A fellow Senator in the House has accused leader of Government Business in the Upper House of Parliament, Senator Simon Stiell of misinforming the Senate.
Farmer’s Representative, Sen. Keith Clouden who made the accusation during his contribution to the debate on the 2016 budget, was referring to lands at Laura Estate in St. David’s that have been given to a non-national.
“Why is it the Leader of Government Business always try to provide this House with misinformation?” Sen. Keith Clouden asked as he displayed pictures of destroyed productive cocoa trees, which he said, are from the Laura Estate.
In a previous sitting of the Senate earlier this year, Sen. Stiell who was at the time a Junior Minister in the Ministry of Agriculture, said, while replying to questions asked by Sen. Clouden, that the Ministry of Agriculture is not aware that 25 fully bearing cocoa trees were cut down in order to accommodate the construction of a private dwelling house to an individual whose name has been given in the Senate as “Miss Douglas” on the Laura Estate.
Sen. Clouden, last Friday, told a meeting of the Senate, while displaying pictures, he knew that what Sen. Stiell said on that occasion was definitely not true.
“I have the evidence here, Mr. President, of cocoa trees that were cut down, fully bearing cocoa trees… that were cut down on the Laura Estate”, the Farmer’s representative kept repeating while Sen. Stiell looked on rather bemused.
According to Sen. Clouden, while students who have graduated from the Farm School in Mirabeau, St. Andrew’s are looking for lands, government has made available ten acres of land on Laura Estate to a non-national.
He also said the same non-national is associated with a fast-food business in St. George’s, and is refusing to purchase local poultry although being approached by poultry farmers.
Sen. Stiell who was clearly upset by the charges laid against him said he stands by the answers he had previously provided to the Senate.
“The answers to these questions have already been provided – if he (Sen. Clouden) has an issue with the answers, and I stand by what was previously provided to this Honourable House, and that position still stands, if the Senator on the other side wants to challenge that, I suggest he do(es) it in another forum, and the information that he is providing is contrary to what has already been answered formally in this House,” he added.
It is not the first time that Senators have accused the Leader of Government Business in the upper house of not giving truthful information in Parliament.