Minnis: Stem Cell Plan Benefits Nygard


Opposition leader Dr Hubert Minnis accused the government of pushing forward with the stem cell research and therapy bill because of promises to millionaire mogul Peter Nygard who stood to gain financially from the industry once it was regulated.
Addressing Members of Parliament yesterday, Dr Minnis said it seemed that the Christie administration was rushing to implement the Bill.
“It seems to me,” Dr Minnis said, “that this adventure into stem cell research and therapy is an attempt by the government to fulfil a promise and appease a resident in the far west and a select group who expects to benefit from a business to be created by this legislation.
“Nygard is a Canadian citizen who is a known supporter and investor. He applauded the government at the time for a recent creation of a task force in regulating the industry.
“It is said that the Canadian citizen is a big, big financial backer of the members opposite.”
However, State Minister of Investments Khaalis Rolle, along with other MPs, chastised Dr Minnis for the allegations claiming that the PLP, upon taking office already found most of the prerequisites already in place. He stressed that a proposal from Mr Nygard was not submitted.
“On a point of order,” said Mr Rolle, “the member is suggesting that what we are doing is on behalf of Peter Nygard. When this administration took office, there was a proposal before us. One that had already been given approval in principle.
“They had already invested up to $5 million into a facility. The only thing they were waiting for was a business license. He was Minister of Health.”
Dr Nottage further called for Dr Minnis’ statement to be retracted.
“The member is suggesting that some person is a big financial backer. He cannot say that this man is a financial supporter. He has no right to say that,” he said.
By Khrisna Virgil
Tribune Staff Reporter