Fri., 6th May, 2010

No. 4 Fifth Session Eighth ParliamentFriday 6th May, 2010Prayers Obituaries Congratulatory Remarks Confirmation of Minutes Statements by Ministers Petition Questions for Oral Answers Motion Resolutions Bills AdjournmentSAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES THE PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES (HANSARD) ADVANCE COPY OFFICIAL REPORT CONTENTS Thursday 6th May 20101THE PARLIAMENTARY DEBATESOFFICIAL REPORTPROCEEDINGS AND DEBATES OF THE FOURTH MEETING, FIFTH SESSION OF THE EIGHTH PARLIAMENT OF SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES CONSTITUTED AS SET OUT IN SCHEDULE 2 TO THE SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES ORDER, 1979.NINTH SITTING6th May 2010MEMBERS OF CABINETPrime Minister, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning, National Security, Grenadines and Legal Affairs Dr. the Honourable Ralph GonsalvesAttorney General Honourable Judith Jones-MorganMinister of Education Honourable Girlyn MiguelMinister of Rural Transformation, Information, Postal Service and Ecclesiastical Affairs Honourable Selmon WaltersMember for Central WindwardMember for MarriaquaMember for South Central WindwardHOUSE OF ASSEMBLYThe Honourable House of Assembly met at 10:15 a.m. in the Assembly Chamber, Court House, Kingstown.PRAYERS MR. SPEAKER IN THE CHAIR Honourable Hendrick Alexander Present2Minister of Health and the Environment Dr. Douglas SlaterMinister of Urban Development, Culture, Labour and Electoral Matters Rene BaptisteMinister of Transport and Works Honourable Clayton BurginMinister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Honourable Montgomery DanielMinister of Telecommunications, Science Technology and Industry Honourable Dr. Jerrol ThompsonHonourable Conrad SayersMinister of State in the Ministry of National Mobilisation, Social Development, Gender Affairs, Non-Governmental Organisations Relations, Persons with Disabilities, Youth and Sports Honourable Cecil MckieMinister of Housing, Informal Human Settlements, Physical Planning Lands and Surveys Honourable Saboto CaesarHonourable Julian FrancisParliamentary Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office Honourable Michelle FifeMember for South LeewardMember for West Kingstown Member for East St. GeorgeMember for North WindwardMember for North LeewardMember for Central Kingstown/ Deputy SpeakerGovernment Senator Government SenatorGovernment Senator3Honourable Arnhim EustaceDr. the Honourable Godwin Friday Terrance Ollivierre Honourable Major St. Claire Leacock Honourable Daniel CummingsDeputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Commerce and TradeHonourable Louis Straker Minister of National Mobilisation, Social Development, Gender Affairs, Non-Governmental Organisations, Local Government, Persons with Disabilities, Youths and Sports Honourable Michael BrowneABSENTLeader of the Opposition Member for East KingstownMember for Northern Grenadines Member for Southern Grenadines Opposition Senator Opposition SenatorMember for Central LeewardMember for West St. GeorgeOTHER MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE4ST VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY THURSDAY 6th MAY, 2010HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Let us pray. Honourable Mr. Speaker Hendrick Alexander read the prayers of the House of Assembly.OBITUARIES HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Minister of Education.HONOURABLE GIRLYN MIGUEL: Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, I rise today to express sincerest condolences to the family of the late Kendall Durrant. Mr. Speaker, I remember in the late eighties that I worked closely with Kendall as Principal of the Kingstown Preparatory School; his daughter then attended. I can remember times when there were difficulties and Kenny would leave his work and he would pass by to see how things were going and not only that we had many lunch time meetings, when we could not have the money to do the things that the school needed because then we had 1084 students. We thought that we had had to raise more money in order to help to attend to the children when they got sick and their parents were not around, and I can even picture Kenny now with an apron on, and he would stand around that barbecue grill and we would be there until midnight sometimes in raising funds to help that school. He was always there and he had a passion for education and I remember him with joy and I pray that his soul will rest in peace.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Minister of Culture.HONOURABLE RENE BAPTISTE: Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, I rise to pay brief tribute to Kenny Durrant, Monica Morgan, Mrs. Shallow and Edwards. Kenny Durrant I knew from time he joined the Police Force and used to be in the front of the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force Band swinging the stick; a very tall majestic figure that he posed in several parades in and around the town, and throughout the State as well as official functions. Then I met him when he was involved with a lot of the Brass Bands across St Vincent and the Grenadines, particularly being involved at carnival time with the calypsonians, assisting them. He also served on several occasions the Carnival Development Corporation as a Judge in Calypso Competitions and as Chief Judge. I knew him also as a social partner, where he volunteered his services to several service organizations in St Vincent and the Grenadines to act as the cheerful auctioneer who would sometimes sing a favourite song. A very cheerful figure that he posed to his friends and relatives; we trust that his soul rest in peace; he has built a good score. He did a great job working in the private sector in insurance business and he induced mepage5image224325to take an insurance policy with his company; and he was such a pleasant character but we all have to pass this way and he has done his duty and his best to his God, his country and his people.In the case of Monica Morgan, she passed away on the 12th March, of this year. A faithful member of the Faith Temple Church, especially in the Women’s Ministries but she was more particularly known by the older set of supporters of the Unity Labour Party from the Labour Party bowels where she was affectionately known as Senator Morgan. Very few of the younger people would know her by that name. And in the days when Campden Park was very strongly in the Opposition benches of the PPP, there were three families you could identify in the area and she was one of the three coming from the North Leeward area supporting the Cato Labour Party. She was a good member of the Women’s Arm and then at the Unity Labour Party where she gave one up and coming member of a new political party the NMU; a hook up to hold a meeting at Campden Park and that person is today serving as Prime Minister in this Honourable House. And she became from 1994 a staunch supporter of the Honourable Prime Minister and Leader of this Honourable House. She continued right up until the day of the Referendum when she came to the Polls with her walking stick and we had to assist her to get back home. Faithful member of her church; to her children, her daughters, son and her grandchildren continue to rest in that sure hope that she is in her Saviour’s arms; and her grandchildren.Mr. Shallow of Edinboro is a contractor and faithful citizen passed away shortly afterwards and Mrs. Edwards in Stony Ground. May they all rest in peace.CONGRATULATORY REMARKSHONOURABLE GIRLYN MIGUEL: Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, on the occasion of the 100 Anniversary of the St Vincent Girls High School, I wish to express congratulations and a deep gratitude for the services rendered by the past and the present administrators and the teachers, to the females of St Vincent and of the Grenadines who were nurtured at that school. I express these sentiments not only on my own behalf but on behalf of the Ministry of Education. The administrators and the teaching staff have brought a high degree of professionalism to the institution. They recognised the principle enunciated by the Ministry of Education: that parents are the first educators of their children; hence they see their ministry of educating as supporting the efforts of parents, as supplementing their efforts and providing the students with formal education which some parents can give but always in collaboration with the teachers, and they never usurping their rights and roles. The academic formation of students of the Girls High School administered by the administrators and staff is well known to our Vincentian public. At this time it is well to remember Ms Mary L. Ince, who on the 8th May, 1911 opened the doorspage6image25144 page6image25304as a private institution for upper class girls. She worked until various Headmistresses:-1918. Following is an account of the Ms. Maude EllisonMs. Jessie/Janet Bucchan Ms. Barbara Heddle Ms. Millicent Byron1918-1922 1922-1933 1933-1945Ms. Carmelita Went Ms. Muriel Went Ms. Laura Smith-Moffett1948-1949 1951-1958 1961-1965 1967-197061973-1975 1975-1990 1990-1992 1992-1997 1971-1973Sis Philomena Anderson Mrs. Norma Keizer Mrs. Lorna De Bique Mrs. Jeanne HorneMs. M Forder1997-2001 Ms. Joye Browne 2001-2004 Mrs. Susan Dougan 2004-present Mrs. Andrea BowmanThese stalwarts in education spare no effort at the moral formation of their students setting the example of lives totally dedicated to good discipline and excellence. As the school enters another 100 years on May 9th, 2011; I pray that teachers and students will be blessed with wisdom, so that each girl will continue to discern God’s will for her in an era characterized by rapid change.When government took charge of the school in October 1914, there were 31 students and it was given the name ‘The Girls’ High School’ today there are 710 students and 50 teachers. Students past and present of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Girls’ High School’ have kept the spark of May 8th, 1911 alive; a spark which became a flame and it is now a torch. I urge today that they hold that torch high, that they carry it through the darkness of the world around and this will help to dispel ignorance, arrogance, self-centeredness and false pride. And in so doing, St Vincent and the Grenadines Girls High School with its holistic programme in education will say: that education lights the way; indeed education is light in darkness. Mr. Speaker, I am obliged.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Member for the Southern Grenadines.HONOURABLE TERRANCE OLLIVIERRE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, I wish to join the Minister of Education in congratulating the Girls’ High School in its 100 years of existence, certainly all those who worked at that school and the past students, they should be proud of what they have done in that what they did made the school what it is today, one of the top secondary schools in St Vincent and the Grenadines. Similarly, Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the 30 students who graduated from a training programme which was done in Union Island by the National Information and Communication and Technology Center. Indeed, Mr. Speaker, quite a number of the participants I was amazed at the difference in age range between the numbers of participants. You had from the young to the old grandmothers and all those who participated. Indeed, it shows that quite a number of our people once given the opportunity will grasp that in order to enhance their academic standings.Similarly, Mr. Speaker, I wish to congratulate the Mayreau Regatta Committee and the Fishermen’s Sports Club of Union Island for their successful events over the weekend. The Mayreau Regatta was staged from 29th April – 2nd May and the Committee is trying its best in order to revive and maintain the sailing traditions which are so common in these islands, along with the promotion of cultural and sporting events. The support that they got from the neighbouring islands namely, Carriacou, Petit Martinique, Union Island, Canouan was indeed tremendous; and I am sure this committee can only grow from strength to strength in the staging of this annual regatta which I believe this year was the fifth year. And to the Fisherman’s Sports Club of Union Island for once again staging a successful May Day7festivities 2010 and indeed, Mr. Speaker, it is based mainly on the promotion of cultural and sporting events; so I would just like to take the opportunity once again, to wish both clubs the success in future endeavours. Thank you.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Minister of Urban Development and Culture.HONOURABLE RENE BAPTISTE: Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, I rise to pay tribute to the St Vincent Girls’ High School, my ‘Alma Mater’ who will on May 8th, 2010 mark its 99 anniversary. Tomorrow, May 7th, 2010 the Centenary celebrations will begin with a tow trolley through the Grenadines, and you would want to know if we could run on water you will find out and the Leeward and the Windward sides and into Kingstown 200 hundred past and present students will take the torch around the State. Mr. Speaker, the GHS is like a finishing school, finest quality in academia, in sports, in culture and the arts is taught at that school. Its motto is ‘Per Ardua Ad Alta’; the best results recorded in the examinations of CXC or O’ levels were recorded by Ms. Coleen Charles. The first captain of the West Indies Netball team is Mrs. Peggy Ince Hull; the longest serving national headmistresses, first generation at GHS Mrs. Norma Keizer; whose daughter today second generation, Mrs. Andrea Keizer Bowman follows in her mother’s footsteps; and second generation as well, Dr. Simone Keizer, who is the Medical Director at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, with Claire Keizer, the Editor of a leading newspaper the Search Light and Deputy Chair of Invest SVG.I gave this nature of the depth of the Girls’ High School level of education and commitment to excellence, so that we can understand this process that GHS plays in the process of nation building. Outstanding business women Erica Mc Intosh, Caribbean Female Entrepreneur of the year; we cannot sneeze at Sandra Little, first generation in the Women’s NBA; Dr. Jacqueline James, Professor of Engineering at the University of Miami, first generation; Deputy Speakers in this Honourable House, Carla Dougan, Senator and Senator Rochelle Forde also of the Girls High School; Theresa Daniel leading Journalist; Jean Johnney-Finlay Personal Development. We can never forget teachers like Mrs. Monica Dacon, the Governor’s General Deputy; Mrs. McKie and Mrs. Pauline Young of blessed memory, we used to be afraid of those two teachers, you saw them coming and you will run and hide. Your blouses had to be white and stiff, your skirts well pleated and no excuses whatsoever about your socks; nor ribbons.Olive Pollard who spent many years in a government service and at Reliance Printery will take the baton at Girls’ High School, she is the oldest living able bodied student, but among that group is Cartel Trotman business woman; Mrs. Elaine Bonadie, Burns Bonadie’s mother who was a public servant and the sister of a former Prime Minister of this country, Milton Cato; Cabinet Secretaries, Mrs. Irma Young and Anselma Soso and the current Cabinet Secretary Susan Dougan, who is also a former headmistress. Trade Unionist came out of the bowels GHS, Joye Browne; the Magistrate Court sitting on the benches, Ms. Sonya Young; we sneeze at beauty queens but they became lawyers Samantha Robinson and Michelle Fife now sitting in this Honourable House; and among them all is Sister Jacintha who is the Principal of Saint Joseph’s Marriaqua. I have given you this breadth so we can get into the depths of GHS.8The Legacy building is the Grimble Hall which should in due course be declared a protected national heritage because of its antiquity and the era which it serves as well as an issue of stamps. A CD Rom will be prepared of the torch relay and filed in the public library, the National Archives and the National Sound Archives. Mr. Speaker, what a moment in history for my own part, I just want to say that my family thanks GHS and congratulates it because we stand on the shoulders of many, we are fortunate, three generations of my family attended GHS, first generation 1939-1944, Beryl Baptiste a fisherman’s daughter, Mrs Laura Smith-Moffet whom we will hear a lot about during the course of these celebrations was her headmistress, in her day she got her eight subjects and was first in her class at the Cambridge Examination, retired as the first female Director of the British Commonwealth of Nations and in the second generations in the 1950’s, one of us Dr. Ambrose is a doctor but she was captain of Moffet House, captain of Junior High Netball Team, the most successful netball team of GHS and the Volley Ball Team. And the third generation both daughters are following similar professions of law and medicine. Mr. Speaker, there are so many others who have passed through the Girls High School thousands of young ladies and I take this opportunity to thank all those who have worked so hard, to ensure that we uphold the ideals of excellence, deportment, decorum and making fine citizens so that they can make their contributions to this state. And I believe you would see the recordings of the contributions of those in the Diaspora as well in our publication which will be out next year. Congratulations to all those who are still alive and can hear this broadcast today and for those whose relatives are overseas, you tell them we thank them for their contributions; all the PTA people who worked so hard to maintain the Girls High School as a citadel of excellence. Thank you.CONFIRMATION OF THE MINUTESDR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, I beg to move that the Minutes of this Honourable House of the Sitting held on the 4th March, 2010 be confirmed.Question put and agreed toMINISTERIAL STATEMENTSDR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Mr. Speaker, I have the honour and privilege this morning to make the Ministerial Statements on three subjects briefly. The first concerns the proposed bid of St Vincent and the Grenadines for a seat on the Security Council of the United Nation, for the year 2011-2012. Mr. Speaker, the Security Council consists of fifteen member states of the United Nations; five states are permanent members and ten are non-permanent. The permanent members are:-   China   France   Russia   United Kingdom   USA page9image24760 page9image249209The remaining ten seats are non-permanent where the members serve for two years. There are five groups at the United Nations from, which two members each are elected. The regional groups are:- Africa  Asia  GRULACThe Group for Latin America and the Caribbean that is GRULAC;  Eastern EuropeAnd the regional group known as  Western Europe and Others (WEOG)In order to be elected to the Security Council a candidate requires the support of two thirds of the UN member states present and voted. St Vincent and the Grenadines belongs to the GRULAC regional grouping and GRULAC is allocated two seats on the Security Council. The two seats have overlapping terms which means that only one member of GRULAC is elected each year and since 2006 GRULAC has put forward only one candidate each year for the Security Council and of course this would save the countries from having the cost of campaigning in any competitive election, but like everywhere else in other groupings circumstances do arise which may necessitate a competitive election. Colombia is a member of GRULAC and is currently the only candidate who has declared that it would contest the seat for the 2011-2012 terms, they had formally indicated their intention earlier and the elections are scheduled for October 2010. Remember, I am making the point, Mr. Speaker, that the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines has not made any decision we are contemplating it.The last CARICOM Member State to serve on the Security Council was Jamaica, for the 2000-2001 periods; unless a “Caricom Member State” jumps the queue there would not be a slot available until 2020 because other Member States of GRULAC mainly from Latin America have indicated that they would wish to contest up to 2020. For instance from 2012-2013 onwards up to 2019-2020, you have the countries which have indicated they would be interested would be Guatemala, Argentina, Chile, Venezuela, Uruguay, Bolivia, Peru and the Dominica Republic. Now, if Caricom therefore has to wait its turn, so to speak, this would represent at least 20 years between Caricom seats on the Security Council. Since the period 1975-1976 when Guyana first served on the Security Council from the Caricom region, the region has never gone more than fourteen years without a presence on the Council, three Caricom states have served on the Security Council in the following order; 1975-1976 Guyana; 1979-1980 Jamaica; 1982-1983 Guyana; 1985-1986 Trinidad and Tobago and as I have indicated hitherto 2000-2001 Jamaica.Interestingly, Caricom countries between the period 1975-1976 and 1985-1986 served on four occasions, it may well be deduced from the people of the Caribbean that the leaders of that time were10clearly more ambitious, maybe even more visionary than those who have been around subsequently because the Security Council is the body at the United Nations, it is at the pinnacle of the United Nations which determines for instance the important issues of war and peace, and the big international questions. There are some of course, who would say that Caricom should know their little place and have no ambition, no sense of that we are an independent authentic civilization which is legitimate and which has a trajectory for further advancement and development, and that when Caricom asserts itself at that level, any state, the whole of Caricom benefits and our people all over the world also benefit from enhanced respect.Mr. Speaker, if parenthetically I may point out that I have just read over the last two days on the Caribbean Net News a two part article by Sir Shridath Ramphal about Caricom and he was making a point that the leadership of today, save and except perhaps in the OECS, that the political leadership in Caricom is squandering the capital which leaders hitherto had established and built up. It seems as though since the days of ... since the hegemony of ‘Thatcherism and Reaganism’ the region has gone at least at the leadership level, in reverse and is always preoccupied about what would the big brother next door say. Now, no OECS Member State has ever served on the Security Council and no country as small in population or geographically, in geographic size like St Vincent and the Grenadines has ever served on the Security Council. The smallest country population wise ever served on the Security Council was Cape Verde when all the African countries agreed that a small country of that size should have a voice at the Security Council for two years.Now, at the United Nations, Mr. Speaker, Caricom has advanced a common position on the need for the reform of the Security Council. Caricom has spoken out in support of an increase in the permanent and non-permanent membership in the Security Council and improvement in its working methods and procedures; eliminations or restriction of the use of the veto by permanent members; and the aspirations of African States for a greater African presence among the permanent and non–permanent membership. Additionally, Caricom has advocated an innovative solution to the exclusion of Small Island developing states from the Council namely: the creation of an explicit category of membership, explicitly reserved for Small Island developing states; however, Caricom although it has been outspoken and innovative in its ideas on reform it has been noticeably absent from the Council over the past decade, where it must push directly the issues of Security Council Reform. A Security Council candidacy is a natural extension of CARICOM’s recent advocacy on the issue of United Nations Reform.In January 2009 a sub-committee of Caricom permanent representatives including St Vincent and the Grenadines prepared the Caricom Position Paper on Reform of the United Nations Security Council; and this position paper advanced as a matter of principle ‘a floating seat concept’ that ‘a floating seat concept’ should be considered which will greatly increase acceptability for small states like Caricom. It is within the context of the Caricom’s advocacy that we have been contemplating a possible bid for a Security Council seat. The positions have been reinforced recently, Mr. Speaker, on April 22nd, Caricom made a statement during an open debate of the Security Council that focused on the working methods of the Council. The statement reads in part as follows:-11“CARICOM more than most takes particular interest in the areas of transparency, efficiency and interaction with non-members; our interest is born of our historical absence from this chamber and indeed the appalling dearth of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in general among the membership of the Security Council. The last Caricom state to serve on the Security Council began its term one decade ago; one year later in 2001 Singapore became the last of the Small Island Developing States to hold Council membership. Seventy three of the United Nations 192 Member States have never served on the Council. Of these 73 Member States 29 are Small Island Developing States, therefore although Small Island Developing States comprised 20% of the UN membership, they represent a full 40% of the States that have never served on the Council. Over 78% of the Small Island Developing States have never held a non-permanent seat on the Security Council a percentage that is replicated within our Caricom sub-region. Caricom hopes that one or more of our members will soon grace the inner sanctum of the Council again; but notwithstanding that hope we desire a Council whose working methods establish it as a nimble, effective transparent and accessible body that is open to the views of the wider membership and reflective of changing global reality”.That is the statement. Mr. Speaker, it is within this framework and upon this foundation that the rationale for St Vincent and the Grenadines possible candidacy is built. Why Mr. Speaker, Colombia? St Vincent and the Grenadines proposed candidacy is less a challenge to Colombia than it is an advancement of a principled position on the representation of Caricom, of SIDS and of small states at the upper echelons of multilateral diplomacy, however, within the context of that principled position St Vincent and the Grenadines has considered the current GRULAC hopefuls and views Colombia the most appropriate to challenge. This is based on the frequency of Colombia’s participation on the Security Council: six times and the short turnaround time since it was most recently on the Council, and on the likelihood that Colombia will be unable to garner anything near to unanimous support among the GRULAC Members.Mr. Speaker, I have found it necessary to make this factual statement because last week Thursday the Honourable Leader of the Opposition was on a Radio Station, he said that he had an announcement about disturbing news, and the disturbing news was our possible candidacy for the Security Council. The permanent mission at the United Nations made a statement: a Press Release correcting the Honourable Leader of the Opposition on three factual matters; where the Honourable Leader of the Opposition said that we had announced the candidacy, there had been no announcement of any candidacy; that it is going to affect St Vincent and the Grenadines relationship with Taiwan that is absolute rubbish and I shall address that very shortly, Mr. Speaker. And thirdly that we would be competing from another state from the region and that may be divisive. Mr. Speaker, we have outlined the basis of the rationale for a possible candidacy by St Vincent and the Grenadines, Mr. Speaker, I gave the background put it in the public domain.12Because of the independent, pragmatic foreign policy of this country, since 2001 and more especially because of the excellent work of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the United Nations Permanent Mission of St Vincent and the Grenadines; the prestige of our country at the United Nations has risen immensely and since March there has been ... it was reported to me, Mr. Speaker, that countries from across the world have been going to our Mission and asking our Diplomats why do they not give consideration to a possible bid in October for one of the seats, Mr. Speaker, I was advised of the matter and I asked the Mission to do further soundings including and especially among the CARICOM permanent representatives. They had indicated that none of their governments had given any commitment to any country in relation to the Security Council seat; having been so assured further sounds and the views from the permanent representatives of CARICOM, I instructed His Excellency Camillo Gonsalves our permanent representative of the UN to prepare a thorough Memorandum on the subject for the eyes of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs only, we received that document the very thorough document, we discussed it, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and myself; I sought advice from within the bureaucracy, the Public Service and then I went to the Cabinet and gave them a brief to discuss confidentially with them the possible bid; they advised that I speak to the Leaders of the OECS and of CARICOM.I was chairing a meeting in Antigua in the month of April of the OECS Authority and the Heads of the Monetary Council of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, not all the Heads were there but those who were there I spoke with them, they understood and gave their own support. I said I will discuss the matter further at a caucus which will precede the meeting with President Lula in Brazil on Monday 26th April, that caucus was held I asked Ambassador Gonsalves to join us so he can make the presentation to the caucus, since he was the point man in the issue at the United Nations. Incidentally, Ambassador Gonsalves is currently the Chairman of the Permanent Representatives of CARICOM at the United Nations and that is where the matter stood because in diplomacy you have to prepare the ground, you cannot go public yet.The Honourable Leader of the Opposition jumped the gun heard what he considered disturbing news; I would have thought it would be considered the political equivalent of St Vincent and the Grenadines being in the World Cup Finals. But the central point of the Honourable Leader of the Opposition is profoundly mistaken that is; that it held implications for our relations with Taiwan because China, mainland China, on the Security Council would veto St Vincent and the Grenadines’ membership even if we won the votes. Well, now frankly speaking that level of a lack of knowledge about how a nation is elected to the Security Council amazes me, I heard it with astonishment because I could not believe that someone, Mr. Speaker, who had been in the Public Service, in the Regional Public Service had been a Prime Minister admittedly for a short while and a Minister of Cabinet lacks such basic knowledge about an institution so important like United Nations and the Security Council. And even after he was corrected by Mr. Carlyle Dougan, a former Diplomat, the Head of the Mission in London, he persisted with his falsehood.For election to the Security Council, each member of the General Assembly has one vote and no one has veto on the membership of the Security Council: that is in the Charter of the United Nations. In another country an aspirant for the office of Prime Minister to have made such a monumental hoopla would have13been a cause to use the expression from book of Paul to the Romans that hot coals would have been poured on his head. It was an amazing thing and Mr. Speaker that level of mischief we can really do without in a situation like this. I assured this Honourable House that St Vincent and the Grenadines is proceeding in the most sensible light; and we will assess all the factors as to whether or not we should finally make a formal declaration of a bid for a Security Council seat. This government conducts its diplomatic works very sensibly and when that occasion arises if it arises, it would also be made clear to the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines. I may add, Mr. Speaker, that we have circulated to the public through the media, the Brief which Ambassador Gonsalves had sent to the Caricom countries, because what happened is this among some people if they were to get a document and I do not know if anyone in the Opposition had gotten the document but if they get the document they make it appear as though it is some kind of coup as something to be celebrated. The case is made there; very clear as to the rationale for our possible bid, and it is a tribute to this country that it is holding aloft the banner of principle, independence and sovereignty and our Caribbean civilization and to have Caricom represented at the highest levels.Mr. Speaker, I will add that immense benefits of a very practical nature flow to a country which sits on the Security Council but that is not the first and foremost impetus, not material benefit. I repeat this is a candidacy which is being suggested proposed within the framework of principles laid down by CARICOM; it is not an anti-Colombia candidacy; not at all, and this candidacy has not been prompted by any individual country or group of countries, there was a general fairly widespread discussion of the matter in informed circles at the United Nations. Admittedly, if we enter we will be entering a campaign fairly late but Mr. Speaker, to show the manner in which we stand in relation to Caricom and the candidate seats, Ms. Elizabeth Thompson, former Minister in the last government had her name sent forward shortly before the closure of nomination for consideration to be the Executive Director of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. St Vincent and the Grenadines had given its commitment to South Africa, prior to Ms. Thompson’s name being put in the ring, immediately Ambassador Gonsalves went to the South African Permanent Representative at the United Nations and said, “My brother I am sorry, we are really sorry, we have to give the Barbadian candidate preference to your candidacy”. And not only did Camillo Gonsalves had to do that, as the Chair of the Caricom group at the United Nations, he was the principle advocate.Of course, Ms. Thompson has been eliminated and the government will clearly decide between the two remaining candidates one from Latin America and one from South Africa. I just want to add further that one of the attractions of the candidacy from Caricom is that it will become essentially for all the reasons which I have stated before virtually a third seat from Africa because Africa has two seats. I am urging the Opposition to be responsible on this matter and do not turn it into domestic political football and to do so on grounds which are unworthy. Mr. Speaker...HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Yes (inaudible)DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: No! Mr. Speaker, I thought that you are saying ... it is your ruling; I do not have a point of order in relation to a Ministerial Statement.14HONOURABLE ARNHIM EUSTACE: (Inaudible)DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Go on the Radio. Mr. Speaker, the second matter I want to raise is another issue relating to foreign policy. On Sunday 25th, I lead a delegation and went to Brazil for the first every Caricom Brazil Summit, Chaired by President Lula of Brazil and the Chairman of Caricom for the time being the Honourable Roosevelt Skerritt. On that delegation with me, Mr. Speaker, as is now public knowledge were the Honourable Parliamentary Secretary Ms. Michelle Fife; the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Andreas Wickham; the Chairman of Invest SVG; and the Budget Director of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Mr. Edmond Jackson; and I was accompanied by my wife. Mr. Speaker, the context of the five Agreements which we signed with St Vincent and the Grenadines with Brazil and the Declaration of Brasilia and the Broad Agreement signed between Caricom and Brazil represent a significant development for our country.There are many persons when they hear Brazil they think just about football and Pele and Santos, no! They think about Rio de Janeiro, Carnival and semi-nude women dancing on trucks, no! That is not Brazil that is part of Brazil. Brazil, Mr. Speaker, is the tenth largest economy in the world; Brazil is one of the leading members in the G20; Brazil is one of the leading members in the IMF, in the World Bank, at the United Nations; Brazil it is expected by 2016 to be the fifth largest economy in the world; Brazil is the fifth largest country in terms of its territorial size; it is the fifth largest country in terms of population, 196 million people; million people. Brazil with a 196 million people has established an embassy in St Vincent and the Grenadines with 110,000 people. Brazil, Mr. Speaker has the largest population of African descent anywhere outside of Africa and in terms of country the only country in the world with a larger African or African descendant population than Brazil is Nigeria.There are more persons of African descent in Brazil than you have Africans in South Africa or Angola for example and Brazil is just down the road. Mr. Speaker, the five Agreements which we signed related first: Visa exemption for holders of diplomatic official or service passports; an Agreement in the field of education; in the field of agriculture; in the field of cultural and sporting cooperation and in the area of technical cooperation; these five Agreements, Mr. Speaker, I would like to lay them before this Honourable House so that Honourable Members can get copies. They have already been sent to the Media as we always do when we sign these Agreements. Mr. Speaker, I would like to make one point additional on this Brazil matter, I have heard for myself commentaries by persons from this Honourable House from the Opposition: “Why you taking inexperienced people like Michelle Fife and Eloise Gonsalves to go to Brazil?” Yes! Mr. Speaker, I believe that young people must be given opportunities and they must fly like eagle with their wings unclipped. And I want all of our young persons in the same way that I took Luke Browne with me to the ALBA Summit, incidentally it is not the first time I have taken Luke Browne to a summit, when Luke Browne was at University I took him as a member of my delegation to the OECS and to Caricom, because I saw promise in him and I wanted him to get to learn things quickly. We are not going to be here for all our lives we have to prepare the younger ones. And when a man gets up and wants to give another man advice as to where he should take his wife well, now that is really the pits. I do not advise anybody where to take his wife and when they talk about cost is the same sort of things seeking to appeal to some lowest common denominator.15The fact about it, Mr. Speaker, in any event in this case the only cost involved was flying by LIAT to Trinidad and back from Trinidad because the Brazil Air force plane took the delegations from the various Caribbean countries in this part of the Southern and Eastern Caribbean to Brazil and one took us back from Brazil, that is the reality, people must ask questions and this visit to Brazil has immense possibilities. Mr. Speaker, in 2002 with Caricom, Brazil sold US$660 million worth of goods; by 2008 they sold $5.2 billion, growing trade and we need to be part of that venture and we must treat the Brazil Embassy here with extreme seriousness.One final matter, Mr. Speaker, as has been reported in the Press an international agency which is responsible for assessing economic freedoms has assessed that of all the countries of the world St Vincent and the Grenadines ranks 49. Mr. Speaker, not only that in relation to last year, between last year and now they say that St Vincent and the Grenadines is one of fifteen countries which has jumped sharply in our case by 2.6 points. We have scored very high on business freedom, trade freedom fiscal freedom, monetary freedom, property rights, labour freedom and we have scored moderately well on government spending, investment freedom, freedom from corruption, yes we have a good mark there. The only area where the scoring could have been better is what is called financial freedom that is to say the lack of sufficient availability of startup monies for people with their businesses and that is why we have started certain kinds of initiatives and we need to do more in that regard. It says, Mr. Speaker, among other things:-“Economic reforms undertaken in recent years have held St Vincent and the Grenadines to register one of their fifteen highest increases in economic freedom in the 2010 index, reduced individual and corporate income taxes; enhanced fiscal competitiveness and business formation and investment procedures have become more streamlined and efficient”.This follows, Mr. Speaker, on our very high scores for good governance by the World Bank and it follows on the high scoring assessment done by the United Kingdom government as early as 2001 when they gave us debt relief on the basis among other things of our good governance, our fight against corruption and our war against poverty: when the same British government had denied the government headed by now the Honourable Leader of the Opposition. Amazing, so, people outside giving the high marks whereas they running up and down here saying you do not have freedom in this country. It is an amazing phenomenon, as I do not really have to agree with the Honourable Senator Cummings whom I heard one time said one of the problems we have in ST Vincent is that we have too much freedom, I do not think we have too much freedom; we just have to use our freedom very responsibly. I am obliged, Mr. Speaker.PETITIONSHONOURABLE SELMON WALTERS: Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, there are two petitions of a religious sort that I wish to lay on the table. The first is from the Trustees of the ‘Faith Pentecostal New Covenant Ministries’ seeking incorporation as a body. The Petition is signed by Marsden Sam aspage16image2725616Pastor and Chairman; Francene Sam as Deputy Chairman; Patricia Frederick as Treasurer; Hazelanne Hadaway as Secretary; Cashina Allen as Assembly member; and Gloria Lewis as also Assembly member. They form the Steering Committee, Mr. Speaker and Honourable Members, the Petition is in order and I refer it for incorporation.The second is from the ‘Gospel Halls of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines’ seeking incorporation as a body, and the Gospel Halls can be found throughout the State of St Vincent and the Grenadines. The signatories here are Christopher Dennie of Kingstown Park as Elder/Secretary/Treasurer; Adolphus Isaacs of Mesopotamia as Elder; Hadyn Marshall of Prospect as Commander Worker; Stanley Browne of Belvedere as Elder; Kenrick Cuffy of Georgetown as Elder; Aubrey Mills of Clifton, Union Island as Elder and Leroy Thomas of Ashton, Union Island as Elder. As we can see it is widespread Mr. Speaker, a very old denomination in St Vincent; I am happy that they are now going forward for incorporation. So, Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, these two I now present to the Honourable House for incorporation.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Okay.DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, in respect to the third Petition, the Honourable Minister of National Mobilisation and Social Development, Honourable Michael Browne, Mr. Speaker is unfortunately not here today and I should point out at the same time that the Honourable Deputy Prime Minister is at a meeting: Ministers of Foreign Affairs. Mr. Speaker, so that I would move, I will lay the humble Petition of the Trustees of our Guadalupe Home. The documents have been circulated and we have a humble petition of the various persons listed commencing with the Trustee Administrator, Sister Gertrude Tang Kai and it is to establish this Catholic Institution in the Diocese of Kingstown in St Vincent and the Grenadines. As we know this home exists south at Marriaqua; and it is to provide a safe haven for girls at risk of abuse. I beg to lay this Petition on the table.QUESTIONS FOR ORAL ANSWERSHONOURABLE ARNHIM EUSTACE: Mr. Speaker, I rise to ask question No. (1), standing in my name of the Honourable Prime Minister and Minister of Finance to ask that they give us a fiscal outturn for the period ended February 28th, 2010 or if available for the period ending 31st March, 2010?1. The Honourable Arnhim Eustace (Leader of the Opposition) to ask the Honourable Prime Minister of Finance, Economic Planning, Information, Lands, Legal and Grenadines Affairs:-Will the Honourable prime Minister please indicate the fiscal outturn for the period ended February 28th, 2010 or if available for the period ended 31st March, 2010?page17image2262417DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Mr. Speaker, I must just say this, if I were to just give the answer to the question as asked it would not be comprehensible because the Honourable Leader of the Opposition has just asked for the Fiscal outturn ending in a particular period; but not to compare it with another. But I will offer the comparison with last year: total Revenue and Grants $153.76 million; this is for the end of April. We have the numbers, I got the outturn up to the end of April, and so we have the most recent figures. Compared to last year $158.69; Current Revenue $153.41 compared to $158 million, it is a decline of 3%. In respect of total Expenditure $179.03 million compared to $163.89 million, an increase of 9.2% of which Recurrent Expenditure is $161.54 million and Recurrent Expenditure $149.45 million; an increase of 8%. The Capital Expenditure increased by 21% from 14.449% to 17.48%. Mr. Speaker, I should point out as the Honourable Leader of the Opposition would know that when we give this it is really a snapshot, because there are some numbers which have not yet been entered, like I know for instance that there are more Grants than have actually come into account. The Current Balance $-8.13 compared to $8.63; the overall balance $-25.2 million as against $-5.20 millionMr. Speaker, I should point out that what is fascinating, the declines which we have seen in the First Quarter, well the first four months have not been as sharp as in the last six months which I reported on at the time of the Budget, and we are anticipating that in the latter half of the year that the situation would even show an even better improvement. I just want to say this, Mr. Speaker, we have some evidence as to what the market thinks of what we have been doing. As is known, we go every 90 days in three different tranches every month for $20 million each for Treasury Bills on the Regional Government’s Securities Market (RGSM). The last time we went was on the 20th April and the $20 million which we went for was oversubscribed by $15.8 million and we got an interest rate for our short term monies: very good rate of 4.75 which is a competitive rate and I just want to say, Mr. Speaker, this is the best rate we have had since August 2005, so the market is reflecting confidence in the way in which the Government is managing the economy, which is one of the good things to go on the Regional Government Securities Market you get an indication.Mr. Speaker, I would just like to point this out comparatively: short term monies in a country like Germany for two year monies is almost 1%; Britain is 1.8%; Greece 13%. Greece’s rate for short term money, it is better they take a Credit Card because the rate for their short term money is more expensive than their Credit Card. Their Bonds have now been reduced to Junk Bonds status by Standard and Poors. In Jamaica, I was speaking to Bruce Golding, Prime Minister Bruce Golding yesterday and he told me that when they went to the market late last year their number came in just under 10% for short term money so that these ... I think most people would agree that 4.75 with our last T-Bills (Treasury Bills) and where there is an oversubscription by ... significant oversubscription is a sign that on the ground there is a growing confidence in the management of the economy.Mr. Speaker, I just want to say this, since September the middle of September when Lehman Brothers crashed and that was the starting point of this International economic depression the worst for 18 years. It has not been easy we are not yet also out of the woods, we are in still very challenging circumstances and we have to be careful that the steps which have been taken and are being taken that we do not risk18undermining fiscal consolidation and the pickup in the economy which we are beginning to see, but still we are not out of the woods. I just want to point out in relation to the question for the Honourable Leader of the Opposition that our numbers are better than budgeted, our fiscal numbers are better than what we had had in the Budget.HONOURABLE ARNHIM EUSTACE: Mr. Speaker, to the Honourable Prime Minister to what extent the expenditure figures reflect the reduction in arrears to the Private Sector.DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: I can get the details for the Honourable Leader of the Opposition but we have had a significant reduction in arrears, because we have had some bills which we had to pay, and we have paid a number of them but they will reflect more on the Recurrent Side than actually on the Capital Side though we have had to pay some bills on the Capital Side. The thing is on the Capital Side most monies which would have been owed would have been owed through Grants which for one reason or the other had been slow in coming for procedural reasons: okay.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Question No. (2) Honourable Leader of the Opposition.Mr. Speaker, I rise again to ask Question No. (2), standing in the name of the Honourable Prime Minister to ask him to supply this Parliament with copies of the design drawings and specifications of the Argyle International Airport and the relevant wind data collected from the Weather Station on the site.2. The Honourable Arnhim Eustace (Leader of the Opposition), to ask the Honourable Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Economic Planning, Information, Lands, Legal and Grenadines Affairs:Will the Honourable Prime Minister supply this Parliament with copies of the design drawings and specifications for the Argyle International Airport and the relevant wind data collected from the Weather Station on the site?HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Prime Minister.DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Mr. Speaker, in respect of the wind data and I would say a little bit about this, immediately the Honourable Leader of the Opposition can get someone or he himself can go on to the IADC Website, www.IADC.dwindns.org and from this page one can easily download the wind data by the minute, by the hour or day formats: so the data is there. But I think what the Honourable Leader of the Opposition would be interested in maybe as a non-technical person in this area would be the report of the analysis of the wind data, which we will make available on an ongoing basis. Though I must say, Mr. Speaker, I am not saying this about the Honourable Leader of the Opposition but there is a thing called a professional’s disease: a man feel if he is a professional for instance in water engineering or you are a professional in an area in cardiology that that expertise gives19you expertise to speak on every single subject under the sun. It is called ... there is literature on it you know; the ‘Transference Disease of Professionals’ they transfer ... they believe that they have competence in every single field; and it behoves men and women who are professionals in one area before they open their mouths and talk about other things they should either read up on it or get advice from people. We save ourselves a lot of problems. For instance we must know about the United Nations Security Council.Mr. Speaker, the Government has been very open and transparent on all matters relating to the International Airport Construction and we will make available to the public a copy of the designs and specifications for the Terminal Building and other land site facilities. I am happy to report, Mr. Speaker, that the design works are on schedule. In the middle of April this year, a team of Taiwanese designers from the company known as CECI Engineering Consultants Incorporated (CECI) that is the Taiwanese firm that won the contract for the design of the Terminal Building and other land site facilities, they came to St Vincent to present their detailed designs, in fact they actually came to the Cabinet having gone to the IADC and other stakeholders and professionals for us to see what their “final” detailed designs looking like. The buildings have a modern, an attractive design and they are well laid out and IADC has been working with the designers to fine-tune one and two little details, so that I would expect that sometime in the month of June IADC should be able to have available for the public the detailed designs.IADC is now in the process of prequalifying several firms to which they intend to submit invitations to tender contract for the construction of the Terminal Building and other land site facilities and we expect to have these tenders returned and evaluated so that the contract for the construction of these facilities can be awarded sometime by the middle of June, 2010. Barring unforeseen delays, we expect the winning firm to be mobilized by the end of July and to start either the end of July or very early in August 2010, which is our original deadline in July, but if they go over a week or two in August that is understandable and is expected that the construction works and the testing of the equipment would be completed by the end of March 2012, so that the New Argyle International Airport we are targeting to be operational as we have said before in June 2012. Mr. Speaker, in relation to the Wind Data as Honourable Members may recall three Wind Stations were installed at Argyle as gifts from the Venezuelan Government; the stations are fully automatic with remote access capabilities. The data collected from these stations are sent electronically to the Meteorologist in Venezuela and at ET Joshua Airport for analysis. In the same way Mr. Speaker that we had made available the report of the Environmental Impact Study to the public and to the Parliament, I intend really to do the same thing with the Report of the Analysis of the Wind Study, but if the Opposition has persons who understand the data and they may have meteorologist they can go and look, we are not hiding the data it is actually on the Website. Never in the history of this country has a project seen so much transparency at every stage of its construction (clapping).HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Question No. (3) Honourable Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace. 20HONOURABLE ARNHIM EUSTACE: Mr. Speaker, I rise to ask question No. (3), standing in my name again of the Honourable Prime Minister the Minister of Finance, to ask him to reveal the amount of money collected from the dollar levy on citizens going to the Grenadines and the cost of its implementation?3. The Honourable Arnhim Eustace (Leader of the Opposition), to ask the Honourable Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Economic Planning, Information, Lands, Legal and Grenadines Affairs:Will the Honourable Prime Minister reveal the amount of money collected from the dollar levy on citizens going to the Grenadines and the cost of its implementation?HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Prime Minister.DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Mr. Speaker, I want to correct, well, two errors in the question. First of all, there was no levy on the citizens of the Grenadines there was a user fee charged and it was not charged only for citizens of the Grenadines; it was charged for everybody from St Vincent and the Grenadines and non Vincentians (interjection) Ah! (Interjection) yes! It is going to the Grenadines; Vincentians go to the Grenadines, you know, and foreigners go to the Grenadines. So, that the point I am saying is this, that is everybody who was charged this user fee. The question talks about a levy and the question says, “The dollar levy on citizens going to the Grenadines” and I am saying is not just citizens going to the Grenadines but there are also non-Vincentians who go to the Grenadines who are also charged. In other words we were not discriminating against citizens, the point I am making is everybody, so by not now charging we are also subsidizing foreigners.Mr. Speaker, this fee was instituted on the 17th April, 2007; this is a modern facility with a seating capacity of up to 60 persons, air condition with television, internet café shops and washrooms for male and female, a restaurant is housed at the upper level. This facility is the only one of its kind in the region and compares more favorably to many an Airport Facility that is what is there. The User Fee collected in 2007, the Income was $80,363.20 but the operating expenditure in 2007 was $115,462.81, so in that year we lost $35,099.61; in 2008 we collected $124,743.99 and the operating expenses was $115,617.65 leaving a net gain of just $9,126.34. That is a net operating gain. In 2009 we collected $118,353.08 and the expenditure was $111,334.98 a net gain of $7,019. Mr. Speaker the operating cost what are the items really? Salary, wages and overtime is the bulk of it sixty something thousand dollars; maintenance thirteen thousand plus and depreciation ... well the depreciation in 2007 you would expect to have been more, forty nine thousand and something; in 2008 thirty nine thousand and something and last year thirty two thousand and something.Now, the Capital Expenditure we put in Capital Expenditure, I am not talking about the building, what we put inside: computerization, we spent $13,555; the ticket booth $10,370.23; the Ferry Berth building renovations, now the renovations not the building itself $176,666.77; surveillance cameras $3,740;21furniture and fixtures $170,195.00; total expenditure $311,328.95. So you noticed by not having any collection there now, we are subsidizing this matter to the tune of ... the operating expenditure is $115,000 or there about, plus of course we are not getting the ... you noticed the extent of the Capital spending so that is where we are. That is the story.HONORABLE MR. SPEAKER: Question No. (4) Honourable Member for the Northern Grenadines. DR. THE HONOURABLE GODWIN FRIDAY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I rise to askquestion No. (4), standing in my name to ask the Honourable Minister of Transport and Works:4. Dr. the Honourable Godwin Friday Member of Parliament for the Northern Grenadines to ask the Honourable Minister of Transport and Works: a. What is the status of the drainage and land stabilization project at Derrick Hill in Paget Farm; b. how much will the project cost; and c. Will all necessary retaining walls, drains and access roads be constructed ahead of the upcoming rainy season to provide protection for property owners affected by the project, including those whose lands have been cut as part of the work involved in the project? HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Minister of Transport and Works, question No (4).HONOURABLE CLAYTON BURGIN: Mr. Speaker, I think here the Honourable Member is speaking of the Landslide Risk Reduction Project with the Paget Farm drainage as the top component; and this project is funded by the UNDP and has Mr. Russell Woodley as the contractor. Mr. Speaker, this project is an indication of the enormous amount of attention which this administration has been giving to the Grenadines and our attention is not confined to one aspect of the life of the goodly people of the Northern and Southern Grenadines. This administration, Mr. Speaker, by virtue of our evidentially tangible efforts to take our blessed land along the path towards eventual development has been ensuring that the overall quality of life of all persons in the Grenadines is marked by studied improvement just as is the case on the mainland. Mr. Speaker, because this administration is aware that the development of the human resources in any country especially in a developing country is critical to the overall growth and development of the country, no one can ever doubt the level quality of focus which this administration has been paying to a number of developmental work; healthcare, education, and the whole network.This project, Mr. Speaker, at Derrick Hill in Paget Farm has so far seen a 90% completion of the demolition of the existing structures; 60% completion of the earthworks and a 30% completion of the concrete structures giving a current overall completion rate of 45% to date. Mr. Speaker, the workers on22this project are moving along to the best of their ability and I want at this juncture to thank them publicly for their diligence and their dedication to duty; as well as for their determination to complete the required works according to the specifications. Mr. Speaker, the agreed contract sum for this project is EC$370,926.75 and the value of the works completed to date is EC$152,000.00. Mr. Speaker, a considerable sum of money was projected for this project because this administration does not hesitate to ensure that every single community in our blessed land can enjoy substantial portion of the national pie. And this is because this administration is concerned about the well-being of each and every Vincentian. Mr. Speaker, we spare no effort and we leave no stone unturned to ensure that all persons are indeed comfortable.I would wish this Honourable House and especially my worthy colleagues on the other side to note that it has however been necessary to make some adjustments to the initial plan and so Mr. Speaker, there have been certain approved variations to date and permit me, therefore, Mr. Speaker, to state at this juncture that on account of poor soil stability, retaining walls at the cost of approximately EC$44,000.00 have had to be erected. A retaining wall has also had to be erected next to Mr. Ragguette’s property at the cost of approximately EC$47,000.00. There has also had to be a revised alignment to the out fall drains and this has resulted in a cost saving of approximately EC$86,000.00. Mr. Speaker, these approved variations have reduced the initial scope of works and have therefore limited the liability of property owners. The original alignments passed through the property of some residence and was aligned on a much steeper gradient, this has however now been reduced, Mr. Speaker.Mr. Speaker, it is usual for the rainy season to commence on June 1st each year, this is what we have grown accustomed to throughout the years but the weather pattern in the Caribbean and also throughout the world has been changing. This year, Mr. Speaker, we were faced with a persistent drought which we had been advised was expected to continue until May or even June of this year, and this has had a negative impact on the rate of progress of the project, however, Mr. Speaker, the drought appears to have ended and for this we must give thanks to the Almighty. I am advised, Mr. Speaker, that this project is estimated to be completed by early July. Property owners and I here refer to those whose properties have been affected by the drains have been duly notified by a range of media releases and their properties have been adequately surveyed. Much obliged, Mr. Speaker.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Question No. (5) Honourable Member for the Northern Grenadines.DR. THE HONOURABLE GODWIN FRIDAY: Mr. Speaker, I rise to ask question No. (5), standing in my name of the Honourable Prime Minister, Minister of Finance Economic Planning, National Security, Legal and Grenadines Affairs. The question has two parts:5. Dr. the Honourable Godwin Friday (Northern Grenadines), to ask the Honourable Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Economic Planning, National Security, Legal and Grenadines Affairs:23a. Has the nation-wide property valuation exercise commenced in 2009 as part of the proposed new property tax system been completed; andb. When will the proposed new property tax system for the country be introduced? HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Prime Minister, question No (5).DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Mr. Speaker, since the terminal stages of the last administration, the NDP administration, the issue of the review of the Property Tax System was put on the agenda as indeed it was put on the agenda in all the OECS countries mainly through recommendations made by the ECCB, the Monetary Council and even the OECS authority where this matter had been studied at least in a not superficial but not as deep manner and then it was decided that a consultancy should have been appointed. The appointment has taken place during the period of our administration and we have taken a lot of preliminary advice from CARTAC and the fieldwork component began and it is about 90% complete; we are currently working on other aspects of the project including consideration of amendments to the law which are required for any new system which will come into being. We have not made the policy decisions yet on the various options which are being presented.I am not in a position to tell you when the new system will be introduced as it depends on a number of factors including the completion of the remaining fieldwork, the passage of the new legislation and very critically the outcome of the public consultation to be held prior to the introduction, because we want to make all of this available for the public to look at, so that they can reflect upon because a property tax system which does not have a degree of public understanding and public acceptance will be very difficult to implement. There is going to be a review of a whole range of issues relating to it and it is a complicated exercise.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Question No. (6) Honourable Member for the Northern Grenadines.DR. THE HONOURABLE GODWIN FRIDAY: Thank you Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I rise to ask question No (6) standing in my name of the Honourable Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Economic Planning, National Security, Legal and Grenadines Affairs. Will the Prime Minister state:6. Dr. the Honourable Godwin Friday (Northern Grenadines), to ask the Honourable Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Economic Planning, National Security, Legal and Grenadines Affairs:Will the Prime Minister:a. ProvidethisHonourableHousewithanupdateastotheprogress,ifanythathas been made in relation to the proposed Community Centre in Mustique that is to be24built by the Mustique Company in accordance with the current agreement withthe Government; and b. State why the project is delayed and is now several years overdue?Mr. Speaker, I ask this in the context that this project has had stops and starts and I know that the work has started but I need to know how it is progressing.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Prime Minister.DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Mr. Speaker, I do not know when is the last time the Honourable Member for the Northern Grenadines went to Mustique. I went there early (interjection) ah! Well, you were there this month?DR. THE HONOURABLE GODWIN FRIDAY: No.DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Okay, well, I beat you to it, I was there this month and you will see that progress is being made and I have been assured by the Mustique Company that the project is due to be completed by the end of 2010. If you go there you will see that the foundations have been laid, the water tanks have already been put in also and they have started doing the blocks in. I have been putting pressure on them about getting this done because this is an obligation. They are not excused I have to say they plead mitigation is that they are doing it with their own workforce because two construction companies, local construction companies, left Mustique in the last three years during a period of lower revenues and higher cost, so they have to use their own workforce; and they were using ... they were also doing I do not know if you went into Lovell Village recently and for those who do not know Mustique, Lovell Village is where the “indigenous people” from Mustique live.And they are now constructing fourteen new apartments and they [are] now nearly completed and they have been putting a lot more emphasis on the apartments than they had put on the Community Center because I think all of us would agree ... I have been at them also for quite a while about improving the accommodation in Lovell Village, because some of the houses are quite old and they were not as well constructed as they should have been from an earlier period. Well, there are now fourteen new apartments which are being built; they look pretty good I went in a model myself; I went into one which was almost complete. So, they have assured me because I asked them about it and they said by the end of this year they should be finished with it. I hoping that they are correct about that and I am looking forward for them to complete speedily also the fourteen new apartments for people in Lovell Village.What is the program of action for lighting many of the unplanned settlements in Green Hill, Largo Heights and Redemption Sharpes in Central Kingstown with lighted poles; so that householders could get more safely and easily to their homes?25HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Question No. (7) Honourable Senator Leacock.HONOURABLE ST CLAIR LEACOCK: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Speaker, I rise to ask question No. (7), standing in my name and I ask this question to the Honourable Minister of Transport and Works.7. The Honourable St Clair Leacock (Opposition Senator), to ask the Honourable Minister of Transport and Works:What is the programme of action for lighting many of the unplanned and planned settlements in Green Hill, Largo Heights and Redemption Sharpes in Central Kingstown with lighted poles, so that householders could get more safely and easily to their homes?HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: This question I must state has been directed to the Honourable Minister of Transport and Works; but in truth it really belongs to the Honourable Prime Minister who deals with the question of electricity I believe.HONOURABLE ST CLAIR LEACOCK: Mr. Speaker, so could I take a pass?HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: I do not know why you want to take a pass, do not you want the information? (Laughter) Why did you ask a question do not you want the information? You just asked a question for asking the question sake? I mean this is the House of Assembly, this is Parliament why do we come here to ask questions and determine who must and must not answer the questions.DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: (Laughingly) I mean he does not want to ask it, but if you may permit me, Mr. Speaker, on the last occasion I got up really wanting to answer a question which he had directed elsewhere, he said no; but what is fascinating, he does not want to ask me anything personal but he has two down on the Order Paper for written answers. So, you would like me to write you but you do not want me to talk to you? But you have been exposed your inconsistency. But Mr. Speaker, I accept that he does not want the information so I would not answer it, it was not directed to me, though I have the information.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Prime Minister this whole matter is in the interest of the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines but what does it matter who is the messenger, if we want the people to be informed. We ask this because we want the people to know what is taking place within their own communities. So, I do not know we should take personal matters into the House of Assembly in this case.DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: If I were bad minded; and these were to come to me I would say, you did not ask me I am not answering it.26HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Prime Minister could you just move on to question No (7), please.DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Well, I do not know whether he is asking it ... HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Question No. (8), rather sorry. Question No. (8) HonourableSenator Daniel Cummings. HONOURABLE DANIEL CUMMINGS: Mr. Speaker. HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Senator.HONOURABLE DANIEL CUMMINGS: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, last time I posed this question it went to the Minister with responsibility for Informal Settlements etcetera; the question is directed to the Minister with responsibility for Transport and Works because I am anticipating that the project would have been in that Ministry. The question is:-8. The Honourable Daniel Cummings (Opposition Senator), to ask the Honourable Minister of Transport and Works:Would the Honourable Minister please advise as follows: Since 2005, a ground breaking ceremony was held for the proposed playing field at Calgary; in 2008, we were advised that the playing field will go ahead; to date no physical work has been done on the site?What is the status of this project and when is the scheduled completion date for this exercise?HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Calgary? HONOURABLE DANIEL CUMMINGS: It is written C-a-l-g-a-r-y (interjection) HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Calvary I think it is.HONOURABLE DANIEL CUMMINGS: In 2008, we were advised that the playing field will go ahead. To date, no physical work has been done on the site.What is the status of this project and what is the scheduled completion date for this exercise?HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Again this question was directed to the Honourable Minister of Transport and Works: but I think its right place is with the Honourable Minister for Sport; and I am going to invite, if you so desire, the Honourable Senator McKie to answer this question.HONOURABLE DANIEL CUMMINGS: The last time the question was directed to ...27HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Yes, I heard you; a lot has happened since the last time, (laughter) so the question now will be that of the Honourable ...HONOURABLE DANIEL CUMMINGS: As usual. HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: But you are aware of that he is now responsible for Sports. Therehave been changes (interjection) you are not aware? Oh dear! Oh dear! Honourable, Senator Mc Kie.HONOURABLE CECIL MC KIE: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, in addition to the question being ill-directed we had some difficulty coming up with the response to the question. In fact, we went on a wild goose chase trying to find ‘Calgary’ in the West St George constituency; [interjection] West Kingstown; it almost took us to Canada in fact, [laughter]. So, I sort of suspected that it is Calvary that we are speaking about, so I will proceed to answer the question on that assumption [laughter).So, the question directly, in 2005 there was actually a ceremony at the site which was simply to indicate that this site would have been the one that would have allowed the residence and the area representative and all of the partners to be developed as a community field; so, it was not to commence work at the site for the playing field but just to identify it as a site. In 2008, a visit was made to the site by the relevant partners that is, the area representatives, the Lowman’s Community Development Organisation (LCDO), as well as some residents from the area, as well as SIF (Social Investment Fund) because the intention was to have that project submitted to SIF for their input and their involvement, however, when the submission was made some critical information was missing and the Committee was asked to reassess and re-submit. It was later felt that that project was no longer be a priority project for the residents of the area, and as such no further submission was made by the community or the residents for further work on that project. I must indicate that the area is in a very difficult area, it is on the way up to the St Andrews Mountain area, access is difficult and parking would be virtually impossible. So, I suspect that that is why the residents no longer had it on their list of priorities and that they are actually discussing other projects in the area as priorities. The Ministry of Sports and I am sure all of the various partners will continue to work along with the residents and the community, whenever this project is placed on the list of priorities again. I thank you.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Question No. (9), from the Honourable Senator Cummings.HONOURABLE DANIEL CUMMINGS: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Speaker, as you indicated earlier my understanding is that the Prime Minister has responsibility for electricity; hence the question is directed to the Honourable Prime Minister.9. The Honourable Daniel Cummings (Opposition Senator), to ask the Honourable Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Economic planning, Legal and Grenadines Affairs:28Several families overlooking the Lowman’s Power Plant in Great House, Buddy Gutter and Ottley Hall; have been patiently waiting to have electricity connection to their homes even as they endure the negative environmental impacts from the plant.Would the Honourable Prime Minster please state when can these persons expect to have this basic need fulfilled?HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Prime Minister, question No (9) is directed to you.DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Mr. Speaker, may I just say this, it is not an issue of understanding that I am the Minister of Energy; His Excellency the Governor General has so appointed me and it has been so gazetted; it is not an understanding; it is in the public domainHONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Alright.DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Mr. Speaker, this question asks about the areas relating to Great House, Buddy Gutter and Ottley Hall. As I understand it, the Power Plant is not located at Ottley Hall and as such we found the persons who have prepared the answer, the technical person, found difficulty in understanding the relationship between the ongoing environmental impacts from the Power Plant to Ottley Hall. I have been advised, Mr. Speaker, that no home at Buddy Gutter, Great House or Ottley Hall is in any way suffering but Senator Cummings has spoken about this negative environmental impact from the Plant. VINLEC conducted several environmental impact assessment studies and based on these reports VINLEC spent several million dollars to ensure that the construction and operation of the Lowman’s Bay Power Plant did not negatively impact the environment. So that this is a matter which the technical people at VINLEC have advised about; and I did not know hitherto that there was any adverse environmental impact. So, that has to be taken into account in the nature of the question itself.Mr. Speaker, over the past nine years, this government has been on an on-going basis regularizing squatter settlements throughout this country; in fact, over in Ottley Hall itself we went so far as to reduce the price per square [foot] for land from $3.00 to $1.75 and to make sure that people got their Deeds and that was at the vigorous intervention of the Honourable Minister of Culture who is the Parliamentary Representative for the West Kingstown constituency. We have facilitated individuals in these informal settlements to legally own their properties on which they have been living for many years. We have carried out in all of these areas the policy of the government of turning dead property into live property. The communities of Buddy Gutter, Great House and Ottley Hall are three communities that have received significant assistance in our quest for residents in these areas to live a decent life, for instance over in Ottley Hall you will know that the immediate past parliamentary representative, John Horne, just before the 2001 election dropped a set of pipes and did nothing about them, and it is the Honourable current Minister who had to do something about those things after the NDP had been in office for 17 years.29It is true that not all the concerns of the residents have been addressed but we still have a programme going on and I can assure the Honourable Member that just yesterday at Cabinet on my instructions, the Honourable Senator Caesar had prepared a list of properties throughout the country; and with the names of persons who were attached to them for the purposes of carrying out the next phase of the legalization of the titles. All this is outside of the framework of the law which we passed; to make sure that people get their properties much easier, I am talking about the Possessory Titles Bill. And we are also putting in electricity and other services but we have to do so in a proper and structured way as we have been doing at all the Informal Settlements. In Buddy Gutter I have been advised that an expansion of electricity network is being carried out; and including in the area, the persons who had been relocated to make way for the building of the Fuel Storage Facility and VINLEC has assured me that electricity will be extended to all households in Buddy Gutter that are not currently within the specified distance of VINLEC facility, to receive the electricity connection. And the same will be done for the six houses located in the Great House area that are currently without electricity supply; once it is determined by the Ministry of Informal Settlements that the whole area can support a housing community. Basically, it is a work in progress which we are about.Mr. Speaker, I want to say this; that one of the things I have been really concerned about throughout the whole country is to make sure that we have an extension; we make sure that people have water and electricity. The numbers are now in both cases has gone past the 95%, I have been advised in terms of water connections to households and electricity connections to households. You are going to find pockets here and there which do not have; because I know what it is as a boy to study without electricity; I know what it is as a boy to study in a household where you do not have pipe borne water in the house; I know that and I understand that. I know that when we have universal access to secondary education that it is not a level playing field when some children have to drogue water and some people have to study by lamp or by candle, when others can just put on the switch or just turn the tap, so I am very sensitive to those things. And we have had a programme of doing it and I say to all the persons in the Informal Human Settlements you know my record in addressing the issue of water and my record of addressing the issue of electricity. Senator Cummings knows it in relation to water; how much I used to press him when he was at the Water Authority for water to be taken to certain areas. That is a matter about which I am very passionate it is not just a policy, it is a passion. So, those who haven’t had yet I say to them just bear with me, bear with the Government we are getting to you, we have a programme and this is not something which is a politically opportunistic programme, this has been an on-going one.I just want to add one thing further, Mr. Speaker, when I watch ... I have been looking at the statistics in Sub-Saharan Africa; the country with the most electricity connections for the households is South Africa, the most developed country south of the Sahara and they, at the time of apartheid, they had just 50%, they are now 70%. There are places like Mozambique 16% of the households have electricity, we have here in St Vincent and the Grenadines 95-96%, but 4-5% of the people who do not have is 4-5% of the people too many. Thornley Myers knows that at VINLEC and if I may say this, it is not only Ralph Gonsalves, I can speak also and I do not think he will mind me doing this, a lot of discussion with VINLEC I always have a very strong ally in the Director General of Finance and Planning who will say, “look we got to do these things”, the education policy of the Government is for everybody to be on an30equal footing as far as is humanly possible; so I am glad that Senator Cummings has raised the question so that I can speak about this thing and I am pushing everybody in this direction. Thank you.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Clarification.HONOURABLE DANIEL CUMMINGS: Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister in responding indicated the process of regularizing homes, am I to take it that electricity supply will not be given to any home until the process is complete.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Prime Minister, I do not think he ...DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Mr. Speaker, the process is not a complex one. What happens with the process of regularization; a person will go ... Mr. Speaker, people always trying to go and have informal human settlements; they want to go and put their house on other people land but mainly on state lands which they see unoccupied. Some of the lands ... first thing about the lands: we do not do like what happened in the past administration, every Minister could have written a script of paper. I will tell you, Mr. Speaker, since I have been in office one Minister did that and he can tell you; I hauled him over the coals I said, “You cannot do this; this is not the policy, you do not sign any script of paper to put anybody on government’s land”. There is one authority to do that; the Chief Surveyor coming through the Cabinet that is how it is done. That is why we have a lot of problems in this country with Ministers giving people scripts of paper to go and occupy lands, sometimes it is other people lands; I know there are a lot of fighting about these things, where they supposed to have a road they do not have the road, they are building the road and so forth from the old days; we are avoiding that. So that when somebody applies for electricity there is a simple process of inquiry and it involves among other things the checking out with the Ministry of Lands as to what is the situation about this land, which is also the Ministry of Informal Human Settlements.It is not a complex process to say that you have to get a consultant to do this; it is a process of verification. What, Mr. Speaker, we are careful also in doing, unless we know all the facts is for somebody to append his name to a document saying that he recommends the person for electricity connection; we are very careful about that because we want orderliness and that is why we have done so well in this matter because we have been orderly. So, the process we are talking about is not some complicated system; it is a system of verification. Mr. Speaker, I will tell you this too, we are talking about electricity to people’s houses but you take street lights, I mean the amount of money which we are spending on street lights now is just simply phenomenal. You look at the budget not just the expenditure for VINLEC but also for the cost of the electricity, which is being consumed but we have to do it. Sometimes it may take a little longer if you have three people going in one area and it is taking a little long time to get it there because the cost of taking..., sometimes it is cheaper to move three people and four people and put them somewhere else than to put electricity to that point for three people. I noticed Senator Leacock is smiling because he knows those challenges from VINLEC; I am only putting the issues practically on the table but the bottom line is that this Government and this Prime Minister, I am deeply committed to make sure that everybody get their water and people get their electricity. That is31why for instance in the case of water we have what you call free water connections financed by the State. I am obliged.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Prime Minister, I think this is a good time to have lunch.DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Mr. Speaker, you put me in a little bit of a quandary. What happened, I have a 2:00 o’clock appointment where it is a video conference; it is a Monetary Council meeting and I told them I will be able to take one hour; and I was hoping to stop at 1:00, so that I can go to 3:00 o’clock and then, I can during the lunch period do my meeting by video conference.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: I understand.DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Mr. Speaker, if we can do a few things and I would like to suggest, I do not think they would take a long time; item (4) on the Motion on the Republic of China and Taiwan for the ICAO and UNFCCC and the resolution in respect for the Finance Administration Act.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Alright. DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: I think those should take us up to 1:00 o’clock.Mr. Speaker, may I move under Standing Order 12 (5)?HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Go ahead.DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: I beg to move, Mr. Speaker, that the proceedings of today’s sitting be exempted from the provision of the Standing Order hours of sitting under Standing Order 12 (5).Question put and agreed to. HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Prime Minister.MOTIONS Motion on the Republic of China (Taiwan) into ICAO and UNFCCC.DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, I beg to move the Motion which is standing in my name, I shall read it and then have it seconded; the Honourable Sir Louis Straker is not available here but another Honourable member will do thepage32image1751232seconding. It is related to Taiwan’s participation in United Nations related agencies and mechanisms such as the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.WHEREAS, in an era of globalization, issues in disease prevention, aviation safety and global warming, which transcend national borders, require the widest possible co-operation by all countries and their participation in an effective and appropriate response;WHEREAS, in the Republic of China (Taiwan), a key air transport hub and a densely populated island, needs up-to-date information on aviation standards and norms and is extremely vulnerable to contagious diseases and the abnormal weather events associated with climate change;WHEREAS, Taiwan, like all other countries should be afforded the opportunity to participate in the international organisations and global mechanisms, aimed at promoting health and aviation safety for human and preventing global warming and environmental disaster;WHEREAS, on March 10, 2010, the European parliament passed a Resolution addressing its position on many outstanding global issues, among which it “strongly supports” Taiwan’s participation as an observer in relevant international organisations and activities, such as the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC);WHEREAS, on March 22, 2010, the WHO Director-General invited again Taiwan’s Health Minister to lead a delegation to attend the World health Assembly (WHA) as an observer;WHEREAS, if included in the ICAO and UNFCCC as an observer, Taiwan, as a key global production hub of electronic and high-tech industries, can help contribute to international co-operation on funding and technologies for global aviation safety and climate change adaptation.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Assembly of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines as follows: 1. Taiwan and its 23 million people deserve appropriate and meaningful participation in the United Nation’s related agencies and mechanisms, such as the International Civil Aviation Organisation and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; and 2. It should be the policy of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to support Taiwan’s continued participation in (WHO) and to encourage the International Civil Aviation Organisation and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to take action by adopting a comprehensive solution to accommodate Taiwan. I invite the Honourable Leader of the Opposition to second it if he is minded.33HONOURABLE ARNHIM EUSTACE: Mr. Speaker, Prime Minister is asking me to second this particular Motion, I am not Sir Louis Straker but in the context of Taiwan, I will so do because I believe they have made and continue to make a very significant contribution to the development of our country. So, I now second the Motion.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Member, the Motion having been moved including the part of Resolution and seconded, therefore is opened for any debate.DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Mr. Speaker, I will be very brief; I do not have to recount the extent of the support we have received from Taiwan and the nature, in fact the familial nature of our relationship over a wide range of matters including the Airport, Cross Country Road, Learning Resource Centers, the Library, assistance with the ‘YES Programme’ and so on and so forth. But Mr. Speaker, there are some areas which are not so well known which I just want to touch upon. For instance Taiwan started with our first administration giving scholarships, they are now six and they are likely to be this year, maybe as many as ten. There are thirty scholarships which have been awarded thus far. There is also human development scholarship which was started in 1998 and which has extended up to US $100,000.00, and we have also training programmes; last year we sent seventeen other Vincentians apart from the scholarships to be trained in Taiwan on various short-term things; twenty are estimated this year.In medical equipment, 2008, US $100,000.00; in 2009 a 40 ft container with 188 items; this year we will have another 40 ft container with similar number of items and this is through the Global Medical Instrumental Support and Service Programme; 2008 we had four volunteers from Taiwan, we got six last year and we are asking for more and maybe we will get between six to eight this year. So, far since 2005 we have had sixteen volunteers come here to St Vincent and the Grenadines. I have spoken to the Government of the Republic of China and Taiwan about the need for real interaction between our people, especially our young people and you know we are having two youths between July 15th-16th who are going to an International Youth Culture and Study Tour of the ROC but there is a very exciting programme where we are having sixteen students and a teacher from Taiwan’s University; they are planning to visit St Vincent between July 12th and 23rd for two weeks. The delegation will interact with 50 students from Community College and share and exchange cultural knowledge with each other and there are a lot of areas that are going to be covered: computer skills; the Chinese language; singing and dancing; crafts; sports; etcetera and this is done in collaboration with the Ministry of Education.There is a draft agreement which the Ministry of Health is to overlook and they are looking at ways to twin Milton Cato Memorial Hospital with the Changhua Christian Hospital in Taiwan, so that they can send experts here in the same way as we have Cuban experts come; well they come on a longer term basis but you see like how the Children’s Hospital, the people come, the Americans come for a short period of time; they will come for a shorter period of time to do certain kinds of work. So, in addition to all what is done with farming, I spoke to them about, we need to help the Farmers who have missed the skill of composting and they have already trained over 100 farmers in the matter of composting; particularly those who want to use naturally the organic matter for their vegetables and so forth and they34have actually prepared a handbook in English to help in this regard. I talk about these other things which we do not hear a great deal about; but they are so vital to improving people’s lives.In the case of this particular Motion, Mr. Speaker, now Taiwan is the fourteenth - seventeenth largest economy in the World, because of International Politics; and we know that mainland China is one of the top economies in the world, we know that they have 1.5 billion people compared to 23 million from Taiwan, but you cannot really have the issue of climate change being addressed without Taiwan being involved. They are real people living in the real world; you cannot close off the climate change, in the same way what happened with SARS, and that gave the impetus for people to invite them as observers to the World Health Organisation and the same thing with the International Civil Aviation Authority. First of all they began even with mainland China one flight I think a week then now there are several flights a day giving the rapprochement taking place with President Ma Ying-Jeou administration in Taiwan. So, I feel we have to make ... I wanted the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change and the ICAO people to see that it is not just the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines, it is the Parliament which is saying look give Taiwan observers status. This is the rationale for bringing this Motion here. Thank you very much.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Further debate, Honourable Leader of the Opposition.HONOURABLE ARNHIM EUSTACE: Mr. Speaker, I too will be very brief. I think we have always indicated over the years our support for Taiwan and its efforts to become members in various bodies including those that are mentioned in this resolution. I however just want to make a brief comment on the actual operations here in St Vincent and the Grenadines. In discussions with their technical staff from time to time, which we have had, they have been involved in training and development of a number of different products, particularly in the area of agriculture here in St Vincent and the Grenadines; they offered technical assistance in many, many ways. And I am very appreciative of that fact, Mr. Speaker, indeed on a personal and private level I have benefitted from the work that they have done here in St Vincent and the Grenadines in relation to agriculture. What I find however, Mr. Speaker is that the uptake by our local agricultural workers and farmers particularly in relation to some of the newer commodities has not been as good as I would have thought and what I find is as a result of this, there is a greater pressure on the staff here involved in the mission; agriculture mission who themselves get more and more into production, which is what we in St Vincent and the Grenadines should be doing; and I find Mr. Speaker, we come to some ridiculous levels now.Recently I was made aware of a programme that the Taiwanese have in fact started and that is they come to your farm, let us say you are interested in the production of melons; watermelons, they give you the technical advice; they have their staff going there to help you to plant that their staff going to your farm to help you to reap and they have their staff going to your farm to move the produce to the market. They have their staff negotiating with the supermarket on your behalf so what are we doing? And I believe a lot more attention has to be paid locally. I do not see this as a governmental function, I see this as our people taking up the opportunity that is being offered, if because of that you need assistance from a government either through some technical assistance or financing that is a different matter but it seems35to me that they are doing almost sometimes too much; in other words they are letting some of us off the hook.We should be taking more initiative on these matters and I believe that because of their influence too, you will find that supermarkets and other agencies which may want to purchase deal with them more than they deal with the farmers and deal with them on a different basis than they deal with our farmers. And I put the blame squarely at our own feet, Mr. Speaker, I believe we really have to make an effort; we have to make a greater effort to take up especially those which we know those commodities where there is a market here locally, I am not even talking about overseas. We need to take more initiative ourselves, Mr. Speaker, to ensure that we benefit more fully from the assistance that is offered with those few words, Mr. Speaker, and given the long history between our two countries I give the fullest support to this Motion. Much obliged.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Further debate Honourable Prime Minister. DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Mr. Speaker, I thank the Honourable Leader ofthe Opposition for his support on this Motion and I shall just read the Operative Clause.NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the House of Assembly of St Vincent and the Grenadines resolves as follows: 1. Taiwan and its 23 million people deserve appropriate and meaningful participation in the United Nations related agencies and mechanisms; such as the International Civil Aviation Organisation and United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; and 2. It should be the policy of the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines to support Taiwan’s continued participation in the World Health Organisation and to encourage the International Civil Aviation Organisation and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to take action by adopting a comprehensive solution to accommodate Taiwan. I so move.Question put and agreed toRESOLUTIONpage36image18008DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, I beg to move the following Motion relating to the Financial Administration Act.Whereas, Section 28 (1) of the Finance Administration Act 2004 provides that the Minister responsible for Finance, may, in anticipation of approval of an expenditure in a Supplementary Appropriation Act,36issue a special warrant under his hand authorizing the expenditure to be made out of the Consolidated Fund;AND WHEREAS, by virtue of the said Section 28 (1) it is stipulated that the aggregate of the amounts which may be authorised by special warrants issued under the said section in a financial year and not approved by a Supplementary Appropriation Act shall not exceed the amount fixed by resolution of the House of Assembly;AND WHEREAS, it is expedient that a resolution shall be made to fix a limit on the aggregate amount which the Minister may authorize by special warrant pursuant to Section 28 (1) of the Finance Administration Act 2004;NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that this Honourable House approve the sum of twenty- five million dollars as the aggregate amount that may be authorized by special warrant in any financial year pursuant to section 28 (1) of the said Act.I so move.Question put and agreed to HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Members the question is that this Motion now movedand seconded is now opened for debate; Honourable Prime Minister.DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members you may recall that in 2004 we brought the Finance Administration Act here to repeal and replace the relevant legislation, which governed the Financial Administration of the country, the old, what was called, the Finance Act. There are several important changes to strengthened accountability, transparency and parliamentary oversight and this is one such measure. I repeat, Mr. Speaker, to enhance transparency, accountability and parliamentary oversight. Under the preexisting law you would have special warrants in any one particular year in excess of $25 million. As Minister of Finance I must say that I have always been very careful on this issue of special warrants which really had to be signed in special circumstances where you have the expenditure is unavoidable and urgent; necessary and desirable for the continuation of public business and very urgent. But over the years several Ministries have sought to abuse the process of the special warrant and they do not treat the budgetary process with the degree of seriousness which they ought to treat it; but if you know as an accounting officer in the Ministry, that the amount of special warrant you can get in any one financial year is $25 million; you will be very careful to make sure that what you intend to be spending during the year you get the approval properly in the Estimates. I accept that there are urgent things which will come up which you need.It is not that you are not going to be able to spend more than $25 million beyond what is budgeted; but if you want to go beyond $25 million you must come with a special Supplementary Appropriation Bill, not37by way of the Special Warrant itself because the law is that you come by way of a special warrant and the Special Warrants are accumulated over years sometimes, months and they come at one time before this House and the expenditure is done already. What this resolution is saying pursuant of that Act; this new Act, you can do that for $25 million in any one financial year; if there is another $20 million you would have to come by way of a Supplementary Appropriation Bill without the Special Warrant, in which case before the money is spent you get parliamentary approval, not afterwards, and that makes a vital difference. It is ... I repeat it, so that every accounting officer can hear what I am saying and by extension, every Minister that you need to have your house in order and pay close attention, so that if you want additional monies you would have to come by way of a Supplementary Appropriation Bill and justify it here in front of the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines.Some of it will be very straightforward, some of it you would be bringing into account monies; some of them would be very straightforward and the Parliament will get accustomed to what is very straightforward and what ought to be dealt with in a fairly easy way. But on occasions you will have some where Parliament would rightly raise probing questions before the expenditure and Mr. Speaker, I want to see the good governance of this country strengthened and I want to see it strengthened also with the financial administration and we strengthen transparency, accountability and parliamentary oversight and this is what this Motion is all about. And it behoves everybody to read very carefully the Finance Administration Act of 2004. I am obliged.HONOURABLE ARNHIM EUSTACE: As indicated by the Prime Minister in the past we have had special warrants in any financial year going well beyond $25 million as an aggregate; what I understand is being proposed under this resolution is that you can do it only up to $25 million. I am seeking clarification on that, and any other sum which we have to bring which involves any unforeseen expenditure that it has to come in advance by way of a supplementary appropriation and having done so, there would be no need for special warrants. And therefore that would give greater oversight to the Parliament of St Vincent and the Grenadines in relation to such expenditure.In the Cap (182) where we dealt with ... which was repealed except for Sections (9) and (10) there was a limit of $7.5 million, but then a number of special warrants were put together up $7.5; and then you continue putting a number of them up to $7.5 until you reach $50-$60 million. The question that arises then, Mr. Speaker, is if we go with the proposal as indicated by the Honourable Prime Minister, the question is; why do not we simply then go in accordance with Section 28 (2); by providing for the contingency fund? The Law for 2000 already says: “A special warrant may be issued so long as the amount in the Contingency Fund does not exceed the amount fixed by resolution of the House of Assembly for the Contingency Fund”. Is not there room, therefore, in relation to that proposal? And I accept that the proposal is important for oversight in governance and financial propriety but why not establish a contingency fund of $25 million, because what in effect this does is it reduces the opportunities for special warrant, and any other expenditure you wish to make which is unforeseen must be done by a Supplementary Appropriation Bill that is what I am a little bit concerned about; because over the years in successive administrations there has been no contingency fund as is required by law: there is none, we have simply resorted to bringing special warrants, have them paired by supplementary38appropriation later, and then you still can come back before the year is ended again and get another special warrant. So why not use the Contingency Fund and establish that at the level that is being [inaudible] that is the issue of concern to me. Mr. Speaker, I support the idea of limiting special warrant to a specific figure during the year, and if you want to go beyond that then you must come back to this parliament ahead of spending the money to get the necessary approval. I would like some clarification.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Further debate.DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Mr. Speaker, I would answer my Honourable friend the Leader of the Opposition. Like him, I am also in favour of the establishment of a contingency fund, in fact, it is mandated by the Constitution and nobody has done it since independence. And I have been discussing with the officials in the Ministry of Finance the way in which we can finance on an on- going basis the Contingency Fund of a particular sum; whatever the sum is it is for us to determine, but that is a matter which is under active consideration. The issue which I have, though, to deal with immediately is that there would be special warrants and I need to have in the meantime the requisite authority and to impose some discipline on some who wish to be indiscipline, so that is the point. In other words, the two issues: they are not either or and I accept the issue ... in fact, when I was in the Opposition you know, it was part of my call that you should have the Contingency Fund, so Mr. Speaker, that would be my response in terms of a clarification but I am very pleased that the Leader of the Opposition shares my own view about the need for us to strengthen the transparency, accountability and parliamentary oversight; all very important ingredients in good governance. I am obliged.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: [Inaudible] DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Accordingly, Mr. Speaker, sure. HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: [Inaudible]HONOURABLE ARNHIM EUSTACE: [Inaudible] Section 28 (1), Mr. Speaker, I want just to make sure that we are very clear on this matter because it is a bit peculiar coming just at the end of the first quarter of the financial year to be discussing special warrants because we are very early into the year, not much money has yet been spent on our Capital Programme. There have been some increases in expenditure and some falls in revenue and we also have a situation in which there are some debts which are yet to be paid. If you are moving to $25 million at this stage, what this is telling us about the existing Capital Budget in areas where we need in fact to provide money now, which would have been done when the Budget was approved. So, it is a bit peculiar to be coming at this time of the year with respect to that. When I read 28 (1) the very last section it says:“The Minister may in anticipation of approval of the Expenditure in a Supplementary Appropriation Act issue a special warrant under his hand authorising the expenditure to be made out of the Consolidated Fund but the aggregate of the amounts authorised by special warrants issued under this section in39the financial year and not approved in a Supplementary Appropriation Act shall not exceed the amount fixed by resolution of the House of Assembly”.I read this to mean, and this is what I want some clarification on, I read this to mean that if you come with a supplementary appropriation to cover the special warrant, in the way it reads here, that you can come back again before the end of the year with special warrants. What that wording means?DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: That the Resolution says that this Honourable House approve the sum of $25 million as the aggregate amount that may be authorised by special warrants in any financial year, pursuant to Section 28 (1) of the said Act. In any financial year that is the maximum. If you want to come in excess of that there are two things you will have to do, you will have to come back here with a resolution to increase from $25 million to some other number and it is going to be very difficult to do that, you would have to explain to people why you want to do that; because what you will need to do is to bring a Supplementary Estimate with a Supplementary Appropriation Bill, going through all the processes as you do for the main Estimates. You have to have a Finance Committee meeting; you have to go through everything the same way and to justify that sum which you are coming, by way of a Supplementary Appropriation Bill, that is what you will have to do and that is where the control comes.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Alright Honourable Members, you would appreciate that what is happening here is in the interest of democracy and clarity because the debate has ended and really should be moving to the vote, but I allowed this so that everyone would be clear on what the procedure is and what we are doing; as I said in the interest of democracy and of course clarity. I would now ask the Prime Minister to move the Resolution.DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Mr. Speaker, if I may just move the operative part:NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that this Honourable House approve the sum of $25 million as the aggregate amount that may be authorised by special warrant in any financial year pursuant to Section 28 (1) of the said Act.Question put and agreed toDR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Mr. Speaker, if I may just say, I know we had finished this, there are many public servants and accounting officers who would not like what we just did you know; but government is not really for them, government is for the people, and I know how the system operates having been Minister for Finance for nine years; and I know the transparency and accountability issues which this will help me with. Mr. Speaker, I beg to move that this Honourable House do stand suspended until 3:15 so that it will give me a chance to get away from the meeting. I beg to move this for the luncheon period.40Question put and agreed to. House suspended at 1:02 p.m. House resumed at 3:49 p.m.BILLS Audrey King Pension (Declaration) Bill, 2010DR. THE HONOURBLE RALPH GONSALVES: Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, I beg to move that a Bill for an Act to provide for the payment for retirement benefits to Audrey King Computer Programmer be read a first time. The object of the Bill is to provide the retirement benefits for the period that Audrey King served as a student teacher and probationary assistant teacher. I beg to move.Question put and agreed to. DR. THE HONOURBLE RALPH GONSALVES: Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, I beg to moveunder Standing Order 48 (2) that the Bill be taken through all its stages at today’s sitting and passed.Question put and agreed to.DR. THE HONOURBLE RALPH GONSALVES: Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, I beg to move that a Bill for an Act to provide for the payment of retirement benefits to Audrey King Computer Programmer, be read a second time.Question put and agreed to. HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Debate on the Bill.DR. THE HONOURBLE RALPH GONSALVES: Mr. Speaker, this is a simple Bill; this is somebody who has become pensionable but there aspersions (portion) of the Service which are to be declared by this Honourable House to be pensionable; so that this person would be able to get the benefits in accordance with the Pension Act; that what it is simply about.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Any further debate, no further ... Oh! HONOURABLE ARNHIM EUSTACE: Well, Mr. Speaker, we on this side of the House have nodifficulty with this Bill, it is straightforward and should be accepted.DR. THE HONOURBLE RALPH GONSALVES: Mr. Speaker, I beg to move that this Honourable House resolve itself into a Committee of the whole House to consider this Bill clause by clause.House resolves into committee.page41image1742441DR. THE HONOURBLE RALPH GONSALVES Mr. Chairman I beg to move that the Committee rise; the House resumes and the presiding member reports to this Honourable House.Question put and agreed to. House resumed.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Members, I have the Honour to report that a Bill for an Act to provide for the payment of retirement benefits to Audrey King, Computer Programmer, has passed the Committee stage without amendment. Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members,DR. THE HONOURBLE RALPH GONSALVES: Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, I beg to move that a Bill for an Act to provide for the payment of retirement benefits to Audrey King Computer Programmer be read a third time by title and pass.Question put and agreed to.Police (Amendment) Bill, 2010DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Mr. Speaker, I would like to postpone the discussion of this Bill, to one more meeting until the 28th May. Mr. Speaker, what has happened is that there is a drafting issue on one section of this Bill, which we have asked the Attorney General to look at again. We really want to make sure that the Police will be able to go ... those below the rank of Sergeant, be able to go at 55 rather than 50 at the moment; and that for them to be able to go without prejudice to a particular constitutional provision in Section 88 (2). And I believe we can find a drafting solution to that particular conundrum; because I really do not like the idea that the Cabinet has to decide on recommendation of the Police Commissioner who should go beyond 50 years. I mean sometimes you get some of the flimsiest reason why a person should not go beyond 50. I really do not like it and in this day and age people should be able ... they are strong and healthy at 55, I mean I am beyond that and I am strong and healthy, I believe (laughs). So, Mr. Speaker, I would just ... I know the Leaders of the Police Welfare Association, probably will be a little disappointed for a few [interjection] a few days, yes, but I think the correction which I want to effect to solve the particular conundrum ... they waited long enough a few more weeks would not be a problem. So, if we get to the next item on the Order paper, Mr. Speaker.Limited Liability Companies (Amendment) Bill 2010DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, I beg to move that a Bill for an Act to amend the Limited Liability Companies Act 2008 be read a first time. The Bill seeks to amend the Limited Liability Companies Act of 2008 to provide for the appointment and powers and duties of the Registrar of Limited Liability Companies.Question put and agreed to.42HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Prime Minister.DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, I beg to move under Standing Order 48 (2) that this Bill be taken through all its stages at today’s sitting and passed.Question put and agreed to. DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, I beg tomove that a Bill for an Act to amend the Limited Liability Companies Act, 2008 be read a second time.Question put and agreed to. HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Debate on the Bill; Honourable Prime Minister.DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Mr. Speaker, this is very straight forward it relates to certain administrative procedures. Clause (1) is the standard clause and the short title and commencement. It is important to note clause (1) sub clause (2) that the Act will commence of course on the day the original Act comes into force. Clause (2) seeks to amend the definition of Register and Registrar; clause (3) seeks to replace the heading of Part (14) of the Act; and clause (4) seeks to insert two new sections into the Law. The new clause 98 (a) provides for the appointment and powers and duties of the Registrar, it also enables the International Financial Service Authority to appoint Deputy Registrars and Assistant Registrars. And the new clause 98 (b) requires the Registrar to maintain a register of Limited Liability Companies. We have done the debate on this and this is really a specific administrative provision to better enforce the Law which we had passed. This is all that this is about.HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Further debate; Honourable Leader of the Opposition.HONOURABLE ARNHIM EUSTACE: Yes Mr. Speaker, we have had debate on this issue before and I agree that these are essentially administrative matters and therefore, I have no difficulty with this piece of legislation. DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Mr. Speaker, I beg to move that this Honourable House resolve itself into a committee of the whole House, to consider this Bill clause by clause.Question put and agreed to. House resolves into Committee.DR. THE HONOURBLE RALPH GONSALVES: Mr. Chairman I beg to move that the Committee rise; the House resumes, and the presiding member reports to this Honourable House.Question put and agreed to.43HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Honourable Members, I have the honour to report that a Bill for an Act to amend the Limited Liability Companies Act 2008, has passed the Committee stage without amendment.DR. THE HONOURBLE RALPH GONSALVES: Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, I beg to move that a Bill for an Act to amend the Limited Liability Companies Act, 2008 be read a third time by title and passed.Question put and agreed to. Community Baptist Church Incorporation Bill, 2010HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: [Inaudible] yes, no [inaudible]DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Mr. Speaker, these Ecclesiastical Bills, the Minister of Ecclesiastic Affairs was the Chairperson, the Honourable Minister of Education sits with him to hold his hands ecclesiastically and [laughs] the Honourable Attorney General [laughs].HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: Any ... Leader of the Opposition.HONOURABLE ARNHIM EUSTACE: Mr. Speaker, I have a difficulty but I would not explain it [laughter]. I will ... do not attribute any [laughter] Mr. Speaker, the Honourable Senator Cummings and the Honourable Senator Leacock [inaudible]HONOURABLE MR. SPEAKER: [Laughs] Alright, I guess we vote for them for the same Bill [inaudible] we will use it as [inaudible]. DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Mr. Speaker, a number of Honourable Members have an interest in the British Elections and in as much as we were to deal with the issue of the OECS Treaty tomorrow that we would have to take an early day today, particularly since we would have had a lot of time to discuss the Police Amendment Bill, but since we have postpone that for the 28th, it means that we are having an early afternoon, and those who want to go and look at the returns from the British Election would have a free afternoon. Of course, as Prime Minister before the results are known I support every political party in the United Kingdom and I take the world as I find it, thereafter [laughs].It is unfortunate, Mr. Speaker, that there was some administrative hiccup and Honourable Members did not get or all of them did not get the Treaty, and clearly the Motion itself speaks to the Treaty, we will have to do that on the 28th. Mr. Speaker, what I have asked and if tomorrow we can make sure that everyone has even an electronic copy; and I have indicated to the Honourable Leader of the Opposition the OECS is seeking to have the Treaty signed on the 18th June. Everybody is in agreement in principle; but there will be some suggestions here and there. We have a couple which I have told them about; there in the Motion itself and I have told the OECS Secretariat, so I am asking the Honourable Leader of the Opposition if he has any [questions], even before the debate, so that the Honourable Attorney General44can bring them to the attention of the Drafting Committee at the OECS, for their consideration so that even before we arrive back on the 28th we can see what is the collective view on those ideas.Because in a Treaty like this we cannot get everything which we want because it is a consensus document, but so long as we have right reason, the right reason will certainly prevail.Accordingly, Mr. Speaker, I beg to move that this Honourable House do stand adjourned until Friday 28th, May at 10:00. I know Mr. Speaker, that you had made arrangements for Members convenience and ... Mr. Speaker, there are television sets here, I am quite sure that Honourable Members will stay around and look at the returns of the British Television and the Debate.HONOURABLE RENE BAPTISTE: Tomorrow there may be a little extra noise in the Courthouse, please do not think it is anything unusual, it is the Girls High School Torch relay will be passing this way.DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: You are running?HONOURABLE RENE BAPTISTE: I will be running the leg from the Courthouse to the First Caribbean Bank [interjection] Madam Clerk will also be involved in that relay. She will be at Sally Spring, and the Hospital have been kind enough to make arrangement in case we are indisposed to see that we have doctors, nurses and necessary [laughs] first aid.DR. THE HONOURABLE RALPH GONSALVES: Mr. Speaker, upon learning ... when I heard that the Honourable Minister of Culture was going to run the leg, and I use the verb ‘run’ advisably from the Courthouse to First Caribbean, and then I just learnt a short while ago that Madam Clerk is also going to run, I believe I will probably have to stay away from work tomorrow and to be up and down to see if I can assist in taking care of these two wonderful ladies as to the consequences of their exertion [laughs). It is surely not a sporting event, it is an historic one, but I would not say what it is if it is not a sporting event [laughs] [interjection] [laughs].Question put and agreed to. House adjourned at 4:12 p.m.45