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Oct 27, 2015

Senator Lisa Shoman Says Agreement Provides No Comfort for Belizeans

Lisa Shoman

But is this just much ado over nothing? That question came up at the press briefing this morning, since the Prime Minister had made mention of a statement of comfort which he had signed with Fortis. Shoman says that where this deal is concerned, there’s no comfort at all for Belizeans.


Lisa Shoman, Senator, People’s United Party

“What this is, is a deed that was never disclosed to Belizeans. If it was a mere mater of comfort there should have been absolutely no reason why the Prime Minister did not provide this to Belizeans. The fact remains, Jules, that we saw it in the legislation and were asking for it. We did not get a copy until it was leaked to us from the Ministry of Finance; that’s how we got it. And that deed clearly establishes, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this is more than a matter of comfort. This is a matter of an arrangement that outrageously binds the government to not interfere at all with Fortis—whether by courts, tribunals or regulatory bodies—and goes further to indemnify BECOL from any, any lowering of electricity rates. [It] locks the hands of the PUC virtually because if it makes an order, the government will be forced to make any losses good and it forces us to go to an international tribunal, not a court in Belize, if this is violated. This, from a man who said as God is my witness, I will never pay that arbitral award. Well of course the man has now been forced to swallow those words and it is going down his throat like a jagged little pill. This is the point Jules; if this was a mere document of comfort, why up until now, the Belizean people have not seen it?”

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