Hon. Alvin Christopher
Photo Credit: Clifton Skelton/BVI Platinum News
Hon. Alvin Christopher, Second District Representative and Opposition Member of the House of Assembly said there is nothing political about the meeting planned for this week to discuss the Protocols for Effective Financial Management signed between the United Kingdom and BVI Government.
"I have a responsibility as a Parliamentarian when a decision is taken and becomes law, to inform my people so they can be educated as to what is the law; that doesn't mean I am for or against. I can't say I am out assisting the Government; I want to shed light and I want to ensure that the people whom I represent understand clearly what the law says. The political aspect is a different subject. I don't think this is about politics; it's about education and information," Hon. Christopher told BVI Platinum News.
The meeting is slated to take place at the Cane Garden Bay community center on Wednesday, October 3.
According to Hon. Christopher, the panel for the meeting comprises former Financial Secretary and Attorney-at-Law, Glenroy Forbes; Douglas Wheatley, a former Deputy Financial Secretary; and Mr. Vernon E. Malone, an Attorney-at-Law and former At-Large Representative.
"I believe that they should be able to give a good clear understating and I am looking forward to a very productive meeting. We want people to understand that we have to work with the protocols until we can find a different way out; this is what the UK protocol is saying to us. Whether it's good or bad, residents will have to draw their conclusions. People need to understand what the ramifications of the whole thing are and how it will affect their lives going forward. There will be some changes in the way Government carries out its operations," Hon. Christopher explained.
He said one of the changes relates to way the Government is allowed to raise capital investment to fund projects, which is an integral part of the economy.
"It is good to talk about projects; people are interested in projects and I think projects help to stimulate the economy which is very quiet right now. But in order to plan projects it must be funded and the way we went about funding projects and raising capital in the past may not be the way we can do it in the future based on the way we must conduct ourselves under the protocols and go about the operation of Government. Because of that, people have a high interest and I do believe that the panel we have comprised for that meeting should be able to shed some light. Once people are informed, their expectations would be clear," Hon. Christopher stated.
The protocols were signed on April 23 by the Premier and Minister for Finance, Hon. Dr. D. Orlando Smith on behalf of Government and Mr. Henry Bellingham, the then United Kingdom Minister for the Overseas Territories.