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No Agency | I will not repeat BVI Airways mistake

Junior Minister of Tourism Archibald Christian. File photo

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.”

BVI Airways accepted millions from local government with an agreement to commence direct flights between the BVI and Miami, USA. However, the airline later laid off its staff; claiming that it needed more money to fly. Government has not recouped it’s $7.2 million.

Information withheld

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 vote

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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38 Comments

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  1. Que? says:

    ‘Prayed and wept’ – you have to be joking right? We the people are the ones that are praying and weeping!

  2. Thank you Sir says:

    It’s a disrespect to all elected members and the people for us to not have ALL information on the table. What kind of nonsense is this. That’s how things are done in this century? We need assistance but we must do so in a responsible and accountable way.

  3. Archie you are says:

    VOTED OUT – we are suffering and you pretend you are hurting with your nice looking suits and your roof above your head!

    Any vote against recovery is a vote against the PEOPLE OF THE BVI!

  4. Goodbye says:

    Archibald if you vote against fixing our roads, our ports and our schools. You are not worth out representation and should leave the HOUSE NOW!

    No more politics, we want recovery!

  5. Island man who can Wote says:

    What is really wrong with some people? If he had voted in favour, you would be here throwing a hissy fit, he voted against it you still here throwing a hissy fit. Tis miserable uno miserable so papa.

    I would be happy to vote you over him so you could get EVERYTHING right moving forward. Between me and my family you have seven votes…and I have never been more serious. All our votes for Uno.

    • Corruption on the top says:

      I’m 5th generation Bvilander and hold between all my family 40-50 votes. We are going to vote out anyone who goes against recovery funding. Enough is enough! Stop the suffering of our people!

  6. voter says:

    Ndp still going be voted out

  7. No More says:

    It’s about time you guys start voting your conscience. Actually that’s why we put you there.Now we know what we’ve been getting!

  8. Herodotus says:

    Until all current and prospective politicians wise up, learn up get current with the human mind, the history of corruption and politicians,the mafia and other wise and experienced corrupt organizations,we will continue to lose and they will continue take our country’s money and laugh at us.

    As long as our country is as potentially rich as it is made out to be, government can no longer issue scholarships for the medical, educational and law industries alone.

    It must train some of our best minds in world organized criminality and how to detect it also.

    Without facts to compliment our nations suspicion, it is assumed that we were robbed by organized world criminals.

  9. TurtleDove says:

    Can they impeach the Premier?. He is not Fidel…..if you hiding documents something is wrong….did he buy his house without seing the documents?….because you are a doctor or a professional does not make you a leader. As a leader I have to give him a big fat F.

  10. Neigh says:

    Oh Please..A local company pursued a frivolous lawsuit in effort to stop the deal. They suceeded in stopping u the deal bevause the 7 million was usurped during the lawsuit eventhough they lost the lawsuit.
    Sue them for the 7 million

    • True says:

      Those local bros as is the norm felt they were entitled to be given the deal .The entitlement virus is what killed the hen from laying the golden egg. They were warned that the lawsuit which was destined to lose would deplete or use up the investment and would also go past the ageed deadline for the deal to go forward. If they couldnt have the lollipop then neither should the country…badminded selfish ash ish mess. Sue Them For The 7million plus cost. Facts are facts deal with reality and stop making up fantasy stories to pass blame. Karma never fails however so pay attention.

  11. Question says:

    The twin pillars are hard hit. Tell me how will the loans be repaid. Also, heaven forbid and we are hit by another Irma level system, the loan is no where near repaid – What then? Leave the loan. Outsource instead, start trimming.

    • ? says:

      We’ll be outsourcing all the tourists to the other Caribbean countries that are more on the ball if we don’t accept help and get things moving. Kiss goodbye to the tourism pillar people

  12. Ah ha says:

    At last them learning sense from just being rubber stamps

  13. VILander says:

    Archie just did the best thing he has ever done since being elected. You weak ones are looking at the $$ without questioning the stipulations. We’ve all had $$$ before so promise of $$$ can’t trap us. We will at all costs be free & remain free. That is what our august celebrations are about. We don’t have to take their preference or peer pressure what we need to do is get all the info make an informed decision then get the $$$. S—– is the reason for the rush NO ONE ELSE. If he wasn’t being ….

  14. Mr.VI says:

    I have paid attention to the debate in the HOA and this does not seem like a good idea. To get help you have to agree to forming an Agency appointed mostly by our UK representative and the government that we elected would have little say in the recovery. That is not progress and would never be allowed in bigger, more sophisticated countries. This is disrespectful even though I must say that the scrutiny was well earned by the NDP due to their bad decisions in almost every large project that they have started from the Hospital, Pier Park, BVI Airways etc. but I’m glad that most of the members seem to agree that freedom is worth more than silver and gold. This decision will affect the next government as they will not be able to follow up on any campaign promises without the blessing of some Agency that we didn’t elect. Thanks for the offer but there must be a better way than selling our souls. I’m actually proud of the members of the HOA for the first time because they showed me that they do have a brain of their own and not just agree to anything just because it is the Party’s agenda.

  15. Tvip says:

    If the BVI does not accept this loan this government is STUPID. We have to have help. We can trust the UK. We can NOT trust this government. So accept the loan and the oversight that goes along with it. Those that don’t want the oversight just want to …

    • Mr.VI says:

      We need help but at what cost? Nobody except the Premier knows the full extent of the bill. Signing this bill is taking away our democracy because the people we elect whether bad or good will not have the power to manage our affairs. We have been blessed to have survived the worst and are doing a lot better 6 months later. You never sell low when you are going through tough times especially when you know your value is much higher. This is more than just mere oversight. This is ultimate control.

    • Adult Supervision says:

      The current ministers have clearly demonstrated their bad decision making with the airline, runway extension and the cost over runs in the pier project. They can’t be trusted with recovery funds. They haven’t even presented us with a recovery plan. Perhaps it’s time for condtitutional reform. We need a plan and an honest group to oversee it.

  16. Farmer says:

    See you in Haiti Archie! Hope you can plant cassava and make charcoal 😉

  17. JAY says:

    The government or the country needs help to bring things back to normal shape.
    I order to prevent what happened to BVI Airway saga, the content of document should be revealed to the house before voting.In addition,UK or reliable external body should monitor the way the loan and taxpayers money is spent for accountability which is almost nil in previous dealings.

  18. Ladytola says:

    Archie today you chose wrong side of history, our children need the recovery and you trying to play with our life

  19. too little, too late says:

    Well, I know people don’t like when I ask certain questions….but in life, I’ve learned that the only way to find truth is to investigate…ask questions.
    How can legislators support giving away 7 millions without knowing all there is to know about such a deal?
    That’s why it’s dangerous to join all these clubs and go trusting members to do business with taxpayers money, because this brotherhood thing is a way to exploit government and Rob the people….you all have to choose whether you going to serve club or country. …make up your mind, because it’s clear you can’t serve two masters at the same time.

  20. Virgin one says:

    Any vote against recovery is a vote against the PEOPLE OF THE BVI! Start the recovery NOW!

  21. PANDORA'S BOX says:

    Why haven’t the ministers even shared the documents with each other? Why haven’t they shared the documents with us? We need more transparency. We need a new form of government. This isn’t working. $7M down the drain with an airline investment. $50M in cost overruns on the pier. No fully audited accounts for how long? This ain’t working folks. This group wasn’t capable of properly managing tings before the storm. Can we trust them or anyone now?

  22. 50 shades of NDP says:

    Not only are we not the government in the sunshine but they are 50 shades of corrupt. 6 months on people still in halls homeless, supermarkets charging ridiculous prices with no one saying a word to them. Tortola the land of thieves, dishonest people and heartless nation. May God forgive you and grant you mercy. Over and out. Cos I ain’t barn heee

  23. The real says:

    THIS GOV IS A FRIG.It wouldnt straighten out so God..through Irma sorted it.God took the decision making out of the corrupt nastiness hand and thats it…The asme ppl you dis on the way up you meet on the way down..Never thought this place would pop down..In my life time…Vampires and weather kill yall and leave the place for dead.God bless the Queen.

  24. ... says:

    Thank God for Hurricane Irma. She really exposed a lot of sh-t in this place.

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