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Jul 15, 2022

Opposition Questions Briceño Administration on Pending Waterloo ECP Approval

Shyne Barrow

The Government of Belize says it is prepared to support Port of Belize’s cruise terminal and cargo expansion initiative, also known as the Waterloo project, if they are able to meet all environmental requirements. The National Environmental Appraisal Committee, NEAC, denied environmental clearance for the project in November 2021. Shortly thereafter, Waterloo lodged an appeal of the decision, on the grounds that the justification for refusing the environmental clearance are “flawed, legally unsound and unable to withstand judicial scrutiny”. Several months have since passed and NEAC is yet to approve the project’s Environmental Compliance Plan. Today, Leader of the Opposition Shyne Barrow questioned why the necessary environmental approvals are being stalled. Here is that exchange.


Shyne Barrow, Leader of the Opposition

“Will the Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Development please update this honorable House as to what his Ministry is doing to find solutions to the problems that are stalling the Waterloo Port project proposal, which if approved will bring tremendous economic development to Belize?”


Prime Minister John Briceño

“Madam speaker, I have to confess that this is a curiously worded question by the Leader of the Opposition. I say curious, because the question is not particularly well worded. If I recall, this is the man that said he is paid for putting words together. He said he has made millions of dollars putting words together, he has gotten Grammy and he is a multi-millionaire. It just nuh spend ih money pan his Party but that is another matter. He won his Grammy for rapping but yet ih can’t put together a simple question to the House. I am still trying to grapple what is behind this thing. It is quite straight forward, because everybody knows you are trying to sing for your supper, but in this case rap for your supper.”


Shyne Barrow

“Madam Speaker, on a point of order, Members should not impute improper motives on other members. You reviewed those questions, you made alterations to those questions, and he needs to answer the question straight forward, no speculations, and no elucidation, answer the question.”

Prime Minister John Briceño

“Let me provide a concise response, repeating information that has been aired publicly. The National Appraisal Committee, and independent body charged with assessing and improving environmental compliance plans continue to review the environment plans for the proposed cruise ship terminal at the Belize site in Belize City. In the most recent update to Cabinet, indicated that certain critical information from the applicant remains pending. The absence of that information approval, or disapproval could not be given. Nobody is above the law. Once again, government’s position is simple. The law requires a NEAC approval for a project of this nature and magnitude, no less than the health of Belize’s Barrier Reef is at stake. There are no massive projects that this government has stalled. If the Port of Belize project is a good one this government will support it. But, before we do that, they need to follow the law and go through the NEAC process.”


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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