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Senators Debate GOB’s Agreement with TNC over the Transfer of Carbon Rights and Credits

In Belmopan, Senators are currently meeting at the National Assembly Building. As part of today’s proceedings, Senator debated the motions related to the transfer of carbon rights and credit to the Belize Maya Forest Trust and the Maya Forest Corridor Trust. These motions are related to an agreement between the Government of Belize and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) which is a significant factor in GOB’s plan to restructure the superbond. Lead Opposition Senator Michael Peyrefitte kicked off the debate.

Michael Peyrefitte, UDP Senator: “In Belize they say you know one of the most difficult thing to do is eat your vomit. It’s not a pleasant thing to do but it is very magnanimous of the PUP and especially Senator Courtenay to be willing to eat his vomit for the benefit of the country. He did recall – I mean who can forget – pronouncements were wild and passionate. He was busting something and he would reveal some great act of treason by the UDP when he found this TNC agreement that gives essentially value to the country for conservation. He hailed it or defiled it as the worst thing that you could imagine a country could do and all the giveaways and all the things that Minister Pat at the time was going to do and all the things he waived and all the things he was giving away, only for us to find out when we found the deal and looked at it or I found it and I looked at it I should say Minister Patt clearly had no authority to waive taxes and the things goes beyond the $2 million just like what we’re doing here today you know ? So Senator I think you need to take one more magnanimous step and I think you need to apologize to your colleague for the very rough things you said when this matter came up with this same TNC deal. Same thing. You are using now and clearly shows from what we’re hearing the Prime Minister saying about debt restructuring that these things have value. Now if you are telling us as the PUP that you’re taking something that we started, because this started with UDP you know, if you’re taking something that we started and you feel that you need to fine tune it, touch it up little bit, make it even better then kudos to you man. Congratulations to you if you’re able to do that but don’t come to this national assembly blast your colleague, blast an agreement that we entered into only to have you come back a couple moths later and come to this national assembly like it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread.”

Responding to Peyrefitte, was Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Senator Christopher Coye and Senator for Government Business Eamon Courtenay.

Christopher Coye, PUP Senator: “To be honest we have to thank the UDP administration. We have to thank the UDP administration for not understanding the law. They didn’t understand the land tax act and they didn’t understand the law on carbon credits. So that is what in fact provided us with the leverage to negotiate. You have unenforceable provisions in this agreement. You have a failure to recognize the vesting of these carbon credits in the constitution. What did you agree with the TNC on ? What did you agree with the REWild on ? You committed to something that you could not do so that I say I thank you because you gave us the leverage, you gave us the leverage to negotiate a better deal for Belize. We went from a weak deal to a better deal.”

Eamon Courtenay, Senator of Government Business: “The Leader of Government Business said that I must swallow my vomit. I will repeat that’s what he said. He should hang his head in shame. The United Democratic Party government as I said on the previous occasion and  I will repeat until thy kingdom come, sold out to the TNC and REWild under the agreement and that is why we entered into negotiations to renegotiate them in the interest of the Belizean people and we make no apology for that. None Whatsoever.”