BVI News

Premiers should be responsible for a disaster response, not governors

Opposition legislator Mark Vanterpool has said he believes that the Premier of the Virgin Islands should be the person tasked with managing the response of the territory after a natural disaster.

The current law dictates that in the event of a disaster emergency, the governor is responsible for the disaster management of the territory.

Vanterpool, during his argument in favour of the territory undergoing a constitutional review, said the Disaster Management Act of 2019 – which proposes to give the Premier the ability to lead in cases following a natural disaster – will never become law in the BVI.

“Under our constitution, there is an Emergency Act. I don’t know why we don’t feel that the Premier can run an emergency in the country [but] that a governor has to click in and take over the country … I’m not troubling the governor, I am troubling the self-determination of our country that when you elect a body to run a country, let the body run the country according to the constitution.”

He added: “This thing about an emergency and when a hurricane hit who runs the country after, and the Premier got to be tippy-toeing behind the governor. That is not right. That is not respect and that is not a mutual partnership, and that is not self-determination according to the preamble of this constitution.”

Premier knows territory best

In making a case for his argument, Vanterpool said that a Premier is more knowledgeable about their own territory than a governor who usually travels from abroad to serve for a limited period.

“Who knows the people more in the country? Who knows what their needs are more? Who knows how to deal with situations more than the premier of the country and his ministers, and the members of the House who mingle every day?” Vanterpool asked.

He continued: “Who could tell me that Carrot Bay get washed out and Carrot Bay get some big surges and the governor knows better about what is happening down there than the Premier? Or up East End by Red Rock, anybody could tell me much better than the leader of the Opposition what to do there, having known the history of Red Rock and what happened there?”

New Constitution must have change

Vanterpool said that he is hopeful that with a revised constitution, the Premier is given the responsibility to lead the territory in cases of disaster emergencies.

“I hope that we can get that change fast because me ain’t signing on to no Disaster Preparedness Act that says somebody outside of the Premier should be in charge after an emergency. The Premier should be in charge. He has the confidence of the people who elected him and he should be in charged,” Vanterpool argued.


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  1. Anonymous says:

    In the name of the few remaining good things in this world please, please, please, stop opening your mouth Mark.
    Your last Government did NOTHING after Irma. You, and your entire team were MIA for weeks without a word to the people you answer to once the storm passed! I am not a fan of the Governor, but at least he stepped up.
    There are still MANY things left unrepaired since Irma, chief amongst them our schools and social welfare system. You guys did NOTHING!

    Like 50
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    • Truth says:

      Is he serious. You people really want the government who criticize and provoke the UK in addition to themselves being corrupt to be the one going to the UK for aid? Don’t make me laugh because they will surely find a way for the supporters to benefit themselves. The one who is sent by the UK be the one to represent us in times of disaster.

      Like 23
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    • Well Sah says:

      Good blog. Same thing came to my mind!

      It looks like he losing his “marbles”.

      Like 16
      Dislike 3
  2. con says:

    member for the 4 it is time for you to stop talk stupidness will you like that your pebsion be taken from you stop talking bullnonense you looking to geyt monies in your hand but check the log log log be careful of what you are askibg orsuggesting because you might be the first one on HOLDANA I MEAN ON HOLD

    Like 12
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  3. unfortunately says:

    The premier has no clout in the UK

    Like 15
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  4. remember says:

    But the last time they went in hiding and the person they trying to rid of stood strong and tall.

    Like 32
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  5. strupps says:

    Mark needs to go siddung. He has no credibility

    Like 18

    where was dr. orlando smith after irma? i don’t think the premier was in a position to do anything. and the lady was too busy …

    governor stepped up.

    Like 24
  7. Wrong! says:

    Mark, Mark Mark!
    This worked so well the last time, right?

    Like 22
  8. Norris Turnbull says:

    “The current law dictates that in the event of a disaster emergency, the governor is responsible for the disaster management of the territory”.

    Its the law of the land whether you like it or you understand. Seems like both dides og government wants to get rid of the Governor once and for all.

    Like 13
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  9. Online Now says:

    I think we all would have loved for the Premier to take charge but as he wasn’t seen for days it was left in the hands of the rookie Governor and certain business leaders to lead the way.

    Maybe Mark has amnesia and has forgotten how useless his Government were after Irma.

    Like 16
  10. Thanks says:

    I read the 11+ comments so I won’t bother reading Marks useless words.

  11. Anonymous says:

    The same thing I’ve been pointing out all along with a selected few want to make it seem like it’s because of their effort only are the reason why everything is moving in and for the BVI or any other OT.
    Where will any territory obtain the funds and the Defence Force to be in place after every Natural, Pandemic or National Disaster?
    Yes after the Covid Pandemic there weren’t any funds being sent to the territory because that area is being devolved to the Territorial Government but if the BVI was integrated into the UK with all the local autonomy it can have then it’s needs would’ve been fore front like it is for Wales and the rest.

    There is need for UK national election MPs to be added to BVI’s constitution so they can be elected the same time as the rest of the MPs from around the country.
    If you are fully apart of the nation, pandemics,national disasters, wars,logistics issues, the rest of the country will put it’s power behind your cause everytime.
    Be a full part of this nation(integrated) and pay taxes like every resident overhere and see if your voices will fall on deaf ears. You will be first priority in every area possible.

  12. The Nation says:

    Well Premier is capable leading a response to a disaster but thank God Almighty that the previous Premier and Administration had to step aside and led Governor Jaspert lead. Governor Jaspert did a good job leading in the wake of and after Irma with just a month on the job and being under 40 years old at the time… the NDP administration didn’t know what they were doing then…and they were largely responsible for lack of resources after Irma.

    Like 14
    • Stop Slamming the Governor says:

      Who was it sent away the British Navy? …
      Why? Didn’t want the books opened, for fear of discovery.
      Who used resources meant for recovery by public?
      Government officials got their greedy hands into the pot.
      Who had British Marines clearing debris from his personal property? Go take a seat on the Loser’s Bench and be grateful you and your pals aren’t serving time up the Ghut, as you should have been.

  13. E. Leonard says:

    Disaster info should be coming from one office. Now both the Governor’s Office and Premier ‘s Office are promulgating disaster information. Furthermore, disaster management should be under the purview of local government. The local government be responsible for the preparation of, readiness for and response to natural and man-made disasters. DDM must continue to be lead player in managing disasters. The Governor’s Office can continue to be the intake office for requesting disaster assistance from the UK.

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    • E.Leonard says:

      Continuing……..If local government is going to be responsible for disaster preparation, readiness and response, but with authority, comes responsibility and accountability. It is about effective planning and timely execution. Many good plans fail due to poor execution. Too many organizations never miss the opportunity to miss the opportunity to properly execute plans. The VI cannot squander the next constitutional review opportunity.

    • Thoughtful Sailor says:

      It would be helpful if the DDM had a meterologist on staff to give knowledgeable, timely and accurate information. Delegating that to Antigua is a recipe for some of the disasters we have witnessed. The DDM needs to step its game way up.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Shared responsibilties. Great Idea, Mr Leonard.That’s the way it should be but that Whitehall’s Government assistance will still be needed to back up the local efforts.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    I don’t understand why people keep referring to constituient parts of Britain as countries.They are not countries.

    Countries have their own passports and own citizenships.There are regions,provinces(Northern Ireland) and territories(crown dependencies,overseas territories) that make up the country.

    As a region, most times, they usually share in the National Defense Budget and the Defense budget for the territories are fully covered by the national government(United Kingdom Government).

    The UK is one country with devolved regions and territories, spread across the North and South Atlantic, all with devolved forms of Governance otherwise known as territorial governments to manage their affairs in their home towns.

    • So says:

      So you’re seriously claiming that England is not a country? The truth is the UK is a nation, Northern Ireland is a province, Scotland is a country, Wales is a principality and England is a country. Simple really.

  16. Anonymous says:

    A (Constituent Country) is a subnational part of a Nation similar to a region of the French Republic or a Canadian province or even an Australian state. The word “Constituent” is before the word “country” when describing devolved parts of Great Britain.All except England have subnational governments with the UKG holding reserved powers for overall national purposes.

    An example is the Kingdom of the Netherlands(Aruba, St Marteen,Curaçao,Netherlands) all constiuent Countries within the (Kingdom of the Netherlands).(The country is called the Kingdom of the Netherlands). It’s a semi-federal arrangement they have in the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

    Britain is one nation with many devolved regions,crown dependencies and overseas territories. England, which is the most populous part by far,they are working on to devolve powers to the different regions in order to balance out the nation properly.

    Countries have their own nationalities and passports.Countries includes the like of Denmark,TheGambia,Panama,Britain(UK),

    • Haddo says:

      It’s been a long time since I’ve read such an inverted pyramid of piffle. You write like a 12 year old with no real grasp of the subject.

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