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Now Mcalpine Attacks Evacuation Law - And Pm

Pineridge MP Rev Frederick McAlpine.

Pineridge MP Rev Frederick McAlpine.

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Deputy Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

PINERIDGE MP Frederick McAlpine said yesterday it makes no logical sense to legislate mandatory evacuations without first having safe places on every island to send evacuees.

Calling the move “putting the cart before the horse”, the backbench MP said the amendment bill was reactionary and gave the impression that there would be no law change had Hurricane Dorian not devastated Abaco and Grand Bahama.

The proposed bill was not the only point of contention for Mr McAlpine who further criticised the government’s death toll reporting.

For nearly two weeks, this number has stood at 61.

However, the MP said this “miniscule” number has caused the world to view the country as “unintelligent” and “disingenuous” given speculation the figure is much higher.

Mr McAlpine also said some Bahamians were extremely upset that Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis seemed to show more compassion for Dominica than for those storm torn islands of the Bahamas.

“We should have been called back from vacation as an assembly prior to the entrance of Hurricane Dorian and then perhaps presented with this bill,” he told the House yesterday during continued debate on the Disaster Preparedness and Response Amendment Bill. “Pineridge would have considered it even timelier.

“We are reacting to an action, as supposed to systematically and intellectually coming up with something conducive and uncontroversial for generations to come. Pineridge recognises the need for mandatory evacuations, especially after the death of so many individuals. There ought to be legal and ethical foundations for this to be carried out. I presume that’s why we are here.

“Nonetheless, we have to understand the psyche of our people and the circumstances that sometimes lead to our people not wanting to evacuate.”

He continued: “There were hurricane shelters on the island where people had to abandon the shelter in the middle of the storm to run for their lives. If I have to make a choice between dying at home or in a shelter, which one do you think I’ll choose? Many of the places being used as hurricane shelters are not structurally sound nor are they elevated to be free from flooding.

“Pineridge speaks about priority as a government. Whereas it is important to eventually have a mandatory evacuation bill, Pineridge thinks it’s initially far more important for the government to build structurally sound hurricane proof centres throughout the Bahamas. Then we can discuss mandatory evacuation. Mama would say, you are putting the cart before the horse.

“It makes no logical sense to me demanding mandatory evacuation without having a safe place to put the evacuees. Whereas Pineridge comprehends what the government proposes by way of mandatory evacuation, this bill seems a bit vague. It needs more specificity to speak to that of hurricanes, fires, flooding, medical outbreaks or natural climatic disasters.

“When we make bills in here we have to consider future generations. If this bill talks about mandatory evacuation without naming the causes, an incoming prime minister can be a psychopath and may decide to declare a political or economic disaster.

“On that note, let me hasten to say that the bill gives too much power to a prime minister. Such decisions should be made in consultation with the Cabinet of the Bahamas or even voted upon in the House of Assembly.”

Regarding the official Dorian death toll, Mr McAlpine said the government seemed out of its depth.

“This talk about less than 100 deaths by Hurricane Dorian does not sound good in the local and global sphere.

“To give this minuscule number to the world, knowing that we expect it to be far greater, causes the international world to look at us as ignorant, unintelligent, disingenuous, or simply said, a government that is out of its depth.

“The Bahamian Diaspora outside of this country have been embarrassed by this and more as it relates to Hurricane Dorian. Mama said what you give to the world you can’t take back,” he concluded.

Comments

Well_mudda_take_sic 3 weeks, 6 days ago

May be McAlpine has come to his senses and is getting ready to join Chipman? Hopefully other FNM MPs also come to their senses. One thing is for sure - Minnis has lost his senses - assuming he had any to begin with to lose.

Even before Dorian many of us were gravely concerned about Minnis's apparent lack of the core competencies and instincts necessary for anyone to be a good and effective leader. But Dorian has quite clearly left him without any clothes - totally bare for all too see him for who and what he truly is. And it's not a pretty picture!

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The_Oracle 3 weeks, 6 days ago

Core Competencies, what a novel thought, nowhere to be found in a political campaign. nowhere to be found post election. Nowhere to be found post disaster. Nowhere to be found in bum rushed Legislation. Mandatory evacuation is un-enforceable. the other provisions as yet un debated are far more concerning. Seems the opposition and house are hung up on the least of the potential evils. Or maybe they salivate at the thought of total control.

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mandela 3 weeks, 6 days ago

McAlpine raises a good point, real sanctioned and constructed hurricane shelters must first be built, because they may have you evacuated to a shelter that is worst constructed than your own home.

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proudloudandfnm 3 weeks, 6 days ago

I wondered the same thing, where will they be evacuated to? Good question there MAc..

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proudloudandfnm 3 weeks, 6 days ago

We had areas flood here on GB that are nowhere near the water, if I lived in Hunter's or Arden Forest I would not even have thought about evacuating. So I am not sure how they'll decide who needs to be evacuated, I seriously doubt Arden or Hunters or back a tan or Bahamia north would have been ordered to evacuate, no one would have thought those places would flood. No one expected that storm surge to travel 5 miles to flood Freeport. So this seems nothing more than emotional reaction. Like in Abaco BPL says the north did well so they'll build the new plant in the north. Come on man, that's just stupid, had Dorian shifted just a little bit the north would have been slammed too. Best to build a plant that is designed to withstand flooding and CAT 5 winds.....

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TalRussell 3 weeks, 6 days ago

The majority 32 comrade red shirts House's MP's is in a prime minister replacement position now, but will they have bullocks to shuffle their way up the driveway Mount Fitzwialliam, yes, no ....

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The_Oracle 3 weeks, 6 days ago

Y'all are missing the real point: The evac B.S. is stopping you all from reading further in the act Read past that first clause. The rest aught to scare the hell out of all of us.

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Porcupine 3 weeks, 6 days ago

This is the first step towards a dictatorship. Allowing a PM like Minnis to call the shots by himself. McAlpine is exactly correct. Every island should have a tornado proof shelter. A concrete dome shelter is cost efficient and can also be used as a school, gym, or library. McAlpine states, "If this bill talks about mandatory evacuation without naming the causes, an incoming prime minister can be a psychopath and may decide to declare a political or economic disaster." Why does it have to be an "incoming" PM? Why can't it be the one presently in power? Once again, there are very real and consequential issues which go unattended to for lack of an "C" education or above. We are witnessing this on a national level. Of course, there are always suckers to give assistance to those unprepared for reality. For instance, Minnis speaking his bullshit at the UN. Seriously? Does anyone really believe that this guy made it through an accredited medical school? Be honest.

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