Bill which allows skilled workers regional access to jobs passed

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Foreign and Caricom Affairs Minister Dr Amery Browne. – File photo/Jeff Mayers

WITHOUT any amendments the Caribbean Community Skilled Nationals (Amendment) Bill, 2022 was passed on Friday night with 19 votes for and 11 against.

In wrapping up the Bill, Foreign and Caricom Affairs Minister Dr Amery Browne said he found no merit in the opposition’s arguments to stop the bill.

“We are Caricom,” he said adding that the country benefited when our Caribbean brothers donated vaccines for covid19.

He questioned why the Opposition would want to stop their constituents who were skilled workers to benefit from working in the region. He said the bill would allow for regional food security, which is something that all parliamentarians across the region should be grateful for.

He claimed the Opposition was “opposing for opposing sake” since they criticised the economy yet claimed that there would be a tsunami of workers flooding the country if the law was passed.

Browne said whether it was slavery or indertureship, intra-Caribbean movement was always happening.

“What I was hearing today is alien to our region. What the bill does will facilitate the orderly, lawful, controlled movement of skilled workers,” he said as he invited the Opposition to “join Caricom.”

Browne said the internal moving of Caribbean people was part of his lineage with his great-grandfather coming from Guyana and marrying a Vincentian woman.

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