Categorized | National News

Opposition to Reject Disaster Bill

Opposition Leader Philip Davis revealed that he intends to oppose the Disaster Management Bill which the government expects to debate during today’s session of the House of Assembly.

Davis asserted at the Progressive Liberal Party’s (PLP) press conference on Tuesday that the bill is not squarely within the provision of Article 29 of the constitution, which deals with provisions for time of war or emergency.

“There is already the authorizing power to suspend civil liberties under Article 29 and there is an Emergency Powers Act which enables how to execute under Article 29. The bill requires substantial revision and more work before it can get our support,” he said.

However, Davis said he will propose amendments to the bill to deal with the scores of people reported missing following Hurricane Dorian. 

“The intended proposal is to propose a period.  For example, persons who went missing during the period of the passing of Dorian, we could deem that they are dead having regard to information that could be supplied by family members,” he said.    

During the press conference, Davis also spoke about his trip to Abaco where he was accompanied by Englerston Member of Parliament Glenys Hanna-Martin, Mangrove Cay and South Andros MP Picewell Forbes and Senator Clay Sweeting. 

“The stench of death is ever present. There was a report that a trailer of bodies was overlooked and only within the last week discovered. The authorities must address this report because the story is fife through Marsh Habour,” Davis said.

“The relief effort is almost entirely driven by members of the private sector. As a matter of fact, the first and major complaint that greeted our delegation was the absence of governmental authority.”

The opposition leader complained about the lack of effort by Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) to restore power and the “terrible problem with the disposal of tons of debris” on the cays.

He was most concerned of relief workers on the island. 

“We have received reports of inadequate government support, poor working conditions, long working hours and the government’s failure to pay the hardship allowance owed to these workers,” Davis said.

“There are police officers there in what appears to be an almost desert zone with no water, no food and without proper living conditions.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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