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Speaker details “brave new world” as new Parliament begins

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Posted: Friday, January 8, 2021. 11:05 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: O, wonder!

How many goodly creatures are there here!

How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,

That has such people in’t!

– William Shakespeare, The Tempest (V, i)

House Speaker Valerie Woods opened today’s meeting with a reminder to members and others of our precarious times.

The new provisions for health and safety of all present, she said, were arrived at after consideration and consultation with other regional parliaments.

And she reminded Representatives that they are being looked at to set the example for all their fellow Belizeans.

For today’s meeting, presentations are limited to 20 minutes per speaker and members will be asked to keep their masks on.

The members are in separate glass pods limiting their movements and the press area is likewise shielded.

The Assembly has hand sanitizer stations across the property to avail users.

Most importantly, strangers are still barred from the chamber except for press.

The new Speaker pledged support for a hybrid plan allowing members to participate virtually at some point.

Today’s meeting is being observed with a view to improvements by Senior Public Health Inspector, John Bodden.

The meeting was suspended so that the members of the Committee of Selection – those tasked with selecting their fellows to sit on the House’s 13 Standing Committees – can make those selections. They are Ramon Cervantes Jr. (absent due to COVID-19), Orlando Habet, Mike Espat, Anthony Mahler, Shyne Barrow and Tracey Taegar-Panton.

Mahler, new representative for Pickstock, Belize City, was the last of his colleagues to be sworn in today after apparently being absent from last December’s ceremonial opening of the National Assembly.

 

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