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The Speech from the Throne outlining Government’s Legislative Agenda will be delivered by His Excellency the Governor Mr. Augustus J. U. Jaspert during the First Sitting of the Third Session of the Fourth House of Assembly (HOA) on Thursday, November 5.
According to Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie, “The Speech from the Throne is prepared within the Premier’s Office in consultation with Ministries. The Speech is then deliberated and approved by the elected Government of the Virgin Islands. Subsequently, the Speech is delivered to the Governor. During the First Sitting of the HOA, the Premier and Minister of Finance, then moves a motion to invite the Governor to read the Speech from the Throne.”
“I am pleased to say that we are ready for November 5. The Governor is in receipt of the Speech from the Throne approved by the elected Government of the Virgin Islands,” he said, adding that in the upcoming Session of the HOA, his Government will introduce and amend different pieces of legislation under the theme: Driving BVI Innovation Through Legislation.”
Premier added that his Government’s vision continues to be focused on transforming the Virgin Islands into a leading regional economy through innovation, entrepreneurship and local and foreign investment by 2025.
“In order to drive BVI innovation through legislation, our Government will deliberate each piece of legislation within the context of building a stable diverse and competitive economy through trade, industries and the people of the Virgin Islands,” he said.
Premier Fahie further explained that due to COVID-19, the Government had to readjust its plans during the Second Session of the Fourth House of Assembly.
“As a result, some pieces of legislation were not brought forward in 2020 in the timing projected. They will be brought forward starting from this upcoming Session along with other new ones,” Premier said.
He added, “Despite COVID-19 and the attention required to keep the people of the Virgin Islands safe, I am pleased that in June 2020 alone, several pieces of legislation collectively passed by all Members in the House of Assembly without dissent.”
“We are pleased, however, that we were able to pass revenue generation initiatives such as, but not limited to, what is found in the Gaming and Betting Control Act 2020, Stamp Duty Amendment Act 2020, Asset Seizure and Forfeiture Act 2020, Cannabis Licencing Act 2020,” he stated.
The Premier added that he looks forward to the upcoming Session and looks forward to all Members of the HOA embracing their parliamentary privileges to debate the proposed bills.
“I also look forward to public and stakeholder consultation and the healthy debates and inputs which are all important to a healthy democracy” he added.
The Sitting will begin at 10:00 a.m. and will be held at Save the Seed Energy Centre in Duff’s Bottom, Tortola. It will be broadcast live on House of Assembly VI’s YouTube page; House of Assembly of the Virgin Islands Facebook page; ZBVI 780 AM; CBN Radio 90.9 FM, CBN-Television (online) and FLOW TV 101. There will also be live coverage on Government’s Facebook page @bvigovernment.