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Jan 21, 2015

Amended Sugar Act is Now Law

Lisa Shoman

The amended Sugar Industry Act which was rammed through the House of Representatives on Monday, ratified by the Senate on Tuesday and penned into law. With that formality out of the way, the Act was published with the speed of lighting today in the Gazette.  So for all intents and purposes, the amendment opens up the way for the formation of new organizations and allows farmers to join whichever they chose outside of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association. But in the debate in the senate, P.U.P. Senator Lisa Shoman spoke about the indecent haste in which the amendment became law in a matter of forty-eight hours.


Lisa Shoman, P.U.P. Senator

“After four years of absolutely doing nothing at all about an agreement that the government of Belize made with certain persons to amend this Act, nothing at all was done from 2010 when hat agreement was made. And suddenly in the last week, we had a flurry of frenzied activity culminating in the presentation of a Bill to make this amendment at ten o’clock of the same morning that the government expected to be able to push through the Bill at all stages. This morning as is my habit, I got up, I had my coffee, I read over my paper and I went on Facebook and I found a little statement by one of my friends which on second thought had some very deep meaning. And it said…”not because you have the power to do something, not because you have the right by means of the power to do something means that it is the right thing to do.” I don’t think there is anybody that will say nay to the ability of the government side to push through this legislation—whether in the House of the Representatives or indeed in this honorable chamber—but it has to be noted Mister President that this frenzy to ram through legislation, in practically less than forty-eight hours because let’s get it right, this was given to members of the House yesterday at ten o’clock—from the Opposition. Less than twenty-four hours since it was passed. And I have no doubt in my mind that the minute we leave this chamber, having voted on this bill—and it will pass because the government side has the numbers since it refuses about five or six years after the fact to bring in the thirteenth senator…so it has the numbers and it will pass. But let us understand where it is that such an important piece of legislation, narrow compass or not, will have been shove through in our democracy in less than twenty-four hours because I have no doubt that it will be given the certificate of this chamber, taken to the AG who I have no doubt will be presented it to the Governor General sometime this afternoon for ascent. This is where we are. We’ve become, Mister President, less of a democracy and more of a ram-ocracy; where laws, policies are being rammed through without proper consultation.”

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2 Responses for “Amended Sugar Act is Now Law”

  1. XRay says:

    I really don’t understand how some people reason. The PM withhold the amendment to the sugar Act, as he explained in order to keep the integrity of the BSCFA intact up to the 4th January 2015, when someone else cause the BSCFA to splinter into other groups; after which the GOB got blamed for what others did. I must point out that Mr. Chris Coye could have been injured for guiding the BSCFA in the right direction. It is said; “love is blind” I would like to add — also is hate.

  2. CEO says:

    This was done legally but legality does not parallel justice in meaning.

    This will raise its head again down the road with much more vehemence because of the unjust manner it was handled.

    Creating a problem to solve another problem is myopic and exhibits poor governance.

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