Sometimes I wonder what our ancestors would say if they could see the mistakes we have made and the opportunities we seem to ignore. We are always complaining about losing our lands, yet whenever there is an opportunity to reacquire lands, we hesitate and come up with poor excuses.
The Toad Hall property, located next to the Baths National Park, has been up for sale for some time now. This property should be acquired by the Government immediately and the Baths National Park expanded. Where is the money to come from for the purchase? I have seen the draft of an excellent proposal for financing this acquisition, with a payback period of under five years. I believe that working together, we have the brain power, know-how, and creativity to solve many of the complex challenges facing us today. The expansion and development of the Baths National Park is one of the many avenues that can be used to empower our people.
I would further like to see bathrooms at more of our beaches, this would awaken the spirit of our entrepreneurs to get involved in business ventures. We must also make sure we educate our entrepreneurs in smart and sustainable business practices. I know HLSCC would be more than ready and happy to facilitate this. Hurricane Irma has reminded us of the importance of land ownership, we have to come together and help persons to get clear titles to lands that they occupy. I know this is possible as I have worked very closely with Hon. Ralph T. O’Neal, OBE in granting land titles to hundreds of persons on Anegada, North Sound and the Valley. These activities do not comparatively cost much money, but their impacts are very significant.
I am not a pessimist, but I am going to assume the worst possible scenario when it comes to our finances. It is for this reason I will be proposing creative ways we can work together to come up with solutions to many of our vexing issues. This is our recovery, and it must be primarily by us, and totally for us. The BVI is the sailing capital of the world, I think it is time for us to revisit the issue of water rights. If this matter is working against us and not for us, then maybe something needs to change. We will need to have a serious discussion on this. For the BVI to rebuild its infrastructure, the money has to come from somewhere but we should not limit ourselves to just loan funding alone. Let us get our collective minds together, let us challenge our people to think outside the box. I firmly believe that many of the solutions that we need to move this country forward lie not inside the House but outside the box. We have to listen to the people.