Heard the arrogance coming through today on Brasstacks between Maloney and Ellis. Maloney says he can take his plant and his water and sow it any part of the world. White capitalist class attitude thumbing his nose and finger at a 95% black population. Well Maloney tek ur filthy lucre and haul allyuh azz from bout hey. Yuh chopsutter, gaul bline yuh yuh red effing leg. Fkg JA swine. Wunna so can manipulate azzoles like Stuart and make him lose all 30 seats. Mottley got more sense than that and Gabby mekking sure all yuh don’t get away with this nasty attitude wunna got that Sparrow sang bout “all is mine,all is mine” and I add,”black man whine”
The blogmaster also listened to the arrogance dripping from the words of Mark Maloney yesterday. He referred to an ‘underground’ segment of the Barbados society that in his opinion delight in resisting the effort of businessmen like himself.
While listening to Maloney rubbish the constitutional right of Barbadians to agitate and advocate in the democracy we live the blogmaster recalled an observation by the then leader of the opposition Prime Minister Mia Mottley.
One man cannot get a $24 million contract at Valerie, $28 million housing contract at Grotto; a $42 million molasses storage tank, 20-year contract in the Barbados Bridgetown Harbour… Coverley which is over 1,100 houses at which the government is only receiving less than $2.50 a square foot on the land there; 2,300 lots at Bushy Park that have been committed to in an MOU [Memorandum of Understanding] but mercifully the contract has not been signed [by] the National Housing Commission to give them the lots.
Mark Maloney is this a case of you condemning the prime minister of Barbados because in a past life she also railed against the unreasonableness of one contractor receiving over 1 billion dollars in investment? Have you included her in the ‘underground’ group railing protesting your projects? What has the ‘investment’ in the GROTTO done for Barbadians? If the blogmaster was not acutely aware we live under a democracy you would be advised to shut your Rh mouth.
Mottley went on to observe at the Barbados Chamber of Commerce (BCCI) lunchtime discussion in 2017.
…the Hyatt Hotel, the land at the Port where the cement plant has gone and there is a Town Planning dispute. Bushy Park Racing Circuit itself, the plot to sign businesses on the highway and I can go on and on. One person cannot get more than a billion dollars in contracts at the very time that Barbados has a smaller economy at the end of the decade than it started with at the beginning.
Mark Maloney you continue to be the beneficiary of concessions on many if not all of the government projects you were awarded. Do you know who is underwriting the concessions? Barbadians have a Rh right to protest how potential government revenues are being forgone if they are inclined. It is our Rh money.
Barbadians have been described as passive and ignorant by people of your ilk. Do not think the blogmaster is not aware. Here is a free bit of advice. If you have a problem with the right of Barbadians on the rock to protest take your own advice and go to Rh long.
This is a follow up to Part 1 of the Coverley Cover up blog posted on October 25, 2018. The objective by posting part 2 is to illustrate with pictures what Villages at Coverley homeowner Monica Boyce has been seeking the cooperation of property management to address without success so far.
Submitted by Monica Boyce, nee Greaves, Coverley homeowner
I just wanted to put behind the past and live a quiet life – me, Monica Yvonne Boyce (nee Greaves), a 61-year-old Barbadian who spent 20 years in the US, and then lost my dream home at #28 Prior Park Heights, Stage 2, St. James in unprecedented malicious and horrific circumstances.
After seeing the offerings at The Villages at Coverley, some seven and a half years ago, I decided to purchase a home there for the sum of $289,000, with an agreed $100 plus in monthly maintenance.My conveyance is not with Coverley’s management, but the Ministry of Housing (from Derek Alleyne, Director of Urban Development Commission).
I chose # 979 Tamarind Drive because I found the view of the St. George valley and the St. Philip skyline, particularly inspiring. I bought this cash, and moved in April 7 2011. My home consists of two bedrooms, one bathroom, a living room, and back patio, outfitted with washer, dryer, fridge, stove and plumbing and electrical fittings.
There were only a few of us at the time, and I basically kept to myself, but, as time went on, I met other residents at the Meet & Greet sessions. I felt it was a warm place until I saw little things that were not adding up.
The defectiveness of the finishes soon became apparent. From the outset, there were constant leaks in the roof, so I constantly needed to do repairs, after the six-month warranty. When I called on management (“Anna” on behalf of Mark Maloney), there was no satisfaction. The roof would be fixed, yet the leaks persist to this day. Other residents experienced similar issues, and I noticed a pattern. Whites are catered to, while Blacks are ignored.
The Whites live almost exclusively in Avocado Avenue, and appear to have different rules from the other residents, and are treated differently. For example, trees are not to exceed the height of the fence. Yet Avocado Avenue residents have trees a number of feet over this height and are allowed to erect garden ornaments, a liming spot and decorative figurines. This practice is not permitted in the Villages by Mr. Mark Maloney.
When the Fresh Market supermarket opened three years ago, I decided to support it and would spend $300 in produce every week, only to have it rot by the time I got home in the shuttle. The quality is poor and pricey, so I no longer shop there. I go to Massy, Worthing, which is, ironically, cheaper. Similarly, the store fronts are empty. Tenants move in and quickly move out due to high rents.
It’s not “a place to call home”. It’s a TRAP! Coverley is an 18th century plantation, with Anna as overseer, cracking the cat ’o’ nine tails on the backs of the black residents, with her lynch men on bicycles reporting on residents’ activities.
There are strict rules in force. For example, if you want to sell your home, you are not allowed to erect a “For sale” sign in front your house. Initially, garage doors had to be uniform, although they were later changed when purchasers were not forthcoming because of this restriction. Management makes changes at will and then informs residents, as if by decree.
Notably, on signing up, I was informed there would be a bowling alley and church constructed behind my home. However, two years ago, after being away in New York I returned to find instead a monstrosity erected (a warehouse for Fresh Market), a blatant breach of contract. The construction was so massive that it compromised the structural integrity of my back wall, causing a crevice.
One of my immediate neighbours wrote a letter to Management about this, and was informed that structural engineers would assess the damage. I then spoke with the supervisor, Rommell, and, in true puppet form, he reiterated this. However, this never materialised, and whenever I brought up the issue with management, no action was taken.
The Coverley product is clearly of poor quality. The tiles are extremely dangerous and slippery when wet, and, once when I accidentally broke a tile, to my shock, it was a plastic covering.
The countertops are just veneers.Imagine the supposed “granite” finish in the kitchen has started to bubble up! Furthermore, the house was to be outfitted with a lawn, as outlined in the contract, but this, also, did not materialise. When I queried this, I was told the six months’ warranty had expired, so I would have to look after it myself. The maintenance fee is also questionable – supposedly for street cleaning, garbage collection and with the mail boxes in a state of disrepair, needing painting.
You fall in love with the concept and without scrutinizing the property, overlooking any faults. You, honestly fall victim to “buyer beware”. By January 20 this year, I was at the end of my tether, and approached Management, boisterously complaining about the warehouse’s location, the rotten produce at Fresh Market and the poor garbage service collection. A light-skinned woman came out the office and asked me not to curse at her. I calmly explained I was chastising her (as opposed to her presumption that I would use profanity).
The Police have forcibly picked me up twice this year since my interaction with management and taken me to the Psychiatric Hospital where I have been detained and treated in an undignified and contentious manner. The first time occasion was on January 21st, Errol Barrow Day. I remember vividly as I was listening to excerpts from his speeches. I was detained there for two and a half weeks, and the more recent incident occurred August 14th for a two-month period.
While there, Coverley’s management somehow obtained my daughter’s e-mail, and informed her there was human and canine faeces in my house, and that the neighbours were complaining about rodents’ entering their homes.
They harassed her to such an extent that she suffered a nervous breakdown and had to be hospitalised. Since she, too, has been persecuted and given the fact that I never at any point gave them her contact information, I need an award on her behalf. I gave no authorisation to anyone to enter my home. They were trespassing. The e-mails clearly show that Coverley‘s management had been in my home unlawfully. I have all the e-mails sent to her as evidence.
I live on a disability cheque from the US, and when I came home, I had to pay almost $400 to have my phone reconnected, and my water bill was $500, although there was clearly no progression on the metre.
All over Coverley it was rumoured that I was a mad woman. WhatsApp was abuzz. People were looking at me strangely, and gossip was rampant. Life was never the same. I realised who were genuine neighbours and who were fake. Every time I see a Police car, I’m traumatised. My every move is watched and whenever I have a visitor, a management truck is in front my door. These are the conditions you are living under at “a place to call home”’. I reiterate it is a trap.
I should mention that I have been diagnosed “bipolar” for 36 years, but in the US I was never treated in this inhumane and callous manner. Over there you are classified as “special needs”, but in here in Barbados, you are labelled “mad.” It’s most unfortunate – derogatory, extremely archaic and colonial, dungeonous even, based on ignorance, void of basic education, no compassion, no understanding. These are the conditions under which I live in Barbados, a supposedly educated and literate people. I have nothing to be ashamed of. It’s their problem, not mine. After the unlawful detention, I kept my own space because I knew one day I would come to the Press.
Now let me make it clear. I have NO intention of leaving Coverley. I bought this house as a retirement home. Management has to be replaced, and my daughter also must be compensated for the persecution she suffered.
After spending some $500,000 total on my home to date, I want compensation. I want money. I have a criminal attorney, Lennox Miller, on the case, and I am suing the Police and the Psychiatric Hospital for abuse of power and Coverley’s management for breach of contract.
Assistant Superintendant Thomas visited my home October 8 and said she had received a complaint from my lawyer, and assured me that the case is being investigated. I was happy you see that at least SOMEONE has principle. The Commissioner of Police at all levels also appears to be an honest and upright human being.
The Treaty of Chaguaramas, of which Barbados is a signatory, categorically states you are to be free from Police persecution and free to walk freely as a human being (among other things). Yet, all of my rights were violated by Coverley’s Management, the Police and the Psychiatric Hospital. So I’m demanding justice.
Submitted by David Comissiong, Citizen of Barbados
SO FAR as the Hyatt Hotel is concerned, I — David Andre Comissiong – – have no “olive branch” to offer to anyone!
I wish to state for the record that I have never said anything about offering the new Barbados Labour Party (BLP) government any so-called “olive branch” in relation to my case challenging the permission granted by former Prime Minister Freundel Stuart to Mr Mark Maloney’s company to construct a 15 story Hyatt Hotel on beachfront land at Bay Street.
The term “olive branch” — used in relation to the so-called Hyatt Hotel case — is entirely the concoction of the Barbados Today online newspaper: and I would appreciate it if that newspaper would adhere to basic journalistic ethics and refrain from putting words in my mouth.
Let me make my position very clear in relation to the so-called Hyatt Hotel case:-
In March 2017 I filed a Judicial Review application against the then Democratic Labour Party (DLP) Government, in which I requested a Judge of the Supreme Court to review the manner in which Mr Freundel Stuart, the Minister responsible for Town and Country Planning, had processed Mr Mark Maloney’s application for permission to construct a 15 story Hyatt Hotel on the Bay Street beachfront.
I maintained in my Judicial Review application that Mr Stuart had committed a breach of the Law of Barbados by failing to require Maloney’s company to carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), and that , as a result, the grant of permission to build the hotel should be squashed.
Mr Stuart responded by questioning my right — as a Citizen of Barbados — to bring such a Judicial Review application against the Government of Barbados.
And when the presiding Judge — Madam Justice Dr. Sonia Richards — ruled in my favour, Mr Stuart appealed to the Court of Appeal against the Judge’s ruling.
This is where the matter stood at the time of the change of government on the 24th of May 2018.
Now that we have a new Government, I have been questioned by the news media as to the fate of the Court case, and I have made my position absolutely clear :-
If the new BLP Government wishes to see the back of this Court Case that they have inherited from the previous DLP administration, they would have to do the following things:-
(1) Firstly, they would have to DISCONTINUE the Appeal that was lodged against Dr Richards’ ruling! (This is important because the Judge’s ruling confirmed that we, the Citizens of Barbados, DO have the right to challenge in a Court of Law nationally important decisions and actions of our Government that affect us — not in our personal capacities– but that affect us in our capacities as Citizens of the country.)
(2) Secondly, they would have to CONCEDE that former Prime Minister Freundel Stuart was WRONG in Law when he granted permission to construct a 15 story beachfront hotel without having carried out an EIA ( inclusive of the holding of Town Hall meetings) in respect of the proposed construction project..
(3) Thirdly — and most importantly — they would have to CANCEL the permission that was wrongly granted to Maloney’s company, and would also have to give an undertaking to require the staging of an EIA in the event that Maloney’s company makes a new application to construct the said Hyatt Hotel.
If the new BLP Government is prepared to carry out these actions, then I would have no need to continue the litigation against the Government, and the way would be clear for both sides to negotiate a discontinuance of the litigation.
How any of this can be construed as “offering an olive branch” is really beyond me!
Permit me to also state for the record that I am convinced that once Maloney’s application is subjected to an objective EIA that the findings of the EIA WILL confirm that the construction of any such 15 story hotel is NOT permissible because:-
(1) It will do tremendous damage to the physical and architectural landscape of Bridgetown;
(2) It will cause Barbados to be stripped of its UNESCO World Heritage Site designation;
(3) It will create massive problems for the Bridgetown and South Coast sewage systems; and
(4) It will impinge severely on the Barbadian people’s access to and enjoyment of one of their most prized and favoured beaches.
In other words, the staging of an objective EIA will disqualify the proposed 15 story Hyatt Hotel.
No location has attracted more conversation – and criticism – than that of the protrusion on the ABC highway at Coverley. One suspects that the name Mark Maloney associated with the controversial project is responsible for a lot of the chatter. The blogmaster does not mean to trivialize the issues raised by the leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley relating to written objections by government agencies responsible for the regulating of the highways and byways of Barbados.
Our concern is about the equitable application of the law so that John Citizen is satisfied all citizens are correct in the expectation there isn’t two Barbadoses. Against this perspective the blogmaster has been asking what is the difference in the protrusion on the ABC Highway at the Belle junction compared to Coverley. The only difference the blogmaster is able to discern is the absence of vegetation at the Belle.
The BU household values the characteristic of fairness. We hasten to state there is no brief for Mark Maloney in our household. The following pictures serves to illustrate why there is a need to be fair in how the relevant government authorities have acted in the matter of the Coverley/ABC junction.
DAVID A. COMISSIONG, President, Clement Payne Movement, Citizen Advocate
In light of the revelations contained in the newspaper article titled Long-time concerns about Coverley junction design and published in the Sunday Sun of 25th March 2018, I would like to make a public request to Director of Public Prosecutions— Ms Donna Babb — to utilize the power granted to her under Section 79 (2) (c) of the Constitution of Barbados to immediately discontinue the criminal charge of causing death by dangerous driving that was recently preferred against Ms Felisha Holder in relation to the death of her son, Abijah Holder-Phillips, in a tragic motor-vehicle accident three years ago.
The Sunday Sun article revealed the existence of no less than three official Ministry of Transport and Works (MTW) documents that unequivocally testified to the fact that the manner in which Mr Mark Maloney’s company had designed and constructed the entrance (unto the ABC Highway) of The Villages housing project at Coverley in Christ Church was inappropriate, deficient, and challenging or dangerous for motorists.
These documents are as follows:-
(1) A Ministry of Transport and Works file No 32211 Vol 4 (a file that pre-dated 2012-03-07) in which it was recorded at Minute 161 that “the entrance is not well designed, and it utilizes the hard shoulder which as designed creates a challenge for motorists” ;
(2) A Memorandum dated 7th March 2012 from Mr Frank Thornhill, the then Chief Technical Officer of MTW to the Chief Town Planner of Barbados, in which Mr Thornhill not only apprises the Chief Town Planner of the above-mentioned negative assessment of the design, but also goes on to reassert that the design “encroaches on the road shoulder“; and
(3) A July 2015 letter of Mrs. Cheryl Bennett-Inniss, written in her capacity as the then Deputy Chief Technical Officer of MTW, to the Permanent Secretary of MTW, refuting Mr Mark Maloney’s untruthful claim that it was the MTW that had designed the controversial junction, and also making the point that the design of the junction was “deficient”.
In light of the foregoing, it would seem to be the case that Ms Felisha Holder was- in the words of William Shakespeare- “more sinned against than sinning”.
Indeed, it would appear that Ms Holder and her precious eleven year old child– Abijah — were victims of a deficient and dangerous stretch of roadway.
Furthermore, how heartless is it for a supposed “Justice” system (and those human beings who operate it and make the decisions) to bring such a charge against a mother some three years after the tragic and traumatic incident.
Ms Holder would have spent the last three years trying to process and come to terms with the profound feelings of grief generated by the tragic death of her child. And now here comes “the system”– three years later — opening up all the old wounds again!
Well, Section 79 (2) (c) of our national Constitution provides that “the Director of Public Prosecutions shall ….. have power in any case in which he considers it desirable so to do —
(c) to discontinue at any stage before judgment is delivered any such criminal proceedings instituted or undertaken by himself or any other person or authority.”
Now, I am not aware as to who was responsible for instituting these criminal proceedings against Felisha Holder — whether it was the Commissioner of Police, the DPP herself, or some private individual. But what I do know is that Ms Donna Babb, our newly appointed DPP, has the power to bring the said proceedings to a halt.
And in the name of justice, decency, and humanity I call upon Ms Babb to do precisely that! Discontinue these heartless criminal proceedings against this young mother of our nation!
Again we are forced to make the same inquiry about one Mark George Daghorn, 49, of West End, Queen Street, Speightstown, St Peter who was charged with wounding with intent 39-year-old Ricardo Vincent Corbin in November 2016. A google of the name ‘Mark Daghorn’ details a few interesting stories. Go ahead, see for yourself.
BU understands Daghorn operates three restaurants in the North of the island and that the aforementioned charge against him was dropped. If the information received by BU is correct the blogmaster is curious to ask why? Daghorn is free to convey his side of the story which the blogmaster promises to publish (unedited).
At the BCCI luncheon in November 2017 Mia Mottley- the featured speaker- shocked many with the revelation that one company (individual) in Barbados was able to secure ONE BILLION dollars in government contracts. The company (individual) is Preconco (Mark Maloney) of course.
Those who traverse the ABC highway airport stretch cannot help but notice the many houses at different stages of construction. A reminder this is a failed Mark Maloney project.
Incomplete houses @Coverley#1
Incomplete houses @Coverley#2
Those who have reason to travel by the proposed Hyatt Hotel location on Lower Broad Street all that is visible are two Robinson Crusoe like thatched huts. Clearly the contentious Hyatt hotel will not be completed during the tenure of the incumbent government. Another Mark Maloney project the government has been unable to mobilize.
Another contentious Mark Maloney initiative is the area located on the Barbados Port Authority compound where Mark Maloney stores his Rock Hard cement. As far as the BU household is aware a stop order was issued by the Barbados Courts for Mark Maloney to cease and desist from constructing the shelter where rock hard cement is being stored. To the surprise of many BU observed recently that Mark Maloney has continued construction of the storage area. Did the court give Maloney permission (in secret?)
Rock Hard #1
Rock Hard #2
Should Barbadians be fine with one man securing so many projects?
The average Barbadian is blissfully unaware about what goes on in the Barbados business underworld. Deals are made in smoke-filled rooms and the ordinary Barbadian is left to emit sounds of fury on the talk shows and on social media. How was Vision Development incorporated in the nick of time to land a deal to develop the Hyatt hotel? How come government was 100% receptive to Mark Maloney when he decided to import cement to force prices down in Barbados and he was able to secure the contentious site on Port Authority lands? Is it a coincidence this matter has been mired in legal rigmarole? How much foreign exchange is being spent anyway to import Rock Hard cement? How come Mark Maloney was able to secure a sweet heart deal with the government to plant the houses at Coverley? If BU is correct there was a plan to develop an area in Bushy Park similar to Coverley.
The latest question BU is asking.
Has the Blue Horizon hotel, the GEMS property been sold to Bjorn Bjerkham and Mark Maloney for 5 million dollars?
By our calculations this computes to less than $5,000 per room. The last valuation bandied about in public was 17 million dollars. The enduring legacy of the Stuart government will be the shroud of secrecy and more than a hint of corruption attached to transactions.
Will somebody SHOUT GROTTO and the use of the Housing Industrial Fund to pay Maloney?
Over the past week or so an entity named “Hyatt Centric Development Team” has been sending out invitations inviting selected persons to a “public interactive discussion on the project” at the “site of the Hyatt Centric Resort, Carlisle Bay, Bay Street, Bridgetown” on Saturday June 10th, 2017.”
This development constitutes a callous “slap in the face” of all Barbadians and a monumental insult to our intelligence!
Indeed,these people are so contemptuous of us that they are bold-facedly holding a public town hall meeting (or as they term it— a public interactive discussion) NOT during the period of the processing of the application; NOT prior to the Minister making a decision on the application, but some four (4) months AFTER the Minister has made his decision to grant permission to construct the controversial hotel!
This meaningless town hall meeting is therefore simply a window dressing and public relations exercise on the part of the developer ! It has no substance or utility!
The whole purpose of a public town hall meeting is to give the Citizens and residents an input or say in the decision-making process BEFORE any decision is made by the authorities.
Indeed, when a public town hall meeting is held as part of the processing of an application for a construction project it is stipulated that a record MUST be made of the meeting, and that the record must be forwarded to the Town and Country Planning authorities for their consideration PRIOR to the making of a decision on the application.
I wish to reiterate that the application of Mr Mark Maloney’s company for permission to construct a 15 storey hotel on the beach at Carlisle Bay required that the proposed project be subjected to an Environmental Impact Assessment(EIA) BEFORE any decision could be properly made on the application. And the staging of a serious and meaningful public town hall meeting would have been an integral requirement of the EIA process!
Here, for the record , is what our Town and Country Planning Department’s “Handbook and Guide To Town Planning” says about this matter:-
Any application to the Chief Town Planner which requires the preparation of an environmental impact assessment SHALL be the subject of a PUBLIC MEETING. The EIA report shall be made available to the public for a period of not less than twenty-eight (28) days to allow for perusal and scrutiny. The EIA report SHALL be made available within the community, district or main public library and the Town and Country Development Planning Office.
No later than fourteen(14) days after the public meeting the applicant is REQUIRED TO SUBMIT THE REPORT OF THE PROCEEDINGS TO THE CHIEF TOWN PLANNER.
The public meeting shall be advertised on local media and at least one daily newspaper announcing the availability of the EIA report at the commencement of the twenty-eight day period. The advertisement should occupy at least one quarter page in the newspaper and should be bold and noticeable.
Furthermore, Section 12.2 of our country’s Physical Development Plan stipulates that “where Environmental Impact Assessments are required they shall be completed to the satisfaction of the Chief Town Planner PRIOR to approval being given“.
In light of the foregoing, the proverbial “Six Million Dollar Question” is :- “Why wasn’t this particular project subjected to an Environmental Impact Assessment, inclusive of a substantive and meaningful public town hall meeting in which we— the people of Barbados– could have asked serious questions, demanded answers, and recorded any concerns or objections that we might have about the project ???
Somebody will have to answer this question , whether that answer is provided in the public domain or in the confines of a Court room.
This week the Prime Minister of Barbados Freundel Stuart deign to address an issue which has been of concern to many Barbadians. It is an open secret David Comissiong’s challenge of the decision to grant approval to Mark Maloney of Vision Development Inc to build the Hyatt Centric Resort on Bay Street reported to cost USD100 million has rubbed the Barbados government the wrong way. Minister Denis Kellman has declared Comissiong an enemy of the state. Minister Donville Inniss has dived in with his usual rhetoric by stating he would, if he had the time, stand in protest outside David Comissiong’s place of work. It is ironic to note that our laws support Kellman’s labelling of Comissiong as an enemy of the statement as well as Inniss’ bluster to protest outside Comissiong’s office.
Prime Minister Stuart’s response to the Hyatt issue is interesting. He seems to be of the view that citizen advocate David Comissiong’s application for a judicial review is not supported by the law. We say to Stuart if he believes such is the case why not let the Court decide where the matter has been delayed a hearing because of the unavailability of the judge? In the matter of Michael Carrington withholding clients funds from a client your response was to advise him to seek redress in the form of acquiring legal counsel. Why not be consistent and allow the legal apparatus to work for Comissiong who has followed the advice you gave to Michael Carrington who stole- or more euphemistically- withheld $244,000 dollars from a wheelchair bound septuagenarian?
BU’s position is a matter of public record. The attack on citizen advocate David Comissiong’s right to access the laws of Barbados by members of the Cabinet of Barbados is the issue BU will steadfastly defend. In fact, we go further to question why the large cadre of lawyers registered to operate in Barbados have up to now avoided the opportunity their training affords them to be ideal citizen advocates. In a democracy it is critical for citizens to organize to pressure the “establishment” and to date the legal fraternity has been delinquent as a group.
The position prime minster Stuart has taken to question the legal grounding of Comissiong’s judicial review application was made the more interesting by a recent decision handed down by Privy Council of England in the matter originating from Trinidad & Tobago Reginald Dumas v Police Service Commission on the right of the High Court to hear an application by a citizen to interpret a provision of the Constitution. The gist of the Privy Council’s decision is that there is merit under the law to entertain an application from a citizen if it was deemed in the public interest.
What does the Barbados law support Mr. Prime Minister?
We note that you have not quoted any law to support your position and until you do it will be punished with laughter by onlookers. It must gnaw at your innards that Comissiong wrestled the amendment to the Immigration (Biometrics) Regulation 2015 to the ground and he now has the Hyatt project in his sight. The pressure you and members of the government must be absorbing from those who are demanding a return on the 2013 campaign financing contribution must dig deep.
As you would be aware, the hearing of my Interlocutory Application for an Interim Order suspending the grant of permission to Mr. Mark Maloney’s company pending the full hearing of my Judicial Review application, is scheduled to be held in the Chambers of Justice Randall Worrell at 9:30AM on Tuesday 25th April 2017.
Under the Constitution of Barbados, all legal proceedings are to be open to the public unless there is some special reason for excluding members of the public (inclusive of members of the news media). There is no reason why members of the news media should be excluded from the hearing tomorrow. In fact, I would welcome the idea of having members of the media present in the Judge’s Chambers tomorrow morning to hear and report upon the proceedings in this case that has such great public import.
In the circumstances, I would like to suggest that one or more manager (s) of the various media houses approach Justice Worrell for permission for representatives of the news media to attend the hearing in his Chambers tomorrow morning.
Perhaps Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler and Minister of Industry Donville Inniss could explain to us Barbadians how the process of having Mr Mark Maloney construct a hotel at Bay Street, St Michael would boost Barbados’ reserves of foreign exchange.
It would seem to me that Mr Maloney would be likely to use up and further deplete Barbados’ reserves of foreign exchange during the process of constructing his hotel, since most of the construction material that he would be using would be imported into Barbados and would therefore have to be purchased with our scarce foreign exchange.
Any possible foreign exchange earnings from such a project would clearly be several years down the road, if and when the hotel gets up and going and is able to attract additional foreign tourists to our Island.
Furthermore, it is factually incorrect to suggest that I, David Comissiong, have had Maloney’s project put on hold by way of a High Court injunction. Rather, what I have done is to ask a Judge of the Supreme Court of Barbados to subject the grant of permission to Maloney’s company to a process of JUDICIAL REVIEW.
The facts are as follows:-
In July 2016 Mr. Mark Maloney made a public statement asserting that he would be commencing the construction of a 15 storey Hyatt hotel in September 2016 .
I then responded to Maloney’s statement by writing to BOTH the Chief Town Planner and the Minister Responsible for Town and Country Planning (Mr Freundel Stuart) expressing consternation at Maloney’s statement, and asserting that the Law of the land demanded that Maloney’s application be subjected to a physical and social “Environmental Impact Assessment” (EIA).
Needless to say, I received no response from either the Chief Town Planner or the Minister — not even a letter of acknowledgement of receipt of my letter !
Furthermore, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart — the Minister Responsible for Town and Country Planning — ultimately went ahead and simply granted Maloney’s company permission to construct their 15 storey hotel without having the benefit of the findings of an Environmental Impact Assessment to guide and inform him in the making of his decision.
It is against this background that I decided that it had become necessary to have a Judge of the Supreme Court of Barbados examine the manner in which Mr Stuart had dealt with the application of Maloney’s company, and determine whether Stuart’s decision was lawfully made. This legal procedure is known as JUDICIAL REVIEW and it is provided for by the Administrative Justice Act, Chapter 109 B of the Laws of Barbados.
It needs to be noted that under the Laws of Barbados there is a category of construction projects that require the carrying out of an Environmental Impact Assessment “BEFORE” any permission can be granted for them to go ahead. And this is so because these projects possess the potential to do serious damage to the precious physical and social environment of our country.
It is therefore in the best interest of our country to have a Judge of the Supreme Court examine Mr Maloney’s project and its implications for the physical , social, cultural and heritage environment of Barbados, and determine whether the manner in which the Application for the project was processed by the Minister was in compliance with the standards and procedures required by the Laws of Barbados. This is what the Application for Judicial Review that I filed in the Court on the 22nd March 2017 is all about.
I also subsequently filed an Interlocutory Application requesting that the Court grant an INTERIM ORDER suspending the Grant of Permission to Maloney’s company until the Court can hear and make a decision on the JUDICIAL REVIEW application. This request for an INTERIM ORDER is in keeping with Section 72 of the Town and Country Planning Act of Barbados. However, this Interlocutory Application has not yet been dealt with by the Supreme Court of Barbados.
Furthermore, Mr Stuart, the Minister Responsible for Town and Country Planning, has indicated that he is opposing the request for an INTERIM ORDER suspending the grant of permission to Maloney’s company while the Court carries out the process of JUDICIAL REVIEW.
Thus, as of today’s date, the grant of permission to Maloney’s company still remains in effect, and, to the best of my knowledge, Maloney is continuing to do work on the Bay Street site.
Ultimately, a Supreme Court judge will review this entire matter and will determine whether the permission that was granted to Maloney’s company was lawfully or unlawfully granted. If it is determined that the permission was not lawfully granted, one would then expect the Court to quash the decision and the permission.
At mid-day today, Tuesday 21st March 2017, I hand delivered a letter to the office of the Attorney General, putting the AG on notice that I will be challenging the permission granted by Mr Freundel Stuart, the Minister responsible for Town and Country Planning to Mr Mark Maloney’s company, Vision Developments Inc, to construct a 15 storey hotel on the beachfront at Bay Street, St. Michael.
I intend to file the Fixed Date Claim form and the supporting Affidavit at the Registry of the Supreme Court at 1PM tomorrow, Wednesday 22nd March 2017, and to hold a Press Conference immediately thereafter at the Clement Payne Cultural Centre in order to shed light on the content of the Claim and to further explain the reason for taking this action.
The News Media is invited to cover both the filing of the Court documents and the following Press Conference.
“Minister of Social Care Steve Blackett wants to know why ‘town hall meetings are needed now for every project…Were there town hall meetings when they imploded the Hilton Hotel?” he asked in reference to the Opposition Barbados Labour Party…Blackett said: “What are they talking about, we are an action Government” while blaming the Opposition for the poor state of the Empire Theatre, which has been out of use for the past 24 years” – page 6 of Barbados TODAY dated February 7, 2017
Pray tell me Mr. Minister, did you not say that your Government is a “people-centred” one?
If it is, that is what such a Government does – keep the populace informed, and that’s the best way of so doing.
If you are “an action Government” why haven’t you grabbed the bull by the horns -instead of just looking at pointing fingers at the Opposition – and repaired the theatre?
You are in power almost nine years now, and you had the time so to do.
Were the Chinese the only people you could turn to?
Seeing that you are “an action Government”, why not do something relevant and show us that you are really one and beside, a “people-centred” one?
How about rectifying the situation at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), the Geriatric Hospital and Psychiatric Hospital where conditions are not conducive to the nurses working there – so much so that they are leaving for greener pastures?
Giving Hyatt permission to build a 12- or 15-storey twin-tower hotel on Browne’s beach is great action against the populace of this country!
Not knowing how high the building is to be should be reason enough to turn down the application!