!
  • vex (09/09/2020, 20:06) Like (7) Dislike (4) Reply
    First thing that turns people off from the Bvihca is the politics it’s an ndp group that’s why they can’t get any serious members
  • Reality check (10/09/2020, 08:33) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
    Not a one of the elected politicians has personally been responsible for managing a business, including making payroll and managing cash flow to do so. A mentor said you don't understand cash flow and receivables until you have had to use your personal credit card to make payroll. The members of BVICCHA are business people and are trying to help the government to make decisions that will keep the private sector alive, to produce the tax revenue the government needs to support their programs; kill private business and you kill the economy.


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