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UPDATE: Corine N. George-Massicote returns as Fifth HoA Speaker

-after R. Dancia Penn, OBE KC reportedly fails to get support from all Gov’t members
Corine N. George-Massicotes returns as Fifth HoA Speaker. Photo: HoA/Youtube
Ms Corine N. George-Massicotes take the oath of office to as Speaker to preside over the Fifth House. Photo: HoA/Youtube
Ms Corine N. George-Massicotes take the oath of office to as Speaker to preside over the Fifth House. Photo: HoA/Youtube
The Multi-Purpose Sports Complex on Tortola is set as the venue for the convening of the Fifth House of Assembly (HoA) of the Virgin Islands on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at 10:00 AM. Photo: VINO
The Multi-Purpose Sports Complex on Tortola is set as the venue for the convening of the Fifth House of Assembly (HoA) of the Virgin Islands on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at 10:00 AM. Photo: VINO
Either former Speaker Corine N. George-Massicote, left, or Mrs R. Dancia Penn OBE KC, right, will be voted in as Speaker of the Fifth House of Assembly of the Virgin Islands on May 18, 2023. Photo: GIS/Facebook/File
Either former Speaker Corine N. George-Massicote, left, or Mrs R. Dancia Penn OBE KC, right, will be voted in as Speaker of the Fifth House of Assembly of the Virgin Islands on May 18, 2023. Photo: GIS/Facebook/File
Former Speaker Mr Julian Willock is in support of Mrs Corine N. George-Massicote becoming Speaker of the Fifth House of Assembly (HoA). Photo: GIS/File
Former Speaker Mr Julian Willock is in support of Mrs Corine N. George-Massicote becoming Speaker of the Fifth House of Assembly (HoA). Photo: GIS/File
The Government, left, and Opposition seats for the Fifth HoA set to convene at 10:00 AM on May 18, 2023. Photo: VINO
The Government, left, and Opposition seats for the Fifth HoA set to convene at 10:00 AM on May 18, 2023. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Information reaching our newsroom is that a possible nominee of the ruling Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Government, Ms R. Dancia Penn, OBE KC has failed to receive the full support of all Government members of the House, which paved the way for former Speaker, Ms Corine N. George-Massicote to be elected as speaker of the Fifth House of Assembly (HoA).

This came during today’s May 18, 2023, Swearing-In Ceremony and First Sitting of the First Session of the Fifth House of Assembly at the Multi-Purpose Sports Complex where Ms Massicotes received the nomination of the Government and Seconded by the Opposition to take the chair as Speaker to preside over the Fifth House.

In relation to the nomination for the Depuy Speaker, the House moved to a recess following Government nominations of Luce D. Hodge-Smith and Stacy Mather from the Opposition, after a contention as to whether Mrs Hodge-Smith can be elected Deputy Speaker while serving as a Jr Minister. 

More details to come. 

See previous story, published yesterday, May 17, 2023

Preparation in high gear for 1st HoA Sitting; Uncertainty looms over Speaker & Deputy!

ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- It was in 2019 when the then Andrew A. Fahie-led Virgin Islands Party (VIP) won eight seats out of thirteen at the polls.

On the first day of the Fourth House of Assembly (HoA), on March 12, 2019, they nominated Julian Willock as Speaker. Mr Willock was unopposed, as the Opposition did not put forward a candidate. Many regarded Mr Willock as a strong Speaker, but believed he was too loyal to the former Premier Mr Fahie. After the VIP was no more, following a vote of no confidence and a Coalition Government made up of three political parties (Government of National Unity) took over, they asked Mr Willock to resign so the Unity Administration could get its own Speaker.

In an interview, after he resigned in May of 2022, the former Speaker noted many of his accomplishments, including restoring interest in the HoA and bringing back the dignity of the institution.

Willock had his critics

His critics; however, believe he should have gotten rid of the wig, a colonial relic, while others believe he should have always relied on the advice of the Attorney General, who remains in a compromising position having to advise both the Executive and Legislative branches of Government, which are two separate and independent institutions.

The Fifth HoA will convene at Multi-Purpose Sports Complex on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at 10:00 AM and there is uncertainty as to who the Speaker will be. Many members of the ruling VIP Government of Dr. Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) support former legislator R. Dancia Penn KC, OBE; however, it’s unclear if the Party Boss has the votes to get her elected as Speaker in keeping with Section 69 of the Virgin Islands constitution.

It is believed there might be one or two within the VIP 7-member caucus who believe Mr Willock’s replacement, Mrs Corine N. George-Massicote, should be given another chance to be the Speaker of the legislative chambers. She is young, bright and has done an excellent job in filling Mr Willock’s shoes.

There are; however, those who believe she may not be strong enough to handle the tri-party Opposition, with personalities such as Hon Julian Fraser (R3), Hon Myron V. Walwyn (R6), and others.

It is unclear as of publication time what is the way forward.

There has been widespread lobbying on both sides, with some for Mrs Penn, a former Deputy Governor and Attorney General who is 72,  while others are strongly in the corner of Mrs George-Massicote, an attorney at law and the face of youth and a new generation.

Willock supports George-Massicote

There is also a new suggestion that if there is an impasse Mr Willock should be considered again. When reached by our newsroom; however, Mr Willock, a businessman, only said he supports Mrs George-Massicote because “she has demonstrated she can command the respect of Members'' and that it is “a matter for the 7 Members on the government side”.

History could also be made as the Deputy Speaker of the HoA will come from the Opposition side of the aisle. At tomorrow’s meeting, a Deputy Speaker must also be named and none on the Government side can be the Deputy Speaker, because they are all Ministers, according to Section 69 (4).

From time to time, the Junior Ministers can act as full Ministers and may have to attend Cabinet. The tri-party Opposition has a right also to put forward a candidate for Speaker. They have been tight-lipped about their intentions although they have been meeting and another meeting is expected today, May 17, 2023.

So at Thursday’s meeting, unless the VIP has its 7 votes intact or can get a vote from the Opposition, it could be a showdown as to who the next Speaker will be. No business of the Fifth HoA could proceed without a Speaker, according to Section 69 of the constitution.

The Clerk of the HoA, Mrs Phyllis Evans, will start the proceeding until there is a Speaker elected.

Nevertheless, according to reports reaching our news centre, the selection of a Speaker by the VIP is expected to be resolved before tomorrow’s much anticipated Sitting.

39 Responses to “UPDATE: Corine N. George-Massicote returns as Fifth HoA Speaker ”

  • HMMM (17/05/2023, 14:11) Like (16) Dislike (20) Reply
    I can already hear the set of grand standing going to happen especially from the Opposition side.
    • to hmmm (18/05/2023, 11:13) Like (19) Dislike (8) Reply
      I said the same thing. I am confident though the VIP Government once remaining levelheaded and respectful to each other while keeping country above self, will successfully navigate the country and themselves through these modern day worldwide turbulent times.
  • Youth (17/05/2023, 14:14) Like (24) Dislike (3) Reply
    I am glad to see the battle is between two women for a change. Either one selected can do the job.
  • jack (17/05/2023, 14:35) Like (47) Dislike (6) Reply
    Give youth a chance
    • @Jack (17/05/2023, 15:47) Like (29) Dislike (8) Reply
      Give the most qualified the chance as this country belongs to all ages and gender.
  • bvi (17/05/2023, 14:43) Like (21) Dislike (5) Reply
    Young Pepole please
  • conflict or nepotism? (17/05/2023, 14:47) Like (15) Dislike (10) Reply
    The proposed Speaker and the Premier are close relatives
  • Massicote (17/05/2023, 15:11) Like (29) Dislike (11) Reply
    Shouldn't have to go through this. We always speak of giving the young people an opportunity. She rose to the occasion and proved herself worthy of the job. We have to be very mindful of treat these qualified, educated young people. It can come back to bite us.
    • @Massicote (18/05/2023, 11:10) Like (14) Dislike (2) Reply
      What foolishness you mean why Massicote has to go through this? The position does not belong to her or no one else. Note I am supporting her, but I also support democracy, and this is true democracy at work. We trust that the Government will make the correct decision but let democracy take its course so when or if she gets it again or not, she and everyone else in public life will understand that nothing is automatic or guaranteed in life.
    • @Massicote (18/05/2023, 13:25) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
      There is a process to be followed. I agree that Ms. George-Massicote should be Speaker, but it must be done correctly. Trying to circumvent the process will get us in trouble four times out of five.
  • coi (17/05/2023, 16:07) Like (3) Dislike (8) Reply
  • Guest (17/05/2023, 16:51) Like (35) Dislike (10) Reply
    Why are we even having a Penn Sallah versus George Massicote conversation? In the midst of the crisis that enveloped the territory following Andrew Fahie's arrest, the release of the COI report and the impending threat of a UK takeover, George Massicote stepped forward and performed creditably. What message would be sent to young professionals if she were to be sidelined at this stage? I admire Penn Sallah for all her past accomplishments and her academic and legal acumen, but I think she should pass on this one. And stop advancing the argument that George Massicote may not be strong enough to handle Julian Fraser and Myron Walwyn. The standing orders exist to control the affairs of the house and Fraser and Walwyn who are both steeped in parliamentary procedures and processes will adhere to the guidelines and govern themselves accordingly. She has already proven that she can interpret and apply the orders when and where necessary. Stop demonizing them because neither Fraser nor Walwyn will disrespect her. Yes, there will be robust debates but she will be able to be a good moderator.
    • @guest (18/05/2023, 06:30) Like (11) Dislike (18) Reply

      My** should be the moderator for the guys up Balo. How long? Not long!

      Stop giving this cri**** credit because he is charged with mistrust of public funds.

  • Political Scientist (17/05/2023, 18:23) Like (15) Dislike (3) Reply
    Dancia Penn-Sallah has have had the opportunity to check a number of high level positions in the public sector, ie, AG , Deputy Governor, Rep D-8 (one-term), former Minister of Health. Did she lay down any markers in these jobs? Do we want actors or performers, or does? Regardless of the answers to these questions should we not give the young lady Ms. George-Massicote an oportunity? The young is the next generations of political leaders and needs opportunities to hone their political and managerial skills.
    • Show Horse (18/05/2023, 08:43) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
      The woman is an intellectual and has accumulated the credentials but is a show horse, not a work horse. Not a doer just like the former D-7 rep. As the D-8 rep, she could not even earn a second term, beaten by a political novice. Is this an attempt for something else for a my love me wall. By the way, you forget Deputy Premier(the head coach and liberator was not too happy about that).
  • Interested (17/05/2023, 18:25) Like (35) Dislike (10) Reply
    It’s about time for Dancia to move aside. Attorney General ,deputy Governor, deputy Premier and what’s to show for it.?
    Give the young lady a chance please !
  • local boy (17/05/2023, 18:44) Like (5) Dislike (3) Reply
    @Guest girl I support you 100%.
  • Lb (18/05/2023, 08:40) Like (5) Dislike (23) Reply
    I got to give it to the esteemed he did a great job as speaker
  • @Lb (18/05/2023, 08:52) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    In terms of moderating the debates and having a good working knowledge of the standing orders I would agree with you that he did a great job. His downfall was his knack for over exceeding his powers and, in the process, costing the taxpayers.
  • Citizen (18/05/2023, 09:11) Like (8) Dislike (5) Reply
    Please keep Mitch away from Deputy speaker. He to is just for show, he is not a doer.
  • boop boop (18/05/2023, 11:06) Like (20) Dislike (6) Reply
    The very first sitting Hon Fraser defeated the Premier's motion to elect Hon Luce as deputy Speaker
    • To boop boop (18/05/2023, 13:51) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
      I have picked no sides but the government should get a judiciary review on certain issues one being is a Junior Minister really a Minister. If this is so then there are many other laws of the Virgin Islands which contradicts such and those would need to be amended. A Jr. Minister can only sit in Cabinet if they are sworn in as a Minister which means they are not a Minister. This issue as well as a few others need legal judiciary review for clarity for future reference rather than relying on conventional interpretations. Do not wait for another COI to prove us wrong.
  • Congratulations (18/05/2023, 11:10) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    Congrats Madam Speaker!! all the best :)
  • Major blunder (18/05/2023, 11:24) Like (20) Dislike (6) Reply
    I am really disappointed that this sh-t start already. Didn't the premier know before hand that he could not nominate Hon Luce as deputy speaker. Moreover I am total disappointed that Hon Lorna decided to follow him by secondIng the motion. Total blunder big disgrace. Too early for this nonsense. Let me congratulate the Speaker, great choice and the deputy speaker excellent. What an improvement from a sheep.
    • facts (18/05/2023, 14:05) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
      I said the same thing. Aren't these people learned enough. Yuh mean to tell me neither the Premier nor Deputy knew, who advising these people?
  • Yayaaaaaaa (18/05/2023, 11:46) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    Yes, yes, yesssss, I am so freaking elated. CONGRATULATIONS MADAME SPEAKER.
  • To bad (18/05/2023, 13:14) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
    It was time for the sheep to retire to the pasture. I am elated and confident about the Speaker and Deputy Speaker. BIG CONGRATULATIONS TO BOTH OF YOU AND WISHING BOTH OF YOU THE BEST.
  • annudda2cents (18/05/2023, 13:37) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    I am delighted that Mrs. George-Massicote was returned as Speaker of the House of Assembly. She performed admirably and is rightfully deserving of a full term.
  • Rhythm up.. (18/05/2023, 13:56) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    OMG. I sm so happy. This is the right move.. Both Dancia Penn and Keith Flax would have being more or real honourables if they have done the honourable thing and withdrew their names. They need to use all the taxpayers money they are getting and go enjoy their last days..
  • LN (18/05/2023, 15:24) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Now look at Mitch now... Can't even fill a position.
  • King Charles II (18/05/2023, 17:25) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Yes, Fraser has one under his belt. And yes, happy to see Mrs. George-Massicot back in the saddle. I think she has earned another chance. I thought she was a goner from all the chatter I was hearing about Dancia though.
    • Chatter (18/05/2023, 21:00) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      The chatter is all it is. A set of chat by people who need to day something so they can feel important. They talk and blog as if Dancia applied for a position. She did not and she does not care for it. Names pop up within the government and they try to narrow it down. But ohhh how the BVI people just feel honored in pulling people down. So what you do, try to drag the woman through the mud over what you don't know about while she minding her own business.
  • DID ANYONE NOTICE (18/05/2023, 18:58) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    The present speaker's hair is what they try to imitate with those silly looking wigs....get a life.
  • Proud (19/05/2023, 07:51) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    My cousin on both side of the family. George and Massicot. I'm so proud of her.
  • Virgin Islander (19/05/2023, 12:08) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    the best move the VIP made
  • rambo (19/05/2023, 15:24) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Rhythm up. You are chatting nonsense. Keith Flax name was NEVER in the mix. You are just creating mischief and you should STOPIT. Both Penn and Flax have earned the pension they collect like everyone else who have served so just shut your face and get a life
  • ory yor yoi (19/05/2023, 18:47) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Locks in the box...Suzy fix yu face.

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