No answers to Opposition Senators Questions

Opposition Senator Franka Bernadine is annoyed over the lack of answers given by the Government Side to questions asked of them in Parliament.

The former Education Minister expressed her frustration as Leader of
Government Business in the Senate, Senator Simon Stiell was once again in no position to answer any of the questions filed by Senators Keith Clouden, the Farmers representative in the Upper House of Parliament, and Raymond Roberts, the Labour Representative during last week’s sitting of the Senate.

Sen. Bernadine pointed the President of the Senate to the length of time it is taking for answers to be provided by government.

She told the Senate session that was being presided over by Acting President, Sen Clouden in the absence of the substantive holder of the post, Sen. Chester Humphrey that questions still remained unanswered from the Senate Meeting of March 13, 2015 and were deferred from the earlier sitting of April 29, May 22 and now June 5.

“I would urge the representative of government on the other side to try and have the Civil Service answer these questions, because the public is asking these questions,” Sen. Bernadine said.

Sen. Clouden also called on Sen. Stiell to do all within his province to try to get the answers so that the questions can be laid to finally rest.

In one of his outstanding questions, Sen. Roberts wants to find out if the development project taking place at the old Silver Sands site at Grand Anse is in conflict with the 1997 Tourism Master Plan prepared for Grenada by the Organisation of American States (OAS).

The plan called for restriction with respect to further development projects along the world famous Grand Anse Beach as it was felt that the beach had reached its carrying capacity.

The report indicated that any new development should be sited in locations away from the beach, and that the marshland area south of the abandoned Silver Sands Hotel should remain undisturbed as this area helps to retain and filter flood water.

During the sitting, Sen. Bernadine also made an appeal to government to have the Senate Meeting rebroadcast on the Government Information Service (GIS) during prime time.

She made a plea for the rebroadcast to be done at a time when people would have the opportunity to view it and not during the wee hours of the morning when most persons are asleep.

She recalled that the rebroadcast was previously done on Saturdays and Sundays.

“I want to call on the government to return to that practice because people are missing what is being said in the Senate. They need to hear the debate… it is their business, it’s all our business (there is) nothing to fear from it,” she said.

Sen. Roberts who previously served as Director of GIS echoed the sentiments of his colleague Senator.

According to Sen Roberts, the Keith Mitchell-led ruling New National Party (NNP) administration owes it to the citizens to ensure that the debates in the Senate and the Lower House of Representatives should be rebroadcast at prime time.

Having been in the media for a number of years, Sen Roberts said it is necessary that people get two sides of every story.

“I don’t want to go as far as saying censorship, but it smells that way, and I would strongly advice that there could be nothing more important after maybe the… announcement by the Prime Minister than the debate in the Parliament, and they ought to be played at prime time,” he added.

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