Second District Representative where Jost Van Dyke is located, Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull, has called for the territory’s sister islands as well as its Cadet Corps to benefit from proceeds of the new Asset Seizure and Forfeiture (Amendment) Act.
The amended Act makes provisions for there to be a centralised location where funding from assets that are seized/forfeited by the government go for distribution. The funds are usually distributed to areas such as local law enforcement and education.
Contributing to the debate on the amendment, Turnbull said while he supports the changes, he also wants “to push the envelope”.
“I believe it is high time, that while we continue to find the things that are easy to call — you call education, social services, sports & development and even the law enforcement agencies — I believe it is high time that we put some money into the Sister Islands development,” Turnbull said while speaking in the House of Assembly on Tuesday, June 23.
“I believe we need to pay attention to the development of the Sister Islands outside of the normal operational budget. We need to put a fund in place that puts the residents from these sister islands on the same playing field,” he added.
The legislator also called for the Virgin Islands Cadet Corps to receive more attention.
Turnbull is registered as the Chairman of the local Cadet Corps.
He said: “I have been crying for the Virgin Islands Cadet Corps since I came into this honourable House and I ain’t gonna stop. From 2005 to now since that body has been enacted, since you have seen the successes of young persons who have gone off to be pilots, to be chefs, business owners and even law enforcement officers here and abroad, they still don’t have a home.”
“They don’t belong to nobody. They are not under education, they are not under the Premier’s Office, they are not under police or the Governor’s Office. They are just there,” he said, adding that he hopes this will soon change.
The amendments, in the meantime, successfully passed in the House.
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