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Jul 1, 2015

Church Senator Votes YES to Appropriation

Patrick Andrews

Opposition Leader in the Senate Lisa Shoman asked for a division in votes for the approval of the supplementary appropriations for 2014/2015. That led to the bill being passed with seven, for and five, against. Interestingly, Senator Reverend Noel Leslie is on record voting ‘No’ to the Petrocaribe Loan when it first went before the Senate, but today he voted with government senators to approve the supplementary appropriations for 2014/2015 and also 2015/2016. The debate on that bill took up most of the afternoon.

 

Patrick Andrews, P.U.P. Senator

“Just recently, Mister President, here in Belmopan, we spent millions of dollars on cement streets. And I ask anyone of my colleagues in this House to take a drive down, particularly on Cemetery Road in Salvapan and you will see that those said cement streets are already deteriorating. And I hope that in time to come that we will not have this heavy burden that has been put upon us on borrowed money with no true value shown of it, Mister President. And that is what the Belizean people are against; the mismanagement and the misuse of the people’s money as it relates particularly to the Petrocaribe funding.”

 

Adelaida Guerra

Adelaida Guerra, Union Senator

“This present government was elected on good governance, compliance and accountability. And who knows, more than that that we the teachers and the public servants and those people who stood up in 2005 for the Finance and Reform Act. We fought for it so we are holding them accountable.”

 

Joy Grant

Joy Grant, U.D.P. Senator

“I want someone to explain to me how it is that I—like any other Belizean—sat on Friday waiting for a debate of important bills and the Opposition walked out. Explain to me how this could ever be justified? I also want you to explain to me how you can turn your back on money at one percent over twenty-five years, when the previous government was borrowing at commercial rate and we see no projects. Explain to me how this could ever be acceptable. I also want to say, because the honourable Prime Minister speaks for himself—he doesn’t need me for sure—but that he never said that the money and the actions for this government is only for U.D.P.s; he has never said that. And I must, because I am here and he is not, say that this U.D.P. government is for all Belizeans and that everything we do is with them at heart.”

 

Noel Leslie

Rev. Noel Leslie, Senator for Churches

“It is good to note that this supplementary bill is coming to us ahead of time. They are criticizing the retroactive aspects of bills in the past. Now we have one that looks ahead. It is not perfect; it is not totally detailed, but an effort has been made and I think that that is important for us to focus on. And whichever government is in power, Mister President, this is what they are called to do. Now, as we look at this bill, this act before us, it is important for us to realize that we want to see our country Belize move forward; we don’t want to be seen as a backward country. we realize that much had been accomplished; there has been a transformation all over and in Belize City in particular, we see it and for this we are grateful, Mister President. But sure enough, the concern of everyone is that the greater common good will always be served.”

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