Go back to the drawing board, says Mottley

Opposition Leader Mia Mottley has called on Government to go back to the drawing board with its

Protection of Agricultural Products and Livestock Bill, 2017.

While saying she was in agreement with some aspects of the new legislation, Mottley said there was need for Government to re-examine some “archaic” clauses that may serve to hamper small scale vendors and farmers.

Speaking just after Minister of Agriculture Dr David Estwick introduced the measure in the House of Assembly, Mottley said: “We will gladly support the use of technology like drones and cameras to monitor farms, and the ability to admit any footage gathered from these devices as evidence in court. We would also like the telephone number for the praedial larceny hotline so we can share it with our constituents, and we are willing to help with the praedial larceny desk and any public service announcements or education efforts associated with it.”

However, she took offence to provisions in the bill, such as the registration of all farmers and vendors, arguing that “Every boy selling ackees, everyone selling nuts or coconuts in this country, whether in a cul-de-sac, or at a roundabout, is being made to be a criminal if he does not register under this Act, where he may merely be looking for a way to support his family.”

In reference to a point Estwick made about the laws in other countries, she said in Trinidad, farmers and vendors only had to register with the authorities if they were in possession of at least 2,500 kilogrammes of produce.

The Member of Parliament for St Michael North East also queried the role of the wardens that would be enforcing the laws, stating that “we are giving powers of arrest and stop and search to people who have not been trained as law enforcement officers, and this is not fair”.

On the subject of the certificates proving items were purchased from a legitimate dealer in farm produce, she said: “These certificate books were available from the Government Printery at one point, but no new books have been printed since the original stock ran out.”

She concluded that the bill in its present form should be sent to Parliament’s Select Committee and re-examined before it becomes law, and accused the present administration of “rushing the bill through Parliament, 13 weeks before its scheduled dissolution, without proper consultation.

“We are prepared to work with the minister to do what is necessary to fight praedial larceny, but we cannot agree to a badly drafted bill that needs amendments,” the Barbados Labour Party leader stressed.

In fact, she took issue with the five-year penalty listed under the legislation saying it should only be two years.

However, in his presentation, St Lucy Member of Parliament Denis Kellman argued that the five-year prison term was introduced when a BLP administration amended the law in 1995.

The Minister of Housing also refuted Mottley’s claims that vendors were not consulted on the bill, saying, “It is well known that Government has met with vendors and outlined to them what we plan to do for them, and we have shown them we won’t just talk, but take action.

“When we pass legislation, it is for the benefit of everyone in this country. We do not leave out anyone; we have no biases against rich or poor. Passing this bill will create growth in this country and the BLP is against anything that will create growth,” Kellman charged.

14 Responses to Go back to the drawing board, says Mottley

  1. Saga Boy November 28, 2017 at 11:28 pm

    You Just a lot of hot air. Can you imagine the leader of the opposition arguing wrong and strong. She did not know that the law had been amended. This is the second time in a month she has made a boo boo. This is not a good sign of leadership. Today was rediculous with BLP Parliamentarian not speaking on such an important issue.

  2. archy perch November 29, 2017 at 4:24 am

    It goes to show that the CROOKED double-talking Barbados Labour Party only cares about the big merchants that can finance their cause. And those big businesses are the ones she addressed last week with her voodoo economics. The farmers – small or plantation fellows – in the rural districts do not have the kind of money to score a dent on that conservative crooked party’s imagination. Your pockets must be deep. Not one of those BLP MP’s who represent rural areas spoke up for the farmers…not one. And hey want to be re-elected, imagine that. SMH.

  3. hcalndre November 29, 2017 at 5:36 am

    @Boy/archy; talking about mistakes, not knowing, crooked and deep pockets, you have just painted a perfect picture of dem.

  4. Rommel Parris
    Rommel Parris November 29, 2017 at 5:52 am

    But she is right if people would read and stop just talking how many ppl have actually read the whole thing the legislation is needed but the way it is being put forward my grand mother and her 2 lil pigs gotta go thru so much hassle just to get them sold etc cut the small farmer right out doesnt allow for people just wanting to keep 2-3 sheep this cant be for real

    • Leroy McClean November 30, 2017 at 10:11 pm

      What about the man that only wants to steal one or two pigs or sheep.

  5. Alex Alleyne November 29, 2017 at 7:36 am

    We must all be on board with this “praedial larceny” legislation . The crooks must understand that we mean business.

  6. Greengiant November 29, 2017 at 8:14 am

    Those days of youths selling local fruits on the streets for pocket money are long gone. These young men and in a few cases women are sometimes stealing fruits, sugar cane and other produce, selling them on the streets to fund their marijuana business.

    These ventures are now commercial enterprises Ms. Mottley. These ventures are part and parcell the proceeds and processes of criminal enterprise. So the government is right to implement the registration of all farmers and vendors. Illegal vending in this country must cease. Why is it that vendors in Swan, and other streets of commercial bridgetown be licensed, and have permits. While on the other hand illegal vendors invade the cheapside area on weekends competing with the licensed vendors there?

    Clearly Ms. Mottley and maybe the BLP, (because she only speaks for the opposition in Parliament. The chairman as party leader speaks for the party) has lost touch with some realities in barbados. That old style of emotional politics, and politics of promises are long gone. We’re now in the age of politics of practicality. What matters now is what’s practical.

  7. trevor Daniel November 29, 2017 at 8:37 am

    There is a guy who calls himself Mr.Agriculture who was shot recently while stealing cassava at the Mount Plantation in St.George at 4 o’clock in the morning. The incident occurred on Friday October 13th and the fellow’s name is Roland Layne of #2 Edey Village, Ch Ch. Eight pounds of cassava that were not his caused him to get slugged in the stomach as he fled the field.He should have been dead. This Act would take care of him should he try thiefing crops again. I heard this idiot on BrassTacks recently trying to explain his actions while denouncing the DLP government. This common thief is a strong supporter of the BLP. I have not heard a word from Dwight Sutherland of St.George South during the debate on praedial larceny. The farmers in his constituency who often get their produce stolen should take note.

  8. Ras November 29, 2017 at 9:52 am

    Wait Mia, Mia, Mia, you supporting people to Thief my sheep and vegetables

  9. Roverp November 29, 2017 at 10:51 am

    I am backing MIA with this based on what I have read.

  10. Anthony Prescott November 29, 2017 at 11:10 am

    BLP, DLP, UPP whoever it is…..Wunna would show a more serious nature to politics when the Freedom of Information Act is carried out for the people of Barbados.

    All the progressive Nations have it, the USA, UK, Jamaica and other caribbean countries. The reason it is there is for fairness and if it isnt there, then those elected are not focussed on fairness but unfairness in their favour and I will OPT OUT OF VOTING….Like many others have/are losing faith in this old arcahic Westminster (exploitation) system !!

  11. Anthony Prescott November 29, 2017 at 11:16 am

    Mr Kellman there is no point of passing legislation when the laws are not enforced. The legislation is supposed to be put there so all can benefit but we can safely say, very few are benefitting against the masses who are losing.

    You cant speak for everyone, you can only speak for yourself and therefore can only talk about your position. However, allow me to speak for myself. The lack of services and service in Barbados does not benefit the masses. They have cried out more than once, too often to resolve some of the burdensome issues and it falls on “deaf ears”.

    When you speak, make sure you have something to brag about !!

  12. jrsmith November 29, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    This legislation is decades behind time and need to be enforced asap… …….
    How could the government of the day lay claim , when they pass legislation , its for the benefit of everyone and have no bias against rich or poor…………..What have the government done in 2 terms which benefited the black masses , what ever is hoping to be done we still have the 1%ers controlling our country………….

  13. Concerned Barbadian November 29, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    Barbados Laws must be made fairly and just which reflect a well being for the masses. The laws should reflect the attitude and mood of the day. We are a soverign democratic country and I would belive our laws would reflect a free democratic society. We need not compare our legislation to any foreign government what’s best for our population and the people’s voice must be met.


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