BVI News

Premier appoints new Health Minister, Junior Tourism Minister

Marlon Penn (left) and Dr Hubert O’Neal

By Davion Smith, BVI News Staff

Roughly 24 hours after firing Ronnie Skelton from his post as Minister of Health and Social Development, Premier Dr D Orlando Smith has appointed a replacement for both him (Skelton) and Archibald Christian whose Junior Minister of Tourism post was revoked last week.

In a statement Tuesday morning, Dr Smith announced: “The ministerial portfolios for this administration are [now] as follows. Minister of Health and Social Development — honourable Marlon Penn and Junior Minister of Tourism — Honourable Hubert O’Neal.”

Premier Dr D Orlando Smith terminated Skelton as Health Minister after he (Skelton) reportedly indicated to local print media that he was indeed the leader of the breakaway political party known as the Progressive Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM).

Premier Smith described Skelton’s behaviour as a ‘clear conflict of interest’.

“In the circumstances, I had no choice but to ask his Excellency the Governor to revoke Mr Skelton’s appointment as the minister of government and member of Cabinet. It was untenable for him to sit in an NDP administration, make decisions as a member of Cabinet and form his own party at the same time,” said Dr Smith who had given a similar explanation for Christian.

The Premier put on record that he thanks Skelton for his service and wishes him well as the leader of the PVIM.

Along with Christian, Skelton departs the NDP government with Second District Representative Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull who wrote to the Speaker of the House of Assembly last week requesting for arrangements to be made for him to be seated on the Opposition side of parliament.

Both Christian and Turnbull have since declared their alliance with PVIM.

The aforementioned trio all vied for party positions when the NDP hosted its internal elections just under six months ago.

While Christian was elected as party treasurer, Skelton and Turnbull who were running mates at the time, lost their campaign for party Chairman and Deputy Chairman, respectively.

Education Minister Myron Walwyn and his running mate Penn (the newly-appointed Health Minister) won those respective posts.

The Skelton-led PVIM is believed to have formed some time after.

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  1. The Doc says:

    Nice to see the Doc showing his ruthless streak! I guess he is finally realizing that it does not pay to be too nice when you are dealing with snakes.

    Like 31
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    • Geico says:

      The biggest snake tendency ???? of all time is the new – minister. Wait for it. The Premier doesn’t have a clue.

      Like 11
      Dislike 5
    • What ruthless streak?! says:

      Doc just grabbing at straws to keep what’s left of his gov’t together. Doc reign is over and he is the only one hasn’t realized it yet.

      Like 12
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      • What next? says:

        When a ship is sinking, the last one to leave should be the Captain. Kudos to Doc for sticking this thing out and making sure it stays afloat until the end.
        Despite the dangers to self, only a true leader will do that, while everyone else bails. This is a true demonstration of country above self.

        Like 20
    • Yea right says:

      Poor Doc taking instructions. A house divided cannot stand – in a number of ways

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  2. Next says:

    So Alvera should now be Junior Minister for Trade as Marlon should not be holding two posts.

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  3. Loyal NDP voter says:

    Thanks Doc, good choice. I like Penn and I like O’Neal. NDP, you all got this. Thank you Doc for getting rid of the fakers that was bringing the team down.

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  4. Katniss says:

    Haha what a waste of time just dissolve the government already

    Like 31
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  5. Voiceofthevoiceless says:

    The scant disrespect shown to Hon Maduro Caines continues to befuddle the mind. You mean Maduro Caines could not at least get one of the available positions? So who will be Junior Minister of Trade since Hon Penn is now Minister of Health and Social Development? Why was she not given that position right away? The Lady is a two termer, Bertie a one termer. Really?

    Is it that this Adninistration has zero confidence in Hon Maduro Caines’ ability to command a position in the government? If such is the case District 6 constituents must take note of this as we cannot just elect individuals for our district but for our country. Capable of commanding any ministry or department. Or could it be they believe that she may well fly the coop too?

    Well sah.

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  6. So what about Alvera says:

    She should resign too

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  7. For real says:

    Lord poor Alvera put down that little bag and demand a piece of the pie got God sake

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  8. Baffled says:

    Pure ignorance and BS. They need to role swap. Since when Marlon is qualified to be health minister and Bertie as Jr. Tourism. Smfh…. Only a matter of time before it dissolve… tick tock

    Like 17
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    • voiceofthevoiceless says:

      Clearly they cannot give Bertie Ministry of Health and Social Development as there would be a conflict of interest as he is a Doctor who has a Practice and may well be in a position to make decisions that can favor his medical practice. Also he knows some of the nurses and doctors and if he has a vendetta against them he can make decisions to affect their careers.

      Come on Man!

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  9. Huhhhh says:

    It doesn’t matter who get appointed to wha they all going. All them losers gots to go. What the hell does that l— know about health. What the hell that next l— know about tourism. They so w—. Yet again Orlando ain’t got nobody else to appoint. This m– man got the whole place turn upside down.

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    • Candi says:

      Bertie could have been minister for Health, Marlon for Tourism and if Picko resign then Alvera for Labour.

    • @Huh says:

      Ronnie is an engineer by trade, what did he know about health? Now all of a sudden we know who know about what? The place has been on fire for months with the incinerator and cox heath burning out of control but only now you are concerned?

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  10. Sixth says:

    My run done state categorically that the little lady with the bag is not the brightest bulb in the room, so he is not going to give her any Ministerial position. I don’t know why she decided to stay with them. She needs to resign now and force the Counsel to dissolve with a 6-6 standing. She is the holding the power in her hands that carry that little bag. Let us see if she has the balls to force dissolution.

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    • Zamp says:

      No matter where she goes that’s how she will be looked at so what’s your point? Same way the boasting brothers will be looked at as little boys no matter where they go.

    • Vi connection says:

      It is not Myron that is appointing. We still have a Premier if you idiots do not know. His term ain’t finish, unlike Ronnie, Archie and Mitch who moving as though their term is complete.

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  11. Political Observer (PO) says:

    Was the Hon Alvera Maduro-Caines offered a ministry but declined as her sister Delores did? If no, is there a likle misogyny going on? Or the belief is she is not up to the task of effectively leading/managing a ministry? The ministerial system in the BVI is flawed, for unqualified and inexperienced people are put in charge of function that they know little or nothing about, pretending they are expert in things they know likle about to save face.

    These appointments hopefully are only place holders. Enough already with the dysfunction, call ekection now. The poor suffering people need relief; let them vote and now. The BVI is probably the laughing stock in the Caribbean and wider afield. Is there any upside to delaying election? No. Ministerial government came to the BVI in 1967 and to date this is probably the worse performing government. Doc it is time to salvage what is left of your legacy. Act in the interest of the people, not self interest. There is time to hold an election before 01 Jan 2019. Give us a Xmas gift.

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  12. WoW says:

    Just wait and see whats happens.I guesss when she returns.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Ever notice how white hair does look so good on some people.

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  14. ??? says:

    I would hope that they have the good sense to give Alvera Marlon’s Junior Position. Ain’t like he was doing anything with it.

  15. @Baffled says:

    What was Ronnie’s experience

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  16. ndp heckler says:

    That other one staying loyal to doc and he rich friends. He holding on just for the sake of his friends while leaving district 7 out in the cold.

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  17. Keeping it a bviairways 7.2 million. says:

    This has really gotten to the height of foolishness. Premier, can’t you see your time is up. Dissolve the government so we can get-on with electing a NEW GOVERNMENT to quickly mobilize and get our country moving again. Enough Already!

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  18. ..... says:

    Lets hope that new minister doesn’t issue medical licenses willy nilly

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  19. VG says:

    Hubert is a doctor so why wasn’t he given that post?????

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  20. For real says:

    He can’t even remove a hair from your eye and you want to give him health

  21. Hmm says:

    Lawdy look how aya send Bertie to finish kill off tourism how he kill the 9th district. This ah cross now ma boy

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  22. REALLY!!!! says:

    Premier, you DUMB buddy. JEEZ!!!

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  23. Laughing says:

    These people on here trying to make a big deal about Alvera, how do you know that the Premier and Alvera didn’t already have discussions about what is happening? I am sure she is not being shut out and being the humble person she is. Elections are around the corner and I’m sure she is more focused on galvanizing her district than seeking power just because.

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  24. Joseph says:

    All this because Myron Walwyn’s parents are from Antigua.

    Black people surely have a major problem.


    Then we complain about racism from White People.

    Bunch of A–es!

    Like 18
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    • @Joseph says:

      So damn true. Blacks is just or more racist than whites are. The light skin blacks is racist towards the dark skin blacks. Like you said, A bunch of A**es.

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    • Agreed says:

      I totally agree with you, both of my parents are not from here (BVI) so I dont see the issue of his parents not being from here. He was BORN here he is a BVILANDER, it’s not his parents running. Ut it with the BS

    • VI Elder says:

      @Joseph. No, it goes deeper than that. Self-hatred is an understatement. This whole embarrassing turmoil going on right now was bound to happen someday, and now it has reached critical mass. For so many years children born in the country from parents hailing from other lands have been denied their basic human rights. Children who have worked their tails off to do their very best in schools as well as in their communities etc., and in the end, being denied opportunities, such as jobs, scholarship, etc. by some of the most Godly people (wickedness) in high places who were placed in positions to help cultivate deserving Virgin Islands children ambitions, but instead, worked to kill their momentum. Some survived and thrive with strong conviction from their parents and others and some who were not fortified with support, just fell off, became discouraged, and discarded their dreams. What is happening now is very much necessary to expose all the underpinnings of our dark, unspoken, secrets. When it ends, the deserving leadership: those who truly care about people, who will not use their positions for their self-serving desires, who can exhibit humility and who are not overly conceited with over-inflated Egos, who can admit when they are wrong and know how to apologize, (implementing a series of initiatives is one thing to make them appear to the public like so many things are getting done, but getting things done with the required thoroughness and quality processes, is another). Let us choose our elected leaders wisely and carefully this time around. Those who can unify us and not divide us and pretend not to be participating in the divide. Here is an opportunity to start doing the Right things our people. Caveat- if we have not learned anything, the same problem will resurface again, only worse, later down the road.

      Like 2
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  25. WoW says:

    ( Laughing)I like that, how people in Tortola quick to assume and spectulate things and they even don’t know the bottom line still tongue.

    • Concern says:

      Come on people

      Let us get back to basics

      Congratulate them.
      Weatherthey are for you or not

      Pray that God’s blessings and mercy on us because he has our country in the palm of his hands ready to let us go

      Take a break, sit down and read the different news online. It is painful. We need to stop the negative thoughts, words and deeds and give these candidates a chance just as you would like it ,if you were in there position

      This is god’s work. Let us unite in love, repent and forgive and let God continue to do its work .
      Please it doesn’t matter which party is in if our attitudes not change things will continue the same.

      Let us clean up our homes, churches, schools and work with pray not with negative thoughts and we will restore what we once had.

      Like 1
      Dislike 1
    • Exactly says:

      That’s why Dr. Smith will always walk around with a smirk on his face. Just because he is not grandstanding they call him soft. All who on social media and elsewhere beating up their chests will soon be looking for jobs.

  26. @ says:

    Premier Smith aka the Wife is having her way. Doc don’t have a clue what going on. He has always been a weak Premier who does whatever someone else says.

    Like 5
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  27. Is this my BVI? says:

    Well, well. Is this how we treat our own. Nothing can be said positive about persons who are promoted? Come on people, some of you with your negativity can not walk in the shoes of those you criticize. The problem is, gullible
    persons with no minds of their own, buy into your p**s with your heap of noise. Why are we so anxious to see persons fail? what was your contribution to help ensure a representatives’ success? Tired of the constant criticism. Come on people Let us build our brothers and sisters up. Help them.

    Congratulations Honorables Caines and O’Neal. I wish you both success in your appointed roles.

    Until there is a change, or if there is a change support who you have NOW. Simple as that.

  28. @is this my BVI says:

    You are the first positive comment on this string, and it indicates where we are , but need to be going.

    Sadly, all you have written are facts, and it hurts to read them.

    What can we do? Will we ever evolve beyond self hate and destruction?

    Lastly, how much of this is still being perpetrated by our own minds, outside influences and internal spies?

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