President of the Senate, Chester Humphrey has chastised Government Senator and Minister of State for Youth and Sports, Winston Garraway for not following the procedural rules of the Upper House of Parliament.
Sen Garraway attempted to distract Political Leader of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Sen. Nazim Burke who was seeking
clarification from the Leader of Government Business in the Senate, Simon Stiell who reported in his ministerial statement to the Senate that the unemployment figure in the country now stands at 28.9 percent.
Sen Burke wanted to know what is the statistical or scientific basis government is relying on for its claim that unemployment was over 40 percent when the New National Party (NNP) took Office in February 2013.
The Lead Opposition Senator who referred the matter to the President spoke of Sen Garraway often and repeatedly abusing his privileges in the Senate by making irresponsible statements.
“It is the responsibility of the Chair or the President to call Sen Garraway on these issues,” he told the sitting President.
Sen. Humphrey responded by saying he is not in a position to anticipate what any Member would do, so he could only act “after the bullet has left the gun.”
However, Sen Humphrey stated that Sen. Garraway’s intervention does not meet the standards of the House.
“I wish him really to comply with these standards. We’ve got to be civil, there is a certain level of decorum and I draw Senators attention to my inaugural address to the Senate that it is my duty to maintain the decorum of the House, and that I shall do without fear or favour,” he said.
“The decorum of the House for all Senators must be maintained at all times,” he added.
Sources within the Senate have told this newspaper that the President of the Senate is often not impressed with the level of contributions made at meetings by Sen. Garraway.
Sen. Humphrey noted that the rules are clear that when a Senator is
making a contribution he shall not be interrupted, and that Senators are to remain quiet and to listen, and not interrupt.
“If they (the Senators) want to make an interruption, which is allowable under the rules, they must do so with a certain level of decorum. We are not conducting a fish market, this is the Parliament of Grenada, the Senate of Grenada, the highest decision-making body in the land, and, therefore, the decorum must fit that stature, and I want all Senators to take note,” he remarked.
Sen. Humphrey stressed that his role as President of the Senate is to be a fair Arbiter and to maintain the rules, indicating that he gave a solemn commitment to follow those rules and to the oath that he took.
The Senate President reminded Members that at his inaugural address
he said that he has his own views on how the Senate should conduct itself.
He said that during the 23 years he spent in the Senate as a Member under different presidents, it has always been the Chamber where the decorum remains intact.
“We kept our debate at a certain level, at a very high level, and we believe that as an Institution that is how we should function,” he
The Senate President also made a case for serious efforts to be made to have institutional functionality for which he said the Senate must set the standard.
He said too many of the country’s Institutions have deteriorated to a point where they are disgusting in the way in which they function.
He made reference to the operations of the Department of Physical Planning which falls under the portfolio of the Minister of Works, Gregory Bowen.
Sen Humphrey indicated that the rule stipulates that no building should be constructed closer than 20 feet from the edge of the road, but people are allowed to construct buildings “right on the road,” with no opportunity for expansion and sidewalks.
In addition, he said there must be sidewalks that can allow pedestrians to traverse safely as the density of traffic is increasing but “Physical Planning Institute does nothing to enforce the rules”.