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Opposition Senators raise concerns of bullying in Parliament

Sen. Yolanda Mc Queen – has been on the receiving end of criticisms from members of the NNP regime

An opposition Senator in Grenada has expressed concern over the level of debate in the Upper House of Parliament.

Newly appointed Senator, Businesswoman Yolanda Mc Queen literally accused members on the government side of engaging in bullying tactics to have their way in the Senate.

Speaking to reporters at a Virtual press conference, Sen. Mc Queen compared her experience having participated in two sittings of the Upper House so far as being in an “abusive relationship.”

She said that she was “shocked” at the “manner and the way in which the Senators speak,” and expressed disappointment that at last week Wednesday’s sitting of the Upper House that “before you open your mouth you get shut down”, which causes one “to lose your trend of thought”.

“There came a point when Senators (Norland Cox and (Winston) Garraway were saying to Sen. Stiell we will leave this one for you so you could handle it (and) it’s like being in a playground, and you know, you have your big bad friend so, what (ever) you cannot deal with, your bad friend is going to handle it,” she told reporters.

“And when he (Senator Stiell) came on…it was like they hyped him up…and then he said Sen. (Tessa) St. Cyr you would be next, and then you Sen. Mc Queen, you would be next, and I felt like a little child crumbling in my seat…because when I (had) first asked the question, he shut me down immediately and the President of the House had to tell him no,” she said.

Sen. Mc Queen went on to say: “You do not speak to adults who are coming there (as) bright people who are taking their time out to represent Grenada, and before we open our mouth you shut us down…”

“I run a very successful business and I don’t want to be made to feel like a little child or I am stupid, we are not there for that,” she added.

Sen. Matthew Joseph who also addressed last Thursday’s press conference described the ordeal the day before as a “travesty of justice,” as there “seems to be a new dimension to the whole definition of politics in Grenada, and the operation of parliament”.

“This is not the way democracy intended for it to work (or) the way we know it to work,” he said, noting that the President of the Senate had informed the sitting that “he was not going to answer any questions today (because) they are short staffed, they have staff challenges in the ministries and as a result those questions could not be responded to.”

Sen. Joseph said, given the fact that some of the questions have been submitted since June “the government side had enough time to respond to the questions.

“I understand how Parliament works, I’ve been following parliament for years…issues can be contentious but not disrespectful and this is the problem,” he told reporters.

According to Sen. Joseph, it appears that he had touched on a “number of things in my presentation that seem to have upset a number of people” but the fact of the matter is “I don’t mind, I am doing what I have to do”.

“…I also think that the government side is in shock – they are not used to that kind of approach to politics, they are so used to sitting there…virtually wasting time but the issues now have substance and the public is now listening.

“So, we are in the House, and we are going to fight, we are not going to walk away or run because we are not fighting for ourselves and the nation deserves better than what happened in Parliament (last week Wednesday).”

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