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Premier blasts Governor for misleading public on tardiness of Police Bill

- said Bill was brought to HoA the day after received in Cabinet from Governor
Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7), right, spared little words in letting the public know that Governor John J. Rankin, CMG, left, was being bluntly untruthful when he laid the blame on the Unity Government and the House of Assembly for the controversial Bill entitled Police Act 2023 only now reaching the HoA. Photo: VINO/File
The Police Bill 2023, in its current form, raises serious concerns about police being given opportunities to abuse their powers and stripping the people of their human rights. Photo: RVIPF/File
The Police Bill 2023, in its current form, raises serious concerns about police being given opportunities to abuse their powers and stripping the people of their human rights. Photo: RVIPF/File
FAT HOGS BAY, Tortola, VI- Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) spared little words in letting the public know that Governor John J. Rankin, CMG was being bluntly untruthful when he laid the blame on the Unity Government and the House of Assembly for the controversial Bill entitled Police Act 2023 only now reaching the HoA.

The Bill had its first reading on Thursday, February 2, 2023, in the HoA and was slated for a second and third reading in the HoA on Friday, February 10, 2023, but was postponed to allow for more consultations, following serious concerns by the public.

Governor blames Gov’t & HoA

During a press conference called by Governor Rankin on February 14, 2023, he was asked why he was now trying to rush the Bill through the HoA weeks before an expected general election.

“As regards the timing of when the Police Act was introduced into the House of Assembly, that with respect is a matter for the Government and the House of Assembly. I would have wished it to be done earlier but I hope, nonetheless, that the act could be given appropriate consideration,” Mr Rankin responded.

‘Misinformation’- Premier Wheatley

Premier Wheatley; however, is not giving the Governor a pass on that blame-shifting.

Appearing on the International Morning Braff Show on Tola Radio VI this morning, February 20, 2023, Dr Wheatley said he was appreciative of the opportunity to clarify some of the “misinformation” presented at the news conference and one of them was concerning the Police Act 2023, and that Governor Rankin, in response to a question asked, had suggested that it was the Government who was responsible for the Police Act reaching late to the House of Assembly.

Hon Wheatley clarified that the police is under the Governor and therefore the Bill was being prepared through the Governor, Deputy Governor and Police.

He said it was last year that the former Premier Andrew A. Fahie asked him to get public feedback on the Police Bill in his capacity as Deputy Premier and Member of the National Security Council.

He said consultation meetings were held on the four main islands, including several on Tortola and as a result of the consultations there were amendments to the Bill.

Dr Wheatley said, apparently, there were additional amendments made at that particular time and the process of these amendments took very long, “and literally for months I was begging for the Police Act to come forward because I didn’t want to happen what is happening right now.”

He said he would often make the call in Cabinet for the Bill to be brought forward.

Dr Wheatley said the Bill was brought to Cabinet by the Governor the day before it was scheduled for a first reading in the HoA.

“And of course, when it became a public document and everyone would have had the opportunity to look at it we saw all these additional amendments that we who did consultations were not aware of,” Premier Wheatley said, explaining that it was still the democratic process and that legislators are unable to make changes to any Bill from the Governor until it reaches the House of Assembly.

“When that gets into the House of Assembly it belongs to the House of Assembly and no longer belongs to the Governor or the Deputy Governor.

“And that is why it then becomes a public document so that the public can look at the Bill, see some of the challenges with the Bill, which is happening now. This is the democratic process. While some people might be upset with the Bill, you don’t have to be upset. What you have to do is go through the Bill and see what needs to be changed, and then the Bill has to come to the House for debate, and based on the feedback from the public, and based on every Member’s reading of the bill, we then debate the Bill and the public has to listen to the debate to hear all the points being made on the Bill.”

Dr Wheatley further explained that after the debate the Bill would then be taken in Committee Stage where the changes to the Bill can be made based on the outcry of the people. He said once the changes are made and the Bill is passed in the House the Governor will then decide whether he wants to assent to the Bill or not.

‘I just bring the Bill on behalf of them’- Premier

“But unequivocally I can say to you, the reason the Police Bill came so late [to the House] is because of the process of making those amendments between the Governor and Deputy Governor, Attorney General’s Chambers and Police.”

“I just bring the Bill on behalf of them and when they got it to Cabinet finally, we were able to bring it in one day to the House of Assembly,” Premier Wheatley stated.

The Police Bill in its current form raises serious concerns about police being given opportunities to abuse their powers and strip the people of their human rights.

See related article below:

Police Bill 2023 raises red flags & makes way for police abuse of rights

28 Responses to “Premier blasts Governor for misleading public on tardiness of Police Bill”

  • 2023 (20/02/2023, 14:13) Like (17) Dislike (32) Reply
    why the current premier thinks he must respond to every thing….shut mout catch no fly
    • Citizen (20/02/2023, 15:29) Like (21) Dislike (15) Reply
      Why should he sit there and take all the blame when the colonizers trying to take away our rights.
    • @2023 (21/02/2023, 08:38) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      It is clear the Governor is creating unnecessary public confusion to try to win the minds and hearts of the people of the BVI so he can try to justify his next move which will never be in the best interest of the people of the BVI, only that of himself and his UK Officials.
  • Choices.. (20/02/2023, 14:20) Like (23) Dislike (17) Reply
    Premier blast...sounds bias..We have 2 different stories to a serious situation, Now It all comes down to who do we believe...There is some truth to both story. Me personal I am 55% Governor and 45% Premier, our leaders have a reputation of not saying the whole truth...This is not good for us, the bad relationship only going to get worse.. He who holds the blade will get hurt.
    • To Choices (20/02/2023, 16:42) Like (14) Dislike (14) Reply
      I am always amazed how a few of you mostly believe everything that comes out of a Governor's mouth. It is a slavery mentality that lingers after 400 years. This is another reason the post of Governor needs to be a post where the people of the country get to vote for that person so the Governor can truly be held accountable for their actions and be held accountable to all the laws, policies, and regulations of the land as well as the people and not a department in the UK full of public servants with colonialist mentality cloaked in other forms to suggest otherwise.
      • Protect the people (20/02/2023, 23:46) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Great idea. So you put another corrupt and corruptible local in a position where he or she can dive his or her hand in the same cookie jar as all the others. Then who will hold the governor to account for the protection of the people. Get real.
  • Breach of trust (20/02/2023, 14:28) Like (17) Dislike (17) Reply

    Deputy Governor
    Attorney General
    Police Commissioner

    All of you in cahoots to defraud the people of the Virgin Islands and rob them of their human rights. All of you know better. Breach of trust charges NOW! And put that on the BBC.
  • To Premier (20/02/2023, 14:42) Like (17) Dislike (14) Reply
    Becareful with this Act. It is needed but not in the full form in which the Governor give it to you to take to the parliament for passing. Do not let this colonial master push you to pass this act in the present form so he can enslave you and your people.
  • Open our eyes (20/02/2023, 14:45) Like (24) Dislike (1) Reply
    I hope the elected officials listen to the majority of the voices of the people of the BVI and send this Act back for thorough vetting and full public consultation before considering passing it. The intentions behind this act in its current form is not good for the people as it violates people's democratic rights.
  • Get on with it... (20/02/2023, 14:54) Like (17) Dislike (14) Reply
    I wish the Government would stop this back and forth and tell the true story behind this Bill. This Bill was drafted long before all of this chaos and it appears that the Bill was adopted following Cayman Islands, Bermuda and the UK. It is the Government's policy and if it is they wanted this Bill to be amended they should not have approved it before Cabinet and forward it before the HOA for public consumption. This can be easily be fixed by removing the Bill from the HOA and going back to the drawing board to change the policy intention of the Bill to now reflect what is required by the BVI. Plain and simple..stop this sensationalism..
  • clear (20/02/2023, 14:55) Like (19) Dislike (22) Reply
    The Governor's face alone tells you that he does not have any good mind for the BVI people. His face shows that he does not want any resistance and want us all to do whatever he says and when he says to do it. It is clear that he is doing his best to hide his racist tendencies but lately it is coming out more and more. He is a master at creating confusion in the minds of the people to aid his devious plot.
    • all ah we (20/02/2023, 17:36) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
      BERMUDA.. He was FIRED from in BERMUDA!!
      He was sent back to England then England sent here, no one wanted him in the other over sea’s Caribbean Territories!! INQUIRE!!
  • Kettle black (20/02/2023, 14:58) Like (11) Dislike (21) Reply
    Goodness. One who lies calling other people a liar. Just answer the question. Was it possible to have elections? Thats all we want to know.
  • cay (20/02/2023, 15:02) Like (23) Dislike (12) Reply
    Ok finally he grow some balls good job showanda
  • lol (20/02/2023, 15:04) Like (10) Dislike (10) Reply
    This whole tit for tat is quite unfortunate. The Governor drafts laws now?
    • @LOL (20/02/2023, 16:37) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
      The Governor through the UK does draft laws for the subjects under the Governor like the police. But the Governor cannot pass laws in the House of Assembly so it must go through the Premier to do such things. Next time research properly before posting.
  • concern (20/02/2023, 15:05) Like (18) Dislike (11) Reply
    The greatest failures in the country for the last 30 years are all the subjects under the governor but there is no way to hold him accountable or to have recommendations for improvements in the carrying out of his duties and responsibilities and disciplinary actions in his inability to adhere to the recommendations. Yet the Governor alone has the power to do it to all others. People we need to wake up.
  • please (20/02/2023, 15:10) Like (8) Dislike (8) Reply
    Mr Premier welcome back. Is that all that you see since you came back. Forget the police act for today please tell us about the option you were given to call early elections. We the people want you to address that. Tell us how and why you misled us just so that you can become premier. Please sir tell the Governor that he is lying g as well. Harlot.
  • My Take (20/02/2023, 15:13) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
    The new police act should not be passed until the Human rights and freedom of information act is passed. The people need protection from any potential abuse of power by all officials including the governor and police.
  • lodger (20/02/2023, 15:21) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    Governor off island.
    While the cats away the mice will play!
  • Blast away (20/02/2023, 16:01) Like (4) Dislike (4) Reply
    The last Premier to keep on blast the Governor was sent up the 'crik' without a paddle.
  • pants on fire (20/02/2023, 16:26) Like (6) Dislike (3) Reply
    "It was last year the fomer Premier...asked me to get feedback.."
    NOTE the unspecified ranting....Last year is more than a year ago. Andrew off island and not doing business as Premer since April last year ,so why omit the date when u had public input and when it was returned to the Governor for Amendment and when the amended version was received by your office ...It would not have been in keeping with the traditional slothful don't care and whenever attitude jn conducting business by BVI Gov to be efficient and timely Surprisingly it wasn't "lost " in the process,,

    al rece me to get feedback
  • No good (20/02/2023, 16:57) Like (15) Dislike (0) Reply
    Regardless of who is telling the truth or who is lying one thing is certain there is no good intention in this bill for the people of the BVI.
  • He said/He said (20/02/2023, 17:53) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Since he said it was last year, he were dealing with a police (Bill.)That tell's me, he only had 3 months talking with... Tom, Dick ,and Harry.
    • Bumble Bee (20/02/2023, 18:20) Like (1) Dislike (6) Reply
      He said/He said
      How did you come up with that math of three mths, it has been a lot more than 3 months since the expreimier was arrested.
  • Rick (20/02/2023, 19:35) Like (5) Dislike (3) Reply
    This Governor has no good intentions for the people of the British Virgin Islands everything he trying to do he keeps saying it's in the best interest of the people, that's not true they clearly have an agenda. We know the governments of the past were not good but somehow some of the people in the BVI thinks this man is some kind of savior. People when will you all wake up and pay attention? All of this is because Black people here are successful and the Governor and the UK are using the short comings of a few leaders to bring a the whole country down. The man can't get his own personal life under control but here trying to dictate. These people are no different than the Chinese, North Korea, orRussian leaders. The BVI people should be the ones to deal with the nasty politicians we've had over the years. I will say it again the Governor and the UK have a hidden agenda wake up people wake up and stop fighting each other
  • Don't poke the bear! (21/02/2023, 08:14) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    The boy who cried wolf all over again!
    The Premier should pick his battles. When everything is someone else's fault, there is a problem.
    The UK already told everyone they take the running of the country back if there isn't some reform. Please show 'some reform'. You don't have to do everything the UK asks, but you are doing Nothing....
    Stop all this drama and move along. We the people need a functional government!

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