Joseph at the helm

The Grenada Table tennis Association has elected Kent Joseph as its new president.

Kent Joseph

Kent Joseph

He was unanimously elected at the Association’s Annual General Meeting held over the weekend at the Public Workers Union building at Tanteen.

Following his election, Joseph, who replaced Augustine David who did not stand for office, said he was looking forward to working with clubs, players and all the stakeholders to further develop the sport of table tennis.

Joseph has a long association with the sport dating back to the 60s, including representing Grenada in the 80s and today is among the leading veteran competitors.

First Vice President is Police Officer Chris Campbell who was re-elected for another term. The Secretary is Ray Roberts with Alison
Green, Assistant Secretary.

The Treasurer is Carl Felix, Public Relations Officer Amanda John, and Floor Members are Nelson Lewis, Dr. Alister Antoine and Jason Stanisclaus who is also director of coaching.

Within the next two weeks, two table tennis tournaments will be contested – beginning this Saturday with the St. John Open coordinated by Ministry of Sport Coach Rose Dannah followed by the GTTA Anthony George memorial on July 2nd.

The Venezuelan problem!!

It is no secret that undesirable elements from Venezuela have been entering Grenadian waters for years and engaging in all sorts of illegal activities.

The Venezuelans have been able to get away with their wrongdoing due to the inability of our Coast Guard to provide adequate protection of our territorial waters.

THE NEW TODAY is aware of some of the short-coming of the Coast Guard including frequent non-functioning boats and the often breakdown of some of the boats assigned to this unit of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF).

There are also many locals who encourage the Venezuelans to enter our territorial waters due to the thriving illegal drug trade.

The economic situation in this neighbouring South American Spanish-speaking republic has deteriorated to the point that all sorts of common crimes have become a way of life for many Venezuelans.

It is not surprising that the local fishermen are complaining in increasing numbers of acts of piracy committed against them on the high seas by criminal elements from Venezuela.

This newspaper has taken note of government’s decision to officially protest to the resident Venezuelan ambassador of the plight of our fishermen at the hands of his country folks.

It is our information that the Ambassador met with representatives of the local fishing association to discuss the issue after it came into the public domain.

Unfortunately, these are not normal times in Venezuela and the present government of Nicolas Maduro is facing internal problems and might be more concerned with its own survival and not willing at this stage to spend too much time on such issues.

In addition, Caracas has often given the impression that its territorial waters extend very deep into Caribbean waters and its fisher folks have a right to operate therein.

The Venezuelans lay claim to Bird Island which is definitely within the territorial waters of Dominica.

The problem with some of the Eastern Caribbean islands is that they are beholden to Caracas due to the concessionary oil given to most of them to keep  afloat.

In the case of Grenada, our fishermen have been complaining for months now about acts of hostility against them on the high seas by the Venezuelans and the rulers in St. George’s were seemingly doing nothing to address the issue.

It is only in recent weeks that something appears to be happening because the acts of piracy became more and more public.

The government now has among its rank, Sen. Peter David, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs in the 2008-13 Congress who is said to be very close to the Venezuelan President.

As a matter of fact, David’s close aide, President of the Senate, Chester Humphrey once boasted that David and Maduro are “very close” and call each other by their first names whenever they meet.

Can David be given the task to impress upon the President of Venezuela the need to help curb the acts of piracy by his countrymen against our poor fishermen who resort to the seas to help sustain their families?

THE NEW TODAY also calls on government to get serious with Caracas on talks to delimit the boundaries between the two countries as was done with Trinidad & Tobago.

Venezuela seems reluctant to engage in delimitation talks with its neighbours, leaving some to conclude that it has hegemonic designs on the Caribbean Basin.

Right now, Guyana is complaining quite frequently of acts of hostility against its own fishermen and others in disputed territory.

It should not be forgotten that Venezuela is insisting that two-thirds of Guyana belongs to it.

If Maduro and company cannot control their pirates, THE NEW TODAY would like to see government making an approach to the United States to help us protect our territorial waters against incursions and hostile acts by Venezuelans.

As a small island with limited resources, Grenada lacks the means to adequately protect its borders and should never abandon its traditional friends for the promise of a few laptops and tablets.

The United States and Britain have patrol vessels operating in the Caribbean and there is nothing wrong in asking a big brother with the maritime means and military arsenal to come to our assistance like 1983 to deal with the RMC thugs.

If Maduro cannot reign in his pirates and stop them from terrorising our fishermen then the government must use its 15-0 Parliamentary majority to do all that is necessary to protect the interest of the Spice Isle.

Another Round Goes to Rex Grenadian

A High Court judge in Grenada on Monday ruled against an application by government in the Rex Grenadian acquisition issue.

Solicitor General - Dwight Horsford

Solicitor General – Dwight Horsford

The Keith Mitchell-led government was seeking to get Madam Justice Wynante Adrien-Roberts, who presides over High Court No. 3 on The Carenage in St. George’s to remove three of the four defendants named as parties in the claim filed by lawyers for the local hotel.

Rex had approached the court for a judicial review of government’s decision to acquire the hotel property and the request was granted earlier in the year by Acting OECS Supreme Court judge, Justice Gerhard H.A. Wallbank.

Government is contending that the operators have run down the hotel and that it has a party that is interested in taking it over and doing extensive upgrade.

Speculation is rife that the ruling New National Party (NNP) government of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell has offered the owners of the hotel a compensation package of 9 million dollars which was rejected.

In handing down her ruling, Justice Adrien-Roberts, expressed concern about the impact the removal of the defendants namely, the Cabinet Secretary, Beryl Isaac, Attorney General Cajeton Hood and the Manager of the Government Printery, Eric Brathwaite would have on the injunction that has already been granted against all parties, which includes the Governor General, Dame Cecile La Grenade.

The application was filed on May 18, 2016 but did not give ample time for notice to the other parties and the court took the decision to adjourn the matter to last week Friday (June 17).

In law, notice of 7 clear days must be given and with that seven days ending on Thursday, May 26, which was a holiday the matter was put off.

In putting forward government’s position, Thomas W.R. Astaphan QC from Anguilla expressed the view that as a “legal issue” the three defendants should be removed from the case as public servants because “they have no business being named as parties in this matter.”

Thomas Astaphan – the leading QC from Anguilla was brought in for the case

Thomas Astaphan – the leading QC from Anguilla was brought in for the case

However, Justice Adrien-Roberts felt that because there is an injunction against all parties including those parties named she decided against removing them at this stage and to deal with the issue at the trial set for August 3.

Rex’s legal team is being led by John Carrington QC from the British Virgin Islands who argued that the three defendants should not be struck off the claim as the injunction was filed against all parties.

During Monday’s proceedings, Carrington’s junior, Dickon Mitchell requested of the court that government pay cost of $7,000 and after hearing arguments from both sides the judge granted cost in the amount of $3, 000.

Additionally, the High Court Judge ordered the parties to file affidavits by July 8, an affidavit response by July 15, and all other submissions by July 29.

In an interview with THE NEW TODAY following Monday’s proceedings, Solicitor General Dwight Horsford expressed confidence that the government would win the matter in the end.

He said it is kind of “bizarre” that the matter of the attempt to complete the acquisition of Rex “is still bouncing around” in court.

“It is very unusual that you hear a State being prevented from pursuing acquisition, which is a common place thing,” he told this newspaper.

He pointed out that there is a legal regime for acquisition by the State.

“…There is an act that says when the government takes your property you are entitled to compensation. Indeed the Constitution of the country mandates that. We expect the court to resolve this quickly, he said.

Horsford disclosed that the OECS Chief Justice, Janice Pereira has already agreed to grant a special dispensation for the disposal of the case on August 3 and 4, 2016.

“Those two days … we expect the matter to be completed,” Horsford said noting that “the court would be on holiday at the end of July (and) normally we wouldn’t have trials.”

On March 4, MRI Ltd., the management company of The Grenadian by Rex Resorts, filed an affidavit and injunction request to prevent the government from revoking the company’s 99-year lease and take control of the property.

The court action was filed through the local law firm of Grant, Joseph & Co and it was granted by Justice Wallbank.

Stiff sentences for sexual crimes

Stiff prison sentences have been handed down on two persons including the Elder in a church for committing serious sexual offences in the country.

Trevor Alston Thomas - sentenced to 19 years for rape

Trevor Alston Thomas – sentenced to 19 years for rape

36-year-old Terry Noel of Soubise in St. Andrew has been ordered to spend the next eleven (11) years of his life behind bars at the Richmond Hill Prison after being convicted of two counts of Rape.

A contractor by profession, Noel who is a former elder of the Soubise Seventh Day Adventist Church, was also sentenced last week Thursday by Madam Justice Gilford to 5 years and 9 months on two counts of rape to run consecutively.

The accused who was represented by Attorney-at-Law Niesha John appeared before Madam Justice Paula Gilford at the Number 2 High Court on The Carenage in St. George’s.

According to the Office of the DPP, the crimes were committed between January to August 2009 and August to December 2010, respectively.

THE NEW TODAY understands that the victim attended the same church as Noel and was reluctant to report the incidents because she was uncertain that anyone would believe her due to the marital status and rank in the Church of the perpetrator.

This newspaper was told that the hierarchy of the Adventist church has taken action against the victim.

According to a source the Management Board of the church met and decided to bar the woman from partaking in some of its activities.

In addition, some church members who are pro-Noel are said to be meeting the woman and uttering degrading comments and accusing her of trying to spoil the character of the convicted man.

Former elder of the Soubise SDA Church Terry Noel to spend the next 11 years in prison

Former elder of the Soubise SDA Church Terry Noel to spend the next 11 years in prison

Justice Gilford also handed down a sentence of 19 years and 9 months last week Thursday for incest on 38-year old Trevor Alston Thomas of the sister isle of Carriacou.

It is believed to be the stiffest sentence ever administered in Grenada by a sitting judge for a sexual offence of that nature.

Thomas, who retained the services of seasoned criminal attorney, Anselm Clouden to assist him, was convicted of having sexual intercourse with his daughter, who was 12 years old at the time of the incident.

THE NEW TODAY understands that the incident occurred on September 8, 2013 while the child was visiting her father at his home at Belvedere, Carriacou to collect school supplies.

The child reportedly told her mother about the incident, and she alerted the Carriacou police and Child Protection Authority.

Madam Justice Gilford also ordered Thomas to undergo psychological counseling as part of his conviction.

Lower House of Parliament gives green light to Constitutional Reform

The New National Party (NNP) controlled House of Representatives has cleared the way for Grenada to embark upon constitutional reform.

The Members of Parliament on Tuesday approved the second and third readings of eight Constitutional Bills that will be presented at a referendum, a date for which is yet to be decided upon.

The Bills which were approved are the Caribbean Court of Justice and other Justice-Related Matters, Elections and Boundaries Commission, Name of State, Rights and Freedoms, Fixed Date for Elections, Term of Office of Prime Minister, and Ensuring the Appointment of Leader of the Opposition.

Another Bill that was debated and passed in the Lower House of Parliament was the Restructuring (Amendment) Bill, 2015.

Legal Affairs Minister Elvin Nimrod who piloted four of the Bills told Parliament the people of Grenada now have a chance to have an input in a Law that governs them in a very supreme way.

Minister Nimrod reminded his fellow Parliamentarians that the Grenada Constitution which is the supreme law of the land was drafted, ratified and handed down to the people of Grenada on the occasion of Grenada attaining political independence from Great Britain in 1974.

He indicated that Grenadians never had an opportunity to have any meaningful input in the framing of the Constitution.

He stated that after 40 years, the people of Grenada believe it is now time “to take a second look at the Constitution.”

Minister Nimrod believes that certain provisions in the Constitution have lost their meaning and relevance in today’s era.

Since 1985 efforts have been made for Grenada to reform its Constitution.

Five of the Constitutional Bills had their first reading last December, while the other three made their way to the Lower House this February.

The Bills will now be sent to the Senate for approval in a single majority before they are taken to a referendum involving all eligible voters.

In order for the changes in the Constitution to take place, it must receive a two-thirds majority of the valid votes cast in favour of each of the Constitutional Bills at the referendum.

Several dates were already put forward for the referendum but as the time became unrealistic, an extension was given.

Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell who also addressed Parliament on the Constitutional Bills felt that they should not be seen as being politically influenced.

“It must be seen as not associated with just a political organisation. It is not about the present political parties in the country or the personalities of those political parties. It must be seen as one that deals with the future of our children and grandchildren,” Dr. Mitchell told the Lower House.

He said it is because of this, the process to take Grenada to constitutional reform must be led by an independent group.

In 2015 a Constitutional Reform Advisory Committee (CRAC), headed by Constitutional Lawyer Dr. Francis Alexis, and involving a number of groups including three political parties – NNP, NDC, and NUF – was assembled to lead the process.

“I don’t want it to be ever perceived that this is the government activities so I’m going to vote against it because it is the government of the day that came to Parliament with it. The process is being led by an independent group led by a Constitutional Expert,” Dr. Mitchell said.

The Prime Minister pointed out that he had made it clear to CRAC that because he wants to have the constitutional reform not tied or correlated with any political views, ideas or activities, he wanted to see it done as far as possible before the next General Elections which are constitutionally due by 2018.

Although all of the Bills were passed, not every Member gave their approval.

Lengthy debates took place over the Term of Office for the Prime Minister, Ensuring the Appointment of Leader of the Opposition, and Fixed Date for Elections.

Member for St. David’s Oliver Joseph who abstained from voting for Term of Office of the Prime Minister said that under the Westminster Minister said that under the Westminster System which Grenada follows, he sees no need to have introduced in the Constitution term limits for the Prime Minister.

According to the Bill no Prime Minister will be able to serve in that Office in excess of three consecutive terms.

Ten other Members who were present voted in favour of the Bill.

Joseph who also abstained from voting for the Appointment of the Leader of the Opposition at all times indicated that this will be a new concept in the Commonwealth of having a selected Member hold the position.

He said his research of the Commonwealth shows that Grenada will be the only country that will be moving in that direction where there are both elected and selected Members in the House of Representatives.

“There is nothing wrong with what we have here,” he told Parliament.

The Amended Bill seeks to have enshrined in the Constitution that should any political party in a General Elections command all 15 Seats in the House of Representatives, that a Leader of the Opposition be appointed from the political party having the second most number of votes.

Member for the Town of St. George, Nickolas Steele who joined with Joseph in not voting for the Appointment of Leader of the Opposition said having been elected by the people to become a Member of the Lower House of Parliament he cannot support the contemplation that “someone else will get into this House outside of the will of the people.”

After the vote was taken, ten other Members who were present gave their support to the Bill.

Camerhogne Park 111

When I write, I write from a biblical World View the most hated view by this World Order that is fast coming on upon the earth.

The Biblical World View runs contrary, sadly to the peoples, institutions, programmes, laws and policies of the New World Order. The highest creation of Almighty God is human beings. Man is at the Zenith of God’s creation and is given dominion by God to govern and rule over planet earth and its creatures (Gen 1:28).

We see the genius, brilliance and distinction of man by the things he has accomplished all around us. No other created creature has accomplished anything new since they were created. They all remained in the same condition as they were created. Man is it!

The well-being therefore of mankind comes before all other creatures or things. A government at all times and especially in stressful times have to create avenues of employment for its people first before any other thing, speaking in the context of the hotel going at Camerhogne Park.

Camerhogne was the name given to Grenada by the Amerindians before the Europeans came. So, anywhere you put a park you could call it Camerhogne Park to keep the name alive. It’s interesting that we are having the discussion about Camerhogne Park and the name. I have been saying to people in these very recent years that the days of the Caribs and Arawaks have returned to Grenada and the region. The only difference is that the Caribs and Arawaks today have the mark of the beast, walking within the form of National I.D. cards, voters’ cards and microchips as I have written in previously published articles.

This is the time to return to fishing, hunting and farming as the Caribs and Arawaks did and come out of this rising Babylon. They are giving people the mark of the beast and selling People’s souls by these IDs. I am saying from a biblical Point of View that mankind days and times are numbered and is about to be changed apocalyptically. Therefore if a millionaire has money and he wants to spend it in Grenada allow the man to spend it in the shortest time we have remaining, so the people could find employment and look after themselves and family.

Money is a rarity and we might become a cashless society very soon, so let the man spend his money. Trust the government to put the proper checks and balances in place to monitor the development. Anywhere you put development the environment will be disturbed, something will be destroyed and displaced. That’s one of the prices one has to pay for development.

This is the time for Grenada to come out of most of the systems and agreements it has entangled itself in with the international community and is still doing today. Most of it I don’t even think we know what we are signing but it is mostly about money and selling the peoples souls in the process. Stop selling the souls of the people – that’s the most serious and important thing, not Camerhogne Park!

Those that oppose the building of the hotel feel they have all the intelligence and brilliance and everybody that supports are fools. That’s the sense I get from those who are most vocal on the issue. They are the ones who rush to change the last voters’ registration card and implemented the new, the mark of the beast. It was about money and they were deceived.

Friends, open your eyes. Everybody has intelligence. No two persons are the same or you would have had houses, land, cars etc. while the other persons would have been living in the bushes and under trees, etc. With your militancy you are pushing for that. Don’t disrespect the government’s intelligence. The people gave them all 15 seats contested and it looks like they are paying salaries on time, etc.

Hey I want to make it abundantly clear that I support no political party and have no issue with any politician. I stand up for the truth and what is right according to the Bible. My view is that all the politicians and their unchristian mode of operandi are expired.

Tillman Thomas as a former Prime Minister and leader made some statements published in the New Today, 6th May, 2016 weekly publication in an article entitled workers support the ‘Save Camerhogne Park’ Campaign. I will just summarise very short what he said and I think his saying capsulized the spirit and feelings of the opposing side about the hotel at Camerhogne Park.

The paper quoted him as saying the majority of conscious Grenadians are prepared to defend Camerhogne Park, so what does he mean? I am unconscious because I think otherwise? Strange, the last time I checked I am fully conscious and cannot be easily carried away by the majority whims and fantasies.

The Bible says that the broad way has the majority that leads to hell but the narrow way has few to heaven. That says the majority is not always right (Matt. 7: 13, 14). He said people who proposed the sale are not fit to be Grenadians. The article went on; he said those who remain silent on the issue should be seen as unpatriotic. I thought I was in Democratic Grenada, not so? That’s the kind of evil spirit and mindset that’s on the opposing side of this project. Sad, very sad.

I thought this was a democracy where you have freedom and responsible speech but no this not so for opposition forces and it’s dangerous. You have to be with them or leave Grenada it seems. That’s why in recent years again I have coined a new word ‘demoncrazy’ to replace democracy for it’s a pure demoncrazy Grenada. So on top of all this Camerhogne Park controversy, I propose Camerhogne Park No III.

Along with the areas the government and developer propose to develop on the beach, I propose also assistance from friendly governments like Guyana for timber. Apparently some of the Amerindians came from there.

Derek Sealey

50 deaths in March

Grenada has registered 50 deaths in March.

The statistics was given by former Minister of Social Services Sylvester Quarless while speaking last week Wednesday at the regular People’s Parliament held by the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) at Soubise, in St. Andrew South-east.

Quarless, the Congress Caretaker for the Constituency of St. Andrew South-west believes that the huge number of deaths in March is due to the suffering of Grenadians under the ruling New National Party (NNP) administration of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell.

“Our people are suffering and we deserve better,” he told party supporters attending the meeting.

Quarless described the financial outlook in St. Andrew’s as being very bleak due to the closure of a number of business places including three banks in the island’s largest parish.

He claimed that about 18 businesses in Grenville have been forced to close their doors to the public.

Quarless who is one of the local gas dealers on the island once again addressed the high price of petroleum in Grenada.

He said while the price is dropping on the international market, it is continuing to rise on the island due to the increase in petrol tax by the Mitchell-led government.

“Government is taking $5.50 on every gallon of fuel you put in your tank… It is $2.50 higher than what is taken in St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Dominica,” he said.

Quarless noted that six months into 2016, the administration has only provided one fortnight of the part-time debushing job for some people in the lower level bracket.

The former Government Minister said this is unlike in the days of Congress when those part-time jobs were provided three times per year.

Quarless also took a swipe at the tax measures imposed by the Mitchell government since taking office in February 2013.

He said after preaching to the people in the election campaign that it will not add new taxes,  the regime has imposed 29 new taxes on the backs of the Grenadian people.

“Today they cannot take out their hands from the pockets of Grenadians,” he quipped.

The NNP was forced to turn to the Washington-based International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help with a Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) to grapple with a severe fiscal problem and was forced in April 2013 to default on payments to its US bondholders.

As part of the deal worked out, the government was forced to freeze the salaries of civil servants, increase property tax, widen the income tax net, and hike the fees offered by the State for a number of government services.

Quarless told the gathering that apart from adding new taxes, the NNP rulers have removed the free school books programme which was a flagship social security programme of Congress providing books to children attending various schools, and also scrap the free barrels programme at Christmas time.

He said that Congress provided the school books at a cost of $725.00 each to close to 25,000 students, but the parents have in effect traded it for a $50.00 voucher for 500 students.

The senior NDC Executive Member charged that persons who are not perceived to be supportive of NNP do not receive government’s assistance.

“You go to any department, any programme under the government, you are sidelined once you are perceived (not to be supporting the NNP),” he said.

Quarless called on the people to be prepared to go to the polls and vote out NNP but warned that the only way this can be done is if they get registered.

Although General Elections are constitutionally due in 2018, speculation is rife that Prime Minister Mitchell is thinking of calling a snap election.

Quarless said close to fifty percent of the young people who want to work, looking for work, and are willing to work between the age of 18 and 35 years cannot find a job.

“They are living on the poverty line,” he said.

With regards to the Imani Programme, Quarless said some of the young people are being used to work at the homes of some Government Ministers in St. Andrew’s.

“Right now they using the programme of the Imani to work the yards, paint the houses, and clean the surroundings of some of the ministers in this country,” he remarked.

The former Government Minister also made some passing comments on the health sector which he described as broken.

Quarless said while the NNP Administration is boasting of having a reserve of $3M in revenue collection, medication is not available at the hospital.

“How can you come and telling the Grenadian that and you don’t have medicine in the hospital? What are you doing with the money? Where (is) that reserve, where that extra money is going to?” he asked.

THE NEW TODAY has witnessed firsthand a number of patients on the Male Medical ward at the St. George’s General Hospital being told to purchase their own medication including lotion for dressing of wounds.

According to Quarless, due to the hardship placed on the people of Grenada, many have resorted to a dependency syndrome which he said is a hallmark of NNP.

“They (NNP) want you to be in a state where you are dependent on them. They like to give you hand-outs instead of a hand-up,” he said.

Quarless urged the people to become militant by engaging in doing “the hard work” now.

“We need to move from our laurels, we need to get the NNP out of office, so we need to do what is right, what is necessary,” he said.

Former NDC General Secretary, Patrick Simmons who also addressed the public meeting reiterated the existence of a state of depression in the country as alluded to by Quarless.

Simmons said when one observes what is happening in the Parish of St. Andrew’s, he can safely say that it is a forgotten parish, notwithstanding that the four Parliamentary Representatives of the Parish are Members of the Government.

“If those that we have elected to represent us in the House of Parliament was to seek our interest… we should be hearing more about agriculture, and should be hearing more about fisheries, because the foundation of the Parish of St. Andrew’s deal specifically with that of agriculture and fisheries,” he added.

Simmons said he believes that the NNP Administration under the leadership of PM Mitchell does not care about the people of St. Andrew’s, and agriculture and fishing.

“The government does not represent us here in the parish because nothing is happening for agriculture, he said.

“What he (Dr. Mitchell) cares about is so-called foreign investors,” he added.

The former Sports Minister indicated that the Parish of St. Andrew’s benefited from agriculture through some of the programmes implemented by the Tillman Thomas-led Congress Government of 2008-13.

He said the agriculture sector grew by 9.4 percent and 8.2 percent in 2010 and 2011 respectively.

According to Simmons, there was also an increase in the production of nutmegs from 1.1 million pounds to 2.2 million pounds between 2008 and 2013.

The ex-government minister also touched on the proposed University of the West Indies (UWI) Campus at Hope, St. Andrew’s.

He said Congress believes that the project would have transformed the entire Eastern District of the country.

Since the change in government three years ago, nothing has reportedly been done to continue with the construction of the campus.

Simmons said he cannot understand why the NNP Administration would shelve such a project for St. Andrew’s.

“When we take a good look at the progress of this project, we recognise that this government has done great disservice to the parish by not allowing that project to come on stream,” he told the meeting.

The Thomas-led administration had already provided the land at Hope for the construction of the campus.

Simmons said persons who have shown themselves to be “very shady characters” find themselves in the country, offering to invest in all type of business, and at the end Grenadians have to pay for the loans that were given to them.

Former Prime Minister Thomas who also graced the platform called on the people to give their support to the Nazim Burke-led NDC in the upcoming general election.

Thomas highlighted the hallmark of Congress which has governed the country on two different occasions.

He said whenever NDC is in office there is a different atmosphere in the country.

The former Prime Minister attacked the NNP style of governance by accusing it of having no respect for Institutions, adding that government is now attempting to undermine the trade union movement.

“We need a government that is going to preserve and protect our Institutions, and I’m saying to you, the National Democratic Congress under Brother Nazim Burke will be that government,” he said.

Thomas boasted that Congress’ track record shows that it has always acted on behalf of the people of Grenada, especially the people of St. Andrew’s.

“We need trustworthy people, the National Democratic Congress has trustworthy people, and we have served in the past and we are going to continue in the future,” the former Prime Minister said.

Congress lost all 15 seats in the 2013 poll to Mitchell’s NNP

Sen. Humphrey: “I did not cause Sen. Roberts to be ejected”

President of the Senate, Chester Humphrey has sought to downplay an existing dispute between himself and his Trade Union Colleague, Senator Raymond Roberts.

Sen. Roberts who is representing Labour in the Upper House of Parliament, on two different sittings of the House refused to bow to the demands of the President in withdrawing a document he introduced to the House during his contribution to the debate on the Physical Planning and Development Control Bill.

The document centers on a company by the name of “Unity House Limited” that was registered on October 21st 2015 identifying Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell, his Works Minister Gregory Bowen along with the New National Party (NNP) Office Manager, Marcella Campbell as being the main shareholders.

Sen. Humphrey had told Sen. Roberts that if he failed to withdraw the document, he would not be recognised and be allowed to contribute to the debate in the House.

Sen. Roberts refused to withdraw the document and decided to walk out of the Upper House sitting.

The Senate President who was a guest on a television programme last week Wednesday said he gave Sen. Roberts ample opportunity to address the arguments he put forward with regards to the relevance and the imputation of the document.

He spoke of the Labour Senator having failed to provide those arguments, and as President of the Senate he had to make a decision, but did not ask him to apologise.

He said there is no confrontation between himself and the Labour Senator.

According to Sen. Humphrey, he did not seek nor ask or caused Sen. Roberts to be ejected from the Chamber.

“I am certainly not in any battle with Sen. Roberts or with any one of the other Senators. The rules are the rules,” he said.

“Sen. Roberts doesn’t have to agree with me, but he has to abide. If he doesn’t agree with me, he can appeal and there is a process for appealing,” he added.

Sen. Humphrey said no one can say that he has demonstrated bias in handling sittings of the Upper House.

“No objective observer can say in the House I have been biased. My obligation in the House which is what I said when I took the oath in my inaugural speech is to uphold the dignity of the House and to implement these rules, and I’ve done so without fear or favour,” he said.

The Senate President refrained from evaluating the performance of his Trade Unionist Colleague in the Upper House thus far.

Speculation is rife that the Roberts/Humphrey relationship became strained in 2013 when the Grenada Trade Union Council (GTUC) took the decision to select the former to replace the latter as the Labour representative in the Senate.

Minutes before the decision was taken, Humphrey reportedly met privately with Roberts and asked him to step aside to give him another term to complete some unfinished business in the Upper House.

Roberts is said to have and indicated that the decision should be left to the voting TUC delegates.

THE NEW TODAY understands that Roberts had secured support from most of the trade union delegates especially from among the ranks of the Grenada Union of Teachers and the Public Workers Union (PWU).

Sen. Roberts is considered as sympathetic to the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), while Sen. Humphrey, an expelled member of Congress now gives his support to the ruling New National Party (NNP) under the banner of “Project Grenada”.

Poetic Political Portraits – ‘Make the Connection’

by William Joseph

Bolshevist, betwixt and be-wigged;
Her Majesty’s Comrade enthroned in glory-field.
The rules are another’s, but the rulings are mine;
I listen intently, must predict the Comrade’s line.
As soon as he cross the line I intercept him;
I’m sturdy of intellect, pray not, can’t even hum a hymn.
“Senator Burke, make the connection!” I demand;
He fumbles and stutters, I take ‘way his stand.
Ah have a purpose and ah have meh price;
They say expulsion; I say retribution; feels so nice!
Since boyhood I envy upper class living and thing;
But communist logic and lyrics most loudly I sing.
Now that I ‘make the connection’ complete, “All rise”!
-2-
Articulate, ambitious and Anglo-cized!
Launched Senate attack on GRENLEC; targeted and precise.
I wasn’t here before ’94 and barely here for the thirteen;
My Kayak brethren don’t even know where I’ve been.
But I get my brief good and I know about money;
I made huge profits; the watchman didn’t smell a penny.
Saving in pounds sterling; how I love the Queen;
Hillsborough can’t hold me, neither can Lance Aux Epine.
I ‘make the connection’, overseas, that’s so easy;
With my talent and good looks I sitting pretty.
-3-
Grey-headed, green-skinned and grievance-filled;
I worked for plenty, more prosperous than the skilled.
Worrel say ah can’t manage and ah must account!
But meh boy cover meh, we PBC lodge got the clout.
Blanchard, ah go put out yuh light, boy!
Doh treat me as your remote-controlled toy.
Now ah power-up, throat bad, but singing like a lark;
Ah fix things so good, even connecting dots in the dark.
Soon solar connecting my many buses and houses;
Doh need licence, no inspection, or dirty diesel sources.
Ray ‘make the connection’; blaze Physical Planning and me;
Ah rolling in dollars yuh cud stay in America and see!

-4-
Micro-sized, millions-owned and mystery-shrouded;
Who can say how I evolved and how I’m funded?
I am the greatest exponent of the ‘Food Chain Politics’!
All man who oppose, suck salt and take yuh licks.
Nothing much in Grenada properties afar, wealth is often shy;
Apartments, passports and offshore businesses I multiply.
Whistle blow and Cheltenham ‘make the connection’;
But meh powers too strong, dey couldn’t stop meh function.
Remember I flew Europe with Air Van Brink;
Recently I took off again on Air Liu Link;
Dem boys know meh vibes and how I think.
Ah borrow two billion to put down wuk on the road;
Now ah put two billion in taxes just to adjust my code.
In the midst of my sacrifice a voice shout out!
He ‘make the connection’, Poverty! Poverty! all about!
Ah take away the school books, chastise the middle class;
Those jokers damn wrong for loving yellow to the last.
But when I launch meh Foundation a fella cry foul;
When I set up Real Estate Company again he run ‘bout.
He ‘make the connection’ and expose meh secret;
Tell that boy I been to Hell so he better watch it!
See how I reinforce with two steels and hard-core chess;
Ah count in Pedro; people say he’s simply the best!
When I give the youth bling they’ll do anything;
Seven hundred for KFC n’ pizza n’ top-up n’ fling!
A radio Pharisee ‘make the connection’, tell young people I lied;
The money doh flow cause Chinese promisers backslide;
But vote me again, rich Ukrainian potato investors arrive!

Science and Technology (S&T) is not just for older Caribbean men

On January 10, 2014 a CARICOM S&T Committee was launched to promote the development of S&T in CARICOM as a tool for economic development by working closely with all Governments and scientific organisations in the region, and serve as an advisory body to the Prime Minister responsible for S&T in CARICOM, Honourable Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada.

The members are Mr. James Husbands, Director of Solar Dynamics, Professor Cardinal Warde, diaspora representative who is a Professor of Electrical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, Professor Harold Ramkissoon, President Emeritus of CARISCIENCE (Chair), Dr. Arnoldo Ventura, former Advisor to the Prime Minister of Jamaica, Professor Ishenkumba Kahwa, Deputy Principal of the Mona Campus, UWI, and Mr. Kent Mitchell.

On June 15, 2016, this committee remains the same. It is all male, and none are representative of youth. One would have hoped that they would have recognised this imbalance and done something about it after
two years.

In relation to gender, according to CARICOM, the ideal Caribbean person “nourishes in him/herself and in others, the fullest development of each person’s potential without gender stereotyping and embraces differences and similarities between females and males as a source of mutual strength.”

In fact, CARICOM’s latest strategic plan advocates a “development agenda that develops measures for a people-centered approach to poverty reduction; develops measures for protection and inclusion to guarantee opportunities for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged and takes account of the transformative and multiplier effect of gender equality and empowerment of women on development activity and gains.”

The CARICOM Youth Development Action Plan (CYDAP), strives to improve access to the quality and quantity of opportunities available to adolescents and youth between the ages of 10-29, and in and out-of-school. CARICOM also seeks their full participation as architects and enablers of the Region’s development.

Women represent 51% of the Caribbean population and 66% of the Region’s population are youth. There are Caribbean-wide agencies that can provide excellent and innovative young scientists and engineers and female scientists and engineers to serve on the CARICOM Science & Technology Committee that would better reflect who we are – such as CARICOM Youth Ambassadors, the Caribbean Youth Environment Network, and the various Colleges, Technical Institutes, and Universities of the Region.

Given the lack of gender equality and youth representation on their committee, we write to ensure steps are taken to secure female and youth representation on the committee by December 31, 2016.  It is critical that the committee represents CARICOM’s goals and ideals and reflects its diversity

Sincerely,

Arianna Marshall, Engineer, Barbados
Ayanna Samuels, Engineer, Jamaica
Fatima Patel, Scientist, Barbados
Karen Wharton, Engineer, New York, Guyana
Kemron Dufont, Engineer, Grenada
Maya Trotz, Engineer, Tampa/Guyana
Trina Halfhide, Engineer, Trinidad & Tobago
Wainella Isaacs, Engineer, Tampa/Guyana