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Jun 14, 2018

Trade Licenses Bill to Apex; is it Political Victimization?

Is a move by the Belize City Council to bill the managing company of the Civic Center approximately half a million dollars for trade licenses, a case of political victimization by the P.U.P.? Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber thinks so because Belize City Mayor Bernard Wagner had been against the multimillion dollars facility in his campaign leading up to the 2018 municipal elections. While the sporting complex is owned by government, it is managed privately; and that unique partnership is why Apex Event Services and the CitCo are at odds. As we reported on Wednesday, Apex is prepared to pay for the office spaces it occupies, but CitCo says it is being billed for the overall size of the building. DPM and Minister of Sports Patrick Faber made an appeal to CitCo today to give the civic managers a chance.

 

Patrick Faber

Patrick Faber, Minister of Sports

“I heard only vaguely about the desire of the council to do that. I suspect that there is some element of victimization, if you will. We know that the opposition party, particularly the mayor, on his campaign ranted and raved about the civic center. This is not something that they support. I am absolutely surprised in fact that they are jockeying for control of the civic under the emergency management situation should an emergency arise, when they have in fact criticized fiercely—he himself—the fact that the government has invested in what is now all together celebrated as a very, very great investment for our country and for our city. So I am amazed and I believe that some of that has gort to be victimization on their part to try to ensure that the structure that we’ve set up will fail so that they can say, “Aww, you see. We told you so.” But I’m also understanding that the city council might be strapped for cash so they have to try the easiest of ways to try to get that money. And I’d like to encourage them, although I am no agent of Apex, Apex is its own firm; it is not controlled by the government. But I would like to appeal to them, appeal to their better senses to have them know that this is something that is in its infancy stage and we must give things a chance to breathe and to grow so that we are able to have the civic center capably managed for years to come.”

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