Comissiong slams ministers in ongoing Hyatt row

The country’s worryingly low foreign exchange reserves could take a further blow from the construction of the US$100 Hyatt Centric Resort on Bay Street, The City – at least in the immediate term, social activist David Comissiong has charged.

In a strong retort to criticism by two Government ministers that his legal challenge to the construction of the 15-storey structure was nothing more than political self aggrandizement which stood in the way of the country’s progress, Comissiong was unapologetic, challenging the ministers to explain  “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,” the unrepentant Comissiong told Barbados TODAY.

“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,” he argued.

Minister of Industry Donville Inniss had all but painted Comissiong as an obstructionist who stood in the way of progress.

In recent weeks he has suggested that race was at play in the controversy surrounding the hotel, telling a joint meeting of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) St James Central, St James South, St Michael North and St Michael North East branches in February that unnamed individuals “pop their head up every now and then, particularly when there are projects involving Caucasians, and say that this project must not be done”.

Maloney, one of the developers in the Hyatt project, is white.

Just Wednesday, during the launch of the wireless and electronics store, RadioShack, at Sheraton Mall, Inniss again went at Comissiong, calling his actions “selfish
and opportunistic”.

“There are some individuals who would not miss an opportunity to champion their selfish political cause. I normally don’t bother about these things but when you seek to damage the reputation of the country that my children have to grow up in, my nieces and nephews and my constituents, I cry shame on you,” Inniss said.

Two days earlier Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler had said the legal challenge by Comissiong was nothing more than “purely a political exercise and anybody could see where that is going but we would let the court deal with it”.

Comissiong Thursday described the two ministers as “demagogues”, even as he suggested that those seeking to blame him for holding up the project were misleading the country.

“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,” he told Barbados TODAY.

“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. However, the Supreme Court of Barbados has not yet dealt with this interlocutory application.

“Furthermore, Mr Stuart [Prime Minister Freundel Stuart], the Minister responsible for Town and Country Planning, has indicated that he is opposing the request for an interim order. 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,” he stressed.

A hearing into Comissiong’s application seeking to prevent work from beginning on the multi-million dollar hotel is expected to begin on April 19.

After Stuart had in February given his approval to the project, which has been three years in the making, Comissiong filed a claim in the Supreme Court challenging the permission granted by the Prime Minister to Maloney’s company to construct this hotel, asking the Court to examine the manner in which the application was handled and whether Stuart’s decision was legal. The hearing on that matter is set to begin on May 9.

The social activist has insisted that an environmental impact assessment ought to have been done before permission was granted for the development of the beachfront property.

21 Responses to Demagogues!

  1. Sunshine Sunny Shine April 21, 2017 at 2:12 am

    Just so I can exercise my ignorance, I would like to know if it is the hotel that is going to bring in foreign exchange or would it be the high flying clientelle coming to enjoy a Hyatt experience? How much of these over and away big wigs would we need to boost Barbados economy hundreds of millions over the shortest possible time frame? Cause Hyatt is one hotel and we have the Hilton already establish. How much millionaires does the hotel attract and how much foreign exchange are we getting from the Hilton? Is Hyatt the grand master of all hotels that the moment it is constructed the Super Millionaires will be coming? I just asking.

  2. jrsmith April 21, 2017 at 5:34 am

    Mr ,Comissiong a business man said the people who shout the loudest in Barbados, are the ones who has never done anything for the economy of Barbados, stop trying to satisfy your movement ego , stop following black america ……

    • hcalndre April 21, 2017 at 7:01 am

      jrsmith, I will attack that statement that you made “stop following black america” tells me how stupid you are. Att. Comissiong is a way a head of most of you but when you don`t tow the line in barbados, you`re marginalized.

      • Jennifer April 21, 2017 at 11:13 am

        @Jrsmith – I have to come at you on your statement. Those blacks in America who is catching hell is from the same Nation as us, the people in South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria etc. All catching hell by the same serpent. Please bring things together.

  3. Greengiant April 21, 2017 at 6:04 am

    I value the little space allocated to me here, and deem it a waste if I use it to comment on David Commissioner.

  4. Tony Webster April 21, 2017 at 6:09 am

    The (rather basic) question, is nothing specific to the Hyatt, or Lowatt, and the “matter” has now clearly , with political winds picking up, towards a more fundamental and potentially dangerous shoal: whether tourism, in and of itself, is either pre-eminent, or worse yet, the only worthwhile economic focus?
    It takes no ngenius to recognise the folly of sitting on a one-legged (tourism) chair. The reality is that tourism and its cousin (FDI inflows into property and other living expenses) …now and for the middle distance…pay the bills. hose visionaries who created the International Business industry… did not do so, by accident or providence. However, the latter is now at great risk from continuing FATCA/OECD attacks of all kinds…including the small question of “de-risking” (the loss of access to “Correspondent banking ” accounts), whih is a loaded gun pointed directly at our head…or testicles…whatever.

    Translation/Summary: : our “Relevant Authorities”, and presumed leaders, need to construct/ re-engineer a new Total Barbados Model, which both maximises our strengths, and provides a “viable “Plan B”; “Plan C”; to provide medium and long-term, strategic contingencies for other threatening clouds on the horizon, eg further spread of terrorism onto a tropical beach near to you; ; break-up of the E.U. etc.
    Many “Holy Cows” shall needs be sacrificed….that is…in addition to eating the fatted calf…right “out of the cow belly”… it comes down to Getting The Job Done. Just sitting in a comfortable rut… fuming and fulminating about those blasted Brits..with one hand, and wid other held out for “reparations”, doan mek sense…when creating a viable future for our children that should be foremost in our minds!! Every single, true, loyal and patriotic Bajan, will needs make some sacrifice, if we are sucessfully to build “The New Bim”. What do we REALLY want” CHANGE? or small change?

    Voters will not be excused from such privileges; duties; and responsibilities.

    Lord, please Bless, again, the wise man who coined the S.W.O.T. analysis…( Strengths; Weaknesses; Opportunities; Threats) it’s so easy, and relevant, that Ninja man cud assist in seeing the reality…and the snakes all around our very feet. We’ve clean run out of others to blame. We ARE independent now…aren’t we?

  5. Tony Webster April 21, 2017 at 6:17 am

    @Greengiant…I’m tempted to agree with you, but one cyan let anudder “body” get way wid murder…even murder by philosophical distortion, and disingenuousness. LOTS of straws ..blowing about these days!
    Lashes earned, and lashes due.

    Kindest to you too!

  6. tsquires April 21, 2017 at 8:21 am

    I have resisted commenting on this contentious issue, and all I wish to say to all Barbadians is stop doing what ostrich’s do at the approach of danger, by hiding your head in the proverbial sand. Our political directorate are all pretending tourism is our future! Do please take a long hard look at tourist destinations with much more to offer; than our blessed Barbados to see where they are today? World currencies are heading towards the cliffs edge, and tourism will not be able to save us when the s–t hits the fan blades.

  7. Harry April 21, 2017 at 8:40 am

    I smile every-time i hear Mark Maloney referred to as “white”, he is as “white” as Obama as both of them have a white parent as well as a one black one. Only in Barbados………..

    • Jennifer April 21, 2017 at 11:19 am

      @Harry – ok. All supremacy garbage. Get a can of white paint or a crayon. They are different shades of RED as the blood shows through their skin. They call themselves red necks some part of the USA down south.

  8. Peter April 21, 2017 at 9:13 am

    I am truly sorry that Mr. Commissiong is not looking at this Hyatt project as a major development base for Barbados and Barbadians. He is nit picking, and showcasing all the negatives which really do not exist. I will not challenge he nor Mark Williams to step up and show everyone that they can present developmental projects which can bring in 0.001% of That Hyatt project. whilst having an after-dinner social discussion with a group of successful non Barbadian folks, It was clearly stated that this could be the ground work for more intense Tourism developments whereas more investors will ride the wave. More large hotels, with tremendous spinoffs. More peripheral businesses like DF shopping, Taxi demands, entertainment, restaurants and bars and all of this is compounded by overwhelming employment opportunities. what this means is more money in the government coffers. It matters not which party is ruling. Look at the positive side and the well being for Barbadians.

  9. Peter April 21, 2017 at 9:35 am

    I have written it before. I’ll write it again. That deteriorating former Empire Cinema, can be renovated and converted into a Barbados Wax Museum. It can be owned and operated by the current owned and operators of the one in Christ Church. I think Mr. Anti- America is involved. The Building at the corner of Probyn and Fairchild Streets can be turned into a City hotel owned and operated by the UWI as an enterprise profit Center using it as a special Hotel Intern facility for recently graduated students who are looking for work and who can harness experience there. Metered hourly or part thereof parking in designated streets can bring in millions per month for the BRA. Those in authority need to think positively and more productively.

  10. Gear Box April 21, 2017 at 10:14 am

    By what ways and means is Mr Commissiong going to implement productivity in foreign exchange earnings?

  11. Milli Watt April 21, 2017 at 10:51 am

    yuh right David……let me add that political party financing is out of the glare of regulators for good reason and when money is being spent at this late stage of a term you got to ask your self some questions. as we get closer watch and see how much nastier the comment will be. more lawyers need to join is this advocacy taken on by Comissiong and stop hiding hoping to get that multi million dollar conveyance sssttuuuupppssseeee

  12. Sam Clarke April 21, 2017 at 11:12 am

    @jrsmith, you should really stop opposing for the sake of opposing Mr. commissiong, and look at his body of work in the development of Barbados and the rights of Bajans.
    He has taken the legal forum to prove that those who are elected to protect the people are telling false hoods, and you jrsmith, have swallowed it hook line and sinker.
    Stop the silly statements and debate the facts with a serious intellectual and real facts discourse.

  13. Mikey April 21, 2017 at 11:35 am

    I am particularly interested in what people like jrsmith have to say.
    Sorry to be so personal, but truely jrsmith is out of his depth when it comes to analysing what others have to say. He is so off-track most of the time that it is too difficult to ask him to elucidate. He simply does not understand what is going on around him. Most people like him have a horrid time appreciating what has happened to Barbadians since Independence. AGAIN, UNABLE TO DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN A LOT OF TREES, A THICKET, WOODS OR A FOREST.

    • Jennifer April 21, 2017 at 11:51 am

      @Mikey – SWEETS in pikey teet isn’t it.

  14. Sheron Inniss April 21, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    I don’t mind the man with the same surname as mine, I am all with Mr. C.

    When the environment is harmed to the extent that is occurring in Barbados tell me what use will the concrete serve. Maybe a larger hospital and morgue.

  15. Frank White April 21, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    Why is it that brother Comissiong is always portrayed as the bad guy?? Whose job was it to see that the correct procedures were followed?? It is those persons that the masses should be mad at, not Comissiong… We have a good brother whose fighting to ensure that all Barbadians are still going to have a browns beach to attend and that, they should be grateful and more appreciative of a brother like David Comissiong… 100% with Comissiong

    Mark Maloney’s pheno type is Caucasian

    • Jennifer April 21, 2017 at 6:11 pm

      @Frank White – Well said. Phenotype is spot on too. This unfortunately is how it works with these people. All that oppose will fit into two categories – either house negro grateful for the work or the others are part of the 1% who can only see the money blanket. Honesty and standards will not even be a question with them.

  16. jrsmith April 21, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    @, Mikey , hail, hail, I hope you do something with all your education , because people like you i dont worry about , you have nothing to offer me, thats why Massa rules okay in barbados ,


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