BVI News

‘Childish’: Premier blasts Opposition for boycotting Immigration Bill debate

Premier Andrew Fahie

Premier Andrew Fahie has described as ‘concerning’ what he said was a display of childish behaviour by the members of the Opposition when they decided to boycott the final readings of the amendments made to Immigration and Passport on Monday.

In a media release on Tuesday, the Premier pointed to the overall lack of participation by the Opposition in the House of Assembly.

Only Sixth District Representative Alvera Maduro-Caines participated in the debate of the amendment.

Following the debate, when the House went private deliberations, all the members of the Opposition did not return to vote. The Bill passed after being backed by all eight members on the government side. 

“For the Opposition to withhold making any meaningful contribution to the debate on the Bill, and for them to pack up and leave because the proceedings did not seem to be going in their favour, is puerile and an abdication of their responsibility to the Belongers who voted for them in the general elections, the entire electorate in their respective constituencies and to the national population,” Premier Fahie said.

He continued: “The business of the people is not for fair-weather politicians who attach no value to the role when things are not rosy in their favour.”

He further said that it was an ‘understatement’ that everyone, including the members of government, was interested in hearing the Opposition out.

“What is the population left to assume from their silence? In some circumstances, silence implies consent, and therefore since the proper place to lodge and resolve objections is in the House of Assembly, the public can only conclude that the Opposition has no criticisms and objections to the final form of the Act, as passed,” the Premier said.

He added: “Suffice it to say, members of Opposition have also abdicated the right and moral authority to criticize this Act and the fast-track policy at any later date, especially outside the House. This is because when presented the opportunity to do so, they sat silently and then scuttled away.”

The Premier said their behaviour demonstrates that they cannot be relied upon to perform their roles. 

Individual bashing

In the meantime, the Premier also took individual swings at some of the members of the Opposition beginning with Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull — the Representative for the Second Electoral District.

The Premier pointed out that a news media reported that Turnbull was “riling up citizens to protest outside the House of Assembly during the sitting. The member owes the public an explanation as to whether the concerns that roused his passion still linger on.”

He said it was also disappointing that as one of the longest-serving members, Turnbull “offered not an iota of wisdom to the discussion, and that the only words recorded from him in yesterday’s crucial debate were an interruption to say that he was hungry”.

He said that he also expected a more substantive contribution from Maduro-Caines.

“While the member insisted that she disagreed with the Bill, she offered no specific details as to what exactly were her concerns or how they could be remedied,” Fahie remarked.

As a result, the debate came to a premature end because of the lack of overall contributions.

“And it must be emphasized that nothing was done to impede any representative’s freedom to speak. In fact, a time limit on contributions was not enforced by the Speaker so that all issues could be ventilated by all members,” Fahie explained. 

Win for locals

Meanwhile, the Premier said the passage of the amendments to the bill was a “win in the best interest of our territory since it removes a critical obstacle from the path to comprehensive immigration and labour reforms”.

“It is an even greater victory for the people of the BVI since these comprehensive reforms when developed and implemented, will protect the welfare and interests of British Virgin Islanders for generations to come,” he added.

He continued, “It gives hope of what this administration can achieve in one four-year term when one considers that a three-month-old government can grab the horns of one of the most controversial issues that politicians and legislators have cowered from for over three decades and bring it to a resolution.”

BVI News’ attempts to reach the Opposition Leader Marlon Penn for comment was not successful up to press time.

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  1. vip heckler says:

    They had a right after you started to behave like kim jong un

    Like 43
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    • Dictator says:

      I thought it was me alone noticing. The Premier went on with a tirade throwing his jabs, I mean what was that about?? This is going to be a long 4 years.

      Like 37
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      • Samson says:

        When are we going to see that whistleblower law? It’s my turn to get rich. I want to be first in line.

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    • @vip says:

      Premier can sit there and call the opposition on not voting on a bill? I hardly miss a house sitting and I have seen times when come to voting on certain bills, he abstain or goes missing. How quickly one forgets. Speaking about one who spoke but made no contribution on how to fix the amendments. Maduro-Caines spoke well and give her advise on what should have happen. That’s the same lady they were fighting to get on their side. She made a lot more sense than that p**s Fahie and Malone presented. He had no proper plans in the first place for this bill. Fahie thinks he’s king Fahie now..time longer than twine..God is still on the throne and wide awake.

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  2. granny say says:

    “If yo rush the brush it will get dabbed” “Haste makes waste”

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  3. Jokes says:

    They had a right to walk out. The VIP Government has allowed the Speaker to turn the HOA into a proper circus and then wonder why the opposition left. It’s one thing for the Speaker to maintain order in HOA but it’s another to display an attitude of arrogance and seemingly belittling others, particularly on the opposition side. Andrew thread lightly and remember the race isn’t for the swift.

    Like 69
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    • Stupidity says:

      Marlon needs to behave appropriately and speak appropriately. This has nothing to do with the Speaker.

      When Ingrid reprimanded anyone they had to abide and move on but still speak for the people who elected them.

      No one particularly cares for Willock but he is the Speaker and you are in the House so you have to abide by the Rules and conduct yourself accordingly. The Speaker was quite right yesterday.

      Y’all support Marlon with his nonsense it will get him nowhere.

      Like 38
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      • monarch says:

        big daddy marlon is you match dont play with him you have that goat wilac letting him run loose and cannot control him but want to tame marlon back off daddy.

    • Bruce says:

      Andrew can’t take the truth. We still haven’t seen proof threats against him.Bit But he sure can throw words about other people..

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  4. the cuban says:

    “it was a done deal”

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  5. BVISLANDER says:


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    • Anonymous says:

      Marlone you will be your own downfall, watch and see it will happen before the year end . we the people of east end and the district 8 is displease of your behaviour.

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      • @Anonymous says:

        Speak for yourself. Marlon is doing his job as the opposition!! You people are unbelievable, so when Fahie spoke out he was speaking for the people, now that the leader of the opposition is speaking out you all are displeased with his behavior? RIDICULOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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      • Legislator/officiator says:

        Marlon Will not fail or fall. He is covered by the Most High and forever protected. As for you. You will eat your own words and they will come back to you empty.

  6. Facts says:

    Will soft he should have kick Marlon out

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    • we i pee says:

      walk out on the house its your rites dem think they own people with they nonsense dont forget you was voted in .where is the long paragraph to swear in the 4th district. mp stay strong we love you.

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  7. Greg says:

    VIP take heed. Bell that cat you have for a Speaker or it may cost you the next General Election

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  8. L says:

    Being absent for the vote was a cowardly act. If you’re against it, be man or woman enough to vote “No”.

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  9. Hmmmmmmm says:

    A Premier should be bigger than that … no need to comment on what the opposition did. Their works would have spoken for itself.

    A person that responds to another person’s foolishness makes himself a fool too.

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  10. I could tell you!!!!! says:

    Why should they attend when the opposition doesn’t have a voice in the house. The way this government is operating we are boarding on a dictatorship style of government.

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    • :) says:

      Do you know how stupid your comment is? The opposition only had 2 members during the last term and they showed up. It was almost a guarantee that every vote in the HOA would end in an 11-2 landslide. You think Fraser and Fahie had much say in the BVIAirways disaster deal? Just a bunch of hypocrites trying their best to discredit the government. This is the first time we had this kind of public discussion in a government matter. Live Facebook video where someone at home could actually get a comment or question heard live and direct with the Premier. The public meetings were packed and watched by thousands. Fahie delayed the 2nd and 3rd readings when he didn’t have to as Premier. We didn’t get a chance to delay NHI or BVIAIrways voting even though many people were against it. Marlon and Alvera sat and watch NDP force everything down down our throats for 8 years now they got no power they upset. They just salty and will be salty for a long time. I hope that’s not Mark’s intention as well. When he finally get swear in he better sit and earn his check and not act like a spoiled baby like his colleagues.

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  11. VIP Supporter says:

    No what was childish was the way this bill was being presented. No one not even your party knew what your intentions were or what exactly the bill was aiming to achieve. It took protest for you to come and slightly clear the air on the objectives of this bill. Secondly why was there such a rush. Even some who applied where unsure of what they where signing up for, basically the public was lost. As you once said at a public function to one of your party members “I the Premier know you ain’t got no say” as joking as this might have been it is exemplified in your actions.

    True the opposition could have attended and just vote no but nothing is wrong with have they preferred to handle it. All this could have been avoided if only you have consulted before, or even listen to the public from the beginning.

    VIP is my party but I’m a bit disappointed in how business is being handled. Seems like the NDP or worst with a name change to VIP

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  12. Ancestor Weeps says:

    …Never thought such politics would hae entered our civil sanctury in my life time.

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  13. My View says:

    I am disappointed in the Opposition for taking that stance. They are supposed to be representing the people. I see this as a cowardly act; of the representatives wanting to be in the good books of both the locals and belongers, and the expatriate population. They owe it to the people of the Territory to speak up and speak out regardless of the outcome, but at the end of the day it all boils down to retaining votes. Even when such an important bill as this one is being debated in the House.

    When you look at this entire charade, it looks like a sinking ship to me. Yes, the opposition is small – and weak, but the representatives should let their voices be heard instead of running away like scaredy cats.

    Like 14
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    • oppsition says:

      the last 4 years we only had 2 opposition members and they were much stronger than the 4 we have now. So what’s your point ?

  14. Voter says:

    Andrew should not speak to childish behavior, always bringing up rumors and street talk, and pouting like a 2 year old child, for christ in heaven sake, be a leader not the gossip colum.

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  15. Split Tongue says:

    Premier replay your HOA speeches.

    You’re listen to God one minute and another you’re on the devil’s coat tails.

    You can’t be speaking of unity one minute and in the same breath making underhanded shady comments about the public and the opposition.

    It comes across as childish. Also, the cackling your members do while your taking these jabs….Do Better Please.

    I have to wonder whether school children were still in attendance during the Speaker’s atrocious behaviour yesterday. WHERE HE THINK HE WAS GETTING UP TO GO. Not even someone’s employer should behave in that manner and the Government needs to understand we employ you.

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  16. mama says:

    When the NDP was in, it wasn’t a dictatorship. Hush up. Bring back the 7.2 million.

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  17. To me says:

    It looks like wrong becomes right in this place now Marlon is dead wrong

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  18. Meh son says:

    I hear you Premier. They up and down the place and have plenty to say but when they come in the house cat got there tongue. And the nex thing you go hear is them saying that they don’t have no voice.
    They had an opportunity to talk in the house. Nobody was stopping them but they abandon the job.
    If you against the bill stay and vote no… don’t run and absent from the vote.
    The truth is the opposition could not find any good reason not to support the bill, but they did not want to vote in agreement with the government, so they run away.

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  19. Anonymous says:

    Marlone you will be your own downfall, watch and see it will happen before the year end . we the people of east end and the district 8 is displease of your behaviour.

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  20. GoonSquad says:

    Premier Fahie needs to grow up. He’s the one acting like a child. It’s time he get off the campaign trail and start to govern. He micromanaging all the ministries and don’t have the time. Documents are being held up for weeks because he has to oversee everything from every ministry. Those poor ministers.. how long will you allow the premier to have you all on probation?

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  21. Weir D. Playne says:

    The opposition is just playing both sides of the field to appear neutral on the belongership issue but silence speaks louder than words.

    They want to appear as if they stand with Cindy and the gang while not ruffling the feathers of expats some of which might be voting next election.

    They have never said definitely if they support the initiative or not. A bunch of excuses based on the implementation and not about the real meat of the subject.

    Why show up and abstain from voting. If they truly wanted to boycott they would have stayed at home to get their point across which would have sent a louder more decisive message.

    Alvera took part in the debate so it wouldn’t have hurt to vote for or against.

    When has Marlon and Alvera ever sided with Fraser on an issue in 8 years as a member of the HOA? Do they now share the same views as Fraser or is this just opposing for the sake of opposing.

    Alvera and Marlon did not get all the details about the RDA deal but they did not abstain from voting at the time. Almost every member of the government was speaking against it including Alvera and Marlon but in the end they voted positively for it although from listening to the debate it was clear that only Mark, Myron, Hubert, Dr. Pickering and Dr. Smith was in favor of it. Most talked about not having the details and had many questions that still needed answering but only Fraser and Mitch stood their ground while even Fahie gave in to the pressure.

    If not being involved or not having all the answers is the excuse for abstaining then it is a poor one as history shows that they will vote positively even if there are doubts.

    Like 12
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    • The Nation says:

      I see all the NDP Paid Bloggers out in full force. The fact is if elected reps going to be intimidated and I really being sarcastic by using the word intimidated then we need to get people with balls to fill their seats. This nation got no time or place for people who going act like that on something so important like Immigration irrespective of how they ‘think’ the Premier is behaving. If they feel so strongly that why they need to stand up and let their voices he heard. Otherwise let someone else who cares and has balls do the job. The Premier is doing his job, are they??!!!

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  22. Waste of time says:

    As a grown arse person, I have no regard for the ignorant and petty behaviour of the opposition. Marlon need to grow up. Mitch was always a mitch. Alvera need to read more, think more and stop follow crowd. I don’t even care to address fraser who is the oldest of the bunch and should know better. If I want to see clowns, guess I don’t got to look far. Too educated for this level of stupidity from you imbeciles. Grow the f*@| up dammit!

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  23. Alvera says:

    Hon Maduro-Caines is reported to have said the Premier should have done the regularisation in silence so she obviously supports the Premier.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Good interpretation of her comments. The reason for the backlog is exactly what she wanted Fahie to do. Last election while we were complaining about election roads they were giving out election residency and belongership behind closed doors with some people jumping the line while others waiting for years. If you could vote to throw away $7.2 million what so hard in voting on this.

      Like 4
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      • @ anonymous says:

        Member for the 6th said no such thing. She said there was no need to bring the bill to the house. Fahie just wanted to turn the expats against the opposition. As far as I understand she never had a problem with giving status to persons. It’s the way the premier brought forward the initiative in the first place. If you all bectrue to yourselves you would listen to when the premier first announce this .. no mention was made of a back log and that was Caines concern. Only when it was spoken about by her and others the Premier now talking about it was designed to clear back log.. he too lie.. he had no come he never addressed the rise in fees when it was mentioned? Allu keep off of our rep.

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  24. The Nation says:

    The Premier could not have said what he said better. The Opposition should NOT be functioning as fair-weather politicians. The people’s business is too important….it’s not their business…it’s OUR business they suppose to be handling. People need to think.

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  25. Fair says:

    First and foremost the question marlon asked for was the minister responsible Hon. For labour and immigration not the premier. The speaker should have let the Premier know that the question is not for him instead the minister need to respond.

    The speaker created a bias athmosphere for Marlon to react the we he did. The speaker want to silience marlon but allow the Premier and his members to behave anyhow in the house.

    Like 5
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  26. VI political says:

    Some of you so far up Andrew a** you cannot even see right from wrong. Or think simply for yourselves.

    Changes were made to the amendment just over the weekend in his radio broadcast. Were they provided the changes in time to comment further? Anyway, when something is a done deal no need to fight no more. I do think the opposition needed to give their take on it more especially after their meetings but it was a done deal in voting.

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  27. Hmmmm says:

    Surprised Hon. Fraser and Hon. Mitch did this. They were the two that would stand for something whether it was popular or not. They should not allow other opposition members influence them in this way.

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    • Hmmm says:

      They are both big men. They had a chance to debate the bill but sat there and made no motion to talk. They critiquing the only one who spoke but at least she spoke. How many in the government side spoke? Fahie should label them cowards also but then again, they are his puppets.

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