The new slate of ministers under the Premier Andrew Fahie-led administration has been warned that their ministerial roles could be revoked if they are not transparent.
Premier Fahie gave that warning during the new government ministers’ swearing-in ceremony at the Governor’s House last Friday.
“I have spoken to every minister to ensure that we remain transparent because if anyone decides to step out of line, I have told them privately and I will say so publicly, we will have to relieve them of their duties,” the tough-talking Premier said.
“We cannot campaign on one thing and do a next and this goes right up to myself,” he added.
The new ministers took their oaths to serve the territory in their various roles over the next four years.
Dr Natalio Wheatley is the new Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture, while Kye Rymer has been named as the Minister of Works, Transportation & Utilities.
Vincent Wheatley was named the new Minister of Natural Resources, Immigration and Labour, and Carvin Malone has been assigned to head the Ministry of Health and Social Development.
The role of Junior Minister for Trade and Economic Development was handed to Sharie DeCastro while her female counterpart Shereen Flax-Charles, is the new Junior Minister of Tourism.
The post of Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly was given to Neville ‘Sheep’ Smith who will act in ministerial roles from time to time.
Premier Fahie will head the Ministry of Finance.
The post of Deputy Premier was not revealed. It will be announced on Wednesday along with other key government roles.
Reasons for restructuring of ministries
In explaining the differences in the government ministries, the Premier said it was because he was an ‘unconventional leader.’
He described the move to including agriculture under the Ministry of Education and Culture as necessary.
He said relocating agriculture and fisheries under education is a precursor to tweaking the local education curriculum to include agricultural studies at all levels from the preschool to tertiary.
He said his government plans to get young locals more involved in the industry and create a viable fishing and agricultural sector for the territory.
Pray for government
Fahie also called on residents to pray for the new government.
“We want for you to be honest with us and we will be honest with you,” he said. “When I was campaigning, I made it clear that I am an unconventional leader, in an unconventional time. We have many challenges and doing these things over and over and expecting good results is an exercise of insanity.”
The Premier also mentioned that there was chatter of infighting within his camp, particularly for the post of Deputy Premier.
He refuted the claim.
“I want to assure the public that it never happened, that never was the case, we never had anyone including Sharie De Castro asking for Deputy Premier. Those things were false.”
He insisted that his team is united.
“Like every family, every government there is going to be times when we do not agree. But we have agreed on one thing, let us agree to disagree and move on. We do not intend to run a rogue government,” he said.
Copyright 2020 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.