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Minnis: Government Must Decide On Oil

By KHRISNA VIRGIL

Tribune Staff Reporter

kvirgil@tribunemedia.net

OPPOSITION leader Dr Hubert Minnis said the future of Bahamas Petroleum Company’s oil drilling hopes must be the subject a government decision, not a referendum.

photo

Dr Hubert Minnis with FNM colleagues.

Dr Minnis urged Prime Minister Perry Christie to take a stand on the issue, rather than becoming same leader he was between 2002 and 2007 – who was known for failing to take action on crucial matters.

The FNM leader was speaking in response to the announcement that Bahamians can expect to vote on oil exploration soon after the North Abaco by-election is completed.

On Tuesday, the government announced North Abaconians will head to the polls October 15 to elect a new representative.

It was also recently announced that the government told BPC it had fulfilled all its required licence and regulatory obligations, which granted the oil company a licence renewal for another three years.

Yesterday, Dr Minnis said the PLP has gained the reputation of a government of referendums, leaving the Bahamian people to govern themselves.

The FNM leader also asked a series of questions regarding the past relationship between BPC and certain PLP leaders.

He said: “Why engage BPC as opposed to a more established oil conglomerate such as Chevron, Shell, Esso or another experienced, well-known entity? Moreover, one also wonders about the relationship between now Prime Minister Perry Christie, his Deputy Prime Philip Davis and BPC. 

“How much was Mr Christie paid for his consultancy and how much money was paid to the law firm Davis and Co for their representation of BPC?

“Even more, now that Christie and Davis are the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister and the issue of BPC and oil drilling is now before them in their governmental capacities, which lawyer or law firm now has the legal portfolio to represent BPC? Does Davis and Co currently hold any funds in any escrow accounts for BPC?”

During the election campaign, Mr Christie admitted he did some consultancy work which benefitted BPC, but emphasised that his dealings with the company ended some time before.

Dr Minnis added: “We wonder if Mr Christie realises that now, having won 29 seats in the House of Assembly, the people have tasked him (and his party) with the role of governance.

“Mr Christie has become known for running governments of committees, of commissions and, now, of referendums. 

“Whilst one doesn’t expect Mr. Christie and the PLP — considering their acts of political cowardice concerning gambling/numbers, oil drilling and many other decisions — to act to ensure that such an undertaking is in the national interest and that our national patrimony is protected, the FNM calls upon the Bahamian people to demand that the PLP carries out their mandate to govern,” Dr Minnis said.

Comments

proudloudandfnm 8 years, 6 months ago

No way the PLP will hold a referendum on oil drilling. Too much money to ignore. Imagine the potential brines they could collect from an oil rig? We're talking hundreds of millions if not billions.

There will be no referendum folks...

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nationbuilder 8 years, 6 months ago

Dr. Minnis is completely wrong on this point. He supports a public opinion poll for gambling, but not for changing the entire way The Bahamas lives its life? Is he serious? So to him, buying numbers is more of a nationally important issue than oil drilling?

Send in the clowns.

Don't bother, they're here.

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TalRussell 8 years, 6 months ago

Comrades just you look at this tiny group of elected red shirt MP's. Maybe enough to fill a telephone booth, both equally as vintage.

Barely over 100 days since the Decision Day 2012 vote results were announced when their chief minister went on TV within 3 hours to Boohoo that he was no longer wanted by the natives as their PM?

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by TalRussell

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concernedcitizen 8 years, 6 months ago

my God your obsession w/ HAI is all encompassing ,,,,,even people that supported Mr Ingraham don,t turn every topic into a red shirt ,fisherman/lawyer from coopers town post .What is it w/ you and HAI...

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jasoncooper456 8 years, 6 months ago

I think Mr. Minnis realizes that if they hold a public vote they will be in less control of all the variables. For instance lets say the deal they are proposed from the oil company ensures Bahamian workers but less money for the government? Then the public would certainly vote for it to pass but the government could potentially LOSE money for the first 5+ years, and that's a blow we really can't afford. There is a flip side this could be profitable for Bahamians and Government (I think of them as separate entities because Bahamians usually get the short end of the stick) but if they hold a public vote it would actually give the people some power and God forbid that happens! I think Mr. Minnis just wants the government to have all the say possibly for shady reasons? Only time will tell where this is going.

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242 8 years, 6 months ago

I think what Dr Minnis is getting at is if some disaster like the BP oil spill were to happen in Bahamian waters Perry Christie can use the Bahamian people as a scapegoat and say hey you voted for this not me...He will hope this won't happen as he will personally make out Big if this is a profitable venture. But just in case he can point blame as he usually does...Or he and Tal Russel will say Ingraham secretly dove from his fishing boat under the oil rigs and sabotaged them

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TalRussell 8 years, 6 months ago

Me goin try get this right, by being fair to both PM's.

The lawyer/fisherman from Cooper's Town was a loud mouth who knew how to get results.

Many believe he was much better at it for foreigners and and his other select elite few ...now Comrades ... here's the but part .... but him didn't understand the mechanics of you can't expect to stay in office too long doing that crap.

PM Christie on the other-hand is the smooth talkin one of the two former law partners, but seems as confused as he was in 2002, about exactly how in the hell to you get anything done in Bahamaland?

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by TalRussell

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242 8 years, 6 months ago

Smooth talking with all them big words used out of context....great.... and why be a smooth talker? How bout a truth talker?

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TalRussell 8 years, 6 months ago

Some you red shirts so deeply fooled by the untruths they told you from 2007, all the way up to Decision Day 2012, and now beyond they firings from power, that if ya were all to be hooked up to some them polygraph machines, you'd pass with flying colors.

Now, Comrades that is talkin some serious smoothness?

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by TalRussell

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