UPDATE: PM takes on Comissiong

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart is fighting back against social activist David Comissiong’s move to stop the controversial construction of the US$100 million Hyatt Centric hotel on Bay Street.

Comissiong, meantime, has done some counterpunching of his own in response to a member of Stuart’s Cabinet referring to him as “an enemy of the state”.

Stuart, the Minister responsible for Town and Country Planning, has legally challenged Comissiong’s request for a judicial review of the permission granted to local businessman Mark Maloney to build the 15-storey hotel.

“The minister . . . is challenging my application for judicial review on the grounds that I don’t have a financial or legal interest in the matter at issue – that, simply, as a citizen [I do not have] what lawyers call the locus standi [the right] to bring such a claim of judicial review of his actions,” Comissiong told reporters Tuesday morning on the steps of the Supreme Court after Stuart reportedly filed his challenge two weeks ago.

“Your Prime Minister, our Prime Minister, my Prime Minister, is challenging the right of David Comissiong, as a citizen of Barbados, to bring a claim for judicial review in this matter.”

Maloney’s company, Vision Developments Inc, which has been contracted to build the resort, has also filed a legal application requesting that it be made a party to the case.

“They wish to be a defendant to these proceedings. Again, that’s a matter for the court to determine, but my concept of judicial review proceedings is, I am asking the court to review not the actions of Mr Maloney’s company but the action of a public authority known as the Minister responsible for Town and Country Planning,” Comissiong explained.

The matter, which was due for hearing Tuesday before Madame Justice Sonia Richards, was adjourned until July 7 since the assigned judge is currently on vacation.

Construction on the Hyatt Centric hotel ground to a halt in March after Comissiong challenged Government’s decision not to conduct an environmental impact assessment on the multi-million-dollar beachfront development.

He is also asking the High Court to review the manner in which the Minister responsible for Town and Country Planning processed “a particular Town and Country Planning application”.

The attorney had also argued that Stuart had relied on an outdated Physical Development Plan, even though Section 11 (1) of the Town and Country Planning Act stipulates that the plan, which is now 14 years old, must be updated every five years. He also took issue with the 15-storey elevation, pointing out that the maximum height allowed for beachfront hotels was five storeys, compared to seven storeys for non-beachfront tourist accommodation.

Comissiong also took the opportunity to hit back at four Government ministers whom he said had verbally attacked him in recent weeks for challenging Stuart’s actions, most notably Minister of Housing and Lands Denis Kellman, who referred to anyone opposing the Hyatt project as “an enemy of the state”.

“If he feels so strongly about those comments, well then make them without the safety of Parliamentary privilege shrouding him,” Comissiong challenged Kellman, even as he sent a strong message to the ministers that “I will not be intimidated”.

The social activist said he had been told to “pack up my bags and leave Barbados for daring to challenge  . . . a matter of fundamental public interest”, adding that he had been taking note of the developments with “great concern”.

“It is fundamentally wrong for the political class to believe that they should not be challenged, and that the citizen of the country does not even have the right to ask the Supreme Court to review the actions of a Government minister,” Comissiong charged,

even as he took a swipe at the leaders of the country’s two main political parties as well as media heads for failing to chastise Kellman, although giving kudos to Barbados Workers’ Union General Secretary Toni Moore and several others for speaking out against Kellman’s comments.

14 Responses to UPDATE: PM takes on Comissiong

  1. Arthur Collymore
    Arthur Collymore May 10, 2017 at 12:36 am

    The makings of a dictatorship? The problem with this PM is that he some how believes, as head of govt, he have to listen to no one, neither can anyone tell him anything. His proudful & haughty spirit is what’s destroying this country.

  2. Sherlock Holmes. May 10, 2017 at 1:55 am

    Arthur Collymore rubbish! Nothing more than a Donkey Alert coming from you!

  3. hcalndre May 10, 2017 at 3:13 am

    @Sherlock Holmes, can you explain what you mean by Donkey Alert, the PM would me able to understand because he uses those kind of metaphors. I being not very smart need some explanation and as for Kellman the garbage that he spews out the sanitation would need another 12 vehicles to deal with his alone.

    • Peter May 10, 2017 at 10:24 am

      andre – hcal or whomever you call yourself. I told you you should sell your brain for many millions of dollars. It’s brand new. IT HAS NEVER BEEN USED! I challenge you or anyone else for that matter to show me and the whole of Barbados where your god David Comissiong has presented one single project to earn this so called proud island, $500.00 He thrives on negative, unprogressive publicity. Check his supporters maybe two or three of you. All low life brainless people with nothing to show any form of success. If you have travelled, you would see the massive beachfront developments with 60 and 70 stories hotels that lines beaches around the world. Aruba, South Beach on Collins Ave. in Miami and all along that coast. Dubai, South London, the French, Italian and Spain Rivieras, Costa Rica, Panama, Brazil Puerto Rico Dominican Republic, Monaco, Columbia even San Remo in Venezuela. comissiong likes to be noticed and he will go to all lengths within his legal capacity. Hyatt WILL be built. and I will see people like you boasting about it.

  4. jrsmith May 10, 2017 at 4:40 am

    A prominent businessman said in barbados ,the people who shout the loudest are the ones who has never contributed anything to the economy of barbados …………..
    Barbados people need jobs our economy is on the rocks, we survive on hotels and visitors … I have no favour for politicians , they are not trust worthy people .. But this gentle is very deceited he shouts when it suits him.. about time he is put in his place ….
    Why he never challenges the corporate in barbados who sends they profits to tax havens not reinvesting anything in barbados..
    Why he never challenge the barbados government , over the published (Audit General’s )report showing (800 millions Bds dollars which cannot be accounted for and politicians , dont care because they have no respect for our nations black masses……

    Why ,Mr, Comissiong , why lots of hotel constructions is all over barbados this is no different, the company could always move to another island and then what barbados loses out…we have a massive problem existing already , some business people is losing
    confidence in Barbados…….

  5. Zeus May 10, 2017 at 7:09 am

    I observed that the original article on this issue has been withdrawn….when I read the first article I saw dollars signs in the form of something call defamation ….i take it someone was given legal advice …enough said

  6. Frank White May 10, 2017 at 7:34 am

    Can you imagine that Mark Maloney can challenge the government because he wanted to keep his illegal structure and on property that’s not his which he was not given permission to construct anything on and silence from the public, the elected ministers and even the prime minister BUT David Comissiong is being ridiculed and vilified by the same public, the same elected ministers amd the same prime minister for challenging what we all clearly sees as irregularities. All Comissiong wants to see is that things are done in all fairness to Barbadians and I know that Barbadians on the whole don’t have the heart and balls that this brother Comissiong has but are quick to attack him…

    Can’t let this or any elected group of politicians think that they can intimidate the masses, I am with you brother Comissiong, you int going nowhere…

  7. Francis May 10, 2017 at 8:19 am

    What about the structure Maloney is building by the harbour?
    He has literally told the Town & Country planning office to go fly a kite when they said it was illegal.
    Talk about that Dennis Kellman!!
    Did someone say we have 2 Barbadoses ????

  8. Alex Alleyne May 10, 2017 at 10:18 am

    Clearly he is the “Most disgruntled man in Barbados”, so continue to look out for some action from him despite who’s in Office.

  9. Simba May 10, 2017 at 10:38 am

    Who does he feel he is and how stupid does he think we are. If you understand the level of ignorance on display here and agree with the article please share as much as possible. Help this message reach its intended target, the Prime Minister of Barbados by sharing it far and wide. Social Media protest is real.

  10. seagul May 10, 2017 at 11:29 am

    Rather be disgruntled than a lopsided lackey.
    Who or how the cap fit they’ll wear it.
    Bob said it right.

    • jennifer May 10, 2017 at 12:38 pm

      Pure ox. No strength or balls. Go commissiong.

  11. gaza forthebackmofos azag May 10, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    Main issues:

    environmental problems no one seems to care

    no beach for your grand kids to go to.

    everything aint about money bajan just stupid, but what do u expect from a bunch of black Christians who has little to no scientific logic

  12. Sam Clarke May 11, 2017 at 7:32 am



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