Attorney General (AG) and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams SC, has clarified his role in vetting the city’s parking meters by-laws before they were signed by the Ministry of Communities.
Speaking with the media today, the AG admitted to vetting the laws. The AG said that he vetted the document while Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, was out of the country, and this may have led to the confusion of whether he did or did not review them.
The AG also said that, in reviewing the documents he did point out to City Hall that the parking fees were too burdensome for the ordinary man. “I indicate that the terms that they contain … that you would be in terror certainly to breach it and whilst there is certainly nothing unlawful about them, they would have to rework some of the figures,” the AG said.
Commenting on the by-laws that were eventually signed by the Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan, the AG said that City Hall did take some of his recommendations on board. “It is apparent that they did do some reworking but even so the reworking seems to be over saddling the ordinary working class and I suppose they would have to have a look at that again,” Williams said.
The AG said that he met with City Hall on Monday and they had undertaken to re-examine the fees. The Attorney General and City Hall were scheduled to meet again today.
The question of whether the by-laws were vetted by the AG before being signed by the Minister of Communities was raised after differing comments on the matter were expressed by the Minister of State, Joseph Harmon and Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan.
Minister Bulkan had told the media that he signed off on the document after it was cleared by the AG.
Returning from an overseas visit and hosting the most recent post-cabinet press briefing, Minister Harmon had said that the document was still to be vetted by the AG.