BVI News

HOA runs this territory, not RDA or governor

Mark Vanterpool

Addressing claims that the governor is part of a covert plan by Britain to retake control of the BVI through the Recovery and Development Agency (RDA), Works Minister Mark Vanterpool said local government will not allow that to happen.

“The message must be made clear even to him (Governor Augustus Jaspert) that this body here (the House of Assembly) is who is running this country —  no RDA, no Governor. The elected people of the Virgin Islands should run this country; that is what is expected,” Vanterpool said.

His remarks follow junior government minister Archibald Christian who said he regrets voting in favour of the RDA. Christian said the group tasked with recovery is now beginning to act like an independent government and is undermining the authority of local legislators.

The UK’s facing an uphill battle

Vanterpool, in the meantime, said if the United Kingdom is, in fact, working under a ‘guise’ to govern the British Virgin Islands, they will face an uphill battle.

“You cannot in this day and age try to come up with all kinds of guise and ways to rule a people,” he said.

He said, in a democratic territory like the BVI, the constitution affords the elected members to run and govern the country unobstructed.

He continued: “Under no guise should he (the governor) or anyone else – whether it is security guise or whatever guise – look to try to take over the running or the ruling of this country from the elected members of this country. That is not in the right spirit of democracy and good governance anywhere in the world today.”

Happy for UK/governor’s help but

Notwithstanding his statements, Vanterpool said he believes the governor has been genuine towards the BVI and has been sincerely working to help the BVI rebuild.

The government minister placed on record his gratitude for the UK and for Governor Jaspert’s help in the aftermath of the hurricanes.

He went on to note that BVI needs the support of the UK to initiate its recovery plan.

“I am not going to hide – we need the help of the United Kingdom government in developing the country,” he stated.

He further mentioned the UK’s offer of a £300 million loan guarantees for hurricane recovery, adding that: “We can at least have a basis to develop the country.”

Vanterpool was making his contribution to the debate on the Recovery and Development Plan that government is trying to have passed in the House.

He is expected to continue his contribution on Wednesday, October 17.

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34 Comments

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  1. time will tell says:

    people like him and his other elected members is who created the need for the RDA. go sit down. the people have been taken advantage of by the same elected body.

    Like 61
    Dislike 1
  2. Mr. Green says:

    Tell the truth! The RDA wants the work to be done correctly, NOT like past practices of skimming, faulty workmanship, and having to do the project over and over again.Plan ahead and work the plan.

    Rather simple—do it right the first time!

    Like 65
    • you got that right says:

      Road breaks, road gets fixed poorly. Rain comes. Road breaks again.

      Sensible people without conflicts of interest would hire someone else to fix the road because the first time it was done badly.

      Not Prof Pothole. He hires his friends who don’t know how to fix a road again. Over and over again!

      Like 43
      Dislike 1
  3. Outspoken says:

    Mark can say what he wants. It’s people like himself is the problem in this territory. Not UK or the Governor. If only they were transparent, honest and practiced good governance, then we will not be at a cross road right now. I really don’t care right now anything that mark have to say. I have crossed him completely out of my book.

    Like 50
    Dislike 1
  4. You are running what says:

    Dear Professor Pothole,

    Have you seen the state of the roads? (Please don’t blame the recent rain, it was horrible before that). You are not running anything. You don’t take responsibility. You just talk a lot. While there is so much work to do.

    Please stop talking and start working.

    Like 51
    Dislike 2
  5. Yeah, but says:

    RDA controls the purse strings.

    Like 32
    Dislike 2
  6. Jaigon says:

    Guess he is hurting real bad. RDA takes on the role of the Minister of Works and Communications. He cannot get his hand on the money now so he is bitter. Any fixing to the territory right now will be to the credit of the RDA. That must hold you MV.

    Like 38
    Dislike 1
  7. RDAGOHOME says:

    RDA (Rusty Dutty Authority), the plan of the UK to use our money that we borrowed how they wish. There is a lacuna in the law. House of Assembly members, show the RDA who is boss. Let them go sidddung. We are wiser now, than the days of offering us trinkets for our land.

    Like 2
    Dislike 57
  8. Reality says:

    Of course the HOA runs the country that’s why it’s on its knees and such a mess with the No Direction Party cluelessly continue to fumble on. Wait for more spin from other prominent people that things aren’t that bad! Yeah right….

    Like 28
    Dislike 1
  9. Political Observer (PO) says:

    The VI is an OT of the UK; it shares public administration with the UK. The VI is responsible for internal affairs and finance; UK is responsible for internal security, external affairs, defence, RVIPF, civil service, courts, and partial admin of Her Majesty’s prison. The MCW is right that since the local government is responsible for internal affairs and finance, the RDA, an alternative government, should not be needed. It is a huge setback for the VI and its people. However, we (BVI), especially elected leaders, must peek in the mirror for the answer.

    The BVI poor financial management performance, lackluster growth and development, lack of transparency, responsibility, accountability………etc give the UK the ammunition it needs to start the take over process as it did in the Turks and Caicos Islands several years ago. Further, the government MIA performance after Hurricanes Irmaria didn’t help. Can beggars be choosers?

    Hurricanes Irmaria devastated the territory in September 2017 with estimated damages projected at $3.6B. And the territory is struggling with its recovery and undoubtedly needs recovery help. Moreover, French and Dutch islands were also devastated by the hurricanes. But the French and Dutch governments took a diffrent assisting approach and their territories or departments recovery are well on the way.

    On the other hand, the UK for the most part offered to co-sign for £300M in loans. Additionally, to get the loan, the BVI is required to establish an RDA, an alternative government. This is a lack of trust and confidence in the BVI government. Again, we need to peek in the mirror.

    Like 34
    • Concerned says:

      And the need for the RDA has just been proven again. Damages were 3.6 Billion, loans are somewhere between 300 and 400 Million. The Government wants to spend $ 250 Million out of that for a new airport but promises concrete roads, underground utilities, rebuilding of the schools, proper water and sewerage system. So with the airport going to overrun to 300 Million, where is that money coming from?

      Like 6
      Dislike 1
  10. Genius says:

    I just have to sit back and laugh!! The same people slammed Mark and NDP for pushing the RDA are now the same people on here blogging about why we need it. That was a classic chess move by Hon. Vanterpool to reveal how hypocritical people in this place are. WOW! Now the RDA is a good thing?

    Like 3
    Dislike 19
    • @Genius says:

      What do you expect? After the current Government fooled some of the people that there was money before the Hurricanes, but obviously there was none. Can you blame the UK for its caution in dealing with them? No one who is thinking with their eyes open will trust the current Government (NDP) or part thereof for good leadership or good financial management now or in the near future.

      Like 3
      Dislike 1
  11. Want2Kno says:

    The little bit we glean from what NDP tells us to appease us, is not what they were told by the UK long time ago….

    The transparency, accountability, fiscal responsibility are just not in place by this government.

    We’ve had so much $$ passing through or territory all these years….but NOTHING for the rainy day that finally came….

    The NDP management of the country’s $$ isn’t a good example and they’re still coming to us wanting us to vote for them, yet again?

    Like 25
  12. Senex says:

    So who was running the territory just after Irma ?

  13. Candi says:

    Well Mr. Minister, while you’re in a talking mood, please inform the people of this territory of how you were practically bankrupt but somehow flourishing since you got elected. Cruise pier project went over its budget but at the same time you’ve been expanding your business. Shed some light please and thanks.

    Like 24
    Dislike 3
  14. Then says:

    stay your butt where you are, get reelected and fight for what you believe in Mr.!

    Tell us. Think Lyodd would’ve ran, even if his pockets was brimming over?

    Personally, many think not! So should his sacrifice made be of profound influence on your politics to country.

    You will never beg bread again Mr. But many are. And, if they (Br.) come back in full, as many would like them to, at their own detriment, all of us will be begging for a rock stone, a few grains of sand and some sea water to digest at evening time.

    History is our guiding light! Ignore it and all of us will perish from unadulterated devil humanity and evil all over again.

    So, put up, shut up and get into the fight if you are brave enough to fight for the greater good.

    Like 3
    Dislike 1
  15. I want to know says:

    All the government have to do is don’t borrow any money. The RDA can only function from loans and grants. Just use whatever monies is available to us from taxes and fees and fix whatever it can fix. We recovered from Hugo without huge debt. When we rack up these huge debt from borrowing next thing we are at the IMF door begging for help. If you think we don’t have any control now wait until the IMF and the World Bank start dictating to us.

    Like 6
    Dislike 7
    • Think first says:

      To “I want to know”: May I suggest engaging brain before putting fingers to keyboard? First of all, it does not appear that the present government has much cash available, so basically not very much can be fixed. Secondly, if you recall, while Hugo was no joke in 1989, it caused orders of magnitude less damage that had substantially less effect on employment and infrastructure. Thirdly, Hugo came through as the BVI’s financial services industry(where BVIs used to get most of its income) was in ascendancy, so there was plenty of cash coming through then. Today financial services industry is at about 30% of what it was in it’s heyday, and quite possibly will decrease (despite the recent pronouncements of Ms. Lorna Smith) due to outside pressures (FACTA, UK’s beneficial ownership rules etc). So, if we were to follow your advice, instead of maybe 5 years to reach some semblance of what the BVIs used to look like, it could easily take a lifetime if it is at all achievable. Lastly, I’ll just point out that financial growth is difficult to achieve without borrowing money (at reasonable interest rates, of course). I’ll grant that there probably was a time in the BVIs where there was plenty of available cash but we done squandered that on projects we just don’t seem to know how to manage (hospital,VG clinic, pier park, etc) instead of investing it wisely in educating our youth.

  16. Law Abiding Citizen says:

    Well. You’re doing a piss poor job at it.

    Like 10
  17. THE TRUTH says:

    @ I WANT TO KNOW….that is exactly the game plan. We are falling for it hook line and sinker. It’s funny how we always shouting where there is no vision the people perish but BVI is in such darkness.BVI between a rock and a hard place. In the rumshop they say pick your poison. The real problem is that we hate our own people and always promote foreigners over them. B.V.Islanders are their worst enemy…envy,jealousy and greed…real idiots.

    Like 7
    Dislike 5
  18. Patriotic bvilander. says:

    Mark need to shut his mouth.he and the rest of the party is angry because they cannot get their hands on the money

    Like 16
  19. Son of the soil says:

    The minister needs to shut up. The governor has more rights than him. He has no s—– while the governor represents the Qvueen. He should not even be a member of the House of Assembly. He must go somewhere else to make noise. We want value for money in this territory. H— and others who cares nothing about this country but what they can get out of it are keeping back the recovery process. They will not get their hands on that money.

    Like 9
    Dislike 1
  20. Concerned says:

    They should worry about getting the country back in better shape then ever then about the RDA. So far I have only seen the RDA acting in the interest of the people. The HOA only upset because their influence on the money spent is gone and the UK is right, if you lend money to somebody with a bad record for accountability you need somebody overseeing the purse strings who you can trust. All I am concerned is the recovery of our country not the HOA’s belly-ache and recovery should be their only concern also. And what is this all about anyhow, they themselves put the people into the RDA. So they thought it would be business as usual and the RDA would just sign off on how they want to spend the money. I am actually surprised and pleased that the RDA doesn’t do so.

  21. Windy says:

    HOA runs this territory… right into the ground. Need I say more.

    Like 15
  22. @Son of The soil says:

    It is a very sad commentary: The Governer has more power than xyz.

    a foriegn national, a European and a non local and belonger is the most powerful person in the territory, and many of you are very satified with that.

    Mere slaves and house ni##ers we still are.

    • Rubber Duck says:

      You elect people who are not interested in running the country, only in lining their pockets. You elect incompetents who could not run a coffee stall never mind a country. You elect them on tribal and racist grounds. For example, There are many white belongers , where is the white person in the government ?

      And then you complain about the country and the people who constantly save your sorry asses.

      Shut up please.

  23. Interested says:

    Mark please,You all brought this on yourselves because of indiscriminate spending and no accountability or transparency.

  24. Tola says:

    These ministers have no respect for no one. Mark should remember how broke he was only now he get in things started to look good for him and his business.

    Thank UK for watching over the money

    Like 1
    Dislike 1

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