Barbados Government Expropriates Private Land… Then Doesn’t Pay The Owners!!! Canadian Government Gets Involved

Will The Corruption Never Cease?

My friends, I am almost without words this morning. I am in such despair over yet another incident that highlights the apparent inability of successive Barbados politicians to conduct themselves like honest professionals who care about and adhere to the rule of law.

If the Government of Barbados expropriates your land, you should at least be paid for it!

Never mind the arguments about how land expropriation (called “compulsory acquisition” in Barbados) should be justified or allowed… you should at least be paid a fair price for your land if the government takes it!

But that’s not the way it works in Barbados.

In Barbados, a Government Minister will vote to expropriate your land… and in a few months you will find he has built a fine house on it for his mistress! (Yes, Gline Clarke, we be takin ’bout YOU!)

In Barbados, the big-ups in government have no integrity rules against their profiting from their position or insider knowledge. Combine the legal ability of government officials to misuse their offices for personal profit with their ability to expropriate land without any real protection for the landowner… and you have the high-risk disaster that is all too often faced by foreign and domestic owners of real estate on this island.

The latest horror story of expropriated lands not paid for by government can be found at Keltruth Blog, along with a letter from the Government of Canada indicating the sleezey actions of Barbados government officials involved in the Kingsland Estates dispute.

Keltruth Blog: Barbados Government expropiates Kingsland land but does not pay!


Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption

59 responses to “Barbados Government Expropriates Private Land… Then Doesn’t Pay The Owners!!! Canadian Government Gets Involved

  1. nevermind Kurt

    I have been reading the full court press on this Keltruth thing by some powerful people at Barbados Underground. Someone has a lot invested in making sure this stays in the Barbados courts.

    I don’t understand a lot of what I read, but I have one question if anyone can answer. Assuming the Kingsland lands are worth the many millions of dollars people say they are worth, how can the Kingsland company be broke? If the lands are worth hundreds of millions of dollars and the Kingsland company owes only ten million or whatever?

  2. crossroads

    Please refrain from defacing our flag with such graphics


    BFP says,

    Hi there,

    We often use our Barbados flag in various cartoons and such to make our point. You are the first person to ever complain.


    Most folks get the point that we love our country and our flag, but we detest those who wrap themselves in our flag while destroying our country with their corruptions.

    Thanks for your input, and we’ll talk about your point at our Friday meeting.

  3. Hants

    Why is the Canadian High Commission getting involved in a “land deal” in a foreign country ?

  4. Sargeant

    @ Hants

    I thought you were more astute, didn’t you see the name of the C’dian law firm?

  5. Juris

    I agree with Crossroads. There may be many things wrong with Barbados but for you BFP to deface our flag with that symbol is a gross insult to our people. The flag is not the government, it is a symbol of the country. Including you, BFP?

  6. Anon 27

    The Canadian High Commission has the right to get involved because some of the defendants in the action hold dual Barbados/Canadian citizenship.

  7. Pat

    This is a lot hof hot air. The High Commission is NOT involved in the Kinglands affair. The High Commission was responding to a request made by Mr. Allard (a Canadian citizen) to find out information re his interest in Kingsland. To infer that it impacts on the Canada-Barbados bilateral trade agreement is ridiculous. Mr. Allard does not, to my knowledge, own any shares in Kingsland.

    From my reading of the letter in question, the request was forwarded through Gowling & Henderson on behalf of Mr. Allard. The High Commission was doing no more or less than it would do for any Canadian citizen. It enquired and responded to query placed before it. The big question here is how come Gowling & Henderson is no longer working for Mr. Allard? How come he now has a small time lawyer from Orillia and not one of the leading English law firms in all Canada?

    I would suggest that we all read these documents critically.

  8. Adrian Hinds

    It is incidents, and rumours of incidents like these that reinforce the position of those who are against Barbados becoming a republic and doing away with the privy council in favour of the CCJ (Caribbean court of justice)

  9. The scout

    I have no respect for anyone who defaces our flag. i think BFP owes it to this country to remove this image from this post.

  10. crossroads

    While I may be first to complain BFP clearly I won’t be the last. I do enjoy your cartoons however I don’t recall any that disrespected our flag.

  11. The Youth

    This is the first time i have been on this site and i love it, continue to keep us informed but know how far to go with what represents our nation, however im not going to let the image blind me of all the corruption in this island and all those commenting should not either.

  12. The scout

    The youth
    O.K ,BFP can highlight all the injustices in this country, and there are many but don’t touch my sovereignty or deface my face. This is tantamount to treason.

  13. Mangoes

    The only purpose of this filthy blog is to peddle lies lies lies and more lies about Barbados and Barbadians.


    BFP says,

    Oh? Really?

    Which lies are those? The lie that our police can shoot an unarmed, innocent civilian in the back of the head and we never have a public explanation or inquest? Perhaps you can give us the date and report of the inquest then?

    Or perhaps our DLP Government kept their promise made during the election and actually did introduce a Ministerial Code with prohibitions against government officials profiting from their offices? Perhaps it is now illegal for a government contractor to give a gift to a government official who is in charge of awarding them a juicy government contract?

    Please post the law for all to see!


  14. yatinkiteasy

    BFP, be mature and remove that graphic that defaces the Barbados Flag…have some respect for the country you say you love and defend…this is what enemies do…defile other`s flag…shame!

  15. Thistle

    Cuh-dear, BFP, EVERYBODY begging you to stop defacing our flag. Tek off de foolish graphic off de flag, nuh?


    BFP says,

    Hi Thistle,

    A few folks are not everybody!

    And you didn’t bother to complain until now – or about our other cartoons featuring the flag… For instance the “new Barbados flag” which is the China ensign with our flag in the corner. We’ve published that for almost two years and you must have seen it.

    And the few who have commented seem to be more upset about the flag than the unethical expropriation of land! Interesting perspective.

    So… we will speak about the flag issue today during our regular Friday lunch. Maybe we’ll have a vote on it… that is possible.

    Meanwhile, we encourage our readers to let us know what they think about us using the flag as an editorial comment.

  16. Hants

    BFP the flag should not be defaced. You can create other graphics that will support your topics.

    I acknowledge your right to put what you want on your blog so I am appealing to your sensibilities.

    Please discuss this before you “get into de sauce” at your friday lunch.

  17. Man In De Cane

    I concur Hants and the others with the flag. Put the chief Justice in a dress, put pig heads on politicians, put a bottle of rum in Arthur’s hand and all the wonderful things you do to make your points. Don’t stop being BFP but do stop cartooning the flag.

  18. Red Lake Lassie

    I vote no defacing of our flag.

  19. Red Lake Lassie

    Forgot to say “otherwise keep up the good work BFP”

  20. Equity

    BFP, you are nothing if not obstinate. Do you realise that you hate to admit you are wrong? Grow up! Perhaps only a few are complaining about the flag, but those few are more than half of the comments on this story.

  21. Hants

    Veeeery interesting.

    During her first year in office, Palin distanced herself from the powerful old guard of the state Republican Party, even calling on Sen. Ted Stevens to explain to Alaskans why federal authorities were investigating him. Since then, their relationship has warmed, and they have appeared together at several events.

    Stevens even said lawmakers should follow Palin’s lead in her efforts to get a natural gas pipeline built.

    Stevens is scheduled to go on trial Sept. 22 in Washington, D.C., on charges he failed to disclose more than $250,000 in home renovations and gifts from executives at oil services contractor VECO Corp.

  22. J

    Dear BFP:

    Take the hammer and sickle and the star offa our flag.

    The flag belongs to we the people.

    It is not the property of politicians, nor lawyers, nor courts nor BFP.

    Lampooning politicians is one thing. Mekking mock sport of our flag is just plain wrong.

  23. John

    I don’t think what the Government did expropriating the land had anything to do with communism.

    It is all about capitalism, ….. making someone else’s capital yours!! …. I can also think of other words that describe the actions and none of them are isms.

    For this reason I think the Hammer and Sickle and the Red Star should go.

  24. BFP

    BFP Friday Meeing votes for flag cartoons to stop.

    OK we took down the cartoon of the flag because the discussion is is taking away from the message.

    B ack to the meeting.


  25. John

    August 29, 2008 at 7:41 pm
    I don’t think what the Government did expropriating the land had anything to do with communism.

    It is all about capitalism, ….. making someone else’s capital yours!! …. I can also think of other words that describe the actions and none of them are isms.

    For this reason I think the Hammer and Sickle and the Red Star should go.

    The only ism word I could think of that might go with the practice is prism!!

  26. Barbadian Abroad

    Barbados I know about your appropriation stories, they are legendary. How the Government takes private land and tries not to compensate the owner – unless they complain. Especially foreign owners.

    What is worse is when you do the same thing under the guise of a poverty alleviation scheme and force owners (who have title deeds and pay taxes) to sell land to squatters, under the Tenantries Freehold Purchase Act, for an arbitrary fee worth a fraction of its market value.

    And to top it off the embattled government agency facilitating the program does not have a means test to determine if the “buyers” qualify for financial assistance. Once purchased the new owners can also resell the land as private lands (more expensive) and not tenantry lands (cheaper) and make a tidy profit at the expense of the rightful owner.

    And that, my friends, is why your new flag is a vast improvement over your old one. So much for your pride and industry.

  27. Bush tea


    I usually do not agree with your rantings, however I find it amusing that so many of us are so offended by your ‘amended flag’ while being ambivalent to the ridiculous, immoral and downright nasty practices that have become the national norm here.

    I also did not think that you should deface the flag, but I feel so strongly about the fundamental point that you are trying to make that I feel that you were justified in taking such strong steps.

    This has indeed become a place of no pride, no industry – just measuring ‘success’ by the extent to which we have been able to prostitute our pride, our lands, our laws and our principles in the name of foreign exchange and tourists.

    No one seems overly offended by politicians and managers stealing; By an old lady’s assets being legally kidnapped (as with Kingsland); with private property being seized by government and then being used to a minister’s benefit……what have we become?

    Prostitutes usually flourish for a short time, until their lifestyles and lack of principles catch up with them…….then they all look the same.

  28. The scout

    Thanks for heeding the request of your bloggers to remove that wicked defaced flag you had posted. I had made a promise not to blog with you again if ever again if this was not removed. On behalf of ALL patriotic barbadian, again I say thank you.

  29. Hants

    BFP your decision pleases me.Thank you. The flag should be respected.

    Hopefully with your efforts to expose the ills of Barbados, we may reclaim some of “our very own”.

    @Bush Tea and Barbadian Abroad.

    I keep hearing about people being wronged by government and have even been indirectly affected a decision made by Owing After in his efforts to make more hay for the COW.

    Bajans overseas that own land or house in Barbados must visit once or twice a year and “manage your investment”.

    Bajans also have to forget about false pride and “go public” about what is happening to you.

    I have had to fly to Barbados to take a document from a lawyers office to the registrars office after waiting 3 months for him to send one of his assistants on a 10 minute walk to the registry.

    If you do not manage your property and rely on others to do it for you, expect problems.

    New motto. Ask not what others can do to you but what you must do for yourself.

    Barbados is still our country and some of us want or have to live in “paradise on earth”.

  30. no name

    Well said Bush tea,

    It is our country that is being defaced.

    We have become a people of double standards. Do we know what pride is or have we forgotten? It is disheartening to watch our legacy slip away while “good” men remain silent.

  31. Hants

    No name says “It is disheartening to watch our legacy slip away while “good” men remain silent.”

    So break the silence if you are a good man or woman.

  32. no name


    I am glad to say that, although somewhat hesitant and fearful in my youth, I continue to do my part and my conscience is clear. It is time for more of our energetic youth to join the struggle, take the baton and run with it.

    Do not wait for someone else to act when you know there is something you can do to make things better for our country.

  33. Juris

    What are you doing in that regard, No Name?

  34. Hants

    August 30, 2008 at 4:28 pm
    What are you doing in that regard, No Name?

    What are you doing in that regard, Juris?

  35. Barbadian Abroad

    Hants (and Bush Tea)

    Let me say that your points are well taken. And I agree with your comment about doing for yourself.

    However, I have done so in the past to little avail. Like you, I have flown in there to physically move documents across the street. And to be honest, I see no reason to be there “once or twice a year” to manage investments that others are receiving payment for. Bajans must remember that they exist within a global village and a virtual world now. I do not have to ride people here to do things – they are professional and mature. It is time for Bajans to grow up, only then can they be taken seriously.

    It is often said that we treat our own worse than others. Perhaps that explains why Bajans are not inclined to work when you are away. I am the same colour as most of them. To accomplish things I practically would have to move there – just to be an Overseer.

    Beyond that, Bajans are bitter against those who left and xenophobic against the newcomers. And this makes them distasteful to deal with. So as the saying goes Barbados has become a nice place to visit, but I …

    And I will not begin to comment on the quality of the so called “attorneys-at-law” there. They are a embarrassment to the legal profession as a whole. Even the cancelled North American television show Dharma and Greg made them the butt of a joke.

    Hopefully, highlighting these issues will make things better. Shame is a wonderful tool.

  36. no name


    Our lives are about trying to feed our good wolf more than our evil one. Not always an easy task though.

    Hope this helps.

    “Two wolves.

    One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.
    He said, “ My son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all.”

    One is Evil. – It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow,
    regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

    The other is Good. – It is joy, peace, love, hope,
    serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and
    your faith.’

    The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: ‘ Which wolf wins? ‘

    The old Cherokee simply replied, ‘ The one you feed. ‘”

  37. Hants

    @Barbadian Abroad,

    Sorry Barbados is so difficult for you but you have to determine how much time you are willing to invest in dealing with your assets in Barbados.

    I am privilaged to have family and friends in Barbados that make my visits very enjoyable and I am therefore able to cope with some of the problems you alluded to.

    you said “I see no reason to be there “once or twice a year” to manage investments that others are receiving payment for. Bajans must remember that they exist within a global village and a virtual world now. I do not have to ride people here to do things – they are professional and mature. It is time for Bajans to grow up, only then can they be taken seriously.”

    You are obviously prepared to take risks.It is your investment not theirs.

    I have said on this blog before that for example Lawyers in Barbados behave as if they are doing you a favour when you retain them.This is true for other professionals and even Tradesmen it is a Bajan trait used to try to take “control”.

    I do not allow that. You either do what I am paying you for or I will find someone else who will.

    You don’t pay and beg at the same time.

  38. no name


    I thought of you when I read Mrs. Margaret Knight’s comment in Random August 30, 2008 at 10:16 pm. A good example of what we were discussing earlier.

    Were you around in the Mrs. Joan Benjamin days? If so, she was an example to follow. When she saw something she was moved to speak out about she fearlessly spoke out.

    Do we ever need more Mrs. Benjamins today.

  39. Margaret Knight

    No Name,

    I agree with you about Joan Benjamin, except for one very important fact. She and I were on opposite sides of the track and we fought (verbally!) – she for the BLP and me for the DLP. I’ll give you an amusing incident involving Joan and her husband. They were invited to a talk I was asked to give at the then Academy of Politics way back in 1977. During question time, someone risked his life (with J.B in the audience) by referring to me as “Comrade Knight”. Joan flew up out of her chair and screamed, “Oh, no, no, no! We will not have the word ‘comrade’ used in this island!” and with that, she and the hubby left in one big hurry.

  40. Thomas Gresham


    I coundn’t agree with you more about the state of the Barbadian legal system. As a returning national I have come to feel that two things are holding this country back even more than people realise: Cable & Wireless and Lawyers.

    As part of my return I recently sold a house in the UK and purchased a home in Barbados. In the UK the lawyers were extremely efficient, did more than was strictly their job, gave me sound advice, did everything ahead of schedule and charged 0.5% of the sales price. In Barbados, the lawyers charged 3.3% (scale fees was their excuse, but who do you think lobbies for those) were hopeless, gave me no or bad advice, and through their incompetence delayed the transaction while earning interest on my capital held in their escrow account…..And we want to be an international business centre? With backward lawyers and telecommunications – the two key selling points for international business centres? Do you think they have the same Cable & Wireless charges in Hong Kong? Or hefty scale fees in Dubai? Does the Barbados government have a policy to reform either? No. Too much vested interest for real change.

  41. no name

    Thanks, Mrs. Knight, for reinforcing my point.

    Freedom of speech is good no matter which side of the track one may be on. It can be enjoyable too.

    Silence causes problems and facilitates wrongdoing.

    Mrs. Knight, is it true that during the war Mrs. Benjamin was buried alive and survived?

  42. Barbadian Abroad

    Hunts (and Thomas Gresham)

    Thank you for commiserating with me. But I should clarify one thing, I do not mean to sound ungrateful because if it were not for the support of my Bajan family we would probably have nothing left; or sound superior because I have been away. I am just frustrated with the way things are there.

    You are right, it is time to reassess how much time and effort I want expend on my investments. That is why I am thinking of liquidating everything – to the highest bidder – as I grow older. Especially since I have tried moving my business to “someone else” and found a different person with the same “Bajan trait.” A trait that my people do not have and are also upset with.

    What is more, Barbados lacks a structure of real accountability. If you have a problem with a lawyer what does the Bar Association do? If you have a problem with a tradesperson, or shoddy merchandise, who do you complain to? A union, licensing body, Ministry, or better business bureau? If the government moves slowly on an issue is there an Ombudsperson to represent the common man or taxpayers? Where are these structures? Why are they missing? Who does it benefit not to have them?

  43. Thomas Gresham

    Dear Barbadian Abroad,

    Barbados does have many, though not all of these structures. We have an Ombudsman, we have a Fair Trade Commission. But rather like the Police Complaints Authority and Securities Commission that we also have these organisations do not have real monitoring, investigation and enforcement powers. They also need greater independence with more external scrutiny. (Of course other governments have these agencies and they also do not work effectively. Recall the travesty of justice that is the Guildford 4 in the UK and the institutional racism of many government bodies as observed by Lord Scarman.)

    The current Barbados government has been pushing the importance of the diaspora even more than the last and so maybe we could involve disapora like yourself in belonging to boards to help with the independence and awareness of our agencies. The current approach is that government boards should be filled with party hacks irrespective of knowledge of the issue.

  44. Margaret Knight

    No Name,

    I did not know Joan Benjamin that well, but I heard the same rumour. I do believe that as a Jew she must have suffered in some way before escaping to England, and then to Barbados.

  45. Margaret Knight

    No Name,

    It seems I have to re-word my reply to you – my comment got sent into moderation. So here goes: I did not know Joan Benjamin that well, but I heard that rumour too. She would no doubt have suffered in some form or fashion – being what she was – before escaping to England, and then to Barbados. It probably had a very negative effect on her for the rest of her life.


    BFP says,

    Good morning Margaret,

    I’ve cleared your original comment, and yes, we set the filter so the word “Jew” or variations thereof causes the post to be held for one of us to clear it. An unfortunate necessity due to the actions of a few people who haven’t learned a thing since 1945.


  46. Margaret Knight

    Thanks, Marcus. I do understand your need for caution with certain words and racial descriptions. And by the way, I was quite amused to see that … oh dear, maybe that name is banned too … “the Laaaaaaddd character” – has sneaked back in under another name, and pretty well boasted about it on Barbados Underground!


    BFP says,

    Yes, he’s now throwing dozens of comments at us and a few may leak through, but we usually get to them.

    The fellow must have a very small mind to be content with such “victories” in life, don’t you think?

    And now… I shall delete his comment. Perhaps a few others will sneak through but not to worry, we’ll get to them after church.



  47. Juris

    BA, if you have problems with tradespeople or shoddy merchandise, you can complain to Public Counsel….for free.

  48. J

    Dear Juris:

    Do you know of any highly efficient lawyers who are looking for more work?

    I hear so many slow/incompetent/indifferent lawyer stories that there must be plenty of work for good lawyers.

    What would you advise those of us without a lawyer in the family/friend circle?

  49. no name

    Juris said ,

    “BA, if you have problems with tradespeople or shoddy merchandise, you can complain to Public Counsel….for free.”

    I have heard that one usually gets what one pays for.

  50. Juris

    There are numerous efficient lawyers in Bim, don’t let the sensational news fool you. Go for the younger ones.

    @no name
    Of course you can always pay a lawyer for the same service. Your choice!

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  52. J

    Dear Juris:

    Thanks. I have several bits of work that I need to have done. All civil. Estate matters mostly. Uncontested. Yet the matters are taking far too long to be settled.. I think that I’ll look for a young energetic lawyer in truth.

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  55. Syn

    I believe that a shift needs to be made to much of our educated youth in order to push Barbados forward – as often as I come to the Island it is those under 30 working with those in power who try to assist them that make me feel like my home is still worth fighting for – it is hard to make the contribution from the outside but you do what you can and fight to do ever more – if you feel that working from within BIM is frustrating it is 10 times more so for those of us on the outside trying to accomplish what the government SAYS they want to do – only to see our proposals handed over to cronies and family members to fester in the muck and never achieve all they could be – BIM can be a wonderful place if we take it in hand but it has to happen at the community level and stop waiting for the government to act.

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  58. John Hanson 1781-1782- I SERVE 1788- 1792 BARBADOES.

    They will pay, its not a free for all , The pimp title holders and family will pay,No crime ;last for ever and bills of crime is paid for in the end, The DLP and BLP will pay,

  59. John Hanson 1781-1782- I SERVE 1788- 1792 BARBADOES.

    Most of the time the land that is taken from most was sold to them , But in the first place it was not sold by the owner , Just middle men acting as owner with crooks ass lawyers, If the Ministers want the land they will take it for you trust your lawyer and you had no right to the land, The government knows the right owner so they can play that game , even selling the land more than once ,