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Mcalpine: Business People In Here Wouldn't Spend Their Own Money On Grand Lucayan

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PINERIDGE MP Rev Frederick McAlpine.

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

PINERIDGE MP Frederick McAlpine yesterday said businessmen in the Minnis administration would never spend their personal finances to buy the Grand Lucayan resort in the manner they are doing with taxpayer's money.

His statement was prompted by Free National Movement MPs in the House of Assembly, who appeared to mock him as he asked a series of questions related to due diligence efforts surrounding the deal.

"Every time I try to do this you try to make me feel I'm anti-something but, no, this is common sense," he said. "You do this if you trying to buy a house. And you know, I have this other thing brewing inside of me. We have a lot of business people in here and you wouldn't spend your own money to do this. If it ain good enough for my own money it shouldn't be good enough for the people's money and we must think like that. Don't get it mixed up and when I take my seat talk about 'oh you don't support Grand Bahama.' If you tell a donkey that in this Bahamas, they won't believe you. You lose credibility when saying such a thing to me or about me because people know better."

Mr McAlpine argued that though Grand Bahama needs a shot in the arm, buying the resort won't accomplish this.

Debate

Of the Free National Movement's five Grand Bahama parliamentarians, he was the only one to criticize the purchase of the resort during debate on a resolution to borrow $65m in the House of Assembly.

However, he said he believes the government's intentions are good.

"Government should not be in the hotel business," he said. "It's politically messy and makes for bad economic business. Nevertheless, I understood Uncle Bulla when he said circumstances alter situations. We have a situation here, that has led to the predicament the government now finds itself in. I believe the government means well and we're trying to do a good thing. Now whether or not this good thing is the right thing is yet to be determined. I've always said the purchase of the hotel should be the last option; whether it's now the first or last doesn't seem to matter. The reality is, we're here."

Mr McAlpine said the government should sell the three hotels separately rather than to one "person or business," believing "this wold lead to the recuperation of funds being spent for the purchase."

"It also lessens the strain in future business on the strip being monopolized by one individual or corporate entity," he said.

Mr McAlpine asked a series of questions relating to the deal. "Is the SPV required to be licensed by the Grand Bahama Port Authority in order for the SPV to own and operate the hotel property, considering that the property is located within the Port Area?" he asked. "Is Central Government in an untenable situation of being subject to the terms of the Hawksbill Creek Agreement, and would this represent a conflict of interest? If so, will the government have to pay the Grand Bahama Port Authority any license fees? Continuing with my concerns, let me take this opportunity to applaud the government in its quest to preserve approximately 400 Bahamian employees. Nonetheless, was each employee afforded the opportunity to either receive their severance package or continue their employment with the new owners of the property? Is the government paying the severance package, if so, why are we doing so and not the former owners?"

Mr McAlpine also became another person to question the success of the Grand Bahama Port Authority under its present leaders, saying that following the deaths of Edward St George, Sir Jack Hayward and Sir Albert Miller--"visionaries in their time"--the management of the authority no longer features the same "vigor, enthusiasm or commitment."

"It is my belief that the government must now step up to the plate and produce a vision for Grand Bahama and not wholly and solely rely on the Grand Bahama Port Authority to do so," he said.

Comments

Alex_Charles 1 year, 2 months ago

Nationalize a majority of shares in the port and put it up for sale.

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licks2 1 year, 2 months ago

Then watch the international fall-out. . .better still. . .it is a good thing we have the PC. . .protect us from such a "dog-day-afternoon" move!!

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sheeprunner12 1 year, 2 months ago

Mac is sooooooo right ........... The collective worth of the MPs is well north of $500 million ....... and they won't put up ONE red cent ............. Just a fact .......... our wealthiest 5% do not invest in tourism or agriculture ........ Then we wonder why our country bleeds all of its revenue.

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Greentea 1 year, 2 months ago

he is right on many points, especially the concern regarding monopolies. Innovative thinking in the house is like trying to find the holy grail. Since Bahamar and Atlantis seem to work they can't think their way towards an alternative form of business that would lessen the impact of a single company closing shop. Our form of cabinet offers a herd mentality, only thing this herd is doing is throwing the country and its scarce dollars over a cliff.

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TalRussell 1 year, 2 months ago

Where is the first comrade red shirts MP, honest say this "shitty" hotel purchase further demonstrates the crown's Imperial red shirts cabinet members - will do and say anything to hide impulsive rush buy hotel way they caved into the hotel seller's demand be paid unopened and opened rolls Toilet Papers.... something they tried when they placed the fake signature fix in to lay deceptive, misleading OBAN contractual details before the feets House Speaker.... the Toilet paper caper - might better explain - why the PM was in such shitty mood - when he told the prospective foreigner buyer hotel - where he could go stuff his demands up?

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B_I_D___ 1 year, 2 months ago

On point...purchase was the WRONG decision...where's my VAT refund!!

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licks2 1 year, 2 months ago

He should come on this site and calculate his "juice". . .look at the names who cheering him on. . . THIS MAN HAS VERY LITTLE KNOWLEDGE ABOUT WHAT HE IS TALKING ABOUT. . .he don't care what is said or done. . ."THEY WRONG". Being a moral gadfly takes a lot of knowledge and reasoning skills. . .obviously lacking with this man. A gadfly can be a valuable assert to any party. . .however, there is a very tiny tiny tiny line between gadfly and a bitter spoiled person who smarts because he/she can't get in on the action. . .gee them a lil piece of the action and they go automatically blinded. Gadfly takes a special kind of person. . .

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