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Premier responds: Fahie ‘claiming victory’ unsurprising

Predictable, is how Premier Dr D Orlando Smith has described Opposition Leader Andrew Fahie’s victory parade following the amended and just-passed Recovery and Development Agency Act 2018.

After the controversial legislation passed on Tuesday, Fahie said the Premier and the United Kingdom gave in to the demands and requests from local legislators.

Several legislators had refused to support the Recovery Agency Bill if they were not made privy to the ‘secret documents’ detailing the UK’s high-level framework and conditions for supporting the BVI’s recovery.

“It is amazing, but not surprising that the Leader of the Opposition would claim victory for his participation in the discussion; after all, an election year is just around the corner,” Premier Smith said.

“It is also not surprising that he would regurgitate statements that he has made in the House over the past years, many inaccurate and to which I have responded and will continue to respond when necessary,” he added.

Best interest of BVI

According to the Premier, the National Democratic Party government ‘continues to look after the best interest’ of the territory and its residents.

Premier Smith admitted that he had spoken to Fahie along with other members before the debate about the Recovery Agency Act concluded.

“I am grateful that many of them took heed. This is what is expected of a leader when he is doing something in the best interest of the people,” Dr Smith said.

Much ado about nothing

In terms of the so-called ‘secret documents’, the leader of government business said he had presented ‘all documents that were required’ on the matter to members of the House of Assembly.

“Indeed the demand for “all documents” was much ado about nothing, as members of the public would have realized on hearing the contents,” the Premier added.

The Premier further said the Recovery and Development Agency was nothing new to local legislators.

“The Agency had been discussed on several occasions, between October and November of last year, by all members of the Caucus.  Furthermore, there was at least one meeting with all members of the House.”

Dr Smith also wanted to place on record that the decisions on the Bill were all made by the Cabinet of the Virgin Islands before being brought before parliament.

He added that it is ‘standard operating procedure’ for all bills that come to the House of Assembly be debated by members and, where necessary, amended.

Cabinet had engagements with UK

According to the Premier, before having the debate on the Recovery Agency Bill, the Cabinet had continuous engagement with the UK.

He said that was to ensure BVI residents were able to get needed assistance on the best terms. Those terms included an assurance that the BVI’s borrowing guidelines would be reviewed to accommodate the ‘necessary increased loans’ for recovery.

The Premier also reiterated that the BVI would not borrow the full £300 million. He said loans will be sought as necessary, and not in excess of the country’s ability to repay.

Governor to select Chairperson

As it relates to selecting a Chairperson to head the Agency, the country’s leader said Governor Augustus Jaspert will make that selection

He said government made that decision after consulting with the Opposition Leader.

“Finally, contrary to what the Leader of the Opposition said, the composition of the Board was not changed, rather it was agreed that the Leader of the Opposition’s selection would be a youth (a suggestion from my government) and the Premier’s selection would be a member from the sister Islands.  Both are important points which would have been addressed in any case,” Dr Smith asserted.

The Premier said he will be hosting a press briefing on the Recovery Agency and related matters later today.

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17 Comments

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  1. cut and paste says:

    No matter what they say or what they do ….I know and believe one person always have this county in his heart and that is you Doc. Yes you may make a few mistakes but BVI is you and you are BVI always. You are always a humble man and authentic to your BVI bones. I know you are in a dog fight and at time you have to pull out some tricks. At the end of the day you will start and end with BVI.

    • Wendy says:

      I agree. No doubt about Doc’s sincerity and love for the VI.

    • Piece of cake says:

      Not true. Doc had the country in his pocket him and his international friends…

    • Tola says:

      Agree.Let us not forget all that Doc has done for the country.He is a humble servant and has been serving the territory long before being elected to office.Who could have done a better job after Irma and Maria ?.Did not agree with everything that this government has done but he is our leader and we can debate policies without attacking the man or his wife.Doc we have your back !

  2. Youngin says:

    Ok…Now its time to stop the back and forth and get the damn Territory up and functioning. Just make sure ayo spend that money properly and take into consideration what is of high priority.

    • To youngin says:

      Agreed. This was petty by the Premier and misleading. Tell him go get his 6yrs of spending audited.

    • Time will tell says:

      Well that’s just it. The Agency will spend the money not them. The money will not be mingled with gov’t funds and will only be spent on the agreed areas in the recovery/development plan.

  3. Voter says:

    This is the Dr. Smith so many of us have been waiting on! Keep a steady hand and move us forward Doc, we got your back!

  4. hmm says:

    govt broke me son. show to be a joke during this hurricane season. sell that airline and fix my road fools

  5. Ah ha says:

    F iz a snake in d grass

  6. Love Doc says:

    Regardless…. he better than most – if not all of them

  7. Resident says:

    Ok no more back and forth. Mr Fahie and Dr. Smith I love you both but please do not make this a tit for tat. Let’s work together. You all may not agree on everything but let’s put ALL our differences aside now and work together. We need ALL hands on deck. For the next year I DEFINITELY do not want to hear any bickering cause I would turn off my radio or go watch something else on my phone. Enough of that.

    • Hmmm says:

      Doc is not and had never been a bickered. That F is an embarrassment.
      Misinformation,untruths,name calling… The bigger he tries to look,the smaller he becomes.
      He should understand that it is not the VI alone but the UK and other international officials who will know and remember him for the character he continues to portray.

  8. watcher says:

    Better to have an honest journeyman than a dishonest craftsman. .

  9. Eagle eye says:

    Roll out lets go any new party out there.

  10. Hah says:

    If the Premier had a h—- he would have cried when he got home after Fahie made his contribution to the debate. Everything Fahie said could be labeled as just politics but it was the truth and the truth should hurt especially when you are responsible for putting the country in a crisis. Our leader wrote to the US strongly criticizing locals so that BVI Airways could get the approval to fly in the US then karma bit in the butt as months later no flights, $7 million gone and he and everybody that voted yes looking like [email protected]@$$3$. We need the same money right now.

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