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Public concerned about unanswered questions on Cruise Pier Project

-NDP's dodging of questions in HoA has led to speculations and rumours among residents- Hon. Fraser
Mr Rajah A. Smith was among several persons who took the opportunity to ask questions while at the community meeting called by Hon. Fraser. Photo: VINO
Third District Representative, Honourable Julian Fraser, RA has said the public is getting uncomfortable with Government's dodging and refusing to answer questions on the controversial Cruise Pier Project. Photo: VINO
Third District Representative, Honourable Julian Fraser, RA has said the public is getting uncomfortable with Government's dodging and refusing to answer questions on the controversial Cruise Pier Project. Photo: VINO
Persons paying rapt attention to Hon. Julian Fraser, RA at the community meeting on May 30, 2013. Photo: VINO
Persons paying rapt attention to Hon. Julian Fraser, RA at the community meeting on May 30, 2013. Photo: VINO
SEA COWS BAY, Tortola, VI - Representative for the Third District Hon. Julian Fraser, RA is not sitting comfortably with the National Democratic Party (NDP) government’s dodging and refusing to answer pertinent questions in the House of Assembly (HoA). This is reportedly leading to a high level of concern in the public domain especially as it relates to the Cruise Ship Pier park project.

Honourable Fraser again expressed his concerns about the issue, this time at his recent community meeting held at the Valerie O. Thomas Community Centre in Sea Cows Bay on May 30, 2013. He had voiced his concerns about the suggested leasing of portions of land on Wickham´s Cay I as part of the controversial cruise ship pier and land side developmental project.

The strategy of Premier Dr the Honourable D. Orlando Smith and other members of the NDP government of not answering questions relating to the issue has left an uncomfortable taste in the public as it is being rumoured that government is preparing to give up the portion of Wickham’s Cay, which is on a 48 year lease. The lease was reduced to a period of 30 years, according to Hon. Fraser who said he was informed through his sources.

According to Hon. Fraser, for three consecutive Sittings of the House of Assembly, spanning a period of one month which began from the 7th Sitting of the 2nd House of Assembly on April 4 and up to the 9th Sitting of the 2nd House of Assembly on May 4, he has been trying to get the Government to reveal vital information through questions regarding their highly suspicious dealings with a company called Tortola Pier Park Group regarding the Extension of the Cruise Ship Pier and some land-side Development, but without any success.

“My attempts to get answers to questions were either blocked from gaining entry onto the Order Paper by the Speaker, which was the case on two occasions, or stonewalled by the Premier who flat out refused to answer on the grounds that his answer will not serve the public's interest,” said Honourable Fraser.

He noted that much of the damage he was trying to avert is already done as persons have it out in the public that government is preparing to give up a portion of the land at Wickham's Cay. “How do you take Wickham´s Cay land and lease it out to foreign investors when we have a past with Wickham´s Cay that exemplifies the struggle that our people went through for that very Wickham´s Cay?”asked Hon. Fraser.

The former Minister for Communications and Works passionately reflected on the struggles of the foreparents of the Territory to have the lands remain in the hands of Virgin Islanders. “People had literally lost their minds, I mean they went crazy in that particular movement and you are going to take it up and give it to foreign investors,” Hon. Fraser again questioned.

While Hon. Fraser had spoken about the issue in his address, residents with lingering questions on the issue did raise their concerns but he was unable to provide the requisite answer because of the lack of information, a blame that he lays on the shoulders of the NDP Government. He noted that rather than shying away from answering the questions, Government should "deal with it and give details about the project."

"The best way to deal with this project is to tell us all the details about it...We need to be a part...I cannot agree with something I don´t know about," argued Hon. Fraser.” He added that no one from the Third District owns any part of Wickham’s Cay.

The speaker of the house also came in for some level of criticism as the Opposition Virgin Islands Party (VIP) member  said she used her powers under the Standing Orders in claiming that the matter had the potential to head into litigation, “Needless to say, I vociferously disagreed with her since the Standing Orders speaks only to matters before the courts, and not what might. Evidently, I was right and the matter never made it to court and the Speaker finally allowed the questions on the Order Paper on my third try,” said Hon. Fraser.

14 Responses to “Public concerned about unanswered questions on Cruise Pier Project”

  • weed (03/06/2013, 08:22) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    seems like they got something to hide
  • yellow (03/06/2013, 08:48) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Fraser got some loyal followers mehson
  • Marcus (03/06/2013, 08:51) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    It's a pity that the govt is still sleeping on answering the people in a more transparent way
    • kevin (03/06/2013, 09:04) Like (5) Dislike (23) Reply
      I was hoping that the NDP would have made a difference in the way business is done and give us the promised government in the sun shine but……zero
  • JACK BE STILL (03/06/2013, 09:18) Like (1) Dislike (12) Reply
    I am in your corner, Mr Fraser. You have the right under the Constitution of the BVI of free speech/freedom of expression, and of the house rules to have your questions answered on the behalf of the people.
  • links (03/06/2013, 09:38) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    We want to know who are the local partners/shareholders in Biwater.
  • facts man (03/06/2013, 11:57) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    What is done in darkness will come to light…god does not sleep
  • youths (03/06/2013, 16:14) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    jost van dyke for rajah


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