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Ministerial portfolios assigned in VIP Gov't

- Hon Lorna G. Smith now has responsibilities as Minister for Financial Services; Hon Vincent O. Wheatley takes on Health & Social Development
The seven members of the new Government of the Virgin Islands are flanked by Governor John J. Rankin, left, and Deputy Governor David D. Archer, right. The Members of Government are, from left, Hons Luce D. Hodge-Smith (R4), Vincent O. Wheatley (R9), Sharie B. de Castro (AL), Dr Natalio D. Wheatley (R7), Lorna G. Smith OBE (AL), Kye M. Rymer (R5), and Dr Karl Dawson (R1). Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI –Legislators connected to the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Government have today, April 28, 2023, received their Ministerial portfolios ahead of the opening of the 5th House of Assembly in the Virgin Islands (VI).

According to documents gazetted today, Friday, April 28, 2023, under section 56(1) of the Virgin Islands Constitution Order, 2007, the Governor, acting in accordance with the advice of the Premier, may by directions in writing assign to any Minister responsible for the conduct of any business, including responsibility for the administration of any department of Government;

As such, Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) with responsibilities as Premier has retained his previous role as Minister of Finance.

Newcomer to the HoA and Deputy Premier, Hon Lorna G. Smith OBE (AL) now has responsibilities as Minister of Financial Services, Labour, and Trade.

Meanwhile, Hon Kye M. Rymer (R5) continues under his Ministry for Communications and Works and Honorable Sharie B. De Castro will retain responsibilities as the Minister for Education, Youth Affairs, and Sports.

Hon Vincent O. Wheatley now Minister for Heath & Social Development 

District Representative, Hon Vincent O. Wheatley (R9) has now taken on responsibilities as Minister for Health and Social Development.

For the Jr Minister roles, Hon Luce D. Hodge-Smith (R4) has responsibilities for culture and tourism while Dr The Hon Karl Dawson has responsibilities for Agriculture and Fisheries. 

As part of his portfolio, Premier Dr Wheatley will also take on additional responsibilities including Administration of Crown Lands (except Wickham’s Cay, including the seabed), Agriculture, Alternative Energy, Culture and Cultural Heritage, Festival and Fairs, Fisheries and Food Security, Land, Immigration, and a range of areas to fall under the purview of the Premier.

The VIP formed the Government with Hon Smith as its 7th seat after the party won six total seats in the 2023 Elections in the Virgin Islands. 

60 Responses to “Ministerial portfolios assigned in VIP Gov't”

  • Thought it couldn’t get any worse…. (28/04/2023, 20:37) Like (50) Dislike (24) Reply
    I really thought it couldn’t get any worse….. but Vincent is in cabinet with a ministry….. :(
    • @ Thought it couldn't get worse (29/04/2023, 05:46) Like (7) Dislike (25) Reply
      Get over it. This is not about you. The majority of the people in the ninth district said that he should.
    • @ Thought it couldn't get worst (29/04/2023, 06:55) Like (23) Dislike (6) Reply
      I totally agree. Vincent for health is a disaster. It Just don't fit. Health is Huge. Vincent is a proven failure.. I would have given Dawson Tourism, Lou health and Culture and Give Vincent Agriculture and Fisheries... To me thats the perfect Govt.
    • Say a ting (29/04/2023, 07:56) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
      It is the calibre of persons in the party.
    • BUSY BEE (29/04/2023, 11:53) Like (3) Dislike (5) Reply
      @ Thought it couldn’t get any worse….
      The Hon. Mr. Wheatley did such a fabulous job at Labour & Immigration, underwhelming really… I believe his administrative style is called “laissez faire", so maybe it won’t go downhill.
      • Gringo (29/04/2023, 15:54) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
        He is a total failure, screwed up Labour and Immigration under his tenure and did not even know it.....
    • Cricket Corner (29/04/2023, 12:54) Like (9) Dislike (5) Reply
      Kye might want to jump ship for deputy. Work on him opposition.
  • musa (28/04/2023, 20:47) Like (28) Dislike (4) Reply
    best wishes to the 13 members
  • jack (28/04/2023, 20:50) Like (15) Dislike (6) Reply
    Lorna in your corner
  • ta ta (28/04/2023, 21:03) Like (28) Dislike (13) Reply
    We are pleased now time to run the country
  • time will tell (28/04/2023, 21:55) Like (15) Dislike (22) Reply
    Them big shot outsiders gonna get things done rather quickly by Delilah
  • lol (28/04/2023, 21:57) Like (8) Dislike (21) Reply
    The insurance man gonna soon buy that mini hospital up VG
  • resident (28/04/2023, 22:14) Like (41) Dislike (28) Reply
    It's obvious that the team hasn't anyone that fit certain ministries. Vincent for health, really. Let's see how this pans out. Sharie coming back to education with this STEAM initiative and no resources or drive to see it mature. A large number of teachers are leaving. The steam engine will move auto pilot, I guess. Every Time, Dick and Harry being transferred to the ministry to join the do nothing gang. Teachers are overworked and underpaid and under appreciated. The education ship is sinking and we are pushing STEAM. There are special needs students who are being neglected because of inadequate human and physical resources. Education is a mess. I applaud the teachers who decide to walk away from the abuse. I really hoped that the other side would have gotten in. Then Mather or Walwyn with their work ethics could have bring something more to education. Every election we end up with a set of misfits. Next four years they do nothing because they lacked the expertise and skill set. They then beg for a chance and they are voted back in to continue doing nothing. Sowande's district will sink further into slum state. He like Andrew took so much under his wings to do nothing of standard with any of them . Nothing has changed but you get the government you deserve.
  • Nightmare (28/04/2023, 22:27) Like (24) Dislike (16) Reply
    coming to the health and social services departments. Leave now before incompetence forces all the staff to resign.
  • Youth (28/04/2023, 22:29) Like (22) Dislike (3) Reply
    Nice. Let's get to work for the people.
  • remove (28/04/2023, 22:32) Like (26) Dislike (30) Reply
    Remove Sharie from education tonight tonight
    She f us up as much
    You don’t understand why Andrew didn’t give her Education. !
    • @ remove (29/04/2023, 06:58) Like (7) Dislike (9) Reply
      I heard from teachers that she did an excellent job. She was a new comer during Mr. Fahie time she more senior now.
  • My Take (28/04/2023, 22:40) Like (36) Dislike (14) Reply
    I believe in Vincent to fix health and get a new CEO and fresh blood in the management section of the hospital. Also, get the smoke from the incinerator addressed. I also believe in Lorna to help businesses better through trade and address these issues with work permit and the renewal of them so it can become modern day policies and procedures. Kye get the direct flights in 911 and fix the roads. Sharie, please modernize our education system. I know you all can get it done so do not be sidetrack by the noise.
  • Carrot Bay Lady (28/04/2023, 22:43) Like (25) Dislike (3) Reply
    Dr. Dawson please complete the sea defense/boardwalk project in Carrot Bay as we need this protection because the hurricanes will get worse because of climate change.
  • Hmm (28/04/2023, 23:00) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Whom is taking over NBLHL - it was a disaster under the last Minister. The issues were the fault of the Minister and not the public servants in that department.
  • Johnny Walker (28/04/2023, 23:03) Like (4) Dislike (4) Reply
    Wah?? My boi in charge ah health? Let de good times roll
  • Experience (28/04/2023, 23:38) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    Does one need some type of experience for health ?
  • I THINK (28/04/2023, 23:45) Like (5) Dislike (7) Reply
    They are all going to do well.
  • Lord!! (29/04/2023, 01:28) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    everyone themselves! and God for us All!! listen somebody is going to cross over mark my words matter of fact it's already in discussion with the opposition as we speak *(ding ding ding ding) God don't like ugly aye
  • ppl (29/04/2023, 01:29) Like (2) Dislike (6) Reply
    Ayo ain't seeing what ministry Lorna Took!! Lorna for Premier!!!!
  • dumb (29/04/2023, 01:29) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    SHe made a right move for who? not the country ayo bying this!? watch what happens in the second sitting on the house smh lol
  • Cross -Over (29/04/2023, 01:30) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    Cross Over Like A.I. Coming
  • Lorna (29/04/2023, 01:30) Like (11) Dislike (13) Reply
    Lorn screwed the opposition and she will screw V>I>P>
  • Smh. (29/04/2023, 01:32) Like (2) Dislike (11) Reply
    Lorna i have to give it to you..that's why you'll be premier in 8 months!
  • Game-Plan (29/04/2023, 01:32) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    this is the end of V.I.P. - Lorna is not it ayo corner!
  • premier (29/04/2023, 01:33) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    Ayo ain't see what Lorna did or doing see what ministry she holding thinkin ppl...she's not with no party she for herself and self gain = Premier
  • Dancing with the Stars (29/04/2023, 03:39) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    I want to wish the new ministers of the various ministries success in their ministries. The principal role of any government is to provide the goods and services for its people. What has been happening over the years is that the residents are depending on the government to provide their personal needs. Our country is a developing country and there is need for certain skills in the Territory. The residents tend to look at a plumber or welder or an electrician as demeaning, however, their houses are being built with self-contained facilities. When the time for fixing any problem, they look for a trade man from another country who are trained in those fields. That is why the Ministry of education is preparing some of our youths, boys and girls in the technical fields. May I say that some of those jobs pay as much as $20.00 per hour at some resorts. Instead of being employed in in a store or a supermarket, it is better to learn a skill and enjoy a better salary.

    The world is changing and Technical education (STEAM) is promoted. We have to wake up from our slumber and encourage our young people to develop a skill in addition to whatever other profession they may have pursued. Some professional women in the U.S.A are fixing their own plumbing fixtures in their homes to save money to pay their mortgage. It is time for us in the Territory to make a shift in our focus.
  • Time to work. (29/04/2023, 04:17) Like (4) Dislike (17) Reply
    Time for the Government to do work. Especially kye. He should stop kissing Patsy wrinkled up ass and do the people work.happy that carvin didn't get back in government and over the health sector. I hope Vince (VW) will get rid of Pat, June and all of those top shots , those african doctors and down island nurses at the hospital who does not give to hoot about their staffs and patients. Look how many persons are dying at that hospital from lack of care. As for labour I am soo happy mitch did not n't retain that post. Hopefully, Luce, Lorna and the other new comers won't get caught up corruption. Stacey started out on the wrong foot. I'm never voting for him again.
    • @ Time to work (29/04/2023, 17:01) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
      Move yuh wrinkles p&&y Ms
      Who you really hate pasty / kye
      Ain’t 1 f in minister in any given time work like kye
      Pasty don’t need kye
      Kye don’t need pasty
      Pasty is a businesswoman
      Kye is a Minister that serves the people
      He’s solid as a rock dst5 can’t be erased
      4 more years you will read about his actions
      Touch down AA
  • watching (29/04/2023, 05:24) Like (7) Dislike (4) Reply
    @Take I think he can. His daughter is a doctor and I'm sure will assist him. I am confident he will get the job done. May God guide him. Blessings
  • Tvip (29/04/2023, 05:25) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    How can the premier be over so much? Aren't his hands full enough just being premier? Spread the workload around.. if we want what's best for our country let others take up some of this workload.
  • On looker (29/04/2023, 06:06) Like (9) Dislike (3) Reply
    Only now them virgin gorda people going flock the healt department for work he is not the right man for there he always drunk health care done going under now you all put this man in health lordy send help
  • Final Analysis (29/04/2023, 06:18) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    I am amazed at how selfish we are. Each of us believes our way is the best and when it doesn't happen that way we call foul. Could you imagine if there were a button each of us could push to let say control weather patterns each day? One person gets up and decides he/ she wants rain and pushes that button. Another person decides it should be a sunny day and did the same then another wants snow and hits that button. This would of course induce total confusion !!. There is a reason why that and other powers were not given to us. We are too selfish!!. We were given the power to vote and most did. The result may not have been what each of us favoured but it has been done!! It would appear that some of us cannot survive outside of the sphere of chaos and is always looking for any bit of anything that would keep it burning. Nothing is wrong with voicing our opinions but, there should come a time when we just let it be. There will be an answer.
  • guy hill (29/04/2023, 06:41) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    The late Cyril Romney would have said after all the dust has cleared, let's move on, life goes on.
  • Applicant (29/04/2023, 06:44) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    First thing Lorna needs to do is sack the person in charge of trade licenses. Belonger applied in February for a simple license. No word from them yet in spite of many calls and emails.
  • THREE WISE GENTLEMEN (29/04/2023, 06:47) Like (1) Dislike (3) Reply
    • Integrity (29/04/2023, 23:48) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      PVIM was committed to each other, not country. After elections, party campaigns are useless because none ever knows where they will land and have to do the government’s work wherever they are placed. This is not the playground, it is politics and if your reasons for participating is to get work done to serve the people of the territory, then you cannot stop to play ring around the roses with your party friends. Unity government/coalition ideology should still be the goal. There’s no room for bonding over criticism, slander and identification of errors to overseer/massa. It is genuinely offering support and suggestions, building alliances and being practical to solve the problems faced by the territory by improving systems, policies, revenue and processes.
  • Hmm (29/04/2023, 06:56) Like (11) Dislike (5) Reply
    No matter how hard one try these people will never be happy. You could bring god self to run the ministry and they'll say something negative. Just give the people a try. A lot of teachers voted for Hon. Castro, and fyi a lot of expat teachers are not leaving and the high school full of them.
  • Sowande again.. (29/04/2023, 07:10) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
    I guest vincent get health to see how he can please VG. I think health is a monster ministry. I am not sure if Vincent has what it takes..I would have Rather see the Premier with health or even Lou who is a proven Success. As a matter a fact. I agree with a blogger. Dawson In Tourism n, Lou health and Culture, Vincent Agriculture and fisheries..That sounds good to me. But it is what it is. I wish them all the best...Hope vincent use all the doubters wrong included me 7 as motivation and performed beyond expectation...Its been long we ain had a good health Minister that champion the workers need and fight..I hope he can make that empty floor useful and cut back on the massive rent..Hope he can bring real solutions to VG and out Island emergency care....Its a lot of work brother Vincent.. Roll your sleep up..Get the right People who will sometimes disagree with you, they are usually the right persons, You can engage in factual reasoning as to why they disagree, not those who will say yes to everything you suggest...Enough said. All the best my Brother.!
  • Teacher (29/04/2023, 07:34) Like (15) Dislike (2) Reply
    Education needs all prayer warriors on board. Only God can help us. This ministry is in serious trouble and everyone thinks something is going on. It's all talk and little work. We needed Mather or Walwyn. Teacher morale is at an all time low but we're going full STEAM ahead. We need help!!
  • Yes (29/04/2023, 07:35) Like (2) Dislike (9) Reply
    Yes rhe entire opposition is so bad minded they will do any thing to make tje goverment faiĺ just becáuse they not ŕulling party..,....aii your devise ahyo plánning will blow up in your faces..thats veey reason you guys not get in to gorm goverment
    Yoi see when you digging ďítch please dig foryou may verý well fall intoj it
  • Just Sayin' (29/04/2023, 07:50) Like (7) Dislike (4) Reply
    I dont understand why government doesnt use the natural abilities of the people in government.
    for instance Hon Dawson....hes a life time educator, he knows the systems, he knows the global network, surely he is the obvious choice for ministry of education....
    Sharie to health.
    Vincent to fisheries and agriculture ( and could take on some of the Premiers portfolio, which to be honest is ridiculous and unmanageable if hes to run the country).
    Kye is where he should be and Lorna yes, apart from Labour ( and could take on some the the Premiers portfolio.
    each minister has about 3 "items" on tgeir port folio and premier has about 30...?? just not manageable surely, why not spread the load

    my ten cent worth.
  • @ VG PRINCE ???? (29/04/2023, 08:05) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
  • Outsider (29/04/2023, 08:36) Like (5) Dislike (5) Reply
    Some of you bloggers are more critical than the Trump supporters in US. Give the young politicians
    a chance to spread their wings and push the country forward. You should be asking the Lord to direct their path.
  • 2023 (29/04/2023, 09:18) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    could only imagine how fraser and fellow opposition politicians will conduct themselves in house of assembly(my goodness
  • accidental (29/04/2023, 11:25) Like (13) Dislike (3) Reply
    I am disappointed. There is nothing name friendship in government. Wheatley is not deserving of a ministry. Dr Dawson should have been given a ministry. I understand why you gave Da Castro education. Poor soul you can't put her anywhere else. Dr Dawson could have done an excellent job in education. Otherwise for heavens sake give him health. Really you gave health to a non performing member. Give Wheatley a junior minister to a ministry where he can be guided. Would you out Wheatley as an opposition leader. The only person Wheatley surpass in the candidates is the bag lady and the other one who ran in the 8th. Similar name, similar straits. They have to hold off the milk.
  • BUSY BEE (29/04/2023, 11:57) Like (17) Dislike (2) Reply
    Is nobody concerned with the state of the territory’s roadways and water supply?
    The Hon. Mr. Rymer certainly shows no concern.
    Can’t help but feel the nation deserves better.
    • @Busy Bee. (29/04/2023, 15:14) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
      I agree.. I just dont see a proper fit for the man from VG..Back bencher was the best place for him..
  • Political analyst (29/04/2023, 15:18) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    The Westminster system is flawed. Under it, ministers, for the most part, are assigned based on those elected who relatively best suited, not those best qualified. Politicians are elected based on a popularity contest and seem to expect to have expertise in areas in which they don’t know pullet from fowl. Some pretend to get immediate expertise through osmosis and are too proud to admit that seasoned staff may have more knowledge and experience than they in many subject areas. Is not the aim of Permanent Secretaries who are skilled and experienced in public affairs and technical skills to provide advice to often inexperienced ministers for efficient and effective running of ministeries. But many ministers want to show that they are all knowing and got things under control when they are not. Consequently, things get SNAFU ( situation normal all f’d up). The smart ministers humble themselves and lean on their PS to get up to speed quickly.

    Moreover, back from my digressive rant to the current portfolios. Health is the most issue in the BVI and the best qualified person elected should be assigned to lead and manage Health and Social Development. IMO Dr. Hon Karl Dawson is better suited for that ministry than the Hon Vincent Wheatley. This is not a knock on Hon Wheatley but rather based on Dr. Dawson’s life’s and professional experience. Staying under Health and Social Development under which Solid Waste management currently resides, solid waste is a public works function and better placed within public works which falls under the Minister of Communications and Works(better name us Public Works and Utilities) .Further, a ministry of Management Information System is needed.. In regards to Public Works, Public Works should be led preferably by a civil engineer or a related engineer. . Many recent decades ago, it was led by a civil engineers , ie, Clarence Christian, Bennet Smith, etc. Of late, the practice has been putting administrative personnel to lead and manage a technical position in which they have not been trained and then we expects superb results and outcomes, ie, roads,, etc. Nuts!!! That is the definition of insanity. Does the Premier has the Stones to address and correct this misdirected effort. Further, Dr Dawson is assigned agriculture and fisheries but what is glaringly missing is land which dove tails with agriculture and fishery. Food insecurity should also fall under Dr. Dawson, etc. The Premier in addition to finance have a myriad of other responsibilities some of which should be delegated to Junior ministers to promote their growth and development in public affairs management and governing.
    • thinkagain (29/04/2023, 17:15) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      The westminister system has been around longer than you can dream and it has worked for an industrial ized stable country that has ruled a very large chunk of the world. Please stop talking nonsense . nothing in life or democracy is perfect.

      Now, in respect to the current BVI government structure recently anounced, it again demonstrates a disrespect of the people of the BVI and lack of understanding of good democratic governance, because;

      1. while the premier has the constitutional descretionary powers to assign subject and porfolio areas to ministers you would expect that he or she will not eliminate an entire ministry which has been a part of the BVI system for 50 plus years without consulting the people of the BVI. The Ministry of Natural Resources and labour is no more and moving its subjects will have significant logistical and administrative challenges which should have been properly discussed and organized.

      2. Individuals should not be able to influence the Ministerial structures of the Government based on their personal preference forcing the Premier to create Ministries which have not been justified to the people and made up of areas (such as Financial services) which historically had been structured to minimize direct government interference and influence.

      3. if such changes are to be made, at minimum the Premier should have proposed these type of major changes during the recent campaign. I havent seen such a major change in the VIP's or the member that joined the Government's manifestos or campaign proposals.

      There are more specific concerns but lets stay on these for now!

      • Political analyst (30/04/2023, 08:56) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Indeed, the Westminister system may have been around for a while but that does not mean it does not have flaws. It is flawed and in need of change and mending. Did someone say either life or democracy was perfect? One would have to be a mummy to say such. True, the UK led the charge in rolling out the Industrial Revolution but at whose expense. The British Empire was one of the largest Empire ever comprising at one point 23% of the world population( ~400M people) 25% of the global land mass, making the UK the leading world power. The Empire conquered and colonized countries impacting industries, cultures, and disrupting the lives of people. It exploited the indigenous people, expropriated land, resources, labour, etc. It took part in the slave trade, slavery, etc. Slave labour generated dizzying wealth that built the UK’s economy, built individual wealth, created commercial capitalism, which in turn created industrial capitalism, creating source funding for the Industrial Revolution. Slave labour created source funding for the Industrial Revolution. However, Everyone but slaves and their descendants benefitted from slavery and slave labour. Slave descendants are still waiting, waiting, waiting, even for a simple apology from the crown and slave master’s descendants and reparative justice. The British Empire with the lost of the profitable American colonies look to the scramble for Africa and to Asia for more lands to conquer and colonized and exploit. The British Empire over which the sun never set is a footnote in the annals of history. Global Britain is being pushed to try regain some of the lost influence, hanging on to the Commonwealth as if it (UK) is still the dominant, exploitive world power.
        • Really! (30/04/2023, 12:26) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
          What really is your point here. If you have a credible alternative to the Westminster system with all its flaws, please tell the world. Stop regurgitating history to make yourself relevant. Democratic systems are a work in progress for progressive civilizations to improve as we go along. But I have not heard one credible alternative for the BVI as yet that is not haphazard and filled with self serving ambition.
          • Really! (30/04/2023, 15:21) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
            You must one of those anti-woke , revisionist, etc, that once pretend that history is not history and wants us believe that certain history, especially Black history,,didn’t occur. It is just a mirage. You must a student of Ron Desantis’ Revisionist History School. You seem like a pretty bright guy so you understand that because something is flawed does not entail replacing it altogether. It typically under go some changes to make it better. Mend it, not end it.
  • woe, woe, woe, judgment (29/04/2023, 20:27) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    With all that said, so we got 3 first terms X members will be getting 2yrs pay, without working. Also the one that lost in zone 6, and Head Coach, will getting a few years PAY-DAY ,while not in office.

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