Wheatley Rejects Use Of Zoom To Allow A Member To Retain HoA Seat
By Sonje Greenidge, Journalist
Updated 8:05 AM AST, Tue Jun 21, 2022
(PLTM) - Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. Natalio Wheatley stated yesterday that he does not believe that the facilitation of House of Assembly sessions via Zoom was intended to accommodate for the absence of a single member, nor for the purpose of retaining a seat.
There have been ongoing public discussions about whether former Premier Andrew Fahie, who is currently on bail in Miami, Florida should be allowed to attend HoA sittings in his capacity as the current First District Representative.
Dr. Wheatley contributed to this discussion by referring to an amendment that was made to Standing Order 91 2 A, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, which allowed for the conducting of HoA meetings.
“Personally, on the question of Zoom, I don’t think that it should be used to facilitate someone just staying in their particular position. I don’t think that is the purpose of it. I think it is important for Representatives to be present and to represent the people,” Dr. Wheatley stated on Monday, June 20 during “Da Morning Braff” radio show.
When asked his thoughts on a Member attending a meeting from overseas while on vacation, Premier Wheatley again expressed that he does not believe that the amendment provided for situations like these, but for emergencies that might impede the ability of all Members from attending meetings.
“As I understand when we had the Zoom meetings, the whole House was on Zoom. It wasn’t just one person zooming in. It was either you had a physical meeting, or you had a Zoom meeting,” Dr. Wheatley stated.
He also stated that while he cannot make a pronouncement on whether former Premier Andrew Fahie is guilty or innocent, he opined that Fahie should prioritise concentrating on his current situation and his upcoming trial.
“In Hon. Fahies present circumstance, I don’t believe that he can adequately represent the people of the First District. I think that he has to focus on his legal case,” Dr. Wheatley stated.
Premier Wheatley’s views conflict with those of the immediate former Speaker Julian Willock.
Willock told BVI Platinum News, “The general interpretation of the amendment is that if there is a sitting, and a member is not physically there, he or she can be patched in virtually because during the committee stages it is done all the time.”
---- Copyright 2022 by Virgin Islands Platinum News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Please note that the opinions posted are the opinions of its author and does not in any way reflect the views of the management, staff, parent company or sponsors of Virgin Islands Platinum News.
Section 91 (2A) of the Standing Orders: where it is impracticable by reason of any emergency for the HoA to meet physically, the House may do so by electronic means.
(1). What is the emergency???
(2). The reference is in relation to "the House" as opposed to a member.
You are throwing the baby out with the bath water!
How about rejecting the idea of having a disgraced government member attending a HOA meeting! Zoom is not the problem. The problem is that the *** tried to traffic COKE and then Launder the money. Use Zoom. It is good and effective.
What use is he in his physical state to represent we. Cut him loose from that position and pass the baton to a more honest and reliable person! He is NOT GOD, therefore its unfair to us for him to hold up process. UK/GOVERNOR free that man from us!
People of the BVI we are in deep trouble, the only way this will end is if the UK take us over for a while. I don't know why the Governor cant see through this set up Natalio Wheatley or any of the others is not ready for this job Governor John J. Rankin please take over before its to late.
Yes to the UK!!
They have all had their turn and look where we are now, with all the businesses we have lost because of COVID they want to rase the price of a trade license, this is utter madness they still trying to victimize the expats at any cost the UK need to pull the rug from under them and take full rule. As granny use to say give them enough rope they will Yang themselves I am sure that the UK plan see what foolishness they come up with for 6 month then tell them sorry you had a chance and it didnt work.
I agree, let Andrew stay where he is and sort out his legal business. What is his purpose for attending the meeting anyways? The sessions are live he can watch them. I am all for second chances but he needs to prove himself against the allegations made against him and then he'll be free to participate, until then, step back! My opinion.
So sad to see that this suppose to be the Government for it's people. All it is they don't want to hear what Andrew has to say. BUT THE PEOPLE OF THE FIRST DISTRICT PUT HIM IN AND DON'T CARE WHAT THEY DO HE WILL FOREVER REP THAT DISTRICT. Nobody is perfect and all of a sudden zoom could a work for the past why not with this present situation? Natalio I believe they threatening you and you can't say. YOU LOOK MORE SCARED THAN ANYTHING. BUT I GLAD THAT EVERYONE CAN SEE THAT GOD DON'T SLEEP!!!
THERE'S NO HONOR AMONGST THIEVES , ( and am not calling anyone a thief , thats between them and GOD ) BUT IT SEEMS AS THOUGH THE YOUTH , IS LETTING IT ALL HANG OUT , IS THIS IS AN ALL OUT WAR ( ITS FUNNY THOUGH , THEY ALL WORKED ,AND AGREED ON EVERYTHING TOGETHER PEOPLE EVEN CROSSED OVER TO JOIN THE CELEBRATION OF THE SELF PROCLAIMED TRANSPARENCY CLUB , SO ITS BIRDS OF THE SAME FEATHER
All they do here is recycle, and they becoming better at it. Time to get all of them out and let the uk rule and put a law that they are only allowed 2 terms even as a minister so they dont have a life long career in politics. Its dam sickness. These cant be the only ones here that can manage the affairs of the BVI time to make room for younger blood. Them older heads need to get stepping we want honestly. Not a bunch of thrives. UK its time to take back this place we desperately need it, if we want to survive as a people.