by Linda Straker
- 2023 Data Protection Bill described as controversial by Opposition
- Minister Andrews: Bill is about developing homeland, country, and people
- Bill essential for G4R and CARDTP projects
A senior government minister said the approval of the 2023 Data Protection Bill by members of both Houses of Parliament is required so that the ruling Dickon Mitchell Administration can enforce 2 projects that will see an injection of US$24 million into the economy.
“We need this bill to be passed and to be in place so that we can implement our big projects that we have for this country…and these projects have to be supported by the Data Protection Bill,” Hon. Lennox Andrews told members of the Lower House.
The Bill has been described as controversial by members of the Opposition.
“We have right now in our budget 2 major projects that are geared towards the digitalisation of our economy of our country and are geared towards improving the lives of our people, and geared towards eradicating poverty, and geared toward the economic independence, and geared towards letting our people see that in them they have the potential to use their time and their talent to create goods and services that they can depend on to earn a decent income and to improve their lives,” said Minister Andrews who is the minister for Economic Development, Planning, Tourism, ICT, Creative Economy, Agriculture, and Lands, Fisheries, and Cooperatives.
“As a Government, our role is to facilitate that process and to put systems and structures and laws in place so that our people can take charge of our own development. So, we have what we called the Digitalisation for Government Services for Resilience Project; we call it the G4R project — that is US$15 million. We have the CARDTP project, which is another US$8 million project implementing this year,” he said. “This bill is about developing our homeland, developing our country, and developing our people. It is about using technology to improve the lives of our people and to bring a better life to all Grenadians,” Minister Andrews told the members.
Opposition Members in the House advocated for the Bill to get more public consultation because of concerns from members of the public. They suggested the Bill be laid for first reading and a joint House select committee established and tasked with holding widespread public consultations.
Members representing the Government voted against that motion and instead chose to approve the Bill by amending several clauses. “These are, in my view, cosmetic amendments because the substance remains, and the point is, what are these organisations saying about the Bill? They have expressed concern. They have to give their input,” said Opposition Leader Dr Keith Mitchell.
I would love to learn more about this bill. Data and digitalization can be abused too easily.
It seems strange the Opposition NNP, has discovered the word consultation. Where were the public consultations when they were in Government? Why are they objecting to a Bill they themselves drafted? This kind of behaviour is not a sign of working together to improve Grenada.
Well said. This is hypocrisy and not a good measure of opposition to representation but opposing out of spite. Where is patriotism? Where are their morals? #needbetterTeamwork