Premier Andrew Fahie touted his administration’s accomplishments in a statement last Thursday marking his administration’s first 100 days in office, pointing to the construction agreements for the Elmore Stoutt High School and other initiatives.
Because of the plan to fast-track the L-shaped building at ESHS, he said, “We remain confident that our [ESHS] students will return to attending school full time in September 2019 for the first time since Irma in 2017.”
Mr. Fahie also spoke at length about his government’s efforts at immigration reform, which have drawn widespread backlash for a now-sidelined plan to fast-track the belongership process.
“Given the makeup of our economy, the challenges of the larger world outside, and the need for more investments, we view immigration and labour reform as a fundamental element for our future economic development,” he said.
He acknowledged the divisive nature of the issue and said that consultations would continue, but added that addressing immigration and labour reform is inevitable.
“Our government is clear that doing nothing is not an option,” he said. “It only postpones the obvious, only for it to have dire consequences the longer we wait.”
He also touched on his administration’s new policy designed to calibrate board memberships to the tenure of the existing government, an action he said seeks to “build a more efficient public service.”
Mr. Fahie pointed out that his attendance at various global summits and conferences — including the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States heads of government meeting in Guadeloupe; the summit of the Association of Caribbean States; the Seatrade Tourism Conference in Miami; and a Clinton Global Initiative meeting in the United Sates Virgin Islands — strengthens ties in the region, raises the profile of the VI, and aids in national development.
He added that his government passed a “transitional” budget, committed to pay public servant increments in a phased approach, and outlined agendas to boost the tourism sector, housing development and small business development.
He also spoke briefly on improving the efficiency of the public sector and setting up district councils that he said would help voters participate more in government.
“We have begun laying the foundation to usher in the era of change and renewal that we promised,” he said.