MP Lake seeks update on Solid Waste Ordinance. Concerned about NV GEBE distractions

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PHILIPSBURG – United People’s (UP) Party Member of Parliament (MP) Maurice Lakejust returned back to the island and is glad that the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers were presented with the Governing Program.

“I am looking forward to the next six months to set priorities, pass and amend some laws that will better serve the people of St. Maarten in line with the Governing Program,” MP Lake said on Wednesday.

Last week, the MP sent the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance a letter through the President of Parliament to get an update on Kadaster and amending the ordinance of Kadaster to fall under the respective Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure (Minister VROMI).

The MP would also like an update on the draft solid waste ordinance which according to the MP is still by the Legal Affairs Department from the time when he was the previous Minister of VROMI, about a year ago.

The MP stated on Wednesday that the draft solid waste ordinance is very important and should be handled as quickly as possible.  We are looking at the emerging situation everyday with the growing high mountain of the landfill.  This draft ordinance should be ready to continue the process to come to Parliament, but the Minister in charge has to make sure the Legal Affairs Department has finalized the draft process with the amendments instead of it just sitting on someone’s desk.

“Imagine if we pass the solid waste ordinance and address the solid waste issue of the landfill, we can address lowering the electrical bills by introducing alternative energy, recycling and also lower the cost of living through NV GEBE.

“It is sad to see NV GEBE board and management getting caught up with court cases and leaking of information to social media instead of focusing on future investments of the country and strategic planning.

“As the former Minister of NV GEBE, I am very proud to see that middle management and staff of NV GEBE have been working extremely hard no matter the negative circumstances to lower the water losses which were affecting the company.  NV GEBE is to be commended for also continuing with the senior’s relief program which the seniors are very happy with.

“We only focus on the negatives but NV GEBE has more positives and some of the best local professionals serving the company.  We need to get back to basics within NV GEBE and start raising the bar by putting the right checks and balances in place to better serve the people. The board and management also got to show better institutional and individual integrity within the company or else let them resign,” UP MP Maurice Lake said on Wednesday.

“As an MP, we need to educate but also pass and amend laws in the best interest of the people and Sint Maarten.  This is the only way you can protect and move our country forward.

“It is high time we get our priorities in order and put the necessary checks and balances in place to better serve our people. It is not that difficult if we start making firm and sometimes unpopular decisions and show political maturity and will power to address the main issues that are affecting our people in a transparent and open manner.

“I am looking forward to getting a copy and the answers from Government about the status of the Kadaster and the draft solid waste ordinance in order to see where I can assist in getting the process finalized.

“We have a Governing Program which the people will judge Government upon.  Within that program there are a number of priorities and the people will not want to hear ‘we working on it,’ they want to hear its getting done and Solid Waste Management is one of the top priorities,” UP MP Maurice Lake pointed out.