Government minister Archibald Christian fears the Virgin Islands Recovery and Development Agency Act 2018 may be a repeat of the controversial BVI Airways saga.
In that respect, Christian asserted that he will not make the same mistake twice.
“Do we need to repeat the BVI Airways saga where individuals have gone with $7.2 million of our money and there is no airline flying?” Christian questioned during the ongoing debate on the Recovery Agency in the House of Assembly on Friday, March 23.
“We waiting for them to tell us what they did with our money. Months ago they were supposed to be flying.”
He continued: “I came to this House and I put my neck on the chopping block and supported that initiative (the BVI Airways agreement) only to find out that there was information that I was never privy to.”
The junior minister said similar to the BVI Airways saga, information about the Recovery Agency is being withheld from him.
He said he will not vote in favour of the Agency if he does not receive the full facts.
It was revealed during Thursday’s sitting of the House that Premier has ‘secret’ documents about the Recovery Agency that refuses to publicise or even share with members of his administration.
“I stopped making decisions without information – I’m sorry,” Christian said in parliament.
He continued: “With the time that I have left here, when I ask for information, unless there is a national security issue at stake and I get it – the people of the territory will understand that Archibald C Christian will vote his conscience all the time.”
The House of Assembly must agree to establish the Recovery Agency if the BVI wants to obtain a £300 million loan guarantee from the United Kingdom.
Parliamentarians are being told that they must vote by March 31, when the UK’s fiscal year ends.
Christian said he feels the UK is hastening local legislators to agree to implement the Agency.
He also said the UK has sent a number of documents making demands, which he thinks is a form of bullying.
While making his contribution to the debate on the Agency, Christian said he will not be rushed or bullied into making such a critical decision.
Christian – who said he has prayed and wept over the decision – is among four other legislators who have categorically said they do not support the Recovery Agency.
Premier Dr D Orlando Smith has been rallying support from the other 12 members of the House of Assembly to support the Agency.
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