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Thursday, Aug 18, 2022

Legislator calls for debate on COI reforms

Legislator calls for debate on COI reforms

Fourth District Representative Mark Vanterpool has expressed a strong desire to debate the Commission of Inquiry (COI) and the reforms that are being implemented as a result of its outcome.
The BVI government recently signed a framework agreement with the United Kingdom over a timeline for the implementation of recommendations emanating from the COI report.

But Vanterpool said major changes were being made in the territory as a result of the COI recommendations, yet the document had not come to the House Assembly for debate and he questioned whether this was transparency or democracy at work.

“Because of the opinion of some, we must go and execute and carry out and implement these COI recommendations without a debate in the House. Is that right? Is that transparency? Is that good governance? The elected, the highest institution in the territory hasn’t had a chance to debate the bill and we are full-speed implementing. I have a concern about that. We need to slow this thing down,” Vanterpool said.

“All of a sudden, because a Commission has called all of us hooligans, we are accepting that we are all hooligans. Who are you speaking to? Me, a hooligan? Let’s stop and think about this. Let’s stop and think about it,” Vanterpool urged.

Vanterpool said a debate over the COI did not mean anything was wrong with the inquiry itself, since it was an important commission.

“We have a Commission of Inquiry that says that we can’t run our own country and we let it go by like that?“ Vanterpool asked.

He pointed to the looming Order in Council from the UK and insisted that the BVI was under direct British rule, regardless of what anyone else said.

“If the Governor of the country isn’t satisfied with anything that the Cabinet does or the House does, he has a right to institute the rule right away. Without even asking anybody,” Vanterpool asserted.

The legislator said as far as he’s concerned this meant that the governor was in charge and “he run things”.

Vanterpool said the public needed to be made aware of this.

“If the public likes it, fine. But I ain’t gonna stand and take it like that,” Vanterpool said.

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