BVI News

New appointees to do ‘reconnaissance’ on ministerial portfolios

By Davion Smith, BVI News Staff

The three government legislators who were this week thrust into new ministerial positions are now gearing up to do a bit of portfolio reconnaissance to become familiar with their roles.

Eighth District Representative Marlon Penn will, perhaps, have the greatest workload of the trio; having been put in charge of what is arguably one of the single most important ministries/sectors in any jurisdiction — health.

Asked what he suspects will be his focus in the ministry, the freshly sworn-in minister said: “I’ll need to really get an understanding of what’s happening and where things are before I can make that type of statement. So, I’ll need to get a clear picture from the permanent secretary and the persons in the various departments to get an understanding of what’s happening.”

Penn, however, highlighted the Housing Development Programme which was initiated under his sacked successor, Ronnie Skelton’s, leadership.

“I know a lot of people are still suffering from hurricanes Irma and Maria and still need relief … So, for me, it’s about getting an update on the status, and on those issues and those programmes to bring some relief to the people of this territory and continue to move the programme along,” Penn said.

New role perfect for me and my constituency — Dr O’Neal

Ninth District Representative Dr Hubert O’Neal said his plans as the new Junior Minister of Tourism is to meet with the BVI Tourist Board as well as to visit with stakeholders.

“I would like to go around the territory and meet all the stakeholders in tourism, first of all, to check what their needs are and how the government help in promoting their businesses etcetera.

Dr O’Neal took over the portfolio after last week’s firing of At-Large representative Archibald Christian.

The Ninth District Representative said he believes this new responsibility for tourism will work well with his duty to his constituency, an area he described as “the mecca of tourism” in the BVI.

“Being their representative makes it even better for me because whatever offerings I can do to make tourism better is going to benefit my people in Virgin Gorda and Anegada,” Dr O’Neal said while noting that he plans to enhance tourism across all the BVI.

Not backing down — Maduro-Caines 

Like Dr O’Neal, this will be Sixth District Representative Alvera Maduro-Caines’ first go at a ministerial role.

She was handed the Junior Minister of Trade portfolio after it was taken from Penn so he could focus on the health ministry.

Maduro-Caines, in the meantime, said she welcomes the challenge of juggling a ministerial role while still representing her constituency.

“I was elected by the people to work on behalf of the people so work is not something I’m afraid to do … Having this extra portfolio fall into my lap is nothing that I would back down from,” she said.

“I’m honoured that the premier considered me for that position. It shows that he has some level of confidence in me to put me in a position such as that because its a very important position in government itself,” Maduro-Caines further said, adding that she will be consulting with her successor as she transitions into the role.

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  1. Gandalf says:

    O’Neal + Tourism = Joke!!!!

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  2. ndp heckler says:

    3 blind mice

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  3. thing to talk says:

    That woman from hog city is very close to ronnie and she will sabotage he

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    • Nope says:

      Her clock ticking.

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    • @thing to talk says:

      Here you are attacking the lady’s character. What you are suggesting is that if someone is close to someone else, they would be unable to do a good job if working under a new leadership. Thinking like that is what helps foster division and dissension.

      Always negativity.

      • Corrupt says:

        Some people lack a conscious and are only out for themselves. I agree with thing to talk.

        There’s a black hole in the floor or they’re temporarily blind when matters are sent for their attention

  4. strupes says:

    These seats were occupied by ndp candidates and they did nothing for the past 7 years. So why all of a sudden things will get done in 4 months? Ayo think we eat stupid-bush?

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  5. Woww says:

    If you want Andrew Fahie be the next premier thumbs up

    If you wan Myron be the next premier thumbs down

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  6. Congratz says:

    First thing Caine’s fire the director of —- and the department will be better off. School children say she act like a — and a waste of time.

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  7. Reply says:

    Good. Life goes on. I recognize that some believe these appointments are pointless, and the government should be dissolved after the departure of several members.

    Well, imo, the government should not have to come to a screeching halt needlessly because some former NDP members have abandoned their party.

    The government still has daily functions that needs to be attended to. Furthermore, April 16th, 2019 has already been set as the the date of election by the Governor.

    Quite frankly, those members who abandoned their party in the manner they did, and placed the government in the position of near collapse needs to be hung out to dry with the Opposition on the back benches until the government is officially dissolved.

    If they truly care about the people who voted them into office, they would show up in the House of Assembly every time, and continue to work on their behalf.

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    • Political Observer (PO) says:

      @Reply, welcome back from the hiatus. Indeed, despite former NDP members exercising their right to fly the coop, government still needs to function and deliver basic services. The situation is fluid and government is one more member flying the coop away from a governing stalemate. Thus, in the interest of the people and the territory, election is needed now. My understanding is that the 16 April 2019 is not a definite election date but rather a by date. The Premier can set an earlier date and should. There is time to call and hold an election before 01January. Give the territory an early Xmas present.

      Moreover, the current dysfunctional situation is an urgency so the coming yule tide holiday season should not be seen as a reason to delay the election. The horses are already in the gates (they should be) so let the race begin. Let’s get ah dun, putting the nonsense behind and start the recovery in earnest.

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      • Reply says:

        Hi PO. Are you sure “the horses are already in the gates…”?

        From what I am reading & hearing, some parties are still looking for horses. Look, April is right around the corner. I don’t think dissolution of the government is warranted at this time.

        Let all parties first find all their horses, bring them before the people with their ideas so that we can have time to look them over well and decide who should wins next year.

        Are you not mentally tired of all this politics especially as of late? I know I certainly am. The last person I want to see around the holidays is a politician at my doorstep.

        Please, enough is enough. We need a break from all this drama. Let’s enjoy our turkey in peace. We can deal with this mess next year.

        • BVIlander says:

          I fully agree with your sentiments, I think the country is now very tired of this political mess and it will not do us well to go to the poles anytime soon. We need a break and to have the time to hear what each party and each candidate has to offer. Rushing to an election is not in the best interest of the country I think they should leave it until March because they need about 2 months I think to campaign and to give all interested an opportunity to put their campaign together, a lot of people are fed up with the behavior of our current sitting politicians people will be voting on emotion and that is not good for the country.

        • PO says:

          Everyone knew that election was constitutionally due no later than the summer of 2019. Thus, the horses should already be in the gates; any serious party should be proactive and ready. Under the current governing system and in the absence of a date certain for election, the Premier sets the election. If circumstances were different and if NDP were on the mountain top, the Premier as he did in 2015 would spring a snap election on the territory. Interested parties must be prepared to compete.

          True, there is nuff political activity going on and for a political animal like me, it is all in days work, gazing. The electorate is smart enough to filter out the noise. It can weed out the show horses from the work horses. Election now, for there is no value to the people and territory in the delay. Why put off for tommorrow what can be done today?

          • voiceofthevoiceless says:

            What you are all neglecting in your assessment is the Picko Factor. He is indeed the power player in all of this as one more resignation and the Government will be dissolved. The Man they did not want may well be the Man keeping them together and avoiding them from calling early elections which they are in no position to do at this time.

            The truth be told is that what is manifested itself in the past two weeks is mainly due to weak leadership. Anybody who thinks that the internal election alone caused the disassembling of the party were not paying attention. It may have finalized it but there was problems way before that. The rift was always there and it was up to the Leader to bring the conflicting parties: MVW and Pickering to some form of compromise but that was not to the case. Then there was Ronnie and his group who plotted to take the ministry of finance portfolio away from the Premier.Then came the elections where the Premier took Ronnie on a trip, while MVW stayed home wheeling and dealing and then the Premier returned to lobby for him. Picko supported Ronnie. Clearly a setup. So the two funding members Picko and Ronnie, found themselves on the outside looking in.

            You all say wait for elections but frankly the people are tired of this bitterness and division and long for the opportunity to let their political voices be heard. They long for the opportunity to decide who should take them in to the critical reconstruction of our beloved Country.

            Enough already.

  8. Hmmm says:

    If y’all want Andrew be the next premier thumbs up

    If you wan Ronnie be the next premier thumbs down

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  9. Eagle eye says:

    Alvera dont come Purcell looking no votes. We will run you out.

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    • @eagle eye says:

      Who we going run her out? Speak for yourself and you alone cannot her out. There are more for her than against her so you run along with your negative hating behind. Wha happen, she ain’t give you the couple $$you ask for the third time after she give you two times before? Go look work to do man!

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      • Eagle eye says:

        I can put my real name here unlike you.look at the condition of Purcell main road and you will see why she would get run out.

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  10. Hmm says:

    Buh wait, Bertie still live here? I swear the 9th district was independent or something. So long I haven’t seen a rep over there.

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  11. Wow says:

    The doctor doesn’t get the Minister of Health?

  12. What’s the meaning of this? says:

    Maduro-Caines further said, adding that she will be consulting with her successor as she transitions into the role.

    Does she plan on having someone else do the job, a successor?

    Or perhaps she means to say predecessor, since she is Penn’s successor. And that will make Penn her predecessor.

    Let me know what you think leader in the 6th.

  13. VG Resident says:

    Time for Virgin Gorda to run it’s own affairs. VG should take the tax money raised on VG and use it for the improvement of the island and the folks who live on the island of VG. Surely this will work out much better for VG. Time for a big leap!!

  14. This is it! says:

    So after all these years, Penn don’t have a clue what going on in health, Oneal don’t have a clue what going on in tourism and Caines don’t have a clue what going on in trade.

    So what is it they used to discuss at their meetings before the party split? Didn’t they discuss current affairs and set timely goals? I expect them to say this is where the other minister left off and we will take it from here. But what they are basically saying is they don’t even know where to start?

    Old party is deadbeats and new party is recycled deadbeats. Well this is it!

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    • Stop Being Silly says:

      How can he know what is going on specifically without getting a proper update from the PS? I thought that was responsible statement without spouting off things without verifying. That’s what responsible leadership do.

      Sometime is really wrong with the people of this country, we openly spew this hatred and negativity towards each other.

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