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|Posted by:||May 30th 2005, 06:57:23 pm|
|island lady||Any proof of Nassau starting to listen to Briland (or any other, apparently) "local" government will be in the pudding. Keep pressing, everyone!|
|Posted by:||May 30th 2005, 06:40:00 pm|
|Ocean Fox||As much as you may want to jump on this as being "proof" that the Bahamian government is hereby committed to public consultation on all decisions, one must understand that the quotation in the previous post was made in the context of the discussion in hand. It cannot be taken to be a declamation of general policy, since it would be to say that the government is henceforth to rule through referendum rather than government - which is clearly not the case.
The moral of this is to beware of taking statements out of context.
|Posted by:||May 30th 2005, 02:40:01 pm|
|Fig Tree News Team||MyBahamianBlog weighs in:
"Government's obligation to consult the people
Anyone who says that the Government doesn't have to consult the peope is a liar. That means that Bahamas Uncensored is a liar. That means that Moron Miller is a liar. That means that Fred Mitchell is a liar.
And what is our authority for saying so. We went to a document delivered in the House of Assembly this time last year. It was the Budget Communication for 2004-2005. It was delivered by the Prime Minister, and he was talking about CSME (Caribbean Single Market Economy). We will quote it:
At this time I would simply like to say that this Government will make no binding commitments of any kind without first consulting with this Honourable House, with the Bahamian public and with stakeholders who could be affected in any way by such commitments.
You can look it up. It is on the government's website. We will find the URL if you ask us to. It is there clear as day, on public record, as said by the Prime Minister. If he pushes this through without consulting the people, he is the most brazen liar in the Bahamas. Fred Mitchell is already approaching that line."
|Posted by:||May 30th 2005, 02:34:15 pm|
|Fig Tree News Team||May 30, 2005 – 07:26
PLP Says No Consultative Government
Supreme Court Justice Stephen Isaacs pointed out, however, that it may amount to good governance and good business practice where a company is embarking on a large scale project.
Stakeholders most likely to be affected by various development projects throughout the country have mixed views about whether the government should be required by law to consult with the public before approving such projects.
Dismissing an application by the Save Guana Cay Reef Association last week for a judicial review of the government's signing of a heads of agreement with the developers of the Baker's Bay project on Guana Cay, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Isaacs pointed out that while there is no statutory requirement for the government to undertake public consultation before approving development projects "it may amount to good governance and good business practice where a company is embarking on a large scale project."
Such a requirement, he pointed out, can only be established by the legislature.
Fred Smith, the attorney for the Save Guana Cay Reef Association, and members of his group had insisted that the government did not properly consult residents before approving the controversial development.
At the very least, they had asked the court to order the government to consult with Guana Cay residents before the development is allowed to proceed.
Some observers noted that the judge sent a strong message in pointing out that there is no legal obligation to consult.
But some people believe that there should be.
Tasha Bullard-Rolle, chief councilor in Bimini, is one of them.
According to Mrs. Bullard-Rolle, three parties should be represented at all negotiations for planned developments.
"I feel that it would be an excellent law (that the government should first consult) the residents or inhabitants of any area of the [country] where the government is considering putting in any major development because whatever development goes there, positive or negative, those developments will affect the people of that area directly," she said.
"I think that once a development is proposed and the government is going to sit down and discuss that proposal there should be representation from the area where the development is planned for, the developers and the government because there is leadership in our various communities who have a feel for what is good or what will be acceptable to the majority of the people in that area," Mrs. Bullard-Rolle added.
Last Monday, approximately 100 Bimini residents staged a demonstration at the entrance of the Bimini Bay project site after learning the previous weekend about some of the provisions agreed to by the government and the developers.
Following the heated demonstration, in which residents blocked access to the property by parking a large pay loader at its entrance, several senior government representatives, including Works and Utilities Minister Bradley Roberts, Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe, Minister of Financial Services and Investment Allyson Maynard-Gibson, Transport and Aviation Minister Glenys Hanna-Martin, and Bahamas Environment Science and Technology Commission Chairman Keod Smith, travelled to Bimini last Thursday to address residents' concerns.
The chief councilor said while developments have taken place throughout The Bahamas for several decades without much visible opposition, circumstances have now changed in that a number of recent projects have encountered significant resistance.
Over the last few months, sustained campaigns have been launched against projects like the Baker's Bay development in Guana Cay, the liquefied natural gas proposals for the northern Bahamas, a multimillion-dollar development for Harbour Island and Bimini Bay.
Mrs. Bullard-Rolle foreshadowed that such a trend is likely to continue.
"In the past, our forefathers had been kind of passive and accepting of what governments have done, but now we have a generation of people who are more educated and who are willing to take a stand," she said.
"It's not really a matter of opposing the government, but taking a firm stand for what [we] believe is better for [our] communities. So what (the government) was willing to hand down or what it decided it would implement our forefathers were probably willing to accept, but we are not accepting of any or everything just because it's the government who decides that it wants to do something."
The chief councilor also pointed out that while she was pleased with the apparent resolution to the recent controversy residents remain skeptical about whether commitments made during the meeting last Thursday will be honoured.
"An awareness has now been brought to my community and I want to assure the developers that we will be vigilant and we will be watching," she said.
According to Mrs. Maynard-Gibson, while there is no legal mandate for the government to consult the public before granting approval to developers the government usually does so in any event.
"The prime minister made it very, very clear from May 2002 that his style of governance is to involve citizens in all major decisions that impact the way that we live and that is why in Passerine (Guana Cay) and any other significant heads of agreement we fully consult citizens," the minister said.
"That is a hallmark of the Christie Administration and that will not change. The prime minister has been very clear about that."
Commenting on the Supreme Court's decision to dismiss the entire action filed by the Save Guana Cay Reef Association, Mrs. Maynard-Gibson said the legal action and adjudication represent a strong mark of democracy and assist with the investment climate.
By: Darrin Culmer, The Bahama Journal
|Posted by:||May 30th 2005, 04:19:13 am|
|Brilandkid||the Local government in the family islands. It is a exellent step in the right direction. But at this stage in the game it is still used only as a pressure relief valve for the central government to shift blame or in better term a shield and have a scape goat. eg. it's like having a "Beware of Dog" who has no teeth. Central government will not and is not taking local govermnent serious unless you put teeth in it. All of the good people serving on the local government council have very good intentions, but I am afraid at this time their good intentions are not taken serious by central government. If central government is serious than 1st start by paying serious money to council members instead of the nickel and dime to death, these hard working good people. Being a council member is very serious and the Government of the Bahamas should and must take them serious. Central Government Stop hidding behind the skirts of hard working dedicated council members give the local governing powers. Let's get real with this and stop playing the blame Game. To all council elected and to be elected in the up comming elections Be sure to let central know that in order to be effected do not send you to a war zone with a rock and a stick. they must listen to you and consider your recomendations seriously, in order to effect positive change in your Islands. Strong leadership is also the Key in any government...... show some backbone to central.
And To the central government by not taking them serious or taking recomendations lightly will kill any motovation and a chance for local improvement within the Islands of the Bahamas.
This message is meant to be constructive and is in no way wrote to be offensive, It should not be taken has such. (Briland sweet hey!)
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