Categorized | National News

‘Don’t Rush Disaster Bill’

Not one to mince words, Pineridge Member of Parliament Frederick McAlpine urged the government not to rush the proposed Disaster Preparedness and Response Amendment Bill 2019.

During his contribution to debate on the bill in the House of Assembly yesterday, Mr. McAlpine advised the government to slow down while in the process of passing the proposed bill.  

“We need to step back, take a deep breath, and be logical and not emotional about what we are going to do moving forward,” Mr. McAlpine said.

“Mr. Speaker, Pineridge along with the Bahamian people get the impression that if there was no hurricane there would be no bill. We should have been called back from vacation as an assembly prior to the entrance of Hurricane Dorian.

“And then, perhaps presented with this bill, Pineridge would have considered it even timelier. We are reacting to an action as opposed to systematically and intellectually coming up with something conducive and uncontroversial for generations to come.”

According to the Free National Movement (FNM) MP, it is not to say that he is against the mandatory evacuations, but “to go where?”

He added that one needs to understand the psyche and circumstances of those not willing to leave.

“Whereas, it is important to eventually have mandatory evacuation bill, Pineridge thinks it’s initially far more important for the government to build structurally sound hurricane proof centers throughout The Bahamas,” Mr. McAlpine said.

“Then we can discuss mandatory evacuation.  Mama says, ‘You’re putting the cart before the horse.’

“Mr. Speaker, it makes no logical sense for me demanding mandatory evacuation without having a safe place to put the evacuees.  [There’s] no rocket science to this, this [is] common sense.”

Mr. McAlpine is also of the view that the proposed legislation lacks specifics as it should also speak to fires, flooding and medical outbreaks.

He further stated that it gives too much power to a prime minister and that if not properly assessed, can open the door to an undemocratic state of governance.

He is convinced there needs to be a clear cut plan for the revitalization and modernization for the Northern Bahamas.
“The country needs leadership that is clear and concise with what the plan is. How long it will take to be executed and the proposed period for the accomplishment?” he said.

The Pineridge MP said he no longer wants to hear about what Hurricane Dorian did, but rather what the government and the Grand Bahama Port Authority will do. 

Written by Jones Bahamas

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