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Jun 30, 2009

Chamber of Commerce to review licensing system

Story PictureNews Five got a reaction from the Chamber of Commerce and according to C.E.O. Celene Cleland-Gomez, their focus is not only on Carrillo’s case, but on issues with the licensing system on a whole.

Celene Cleland-Gomez, C.E.O., Bz Chamber of Commerce & Industry
“From our perspective we are very much concerned with the administrative procedures and the enabling legislation to ensure that whatever regime is put in place that it is transparent and it is accountable and it is equitable. So from that perspective, we are less concerned with the players involved—meaning Mr. Carrillo or whoever else is involved—and more concerned with the systemic issues that need to be addressed.”

Delahnie Bain
“Could you tell us a bit more about the issues in the system that you are referring to?”

Celene Cleland-Gomez
“Right. For example, as I talked about earlier, the sweeping powers of the minister as it relates to who gets and who doesn’t get. The legislation itself doesn’t say that he has that you know. The legislation says that he has the authority to make the regulations to govern these things and if that does not occur then it’s subject to a significant amount of bias, if you will, and interpretation depending on who’s involved in the process. So we want that to be rectified. We want to know what the conditions are for issuing a license, what are the specific procedures, what are the penalties for not following these procedures. We want the people who are being issued licenses to be gazetted. We want transparency in the process and we want to know who is accountable in the event that the procedures or the legislation is breached.”

Delahnie Bain
“Have there been a lot of these cases that have caused a bit of a stir with regards to who gets a license and who doesn’t?”

Celene Cleland-Gomez
“There have been a few and the problems there have always been, in my view, that the focus has been on the personalities involved rather than the issues related to the system. So what you have is people trying to make it a political issue.”

Cleland-Gomez says their council is meeting this week to discuss legislation and issues brought to the Chamber’s attention. They will then submit their position to the government for review.

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