Speaker disallows questions on Amerindian Land titling
Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Barton Scotland has blocked the Opposition from asking the Government questions relating to Amerindian Land titling in the National Assembly on the grounds that the questions are important but not “urgent” and are not related to the business of the House.
Amerindian Land Titling has been a sensitive subject for Indigenous Leaders who this week raised the issue again during the National Toshaos Conference currently ongoing at the Arthur Chung Conference Center.
The ‘Oral Questions Without Notice’ were submitted for today’s sitting by Opposition Member of Parliament and former Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai to Vice-President and Minister of Indigenous People’s Affairs, Sydney Allicock.
According to the document, the Opposition wants to know how US$2.5M of the US$10.7M allocated to the land titling project under the Low Carbon Development Strategy was spent in the last three years.
The other two questions are: “How many communities who applied for titles and or extensions have been demarcated in this period?” and whether the Government’s inaction is an indication of its intention to halt all Amerindian Land titling?”
The interest follows a public statement made by Minister Allicock before the Parliamentary Sectoral Committee on Natural Resources a few weeks ago that he has been unable to title any villages since assuming his position as Minister.
Allicock told the Committee that since its inception in 2013, only 26% of the total Amerindian Land Titling Project has been completed.
The Amerindian Land Titling Project was slated to end in 2016 but since the Ministry made no progress, they were granted an extension to October this year.