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Premier Smith trades ‘punches’ with Backbencher Hon Turnbull

- said Government had helped in the initial cleaning up of Cane Garden Bay, contrary to statements by Hon Turnbull
Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr the Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), right, has hit back at statements made by Backbencher and Second District Representative Honourable Melvin M. Turnbull, left, that Government has neglected Cane Garden Bay following the passage of hurricanes Irma and Maria. Photo: VINO/File
Cane Garden Bay in a state of destruction following the passage of Hurricane Irma on September 6, 2017. Photo: VINO
Cane Garden Bay in a state of destruction following the passage of Hurricane Irma on September 6, 2017. Photo: VINO
Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL)and Second District Representative Honourable Melvin M. Turnbull have disagreed on the Virgin Islands' readiness to welcome back cruise ships. Photo: VINO/File
Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL)and Second District Representative Honourable Melvin M. Turnbull have disagreed on the Virgin Islands' readiness to welcome back cruise ships. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) has rebutted claims of Backbencher and Second District Representative Honourable Melvin M. Turnbull that Government has neglected Cane Garden Bay.

In a press release issued, December 11, 2017 Premier Smith retorted, claiming that “The Ministries of Communications and Works, Health and Social Development and Natural Resources have all supported clean-up efforts in districts.” He added that the Ministry of Communications and Works worked in each district, providing equipment to district representatives for clean up at the community level.

It was in an interview with Zan Lewis, aired on December 6, 2017 on ZBVI 780 AM, that Hon Turnbull said, “No one has come to Cane Garden Bay to help with clean-up from a governmental standpoint.”

Premier Defends his government

Hon Smith defended his government by saying, “Specifically in the Second District after unsuccessful attempts to clean up faster using this strategy [community level clean up], the Ministry directly deployed man power and equipment to support efforts in the Windy Hill area, Brewers Bay and along the Cane Garden Bay stretch from Quito’s to the Callwood Rum Distillery. Particularly for Cane Garden Bay, this was done with support from the Territory’s Rotary Clubs and members of the financial services sector over two days.”

Though roads and ghuts are clear in Cane Garden Bay the world-famous Cane Garden Bay beach is still not ready for tourists. Some amount of work was done in Brewers Bay in the immediate weeks following the Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Both Premier Smith and Hon Turnbull pledged their continued support to the restoration of communities. Mr Turnbull said, “If we have to do it ourselves, I am going to stick with my people… we get to a place where we are comfortable and helping businesses to get back to where they can serve our tourists, as well as those who live in this territory, in excellence. We will keep our standard.”

Premier & Backbencher disagree on Territory’s readiness for tourists

Restoration work in District two was not the only issue Hon Smith defended. He explained that Tourism is important to the residence of this territory since it’s how most of them make a living and provide for themselves and family.  “Through our tourism sector many residents earn their income and are able to take care of their families, buy groceries, pay their rents and be in a position to independently take care of themselves.

According to the Premier, it was for that reason that the tourism season had to be started. “If we forgo this season, we stand the chance of losing many locally built and respected businesses … it can be very difficult and expensive for our destination to benefit from future seasons… if we close our shores, we leave employees and tourism industry partners without the means to earn a living and the ability to contribute to the rebuilding of the Virgin Islands.”

Honourable Turnbull had previously disagreed, stating “I will not allow for the businesses in Cane Garden Bay to set up tents to serve any of our tourists. We have a standard that we have to uphold in this territory of the Virgin Islands.”

Tourists from the cruise ships, which the Premier said will continue to come, were redirected to beaches on Beef Island and other sites that are safe to visit and, according to the Premier, “they are appropriately informed of damages to the Territory and are being provided with alternative options when in the BVI.”

In defence of his decision Hon Smith also added, “This is also an opportunity for us to explore new sites, support business opportunities in other districts, as well as take the opportunity to see how we can strike the right balance of opportunity and environmental protection for beachfront communities like Cane Garden Bay.”

18 Responses to “Premier Smith trades ‘punches’ with Backbencher Hon Turnbull”

  • What? (12/12/2017, 09:36) Like (32) Dislike (4) Reply
    Once you expose the NDP they will come out defending themselves with lies.
  • Strupes (12/12/2017, 09:38) Like (27) Dislike (7) Reply
    Before this waste a time Premier go to do what the leader of the opposition suggest on how to fight for we the people against these insurance companies and banks he is here wasting time trying to bury Mitch so he can seem like the leader he is not.
  • Okay now (12/12/2017, 09:40) Like (21) Dislike (5) Reply
    Bald head and that consultant he give out of the Barn to Mr. ZZZZ intent to destroy Mitch.
  • smdh (12/12/2017, 09:41) Like (27) Dislike (5) Reply
    Doesn't the Premier have better things to do with his time like come represent we the people.
  • chad (12/12/2017, 09:41) Like (29) Dislike (4) Reply
    This response is stink of the bald head minister.
  • Welcome Home Mitch (12/12/2017, 09:42) Like (39) Dislike (5) Reply
    Mitch should cross over to the VIP where he belongs- the NDP toxic right now Mitch
  • Hmmm (12/12/2017, 09:44) Like (7) Dislike (23) Reply
    Mitch dig a hole and fall in it.
  • zone 2 (12/12/2017, 09:50) Like (40) Dislike (4) Reply
    We with Mitch
  • My Take (12/12/2017, 09:54) Like (30) Dislike (5) Reply
    Mitch has found out what the rest of the BVI know about the Mr. Zzz, you cannot believe a word he says. He cannot be trusted.
  • The Reality (12/12/2017, 10:53) Like (23) Dislike (9) Reply
    The truth is...the territory needed to be open for business in order to generate revenue. We can't expect everything and business to be perfect and polished before we do so. For a fact, CGB and the western side does enhance revenue as it is a great tourist attraction. BUT there are so many more sites. Hon. Turnbull needs to take his head out of the sand. Tourism is much bigger than one takes the entire territory. Have no fear, the western side will get better very soon. Trust the process. Moreover, every one is bashing the Premier and the reality is he will not have all the answers. Instead of bashing the Premier have meetings, express your concerns, do much needed research and come up with suitable ideas to solve these problems and most importantly, act. Don't go behind his back (let him know upfront). No one is saying you can't disagree. The Media is making the entire Government look like poppyshows.There is clearly a great lack of unity. Where there is lack of unity, vision will be blurred and where vision is blurred the entire BVI will perish. HON. TURNBULL, TRUST THE PROCESS... THINGS CAN NOT HAPPEN OVER NIGHT. IT WILL GET BETTER! IF WE AREN'T READY NOW WHEN WILL WE EVER BE?

    • @The Reality (12/12/2017, 11:42) Like (4) Dislike (10) Reply
      Okay bald head we know that you have your people blogging all day to try to make Mitch look bad and you and your sleeping leader look good but it will not work.
  • See (12/12/2017, 11:56) Like (4) Dislike (6) Reply
    Oh thank you Mr Premier for your ONE DAY of assistance . By the way the ghuts are not clear and the water is still polluted and the sewage plant is still shot and there is no water or electricity and destroyed buildings are all over the place . But thank you for your one day and the political photo op . SMH
  • TIT FOR TAT (12/12/2017, 12:27) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    All ah them is a set of tit for tat jokers . Say anything condemning any of them and they find a speech to retaliate. Meh son we got bigger problems to deal with. It have hungry and stress out people all over the territrie
  • Street reporter (12/12/2017, 13:11) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    Mitch is doing his Job. Representing his people. .I don't agree with Mitch on this matter.. I think he is free and entitle to speak his conscience. . I truly think That Alvera and Mitch needs to find a new party. Not VIP. The only thing that will put NDP back in power is VIP. .
  • Socrates (12/12/2017, 13:40) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Premier, why? Why r u in verbal public debate with Hon Turnbull? Should have just let action(s) speak for you. Is Hon Turnbull still in the NDP caucus? Doc has to exude confidence, earn and command respect, lead from the front and carry a large “wupping” stick-use it.
  • jack (12/12/2017, 15:42) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    Bottline this government is incompetent
  • anegada (12/12/2017, 16:23) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    I honestly cannot say about other Islands around the BVI. And I really feel sorry for a lot of folks that loses their jobs.
    But on a serious note... we really needed revenues to come in. It would not fall on trees.
    As a person that depends on the dollar that tourists spends I well am happy to say that today we have over 20 boats in the harbour here in Anegada.
    And they were very happy to see that we in Anegada are open for Buisness. These folks were very happy to contribute... I am happy to get some much needed sales from my business.

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