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Hon. Vanterpool gets scorching rebuke from Taxi & Livery operators

- Julio Sam Henry suggests BVI Ports Authority Director, Claude Skelton-Cline be dismissed
Anger and outrage were some of the emotions that filled the air as Minister for Communications and Works Hon. Mark H. Vanterpool received a scathing round of criticism from several taxi drivers last evening, October 17, 2013 at the Noel Lloyd Positive Action Movement Park. Photo: VINO
During a meeting held with Taxi and Livery operators to discuss issues surrounding the port development project following revelations that Carnival Cruise Line (CCL) had cancelled calls to the Virgin Islands (VI) for 2015, taxi drivers let loose in expressing their dismay and disappointment at the disclosure and criticised the Minister severely for being left out of consultations. Photo: VINO
During a meeting held with Taxi and Livery operators to discuss issues surrounding the port development project following revelations that Carnival Cruise Line (CCL) had cancelled calls to the Virgin Islands (VI) for 2015, taxi drivers let loose in expressing their dismay and disappointment at the disclosure and criticised the Minister severely for being left out of consultations. Photo: VINO
One taxi driver, Clinton, said he listened to Hon. Vanterpool and heard the same old stories as years before, “I want to know how long, how long the politicians will keep telling the people of this BVI lies and trying to put all kind of blindfolds on top of our eyes?” he asked. Photo: VINO
One taxi driver, Clinton, said he listened to Hon. Vanterpool and heard the same old stories as years before, “I want to know how long, how long the politicians will keep telling the people of this BVI lies and trying to put all kind of blindfolds on top of our eyes?” he asked. Photo: VINO
Another taxi driver, Karl Scatliffe, said CCL was one of the only cruise lines that came to the VI in the off season and expressed that an opportunity would be lost with their absence. Photo: VINO
Another taxi driver, Karl Scatliffe, said CCL was one of the only cruise lines that came to the VI in the off season and expressed that an opportunity would be lost with their absence. Photo: VINO
Yet another taxi driver, Ishmael Scatliffe (in black), said some taxi drivers had been in business for over 30 years, while the people who were trying to speak on their behalf were only in place for two years. Photo: VINO
Yet another taxi driver, Ishmael Scatliffe (in black), said some taxi drivers had been in business for over 30 years, while the people who were trying to speak on their behalf were only in place for two years. Photo: VINO
Charging that taxi drivers would become disenfranchised once the previous plan used with Tortola Pier Partners (TPP) were to remain in place, Julio Sam Henry said he looked forward to seeing a plan being presented to taxi drivers where they could all have access to cruise passengers. Photo: VINO
Charging that taxi drivers would become disenfranchised once the previous plan used with Tortola Pier Partners (TPP) were to remain in place, Julio Sam Henry said he looked forward to seeing a plan being presented to taxi drivers where they could all have access to cruise passengers. Photo: VINO
Henry urged that Director of the BVI Ports Authority, Mr Claude Skelton-Cline (above) be dismissed. Photo: VINO
Henry urged that Director of the BVI Ports Authority, Mr Claude Skelton-Cline (above) be dismissed. Photo: VINO
Taxi drivers vented their frustration at the Noel Lloyd Positive Action Movement Park on October 17, 2013. Photo: VINO
Taxi drivers vented their frustration at the Noel Lloyd Positive Action Movement Park on October 17, 2013. Photo: VINO
Taxi drivers vented their frustration at the Noel Lloyd Positive Action Movement Park on October 17, 2013. Photo: VINO
Taxi drivers vented their frustration at the Noel Lloyd Positive Action Movement Park on October 17, 2013. Photo: VINO
Taxi drivers vented their frustration at the Noel Lloyd Positive Action Movement Park on October 17, 2013. Photo: VINO
Taxi drivers vented their frustration at the Noel Lloyd Positive Action Movement Park on October 17, 2013. Photo: VINO
Taxi drivers vented their frustration at the Noel Lloyd Positive Action Movement Park on October 17, 2013. Photo: VINO
Taxi drivers vented their frustration at the Noel Lloyd Positive Action Movement Park on October 17, 2013. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Anger and outrage were some of the emotions that filled the air as Minister for Communications and Works Hon. Mark H. Vanterpool received a scathing round of criticism from several taxi drivers last evening, October 17, 2013 at the Noel Lloyd Positive Action Movement Park.

During a meeting held with Taxi and Livery operators to discuss issues surrounding the port development project following revelations that Carnival Cruise Line (CCL) had cancelled calls to the Virgin Islands (VI) for 2015, taxi drivers let loose in expressing their dismay and disappointment at the disclosure and criticised the Minister severely for being left out of consultations.

Adamant that negotiations will continue with Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) and Disney Cruise Line (DCL) regarding berthing agreements for the cruise pier in Road Town, the Works Minister said negotiations by government were done in good faith and nothing will deter them.

“I want you to understand that we make decisions very clearly and in good faith,” Hon. Vanterpool told the gathering, “and nothing is going to deter us. We decided to extend the pier, lengthen it and widen it to be able to handle the modern ships and we are going through that process for the last year and a half or so.”

Hon. Vanterpool, who confessed that the cancellations were largely due to the failure of government to furnish CCL with confirmed bookings in advance as is customary, told the taxi drivers not to panic at the pending changes, but stood silently for the most part as they lashed out at the revelations.

Politicians lying; taxi drivers hurting

One taxi driver, Clinton, said he listened to Hon. Vanterpool and heard the same old stories as years before, “I want to know how long, how long the politicians will keep telling the people of this BVI lies and trying to put all kind of blindfolds on top of our eyes?” he asked.

“We put you all in there to work for us, if you all can’t do what you all have to do, just tell us,” he continued.

“These people are hurting out there on the street… you all have to do something better,” Clinton admonished.

He argued that the proposed ships from NCL and DCL ‘don’t do nothing for the li’l man’ and only worked for tour agents, “the most they bring here, is five buses get a job out at the line over there… out of a hundred and something buses we have,” he said.

Hon. Vanterpool said he is not misguiding anyone and is trying to tell the truth. He added that with the expected larger numbers of passengers, he was hopeful that taxi drivers as well as agents would benefit. “The taxi drivers are the ones that we are most interested in making sure [that they] benefit from this…” he said while adding that NCL and DCL were the main cruise lines expected but were not the only ones.

Another taxi driver, Karl Scatliffe, said CCL was one of the only cruise lines that came to the VI in the off season and expressed that an opportunity would be lost with their absence. “Carnival was one of the only ships that really stood up for us,” he added while questioning who was really negotiating on behalf of taxi drivers.

Scatliffe called for unity among taxi drivers and urged that they stand up and let their voices be heard while remarking that they always heard things after the fact which was ‘killing’ their business.

Yet another taxi driver, Ishmael Scatliffe, said some taxi drivers had been in business for over 30 years, while the people who were trying to speak on their behalf were only in place for two years. “We don’t know if we can afford that. We can’t continue to stand back and allow them to plan for us,” he said. “We’ve been running here for six months without anything to do and if one ship don’t come in here to allow us to buy a sandwich every once in a while we wouldn’t have had anything.”

Charging that taxi drivers would become disenfranchised once the previous plan used with Tortola Pier Partners (TPP) were to remain in place, Julio Sam Henry said he looked forward to seeing a plan being presented to taxi drivers where they could all have access to cruise passengers.

“Eighty percent of the market out there, the ships and the people that travel the Caribbean sea is commanded by Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Line. Tell me how in the world you could look at that [figure] and decide to go with two ships that can’t even move this country?” Henry questioned. “How is that possible? Who are the people responsible for thinking like that?”

Hon. Vanterpool in response said there was a public tender and this is the offer that came forward.

Claude Skelton-Cline needs to be fired

In response to this, Henry urged that Director of the BVI Ports Authority, Mr Claude Skelton-Cline be dismissed. “I’m going to make a statement and I’m being real calm with it and please don’t take it personal. The Ports Director, Mr Claude Skelton-Cline, needs to be fired,” Henry said to loud applause and cheers from the crowd.

He also argued that if the person(s) who drew the previous plan for the cruise development project remained in consultation with government in trying to move the cruise pier development forward, then they too needed to be fired as well.

Stop it Mr Minister! Stop it!

Henry said he loved the Minister like a brother but urged him to stop and take stock of the situation and make an about turn.

“When we talk about putting investment in this country to help the taxi man, we are helping the wider community. The taxi man is the extension of the businesses outside of that cruise port. When the taxi man don’t make money, the rest of the economy suffers,” Henry claimed.

“Please understand that I am calling the Premier tonight to make a stand. Be a leader and stop this foolishness,” he urged, “Stop it Mr Minister, I love you like a brother, I really do from my heart, I know you’re a good man, but please, please. Stop where you are now, you have a chance…”

Henry argued that when someone from the top of the brass of CCL has to address the Minister in the media, you know that there is trouble.

Vanterpool disagrees taxi drivers neglected

Following the meeting, Hon. Vanterpool disagreed that the taxi drivers were neglected in negotiations but said he accepted the criticism they brought. He also admitted that there could have been more direct discussions and involvement of taxi drivers and said more can be done for them.

“The expressions they have made tonight definitely got my attention so I have to take their views into consideration and discuss the matter with my group,” he said.

He further stated that Henry had been very personal in some of his ‘attacks’ and though he did not agree with some of the comments, he said he would not offer a response.

The Minister also disclosed that he was not aware of the view held by taxi drivers that DCL and NCL passengers spent less than Carnival passengers, “In any case, what was happening was that Carnival was not willing to make any long term commitments. It’s important for us in building the port to invest what we may have to invest in the port that we have some long term commitments but we have to go back and look at the issue.”

He declined to comment on whether government will proceed with negotiations with NCL and DCL at the exclusion of Carnival Cruise Line.

Commenting on the notable absence of other government Ministers at the meeting, the Works Minister said the issue was his subject and the other Ministers understood that after he had indicated that a meeting was planned.

37 Responses to “Hon. Vanterpool gets scorching rebuke from Taxi & Livery operators”

  • my my my (18/10/2013, 08:25) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    This Minister is failing in everything he touches. One week he says one thing then the next week we always see opposite to what he said.
    • agreed (18/10/2013, 08:46) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
      If this government wasn't corrupt & into stuffing their own pockets then when the deal to develop the ports with mickey mouse had failed they would have gone to the next tenderer Royal Caribbean to get the job done. Why they didn't do that? Because they can't get their hands in RC pockets so we ALL must now suffer from the actions of these greedy NDP. This makes me sick to the stomach.
    • the rock (19/10/2013, 08:44) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
      my my my shut Your a$$ up..tough decisions has to be made and he is doing just that..wish he had frazier mentality sometimes..he would of never been given those taxi men all that attention..like thay are a bunch of little children..anyway we in the 4th got his back always..we are right there by his side..and he knows that!
  • Help (18/10/2013, 08:27) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    The NDP is proving daily that they are bas for this country.They talk a good talk but that's all it is...TALK.
  • Appologise (18/10/2013, 08:31) Like (11) Dislike (6) Reply
    I must apologise to Fraser & Fahie because when they were telling us what the NDP signed with the UK in the form of the Protocols does not allow Mark & others to deliver what they continue to promise us the people, we, including me, accused them of being negative & hungry for power. But they are turning out to be 100% correct.
    • air force (18/10/2013, 12:46) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      You must state what you did to curb or solve the situation now or stop spewing what I consider to be bile.
  • who to blame (18/10/2013, 08:35) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    Every time something go wrong under this NDP Administration the NDP especially Mark & Myron always blame the VIP. Let us see who they going to blame for this ignorance now.
  • Taxi driver (18/10/2013, 08:37) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Message to Hon Vanterpool stop it mr minister stop it we elect you to look out for our best interest and the country as well so the desigions that a being made I expect to be made in our best interest we need for you to bring home "CARNIVAL CRUSE LINE" it feels like a family member walk out on mom pls thanks in advance
  • Help (18/10/2013, 08:38) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Lord help us. All of this is happening due to greed & self interest for personal gain by the NDP. They only focussing on companies where they can get benefits not the people. This is a major crisis & under these jokers it will only get worse. Send help Lord.
    • Liars (18/10/2013, 09:33) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
      Head of Ports said in the news a few days earlier that the cruise season will be great. Days later Carnival Cruise drop this bombshell. This proves again that these NDP guys & their sidekicks are liars & deceivers. They say what they feel we want to hear but not what's the truth. What a crying shame!
  • look here (18/10/2013, 08:47) Like (3) Dislike (17) Reply

    This is @ help.... VIP put us in this hole we are in now. We have a president bush here in the bvi and that is the VIP and now they are all so acting like the Republican after they allow alot of thing to happen they want to talk a Obama which is the ndp trying to make things happen dobyou.think is easy as one to three it takes time and sometime there some errors but given the chance things will work out. Fr***r kill the cruise industry and the taxi men knows that and now that the ndp is tring to at lease give us a sure thing by getting a contact that is security for years.

    • To look here (18/10/2013, 09:38) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply

      The sooner you wake up from the spell the NDP have you under the better for you. The VIP had their ways but under them it was never this bad in this country. Plus M*** alone mash up the industry out of greed not the VIP. Try wake up asap.

  • Bob (18/10/2013, 08:47) Like (10) Dislike (5) Reply
    Half the taxi drivers don't pay their proper taxes like the rest of us. All they want is for themselves, not the country. Let them pay import duty on their vehicles like everyone else. They think they are so special and so much better than the rest of us. Don't believe me............just drive behind one for a while. They think they OWN the road.
    • To Bob (18/10/2013, 09:40) Like (0) Dislike (9) Reply
      Try come up off of the taxi drivers because through them is how this country got built. If you don't know the history of a place keep your stupid mouth shut.
    • +++ (18/10/2013, 10:51) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
      there are more taxi drivers per person in BVI than in new York city. fact.
      many of the old timers used to carry 2 or 3 jobs. Now new youngsters lobbying for full time and entitlement when it is a service. plain and simple. Adjustments will have to be made one way or another. There are too many drivers for the volume and need. That said, I agree that there is something fishy about the agreement with Disney and Norwegian and then cancelling the agreement. It still remains that the 2 companies seem to control the rights to the dock. It was predictable. Maybe even "pay us $1.7 mil or give us control of the dock".
  • Not surprised (18/10/2013, 08:50) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Nothing with this fellow & his sidekicks surprises me because the way anyone handles their business & family is the same way they will handle leading a country no matter how good they sound the results will be the same.
  • ccc (18/10/2013, 09:01) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Another sign NDP must go
  • TAXI MAN REPRESENTATIVE (18/10/2013, 10:31) Like (1) Dislike (16) Reply

    I commend all the taxi supporters who came out in numbers and put this government administration in place. No it is time to move them out and get rid of CSC. A miserable failure to this community.

    New people to consider:

    1. Sowande

    2. Elton

    3. Steve Parillon

    4. Shaina

    5. Devon Osborne

    6. Wade Smith

    7. Sam Henry

    8. Karl Scatliffe

    And more to be mention on people who are doing things for this country. Open your eyes BVI.

  • london (18/10/2013, 10:44) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    BVI is becoming just like Disney Land set of Mickey Mouses under the NDP Administative................
  • mother hen (18/10/2013, 11:27) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    I was present to this meeting and I applaud all taxi men that showed up and being active
  • Queen Elizbeth (18/10/2013, 11:42) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    I'm given the (NDP) National Dose of Poison one more chance stop playing jack in the box with my country for conduting personal business with tax payer monies or I have to send the Adam's Family from the UK to take over...........I going to have my tea.
  • ooooo (18/10/2013, 11:48) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    this bunch of prevaricators got to go...the ndp is a failure..the country made 2 mistakes, voting in the ndp twice
  • she the cat mother (18/10/2013, 11:55) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply

    I agree with the protest but S@m is a c***k

  • taxi men feeds the nation (18/10/2013, 12:01) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    BVI if the taxi men not doing well we are all in trouble. Carnival is not making joke with us this time. as a nation we need Carnival and I hope that this government does not allow them to leave our ports. Is the NDP really right for our country? But what is the option. HMMMMMMMMMMMMM. God will have to provide!!!!!!!!!!
  • one eye roster (18/10/2013, 12:47) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    what the hell is wrong with loud mouth Dude julio?
  • facts (18/10/2013, 12:47) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply

    M*** you are realy out of sink-out of touch-out of reality-and out of your mind , as abusinees person i to was at this meeting the tpp is stiil the consultant to that project- you guy made the biggest mistake of your life through the history of mankind in politic no country will never let go a ship like carnival spell carnivall. M*** stop tell lies and ask for help from the who knows.those that are in the industry the taxi men and others should have been in that nigociation, other thing is when you say you dint know that carnival spend more money than disney and norwegian. You sound real stupid for a minister go back and check your books . ..... carnival cruise line is the longest standing ship coming to the bvi in season and out of season. If you don't know for over 30 smething years. Cyril rommny bring them year all the others are johny come lately ..mark that carnival are the mother ship for a lot of cruise line which come to the bvi.......so you mark stay there and let pow,cline and that girl your ps do £$%% what they doo know nothing about. Trouble on your you better ask god to help you ...besause this you lsat straw...carival uise c ome to tortola when the same dock was nothing..............For RECORD THE SAME DOCK YOU NOW MESING WID WAS HANDED OVER TO YOU THE NDP WHICH WAS ALREADY PROCESS YOU ALL ARE SO GREEDY YOUAL HAD TO MES IT UP TYOU MEN DONT HAVE ENOUGH ALREADY WHY TAKE FROM THE MALL MAN ALL THE TIME LIKE C****E WHO MAKING 98000$ ayear along wid allowance WHO GIVES A $%^T

  • history teacher (18/10/2013, 12:54) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    I recall in 1983 CBR a government was made persona non grata by the people. I believe this would be a fitting punishment for this NDP government
  • pic (18/10/2013, 15:44) Like (0) Dislike (3) Reply
    Remember the white man that live and have business here, don't want to see crewship here .White man gov.
  • persia (18/10/2013, 16:36) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Mark just not ready for prime time
  • time out (18/10/2013, 18:39) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    We do not trust Mark
  • my (18/10/2013, 20:38) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    I saw this coming a mile away....
  • join (19/10/2013, 10:46) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    politicians have to put on a good show for the cheap seats in the back but their reckless and wanton accusations, arrogance and just plain venom being spewed all over people who not being any chance to defend themselves or actions just shows the basic level at which you operate.
  • facts (20/10/2013, 16:58) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    To my godfather frazer---andrew boys I wold see you laughing every time you read theseblogs .you aunt saying a word .--when you guys was trying to show thw bvi wats going --they would you say the negatives and try to make you like the vilants --keep silents --its not time for to talk yet.-----DONT SAY A WORD_____GIVE THE NDP AND ALL THEIR BACKER __ROPE TOO??????? HAND THEM OWNSELF FROM HERE STRAIGHT TO ENGLAND _________BUCKINGHAM PLACE? Tt VIP GOD WILL SEND HELP''''''THE COMFORTERIS AT HAND DONT LOOSE HOPE. YES THERE IS STILL HOOE LOVE YOU GUYS. DONT MORN FOR VWHO GONE REJOICE FOR WHO COMMING
  • BVI Watcher (21/10/2013, 12:20) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    People of BVI need to petition Her Majesty to take over government of the territory. Nothing could be worse than the incompetents and thieves that run BVI now, and the opposition ain't much better.


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