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Will Belizeans benefit from Fortis deal, Opposition asks for answers

During the debate of the Electricity Acquisition (Settlement) Act 2015, Area Representative for Belize Rural Central, Dolores Balderamos Garcia asked what a lot of people have been asking. How will this settlement truly benefit the citizenry and in particular the rural communities?

Dolores Balderamos Garcia – Area representative, Belize Rural Central

In old Hattieville people are waiting for their electrification. In Gracie Rock a simple street light and the people of Belize Rural North are not seeing the attention from Belize Electricity Limited. Where is the expansion and the real services. If I talk about nationalization I want to see that that nationalization has real meaning. Today Mr. Speaker I believe it’s a beautiful day for Fortis and a beautiful day for shareholders who are going to be getting their dividends but where is the benefit to the consumers of Belize Rural Central and Belize on a whole. Where is that real benefit, nationalization must have meaning. We must not tout it as a simple word and we’ve had a hell of an admission this afternoon from the Prime Minister that he was extremely thick headed and poor at math so I believe that we on this side have a responsibility to point out the short comings and the reality of what is going before the Belizean people in this settlement. I think it was almost like the member for Belize Rural north when it was clear that the judge in court was going to rule against him he hurried withdraw and went and settled but the question is and I repeat. I will wrap up by saying this, I am concerned about what the Belize Electricity Limited and the provision of electricity for our people means to the Belizean people. Are we getting value for money in nationalization are the Belizean people feeling the benefit of that majority ownership even though Fortis has the 33 and a third percent and that is my question.”

Since the bill was passed through all its stages today, it is expected that the Governor General will sign the Bill as soon as possible and Government will be able to deposit seventy million dollars into Fortis’s account no later than Tuesday September 8.