The funding for the new Haulover Bridge has been approved by the House of Representatives. That came on Friday - one week after the Prime Minister returned from meetings in New York with the Opec Fund for International Development, which will fund the project. Here's what the House approved, and why the Opposition Leader wasn't happy about it:...

Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister
"The government of Belize aims at improving both the traffic congestion in Belize and the connectivity and accessibility to the area by replacing the old Haulover Bridge for a new longer and wider bridge, 147 meters long and 20 meters wide, with pedestrian sidewalks on each sides which will evolve costs in civil works, land acquisition consultancy services and supervision and whereas the government of Belize has requested assistance from OFID in the sum of US$12 million for partial funding of the project. Whereas the OFID has approved an offer of a loan of US$12 to the government of Belize to finance 68% of the total cost of the civil works."

Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition
"We recognize the importance of the Haulover Bridge. We are not against it, but what is the emergency? You need to be able to give us an opportunity to study it and to be able to meet with the Ministry of Works and the contractor and everything to get a better understanding of what is happening. This is too much Madam Speaker. This is way too much and we object of what the Prime Minister is attempting to do once again in the house."

Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister
"Madam Speaker this is absolutely straight forward. It is as the Leader of the Opposition concedes squarely in the public interest. The loan terms and conditions are nothing out of the ordinary. They are extremely concessionary. Any fool can digest it in 5 minutes."

The loan motion goes to the Senate on Wednesday.

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