By AVA TURNQUEST
Tribune Staff Reporter
FNM deputy leader Loretta Butler-Turner yesterday rejected the claim that her earlier assertion of having never visited Peter Nygard’s home was a lie.
Showing a picture of himself and Mrs Butler-Turner at a memorial service, Golden Gates MP Shane Gibson charged that his FNM colleague had in fact visited the fashion mogul’s home.
However, Mrs Butler-Turner took The Tribune to the location in the photograph – which is not in Nygard Cay, but rather Mr Nygard’s mother’s house on West Bay Street.
Pointing out that she already disclosed her attendance at a memorial service for Mr Nygard’s mother, Mrs Butler-Turner yesterday repeated: “I have never been to Nygard Cay.”
Meanwhile, Mr Gibson argued that technically, the photo was taken at Mr Nygard’s home, as he owns both properties.
During his contribution in the House, Mr Gibson also called the FNM “elitist” and “hypocritical” for its stance against stem cell legislation.
Tabling documents which he said suggest the former FNM administration fast-tracked the residencies of persons with a criminal past, Mr Gibson charged that there was a double standard for the PLP and the FNM.
He also read into the record minutes from a meeting held with then-Minister of Health Dr Hubert Minnis, his permanent secretary, and former Senate president and attorney Lynn Holowesko to discuss a proposal by Matthew Feshback, CEO of Okyanos Heart Institute, for stem cell therapy.
Mr Gibson added that Mrs Holowesko formerly represented Okyanos.
He said: “Then there is the issue of stem cell applications while the now Leader of the Opposition was Minister responsible for Health… It is alleged that this same Okyanos Heart Institute which specialises in stem cell treatments, was approved under the FNM administration, without any legislation or policy being in place.
“Mr Speaker, what kind of thing is this? And yet they have the nerve to point fingers at us.”
Mr Gibson added: “This PLP government has also recently come under heavy attack by the FNM over our leader’s recent decision to lead a delegation to meet with stem cell researchers at the University of Miami. Well, the PLP was and is only doing its due diligence.
“That very same due diligence the FNM failed to exercise when it outrightly, without any legislation at all being in place, granted approvals to a stem cell-related facility in Freeport when it was in office. And they have the heart to what to criticise our leader and this PLP government for doing due diligence.”