BVI News

Premier’s farewell address: ‘I have no regrets’

Premier Dr D Orlando Smith said he feels no penitence as he concludes his nearly two decades of service in representational politics.

Dr Smith expressed those sentiments as he gave his final address to the territory Monday evening.

Premier Smith said, as he demits office, he takes satisfaction in how much he has helped the local financial services and tourism industries to grow. He said he is particularly pleased that ‘after many years of little or no new developments’, the BVI is witnessing what he described as “a wave of investment from Oil Nut Bay, to Scrub Island, to the recently signed deals to develop Norman Island and Prospect Reef”.

“Above all, I take satisfaction in the services that are being provided to our people … Even as I wish we could have accomplished even more, I have no regrets – for I know in my heart that I gave all that I had to offer to this territory I love. And for that opportunity, I am eternally grateful,” said Dr Smith, whose greatest perceived blunder as government leader might be said to be the still unresolved BVI Airways saga.

I wish we had greater air access, further along with recovery

Dr Smith said things he would have wanted to accomplish include having the territory’s main airport ‘service more flights’ and having the BVI’s main hospital provide ‘an even broader array of advanced services’.

He said he also wished the BVI’s recovery from the 2017 hurricanes were further along and that “no business or family in the territory was still struggling to get back to where they were before the storms arrived”.

While further stating that he wished for a “more unified” community, the premier implored the soon-to-be members of the next government to make their party secondary to the needs of the territory.

Dr Smith also encouraged cooperation among the territory’s leaders and residents, regardless of political affiliation or beliefs.

“We will have to learn to sacrifice for the greater good and to cooperate in ways we have only imagined in the past,” the premier said. “That does not mean that we will always agree. There will be spirited debates in any healthy democracy. The election campaign that is ongoing is part of that process. But … All of us must rally together if we are to achieve what is needed to secure our future. We must be prepared to make the necessary strategic investments today to build a better tomorrow,” he said.

BVI must deepen our connection to the world

And in outlining things he believes must be done to ensure national development, Dr Smith said: “We must deepen our connection to the world through improved technology and communication services. We must diversify our economy so that we don’t stand and fall on the twin pillars of tourism and financial services alone.”

“We must constantly improve our schools so that our children continue to march ahead. We must support our police on the streets, as well as our teachers in the schools, our ministers in the churches and parents in their homes as they all work to keep our young people on the straight path. We must provide care for every one of our citizens so that health is understood as an essential right and not a privilege,” the retiring politician added.

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39 Comments

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  1. CORN MAN says:

    OF COURSE NO REGRETS CAUSE YOU RETIRE AND GONE WITH A VALUE OF OVER SOME 60 MILLION DOLLARS LEAVING THE COUNTRY IN THE RED.

    SICKENING AND NOT DOCTRINE!

    Like 31
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    • Reply says:

      How do you know this? Are you privy to the Premier’s bank account(s), his financial portfolio, or how he obtain any money he has accumulated over his lifetime and professional career?

      I’m a frequent participant on these blogs, but some of you are down right malicious and scandalous and need to be sued for libel for getting on these blogs and saying things without proof.

      Do not assume you are anonymous on these blogs, and can therefore say what you wish without impunity. You can be identified.

      What you are suggesting here is that the Premier is retiring with a large sum of money that was of ill gotten gain. Unless you have proof of this, you should seal your lips.

      The Premier may not give you the light of day, because he does not strike me as that kind of person, but some other person may serve you up the same 60 million in a lawsuit for defaming their character.

      It’s one thing to disagree with someone politically, but it’s a totally different to say things about them that are known to be untrue or devoid of facts.

      To the outgoing Premier:

      Thanks for your overall service to our country both as a politician and as a physician. All the best in your retirement.

      Like 20
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    • Jokes says:

      You guys sound so stupid. Anybody can steal $60 mil from Government?

      Like 21
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    • Really Doc says:

      You should regret giving us Myron Walwyn.

      Like 30
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    • JAMES says:

      60M-WHERE DID YOU GET THAT FIGURE BBUDDY?OUR MONEY, YOUR MONEY-WHOSE MONEY? WASTING YOUR ABILITIES TO READ AND WRITE ERY PPOOR ANALYSIS OF SITUATION. IF YOOU DON’T LIKE DC THAT IS DIFFRENT STORY.

      Like 9
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    • roxy says:

      You idiot should be ashamed of yourself. You need to have more respect for Dr. Smith. He is an honourable man, a fantastic doctor, a remarkable surgeon, and an outstanding citizen. Yes he may have made some mistakes, but who doesn’t?Most of you complaining about the 7.2 mil. do not even pay taxes, social security or NHI but you quick to say our money like he took it from all you bank account.
      You are probably one of them that he deliverd and your parents still owe him or because of his kindness he never sent them a bill. You need to think before you talk,

      Like 23
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      • Juan Ping says:

        Go cart you muhdda

        Ayo so dumb dat you think dah man going go in de treasury and thief just like dat????

        Orlando made deals with millionaires and billionaires worth more than dat. Wait until the books open in 2023 & ayo going see who laughing in de offshore banks.

        A set a dumb people

  2. WHY? says:

    The man served his country and that’s how you honor the man on his retirement!

    Like 18
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    • What’sUp says:

      One can not easily see any accomplishments in his last eight years of public service. What we can see and smell is raw sewage flowing through our streets, our dump burning out of control, our broken schools, our costly and unreliable electricity and water supplies, and our costly and slow internet services. The Economist wrote that this was due to the NDP’s fiscal mismangement and corruption.

      Should we feel nostalgic at this moment? Perhaps.

      Perhaps our next leader will address these issues so businesses will want to relocate here and provide real jobs to our people.

      Perhaps our next leader will start by creating a well needed plan for our future.

      Perhaps our next leader will conduct due diligence when spending our money.

      Perhaps our next leader will support support whistleblower legislation to prevent further fiscal mismangement and corruption.

      Like 11
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  3. Anonymous says:

    On behalf our great ancestors, grannie Adelle O’neal Vanterpool, and your dad, i simply say for them and fo me, with tremendous gratitude, thank you Doc.. Thank you.

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  4. Laura says:

    “A man has cause for regret only when he sows and no one reaps”- Charles Goodyear –

    Like 4
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  5. Ok says:

    All the best Dr. Smith…. Enjoy your retirement.

    Like 16
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  6. Hmmmm. says:

    Thanks for your service but good r******e.

    Like 3
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  7. sam the man says:

    I wish Dr Smith a blessed retirement and I believe him to be a real gentleman but sadly way way out of his depth and surely deep down he must have regrets as his tenure hasn’t been great and his legacy will be a very poor one….lessons to be learnt here in the future…enough said

    Like 7
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  8. Sad says:

    It’s only when this man is dead and gone we will dig up all kind of positive and long list of nice things he did for this Territory. We are a vile, nast, bad minded set of f*****s in the BVI, even after surviving one of the worst disasters in history we have learned nothing about being grateful and thankful.

    Than you Hon. Premier for your service, nobody is perfect but you lead us with a steady hand and kept the country afloat even when some had doubts. Enjoy your glory days, this Territory doesn’t deserve a leader like you.

    Like 22
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  9. People says:

    We have regrets we left you in so d**n long! And hope we don’t regret naming the hospital after you “doc”!

    Like 7
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  10. Thanks says:

    Thank you Dr. Smith for your service.

    Like 11
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  11. RealPol says:

    Let’s wish Dr. Hon Premier Daniel Orlando Smith (At Large), MoF, bon voyage! Dr. Smith served the territory well as a physician/surgeon ( one of the first local doctors). But his foray into the world of politics was not as impressive. He was probably too nice for the rough and tumble world of politics where one must walk softly but carry and use a BIG stick. Dr. Smith brought the virtues of a physician to politics but it was ineffective and a mismatch. As the leader, didn’t take hold of government, letting ministries operate like governments within a government. He avoided making the tough calls. For example, he should have reshuffled the Cabinet a long time ago. But that is spilled milk. Money and family don’t mix well. May be too politics and family are problematic like oil and water.

    Moreover, the headline says ‘I have no regrets.’ However, in the body of the article, the Premier expressed regrets about extension of TBLIA, economy……..etc. Further, there should have been regrets about the $7.2M to BVI Airways, the repurposing of $8M from EE/LL sewage project, the ~$40M cost overrun at TPP, the ESHS Wall debacle, the slow response after hurricanes Irmaria……..etc. But if he did the best he could, it is what it is. His legacy will be spotty but may be in time history will be revised. It was a tough job. Best wishes on a well-deserved retirement!

    Like 11
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    • ?? says:

      What $40 mil overrun? The initial budget of Pier Park was $79 million and it cost $82 mil. Please stop peddling lies.

      Like 6
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      • RealPol says:

        @??, a budget and actual cost are two diffrent things. For example, the HOA can appropriate $500K for a construction project but it does not mean it will cost $500K. In my experience, a portion of a construction budget is earmarked for change orders, ie, latent defects, unforeseen conditions, owners addition…….etc. It typically should not exceed 25% of contract cost. Further, we know what the actual cost was but how much was the contract awarded for? Was the contract awarded for $79M? Again, what was the contract awarded for? If government know upfront that the project could not be constructed for the awarded price yet did, that was deceptive and poor project management. A neutral investigation is probably needed; a government hired consultant did an incomplete investigation, for critical documents were missing.

        Like 2
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  12. Moment says:

    Keep of the Doc becuase he had love for his country certain individuals would of been locked up in 2011.

    Ralph was at the helm as well for years and Andrew, Fraser, alvin did poor fiscal spending. Ralph at the head his own party members killed dancia by holding back every project she put forward just becuase they did not get deputy premier position.

    So before you jump down doc throat examine yourselves first.

    Like 8
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  13. ndp heckler says:

    Where is that 7.3 million aircraft dollars?

    Like 8
    Dislike 6
  14. Sonia says:

    Thank you for your years of loyal service to this territory and it’s people.
    I wish you God speed in your retirement

    Like 8
    Dislike 3
  15. Sad excuse for a Premier says:

    No regrets…. Wow, you’re even worst than I thought. After providing the tax payers with no explanation to where our money went, you have no regrets? Do you even have a conscience? Is it that you just don’t care about the people because you and your family are well off having set yourself up in a good position that it’s to hell with the rest of us. You my friend was the worst premier the BVI has ever had. I thought highly of you but the way you ran the government proved to me that my perception of you was deeply flawed. I’m happy you that you are leaving the government because someone so careless and irresponsible has no place to be there.

    Like 9
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  16. Blah says:

    Thank you for the good stuff (only the good stuff) you have done and for retiring. Best wishes for the future.

    Like 3
    Dislike 4
  17. Time to Move Forward says:

    Doc. You know you have regrets. Under Dr. Orlando Smith’s management and control, I can imagine us as a World Class Medical tourism destination with top hospital and services. Dr. Tattersal had patients coming from all over the world to do their desired procedures. The medical Doctors conference at Prospect Reef was a significant event; that also highlighted our territory. Why couldn’t it be incentivised to continue to be an annual event?
    While Premier Smith and others are talking about developing a 3rd economic pillar, Medical Tourism, if thoroughly thought out and executed could have perhaps become a 3rd pillar economic pillar. In St. Kitts and Nevis, housing and Condominium projects, as a result of the medical schools operation are meaningful investments to some investors. But no, we are saddled with over a $120-million for our Peebles; (including millions overspent) on the project. The new Nurse Iris O’Neal clinic on Virgin Gorda, though designed to cost some $18-million, was promoted as costing only $6-millions. This and other similar situations as Doc, are instances of the “Square pegs in round holes” syndrome. We once more…and perhaps our last chance to get it right; yet there are those who think and are promoting the idea of a Coalition Government. Hopefully there are many of us know and desire otherwise and will use the power of our vote to get the kind of government and representation that is most beneficial

    Like 3
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  18. Farewell Doc says:

    Mark my words, it happens all over the world Ex-Premier got locked up. You will be first Premier in the BVI that will get locked up. Rest assured…

    Like 5
    Dislike 5
  19. Ausar says:

    I will personally miss your unwavering, but firm leadership style, Dr. Smith. Especially, in the face of adversity, turmoil and continued criticism.

    You will always be remembered for your advancement of our touristic products: Pier Park, Oil Nut Bay and Scrub Island, to mention a few!

    Best wishes on your future endeavours..

    Bon Vivant :))

    Like 8
    Dislike 6
  20. Old says:

    Smith give away our money , and say noting about crime in the bvi :Wrong is wrong and leave another joker to run the bvi : you need to fine the money

    Like 12
    Dislike 5
    • Sherlock says:

      Doc, you refuse to support the wistlenlower law. Did you or your family members receive any payola? Do you or your family own and BVI corporations? Where all your money come from since you been a minister for the last 20 years?

      Like 4
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  21. Too Much says:

    More questions than answers! You shouldn’t be allowed to retire leaving so many unanswered questions. You have not come to a satisfactory conclusion.

    Like 5
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  22. East End voter says:

    Dear Doc,
    I have no regrets about you leaving…should Have been years ago.

    Like 8
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  23. No Sah says:

    No regrets? Not even our plane and the 7.2M that you gave away to scammers.

  24. Sin says:

    Four ndp man need to lock up and throw away the key for our money,

  25. Unbelievable says:

    For the fool who asked where all his money come from,check his family history INHERITANCE.Nuff said.You people are way out of place.

    Like 2
    Dislike 3
  26. Coffees says:

    So you are saying Orlando inherited all of his wealth from his family? Does he or his family members own any interest in BVI or offshore companies? If so how many? How many of these were inherited? Shouldn’t there be an investigation into this?

    Like 3
    Dislike 1

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