PHILIPSBURG–Finance Minister Richard Gibson is hoping that the law programme that he has worked fervently on in the past months can get off the ground in September 2018.
The programme was originally slated to start September this year, but the passage of Hurricane Irma on Wednesday, September 6, and the widespread destruction caused in the country coupled with the challenges now being faced by University of St. Martin (USM), has delayed commencement of the programme.
Gibson said the programme is very much needed for the country and should go ahead. “Someone in Parliament made a suggestion that I take the money that we have put aside and reserved for this law programme and take it and give it to USM to help them out of their problems and I absolutely and emphatically said no because the law programme is not something that you can play with,” Gibson said in response to a question from The Daily Herald at the Council of Ministers press briefing last week.
“It is an absolute necessity for the development of St. Maarten in the future. And now that we have succeeded, after all the deficits in the budget, we have finally succeeded in being able to put money aside to do this absolute necessary thing, I don’t think we should start taking steps backward, but we have to have to take steps forward and maintain those [funds – Ed.] reserved [for it – Ed.].”
He also commented on the start of the programme. “In the same month that the law programme was supposed to start in September, Irma came knocking and said you have to wait. Other complications came up with USM.
“Besides that, this was a programme that was going to be done in collaboration with University of Curaçao. If you ask me, the programme probably would be restarted next year September when the new year starts at University of Curaçao. We can piggyback on that and move forward and that’s why that money should stay there and we should improve on that money because we have got to get that off the ground.”
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/71972-gibson-hopes-law-programme-can-begin-in-september-2018