Bill passed to fund new Parliament and Court House

By: Demion McTair. Updated 11:14 p.m., Monday, June 22, 2020, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4). Updated 1:38 a.m., Tuesday, June 23.

Kingstown, St. Vincent (ONE NEWS SVG) – A bill for an Act to authorize financing for a modern Parliament building and a new Court House was passed in Parliament Monday night (June 22).

The Modern Parliament and Modern Court House Bill, will allow the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to borrow a loan from the Republic of China on Taiwan, to finance the two projects and matters connected with the two projects.

The projects are estimated to cost some EC$50 million dollars.

The parliamentary debate on the bill was marred by gridlock as the opposition and the government failed to agree with each other’s points on the matter.

See – 5 Key arguments on the new Parliament building move

OLD BUILDING

In 1798, the British Assembly on the island passed a resolution to demolish the French building and erect a single building to be used as Legislative Assembly and Law Courts. The upper storey of the building is the Parliament section; the lower storey is used for the Court of Law. The building was named after George III, according to the House of Assembly’s website.

The House of Assembly’s website, citing Heritage Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, says “today, upstairs of this building of nearly two hundred years old is the island’s Parliament, officially referred to in the Government Gazette as the “Assembly Chamber” for meetings of the “House of Assembly.” 

“It is foreseen in the future that the Courthouse will be used only for Parliament. The lower storey will be redesigned to accommodate a Parliamentary library for records, archives and a dining room for Members of the House of Assembly; and the Law Court well be relocated elsewhere” the House of Assembly website says.

The information on the website was not dated.

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