The topic of whether the Government knew beforehand of the Rosewood Little Dix Bay closure was explored during a public meeting that was held in Virgin Gorda on 2 November.
At the meeting a former employee of Rosewood Little Dix told the gathering that she was always skeptical about the explanations and promises that were made before the closure, and announced that she made her views known at meeting that was held: “People here know I told them…A promise is a comfort to a fool, and I am no fool. Don’t play me either because I am not an instrument, I am a human being.”
During the meeting, Former Legislator and Speaker of the House of Assembly (then Legislative Council), Keith Flax announced that the closure of Little Dix Bay is poised to extend beyond the announced 18 months: “They said that they were going to take 18 months, but with the slow work of rebuilding Little Dix we know 18 months is going to roll into two years; and those laid off will have to reapply,” Flax told the residents.
Meanwhile the main speaker of the night Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Julian Fraser declared that there is no way the government was not given early notice of the closure. He also said that he has been following the unemployment situation and asking questions.
“Out of concern for you the people of Virgin Gorda, in June I asked the Premier, how many of the 336 and 25 laid-off employees from Rosewood Little Dix Bay Resort and YCCS respectively have been placed into new jobs? In answering, the Premier made a point to clarify the actual number of persons laid-off by both establishments as of 30 April 2016 to be 319. And went on to explain that he had established a help desk which not every affected employee had registered with, however 112 of the Little Dix employees had found new employment.”
“I further asked where were the jobs found? And he replied that 32 businesses on Virgin Gorda, 12 on Tortola and four on the other islands had provided the employment to date. He was also asked how many of that total laid-off have returned or intend to return to their native land as a result of being unemployed? To which he replied, that his records show that eight of the employees that were laid-off left the BVI or returned to their native land,” the Leader of the Opposition said.