During the last meeting of the Legislative Assembly, Parliamentary decorum broke down after Government Minister Charles Clifford – responding to a question fed from the Government’s back bench – made some accusations aimed at former Leader of Government Business McKeeva Bush.
Mr. Bush responded by calling Mr. Clifford a liar, in an exchange that Speaker of the House Edna Moyle had to have stricken from the official record.
The accusation dealt with a private/public collaboration to build a public marina in the Safe Haven area, and the apparent reduction of some 700,000 cubic yards of fill from Port Authority land, worth in Mr. Clifford’s estimation, CI$14 million.
Unfortunately, Mr. Clifford had been misinformed as to the severity of the problem by the Port Authority. He still maintains, however, that there is an issue with the stalled project that needs resolving.
There is indeed a big issue that still needs to be resolved about the project, primarily when it will be completed. That cannot happen, however, until a formal agreement is hashed out with Cesar Marina Corporation, the private company that started the work.
But instead of the focus being on that, it seems to be on McKeeva Bush and what he might or might not have done that was inappropriate with the deal.
The root of the issue appears to be that Mr. Bush would not have been authorised to agree to the final deal without the consent of the Port Authority Board of Directors, who had already agreed to the deal in principle.
Mr. Bush was Chairman of the Port Authority and Leader of Government Business at the time. If Mr. Bush did not have the Port Authority Board’s approval, which is something he denies in any case, Mr. Clifford would be technically correct that he did not have the authority to give final approval to Cesar Marina start the work on the project.
But, where will that get us? Mr. Clifford has already stated that what was done cannot be changed.
In the meantime, the fallout from the effort to discredit Mr. Bush has antagonised Cesar Marina, which was basically accused of utilising $14 million worth of Government property without official permission. That is probably not a good negotiating platform on which to put the company the government must deal with to complete the marina project negotiations.
The election is over. Mr. Bush and his party lost. He is no longer the person making Port Authority deals or any other deals.
It’s time to stop the vengeful politicking and concentrate on moving this country forward.