Update: Cline Says He Was Forced To Resign
BVI Platinum News | 12 Opinions
Published: January 09, 2017 9:33 pm AST
Premier and Finance Minister, Hon. Dr Orlando Smith, Bishop John Cline, and Hon. Ronnie Skelton, Health Minister
Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
Bishop John Cline has broken his silence, declaring that he was forced to resign as Chairman of the BVI Health Services Authority (BVIHSA) after he spoke out on several matters, including the financial situation of the Territory and the controversial T.B. Lettsome International Airport project.

He told BVI Platinum News that he tendered his resignation yesterday, January 9.

Premier and Finance Minister, Hon. Dr. Orlando Smith reportedly requested that Cline tender his resignation; however, Health Minister, Ronnie Skelton has been in support of Cline.

The strong backer of the National Democratic Party (NDP), who received a two-year extension to the post in April of last year, said his resignation takes effect immediately.

"I did tender my resignation yesterday…The short of it is that I was asked to resign and I did that," he said.

When asked if this was as a result of his recent outspoken position on several government matters, including the financial troubles, Cline said, "Yes".

I Will Continue To Speak Out

Cline, who is known for his stance against the BiWater agreement under the former Virgin Islands Party (VIP), vowed that he will continue to speak out on issues. He said that he hopes that the people of the BVI are not deterred by this recent development, from speaking out on pertinent issues.

"Well I would hope that we live in a democratic society and where everyone is entitled to an opinion and voice, and I hope that continues to be that way," he said.

When further pressed he said, "Well, they shouldn’t be afraid."

Cline continued, "Yes, absolutely. I will continue to speak out."

Asked if he will continue to support the NDP, Cline said, "I still believe right now the NDP is the one that’s in power and I will support the party in power."

Cline also had a message for the staff at the BVIHSA.

"I would say to them, please continue to commit yourselves to excellence, knowing that you can for the persons that access care at Peebles and at our clinics. And I would say to them make great strides and continue to do so; work with the next Chairman and accomplish much," he said.

Previous Article Published Monday, January 9 - Bishop Cline Cloaked By Resignation Claims

Bishop John Cline's recent outspoken support for the National Democratic Party (NDP) shifting the Ministry of Finance portfolio from party leader, Premier Hon. Dr. D. Orlando Smith appears to have ruffled a few feathers and new reports suggest that Cline's position as Chairman of the BVI Health Services Authority (BVIHSA) may have been threatened.

According to information which has been circulated in political circles, Premier Smith has asked Cline to tender his resignation.

Further details on the nature of the discussions were not disclosed, but when contacted earlier today by BVI Platinum News, Bishop Cline briefly commented.

“Here is what I will do; tomorrow I will give a statement concerning it,” Cline told BVI Platinum News.

Efforts to contact Premier Smith were unsuccessful.

Cline, who is an avid NDP supporter, was backed by the NDP Ministers back in April last year when Health Minister, Hon. Ronnie Skelton took a motion to the House of Assembly to extend his tenure as Chairman of the BVIHSA Board for two years.

Cline has been very vocal recently over the current situation of the Territory’s finances and the decision to move ahead at this moment with the controversial T.B. Lettsome International Airport expansion project.

The Bishop and businessman has also backed calls for Hon. Skelton to be handed the Ministry of Finance, taking it away from Premier Smith. He stated that this move would help get the Territory back on track.

Premier Smith has since made it clear that he will not be giving up the finance portfolio, but hinted that other changes may be coming.

More details when Cline disseminates his statement to the media tomorrow, Tuesday, January 10.
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Readers' Opinion
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Dr. Smith you need to take heed. First Ms. P and now Pastor Cline. Listen to wise counsel, and take action according to. The Pastor was right, Ms p was spot on, get your act together, grow some balls and do the right thing for once
January 11 at 8:53am | Like1 Person like this.   Dislike1 Person dislike this.
Bishop Cline spoke good sense about the airport in that he wanted to encourage visitors and business without breaking the bank with a project that will give little return - and a whole lot of debt - to these islands. Let monies be invested in decent, regular, affordable and direct transportation... more
January 10 at 1:48pm | Like5 People like this.   Dislike1 Person dislike this.
ndp heckler | Report Abuse
cline was a casualty of a ndp tribal war
January 10 at 1:35pm | Like3 People like this.   Dislike
My my my look how the tides have changed.
January 10 at 1:04pm | Like3 People like this.   Dislike
Welsah, so the bullies really feeling themselves now. So speaking out on the government is against the rules & warrants you being blacklisted I see. They don't want to be told they wrong they want you to kiss their behind groveling like a loopy dog. They want to strong arm everything... more
January 10 at 12:56pm | Like3 People like this.   Dislike1 Person dislike this.
Albion | Report Abuse
This is a disturbing development. Whether you agree with Cline or not, BVIHSA Chair is a non-party political post. It is supposed to go to the most qualified citizen. By their actions, the NDP has affirmed that (i) key public positions will be awarded to party loyalists rather than on merit, and... more
January 10 at 11:52am | Like6 People like this.   Dislike3 People dislike this.
This party crumbling faster than titanic . And they now taking the bullism internal . Dr smith this is the last term for your party . The charade is over
January 10 at 8:47am | Like56 People like this.   Dislike5 People dislike this.
More to come, stay tuned!
January 10 at 11:58am | Like1 Person like this.   Dislike
VIP/NDP | Report Abuse
Both parties have their struggle. They are not the only ones crumbling. Ayo like too much commess.You will be a fool to think that VIP done get over theirs. Further more all two of them are crooked.
January 10 at 12:41pm | Like1 Person like this.   Dislike1 Person dislike this.
Daisy | Report Abuse
So who are we going to elect next?
January 10 at 1:38pm | Like2 People like this.   Dislike
he he
January 10 at 12:33am | Like8 People like this.   Dislike8 People dislike this.
January 10 at 2:18pm | Like    Dislike
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