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John Cline resigns amid massive split in NDP gov’t

Cline

Cline

Bishop John Cline has tendered his resignation as Chairman of the BVI Health Services Authority (BVIHSA) after coming under tremendous pressure for his outspokenness on a number of sensitive national issues.

Premier and Minister of Finance Dr D Orlando Smith, who is accused of running one of the most secretive governments in the Caribbean, today confirmed Bishop Cline’s resignation.

“I have today received a letter of resignation from Mr John Cline as Chairman of the BVI Health Services Authority,” the premier confirmed.

BVI News Online, all afternoon, has been receiving reports that Premier Smith has ordered his health minister Ronnie Skelton to fire Bishop Cline.

It is said that the health minister was reluctant to act on Premier Smith’s request, and there were attempts to have him sacked too.

When contacted earlier today, Bishop Cline, whose contract at the BVIHSA was renewed recently, promised to comment on the issue tomorrow.

He has been facing pressure especially since last week Friday when he publicly declared that he does not support a government contract being awarded to China Communications Construction Company (CCCC).

Government announced last month that CCCC has been selected to undertake the runway extension project at Terrence B Lettsome International Airport at a cost of just over $153 million.

Bishop John Cline. File photo

Bishop John Cline. File photo

Bishop Cline is contending that the airport project is not feasible, especially at this time when the territory is facing financial challenges.

A few days earlier, Bishop Cline told BVI News Online that he is very concerned about the financial stability of the British Virgin Islands, especially at a time when international pressure is growing on the territory’s main revenue earner – financial services.

It is also said that Premier Smith wanted Bishop Cline fired after the clergyman publicly agreed with a call for him (Premier Smith) to hand over leadership of the finance ministry to the health minister.

The call for Premier Smith to quit as finance minister was made initially by Eileen Parsons, who is a member of the governing National Democratic Party.

The premier yesterday declared that he has no intention to give up the finance ministry, but he noted that there may be other Cabinet changes.

“Any government changes from time to time in portfolios of ministers for the good of the people. What I can say is that there may be changes but certainly not regarding the Ministry of Finance,” the premier said.

Premier Smith

Premier Smith

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64 Comments

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  1. Bushmaster says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 14

    Should have fired Ronnie behind too. He and Cline are responsible for so much mess in health.

  2. Look Trouble says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 0

    This is only the smoke. The fire behind.

  3. Uzi says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 3

    Well look how the cookie crumble and we all thought VIP was bad.

  4. Shastry says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 6

    You got to be careful with what and how you say things about your employer…. I sure he Cline wouldnt want none his church members bringing his business to the media….

    • Huh? says:

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

      These are public figures both Cline and Smith can be critical of each other in the public eye if they choose to.

    • well, well says:

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

      So if your employer is telling lies should you agree? If your employer is doing a poor job should you still go along with it?

      Just asking!

  5. Welsa says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 3

    And they say the Doc don’t have any power

  6. Political Observer (PO) says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 2

    The Premier had no choice but to fire Bishop Cline after the Bishop dissed and flogged the Premier in public. I’m sure the Bishop is not surprised that he was fired.

    The Premier acted quickly and decisively when he is personally attacked.

    However, wish he would have acted as quickly in protecting taxpayers interest, i.e., cost overruns at Tortola Pier Park, ESHS wall, lack of financial audits, victimization of Guy Hill, poor handling of additional year of high school, victimization of Karl Dawson, investing at juncture in TBLIA, investing $7M in a defunct airline ………. etc.

    The first salvo, first shot across the bow has been fired. Who is next to go? Eileen is probably persona non grata at this point; she is a goner. It would be surprising if Ronnie hang around. There is something dysfunctional and sinister going on within the NDP.

    The Premier came under fire but yet to see one caucus member come forward in support of him. In a subtle way, it appears as if there is a strong desire for him to exit stage left.

    Is it the beginning of the end for the NDP? The unraveling has started. Tribal politics is real and raging. The sad thing is that the ship of state’s compass is broken and as a result it is off course. Can the current captain command the crews loyalty to get it back on course. Who will hang with Doc?

    The territory is experiencing serious financial challenges and is dangling precariously off the fiscal cliff and needs a Noel, Lavity, Mandela, Joseph, Moses…,, etc to lead it out of the financial abyss. There are dark gathering clouds swirling overhead and rough,turbulent seas roaring ashore.

    Residents need to plan for the worst and hope for the best. Let’s get some pop corn, adult beverage and plop down in the Lazy Boy and watch the show.

    Moreover, a cabinet/ministry reshuffle is coming, for a sleeping giant has been awaken. The only uncertainty is who is going where.

    As noted in another blog, Ronnie ( if he still around) to MCW, Mark to MEC(?), Kedric to MHSS and Myron to MLNR. If Ronnie goes, Archie to MCW. Junior Ministers can be Delores to MEC or Marlon to MoF or Alvera to MLNR.

    • lol says:

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

      Ronnie gone!

    • Albion says:

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3

      I disagree completely.

      John Cline is not a member of Cabinet. He is not a member of the House of Assembly. He is not bound to “toe the party line”.

      He is an independent businessman who has been appointed to various public posts, including Chair of the BVIHSA (a non-party political post).

      By firing him the NDP has said loud and clear that public appointments are reserved for party loyalists only. That is a worrying state of affairs for everyone.

      I suspect John Cline’s biggest sin was to speak truths that no one in Government wanted to hear. They prefer inward looking blindness to open and frank discussion of the issues facing the country.

      • Lol says:

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        Independent businessman lol has to.be the biggest joke of the day. Treasury suckler and __ perhaps. Certainly not businessman.

  7. Reply says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 15

    Interesting. Regardless of what one may think of the state of the country’s finaces under the leadership of the Premier, I think the Bishop committed a cardinal sin when he publically expressed his opposing views on who should lead the financial sector and the expansion of the airport.

    The minute he did that, his days on the job were numbered. You simply dont handle such objections publically; rather these matters are best dealth with privately if one wants the maintain their job.

    What the Biship did was openly questioned:

    1. The leadership of the party and the government whose held the keys to his job, and

    2. Question the decisions of the party and the wisdom of one of its signature projects

    His decision to do so was unwise, and it cost him. So, it comes as no surprise to me that the Premier allegedly called for his head. I dont think the Premier had any other option here. The Bishop had to go.

    If the Premier had transferred the Finance Ministry as was suggested by Ms P, and supported by the Bishop, he would have essentially been admitting they were right.

    The premier giving up finances publicly would not have looked good and weakened him politically It certainly would have lend credence to those who thinks the Premier is weak. Well, if what is being reported here is acurate, he is signalling to his naysayers that he is not and is in charge.

    Now the fact that Rhonnie was reportedly caught between a rick and a hard place demostrates how nepotism/cronyism can affect ones judgement and decision making. Its hard to fire your own even if they may be right. And based on this reporting, Rhonnie role in goverment was threatened as well. All not good.

    Bottom line for me is this: the Premier had no choice if he wanted to remain in charge.

    A few words about Ms P. Never met the woman, but I had dealing with her on paper years back when she had a say in the Education Department. It was about a decade ago, I contacted her in a professional manner relative to a proposed project for which she had oversight.

    To this day over a decade later I have not recieved a professional reply. Rather, strangers..people I never knew but came in contact with while conducting business were relating to me the content of my letter.

    It was my first introduction to how some people in government conduct themselves. So I find it rather amusing that the letter she wrote to her party which was intended to be private leaked in the same manner the letter I wrote to her leaked.

    This confirms the old adage: what goes around comes around.

    Finally, I dont know the Bishop personally, but I have said on this forum several times before that I could not understand how someone with a non-medical background and know as a so called bishop could oversee the operations of the health services. His appointment and reappointment struck me as odd.

    So in my judgement, his resignation regardless of cause is perhaps in the best interest of the health services.

    Moral of this story: There is a place and time to express ones views. You dont express your reservations about the people or the things they are doing publically unless you dont care about losing your job. Stay in your line or resign in protest.

  8. Truth says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 15

    They can’t handle the truth. The bishop is right.

  9. Stewie Griffen says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 1

    light always reveals what’s hidden in the dark, Don’t pray to the almighty for change and expect things to remain the same. Shifting time is now.

    • pinkie says:

      Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 16

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

      • @ Pinky says:

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 6

        So because he’s not an elected official he should not have a say in the sirport mess?

        He’s a registered voter and a business person. He has every right like anyone else to voice his opinion. He’s right, we cannot afford an airport right now.

        If this project is forced, say I tell you, we the tax payers will

        Have to pay more taxes to pay for this as FSC is drowning. Are you willing to pay higher taxes? Oh, I thought not.

  10. Mr. Snartz says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

    Well today you’re in and tomorrow you’re out. But, at the end of the day it is and will remain business.

  11. rossa says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

    The ndp is like a wooden housse that is infested with termites, we only have to kick in the door and the whole rotten structure will come crashing down

    • lol says:

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

      @justice, are you trying to say that this will be our future for dealing with the Chinese company CCCC? Well that’s something to think on

  12. Dig two holes says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 4

    I hope the Premier and his relatives have their white shirts and dress ready. You don’t dig one hole.

  13. rastarite says:

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 14

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

  14. lol says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 3

    look ting and he thought being tight with Ronnie gave him a free paper.

    Bishop biting the hand that feeds him. As they say loose lips sinks ships. Cline learnt that the hard way!

    • ................... says:

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

      Him and a lot of others. Any body can get sack, put politics aside and just work in the best interest of the country and not yourself.

    • Dearly Departed.. says:

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

      Will he sue for ‘reasonable expectations’ as well in-spite of his resignation? I mean after all ’tis a family affair…lmfao…..

  15. musa says:

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 6

    well done doc

  16. lol says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

    The parasites are eating the “Parasitic Political Oligarchy” from the inside out. The thing is falling apart at the seams.

  17. mi says:

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 7

    Like to talk who is the boss now!take up ur bible n pray paster John pray some things u must leave alone🙏

  18. Interested says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 42 Thumb down 3

    I think that Mr Cline knew exactly what he was doing when he made his public comments.I dare say he didn’t care whether he stayed or went.

  19. watch a thing says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

    Finally, thank god

  20. Sword & sheild says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

    A spark was lit and now a. Fire is burning and will burn until the very roots of evil is consumed . Jezebel and Ahab at work .

    Jehu must rise and dash her to the ground that the dogs may consume her .

    Ahad acts only on the biddings and commands of Jezebel he is weak and useless unfit to lead a coward cold and heartless .

    RISE JEHU The fires are raging all will be lost if swift action is not taken

  21. Oops says:

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 8

    Would john like for his employees to go on radio talking negative about him. He too has secrets

    • @oops says:

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

      People talk about John all the time. He could care less. What secrets have to do with this. It’s not a personal matter. Everybody makes mistakes unless you are perfect.

  22. Oops says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

    One door close another one opens. People resign from jobs every day

  23. 8th District Gyal says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

    These series of events are very disturbing and reconfirms the notion of why there was a snap elections; Money and Power.

    The rattlesnake is about to devour itself.

    Moreover, what is even more troubling is that we (the taxpayers) are “home alone” as our leaders engage in this internal war which has now moved to the world stage.

  24. Rasta says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

    Dread just living mi life man. Sometime you let the boss know what up man.

    Cant follow wrong all the time. Down with the oppression let freedom.. Respect. Rasta nyabungi easy selasse.

  25. Ya Was Right! says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

    Premier ya had a right. All the wrong been going on down there at BVIHA and he still went to talk crap.

    All those contracts for lights, training and all the likes that were given to His hidden companies and associates.

    That lady he bring back there bout she heading Health Tourism is next. Bop Bop!

  26. ....... says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

    This is news but not news. He needed to go from BVIHSA anyway. He’s wearing too many hats and many of his roles are affecting his already __ role as a Pastor.

  27. kim says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Remember the issue with the phillipno baby that was missing at the hospital there was talk then ,and the pastor get position to close his mouth big position with a big salary , now he talk again he loose his position, so you see what happening here,

    He was offer position to stop talking about the issue now he open his mouth and he loose his position.

    What a dramma with a conflict of interest

  28. vi says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

    The Good doctor just cannot take constructive criticism and that is why no one but their families is going to vote for his party the next time around.

  29. Prophet says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

    Cut you ties with the Government Bishop. They are only using you.

    Look at GOD moving.

  30. Concern says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    John aint smart, I would have them fire me, as that is grounds for a lawsuit because you need just cause to terminate and employee.

    You can’t fire someone for having an opinion on a very public matter.

    The Premier not have liked his opinion, but that wouldn’t have been enough – they would have to build a case before termination regarding his actual duties.

  31. or rats says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    this is a listen for everybody leave cirten ppl get position an the whole aporation out in public then they turn the back on u.. know body got u but u for life

  32. Ralph says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    The Premier/Prime Minister of most territories/countries almost always assumes the Ministry of Finance.

    To surrender that, at the request of colleagues, is tantamount to an acceptance by the Leader of a vote of no confidence in his leadership.

  33. Wow says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Thank you doctor.smith you have many more to fire from the hospital. T

    hem say u don’t have the health services authority no increment but them in higher position salary is going up and the small man are suffering doc clean up the whole hospital doc nice job gone many more to go.

  34. yep says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Time enough……

  35. Real Simple says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    An unqualified political appointee who has shown consistently poor judgment in his role as Chair of HSA.

    Remember his response to the lady who died after the long wait in the waiting room?

    Remember claiming that no locals were qualified for the CEO post?

    What’s damning is that it took him throwing rocks at his own party for him to get the axe.

    That reveals more about this government’s priorities than anything else.

  36. John The Baptist says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Boy John, Gadeithz set you up good with that interview….lol. You’re like a Lamb to the slaughter. This is minor anyway. Still sitting pretty.

  37. LKP says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    ALL THEY WANT THEY GET IT RIGHT THERE IN DE GOVERNMENT. DONT CRY, YOU ALL ASK FOR IT AND YOU CERTAINLY GET IT….

  38. ndp heckler says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    This is a ndp tribal war but i wont compare doc with kim jong un just yet….LOL

  39. NPolitico says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    Govenor John Duncan must be having a haughty laugh with local political cannibalization.

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