While praising the performance of the local financial services sector during the COVID-19 era, Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie has reminded those living in the Territory that the spirit of the Virigin Islands is one where there is harmony amongst cultures.
"I am grateful that our industry in the BVI is truly a representation of the spirit and cultures of all people 'scattered yet together' across the globe, living and working together," he said in a statement, yesterday, July 14, 2020.
The Premier's calls come as some sections of the VI community continue to use social media and other online avenues to display xeonphobic attitudes towards expatriates living and working in the Territory and even at those who may have been laid off or terminated from employment as result of COVID-19.
These attitudes have been compounded by recent announcements from Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Hon Vincent O. Wheatley (R9), that foreign workers who have been terminated from their jobs and without employment should consider returning to their home country.
As part of the announcements, Hon Wheatley reminded; however, that the VI is still committed to the needs of foreign workers affected by the pandemic. "I intend to work diligently in keeping this Government’s commitment to our brothers and sisters of the wider Caribbean, mainland US, Europe, and other parts of the world," he said.
'Live in Unity' - Premier Fahie
Premier Fahie, as part of his speech, further said, "I urge you, therefore, to continue to live in unity and harmony," he said in relation to working towards the common goal of moving the Territory forward.
Turning his attention to the race conversation, Hon Fahie noted, "It behooves me to acknowledge that other pandemic that equally emerged, a phenomenon finally gripping the attention of nations across the globe following the senseless death of our brother, George Floyd."
Premier Fahie has in the past slammed racism and those seeking to practice it in the Territory. "I don’t want to see the BVI become like what I am seeing in America and in other areas of the world," he said as he called on those guilty to change their mindset.