CAROLS BY CANDLELIGHT

Rotary Grenada’s Carols by Candlelight, which will be held on December 4 at Quarantine Point, is expected to be quite a spectacular show, satisfying, at minimum,  the expectations set last year.

motown-christmasThis year’s concert theme is based on Motown Christmas music genre and boasts a star-studded performance line up of talented Grenadian vocalists, musicians and dancers, brought together just for this occasion.

Multiple award-winning producer and director, Richardo Keens-Douglas, MBE would direct the production.

According to Executive Producer, Richard Strachan, a past president of the Rotary Club, “Richardo brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in musical productions. We guarantee an exceptional show featuring some of Grenada’s leading talents”.

Richardo Keens-Douglas’ infamous story, The Nutmeg Princess – Grenada’s first fairy-tale –  was adapted into a musical for the stage. It won the DORA Award, Canada’s Highest Theatre Award, for Most Outstanding Musical in 1999.

He is no stranger to the Grenada stage and has directed and produced the Carriacou Maroon Festival, Tourism Expo, National Carnival Queens shows, Panorama shows,  Dimanche Gras, Kiddies Carnival and The Cultural Fiesta for independence in Grenville to name a few.

On stage would be some of Grenada’s best male vocalists including, Gospel Challenge finalist, Jeverson Ramirez;  winner of Grenada’s Best Talent, Jonathan Francis;  Best Contemporary Male Vocalist, Jonathan James; BET Talent Search finalist, Kellon Brathwaite and singing sensation, Dennison Andrew.

The fairer sex won’t be outdone with the likes of Soul, Jazz and Blues singer, Jenny J; R&B singer Kamela Stephens;  Soprano Lisa Mc Donald; Thamara St. Bernard who opens shows for many international singers; as well as singer/songwriter, Tammy Baldeo.

Soul Deep, the band known for backing the British Collective at the Pure Grenada Music Festival and who performed with Ronald ” Boo” Hinkson will be the stage band.

Patrons can look out for a remarkable open air concert and fun activities for the entire family.

Dumping at Pearls airstrip!!!

We have read in more than one newspaper about the success of the Grenada Motor Club Drag Racing event at Pearls on 6th. November.  We read of the custom vehicles, the speed records, and the safety requirements. But memories of the skills., glitter and artistry are not all that is left behind.

pearls-1The litter generated is a lasting abomination.  Anyone who thinks that the area was cleaned up has simply not visited it since the drag racing. Some of us drive through it day after day with tourists.  We show them the old airstrip, the old Soviet-built planes, and tell them the history of the Revolution and the Intervention.  Pearls is the backdrop to so much history.

But we do not need to tell our visitors to ‘Pure Grenada’ about our filthy habits when it comes to garbage disposal.  They are there for all to see.  It looks like a deliberate exhibition of all that is worst about Grenada and Grenadians.

“Just drop it anywhere and someone else will pick it up”.  (But nobody did).  “People are paid to pick it up”: (But they have not done so).  “We are not bothered by mosquitos and rats”. (So our hygiene is deplorable, and our health as tourists is at risk.)    “We’re not going to let other countries tell us how to live.” (So we’re happy to let everybody see that we wallow in garbage.)  Every piece of litter is a nail in tourism’s coffin.  And in our own.

Litter at Pearls, and at the approaches to Pearls i.e. Seamoon, is so in-your-face, so blatant, that it looks like deliberate defiance.  To our tourists in this fragile industry which contributes so much money and so many jobs to our fragile economy, it is a real turn-off.  We’re another country to tell their friends not to bother visiting.

pearls-2We ask: was anyone responsible for cleaning up after the drag racing?  If not, why not?  If so, why did they not do their job?  Were they paid to dispose of litter, or just to spread it over a wider area?  It extends well beyond the compound, down to the river.

Were vendors charged a cleaning fee?  Were there sufficient bins?  Was the public asked to use them?  Was any of the admission fee put towards cleaning up?  If so, why was the money so blatantly squandered?

The Drag Racing Committee has, like all other event organisers, the responsibility of leaving the area as they would wish to find it.  They have not exercised this responsibility.   Neither has the Grenadian public exercised their responsibility to treat every public space as their back yard.

Mandoo Seales,
President,
Grenada Green Group

SASS Visual Arts Exam Students Meet with AllyDay

As 2016 draws to a close, hundreds of year 5 students will take their last break before entering their final school term which will lead them into the 2017 examinations.

Historically in the Caribbean, the Sciences have long held precedence over the Arts, however, interestingly there has been significant growth in the latter in the past decades, within school programmes, and the domestic and regional work environment, for careers built around the visual arts.

Visual Arts Students of SASS with Class teacher Larry John and AllyDay Creative Director, Alleyne Gulston

Visual Arts Students of SASS with Class teacher Larry John and AllyDay Creative Director, Alleyne Gulston

Seven hand-picked, visual arts students from the St. Andrews Anglican Secondary School (SAASS) on November 17 accompanied their art teacher and local artist, Larry John on a visit to the Grenada-based office of graphic design and marketing company, AllyDay Creative Projects.

“The purpose of the visit was to allow students to interview persons who have made a success of business in this area. As the students, all of whom are naturally talented, prepare for exams we would like them to take into consideration further studies in the field of visual arts. In order to give them an insight into the career opportunities available in the field, we approached AllyDay, whom we believe has fulfilled that goal, using visual arts as one of their core business offerings,” said John.

Students were particularly interested in listening to the insights of local artist and Creative Director of AllyDay, Alleyne Gulston, as he explained his background in drawing, painting and then his further studies around graphics design, which led to his Masters and co-ownership of his own Company.

The students showed keen interest in the avenues of business the company sees for young artists, particularly within the graphic design field.

“The opportunities are so varied and endless, especially if you have passion, working in tandem with an entrepreneurial spirit and drive.

Web design, app design, storyboarding for motion ads and even movies, product design & labelling, comic books, book cover designs or illustrations, vehicle graphics…the sky’s the limit,” said Gulston, who also took the opportunity to wish all the students well in their upcoming exams.

The SAASS students were pleased to receive a gift of several publications produced by AllyDay, for their personal use and critique.

They completed their day with a visit to The Three Wands Art exhibition of Sculpture, Digital Art and Photography, in St. George’s.

Tevin Andrews: Sad day for Carriacou

Caretaker for the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Constituency of Carriacou and Petit Martinique, Tevin Andrews is not satisfied with the way the people of the Sister Islands are getting benefits from government programmes.

Tevin Andrews

Tevin Andrews

Andrews told a radio talk show programme last week Wednesday that persons have to go to a political party office to obtain jobs and benefits and described as “vulgar” this type of behaviour from the ruling New National Party (NNP) administration.

He also referred to reports making the rounds on the sister isle that just over 30 people from Carriacou and Petit Martinique, who are allegedly NNP activists are being paid by government for work not being undertaken by them.

“They do not work for the Government of Grenada, they don’t work for the Ministry of Carriacou and Petit Martinique (Affairs), allegedly, but they are being paid by the Government of Grenada,” he said.

“I need to know why these people are on the government payroll if they’re not employed by the Government of Grenada and they are not giving a service to the people of Carriacou and Petit Martinique,” he added.

Andrews admitted that the reports reaching him are only allegations at this time but he needs to have the matter cleared up and called on Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. Keith Mitchell to have the issue investigated and to bring some form of closure to it.

The Congress activist also accused the NNP party office in Carriacou of taking control of the operations of the Ministry of Carriacou and Petit Martinique Affairs and labelled this development as “corruption”.

According to Andrews, instead of the ministry handling the affairs on the sister isle, everything is being channeled through the NNP party office.

“The vouchers that were given out for school supplies (by the government) in September, people had to go to the NNP party office and fill up the form, and call back the NNP party office to ask whether or not they were successful,” he said.

Andrews spoke of what took place with the collection of vouchers previously.

He said beneficiaries will go to the Division of Education where they will apply for the assistance and the department will then provide them with the vouchers.

The NDC Caretaker also alleged that people are experiencing problems in getting housing material.

He said that in order to benefit from the housing programme, people have to go to the NNP party office to make the application.

“We are no longer following the government system that is in place, but everything is now channeled through the party office. Even to get a simple road work, you now have to go into the NNP party office and put down your name… in order for you to get a chance of getting a work on the road, and that is sad, that is a sad day for the people of Carriacou and Petit Martinique,” he told the programme host.

Andrews also believes that the people from the Sister Islands feel disconnected from those on the mainland, especially when it comes to the provision of health care.

He compared the cost someone on the Sister Isle will have to pay in meeting the bill for major medical services to someone on the mainland.

The young politician believes the blame should lie at the feet of the Member of Parliament for Carriacou and Petit Martinique, Elvin Nimrod as he should be the person demanding for those major health services to be available in his constituency.

“I want to encourage people of Carriacou and Petit Martinique to join me in the fight for a better Carriacou and Petit Martinique because it is possible,” he said.

ECCB 2016 Best Corporate Citizen Award goes to Republic Bank (Grenada) Limited

The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) presented the 2016 Best Corporate Citizen Award Among ECCU Commercial Banks to the Republic Bank (Grenada) Limited during the awards ceremony held at the ECCB Headquarters, on 9 November.

The ECCB initiated, the Best Corporate Citizen Award Among ECCU Commercial Banks in 1997.

The award recognises commercial banks, which operate within the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU), for implementing, participating in and promoting programmes designed to improve the quality of life of the people they serve.

Banks are assessed for demonstrating social responsibility in the areas of: Educational Development; Community Outreach and Social Services; Environmental Awareness; Sports; Cultural Development; Customer Service; and Financial Education and Empowerment.

Good Corporate Citizen Awards are presented to the banks which have made outstanding contributions in the respective categories, while the Best Corporate Citizen Award is presented to the bank which demonstrates significant contribution to the overall enhancement of the ECCU through human resource development and sustained community outreach.

Managing Director, Republic Bank (Grenada) Limited, Keith Johnson, says, “Republic Bank is very honoured to be recognised for our commitment to building better societies in the territories in which we operate through our practice of corporate social responsibility.”

The Republic Bank (Grenada) Limited also received the Good Corporate Citizen Awards for Cultural Development, Educational Development, Environmental Awareness and Sports.

“The awards we received last night are testimony to the commitment of our Board and a tribute to the hard work of all our staff,” said Johnson.

The other banks which received Good Corporate Citizen Awards were: National Bank of Dominica, Ltd, which received the Good Corporate Citizen Awards for Customer Service and Financial Education and Empowerment; and Antigua Commercial Bank, which was presented with the Good Corporate Citizen Award for Community Outreach and Social Services.

Nine of the commercial banks which operate in the ECCU submitted entries for the 2016 Best Corporate Citizen Award.

The awards were presented by Hilary Hazel, Financial Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Government of St Kitts and Nevis and ECCB Board Member for St Kitts and Nevis.

More at FLOW for Christmas

Telecommunication provider, FLOW has promised a treat to new and existing customers during the Christmas Season.

Louraine Mitchell - Commercial Manager of FLOW

Louraine Mitchell – Commercial Manager of FLOW

The company, last week Wednesday at the FLOW flagship store on Granby Street, St. George’s launched its 2016 Christmas Campaign which runs up to December 31st.

Country Manager James Pitt who addressed the launch told members of the media that the company recognises Christmas as a most wonderful time of the year.

Pitt said the Christmas Campaign is geared at giving the most “this Christmas” and is filled with wonderful giveaways, value offers, and gifts to customers.

In addition, he said FLOW promises to live up to its social corporate responsibility.

FLOW’s Regional Communications Manager, Sheldon Keens-Douglas who gave further details about the campaign said the telecommunication provider is focusing on giving the most for Christmas.

Keens-Douglas said customers have the opportunity to walk away with the most amazing deals as they are partnering with Realvalue IGA supermarket to provide the most value and food through weekly shopping sprees with the opportunity to collect the most items for Christmas.

“We definitely going to have some amazing handsets that will be extremely affordable, and super deals,” he remarked.

He said as the Season of Christmas is here, FLOW will be focusing on giving, and on the things that are most important to them.

Keens-Douglas referred to the Christmas Campaign as a form of showing appreciation to customers by giving back to them for their business and support throughout the year.

James Pitt – serves as FLOW's Country Manager

James Pitt – serves as FLOW’s Country Manager

“Every year around this time we think of things to give our customers and thank them for their support during the year, and this year, 2016, will be no different,” he said.

The Communications Manager gave the assurance that FLOW will have the most exciting surprises this Christmas as they focus on giving back to the customers.

He disclosed that television customers will continue to have an amazing television experience along with free installation for those wishing to just remain at home and view the contents that are made available through the movie channels which are available for free this Christmas for four months when one signs up with the new Christmas television offer.

Free installation and modem are being offered for broadband service along with a $100 credit on bills that would be posted for two months in the new year.

“We are making it simple, easy and exciting for customers to get on board,” Keens-Douglas said.

Commercial Manager, Loraine Mitchell who also joined in promoting the Christmas Campaign said that existing customers with any of the services who pay their bills in full and on time also have an opportunity to win a $500.00 shopping spree.

RUBIS celebrates five years

From an increased corporate responsibility to providing the cleanest diesel fuel on island, Petroleum Company, RUBIS has marked its 5th anniversary since rebranding from the Texaco brand.

C.E.O of RUBIS, Mauricio Nicholls

C.E.O of RUBIS, Mauricio Nicholls

The company celebrated the milestone with leading government and corporate officials at a cocktail reception held at the Radisson Grenada Beach Resort last week Tuesday Night.

Country Representative, Charles Archer spoke of RUBIS’ effect on customers.

“We speak passionately about the brand in RUBIS…it has been a positive change that the new image has brought to us, the customer friendly approach taken and places our customers that means each and every one of you as number one in our hearts,”  he said.

In 2011, RUBIS acquired the Texaco assets that were once owned and operated by Chevron in the Eastern Caribbean.

The acquisition made RUBIS a formidable competitor in the regional downstream petroleum market in Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad & Tobago.

C.E.O of RUBIS Caribbean, Mauricio Nicholls said the proudest accomplishments are the relationships built and the company culture created by employees and others.

“What defines us most as human beings are the quality of the relationships we build and how we are perceived by the people with whom we interact. In (a) short span of just five years we have built strong, collaborative relationships across the board including our customers, our suppliers, our business partners, the media and the governments of the countries in which we operate,” he remarked.

“We are very proud to have built a unique company culture in which each of our employees is fully engaged and totally committed and cares deeply about RUBIS, our customers and stakeholders, and each and every one of their colleagues. A culture where delivering above and beyond what is expected is the norm and where everyone is valued and encouraged to contribute to our success,” he said.

Some members of the RUBIS family

Some members of the RUBIS family

According to RUBIS’ regional boss, there are plans afoot to grow the company extensively in the next five to 10 years.

Acting Prime Minister, and Minister of Public Utilities, Gregory Bowen addressed the gathering, noting that government hopes that RUBIS can grow from strength to strength and continue to play its part in building Grenada as fuel is the life blood of the economy.

“The Role that RUBIS and other petroleum companies are playing in supplying fossil fuel on the Caribbean market is a very important one and it will never be underestimated…of particular recognition also, is the role that it is playing in providing employment, meeting its obligations to the state….one such example is its contribution to Grenada national oil spill contingency plan in collaboration with NADMA”, he said.

“…For the ordinary Grenadian and small business owners, RUBIS’ collaboration in assisting and stabilising the retail price of cooking gas is paramount. Therefore, we understand the need for companies like this to be strong and successful to be able to make even greater contributions to the economy,” he added.

WHATS REALLY BEHIND THE GAY AND GENDER AGENDA?

November 2016, By Esther Stone, (Writer & Social Researcher) St.George’s, Grenada.

A mature friend of mine met & married what seemed to her like a fine respectable gentleman, a poet with eloquent words espousing Christian values and ideals.  He was a divorcee who some said had treated his ex wife badly and yet my friend never thought to check out his rumored background before marrying him.  After 3 years of marriage-misery she is now filled with painful regret, convinced she should have at least done some background investigations BEFORE making the legal commitment of marriage.

Grenada is on the verge of making a life changing decision about the nations Constitution.  It is the legally governing document guiding our future policies and practices in our tri island state maybe for the next 50+ years.  On the surface the language used and the ideals raised sound good, honorable and trustworthy.  But…..What are the real forces behind the items being pushed for constitutional change?  Whose vision is it really?  Where did those particular priorities originate?  What does the end result look like for the nation?

And most importantly:  Have we as Grenadians done any background checks to discover the real ROOTS of the ideas behind each bill?

For example:  Within the proposed amendments is a very important section called the Rights & Freedoms Bill.  The basic premise, we are told, is to protect the rights of (and prevent discrimination against): women in the workplace, children from abuse of all kinds and to protect the rights of people who are disable or with different sexual orientations.  These are obviously attractive and worthwhile goals on the surface, but what if they are merely being used as sugar coated BAIT to draw us into the deadly hooks of something more sinister?

What is really behind the unprecedented worldwide rise of Gay propaganda and the latest wave of Transgender ‘choices’ that are being foisted upon and our children?  Has the language used in the Equality sections been so designed as make it easier for persons to demand gay marriage or gay adoption rights in the future?  Some people believe it is despite government assurances to the contrary.

I would like to bring to light a previously concealed fact something the secret roots’ of the Gay and Gender Equality movements in Europe and USA.  I hope to raise awareness among Grenadians, stimulate honest debate and inspire research into possible implications of adopting these apparently laudable ideals given that they may actually be part of covert agendas.

ARE WE ENTERING THE GENDER NEUTRAL, POPULATION CONTROLLED NEW AGE?

Bizarre and incredible as it sounds, humanity has been slowly and secretly colonised by a satanic cult called the illuminati’,  This is a political and spiritual ‘shadow system’ operating behind most governments and representing corrupt Masonic and Jewish bankers who finagled a monopoly over government credit.  This allows them to create currency in the form of a debt to them, and charge interest’.

“Naturally they want to protect this trillion dollar prize by translating it into a political and cultural monopoly in the form of a totalitarian world government dedicated to Lucifer;, who represents their greed, and thirst for absolute power in defiance of God. (*Quotes from Illuminati historian Henry Macow.)

Dennis Healey former British Secretary of Defense once said:

“World events do not occur by accident.  They are made to happen whether it is to do with national issues or commerce; most of them are staged and managed by those who hold the purse string”.

The people who hold the global purse strings are conspiring against us to reduce our populations and take control over everything we do.  Meanwhile unsuspecting governments are co-operating with them to change our laws and social values in exchange for so called ‘ new enlightened and socially inclusive values’.

What our politicians on both sides don’t realise is that Equality and Gender agendas espoused by the UN, the IMF and EU and the Theosophy Society (of which Tony Blair is a member) mask the evil intentions of these illuminati sponsored organisations.  Today foreign aid dependent African countries which try to resist these immoral political inducements are being increasingly met with stiff sanctions for non compliance.( eg Kenya and Zimbabwe)

WHO CREATED THE GENDER AGENDA AND WHY?
Alice A.Bailey (1880-1949)

In 1922 an occultist named Alice A. Bailey set up the Lucifer Publishing Company (later re named The Lucis Trust) to disseminate luciferian ideals into society.  Her infamous 10 point strategy, given to her by a ‘spirit guide’ called The Tibetan, outlined how to secretly and permanently destroy the christian and moral foundations of our western culture.  Beginning with the family then educational, religious and social institutions; the plan prepares the ground for the New Worldwide Government to control and enslave mankind.  The bible warns about this multi-faceted system in Revelation 13:4-18, how it will  oppose God.

NOTE:  You can read the 10 point plan in the attached addendum.  You can also read it in Bailey’s esoteric book or google it.

This comprehensive strategy to undermine the strength and stabilizing effects of traditional family upon society, contained the early foundations of what would become a Gender Equality Agenda ostensibly aimed at ‘liberating’ the female parent from the ‘drudgery’ of home care, while surreptitiously devaluing her role in raising the next generation of children.  Evidence has since emerged that the elite bankers secretly funded the growth of the Womens Liberation Movements to ideologically separate women from their men  Source:http://henrymakow.com/001904.html

They later funded the pot smoking, free-sex hippie counter-culture movement of the 1960s*** to break the link between parental and youth values. (ie stop true christian values being passed to children).  They pushed free contraception and championed abortion rights, separate sexual enjoyment from the moral responsibility of procreation.  All these things which sit under the umbrella of greater freedoms for women, have acutually led to worsening relationship with men, less desire for heterosexual marriage and the unprecedented rise of the Gay revolution; which in turn is leading us into a Transgender Revolution in which our sexuality becomes so pluralised that we no longer know who we are.

Recently I read in a local newspaper that a Grenadian school had received a UN grant to re-educate the children to appreciate and show tolerance towards children with different sexual identities. (..in which the ‘sexes’ have now morphed into more than 20 permutations).  This is absurd!  Funding was given under the guise of preventing gender bias and discrimination.  Its real aim though is to create gender confusion in our little ones.  Have you heard of the recent re classifying of male and female “psychologically female’ can use the same washroom as your little girl.

FROM GODS VISION FOR MANKIND TO LUCIFERS VISON

The bible says man was ‘made in Gods image, male and female created He them’.  This idea is hated by Luciferians.

Believe it or not they want to create a new version of man, in their own image.  Just google ‘TRANSHUMANISM AGENDA’ and ‘SINGULARITY’ to expose the real goals of these clandestine overlords.  Already pressure groups in UK and USA are pushing for sex with children to be permitted if the child consents.  In the near future we may well see beastially de-criminalised in the interest of personal freedom citing the right to enjoy private pleasures.

The human identity is now being shaped into the goat headed luciferian androgenous identity in which he bears both male and female sex organs.  The so called “Elite’ have bank rolled scientist to  genetically merge different species, such as vegetables with insect DNA, animals with human DNA (under the guise of scientific/medical advancements) and merging man with technology (bionic man/robotised soldiers).

All this is being encouraged in pursuit of God like powers for the Elite and total freedom from God’s ‘restrictive’ laws.  (see Psalms 2:1-5) Our creator made strict moral and natural boundaries which we are not at liberty to cross.  If we do then there are painful consequences to face for all of us.

Adoption of these new immoral values and politically correct rules is being facilitated through urging constitutional changes upon ever more nations (eg Canada, Jamaica, Uganda and now Grenada) Sadly this drive may ultimately lead to the constraints.  For us christians this mean growing persecution and a kind of hell on earth!  For all people it means in practice major losses of freedoms and human rights such as we are now seeing evolve in the USA since 9/11.

This is why the sign of the cross can no longer be worn visibly at work in the UK, a supposedly christian country!  Flying the american flag on your vehicle or business facade has been banned by many states in the USA.  Feeding the homeless on the streets has become illegal in over twenty US cities and others are set to follow.  This is why USA and europe have outlawed prayer in schools and in public buildings.  It is also why the anti-christain system of Islamic law courts have been set up in several european cities including London.

SOURCE: http://www.mintpressnews.com/new-laws-mean-now-illegal-give-food-homeless-21-ities/198104

SOURCE: ttps://conservativedailypost.com/breaking-obama-and-sadiq-khan-just-passed-online-sharia-law/

We are, without our consent, being slowly and imperceptibly re-engineered to serve the Illuminati.  They seek to redefine and undermine institutions like marriage, the christian religion and promote depravity, dysfunction, corruption and division.

(To be continued)

Social Development Minister defends SEED phase out process

Social Development Minister Delma Thomas maintains that the Keith Mitchell-led regime is not responsible for the phasing out of 476 individuals, who were disqualified from the Support for Education Empowerment and Development (SEED).

Social Development Minister Delma Thomas

Social Development Minister Delma Thomas

Shedding some light on the issue during Tuesday’s post-Cabinet press briefing, the female minister said that the removal of some names is a “necessary requirement” in order to meet the criteria set out in an agreement signed with the World Bank in 2011.

She disclosed that the USD5M concessionary loan agreement for the SEED project was signed by former Finance Minister Senator Nazim Burke under the 2008-2013 National Democratic Congress (NDC) government of Tillman Thomas.

According to Minister Thomas, the SEED programme, which is due to culminate in December 2017, falls under a “Safety Net Advancement Project (SNAP) that was signed with the World Bank for a “conditional cash transfer with a very low interest rate.”

The female government minister shifted the blame from NNP to Congress, alluding to specific criteria that must be followed in order to get the disbursement.

“It has conditionalities attached to it (and) we have to go according to the criteria,” Minister Thomas said, referencing the 21 criteria components and the six dimensions of quality of life as outlined in the agreement.

She stated that these include a “criteria that says you must be getting under EC$200…it also goes onto say that if you have a shop you are also not entitled and there are other criteria that they look at (including the kind of house structure, whether you have running water, toilet facilities, access to power supply (among others), all those are taken into consideration”.

The Minister who is the elected Member of Parliament for St. Andrew North-west expressed the view that the former NDC government should have “looked into the agreement and read the fine print” before signing onto it.

 SEED Manager Leonora Burkmire

SEED Manager Leonora Burkmire

“I heard the past Minister of Social Development (Sylvester Quarless) on television news last night (Monday) speaking of what we are doing in terms of taking out persons but when they signed onto the agreement did they not read the fine print to know exactly what they are signing onto?” she questioned.

“We must decide whether or not we want the World Bank money because in order to get the disbursement we must follow the mandate,” she said, adding, “we need the revenue because we entered into a Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP), which would enable us to use that money to execute the purpose of the programme.”

THE NEW TODAY understands that “USD.5M (of USD5M World Bank) disbursement would go towards enhancing the capacity of the SEED unit, consultancies and goods and services.

Minister Thomas acknowledged that while 476 persons are being phased out from SEED, “at the same time, in order to meet the World Bank criteria, more than 5000 persons would have also received letters of eligibility (for the programme).”

She noted that the 2011 agreement references the “proxy means testing,” which has been renamed the Grenada Living Condition Indicator (GLCI), “that was used to determine whether persons are eligible (or not).”

She said, “the 476 names that came back as ineligible came from the proxy means testing (which was conducted in July), in keeping with the agreement signed onto by the former government.

“All the data within our system, all the beneficiaries were accessed by Colombian Consultant, Yadira Diaz, who is based in London,” she told reporters while refuting claims by ex-minister Quarless that she was not telling the truth in this regard.

Additionally, Minister Thomas said “it is unfortunate that there are persons with disabilities who would be phased out of the programme,” noting that a “disability does not fall under the criteria of the World Bank agreement for eligibility.”

However, she stated that government subventions are given to the Grenada National Council for the Disabled (GNCD), but with the discussions generated within the last week “maybe we (government) can look deeper into other programmes.”

“Maybe we can look as a government, at giving more subventions (to the GNCD) so that they can provide more services for persons with disabilities,” she remarked.

The Social Development Minister had in her possession a document containing the 2011 agreement, which also speaks to an appeals process in which a person who believes that he/she has been treated unfairly can apply for an appeal to a committee chaired by attorney-at-law Robert Branch.

According to the government minister, the SEED issue affects everybody across political lines” and that there “are persons who are very close to me that have received letters.”

The manager of SEED, Leonora Buckmire, who also spoke at the press briefing said that most persons who are now disqualified from the programme would have experienced significant improvements in their quality of life.

“We are at the stage now where we are reassessing the households” she said, adding that hopefully the committee would meet soon to determine where we are at now.”

Buckmire expressed confidence that not all persons who would have received letters will be appealing because the status of some households would have changed.

Statement on the 2016 Referendum From Fr. Clifton Harris, O.P Administrator of the Diocese of St. George’s-in-Grenada

Greetings, Brothers and Sisters,

Our historic Referendum on the Constitution Review is just around the corner. Deciding how to vote is not always an easy decision.  Nonetheless, we all have a civic right and responsibility, as Catholics, as citizens of Grenada, to reflect carefully before deciding how to vote on the seven Bills.

Fr. Clifton Harris

Fr. Clifton Harris

While many among us may feel confused and uncertain, the Referendum has provided us an opportunity to reflect and dialogue on those values we cherish as a Nation.

High among these values are Marriage and Family Life, Freedom and Responsibilities, Democratic Governance, the Dignity of the Human, Person, particularly our ways of valuing Gender identities. Such values are of vital importance in this national conversation about the very future of Grenada itself and its significance on the World Stage.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that it is our duty to “contribute along with the civil authorities to the good of society in a spirit of truth, justice, solidarity and freedom.” (§2239). As Catholics we, therefore, recognize that our obligation to participate in shaping the moral character of our society is a requirement of our Faith, a part of the Mission given to us by Jesus Christ.

In order to do this faithfully, we should search our consciences, bearing in mind that “Conscience is a judgment of reason whereby the human person recognizes the moral quality of a concrete act… [Every person] is obliged to follow faithfully what he [or she] knows to be just and right” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, §. 1778).

In a spirit of justice, we must respect the rights of all, seek to ensure that each is given his or her due, and promote harmony in relationships. We would do well to bear in mind that the rights that each one claims for him or herself are bound to be restricted by rights others claim for themselves.

Laws and policies must respect the dignity of the individual and promote the Common Good of all. A useful litmus test of the fairness of particular institutional arrangements or policies is: Who are the ‘winners’ and ‘losers?’ (e.g., Bill 1. CCJ and Other Justice Related Matters; Bill 3. Ensuring a Leader of the Opposition; and; Bill 7. Term of Office of Prime Minister). Are good results being achieved for all (or most) without trampling upon the rights of others?

We all have a responsibility to respect the Dignity of the Human Person. At the forefront of this debate are Marriage and Family.  The family, based on marriage between a man and a woman, is the fundamental unit of society. This sanctuary for the creation and nurturing of children must not be altered, redefined, undermined, or neglected. While the wellbeing of human being remains the centre and the reason of all laws in our land, our faith calls us to safeguard the sacredness of life and the sanctity of marriage as God intended it to be (cf. Gen. 2:23-24).

We must watch that we do not redefine family and marriage, as given to us by God. Should we go against the order established by our Creator, we will not just shake our core values, but also open the doors to alternative lifestyles that make us look good in the eyes of the world and cause us to substitute the revealed God for idols made of gold.

The state must ensure gender equality for all: (1) equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities of women and men; (2) take into consideration and recognizing the interests, needs, and priorities of both women and men, and; (3) consider equal pay for all, social roles and responsibilities considered appropriate for women and men. Our roles in society do not exist in isolation, but they are defined in relation to one another and through the relation between men and women as God’s creatures.

The Catholic Church strives to stand squarely on the side of human dignity and the equality of all citizens under the law.

We must ask ourselves, what will best preserve the dignity of all people of our nation? How are the Bills before us affirming these rights and values?

Prudence tells us not voting at all, or not weighing carefully the consequences of the way we vote could make easier the path for undesirable, even oppressive, policies to become entrenched into our Constitution.

As a Church, we do not tell Catholics how to vote. The responsibility to make political choices rests with each person and his or her properly formed conscience.

The moral weight of voting is indeed very heavy. In other words, every vote counts, those are difficult considerations, and I don’t say any of this in a kind of easy way. But I do think that Catholics especially need to be very cautious and not simply opt out. You need to register your vote one way or another.

The next few days will determine the next decade and more of our beloved nation’s life. We need to clear our heads of media noise and sound bites, party nuisances and flyers and read all seven bills with a critical mind, since there is more in the Bills than meets to eyes or the ears!

Converse with your parish priest, with others for clarification on the bills, familiarize yourself with what the Church teaching is on the issues raised or at stake in these bills. Attend the discussion sessions organized by the Church or the NGOs so that we may inform ourselves of the arguments on both sides of the debate. Before voting, ask yourself: How in the light of the Gospel, can my vote best serve the Common Good?

Let us call on the Holy Spirit to grant each of us wisdom on referendum day! As you vote, you may wish to use this prayer to the Holy Spirit:

“Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And you shall renew the face of the earth.

O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.”.