L-R: Hon. Julian Fraser, Third District Representative and Hon. Myron Walwyn, Minister for Education and Culture.
Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
Minister for Education and Culture, Hon. Myron Walwyn challenged Third District Representative, Hon. Julian Fraser to answer several questions regarding monies spent under the previous Virgin Islands Party Government.
The Minister asked the Third District Representative ten questions during the debate yesterday, July 3 on the Motion to have the House of Assembly establish a committee to review the recently signed financial protocols between the BVI and the United Kingdom.
Following the debate, the amended Motion which was piloted by Hon. Fraser was passed.
Last evening, Minister Walwyn said Hon. Fraser must provide answers to the questions and quit acting like he suddenly the guardian for the society.
"I will sit down here with baited breath because I want answers. Because you cannot turn around now and make it look now that you are the guardian of the society when we have all these unanswered questions...My intention is not to blame anybody, but as a citizen of this country, these questions really need to be answered...I have ten questions to ask and it is not because I am playing politics or want to be malicious, but there must be consistency when we do things...," the Minister stated.
Hon. Walwyn asked about the monies spent on the Greenland field, medical school study, wall at Sea Cows Bay, road paving in Sea Cows Bay and other monies spent close to the November 2011 election, the green house project and the signing of the water contract with UK based company BiWater, among other things.
"I want to know where were we when we used $6M of the Government money to build some Greenhouses up Paraquita Bay? Up to now we haven't gotten one sweet pepper, one ochra, one string bean; $6M and we got rats and roaches up there. I was glad that the mover for the Motion said that he will answer any question anybody has and I will sit right here for the answers," Hon. Walwyn stated.
He continued, "Where were we when $400,000 was spent on Greenland field and up to now we don't have a thing up there but bush? Where were we when $500,000 was spent for a medical school study that could have been done for free? Where were we when $450,000 was spent to put up street lights by a roundabout that everybody said couldn't work? Where were we when the former Communications and Works Minister built a wall in Sea Cows Bay that cost nearly a million dollars? I want to know where this same enthusiasm was," he asked.
However, Hon. Fraser interjected on a point of information.
"This wall in Sea Cows Bay ain't come close to a million dollars; the wall was close to $400,000. So get your facts together my brother, before you make statements. If you got that information, present it," Hon. Fraser stated.
Minister Walwyn then continued with his questions and commented that he was happy that the District Representative started to answer his questions.
"I am excited because I want the rest of them answered...Where were we when hundreds of thousands was spent to pave a road in Sea Cows Bay just before election when nothing was wrong with the road? Where were we when $11M was spent in the waning hours of the election? Where were we when the previous Government overspent our budget for three years in a row? Where were we when the financial reports for this country were not laid in this House for three to four years? And where were we when we brought in a UK company and throw away our own company with a thousand local investors and brought a UK company to sit on top of we?...Then it will end up costing the Government more money than it would have if the local company was doing it," Minister Walwyn said to the Third District Representative.
The Minister had stated that he supports the Motion presented by Fraser because it shows transparency and openness, but certain things must be put into perspective for residents.
Meanwhile, First District Representative, Hon. Andrew Fahie on a point of information stated that in relation to the Minister's comment about the medical school study, the records in the House would reflect that a request for proposals was sent so that competitive bidding would occur.
"So if somebody could have done it for free, it was their duty to apply and do so...," said Hon. Fahie, who was the Education and Culture Minister at the time the study went to tender.
In response to Minister Walwyn's question, Hon. Fraser said all of his questions are flawed.
"Let me assure the Minister that this is not the question and answer period and Ministers don't get to ask questions to Opposition Members. Besides, I found a flaw in one of his question so my information is that all of them are flawed. I don't know where the facts are so I will not add to that. So let's move on," Hon. Fraser stated.
He briefly commented, "I see he [Walwyn] got the hot for Sea Cows Bay; wall and some road, boy..."