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‘Snide remark’ upsets HOA | Fraser attempts to storm out

By Davion Smith, BVI News Staff

Proceedings in the House of Assembly were momentarily disrupted on Tuesday (July 10) when what can be described as a snide remark from Premier Dr D Orlando Smith left an Opposition member marching for the exit.

The incident began to unfold when Third District Representative Julian Fraser stood in parliament to complain about the longstanding water shortage problem affecting his constituents.

Fraser then went on to challenge the Premier Smith Administration to swiftly address the issue.

Responding to Fraser’s comments, Premier Smith reminded the House of Assembly about the flopped and highly controversial BiWater agreement, which is widely viewed as a Fraser-led initiative under a Virgin Islands Party government.

“While I admit that there is a challenge with water … the reality is that the water situation in the country has never been the same since BiWater came on board,” Premier Smith subtly said.

His remark, however, was sharp enough to cut Fraser, who leapt from his seat and advanced to the exit of the Road Town-based parliament building.

“I gone. I got to go,” said Fraser who labelled the Premier’s remark as ‘nonsense’.

Dr Smith’s remark also seemed to annoy Opposition Leader Andrew Fahie who began to refrain: “You can’t win three elections on the same thing (BiWater).”

“Let me see you (Premier) win election on that one,” interjected Fraser as he stood at the exit, waiting for the door to unlock.

No quorum

With a number of other legislators already being absent for Tuesday’s proceedings, Fraser’s would-be departure meant the House could not continue because it no longer had a quorum. The term ‘quorum’ refers to the minimum number of legislators that must be present at any sitting to make the proceedings valid.

According to local policy, the quorum of the House must consist of at least seven members, besides the person presiding over the sitting. Government legislators who were present for yesterday’s proceedings, therefore, began to reason with Fraser not to leave.

Fraser, however, continued to verbalise his annoyance at the Premier, and while doing so, the Third District representative defied the House of Assembly’s policy of conduct, which effectively requires parliamentarians to address other parliamentarians respectfully. A common sign of respect in local parliament is addressing legislators by their elected title, or as an ‘Honourable Member’.

But, during his rant about the Premier, Fraser said: “I raised a concern about the Third District and ‘he’ get up talking about [BiWater].”

Show some respect

Speaker of the House, Ingrid Moses-Scatliffe then reprimanded Fraser for his conduct.

“Honourable member for the Third [District], even though we don’t have a quorum, you have to show respect. There is no ‘he’… That’s no excuse for you to be behaving that way.”

She continued: “Honourable Member for the Third, come on now… Even though we don’t have a quorum, you still have to show a sense of decorum – you’re still in the House of Assembly”.

Fraser then returned to his seat and apologised to the Speaker of the House. He made it clear his apology was only extended to her.

I am not blaming you, says Premier

Premier Smith, thereafter, stood and sought to clear the proverbial air.

He said: “If I’m going to respond to the Member of the Third District or any other member, I have to respond how I see it. And when I said that this was a BiWater situation, I am saying the fact remains that there’s a lot of work to be done since that time.”

“I am not going into blaming you (Fraser) or anything. I am just stating a fact … I do sympathise with all the districts, including the Third District, which has not been able to get the water that they deserve, and I do promise that we are working assiduously. I will continue to work with the Minister [of Communications and Works] to make sure that this matter is resolved,” the Premier added.

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

21 Comments

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  1. Just my 3cents says:

    The opposition is right we all know about Biwater and presently they aren’t to blame for water shortages Biwater was sold to we all know who so it’s a lame excuse from the premiere let me see him win election on Biwater. AGAIN

  2. BEWEAYE says:

    If that district was held by them it wouldn’t have any water issue

  3. OnLooker says:

    A wise man once said “Truth Hurts”

  4. Faith says:

    A set of immature little boys running this country. smh

  5. .. says:

    Bunch of children in there representing this country..

  6. strupes says:

    THEY WILL ONLY CHASTISE THE ONE FROM SEA COW’S BAY WHILE THE SEVEN MILLION DOLLAR ONE WILL GET AWAY WITH WHAT HE SAID

  7. SUE says:

    The leader is the one acting like a child. If you continue to keep BI Water in your gut then the BVI will never have water in the second district. The ////// is a disgrace I am very disappointed in him MR PREMIER we all make mistakes even you because the serious one you make I have all the proof so all my off spring can see and read for them selves. So please stop your sh-t and put this ISLAND first for a doctor you know without water what will happen.

  8. hog city says:

    Fraser shoulda walked out on them

  9. I FROM HERE says:

    Premier is correct though!

  10. Concerned says:

    This issue of scarcity of water in 3rd district has been a troublesome problem when water is flowing well in other areas.It is unfortunate this government has not taken steps to improve the condition, instead of this they have been blaming previous government for it.Making the situation worse, the (estimated) bills for water is going up without supplying the people in this area water. A times the government will misinform the public that water flows in sea cows bay and environ 24/7 which is not true.
    Politics should be push aside and treat all citizens in BVI evenly I believe they can do better.

  11. Wait a while says:

    Biwater is no longer here yes at the time the VIP gave the contract that ship has sailed into Richard Bronson harbour let’s look at the issue at hand Fraser is speaking for his people at least the Premiere could’ve simply say something else Doc you aren’t doing anything good to help your party

  12. Interested says:

    I totally agree with the Premier.it is not a matter of trying to win the election on bi-water ,it is a matter of fact,I live in the third, Fraser has a water plant that previously supplied water to his district,that was shut down after the agreement with bi-water was signed.Sea Cow’s Bay never suffered from water woes until bi-water entered the scene.Face the facts.

  13. Truth Hurts says:

    Premier Right!

    How we goin updgrade the water pipe, water tank and pumps when W & S spendin all dem got an more on Biwater bill?

  14. Ok says:

    So what is the issue? Biwater was a bad deal that was championed by Fraser and will haunt us for decades. Why was the plant in his district closed? He needs to answer that!

  15. jack kevorkian says:

    ohhhhh ohhhhh, there there….what a precious little snowflake dem

  16. lol says:

    Lol…pure jokes. They throwing things in one another face but he have a whole 7 million to be thrown in his face though…lol

  17. BVIYoungman says:

    Fraser RIGHT to Flip Out!

  18. CW says:

    I love that the concern is “respect” and “decorum” but all the individuals involved CAN’T EVEN USE THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE CORRECTLY. Gee, why the slow recovery lol. Why doesn’t the UK take the BVI seriously LOL? START WITH SOUNDING AND ACTING LIKE LITTLE KIDS. There is no excuse to continue electing those who make the people sound illiterate. Expect more!!!!!

  19. Hmmm says:

    I——— C—– now have shares in it, That is why they so quiet on Bi-Water and now stop the excuses and deliver the damn water to people.

  20. Rubber Duck says:

    10 months after the hurricane, residents of Carrot Bay are still carrying buckets to the black water tanks like something out of the 3rd world. Huge incompetence.

  21. 7 mil says:

    The money used for NO FLY AIRLINE could have been used to resolve the water shortgage. Fraser why you aint throw that back?

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