Thursday, April 18, 2024

BLP promises laws review

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If chosen by the people during the upcoming General Election, the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) promises to review and consult with the necessary stakeholders on a number of controversial pieces of legislation within eight weeks. 

This is the assurance party leader Mia Mottley gave to Barbadians Saturday during a Press conference at the office of the Opposition Leader, Parliament Buildings.

These include the Protection Of Agricultural Products And Livestock Act 2017, the Road Traffic (Amendment) Act and the Police (Amendment) Act.

During the briefing, which was attended by numerous BLP members, including General Election candidates Trevor Prescod, Dwight Sutherland and John King, both Mottley and former Attorney General Dale Marshall said many of the penalties in these acts were set out in a way to criminalise Barbadians.

“There are clear provisions that don’t make any sense whatsoever to any Barbadian and for them now to become criminals and for a Government in its rush wants to pass legislation without consultation is the harshest cut of all,” Mottley said.

“These bills are now in very large measure causing grave consternation among the Barbadian public, and we are committing to the public that within the first eight weeks of being that Government of this country, should it be the will of this country, that we will consult and review,” Mottley said.

Recently, Government imposed stricter laws regarding the use of cell phones while driving, as well as use of helmets for cyclists, which in some ways has got some push back from the public.

Marshall also highlighted what he deemed to be wrong in the Agricultural Act, which ultimately is seeking to guard against praedial larceny.

He expressed his grievances at the powers given to praedial larceny wardens, and the requirement that anyone who worked in agriculture had to register as a farmer with the Chief Agricultural Officer or pay $5 000, imprisonment for three years or both.

“The approach taken by the Democratic Labour Party [DLP] is one which demonstrates that there has been no consultation or there has been rational thought given to it. Instead of encouraging people to do farming, Government is now trying to put a regime in place which compels backyard farmers [because] to farm without the sanction of a Government department, will make you a criminal. And that is almost as preposterous as saying if you pull off to the side of the road, you are still liable for an offence,” Marshall said. (TG)

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