Statement
10 January 2018 - 11:04am

Good day Virgin Islanders and residents, this is your Premier, Dr Orlando Smith.

I wanted to take this opportunity, to encourage you to actively participate in the public consultations planned for us to discuss how as a Territory, we rebuild following the passage of Hurricanes Irma and Maria last September. During this period you will have a chance to voice your opinions and ideas of how we should collectively move forward as a Territory.

The next few weeks and months will be the most critical time in our modern history. As I have said before, the days ahead are uncertain. I expect that we will make mistakes. We will not agree on all matters, and I imagine, that we will have spirited discussions about how we move ahead.  Undoubtedly, this is the most significant exercise that we will undergo in a generation. What is certain however, is that we must go through this exercise and we must look at the opportunity before us to reshape the Virgin Islands, together.

As your Premier, I ask you to join me in coming together to put our Territory first, above self and even above party politics. As we undergo this exercise, I encourage you to read through the consultation document and come prepared to engage with me, my Government, and with senior members of the public service to discuss your points and ideas. Let us come together with one mission, to rebuild and restore the Virgin Islands, together.

Let me also be clear, that every single idea offered will not be included in the final document. But I also want to be clear to you the public, as well as the able members of the public service that created this document so that we have a starting point for our discussions – the document is not perfect. But, at the end of this consultation, I intend that the document that Government approves to guide our rebuilding will be a better document because it includes your ideas, your suggestions and your understanding of how we should rebuild our Territory, together.

For those Virgin Islanders living abroad, I ask that you too take part in the shaping of our rebuilding plan by downloading a copy of the public consultation document at www.bvirecovery.vg and by providing your feedback and suggestions via email to feedback@bvirecovery.vg.

Much is at stake for our Territory and generations of Virgin Islanders, so let us band together, engage with each other and over the next few weeks, find solutions to rebuild a better, smarter, stronger, and greener Virgin Islands.  Thank you and may God continue to bless us all.

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