Cocaine recovered on St. George’s Port

Desmond Penny – went to clear the box

Desmond Penny – went to clear the box

A move to clear a quantity of cocaine at the St. George’s Port last week Friday has failed.

Police have recovered the illegal drugs contained in a box that came on board the MV Ocean Princess last week Friday from its regular weekly trip out of Trinidad.

One hundred and ninety-two grams of cocaine was contained in the box that had mainly groceries in it.

Informed sources told THE NEW TODAY newspaper that a check of the ship’s manifest might give an indication as to the name of the person who dropped off the package.

Beaulieu resident, Desmond Penny was attempting to clear the box when it was searched and the cocaine detected by members of the Drug Squad who were on location at the Caricom Jetty of the St. George’s Port.

An investigation carried out by the police into the discovery of the illegal drugs soon focused on a Vincentian national, Ferdinand Spencer who carries a Trinidadian accent.

He was detained and charged by local law enforcement officials as being an accomplice in the cocaine pick-up.

According to a high level source, it is unfortunate that Penny, unsuspectingly found himself tied up with the incident.

The source believes Penny was tricked into going on the port to clear the box that was placed in his name.

“As you know he is just a simple man on the street, never concerned about what is happening around him,” the source said.

Ferdinand Spencer – suspected of having links to the cocaine

Ferdinand Spencer – suspected of having links to the cocaine

Penny who was brought to court on Tuesday on charges of possession and trafficking in illegal drugs was placed on bail in the sum of $20,000 with two sureties by Chief Magistrate, Her Honour Tamara Gill.

His accomplice (Spencer) was expected to face the court yesterday (Thursday May 23) on similar charges.

 

Two Grenadians Murdered in Canada

Ronnie – Da Breo – brutally killed while visiting his female friend

Ronnie – Da Breo – brutally killed while visiting his female friend

The brutal deaths in Canada of Ronnie Da Breo and Natasha Jeffrey by a Jamaican man in Winnipeg, Canada has sent shock waves throughout the island.

A family member of Da Breo told THE NEW TODAY newspaper that the family is devastated by the sad news since less than a month ago they had to bury Da Breo’s own father, Gregory.

According to the family member, the New York-based Ronnie left Grenada about two weeks ago after coming home to help in the burial of his father, who died in the United States.

The body was flown back home fur burial.

Ronnie, the father of an eleven year old girl, and former student of the Grenada Boys Secondary School (GBSS), left Grenada about 15 years ago to live in Brooklyn, New York.

The family member said that Ron had informed them that he would be going over to Winnipeg in Canada for a two-week vacation to be with Natasha since the two had only recently resumed a personal relationship that had ended a few years earlier.

The member said that the deceased left New York on May 16 and was killed the following day in Natasha’s house along with her.

She stated that very little information is reaching them about the circumstances under which the killings took place.

She said the family members in Grenada are hearing reports that Natasha had ended her relationship with the suspected killer and that apparently the Jamaican man was not prepared to accept the situation.

Natasha Jeffrey – ended the relationship with the suspected killer

Natasha Jeffrey – ended the relationship with the suspected killer

She spoke of Ron on his arrival in Winnipeg going straight into a social get-together along with Natasha, her brother and several other close friends.

She said that the suspect was spotted at the function and was looking in a rather menacing manner towards Da Breo who apparently was not aware of the individual.

“We really do not know what happened after the social function”, she remarked, adding that Natasha’s brother might be able to shed some light on what might have happened.

Winnipeg police would only confirm that they are investigating a double homicide after a man turned himself in at a police station.

Seymour Sharpe, 44, has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder.

Officers taped off a home in the 4300 block of Roblin Boulevard just after 8 a.m. Friday where the bodies of Jeffrey, 37, and Dabreo,39, were found inside.

Police have not released many details about what happened, except to say the victims and the accused knew each other and the homicides are a “domestic incident.”

Const. Jason Michalyshen told CBC News that the cause of death of both victims would not be released until after autopsies are done.

Michalyshen would not say if there was a weapon, but described the deaths as “a very violent incident.”

Some family and friends of Natasha have taken to Facebook to express their grief.

“Rest in peace girl, I will never forget you,” reads one Facebook post.

“Oh lord Natty may your soul rest in peace, still can’t believe you gone,” reads another on the social media site.

According to her Facebook profile Jeffrey lived in Winnipeg, but was originally from Tempe, St. George’s, Grenada.

A sister of Ronnie described him in an interview with THE NEW TODAY as “the most loving, and caring” person one can ever hope to find” and one who was “always willing to help”.

She said this trait was demonstrated when Ronnie looked after his ailing father in New York.

“The nature of Ronnie was indescribable. You just couldn’t find another individual with so much love in him. He was so caring and loving. They have taken away the gem from the Da Breo family. May he rest in peace”.

The first 100 days

The debate will go on in the country for some time on whether the government has kept its promise to provide hundreds of jobs in the construction sector in the first 100 days in office following the February 19 general elections.

The end of May will be the time for the people to be the judge about the jobs as promised by the now ruling New National Party (NNP) of Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell, back at the helm for a fourth term as Prime Minister following a 13-year stint between June 1995 and July 2008.

On Tuesday, the government launched the start of work on the Kuwaiti-funded Feeder Road project at Mamma Cannes to be executed by CCC, its most trusted, loyal and reliable friend in the road construction business.

Just about everyone on the island knew about the problems that existed between the former Tillman Thomas-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration and CCC on arriving at a common position for the start of work on the Second Phase of the project.

Quite a lot is still to be disclosed to the public on the actual execution of this latest project involving CCC.

Will the Kuwait-owned company be bringing back its own equipment to do the project since the company had shipped out several pieces of heavy-duty equipment from the island over two years ago during the stand-off with Congress?

If CCC is not moving in that direction then will it be leasing equipment from other construction companies on the island or sub-contracting the work to be done to others?

In the days and weeks ahead, those persons in the know will probably provide answers to these as many more questions that will be asked by the public about the project that was awarded to CCC.

In terms of the promise of jobs and more jobs in the first 100 days of the new NNP administration, the Parliamentary Secretary for Information, Senator Winston Garraway announced on Wednesday that “beautiful things are on the horizon” for the people of Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique to prove the skeptics totally wrong.

He did drop hints that an announcement will be made later in the week about a major project that will be started where more jobs will be made available to the people.

The Senator was brimming with confidence and was probably leaving this major announcement of the start of work on a major project to the Prime Minister.

Many persons started to speculate as to whether the goodly Senator was referring to the Grenada Grand Beach resort following the promise made by the NNP during the election campaign to bring back the project known as the Lewis Hamilton mega hotel on the world famous Grand Anse beach.

The only project which THE NEW TODAY can refer to with certainty is the upgrade to the Spice Isle Beach Resort by the island’s leading hotelier, Sir Royston Hopkin.

The Spice is expected to close in September to undergo a US$1.8 million upgrade of the facility.

Over the years, Sir Royston has been known to be one who puts his money where his mouth is and will always deliver on his promises in the hotel industry.

As May draws closer to an end, the debate will intensify on whether the government has truly started to deliver on its promises to the electorate during Campaign 2013.

The people will be the final judge on the promised jobs. The NDC was always judged in part on its four-and-a-half years in office on its promise to raise the pension of the old aged people to $400.00 which it was not able to bring about due to the financial crisis facing the country.

The same yard stick might apply to the NNP by the Grenadian electorate which is seemingly in a no-nonsense mood when it comes to the performance or lack of performance of politicians.

This newspaper expects Prime Minister Mitchell to soon address the Grenadian people on his stewardship of the country in the first 100 days of his new NNP administration.

The Prime Minister might give some more detailed insights into those projects from the private sector that are expected to come on stream shortly to help alleviate the unemployment situation in the country.

Several government officials have been reminding the people that the philosophy of the NNP government is not to actually provide the jobs but to provide the enabling environment and conditions for the private sector to excel and to engage in investment activities so that the badly needed jobs can materialise.

It is against this background that THE NEW TODAY is anxiously looking forward to some kind of announcement from the major manufacturers on the island about their plans to expand on their various businesses.

The common message which came out of the manufacturers during the period of the Congress government is that they were not happy with certain aspects of the Value Added Tax (VAT) and the vexing issues of rebates and some of them vowed privately not to invest a single dollar in the country once the Tillman Thomas government remained in office.

The manufacturers should now have in NNP a more private sector friendly government with which to work with and so roll out as quickly as possible their expansion plans to take their businesses to another level and to make some inroads into the unemployment situation.

THE NEW TODAY does not anticipate as some critics have been suggesting that the Prime Minister might have to ask the people for an extension of the time that was earlier set by the NNP in the campaign to deliver within 100 days hundreds upon hundreds of jobs in the construction sector.

A PATRONESS for the protection of our Built Heritage

It was like a breath of fresh air, hearing Her Excellency – Dr. Cecile La Grenade, our new Governor General, in her inaugural address on Tuesday, May 7, 2013 declaring her commitment to the protection of our built heritage with special reference to the restoration of the Governor General’s residence and York House, which were severely damaged by hurricane Ivan in September 2004, and remain derelict up to this day.

In this regard it is appropriate that the Sentinel bring to the fore the declaration by the United Nations on world heritage, as follows:

“In a society where living standards are changing at an accelerated pace, it is essential for man’s equilibrium and development to preserve for him a fitting setting in which to live, where he will remain in contact with nature and the evidence of civilisation bequeathed by past generations, and that to this end , it is appropriate to give the cultural and natural heritage an active function in community life, and to integrate into an overall policy, the achievements of our time, the values of the past and the beauty of nature”

 

UNESCO preamble to Heritage Protection 1972.

 

Of course, there are several other heritage buildings and sites in our Capital City that have been neglected/abandoned over the years, a few which come to mind are the St. George’s Market Square, which is undergoing some very insensitive changes, the Anglican and Presbyterian Churches, Edinburgh House on Young Street, the Georgian House on Church Street with an authentic Sedan Chair porch, which is in an advanced stage of decay, the reclaiming of Fort George, and within recent times the abandonment of the Public Library building on the Carenage.

Talk is cheap. In Grenada and in the Caribbean as a whole, there is a culture, where once the matter has been thoroughly verbalised, it becomes a substitute for action (achievement). The end result is that there is little or no improvement in the matter at hand, until it is completely forgotten, and stagnation becomes the order of the day.

It is imperative therefore, that the G.G. select her advisors carefully, as the naysayers would want to dissuade her into accepting that York House and the G.G’s historic residence and site should be replaced by so-called modern buildings.

Unfortunately this mindset is the result of a deficit in the knowledge and appreciation of our history and cultural assets which are essential ingredients in our evolving Caribbean identity.

In conclusion, the Sentinel would like to think that this is an appropriate occasion to remind the powers-that-be, that there is no PUBLIC ACCESS to the Louis La Grenade mausoleum at Morne Jaloux. The mausoleum is the site of the remains of one of Grenada’s outstanding sons and heroes during the FEDON revolutionary period, and a deceased relative of our Governor General.

The Sentinel is therefore looking forward to the day when public access to the site would be restored in order to reinforce the meaning and appreciation of our heritage for both Grenadians and visitors alike.

Finally, the Sentinel takes this opportunity in wishing her Excellency, “God’s speed,” in the tremendous task of nation building which lies ahead.

 

(The above represents the views of the Willie Redhead Foundation)

Canada increases access to distance education in the Caribbean

CanadiansSt. Johns, Antigua – Canada’s Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs), Diane Ablonczy, has announced that Ottawa will assist young people in the Caribbean to gain greater access to post-secondary education.

Minister Ablonczy made the announcement in Antigua at the University of West Indies Open Campus on behalf of Julian Fantino, Minister of International Cooperation, as part of her seven-day, seven-country tour of the Eastern Caribbean.

The announcement ceremony was attended by the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Baldwin Spencer, as well as Professor Nigel Harris, Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies,(UWI), and Professor Hazel Simmons-McDonald, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the UWI Open Campus.

Ablonczy said that Canada is committed to helping countries in the Caribbean build a more prosperous and integrated community, generate sustainable economic growth and increase opportunities for its citizens.

“Helping the region’s young people develop the high-level skills needed to contribute to the work force is a key step toward reaching those goals”, she remarked.

She noted that Canada’s engagement in the Americas seeks to work with partners to increase economic opportunity, strengthen security and institutions, and foster lasting relationships.

The University of West Indies Open Campus will be the main implementing partner of the project. The university serves 16 Caribbean countries and territories.

The project will help increase access to post-secondary education for remote and under-served communities at up to 42 learning sites across the Caribbean using distance education technologies.

The ultimate aim of the Strengthening Distance Education in the Caribbean project is to increase employment opportunities of Caribbean citizens and generate economic prosperity.

According to Minister Fantino, the project will support economic growth and increased employment through the development of human capital.

“By integrating higher education into the Caribbean, Canada is enhancing the ability of Caribbean countries to address the economic and labour market challenges they face, ultimately helping to lift millions of people out of poverty”, she said.

Canada is a leader in promoting economic opportunity in the Americas, and Economic Action Plan 2013 affirms Canada’s commitment to international development investments such as access to education for children and youth.

The new Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development will maintain the mandate of poverty alleviation, and help the Government of Canada achieve greater efficiency, accountability and focus to continue to improve the lives of people in need around the world.

Minister Ablonczy’s visit to the region is part of ongoing efforts to deepen Canada’s engagement in the Americas.

 

Class Law Suit For SGL Holdings

Grenadians who have lost out in their investment with SGL Holdings may begin to see a glimmer of light at the end of the dark tunnel.

Sabrita Khan-Ramdhani - something needs to be done

Sabrita Khan-Ramdhani – something needs to be done

Local Attorney-at-Law, Sabrita Khan-Ramdhani from the Law Firm of Ramdhani and Associates, located on St. John’s Street, St. George’s, has taken it upon herself to file a Class Law Suit on behalf of the undisclosed number of local investors.

Khan-Ramdhani indicated that the action Class Suit would give the Grenadian investors a better chance to be able to tap into the funds that are being held for victims of the Olint TCI investment clubs that were owned by Jamaican David Smith by the Government of the United States.

The female attorney indicated that so far there is no direct link with SGL to Olint.

The US State Department had first circulated a form on line which deadline date was May 15 for affected persons to file for payment.

However, that date has since been extended to a further 30 days which is up to June 14 due to the intervention by the local Attorney General Chambers to the State Department in Washington.

Khan-Ramdhani believes the extension of the time does not give SGL investors a very good chance of the possibilities of recovering some monies.

“Hopefully, with a court order by the court here linking the fact that SGL has invested Grenadian investors monies with Olint, we will then be able to have a better chance of recovering,” she said.

She noted that since 2008, none of the local investors have been able to recover any of the funds that they pumped into SGL that was located on H. A. Blaize Street in St. George’s.

“Countries have gone into recession, persons have lost their monies, everybody is feeling the pinch and suffering as a result of all these unfortunate events that have been happening globally, nationally, everywhere,” she said.

The principal operators of SGL Holdings were Lester Clyne of C-Tech Securities & Public Protection Ltd and Glen Clement.

Local attorney-at-law, Anselm Clouden has filed legal action in a local court seeking to recover over US$100, 000.00 invested with SGL as part of the Olint TCI Investment by a local businessman.

Khan-Ramdhani holds the view that something needs to be done to try to assist since quite a number of persons have had the unfortunate experience of investing in SGL and not being able to regain anything.

She gave an undertaking to do her best to get the court order which can be sent to the US State Department long before the June 14 deadline so that the local investors can end up with some positive results.

Smith has been convicted in Florida, USA in August 2011 and is serving a prison sentence of 30 years.

Following is the statement issued by the United States Department of Justice on the OLINT matter:

“Persons who lost money from investments in companies operated by David A. Smith, doing business as Overseas Locket International Corporation (“OLINT”), and related companies may be eligible to receive compensation from the United States Government.

Smith claimed that the companies were private investment clubs that purportedly traded in foreign currency on investors’ behalf. Smith made false and fraudulent statements indicating that members could expect high returns on their investment with low risk to principal. Rather than investing the funds as promised, Smith used them for personal gain and paid returns using new investors’ money, in a classic Ponzi scheme.

Smith was convicted in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida in September 2011 on multiple counts of wire fraud and money laundering, in the case of United States v. David A. Smith, No. 6:10-cr-232-35DAB (M.D. Fla.). As part of his criminal sentence, Smith was ordered to forfeit assets seized by federal authorities.

The forfeited funds will be returned to victims of the scheme through a process called Remission. To be considered for Remission, a Petition for Remission Form must be submitted to the Remission Administrator. A copy of the Petition Form can be obtained from the Remission Administrator’s website. The Petition Form must include evidence of relevant investments and returns, including copies of all required supporting documentation”.

Token to mark 107 years

Elaine Pivotte to celebrate her 107th birthday

Elaine Pivotte to celebrate her 107th birthday

Government officials joined the family and friends of Elaine Pivotte to celebrate her 107th birthday last week Tuesday.

Pivotte who is now the oldest woman in Grenada was also joined by Grenada’s first female Governor General, Dr. Cecile La Grenade.

The centenarian who resides at the Gift of Love, Mother Theresa’s Home in St David’s was dressed in her finest as she celebrated her birthday that was described as a milestone in Grenada.

Tokens of appreciation were provided by the Elderly Desk of the Ministry of Social Development.

The island’s female heads of state was pleased to see the centenarian in good health and presented her with a gift basket that contained some goodies and toiletries.

“This will make you enjoy life a little more, and may you have many more happy days in this Home”, the Governor General told Pivotte.

The aged lady also received flowers and more goodies from Minister for Social Development, Delma Thomas who told said that the flowers were to “brighten up”  Pivotte’s life.

She also thanked her for the contribution she made to Grenada.

“We hope a lot of us could live as you do, but we really want to know what you did”, the Minister prompted.

The 107 year old gracefully kept it a secret and Minister Thomas imagined that she lived a “good life”.

The celebration included singing by the visitors and nurses at the Home.

 

Kirani James talks up Grenada relay team

Shanghai –World and Olympic 400 metre champion Kirani James has warned that Grenada is capable of producing a relay team as a force to be reckoned with in world athletics.

The Grenadian quarter-miler has identified three of the country’s overseas-based athletes who he believes can form a quartet with himself to compete against the best in the world, reports CMC.

They include Rondell Bartholomew who has recovered from injury and has confirmed his participation in the 400 metres line-up for the third stop on the IAAF Diamond League, the Adidas Grand Prix at Icahn Stadium in New York May 25.

The other two athletes are Joel Redhead who finished third in the 200 metres at the recent Cayman Invitational Meet and Brandon Taplin who clocked a personal indoor best in winning the 400 metres in 46.85 seconds at the recent Texas A and M Invitational Meet.

“I’m looking forward to the day that Grenada will feature at a major championship,” James said in a statement on the IAAF website.

“We have been trying to qualify for the past couple of years, but it’s difficult to get everybody on the same page at the same time. Apart from me, we have some great 400m guys like Rondell Bartholomew, Bralon Taplin, Joel Redhead.”

James, who opened the season by winning the 400m at the inaugural Chris Brown Invitational in Bahamas last month, powered to victory against his main rivals from London 2012 at Shanghai’s Diamond League meet Saturday

The Grenadian athlete, who has finished his studies at the University of Alabama for the year, says he is confident a Grenada relay team can make its mark on world athletics.

“Rondell has been hurt for a while, which is a shame, but we have some talented guys so if we can all get together in good form, I think we could be really competitive against the best in the world,” James said.

“We set a national record of 3:04.69 a couple of years ago, but I think on a good day we can go a lot faster.”

Diplomatic relations with Kuwait

Foreign Minister Nickolas Steele

Foreign Minister Nickolas Steele

UNITED NATIONS, May 18 (KUNA) — The State of Kuwait and Grenada have decided to establish diplomatic relations in line with joint desire to promote friendly ties and cooperate in political, economic and cultural sectors.

A joint statement in this respect was signed here by the Permanent Delegate of Kuwait at the UN, Ambassador Mansour Ayyad Al-Otaibi and Grenada’s Foreign Minister Nickolas Steele.

Governments of the two countries have taken the move for service of the two states’ national interests and in affirmation of the two sides’ abidance by objectives and principles of the UN for safeguarding international peace and security.

In a statement to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) and Kuwait Television after signing the joint statement, Ambassador Al-Otaibi expressed satisfaction for establishing these ties, noting that the step was in line with Kuwait’s policy of openness with states of the globe, namely small countries in the Caribbean and the Pacific.

Kuwait has recently established diplomatic relations with around nine countries, several in these two regions.

Kuwait and Grenada have maintained coordination at some levels since the 70s, and Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development has had projects in this country for a long time.

Noting Kuwait’s desire to cooperate with Grenada in the economic and investment sectors, Ambassador Al-Otaibi indicated that the Gulf state desires to coordinate with this country regarding various crucial issues of global ramifications, tackled by the UN.

Kuwait and Grenada cooperate as members in several organizations, namely the Non-Aligned Movement, the 77-Group+China, addressing various questions of common interest such as sustainable development and climatic change.

Ambassador Al-Otaibi expressed desire to take further steps to consolidate the ties with Grenada, such as naming a non-resident Kuwaiti ambassador to the country and establising an embassy for it in the Gulf country.

He added that Minister Steele informed him that his country desires to have diplomatic representation in Kuwait, indeed, and looks forward to charge the diplomatic mission in Kuwait with Grenada’s interests in all Gulf and Arab states.

After the signing ceremony, Steele told KUNA and Kuwait TV that establishing relations between the two countries “is actually important to our country and to me personally,” adding that when Grenada opens an embassy or Trade Mission in Kuwait, it will be the first in the region.

He recalled that the relationship between the two countries, through the Kuwaiti Fund, dates from many decades ago.

He indicated that it was “appropriate that we also formalize the relations between the two countries so that we can go from strong to stronger, not just from the assistance that we have received from the Kuwaiti Fund, but in getting the governments and peples together.

“I truly hope and expect from our signing of the Joint Communique today that we will have more technical and cultural exchanges, trade, and technical assistance from Kuwait in our petroleum exploration”, he added.

Steele expressed his country’s desire to open an embassy or a Trade Mission in the region, but “we have our challenges in terms of budgetary constraints,” adding that “my hope and expectation is that in signing the Joint communiqué today, we can push forward with our relations and quite possibly have that Mission open in Kuwait as soon as possible, and it will be Grenada’s first embassy or Mission in the region.”

Grenada is an island country at the southern end of the Caribbean Sea. It is known as the “Island of Spice” because of the production of nutmeg and mace crops of which Grenada is one of the world’s largest exporters.

Its economy is based on tourism. Its size is 344 square kilometers, with an estimated population of 110,000. Its capital is St. George.

The CCC Feeder Road project

Works Minister Gregory Bowen and CCC Representative Wallid Jabari exchange signed contracts for the Second Phase of Agriculture Feeder Roads

Works Minister Gregory Bowen and CCC Representative Wallid Jabari exchange signed contracts for the Second Phase of Agriculture Feeder Roads

The controversial Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) is back and hundreds of unemployed Grenadians are eager to re-gain or begin employment with the company on the Second Phase of the feeder road project.

Scores of senior public officers, government ministers, trade unionists, the Clerk of Parliament, Ray Donald, and House Speaker, Dr. Lawrence Joseph among others attended Tuesday’s signing and sod turning of the Grenada Agricultural Feeder Road Projects in Mama Cannes/Grand Bacolet, St Andrew.

The road on completion will link Grand Bacolet to Munich in St Andrew to become the longest road in the parish.

However, the 300 former employees with CCC, gaining employment with the company will not be automatic.

In addressing the ceremony, Representative for CCC, Wallid Jabari, urged persons including those previously employed with the company to submit applications at the company’s office at the National Stadium for work on the road project.

He also encouraged persons residing within the areas where these projects will be done to submit their applications for employment, as most employees will be hired from within the various working areas.

Jabari thanked the Government and people of Grenada for putting their trust in the company and assured the nation that CCC will construct roads of the highest safety standards and that the project will be completed on time.

Parliamentary Representative for St Andrew South-East, Emmalin Pierre, expressed her satisfaction that the project is finally coming into fruition as it means a lot to both students and community residents.

“This is a happy moment for me as Parliamentary representative,” she told the gathering.

Parliamentary Representative for St Andrew South-West, Yolande Bain-Horsford also echoed this sentiment saying she had been looking forward to this project for a long time.

Bryan Constantine, Regional Manager of DIWI Consultant International said that under the second phase of the project, 14 roads would be constructed throughout the country.

Government ministers and public officials at the official launch of CCC project

Government ministers and public officials at the official launch of CCC project

Works Minister Gregory Bowen who turned the sod onboard a tractor signifying the start of the project, blamed the long delay on the failure of the former National Democratic Congress (NDC) government of Tillman Thomas.

He said the administration, which was voted out of office in February, is responsible for the four years loss of the project and the loss of employment and economic activity in the country.

Minister Bowen explained that 97% of the project is being financed by the Kuwait Fund while the Government of Grenada will finance the additional 3%.

The senior government minister attempted to put skeptics of the project to rest by pointing out that the presence of CCC and DIWI is a clear indication that the project is on stream.

He said the efficiency of CCC while working in Grenada in the past was responsible for the company winning another contract bid to work on the island again on the second phase of the project.

According to Minister Bowen, CCC will begin work immediately and called on private property owners in areas where these projects will be done to “give with an open heart” to enable the construction of roads that may encroach on their private property.

He said that various meetings would be held in these areas so that affected property owners could have their concerns addressed.

Minister Bowen stated that the start of the CCC Feeder Road Second Phase project demonstrates the New National Party’s (NNP) commitment to providing work, as well as securing employment for the people and stimulating the economy.

He thanked the company for its willingness to work with the Grenada Government and people despite the many negative comments and actions taken against it by the former Congress-led government.

Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Dr. Keith Mitchell wasted no time in chastising former Prime Minister Thomas and his team for the failure to start the project during its more than four years in office.

“A lot of good people suffered”, Dr. Mitchell said in reference to the many who were looking for jobs on the road project.

He charged that the failure of the former government to get the project started resulted in the lives of some families being broken and the mortgages of some people being placed in jeopardy.

The Prime Minister encouraged Grenadians to “remember the loss and pain over the four years”, adding that the failure by the former rulers to start the CCC project was as a result of the administration’s “politics of spite and hate”, and he hoped they learnt their lesson coming out of the 2008 General Election in which the people voted them out of office.

“This is not about CCC, it is about what is good and right for the people of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique … It’s about economic activity”, he said.

The Grenadian leader said that as promised on the election campaign trail leading up to the February 19 General Election which saw the NNP take all 15 seats in parliament, his party promised jobs and employment and now it is about to deliver.

CCC began operations in Grenada in 1995 when the Keith Mitchell administration took office and broke off ties with the Trinidad-based Dipcon Engineering, which was hired by a former Congress Administration of Sir Nicholas Brathwaite.

Dipcon took the matter to court and was awarded a judgement of approximately EC$19 million for breach of contract.

THE NEW TODAY has not been able to obtain information on the equipment to be used by CCC in doing the second phase of the feeder road project since the company had shipped out several pieces of equipment from the island about two to three years ago.

Phase I of the Agriculture Feeder Road was completed by CCC in September 2009.