Posted: Monday, December 6, 2021. 2:17 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: The Government was forced to admit defeat on the Sugar Industry (Amendment) Bill after both Opposition and social partner senators lined up in vociferous opposition.
Leader of Government Business Senator Eamon Courtenay, recognizing that the Government did not have a majority to pass the bill, elected to leave it in the Senate for further consultation after pointing out that his fellow colleagues appear to grasp the issue facing the industry, when several associations have not called constitutionally due elections and otherwise reported to their members.
But to a man, the Opposition and social partner senators agreed with their colleagues in the Lower House, despite their being widely outvoted, that a ‘big stick’ approach would bring more problems.
Senator for the Business Community, Kevin Herrera, went as far as to refer to the amendment as “the worst piece of legislation” he had seen in his time in the Upper Chamber.
Senator for Trade Unions and Civil Society Elena Smith confirmed that such interference would not fly with her Belize National Teachers’ Union.
And the Opposition led by Michael Peyrefitte and temporary senator Orson Elrington pointed out that the legislation as presented would leave too much power in the hands of the Minister.
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