BVI News

Premature petition | Give Willock a chance, he’s done nothing wrong


Deputy Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley believes that Speaker of the House of Assembly, Julian Willock, has done nothing that warrants being removed from the post.

Dr Wheatley’s statement comes on the heels of an online petition calling for Willock’s appointment to be revoked.

“I don’t think … in my humble opinion, he has done anything really out of the way. I don’t see him acting in any way that is controversial [and] I think [the petition] is premature to come to that conclusion,” Dr Wheatley told BVI News on Friday.

“I think they are probably prejudging him based on what they perceived to be his character. But, as Speaker, I don’t see anything to support those types of conclusions,” he added.

However, the Deputy Premier said, if presented with the petition, he is willing to submit it to his government for consideration.

Give Willock a chance

Meanwhile, Dr Wheatley has called on residents to give the new Speaker a fair chance to perform in his role.

“Only then should they judge him — when they have enough evidence to support those very strong conclusions,” he argued.

Dr Wheatley also maintained that the Andrew Fahie-led administration made an excellent choice in selecting Willock for the post.

“I think Willock is capable of doing the job and, I think persons should allow him the chance to do the job and then determine whether it was a good choice or not,” he said.

The Vanterpool saga: I agree with Willock

As it relates to whether the Speaker should swear in Mark Vanterpool as representative for the Fourth Electoral District, the Acting Premier reasoned: “Many persons believe that Mr Vanterpool should not be sworn-in and there are persons who believe he should be sworn-in. So I wouldn’t necessarily think that the Speaker not swearing him in is controversial.”

He continued: “I think Mr Vanterpool has some responsibility in the controversy for saying that he wanted to resign and the Speaker took a position based on what he thought was correct. So I cannot say that the Speaker is wrong. I agree with the Speaker — it should be interpreted by the court because our constitution does not address this specific situation.”

Vanterpool had submitted what he and the governor believe to be a ‘constitutionally invalid’ letter or resignation. Vanterpool — who has since changed his mind about resigning — now wants to be sworn in but Willock, the Speaker, refuses. Willock’s refusal comes despite the governor’s position on the matter.

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  1. Burger King says:

    Firstly the governor is not responsible for the HOA. The only call he has is to call a bi election.

    The speaker is right. Let the court decide. This will be a teachable moment for the territory. Just goes to show that 8 years the NDP been in power and the then speaker couldn’t pick up on that grey area. Talking about proactive instead of reactive

    Like 46
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    • Nope, not at all says:

      Well Wheatly, you are now showing your true colors. We now see you are defending a nontransparent person.why are you apealing to the public to give JW a chance.If JW want the public to give him a chance, he should be the one to speak on his own behalf not you Sir. He got you right in his Pocket.

      Like 5
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    • Call Me Ishmael says:

      Vanterpool didn’t resign as Minister as he had not been sworn in yet as such.

      Therefore, he resigned as the winning candidate.

      By asking to be removed, the party that came in second should be sworn in.

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  2. VI ELDERS says:

    Good sense of reasoning. We are looking forward to all the new elected representatives to levy a balance perspective; in particular: Hon. Natalie Wheatley, Hon. Sharie Decastro, and Hon. Neville Smith.

    Our people have a way of writing-off individuals based on their marketed perceptions of some of our people, which have no basis.

    Even some who have never spoken to the person to cast their judgements.

    Again- Good Sense of Reasoning. The future of OUR VIRGIN ISLANDS ARE IN GOOD HANDS. We can rest peacefully now. Signing out now.

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  3. wow says:

    They are turning on willock just because he hails from sea cows bay and want to give mark a free pass

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    • @WoW says:

      I am from Sea Cows Bay and live in Sea Cows Bay. What does the man being from Sea Cows Bay have to do with anything.Please explain. These days everyone have to be Politicaly correct.

      Like 25
  4. STRIKE ONE says:

    Sir didn’t the AG give a legal opinion? And here I was thinking you were one of the more progressive of the bunch. Instead of getting on with government business you agree with litigation.

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    • Goodsense says:

      Your comment is exactly what I was thinking because I respect Mr. Wheatley. But the character of the speaker is longer known to the public than his tenure as speaker. If the AG gives an opinion and him being a member of the HOA disagrees with him, where are we as a country?

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    • Goodsense says:

      I agree with your statement regarding him being progressive and being able to go against the flow but I am disappointed in his statement. If the AG gives a legal opinion and you as a member of the HOA agrees with the speaker of the AG, where does that leave us a country. Further, we have known the speaker’s character as a member of the community far longer than we have known his character as a speaker of HOA so what really are you saying?

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    • Hmmm says:

      You all would get a rude awakening soon. He is very much a great public speaker but interms of work could only be compared to the QC.

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    • #@@ says:

      No. What it shows is that Hon Wheatley will not be a yes man to everything if it does not make life better for people of this country.

      He can think and make up his mind on matters in the HOA on his own.

      He just give his opinion and was not afraid to do so.

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      • See says:

        They want bi- élection because they want to push for Luce to get the D4 spot. Poor Luce, they want to use her for a number.

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        • Nonsense says:

          They don’t even need Luce for a number, they have a majority! That makes zero sense.

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        • @see says:

          They don’t need her to make up numbers.

          The school children say that the Speaker feel bad that the party chose to give him her job (as speaker) to make a way for her to get the 4th district by way of a by-election and now the 4th district may not be available for the taking.

          He simply fighting hard to make things right by her.

  5. Good says:

    A sincere and honest opinion ..Mark started this .

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  6. Deh Watcha says:

    One term speaker he will be.

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  7. Hmmm says:

    So if the Governor only have the right to call a by-election and he exercised his right and declined it… isn’t it controversial of the speaker to tell him he is wrong for exercising HIS right?

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  8. Eagle eye says:

    Be ye careful how you defending wrong actions because the crew is in the captains hand.

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  9. Disinterested says:

    Ok. The people are demonstrating their right to free speech. But how many us who are hiding behind fake names have the courage to boldly step forward write their their real and verifiable names to the petition to remove the Speaker that some may not like or who didn’t say how high when the Governor, the Crown Rep, say how jump? Very few.

    By the way, who was the genesis of this royal mess? Former MCW. Did the former MCW intend to resign? Did he behave like he resigned? And if yes, what damn diffrent does it make if he sent his resignation letter to Clerk of the HOA instead of the Speaker, given that the Speaker position was vacant on the resignation letter submittal date? Having been sworn in, didn’t the Speaker promptly address the issue? Yes.

    What was Baba Aziz, AG, take on this issue? This issue aside, I don’t have a warm fuzzy about the AG’s office performance. Slow as molasses on a winters day on simple issues. Is the new trend going to be removing people from office by a few blogs that are not reliable scientific polling? What is the process for removing a Speaker from office?

    Dr. Hon Deputy Premier Natalio “Sowande Uhuru” Wheatley(D-7), MEC, if you want the Court to decide, why are you publically weighing in? The Legisaltive and Execitive branches had their say so let the Judiciary do its thing. Finally, the former MCW caused this royal mess and he needs to fix it. If he really cares about the D-4 residents and these Virgin Islands as he claims, he should do the honorable thing and go on retirement. He has caused enough confusion, pain, national embarrassment…..etc. Do you have no shame!

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    • No "right to resign" says:

      according to the Gov’s letter, the AG advised that the “member-elect” had no right to resign, as only members had been provided with such a right. Wasn’t about who the letter was addressed to — that was only the noise from both the Speaker and Vanterpool. Was not the AG’s reason.

      AG definitely slow etc on many things, but on this one there was an opinion given, and we should at least be talking about that real issue.

      Does Govt need to pass a new law to address that gap / loophole?

      • Disinterested says:

        “according to the Gov’s letter, the AG advised that the “member-elect” had no right to resign, as only members had been provided with such a right.” This quote is third or fourth hand. And with no context, nonetheless, based on the quote supposedly provided by the AG, this is pure nonsense. Ok. Let’s suppose that an elected member decides not to show up to be sworn in does member resign and the seat becomes vacant? Furthermore, a member duly elected by voters has the right to resign. IMO the AG is chatting p….s. This cat is too slow, too political and performance borders on being a Peter Prinicple hire.

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  10. Albion says:

    I am more worried by the fact that he has done nothing right than the fact he has done nothing wrong.

    This is a big chance for the VIP to show that they will be more accountable that the previous administration. But will they take it?

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  11. Listen says:

    We have bigger fish to fry. The Governor done make his decision so just let it be from wasting time when there are other important issues!! Going to court is just going to waist our tax money… with Mark having the seat, what can he do, tell me? He is on the opposition. He doesn’t hold any power. Come on people,lets move on. VIP we elected you to get things done.. leave the petty stuff alone. On to the next….

    Like 34
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    • VIP voter says:

      Sir, I hear what you are saying,however, I am transparent on this and I want you to remember this,we the public elected VIP. We the public became your boss. The Government is on public probation.

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    • @Listen says:

      Your brain is too shallow. It might be petty to you but it is a serious matter that needs to be solve the CORRECT way. That way is for the judiciary of the court to make judgement on behalf of the people, NOT the Governor nor the Speaker.

      Get that in your shallow brain.

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    • @Listen says:

      You are not paying attention at all my friend. Mark being seated gives the opposition a very strong 5 and the Government side has a very nimble 8. Thr VIP are not as unified as they would like us to think so they will exhaust all measures in order for a bi-elecrion to be held on the 4th as they feel their candidate will have the edge. They need the numbers on their side and that is all what we are seeing unfold. Desperation is at play and it will be the early undoing of the VIP if the Speaker continues to behave in this manner. Imagine the Ndp getting private lawyers and ignoring the opinion of the AG. All h**l would broke loose but this place is calm because its VIP.

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  12. Just curious says:

    The decisions not to 1) swear in Mr. Vanterpool, 2) take the matter to court 3) use the services of a private lawyers for stead of the AG; who made these decisions? I thought HOA had to make these decisions; when did they convene to do so? Seems like all these decisions are being made by the Speaker and him only. Nothing wrong with your opinion to the matter, but if there is procedure please follow them and stop letting a little position get to your head. It’s well known that you have a lot of personal issues with the previous Government, but your position is not the platform for the vindictiveness.

    We voted the VIP for a better but if this is the type of behavior might as well we had leave in NDP in. Thread lightly Mr. Speaker and humble yourself; you might be setting yourself up.

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    • @JC says:

      Same as 2007! The people get spoiled and ungrateful then vote out NDP only for a VIP govt to come along and do 10 times worst. Keep watching.

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    • CTG says:

      Just Curious, I couldn’t agree with you more. Your questions are all pertinent questions and I am further curious to know where the money for the services of a private lawyer will be coming from. This Speaker done gone on his high horse. I thought that the decision to appoint him as speaker was a bad one and he is already proving me right!!! Worst is yet to come I predict.

  13. the Speaker says:

    Until Mr. Daniels come forward. My feeling is that the speaker started this petition on himself. I will stick to this until Devon Daniels come forward.

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  14. Disappointment says:

    We have some persons figure because someone other than the AG who could speak well and gave their “opinion” on the law and the way forward that we should run with that notion.

    It is clear as day that this is not about doing what is right but having a point to prove.

    VIP cronies would jump over a cliff it another member told them there is a net there to catch them you just can’t see it well from the top.

    Like 19
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  15. Anonymous says:

    Some people can’t separate VINO the site from Willock the man. Some think that’s he’s the editor responsible for the articles and hate him because of that. Has anybody actually seen a copy of the letter to see the contents.

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    • @Truth says:

      That is exactly what it is, Luce lost and they are p****d. So the Residents of District 4 that voted for Mark is being punished and held hostage by JW AKA, THE ONE CALLING THE SHOTS UP IN THE HOUSE OF CARDS.

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  16. Shame on you says:

    Respectfully Mr. Deputy Premier you are misleading the people. The constitution may not directly address this matter and I’m not sure how many constitutions around the world caters for every situation but our constitution is very clear on how someone should resign from the the House of Assembly. There is no ambiguity here and the constitution must be literally interpreted here. This is nothing more than a vindictive process at the expense of taxpayers. The Premier said we have no money but here you are wasting taxpayers money to further a personal agenda. How much do these lawyers cost? The government exercised very poor judgment in making Mr. Willock the speaker. They seemed more interested in paying their political dues than doing what was right and proper for the institution. Shame on you all! And you second the motion for him to be speaker Mr. Deputy Premier. Shame on you!

    Like 24
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    • @Shame on you says:

      I second that motion a Million percent. You can see a man’s face but you canot see his heart. Yes, the Government exercised very poor judgement when they elected JW as s—–. Everyone one of them in the VIP Government is in favor of what JW is doing. Every last one of them I see as opertunist. You Guys enjoy the House of Cards while you can. In four years you will not be able to fool the people.When You are in for more, you always ends up with less. Heyyyy, I can hear crickets and a pin dropping.Why is the VIP army of followers so quiet. I bet a whole lot of you is feeling ashamed. BOBOS, the grass is not always greener over the Hull.

  17. Bvi spring sailing says:

    Now all the focus is on the speaker they even have online petitions to remove him but Mark wrote the letter and also came out with a press statement that he’s quitting for personal reasons now that he found out the letter was invalid he changed he’s mind he wants to come back but know one is talking about that

    Like 10
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    • Just My 2 Cents says:

      As you pointed out, the resignation is invalid. Therefore, he did not resign. And YES, he can changed his mind. Haven’t we all made decisions and subsequently have them changed?

      I believe that the D4 rep feels mightily foolish for his premature actions, but he is entitled to changed it because it was invalid. Unfortunately, he has a right to be sworn in whether we like it or not.

      Like 16
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  18. Qiestionable says:

    What Hon. Wheathley saying that the AG office do not legally know our constitution?

    That the HOA the Speaker will not take what our AG Office says?

    The Governor who is the queens representative turn to the AG office and wad legally advised on his position for a bi-election the AG office confirmef that the lettet was invalid. Due to the letter being invalid their is no vacancy no bi-election.

    The HOA the Speaker refuse what the Governor and AG office said so he allowing the courts to decide. Who paying for all this letigation?

    Where is the Premier on these matters he picked the Speaker but gone quite becuause he agrees with the Speaker on his decision.

    The Speaker has now set a tone that if he is not comfortable with the AG decision he willseek outside help

    Like 23
  19. Just My 2 Cents says:

    Its very unfortunate that this controversy plaguing the BVI has escalated to the magnitude it has today. A resolution to the matter is to have the D4 rep sworn it and allow the district to be represented in the House.

    The speaker’s position essentially is violating the D4 rep’s constitutional right (since the letter of resignation is invalid and the rep, in recognizing the invalidity, opted to reneged, and to this day, the rep has not been sworn in).

    Further, the Governor, in his wisdom and from legal advise received, acted correctly and in accordance with the constitution. There is no need for a by-election and there would not be. Under no circumstances will the courts rule in the speaker’s favour.

    Additionally, is it the duty of the speaker to rule on the D4 rep’s membership in the House, or is it a matter for the House itself. Was a motion brought before the House? Was this motion debated and voted on? If no, then what legitimate call do the speaker have to seek the rulings of the courts?

    If the speaker fails to reneged on his position, then arguably, this petition is very pro-active and the call to be removed is validated.

    Like 27
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  20. Haha says:

    The attorney general is a lawyer. Lawyers tend to have different opinions. Just because the AG says gives an opinion doesn’t mean that he is correct or that all legal opinions will the same.

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    • @haha says:

      He is nor just a lawyer, he is the AG. It is plain as day that Mark could NOT resign a capacity that he never had, thats what the AG basically advised. That is clear as day but yet we are paying external lawyers and for what? The Premier just said the NDP spent all the money on elections so we have to start from scratch but its ok to ignore our AG for external legal advice and the ink didnt dry on hid swearing in and the h******y s******g pastor got his big contract. If they last 2yrs as Govt with this behavior we should all be ashamed of ourselves.

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  21. ms says:

    Something smells ROTTEN in the BVI – Time to move on and do the peoples Work and why they elected those in office and understand why the ones who were not elected. My true feelings is that if you were a person in politics for the years that Vander-f**l have so called doing the people’s work. No one should be responsible for the stupid move he made and should be held accountable. What is he hiding and was afraid of coming out if he accepted the people’s votes. There is something Vander-f**l is trying to hide and putting the burden on the Speaker of the House for the stupid and careless move he made. He must be forced to WAIT OUT until the NEXT ELECTION.

    Please pressure him as to what he is HIDING – Open an investigation in finding out his past duties – It smells like there was some C********n…

    Like 7
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  22. @Wheatly says:

    I don’t care what you think about JW,you don’t know him like most of us the public does. The majority want him out. He is not fit to be S——– of the House. He is nontransparent, bias and hardheaded. Seems like You Wheatly is in agreement with JW defying what the Governour said. What you should have done Wheatly, was keep your mouth shut like the rest of your cabinet is doing.You know how things work, people here will turn at the drop of a hat and will show no mercy when they start roasting you on the blog. JW should be the one asking the public for a chance, not you Wheatly.

  23. D4 voter says:

    Don’t budge.There is no need for a bi-election. JW is holding D4 hostage.

    Like 16
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  24. TRUTH says:

    I have to agree that JW is the one holding District four hostage because their candidate did not win. I wonder if it was JFraser if the same actions would apply. I wonder if it was MPenn if the same acton would apply. And why is the Hon. Premier so silent on this one? Hmmm….Come on JFraser time to ask a question in the HOA tomorrow.

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  25. My views says:

    Mark knew he was summiting an invalid resignation letter in the first place and he also apologise for the confusion in his statement. He resign for personal reason and he his coming back for whatever reason. If mark was a very honest man he should have waited for the house to elect a speaker and then take the right step to avoid confusion or he should give others a chance in his party to run. Mark started this confusion and it is going to affect his party. The people of the fourth 4 district are tired of this confusion. If he his truly the man of the people he needs to prove to them in court. Mark is claiming his right according to the constitution but he his not seeing the consequence of his action on the people and his party

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  26. Blah says:

    Mark never used the word resign in his speech. Mark has been in politics for over 20 years he knows the correct procedure. Mark wanted out at any cost. Mark wanted out in the fastest way possible that’s way he did not wait to be sworn in or used the correct procedure. Mark quit with immediate effect.

    He advised everyone only as a courtesy so that we could hold a By election to get someone that wanted the job that he no longer wanted. The constitution does not provide any reference to someone quitting so all arguments thus far are null and void. Mark didn’t write a resignation letter. The letter was an advisory letter of his intent not to take part in the next sitting of the HOA which is his right.

    Mark in the closing statements of his speech in his own words “thanked us for allowing him to take a backseat from his political life.” He thanked us for allowing him to quit. Mark followed up on his intention to quit by skipping the first sitting of the HOA.

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  27. The Hooded Claw says:

    What if Mark Vanterpool decides to file an injunction to the courts to be sworned in, then the HOA will have to recess until the court rules. The 2018 budget must pass by April’s end, this could potentially have the UK taken over our financial affairs because of the s-*****+s vindictiveness.

    Like 8
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    • Thanks says:

      You appear to be the only one who is weighing in on the consequences following :an injunction. We so quick claiming we don’t want UK in our affairs. Go, Governor, indirectly rule from Speaker down come April 30th. As school children say, “you understand?”

  28. voiceofthevoiceless says:

    Did not expect different from Hon. Sowande as he is just playing the team game this early in the first quarter so that is understandable. I agree that this move by the Speaker is not one that warrants his removal and that is why i would not sign that petition. I need something more significant than this or a pattern of such behavior to warrant me asking for his removal.

    What I cannot agree with is the Speaker persisting with this matter to the courts where it is very likely the government will lose the case. We have lost enough in the courts so what convinces him this would be different? I hear people talking about Hon Vanterpool bringing an action but also any constituent from the 4th can bring an action claiming that their constitutional right is being infringed. After all they voted for a representative and are being deprived representation which is the product of their vote.

    Come on Hon. Andrew Fahie step in and ask Hon Willock to stand down. We have work to do and this is a needless distraction!

    Like 11
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    • Well well says:

      a needless distraction!? yes. a plan distraction? yes. they are coming with something to shock us all. this is only the beginning.
      With a start like this, what would the end look like.

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  29. CW says:

    Typical BVI. SMH you all deserve each other.

  30. Dear JW says:

    I am going to ask you in a very calm tone, release my District from the illegal hostage situation that you have us under before all H*ll breaks loose in this place. It is time for the BS to stop.Keep pushing people.I don’t give a FLYING F**k who you are or what your problem is with the old Government, let this mess go or like I said all H*ll will break loose for sure.

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  31. To the point says:

    Doc I’m so disappointed .wrong is wrong .the Ag give his info base on the law and this fool still don’t want to give in .now let see when the private lawyers say the same as the Ag ,the speaker say he still not giving in .back to you doc shame shame shame not a good look you was not to comment on that don’t be a one term politician

  32. Disgusted says:

    So it seems as if this Administration is in the business of holding people hostage. Where is the Premier, way is hé not correcting or speaking on this matter. JW have to understand one can’t always get what one want. Since when is it legal to hold a group of citizens in a community hostage and get away with It. Why, because the whole D**n Government is upholding JW bad behaviour. Four years is not that far away. The whole D**n VIP party is going to be send packing just like the people next door send Mapp packing after his four year term was up.

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  33. my 2 cents says:

    people forget that the Ag was hired under the NDP government. So in his eyes he is looking out for who appointed him.

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  34. On Looker says:

    I voted for this guy because i thought he was a straight shooter, and had his own thoughts but he seems like a sheep following Andrew and this r******s speaker.

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  35. On looker says:

    I also voted for him as well. It’s fine though. You only have to get me once. I’m a firm beliver in forgiving but not forgetting. Look, I am going to be the first to say and admit I voted for the wrong people.

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  36. Well said Hon. Wheatley says:

    Hon. Wheatley, I am proud of you for being courageous enough to express your opinion on this matter and I agree with you 100%. Mark should be ashamed of himself for writing a letter of resignation and for publicly stating that he never wanted to run again in the first place. Yet, during campaign he up and down in persons house asking for votes. This man lacks integrity and character and despite what persons personal opinion is on Willock, it doesn’t means he is wrong for opting to honour mark’s resignation nor do I believe he is simply being malicious. Mark full of nonsense and 4th district deserves better

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