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Aug 24, 2011

Belize National Teachers’ Union consultations on 9th Amendment

The views of the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) have always been a litmus test of the people’s views on issues. The BNTU has not given any comment on the proposed Ninth Amendment to the Belize Constitution. Today in Belmopan the union organized its own consultation process with information and speeches given to teachers by stakeholders. Present were more two hundred representatives from all district branches of the BNTU. There were five panelists who made presentations including: Bar Association President Jackie Marshalleck, Attorneys Audrey Matura, Senator Henry Gordon, Patrick Rogers and Solicitor General Cheryl Krusen.  News Five spoke to BNTU General Secretary George Frazer who says that the branches have until the twelfth of October to come up with a position on the issue. Here are some highlights of the presentations and the question and answer session that occurred this morning in the Capital.

Concerned Teacher

“One; how can we strengthen the referendum act to make the decision of the will of the people binding on the government of Belize, two; what impact will nationalization have on future investment in this country, and three; what are the advantages and disadvantages of the ninth amendment.”

Patrick Rogers

Patrick Rogers, Panelist

“Ideally as I always say and most people would accept, there is good and bad in everything. So this ninth amendment it has some good if you are in line with the government’s policy decision to nationalize public utilities—it’s a good law—but if you are one of them persons like me who would like to see more separation of powers, more check on people’s power and what we are going through right now is an exercise that will see the people as the ultimate stop for a bad law. The problem is that we haven’t found one good amendment to this constitution yet—at least from where I’m standing.”

Jacqueline Marshalleck, President, Bar Association

Jacqueline Marshalleck

“If our constitution is changed to take away rights or in any way that we don’t agree with, can you live with it? Because if government passes it using the correct procedure in section 69, section two now of 69 is saying live with it—it cannot be inconsistent with the constitution.”

Henry Gordon

Senator Henry Gordon, Panelist

“This issue I maintain is complex; it is not as simple as it would want to appear, there are lawyers on both side of the fence and so we need to understand some things. We are in the quagmire as it is when it comes to Telemedia because of certain arrangements that were made prior to this bill.”

Audrey Matura-Shepherd, Panelist

Audrey Matura-Shepherd

“The con is; that y’all need to look at that in trying to get majority control which is what it really is—not really nationalization—your own social security money will be used and you need to ask yourself; should I have a say how that money should be used?”

Concerned Teacher

“Go back to your communities, inform your fellow teachers, continue to be informed with the consultations that will still be taking place. I’m sure that whenever we take a position, I can assure our panelists—that most of them asked us to continue to listen. So continue to do that and our position will definitely not be political, it will be a well informed decision that will be made.”

While the teachers continue to discuss the bill, the government continues its own consultation process, the next public consultation occurs in the Corozal district tonight. So far the Council of Churches and the Belize Association of Evangelical Churches have amended their position to support since certain ouster clauses that prevent access to the court have been deleted from the original draft. The Belize Chamber of Commerce and the Bar Association of Belize have not yet released a new position based on the amended document. However, the Opposition has stated that it believes the changes are cosmetic in nature.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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7 Responses for “Belize National Teachers’ Union consultations on 9th Amendment”

  1. Rod says:

    The council of churches will do anything if they are given land and money it is very sad to see the church putting money before the well being of the general public I would tell everyone to picket the church along with this gov. It is so sad to see the church put money before the well being of the people picket the church the council of churches a joke.

  2. Watcher says:

    Sad to say but 90% of Belizean are too stupid (& poor) to understand the 9th Amendment.
    That is how Fidel Castro, Gaddafi, Hugo Chaves, Hitler, Kim Jong-Il and others got into, and remain in power.
    Top of that since the Government keeps Internet rates So High that most Belizeans will never get a chance to read this or learn what is happening worldwide.
    Same goes for G.S.T. That is why Chinee Man get rich since GST was implemented.

  3. Watcher says:

    Sad to say but 90% of Belizean are too stupid (& poor) to understand the 9th Amendment.
    That is how Fidel Castro, Gaddafi, Hugo Chaves, Hitler, Kim Jong-Il and others got into, and remain in power.
    Top of that since the Government keeps Internet rates So High that most Belizeans will never get a chance to read this or learn what is happening worldwide.
    Same goes for G.S.T. That is why Chinee Man get rich since GST was implemented.

  4. someone says:

    Watcher, talk for yourself. You behave just like Dean Barrow weh think we stupid. Wait till elections time come, we will then see who stupid. I guess you will be one since you mussi wa vote for UDP.

  5. OriginalWoman says:

    Watcher I don’t know how much money you have or do not have. But you sound even more stupid than the ppl you claim are. I do not know how much money you have, or don’t have I do know that you also sound very arrogant and ignorant!!!!

  6. Earl Grey says:

    @Watcher…………YOU MUST BE LOOKING IN THE MIRROR……………….

  7. Elgin Martinez says:

    Watcher:Your statement make no sense whatsoever,because if the Belizean people were stupid,then they wouldn’t have challenge the implimentation of the 9th Amendment.Apparently you’re the one who don’t understand what you’re reading,because if you’re reading thesame news that i’ve been reading.Then you would realize by now that most Belizeans doesn’t support this amendment.

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