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Let’s return to living within our means — Fahie

Opposition Leader Andrew Fahie has used his emancipation message this year to continue his call for good governance and transparency in the British Virgin Islands.

And in a statement not specifically directed to a particular person or group, Fahie also encouraged prudence as it relates economic spending.

“We must recommit ourselves to the concept of ‘living within our means’,” he said.

“We must recommit ourselves to the highest form of decency and civility. And as a Christian nation, we must recommit ourselves to Christ-like actions and behaviours. When we recommit ourselves and we join in the emancipation celebrations from year-to-year and from generation to generation, we will know that we are free.”

Below is the opposition leader’s full emancipation message for 2018:

It is with great pleasure that I greet my people and residents of the Virgin Islands. Greetings are also extended to all visitors and returning guests who have joined us as we celebrate Festival 2018 in the Virgin Islands.

Lest we forget, it was last year, 2017, those festival celebrations were met with torrential rains and followed by hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Thanks to the resilience of our people, the local, regional and international donors and volunteers and especially the hard-working team of the BVI Electricity Corporation, whom I firmly believe need an extra honorarium for their hard work – thanks to all of them, we are finally beginning to see the light.

We have travelled far, but we must agree that for most of us there is still a distance to travel. So why are we here? Why are we celebrating in 2018?

The true meaning of Festival for us is a time when we celebrate our emancipation from the slavery of bondage. Our forefathers, through their sweat and toil, demanded and earned their freedom from bondage, and today we celebrate in remembrance of their accomplishments.

It is for this reason, not only during this year’s festival activities and in the month of August but at all times, we should model our thoughts, words and actions in a manner that shows our gratitude to our ancestors for the freedom that they prayed and worked so hard to make a reality.

It is Marcus Garvey who is quoted as saying: “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.”

Knowledge of history and culture enlarges our human experience and increases our self-awareness by creating a link with our forefathers. Without some understanding of our roots and our place in the flow of history, we cannot fully understand our own personal opinions, prejudices and emotional reactions. A knowledge of history is the only answer.

Although we have grown comfortable into believing otherwise, the reality is that there exists a minimum of five basic types of slavery in the world today, namely; debt bondage; sexual slavery, forced labour, chattel slavery and mental slavery. As a people, we must understand that each form of slavery has its origin and each its own set of consequences.

As a territory and as a people, while we celebrate and make our celebration the most meaningful, we must recommit to avoiding the pitfalls of all forms of slavery.

We must recommit ourselves to the fullest form of accountability, transparency and good governance. We must recommit ourselves to the concept of “living within our means”. We must recommit ourselves to the highest form of decency and civility. And as a Christian nation, we must recommit ourselves to Christ-like actions and behaviours.

When we recommit ourselves and we join in the emancipation celebrations from year to year and from generation to generation, we will know that we are free — free in deeds, free in words and free in actions.

As the First District Representative, as the Chairman of the Virgin Islands Party and as the Leader of the Opposition, I wish everyone a safe, educational and enjoyable 2018 festival celebration.

We are free; praise the Lord, we are free! Happy Emancipation. Enjoy!

Copyright 2018 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

42 Comments

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  1. he is not the answer says:

    Obviously he only knows all this when he is in the opposition…I am sick of all this sweet talk trying to fool people

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    • @he is not the answer says:

      You are correct he is the solution. Fahie all the way

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      • Really says:

        You mean he is part of the problem and with him at the helm it could only get worse. This dude is no new comer. Check the records brother – least we forget that his government was right where the NDP government is today, so why go back to that. Forward is where we must go. Where is the new party????

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        • To Really says:

          Truly…Fahie has spend more time in the Opposition while in politics so you check the record. He is the solution. He’s a true leader.

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  2. Kenneth Dreger says:

    PLEASE Correct the title to reflect his proper statement….

    WITHIN

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  3. West End citizen says:

    Mr. Fahie, if I didn’t know you and know of you I would have believed this goody two shoes imagine that you are tying to portray. I know you and many other know you too. We all know the stories. Please stop this charade before the great God of the Universe strikes you down.

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    • To West End citizen says:

      Hush your mouth. I doubt you from West End. Fahie is a good man and the majority of persons know that so save your negative energy.

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  4. Inquirer says:

    Can Hon. Fahie tell us about the 600k that he spent on the medical school study?

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    • @Inquirer says:

      Old news that is a side show by you and the crew. This is to take our minds off of the $1.5mill over spent school wall. Many multimillion dollar no bid contracts by him and the NDP among many other under hand dealing. We will not be distracted with your folly anymore.

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      • Wall says:

        The wall can be seen around ESHS. Medical study, drag racing study, neighborhood watch programme? I don’t know and the list can go on. Where’s the end product from the former minister’s projects?

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        • To wall says:

          Those gossip after 8yrs of a NDP government will not work. The proof is there on the ndp of too much under hand dealings.

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        • @wall says:

          It is clear you are only for confusion. A wall or a physical project is different from a study or consultancy. You can have a structure that can be seen but there still is no accountability. You can have a study or a consultancy and one can decide not to implement it.

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    • Seriously says:

      F— also built toilets in the capoons bay graveyard. niw tell us how that makes sense when he could have upgraded the much needed clinic – another waste of resources. Stupes

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  5. Anonymous says:

    I agree there should be total transparency. When a contractor is awarded a project, it should go to the lowest bid and to a company that demonstrates his ability regardless of where the company is located. The government should then hold the company to the bid with no overruns. In other words stop giving the contracts to the “belongers and their families” regardless of their capabilities. The projects overruns cost 2,3 4 times the original bid with no accountability. Think I’m wrong then look at the hospital and the pier park. Those involved and the government participants became wealthy at the expense of the population. This crap has to stop. The Brits will not give money or guarantee loans because of this. The island is broke and spiraling downward.

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    • E. Leonard says:

      “I agree there should be total transparency. When a contractor is awarded a project, it should go to the lowest bid and to a company that demonstrates his ability regardless of where the company is located. The government should then hold the company to the bid with no overruns.”

      No doubt, the procurement process needs fixing with transparency. However, firm fix price or low, responsive and responsible contracting/pricing is not a panacea. Typically, low bid generally works with/good for small procurements. Further, low bid, coupled with poor performance, spells problem(s). A better contracting method may be best value, contract process that looks at other factors in addition to price.

      True, government should hold contractors’ feet to the fire on contract terms and conditions. However, despite good design, effective inspection and project management, often there are needs for contract change orders or modifications. These changes occur for various reasons, ie, owner changes, unforeseen latent defects and different site conditions, errors and omissions, product substitution, deductive change orders……etc.

      Strong and effective project development, project design, project management, inspection/oversight………etc should reduce the number and dollar value of change orders, especially routine procurements. To the maximum extent practical, change orders should be kept to a minimum.

      Moreover, project managers must work close up with contractors to ensure projects come in on time and at or under budget. Contracts should have mechanisms in place to penalize contractors for delays within their control. Similarly, government must make contractors whole for delays it caused. Further, inspectors must ensure that work put in place meets design intent, high quality (workmanship, material and product) and taxpayers get value for money. Of course, contractors must meet at least the minimum qualifications for contracts that they are awarded.

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    • Bull says:

      I disagree. Outside companies should not be allowed to bid for no damn contracts in the BVI unless they join with a local contractor. It is time the BVI stop exporting money only. it cannot happen anywhere else. Outside companies cause the government to have overruns too (check the records.).

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      • Online Now says:

        @Bull – the reality is, it happens everywhere else. It is more important to get the jobs done right than to give a contract to a local contractor or public works without the expertise. You only have to look at the roads etc. for evidence of this.

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  6. Political Observer (PO) says:

    The BVI MO should have always been to live within its means and getting the most mileage/benefit from its resources. The BVI had a window of opportunity to be farther along than it is but it squandered it. An opportunity missed. Consequently, our schools, public safety facilities, medical facilities, infrastructure(water, sewage, electricity, ports, roads, drainage), sport and entertainment facilities……..etc. should be at or approaching First World status.

    Nevertheless, the BVI needs to live within its means. However, it will take planning, commitment, sacrifice, leadership and management, transparency, accountability and responsibility; good governance to make it happen.

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  7. @Annoy says:

    The comments were sitting good until the last sentence.

    The Brits are not the beginning nor the end to the elimination of our economic struggles.

    History has proven that correct. The most recent attempt to derail and destroy our hard earned economic success is yet another glaring example of that truth.,

    For the last 184 years we have come this far on the shoulders of our ancestral hard work, sacrifice and spirits, not by the benevolence, kindness and humanness of the Brits.

    Sacrifices should be the approach to getting through these rough times. The dependency mentality is abhorring.

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    • Rubber Duck says:

      Brits built the finance industry, the charter business ( with a few Americans), many of the hotels and the largest distribution and food companies.

      And sent troops and aid after Irma.

      • @ Rubber Duck says:

        And what’s the point? First, the Brits did not build the finance industry, it is the financial customers that did.

        Second, all the other businesses mentioned were opportunities open for anyone with money to invest in the beginning in the 1960’s after the Brits returned and realized that the slave
        offsprings had survived and there were now business opportunity to be had.

        So, they did not come back to build our financial industry, hotels and food chains for us. On the contrary, the invested their slave money to make more, plain and simple.

        As it turned out, we had no money to create such businesses because we worked for the Brits for four hundred years and never got paid, and they are yet to pay us.

        Further, every country in the world has hotels and food distributors whose owners are not local.

        Additionally, the Brits and Americans alike made sure that they paid slave wages to their employees while they got rich, which is tantamount to a second legacy of slavery.

        Such a shameful and heartless practice is still on going, just ask the employees that work in the green and white food store.

        Imagine,in the twenty first century profit creators are still being paid two to four dollars an hour, while the cost of bread and milk increases every time one goes to the store.

        Frankly, it would’ve been preferred if the German freak of nature had come by here in the 60’s, perhaps he might’ve not kept all the profits from the profit earners.

        From 1960 to present, mothers and fathers worked two shifts per day in Brits and American hotels and still were not paid enough to support one child.

        So, all such businesses need to nationalized that new decent and fair minded people can take them over, that economic/wage parody and fairness can prevail.

  8. Hmmm says:

    Ayo could stop there trying to bash Fahie but Fahie don’t mind the noise. There are more with you than against you.

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  9. My take says:

    Excellent message Hon. Fahie

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  10. Within our Reach says:

    Hon. Fahie, I hope that when you are on the Government side with more influence than before, you will seriously look into the “means” which we work for and consider if it is right that we should have to just hand over such a large percentage to the Government.

    The taxes are too high – lower the taxes (incl. SS & NHI), then more businesses will be able to shoulder their responsibilities, workers will have more take-home pay, more money will be available for spending in the local economy. Government will get its fair share and residents will be able to enjoy their emancipation.

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    • Wow says:

      Taxes high? We pay ZERO sales tax and the lowest payroll taxes in the world..WTF? Its funny to hear people rant about their tax dollars not realizing that it doesnt count for s**t. Simple math, we bribg in around $300mil in revenue annually. FSC and Registry along accounts for over $200mil. Then you have Customs duties, work permits, Immigration fees etc. How much taxes do you really think we pay, especially locals that dont need visa, permit, immigration time?

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  11. Clearly says:

    Hon. Fahie I commend you for a timely and on point message.

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  12. @Within our reach says:

    Lower taxes imply, and as you have an idea of, more earnings for the generator of wealth, the worker.

    The problem has always been, what can government do to ensure that workers reap such rewards?

    The facts are as follows: business does not pass on the rewards of lower taxes or exemptions from import fees to the customer.

    For example, business was authorized to pass on the savings from the import fees exemptions over the last few years to the customer/people. It never and will never happen!!

    There are two principles why that is truth:

    1.without enforceable legislation with strong teeth and enforceable mechanisms, business will keep every dime for itself. That is fact.

    2. as long as greed exist in the mind of man, he will employ all means to keep all for himself.

    That is the battle the current administration has been struggling with, and that is the struggle every future administration will have to face and resolve if workers are to realize the relief that which you have and all mentioned and all of need.

    If the Hon. Minister finds himself in a seat of power from which he can affect such a change, he will have succeeded where all before him has failed.

    Wish him luck, but do not hold yoour breath!!

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  13. Good idea says:

    Yassuh and I think some ladies should live within their means when it comes to yoga pants. Honey one size fits all doesn’t include all that junk in your steamer trunk.

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  14. huh says:

    since when he geh squeaky clean?

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    • To huh says:

      Your campaign to smear Fahie so NDP can win will not work so save your negative energy. He may not be squeaky c— but who is but he’s not even close to as d—- as bald h—- and the NDP

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  15. Fake! says:

    Hon. Fahie has the —– track record for openness and transparency. This is the case in his professional life as a Minister and also the fact that he was the subject of a Money l———- indictment in the US. If —- f–l some of his minions he didn’t fool the majority.

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  16. Mr. God of the Universe says:

    Just google. Mr. Fahie should really be the last person casting allegations of corruption against other people. Mr. Fahie stop trying to cover up yourself by casting false shadows on other people. You are to end up getting blasted.

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    • @Mr. GOD of the Universe says:

      Fahie can talk because he has proven his innocence. The NDP can’t talk because they are guilty and their investigation just starting.

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  17. Check it out says:

    Off shore alert and Andrew Fahie. Check it out.

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  18. We will see says:

    I guess it’s the NDP that has the US Federal government after —. It’s the NDP made h– waste money on a drag racing study. NDP made h– Waste 600k on a medical school study. The NDP made h– Waste 800k on a education consultancy given to his spiritual advisor. It was the NDP government that made use 2M of government money in this neighborhood project with h– buddy C—- C—-.

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  19. Oh boy says:

    Some of you out for FAHIE because he has kept the public informed and through him the majority of our eyes are now opened to the management of our public funds as well as many under hand dealings.

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  20. Rubber Duck says:

    Funny that poster Sam the Man never criticisms or mentions Mr Fahie

    Why would that be I wonder?

  21. To Rubber duck says:

    That’s because he has sense and knows stupidness when he sees it. We have bigger things to focus on this election rather than the same old news that failed for the NDP then and now.

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