Monday, October 26, 2020

Here’s What Happened in the House of Assembly

House of Assembly Speaker Halson Moultrie said he tested negative for COVID-19 following sterilization of the House of Assembly after a staff member contracted the virus.

As only a small number of parliamentarians showed up at the House at Wednesday’s meeting, Moultrie said, “I am most grateful to the honorable members who decided to attend this morning to carry on the people’s business wich on occasion is time-sensitive.

“We are in compliance with the COVID-19 protocol as indicated. I requested of the staff as well as myself as recommended to members to take the COVID19 test.

“I have taken the test yesterday. The result is negative. The Clerk has taken the test. The result is negative. Several other members and staff will be taking the test today,” he said.

Why were some members not present?

On Tuesday, Moultrie announced that a parliamentary staff member tested positive for COVID-19.

The Ministry of Health initiated contact tracing to determine the level of exposure to employees.

The House of Assembly and Senate were deep cleaned and sanitized and persons who interacted with the employee were required to quarantine.

Who was absent?

Members of the governing party were noticeably absent with only a small number in attendance. However, no member of the opposition attended the House’s seating, as Independent MP Reece Chipman sat alone on the opposition side of the House.

This prompted a response from Prime Minister Hubert Minnis.

“It’s unfortunate that the leader of the opposition is not here. We all know that the leader of the opposition had COVID and the leader of the opposition has antibodies. With all intent and purposes, the leader of the opposition is immune.

“He is the safest in this country at this time. He is immune and that immunity may last for 3 to 6 months. We don’t know the duration but we do know that he is the safest in this country at this time. So it’s unfortunate that he is not here,” Minnis said.

However, all members will be deemed present for Wednesday’s session.

What documents were tabled?

  • The Emergency Power Covid-19 Number 6 Amendment Order 2020
  • The Environmental Planning and Protection Extension of Application Order 2020

At the next sitting of the House on Wednesday 23rd, the House will debate the extension of the emergency order to October 31st.

Featured Photo: The Tribune

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