Is the GOB Ready to go to legal war with Ashcroft?
And during our interview with Prime Minister John Briceno, we also asked him about Lord Ashcroft, Waterloo Holdings, and the amended EIA process. As we have been reporting, the government passed a statutory instrument that relates to the Environmental Impact Assessment regulations. Crucial changes were made to the appeals process, which developers can employ after a decision has been given by the National Environmental Appraisal Committee. The Minister of Sustainable Development can now convene a tribunal, composed of three people: an environmental expert, whom the Minister appoints; a magistrate or judge; and the Senator, who represents the business community. With the new change, an alternative representative for the private sector can be appointed where issues of conflict of interest arise. Because of the amendment, Lord Ashcroft’s company, Waterloo Holdings, applied for judicial review. It is expected to be a long, drawn-out process, and today, we asked PM Briceno about it.
Hon. John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “Obviously it concerns me I mean Belize we’re not a rich country and every dollar that we spend in the courts we could be using to help poor people , for education, for health and so forth so obviously we’re not happy with it but we’re a government and we have to defend our country and we have to defend what is being done in Belize. nd if we have the NEAC that have serious concerns, serious environmental concerns then we have to follow their recommendations and so if they take us for judicial review that’s fine. We live in a democracy and that is allowed.”