During the House debate on the Development Bank of the Virgin Islands (Transfer of Assets and Liabilities) Act, 2017 on Thursday 11 May, Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon. Ronnie Skelton and Third District Representative, Hon. Julian Fraser had a brief exchange of words.
The objects and reasons of the Bill noted that it is the intention to allow the Bank and the Government to be able to sell shares to a statutory body or a BVI registered company. However, Hon. Fraser questioned the intent of government for taking such a step.
The Third District Representative said: “You got to admit that this is a slippery slope that you are going down on. And as much I understand what they are doing today, their motive is what I question.”
This suggestion that the Government might have ulterior motives did not sit well with Hon. Skelton who rose to his feet and noted the Standing Orders that say that a member should not impute improper motive on another member. “You are not supposed to do that; why are you doing that,” the Health Minister announced.
However, Hon. Fraser did not retract his comment. Instead, the Third District Representative stated: “He (Health Minister) cannot say that my motive is improper. I have to wait until you do it…No one should be in denial that once this is done tonight, it is a template for future action along the same.”