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Dec 20, 2021

Waterloo Joins Stake Bank Vs G.O.B. as an Interested Party

This morning before the Supreme Court, leave was granted for three companies, including Waterloo, Belize Cruise Development and Belize Logistics Terminal Limited, to join an existing lawsuit involving Stake Bank Enterprise.  Earlier this year, the Feinstein Group filed a claim against the Attorney General, the Department of the Environment and the National Environmental Appraisal Committee in which it is challenging a decision made by NEAC to grant Portico, the parent company of Port of Magical Belize, environmental clearance, as well as permission to proceed with an Environmental Compliance Plan.  Portico would subsequently join the matter as an interested party.  With recent developments leading up to today’s session, Waterloo, represented by Senior Counsel Godfrey Smith and attorney Hector Guerra, also applied to join the matter as an interested party.  According to Smith, there were no objections from the defendants, nor was there any from Portico.  Stake Bank, however, raised an objection.  Following the hearing, News Five spoke with Smith who explained why Waterloo and its associated companies are interested in joining the suit.


Godfrey Smith

Godfrey Smith, Attorney-at-law

“The applicant, Waterloo and their associated companies, were aware of this case for some time but were not being sued, were not named as a party and thought that the matter was entirely one between Stake Bank, the DOE, NEAC and as you said, Port Magical.  However, it came to their attention at a fairly late juncture that if Stake Bank succeeded with the claim, the nature of the orders given would affect them as well and  therefore, because of that, they said well… we stand to be affected by this if Stake Bank succeeds which would mean that after we get EIA approval or if we get EIA approval, they could bring similar proceedings as they’ve brought against Port Magical and say that we’re not entitled to proceed because either they have an exclusive right or they weren’t consulted.  So the nature of the thing, the nature of the remedies that they are asking the court for can cover anybody else who wants to develop a cruise port in the Belize District.”


Isani Cayetano

“So what transpired in court today?”


Godfrey Smith

“Well essentially, it was just a hearing of that application.  The applicants, as I said, Waterloo and the other three associated companies asked the court for permission to be joined as interested parties.  Stake Bank resisted the application.  The three defendants did not, namely: the Government of Belize, the NEAC and the DOE said we don’t have an objection with you if you come in as an interested party and Portico, or Port Magical, as it is known, did not resist either.  They offered no objection to Waterloo coming in and basically arguments were heard, at the end of which the court agreed that we had made a case and satisfied the court based on the rules.  We had an interest and ought to be heard and therefore timeframes were put in place for us to file various submissions and dates of February eighth, ninth, and tenth of 2022 were then reserved for the hearing of this matter.”

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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