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Government Speech - Delivered By His Excellency The Governor General, Sir Colville N. Young Print E-mail
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Thursday, 29 March 2012 00:00

Governor General, Sir Colville YoungPart II of  the Government Speach delivered by Sir Colville Young, Gov. General of  Belize

The Government will implement the RESTORE Belize Strategic Plan, which recognizes three major pillars for restoring Belize namely: human development, citizen prosperity and citizen security.

(G) Education and Youth
My Government is firmly committed to the creation of a national education program to meet the demands of this emerging nation in the 21st century. Over the next five years, along with its partners in education, the Government intends to raise the bar even further through focus on four main areas. These will be to: (1) improve the quality and relevance of education at all levels; (2) improve the educational environment and attendance; (3) strengthen administration throughout the education sector; and (4) increase student participation and achievement countrywide.

The Government will develop a National Human Resource Development Strategy based on national needs that will inform curriculum at secondary, ITVETs, and post-secondary/tertiary sectors and will guide scholarships and funding for education curriculum especially at tertiary level.

My Government will implement the National Youth Policy through the establishment of a Southside Youth Success Project and the expansion of the Gang Resistance Education and Training Program. Both initiatives are aimed at at-risk youth to provide mentoring, life skills and leadership training. Moreover, we will establish new sporting and youth facility on Chetumal Street extension.

(H) Health
During the next five years, my Government will strengthen the public health system to ensure healthy environments and safe food supplies for all Belizeans and our visitors. In the area of capacity building, we will continue to strengthen the nurses training programs, including training for specialist nurses, at the University of Belize. 

We will expand on the reach of our health services by constructing new hospitals in San Pedro and Punta Gorda and improve and expand existing medical facilities in other parts of the country. We will extend outpatient services at all hospitals and polyclinics to a full 12 hours and on weekends.

(I) Housing and Community Development

In order to meet the housing demands in the country, the Government will complete and implement a national housing policy, which will inform the future of housing developments so as to enable our people to have access to secure and affordable housing within a safe and healthy environment.

The Government will renovate and maintain recreational spaces in neighbourhoods heavily impacted by gang activity, sponsor child-friendly and family-oriented entertainment events within communities and provide positive recreational opportunities in order to displace criminal activity.
(J) Infrastructure
To support the economic and social development of the country, my Government will continue its program of improving public infrastructure by building and upgrading the nation’s roads, streets, bridges, canals and drains. We will, therefore, upgrade the following roads: (1) the Southern Highway from Dump to Jalacte, (2) the Northern Highway from mile 2 to its junction with the Burrell Boom road, (3) feeder roads in northern Belize, (4) the Manatee Road and (5) the Old Northern Highway.

While we will build new bridges at Chetumal Street in Belize City and at new Macal River crossing in San Ignacio, my Government will also rebuild the Haulover Bridge, the San Pablo, Orange Walk Bridge, the Maypen Bridge and the Mullins River Bridge.

In Belize City, we will upgrade the Collet and North Creek canals and improve the Neal Pen Road and Jane Usher Boulevard under Phase 2 of the Southside Poverty Alleviation Project. Furthermore, my Government will secure financing for a new Belize City Infrastructure Project to meet the infrastructure needs of the growing population centre. 

(K) Transportation

For the road transportation system, my Government will construct a new National Bus Terminal in Belize City, and we will enhance the safety and convenience of the travelling public by regularizing bus routes. The protection of pedestrians and our road network will remain important, as we move to control and redirect the flow of certain types of vehicular traffic in our urban centres.

With regard to the Air Transportation System, the Government will establish a Civil Aviation Authority by merging the existing Civil Aviation Department and the Belize Airport Authority. This will allow us to streamline the operations, regulations and maintenance of the Belize aviation sector.

(L) Delivery of Government Services

During the next five years, the Government will integrate the Government’s open-vote workers into the permanent establishment. We will also centralize and expand training of public sector employees through the establishment of a Public Service Training Institute. In addition, we will enhance the delivery of Government services by implementing a Customer Service Policy at all levels as well as an Information Technology Policy and Plan, which will include an e-Government framework.

(M)Control Over Public Utilities

One of the signal achievements of the present Government during its last term of office was to regain control over public utilities in the national interest namely: telecommunications and electricity services, which had been in private hands for the past several years. My Government is committed to maintaining this control and will endeavor to consolidate its position during the coming term. This is a fundamental plank of the Government’s policy from which there can be no turning back.

My Government is equally committed to paying reasonable compensation within a reasonable time, as required by the Constitution, to all those whose shares in Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) and Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) had been acquired by the Government in the public interest.

In fact, my Government has already made an offer of compensation to the former owners of both BTL and BEL, based on a Fair Market Valuation carried out by a leading international firm based in the United Kingdom. My Government is still awaiting a final response to the offer of compensation made several months ago.  The Government firmly believes that it would be in the interest of all concerned to settle the payment of compensation without further delay so as to bring finality to this matter. And my Government will earnestly strive to achieve that goal early in the present term.
Mr. Speaker and Mr. President of the Senate, that concludes this Session’s “Speech from the Throne”.

May I now, with your kind permission, extend my best wishes to the new Government and indeed to all members of the House of Representatives and Senate, for a further term of fruitful deliberations and positive achievements for the welfare of the nation.

May God bless you all and our country, Belize!
Long live Belize! 
Que viva Belice!
THANK YOU.