Updated: James Paul MP Fired From The BAS – James Paul Presides Over Irregular Meeting Of The Fruit And Vegetable Growers Association (FAVGA) Annual General Meeting

Submitted by Black Man

James Paul MP, former CEO of the Barbados Agricultural Society

The elections were highly irregular and totally improper. Below are a list of anomalies:

The presiding officer, Mr. James Paul- CEO of BAS, allowed all person(s)  present to vote once they had paid the $50 registration fee before the election. This was despite vehement protests from bona fide members. This is in breach of Article 5, section (iv) of the FAVGA constitution that says “Application for membership shall be made to the Headquarter’s Office on the form prescribed by the Association. All applications must be approved by the Committee of management before the applicant may be admitted to membership.”

The persons who turned up for the first time and registered to be a member of the FAVGA and voted, were never approved by the FAVGA management committee as required by the Constitution.

There were instances where more than one member of a farming enterprise was allowed to vote, even though only one member had been approved as a registered member by the committee of management.

At least one person there, Mr. Jeffrey Nurse of BADMC indicated that he had received correspondence about two months ago accepting him as a member of the association. Yet the last correspondence the committee of management received for consideration of membership was at the April 14th Committee of Management meeting. Mr. Nurse went on to be elected as the Vice President of the Association.

The wife, daughter and oldest son of the CEO of the BAS, James Paul were all present and allowed to vote even though no application for membership was received for them by the committee of management.

Records from 1998-2009 indicate that neither Ms. Deborah Gill nor her husband Mr. Andrew Gill were ever a member of the Association. No application for membership was received from either of them between 2009 – 2011. Mrs. Gill went on to be President of the Association.

Several bona fide members of the FAVGA received no correspondence about the AGM including Mr. Michael Forde (Former Vice President), Professor Frank Alleyne and Mr. John Daniel.

In the last 3 years attendance at the AGM totaled less than 30. This AGM had 60 voting members.

56 thoughts on “Updated: James Paul MP Fired From The BAS – James Paul Presides Over Irregular Meeting Of The Fruit And Vegetable Growers Association (FAVGA) Annual General Meeting

  1. Hypothetically SPEAKING – I wonder if conditions on the ground would be markedly different if C.O.W Williams decided to plant up acres and acres of BAJAN* holding a MONOPOLY* over agricultural food production… I wonder what the attitude of BLACK BAJANS* would be…

  2. What is the management structure at the BAS – is there a Board in place and, if so, who is the Chairman or would this be a decision of the Minister or Cabinet? Is something still expected at the BWA as well?

  3. BAS is an organisation representing farmers, the acronym stand for barbados agricultural society, it used to receive a sunvention from govt, i know that anthony wodd had reduced that subvention because the subvention was used to pay salaries,

    How can anyone that has any modicum of commonsense state or imply that it is under the purview of the ministry of agriculture,

    • It is 5 minutes into the CBC news and no mention of Paul’s firing yet.

      Updated: must have missed it but did not hear a mention of the firing of Paul on CBC. Now if that is not news don’t know what is.

  4. Obediant Man….. ; It is partially correct to consider the BAS as being under the Ministry of Agriculture, even though it is a private sector body, as that Ministry has significant clout in that institution especially since BAS is an important institution in the delivery of Agricultural policy in The Island. Whether the subvention is large or not it could be comparatively substantial if there is a possibility of it still being used as a private piggy bank by BAS management as rumour had it that it was used in the somewhat distant past.

  5. To Caswell Franklyn:
    We are awaiting your take on this one. I bet you have been waiting for JP’s Nemesis to arrive. Call it divine retribution.?
    Remember your prayer at the last COB AGM? Come forward and shout,”Hallelujah”!!.
    But remember, today it’s me, tomorrow it might just be you. Or have you been through the horn-pipe and already paid your life membership dues to the Club of Hard Knocks, like me!

  6. @Checkitout

    You are talking a load of rubbish. Bas has an association with the Ministry of Agriculture because it interest is in the area or agriculture as it represents the farmers, and that is the only association.

    When wood cut the subvention to Bas i was in agreement. let me inform you that BAS is an ngo, and like most other NGOs, it receives a subvention from govt. The BFA,the Red Cross among others, all receive subventions from the govt, are they apart of govt. Ignorance is no excuse,


    we really agree on something at last.

  7. @David

    I am trying to find a posting whereby one of your bloggers stated that an employee after working with the company for two weeks, having denied sick leave submitted a doctor.s certificate and subsequently recieive sickness benefits, i have been informed by my friend at nis that u cannot get sickness benfits if u have no made 7 contributions. I would suggest the writer check with nis for any clarifications.

  8. Obediant; “Tell me Why” said above “Wow! This is interesting. BAS under Agricultural Ministry. BWA under Agricultural ministry. Who’s next.”

    I won’t say you are talking a load of rubbish. You do have a good point, but it is not an all inclusive one. If we use the various subventions as a link and recognize, as you have implied above, that it is possible to equate “under” in this case with “associated with”, would you say the BFA or the Weightlifting Association, with which I think you are very familiar, is “under” the Ministry responsible for Sport or with some other Ministry? Or that The Red Cross is under the Ministry responsible for Health or some similar Ministry? In like manner, the BAS could only be “under” the Ministry of Agriculture.

    I took “Tell me why” to be merely pointing out an interesting connection between the recent rumours of firings and loosely used the word “under” instead of the more correct term “associated with”. In either case the implied connection is an interesting one even though it might not have any basis in verifiable fact.

  9. WHY is this an issue ?
    WHY should this be of any significance ?
    IS it because he is an elected member of Parliament ???
    CAN’T you see that I dont care about this nonsense??

  10. Checkit-out: Recently, certain key people were blabbing their mouths without communicating with the substantial ministry. Regardless how you look at it….BAS is still under the argricultural ministry.

    TO DAVID; It is a waste of time watching Complete Bias Corporation (CBC). Not a word about BAS and Paul; not a word about Alleyne and NUPW or UDC. However, PS Sandiford-Gardner had two live shows and a roll of unimportant news by the PR news reporter. I realise that three new kindergarten schools will be opening soon. Probably this is the reason for the forced closure of the Wilkinson’s successful school. Who’s behind these new schools?

    • We accept the point about the BAS and the link to the ministry of agriculture. The bottomline is that the BAS was established by an Act of parliament and receives annual government subventions. That is enough to make the linkage in the context Tell me Why did.

    • On another note, VoB reported that Paul was fired, Barbados Today is suggesting he was severed, Paul when contacted stated he is on sick leave…

      Looks like we have a power keg situation here. It is interesting to note reference was made in the Barbados Today report that the dumping of Paul may have to do with his conduct at the recent The Fruit And Vegetable Growers Association (FAVGA) Annual General Meeting reported in this blog. To our knowledge this is a matter which none in mainstream media has touched.

  11. One good thing about Paul is that his English has improved by two percent since he became a vocal politician … 2% is good after all it is headed in the right direction …

  12. Here is my take on the whole James Paul issue. Pauls firing would have had to be contemplated over a period time. I do not believe that the incident alluded was enough to provoke the wrath of those who have the power to change Paul’s future. I believe that his delivery must have been under review for sometime and hence the board. who ever is responsible for the big decisions, found him wanting. I believe that during his tenure he has taken the BAS to new heights but eventually everyone reaches a plateau. Maybe James has reached his platuea and now its time for the interjection of new blood and ideas. James bow out gracefully you are still a member of parliament and with that comes a hell of a lot of perks

  13. Could there be some sort of a surreal connection here? Was’nt Haynesley Benn fired by BAS from the same post when he was only Owen Arthur’s cousin?

  14. Paul states to nation he is fired but does not know the reason why. smh so many different stories from one situation

  15. @anthony

    We all know he was fired and it was over the very story reported here on BU. Also how can we forget how he treated Vincent Layne (sheep farmer) on a talk show recently, scruffy indeed.

  16. @David

    what goes around, comes around. If he is on sick leave he cannot be fired. So this should be an interesting case.

    The Ministry of agriculture has no say in the running of bas and consequently, one cannot deduce that it is under the purview of that ministry regardless to whether is was established by a act of parliament or not, plain and simple.

    when we speak about an entity under government, we mean that the minister responsible for that entity can influence policy direction and formulation. We need to be careful with our words and get our reasoning correctly.


  17. Obediant said The Ministry of agriculture has no say in the running of bas and consequently. Total nonsense. Tell me Why would like to know if you are aware that Government and Ministers have nuff clout in policies where you have Governmental funding. The few coppers that are invested by Government (subventions) gives them a voice, just like how any director would operate. A phone call can change anything my friend.

  18. Paul should asked all those people fired by his government since 2008 if they were given a reason for their dismissal.

  19. Obediant, Tell me why, David;

    I don’t have any inside facts and am just going by the media reports, but here is my analysis of the facts that we currently have on this matter.

    It has to be a fact that Government could, “by a phone call” seek to and perhaps influence policy in an institution such as BAS where its subvention to that body could possibly mean the difference between,say, someone furthering his education or having access to the latest blackberry or to something else that is important to the individual or the institution. There is nothing on the news that suggests that this happened in the current case, however.

    It is a fact that the BAS board has been somewhat mavericky in the past and apparently now where it has seemingly thumbed its nose at what one would perceive to be the best interests of Government or at least a powerful “government” figure. Indeed, it seems that they often, in different administrations, set out to show the government in power that it has no real control on its policies through actions such as these. In that sense Obediant is correct.

    James Paul has been a very effective CEO for BAS as far as the general public is concerned but I recall that many farmers felt that his actions were not necessarily actually in tune with farmer’s needs in the past even though the words were usually spot on. Could there be a possibility that even though James Paul’s persona and accomplishments are viewed very favourably by the general public that he might still have been found wanting in doing the things that really mattered for the current people who pay him.

    James Paul is an intelligent man. There has to have been some very powerful reasons for him to have, seemingly, undemocratically padded the voting list for the elections mentioned in the chapeau to this blog above in the manner reported. He had to be fighting for a particular very important outcome to the elections. If his candidates lost it seems that he would have stood to lose something of considerable value to him. If his candidates won, and it stuck, perhaps that outcome would kick-in in the next BAS administration. Maybe it is for that reason that the current administration seems to have acted quickly to start to effect the changes mentioned now rather than later. There is probably much more in the mortar there than the pestle.

  20. Benn must be laughing now, saying what goes around comes around.

    Institutions receiving sunventions as a rule from government are supposed to submit copy of their audited fincanicial statments for the continuance of subventions. A lot of them do not.

    when wood was minister of agriculture he had asked the ceo to submit a development plan for continuance of the subvention and that organisation would not comply, thus the subvention was drastically reduced.

    I would repeat, the govt does not control bas, it is accountable to the members of farming community who pay subscritptions to the body. Yes there are times when BAS has received substantial assistance from Govt throught FAO Technical Cooperartion Programme. .

  21. David

    You know that I like to check my facts before I write so I obtained a copy of the Constitution of the Barbados Agricultural Society. Article 3 states:

    “The Barbados Agricultural Society shall not be or become a political organization, nor shall the BAS or any part thereof, deal with any matter from a partisan viewpoint. It shall be the duty of the Board of Directors to preserve the non-partisan status at all times and to give immediate attention to, and deal with as they see fit, any action by any officer or director which in their opinion is prejudicial to that status”.

    I interpret that to mean that a member of parliament from a political party should not be an officer of the BAS. It is my understanding that the incoming Board is contemplating re-employing Mr. Paul: How could they do so when the Constitution is so clear?

    It would that the lawa of the BAS are optional depending on who you are.

  22. @David

    Think of how many boards/ministries/governments refuse to follow the rules they are govern by it quite easy for bas to say to forget about them also not that they should

  23. Hmmm! Interesting! Very Interesting!!

    So a rational interpretation of the BAS constitution seems to suggest that a sitting member of parliament should not be its CEO unless he / she totally takes off his/her political hat when conducting his/her BAS duties.

    The Board would have some knowledge on whether or not Mr. Paul was de.jure politically partial but de facto politically impartial in his duties over the past several years, even predating 2008. Did they weigh him in the balance and find him wanting?

    So It seems that Mr. Franklin has provided what must be the major reason why Mr. Paul was reported to have taken a number of entirely undemocratic actions at the FAVGA meeting to ensure that he remained in office ultra vires the constitution. Such undemocratic actions now seem to be engrained features in both the DLP and the BLP in the recent media disclosures of how some candidates were selected. Does it appear that we are now in a situation where anything goes for a party or an individual to remain in power or office? Does this portend what is likely to happen in Barbados in the future irrespective of who wins the upcoming elections?

    So it appears that the incoming board is contemplating re-employing Mr. Paul.

    It is absolutely clear that the outgoing Board at BAS, by firing Mr. Paul, was seeking to uphold the constitution of their association while the posts above suggest that Mr. Paul knew that his actions at the FAVGA meeting would assure him of continuing in his job through a board that he knew would be willing to wink at the BAS constitution.

    Everything seems to be falling down here.

  24. @Caswell

    There is nothing in that statement to prevent an elected member of parliament from heading BAS. It said that the entity shall not be or become a a politcal organisation. Has BAS become a politcal orgnisation under Mr. Pauls’s tenure and how long has he been leading the said organisation?..

    Please note that i am not querying the firing of Mr. Paul,my interpration is different to yours, but i am no lawyer and will wait for the lawyer on this blog to give guidance..

  25. Obediant

    You do not need a lawyer: do not sell yourself short, the article of the BAS constitution is written in English. It is therefore only a matter of English comprehension. The Board is required to preserve the non-partisan status of the BAS. A sitting parliamentarian on either side of the House would tend to prejudice that non-partisan status.

    If one Board acted contrary to the intent of the constitution and allowed Paul to be CEO, as they called him, a new Board would be compounding the error. By the way, the constitution does not provide for a chief executive officer: it provides for a general manager, but I suppose that CEO sounds more impressive.

  26. I agree with Caswell, and my understanding is that from 2008 there were persons on the Board pressing for the matter to be dealt with. Mr. Paul in turn sought to ensure that he could influence the board by positioning his allies to chair the board and thereby avoid the million dollar question. There was also the continuing question of accountability, and his seeming inability to represent all interests impartially

  27. To Obediant:
    Rules of FAVGA state that no person can vote at an annual general meeting unless their membership has been approved by the board of directors. T o be precise one can not be a member unless your membership has been approved y the board of directors. Why is it that DLP Paul took members of his family and friends to the last meeting; paid for them at the meting, and allow them to vote, as he conducted the elections, which sought to get rid of the the president and the vice president? Obediant do not be a DLP deviant, accept that your party of tiefing miscreants is imploding.

  28. @Lemuel

    You are either challenged intelltualy or stupid or your politcal bias prevent you from being able to contribute or respond to what i have written. Perhaps you might be a slow learner chose which ever apply and i shall understand and empathise with u.

  29. @Caswell

    I stand by my interpretation, let us agree to disagree on this matter. What is the blog name of the guy that use to write from a legal perspective.

    • @anthony

      What is playing out here vindicates the position which Caswell raised that the CEO’s position should not be politicized.


      Looking forward to reading the piece on the sluggish workings of the NIS tribunal.

  30. @ obediant;
    You sure can EMPATHISE with Lemuel, the intellectually-challenged slow learner! But as the saying goes: ” It takes one to know one”!
    My sympathies!
    Those who live in glass house should not throw stones!

    • David

      Maybe you can help me: Is the Carlisle Brathwaite that is trying to reinstate James Paul as CEO of BAS the same Carlisle Brathwaite that was or still is the Chairman of the DLP Branch of the DLP? If you can confirm that then I would have something to say. I am truly hoping that it is not so.

    • @Caswell

      The Carlyle Brathwaite who is associated with poultry farming has a different spelling and to be honest have never heard his name associated with politics.

      Here is his Linkedin profile.

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