TCI News

TCI: Parliament passes 10 Bills in one day sitting

#GrandTurk, July 31, 2018 – Turks and Caicos – The House of Assembly has in its last two Meetings secured for itself an impressive new record in the passage of Legislation.

During its 19th July Sitting, Parliament passed 5 Bills inclusive of the following:

  1. MSME (Amendment)Bill to widen opportunities for budding entrepreneurs in Islands outside of Providenciales in tourist activity and to allow for a quicker approval of applications under the MSME Program;
  2. Immigration (Amendment) Bill to ensure that persons who are granted PRCs in the investment category retain the investment for a 5yr period before parting with the investment;
  3. TC Islander Status (Amendment) Bill to enable the establishment of the TC Islander Commission to process applications for citizenship other than by marriage;
  4. Electricity (Validation) Bill which corrected actions begun since the 80s and
  5. Road Safety (Amendment) Bill to introduce two new classes of public transportation to replace the illegal jitney services

There was near Bi partisanship on all Bills except the Road Safety Amendment Bill where there was no support from the former Minister and representative for Grand Turk North.  Nonetheless all 5 Bills were passed.

The House of Assembly met again on Friday, July 27, 2018 to consider the following Bills and in a show of bi partisanship, members of the House of Assembly passed all 10 Bills in a single day sitting.

On the Agenda were the following Bills:

  1. Gaming (Control) Bill 2018 which Debate was deferred two weeks before;
  2. Banking (Amendment) Bill 2018;
  3. Financial Service Commission (Amendment) Bill 2018;
  4. Companies (Amendment) (No.2) Bill 2016;
  5. Prevention of Terrorism (Amendment) Bill 2018;
  6. ​Proceeds of Crime (Amendment) Bill 2018;
  7. ​Financial Intelligence Agency (Amendment) Bill 2018;;
  8. Customs (Amendment) Bill 2018
  9. Miscellaneous (Amendment) (Offences) Bill 2018 and
  10. Court of Appeal (Amendment) Bill 2018

Premier Robinson commenting on this important feat stated that, “We are often quick to show up each other’s shortcomings and negativity but I pause to celebrate the bi partisanship I saw in the House of Assembly.  There are instances that I personally expect full bi partisan support and was only recently disappointed that it was not so with all members of the Opposition on the amendment to introduce the legal transport to replace the illegal jitney. But I was pleased with the show of support for the last set of Bills. We got off to a slow start with a number of members being absent and a number of withdrawal of members from the Gaming Control Bill which has seen over 2 yrs of consultation and delay in its debate from the Meeting of the 19th July.  With two members overseas, two declarations of conflicts and 4 members declaring Church positions and  thereafter abstaining from Debate, the Bill received wide debate.  There was objection by members of the Opposition to the Gaming Control Bill and this persisted amidst the proposers sharing the importance to regulate and control the existing Industry and to ensure it meets International standards. Members of the Opposition disagreed in their report on the consultation that began under the former Administration.  There was a healthy debate even among Government’s back and front bench.

There was an unprecedented show of bi partisanship during the evening where only two members the Opposition remained to discuss critical amendments for the regulation of the financial services industry and I wish to thank the Hon Washington Misick, the Leader of the Opposition and Hon Ruth Blackman who stayed the course and made contribution to the critical Bills that were all moved by the Attorney General that allowed TCI to be in a better position ahead of another assessment later this year.

It is such a thrill when people demonstrate this level of commitment to the people’s work whether opposing or supporting recognizing that each one has a voice that should be heard.

We have therefore been able to pass 15 critical pieces of legislation and we should all be proud of this record.”, Says Premier Robinson on the two most recent sittings of Parliament.

 

 

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