The TAMCC deal is off!!!

An initiative aimed at turning the island’s premier tertiary institution, the T.A. Marryshow Community College (TAMCC) into a major institute of learning has fallen to the ground following the decision of United States-based PETNA Foundation to pull out of the deal.

Sen. Garraway made the announcement on Tuesday

The announcement was made at Wednesday’s post-Cabinet press briefing at the Ministerial Complex in Tanteen, St. George’s by Information Minister Senator Winston Garraway.

He told reporters that PETNA has pulled out of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to give a badly needed lift to TAMCC due to the Keith Mitchell-led government’s failure to attract the desired candidate to become the new TAMCC President under the agreement.

He said the Foundation communicated its decision to withdraw from the MOU through a letter dated March 29, 2019.

“The most critical (reason why PETNA pulled out) is the government’s inability to attract the desired candidate to become the President of TAMCC,” Garraway told reporters, noting that while the Foundation applauded the objectives met so far under the MOU, it felt that “the broader objectives of the MOU requires a level of leadership and sustained commitment which has so far not materialised.”

Sen. Garraway said the Foundation in its letter stated that the decision to pull out of the agreement was taken “with all due consideration to withdraw from the agreement with a large measure of regret,” and noted among other things that “after two (2) years, we still do not have the requisite leadership in spite of the stellar candidate that has been identified.

He spoke of the letter pointing out that the candidate who was identified for the top job was considered as having a significant attribute to the success of the TAMCC project by PETNA.

In October 2016, the Mitchell government along with the Tanteen-based TAMCC, PETNA Foundation and Canadian-based Mc Master University, signed the MOU which was aimed at making the college the premier tertiary institution in the Caribbean region.

Key to achieving the objectives as set out under the MOU was the appointment of a new president to manage the operations of TAMCC.

Sen. Garraway revealed that the PETNA foundation had pledged US$1M towards ensuring that the faculty development would be done” and he said the “money was to be paid directly to Mc Master University, who was responsible for the development of the faculties and curriculum and the like…”.

The brainchild behind the foundation is Grenadian-born Earle Nicholas Brathwaite, who is a leading technology expert in the Silicon Valley area of California in the United States.

THE NEW TODAY understands that a steering committee was also established and that as part of the MOU, a new and qualified president had to be appointed with effect from July, 2018, and an agreement was signed with a Canadian firm to lead the recruitment process.

The person identified for the job was Canadian Educator, Dr. Judeline Innocent from Ontario whose academic career includes teaching assignments at Queen’s University, Mc Master University and Trent University, and Fleming and Boreal Colleges.

According to Sen. Garraway, the government was unable to satisfy the requirements to recruit Dr. Innocent, who has a solid track record of accomplishment of successful programme management, developing and promulgating best practices with integrity and initiating alternative service delivery models.

He said the “two critical issues that we had to satisfy was a pension plan and medical insurance” and both of them proved to be out of the reach of the administration.

He stated that “there were certain values that were expected given that what is offered in Grenada is not comparable to what is required in Canada and that was one of the drawbacks.”

Sen. Garraway indicated that as a result of government’s inability to satisfy the requirement, Dr. Innocent “pulled out from being the recruitment candidate” for the job and the PETNA Foundation has now followed suit.

The TAMCC transformation process entails a reassessment of the curriculum offered at the college, its relevance and the manner in which it functions by building capacity within the institution, which was expected to be able to sustain itself by internal resources following the 5-year development period under the MOU.

Sen. Garraway told reporters the Mitchell government remains “committed to finding the necessary partners” to ensure that TAMCC is developed into a better and more sustainable institution.

Minding Your Legal Affairs

The Employee’s Rights – Part III

You will recall that in Part I of The Employee’s Rights, one of the protections set out as being guaranteed by the Employment Act was that of the right to minimum standards set out in that Act.

In Part III, we propose, based on interest, to start to deal with statutory minimums for leave, the focus being on annual leave.

An employee who meets certain conditions may be entitled to “leave”, that is, time off from work which does not allow an employer to treat the employment contract as terminated or the employment relationship as broken down.

In some circumstances, the employee must be paid as if he/she worked, and in others, the employer is not required to pay wages but must grant the time off.

Types of Leave under the Employment Act:

(1). Annual leave
(2). Maternity Leave
(3). Sick Leave
(4). Supplementary Family Leave

Annual Leave

Annual leave is what we more commonly refer to as vacation leave. You must work in order to earn it.

How much leave are you entitled to:-

If you are a monthly paid employee, you earn 2 weeks’ leave after the first year and 3 weeks’ for each succeeding year.

Daily paid or hourly paid employees earn leave as follows: 1 working day for every 15 days or 120 hours of work. Where the employee works for half days, a half day is equal to one day, but only for the purpose of calculating leave.

When are you entitled to enjoy your leave:-

Under the Employment Act, you are only entitled to take time off for vacation after you have worked for a year.

The Employment Act guarantees that the employee must have an opportunity to consult with the employer on when the employee will proceed upon leave, but the ultimate decision on the date for leave is the employer’s.

As a general rule, leave should be enjoyed within 6 months of when the leave became due, but there is latitude for the employer and employee to decide and agree otherwise.

The period of leave must not coincide with or include: sick leave, maternity leave, notice of termination and or public holidays.

When is your salary to be paid if pay day is included in your leave period:-

Your wages must be paid no later than the last working day before you start your holiday, unless you agree an alternative date or arrangement with your employer.

What happens if you are terminated and you have not enjoyed all annual leave earned:-

Your employer must pay for all leave earned at the date of termination. The reason for the termination is irrelevant for that purpose. What is important is that you have earned the leave, that is, you have had an anniversary of your employment, and you have not yet enjoyed your leave.

(The above was submitted by the Grenada Bar Association)

Venezuela is in the Process of Political Cleansing

Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro has said he wants a million more people to join his civilian militia by the end of the year (2019).

“With your rifles on your shoulders, be ready to defend the fatherland and dig the furrow to plant the seeds to produce food for the community, for the people,” Maduro recently told the crowd of militia members.

In his tiny brain pickled in communist excreta, he appears to believe that he is, in fact, Lenin, that quotation is the kind of thing that Lenin loved to espouse as he hacked his way through the murder of a hundred thousand innocents.

The Leninist belief in the one-party state was and is characteristic of every communist regime” and “the Bolshevik use of violence was repeated in every communist revolution.” Phrases said by Vladimir Lenin, and Cheka founder Felix Dzerzhinsky were deployed all over the world.

Lenin to his colleagues in the Bolshevik government: “If we are not ready to shoot a saboteur and White Guardist, what sort of revolution is that?”

Under this type of Leninist type of communism, which is often mixed with Marxism to create the heading and badge Marxist-Leninist, one can expect the need to cleanse the populace of right-wing and bourgeoisie or even the petite-bourgeoisie who simply have anti-revolutionary ideas.

Lenin’s murder figures stand at around 100,000. Stalin’s, of course, exceed 14–27 million depending on who you believe, but you have to remember that neither of these men went around slaughtering people themselves. Deaths were often results of policy.

Maduro’s call to expand his civilian militia is a call to form a revolutionary guard of armed peasants’ to unleash on the people at his command, a one-sided civil war. A civil war where only one side is armed to enable the slaughter of the opposers. A war that will further reduce the opposition to the revolution.

The mass exodus of Venezuelans is understood by all the Caribbeans’ Marxist-Leninist supporters and leaders, such as Vincentian leader Ralph Gonsalves and many others. That is why not one of them has criticised Maduro for the exodus of almost 4 million Venezuelans. That is why they have solidarity with Maduro. They know that the exodus of the unwanted prospective counter-revolutionary is necessary and means less for slaughter later.

Many Cubans fled from or left the island of Cuba. Those people consisted of two primary groups loosely defined by the period occurring before and after the Mariel boat lift of the 1980s. The pre-Mariel group consisted of the mostly middle and upper classes of the island who fled due to fear of widespread reprisals after the communist takeover led by Fidel Castro in the late 1950s-1970s.

The large exodus of Cubans to the United States since the 1959 Cuban Revolution. More than 1 million Cubans of all classes and racial groups live outside Cuba (including those born abroad), especially in the United States, and other countries.

The majority of the 1,172,899 current Cuban exiles living in the United States live in Florida (917,033 in 2014), mainly in Miami-Dade County, where more than a third of the population is Cuban.

Other exiles have relocated to form substantial Cuban communities in New York City (16,416), Louisville, KY (6,662), Houston, TX (6,233), Los Angeles (6,056), Union City, NJ (4,970) and others.

The Cuban Castro government invited those who wanted to leave to go. The exodus was invited, meant less for the slaughter which prevailed under Castro, and sometimes at his very hands.

So let it be understood that those who leave Venezuela at some point will be cut off and not be allowed to return to Venezuela. The political cleaning process will be final as far as they are concerned.
Let this be a warning to the US about the fermentation of communism in the United States and the growing wave of left-wing socialists like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who has put a brash, fresh face on unapologetic socialism in the United States.

Can Americans – or even Democrats – get behind her? None of whom have criticised Maduro. None of whom have criticised the exodus of the Venezuelan people.

“I am so sick of the one percent getting this preferential treatment,” Sanders snarls. “Enough is enough! We need to unite and work together if we’re all going to get through this.” “Sounds like socialism to me,” observes David.

“DEMOCRATIC socialism,” Sanders corrects him. “Ah, what’s the difference?” “Huge difference,” says Sanders. “Huge.”

Most countries have the socialist element lurking in the background, even Britain who has Jeremy Corbyn the Labour party leader, none of those socialists condemn the Maduro action or behaviour, because they are all in solidarity with him, hoping and dreaming one day to follow the same path in their own respective countries.

British Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, said that the intervention in Venezuela and the call for sanctions against the government of Nicolas Maduro are “wrong” and that only Venezuelans have the right to decide their destiny.

“The future of Venezuela is a matter for Venezuelans. The request of the U.K. Secretary of Foreign Affairs Jeremy Hunt for further sanctions against Venezuela is wrong” said Corbyn in a tweet he posted about the political situation in Venezuela.

“We oppose outside interference in Venezuela, whether from the US or anywhere else. There needs to be dialogue and a negotiated settlement to overcome the crisis” concluded Corbyn, thus opposing the recognition of Juan Guaido as “interim president” of Venezuela, any interference in the affairs of another country through sanctions and any hypothesis of military intervention.
Bernie Sanders warned against the “unintended consequences” of foreign intervention in Venezuela.

Understand that what is happening in Venezuela is a carefully planned procedure that can only be stopped with regime change. The Venezuelan people are unable to bring about regime change themselves they are fighting a battle with an entrenched dictator supported by the Cuban trained and controlled military.

Russia, China and Iran support Maduro so as they can continue raping the uranium and gold pile with the lubrication of Venezuela’s oil.

All of this communist activity in the Americas and the Caribbean emanates from Cuba the cancer of the hemisphere, who has been bathing in Venezuelan oil for years now. If the Castros’ had been politically castrated years ago, none of this would be happening today.

“communism is where you are ruled by a dictator, capitalism is truly free”.

Jolly Green

THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY!!!

I am like that old country preacher that long time bible toting REVEREND with his TABERNACLE and big sisters preaching from the heart on the roadside, and hoping that a few might take heed.

I am certain that you and thousands of Grenadians are viewing on television, reading and getting information from friends and family in Trinidad about the arriving Venezuelans on the shores of the country and how things are going.

Within the arriving refugee group as they are called, there are THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY, and at times it’s the minority of bad fellows that will spark a negative backlash from the natives, and who can blame them.

Already the bad elements are showing their true colors, and it’s only a matter of time before a heavy outrage lead by some uneasy individuals attempt to begin doing unlawful things to the desperate South Americans.

Trinidad, though the second largest of the English-speaking Caribbean chain of islands, despite its size can only take so much, and the question is what would happen if they the refugees begin to head North East to Grenada and St Vincent?

There is an old saying when your neighbor’s house is on fire wet yours, and as I sit here tapping on the keys of my logitech keyboard I am wondering if both governments of Grenada and St Vincent are thinking in line that such can happen, and I am almost certain it will.

With the first wave of just fifty, I can imagine seeing those elected officials that know everything and won’t take an idea or advice from a man or woman in the street once they take up office sitting and pondering what they need to do but won’t reach out to the masses, because they don’t take advice period and are prepared to hand out free old talk while they collect a pay cheque and scratching their you know what and doing nothing.

I’ll be the first to say that they the Venezuelans will bring skills that’s badly needed to help push the country forward in many fields, but at what price.

Already it’s quite sickening to walk through the towns of St George and Grenville only to see who is in control of the everyday commerce and spreading quite rapidly, all because of the failure of government after government to educate and equip its people.

They the Venezuelans with whom we have shared economic and many more friendships with for years are coming, and is government and the natives prepared to handle THE BAD AND THE UGLY in the group that may include some of our own Venezuelan relatives that is going to turn a paradise upside down in a very short space of time because of some men and women that are put into office just won’t think as they should?

Mark my word, THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY are only days, weeks, or months away from landing on the shores of GRENADA, CARRIACOU AND PETITE MARTINIQUE as well as ST VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES, and when they do all hell is going to break loose when the BAD AND UGLY ELEMENTS begin to disrupt the lives of those in KINGSTOWN, THE GRENADINES, CARRIACOU, PETITE MARTINIQUE and SOUTH ST GEORGE, especially those at SGU and the hotel belt.

Mike Mc Quilkin

Censorship in the spice Isle!!!

Grenada was again in the international spotlight in another very negative vein.

A report put out by the well-known media watchdog group known as “Reporters Without Borders” singled out the Grenada Broadcasting Network (GBN) for engaging in censorship of information on the island.

This is a damning condemnation of a media entity which is regarded globally as the face of the media in the Spice Isle.

In its latest bulletin, Reporters Without Borders had this to say about the media in the Eastern Caribbean under the headline, “Political Influence On OECS Media Cited In Global Report”

“A new report released by Reporters Without Borders asserts that ‘many media outlets’ in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) are under the direct influence of politicians, especially during elections.

The organisation’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index says it’s because officials can withdraw state advertising at any time and deprive them of income they depend on.

“In some of the Islands, political parties even own or have major shares in media companies, compromising journalistic independence,” it noted.

The report asserts that authorities are also monitoring social networks more and more closely, which encourages a degree of self-censorship.

“In 2018, reports of editorial censorship by the general manager of the Grenada Broadcasting Network brought into question the journalistic independence enjoyed by reporters working for Grenada’s largest media network,” it observed.

The publication expressed the view that Journalism is not a prestige profession in the countries that are members of the OECS.

“They receive little training and often abandon media work because it is so badly paid, an issue that particularly affects female journalists in the region,” it stated. The OECS slipped 15 places in the press freedom ranking to 50. It was at 35 in 2018. One hundred and eighty countries are listed in the latest World Press Freedom Index”.

The fact that GBN is being cited for media censorship in Grenada should immediately attract the majority shareholders of the company who are primarily the operators of the major media houses in the Caribbean such as the Express newspaper in Trinidad, Nation newspaper in Barbados, and the Jamaica Gleaner.

The history would show that these were the very media houses that led the onslaught against the leftwing People’s Revolutionary Government (PRG) during the 1979-83 period of the Grenada Revolution for curtailment of press freedom and human rights abuses.

The Bishop regime was constantly under attack by these media giants in the English-speaking Caribbean especially after it closed down the independent Torchlight newspaper in Grenada.

THE NEW TODAY would want to believe that the majority owners of GBN will be forced to look at the manoeuvres taking place at GBN by its minority partner which is the Government of Grenada currently run by the New National Party (NNP) of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell.

The message is clear for those of us in Grenada who understands what is happening on the ground, is that the NNP administration is having its way with the operations of GBN and bringing the organisation into disrepute and that the Majority shareholders need to pay closer attention to what is happening at this media entity.

The older heads like Harold Hoyte of the Barbados Nation, Ken Gordon who was associated with the Express newspaper and the other veteran journalists associated with these major players in the regional media would not be happy about censorship involving GBN or any free press in the Caribbean.

These veterans would have fought for most of their working life for a free and totally independent press not only in the region but globally.

THE NEW TODAY is fully aware that not only GBN but most of the other media houses on the island are engaged in direct and indirect censorship of information due to governmental pressure and interference.

There are constant reports that the NNP Political Directorate is using the Ministry of Finance to pressure certain media houses who owe taxes to the State to fall in line or else pay the price or face the necessary consequences.

A former NNP Cabinet Minister openly stated that a certain religious figure who was a major tax collector for government and supporter of the regime was often used as the “hatchet man” against media houses who were in default of payment of taxes to the Treasury.

The NNP has also taken advantage of the low salaries paid by some media houses to its workers by sending them a host of government-paid Imani workers to help them man their operations.

The Imani workers are not only untrained but only an ignorant person would not understand where their loyality lies – clearly with one of the 15 NNP Members of Parliament who recruited them into the Imani programme.

This newspaper can report without fear of contradiction the attitude of some of the untrained journalists and a few senior ones with a clear political line to the NNP when certain so-called offensive questions are asked of Government ministers at the weekly post-Cabinet press briefings.

It is nothing but shameful the behaviour of these “posers” in the media who are nothing but a disgrace to the professionals who have passed our way – the likes of T.A Marryshow, Alister Hughes and Leslie Seon who knew what it was to be called a fearless independent member of the media profession.

It is against this background that THE NEW TODAY would like to see the majority shareholders of GBN seriously address the concern expressed by Reporters Without Borders and to remove the suspicion that they are only interested in profit and financial returns from their Grenada operation.

Bowen: Government ready for international case against Grenlec

June 17-21 is the date set for the much-anticipated hearing of an international tribunal to settle a grievance between the Keith Mitchell-led New National Party (NNP) government and the island’s sole electricity company known as Grenlec.

Minister of Energy, Gregory Bowen – government will repurchase Grenlec shares if the international court gives such a ruling

According to Minister of Energy, Gregory Bowen, the government and its battery of lawyers are preparing to defend its position on the decision taken by GRENLEC to enforce a clause in the contract for the administration to repurchase the 50% shares of the electricity company that was sold to Grenada Private Power Limited (GPP), the majority shareholder in the utility.

Relations have always been stormy between the NNP and Grenlec following the decision of the 1990-95 Congress government of late Prime Minister Sir Nicholas Brathwaite to privatise Grenlec as part of a Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP).

The arbitration tribunal, to be comprised of three judges, will be held under the auspicies of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in Washington DC.
Speaking to reporters in St. George’s, Minister Bowen said that Grenada will be represented before the tribunal by the law firm of Debevoise and Plimpton in the US and its local affiliate, Seon and Associates on Lucas Street, St. George’s.

The senior government minister stated that if the tribunal rules in favour of Grenlec and ordered that the shares be repurchased the government is prepared to abide by the decision.

“If the court ruled, we have to do so. We always say that we don’t want to manage these companies, so we’ll give it to you (private sector), ask you to buy it or some other persons to buy it. It might reside with us for a year or two …but we want to regulate and see that the people benefit – we don’t want to own it and then regulate it. It would be easier if you (private sector) own and you regulate but that is not our philosophy – that is not our motto at all and we have made that abundantly clear”, he said.

The position as outlined by the Energy Minister is a shift from the position once articulated by Prime Minister Mitchell that the sale of Grenlec under Congress was the “worst deal” ever and that he would like to repurchase the shares sold by the state to the company.

According to Minister Bowen, the cost of the shares has already been determined by PriceWaterhouse but declined to disclose the figure due to legal considerations.

When asked if he was confident that the government really had a case against GRENLEC, Bowen said: “Certainly, from what we look at and from what we (are) understanding I believe the other side also believes they have a case, but when you talk about these arbitrations and things, I have been there before, you never know what the three judges will say and there is also a time for appeal.
“…We do have a case and not only a case but a right and we have an obligation to defend this country against, you know what is happening …if we do not get our energy sector correct, any development that we are making now, will go to naught”, he added.

Minister Bowen also made mention of another thorny issue between Government and Grenlec regarding the use of monies from the Social Fund which is currently pending in court.
GRENLEC has challenged the legality of the 2017 amendment in Parliament to the Electricity Supply Act which mandates the electricity company to give 5% of its pre-tax profit to a Government-controlled Social Fund.

Until this matter has been resolved, GRENLEC took the decision to suspend its Community Partnership Initiative (GCPI) grant awards from which many organisations and activities were the beneficiaries.

Minister Bowen said the date for this matter is yet to be announced but government is pushing forward with its position on the issue.

He said: “Our matter is that the people should pay with a social fund and if the people are paying for it, you GRENLEC, you can’t control it. If you wish (as a) Corporate Social Responsibility to continue with your fund, do that. Government has one person on the board, you have three or four, you could then tell government I don’t want you on the board – we don’t have a problem because that is your money, your corporate responsibility but if you say you want this thing to be explained, we just go before the court and explain it. The people will pay for it. Right now they have stopped, but we knew they would stop…it must continue.

“… So, since it (the money) would not come out from your profits, your monies, they’re saying that we’re saying we’re going to take 5% that is (the) quantum that we put aside every year. We’re saying that same quantum, whatever it is, the Public Utilities Commission will say your rate is 5 cents per unit but you pay 5.1. What is your point one cent for to bring into this fund for social fund? Who should control this point 1 cent – it has to be the state and then you put it under the Public Utilities Commission.

“GRENLEC can continue with theirs (GCPI) – you make your profit, put your 5% of profit and give to the people. If you don’t want to do it, stop, but the effect is that if you stop, bodies and organisations will be looking for something to continue on, but that is there from the people’s money.

“If you (Grenlec) want to continue with yours, we will just have more to give to organisations, so even if you go to court and the court say retract this law, it is not too clear, we will do it because we’re telling the court our intention, we have told GRENLEC our intention…”, he added.

Bowen is a former General Manager of Grenlec when it was under state-control during the 1984-90 period of the first NNP government of late Prime Minister H.A Blaize.

Help for Kidney Patients on Dialysis

A total of three treatments per week is required at the cost of $750 for each, which amounts to $9000 per month for full dialysis treatments per patient in Grenada.

Leron Calliste – has been a Kidney patient on Dialysis for a year and seven months

It was in this regard that Leron Calliste, a 41 year old resident of Crochu, St. Andrew walked into THE NEW TODAY newspaper on Tuesday, representing the 19 dialysis patients on the island, seeking the assistance of the public in donating towards saving the life of a Kidney Patient.

Calliste told this newspaper that it is difficult for patients to do a full treatment as is required because of the constraints in meeting the financial cost.

“One treatment is $750, usually we have to do three treatments per week, which the cost would be for a month, $9000, but right now we could only do two treatments per week, which is $6000 a month,” he said.

The kidney patient stated that government is presently giving $1000 a month per patient, while the Kidney Foundation gives $750.

“If the government could do a little more, if they give us two to three thousand a month, we will be so thankful. The Kidney Foundation – they are trying their best because the monies are not really coming, they have to raise funds as well to help out the situation,” he said.

Calliste believes that if a proper diet is followed, the number of kidney patients in the country will be lessened.

“When you are a patient, it’s not the end of the road. If you get the proper treatment, you’re going to live a lifetime as a normal person. You might have to stay away from a lot of dairy products, fruits and things that are high in potassium ….”, he said.

“…I am asking the public to always check their health. Go by the doctor, check their blood pressure, check their diabetes because these are the two main things that cause your Kidney to fail…every three months or so…just go do a check up,” he advised.

According to Calliste if persons follow a medical regime this can save many lives.

He said: “If you take care of your health, it’s better for you. You don’t have to be like me, who is struggling to live because if you don’t get your treatment, you know you’re going to die and a lot of people passed away already from the time I have been there because I have been there like a year and seven months now and four, five people have already passed away because of lack of knowledge”.

Calliste is hopeful that some Dialysis Machines can be placed at the General Hospital to help ease the financial burden of patients.

“The thing is really serious. I just have to thank God for making it and being here because a long time ago, I should have done gone already, but the Grace of God and the help of my mother Hermy Calliste…Mt. Pure Water…Miss McQueen, a lady by the name of Cousin Lucy, Miss Emmalin Pierre…there are so many names to mention, who help me already and so many (more) names to mention.

“…I am just wishing that the government could find a solution and maybe put a unit in the hospital and get a couple machines to help out our situation because it is not an easy road. People look at this thing as a simple thing until one of their family member end up in it. It’s very, very hard, it has a lot of people struggling to pay, people owe thousands of dollars and if we don’t get that treatment, we’re going to die.

Persons who are willing to render assistance can do so through a motorcade and other fundraising activity scheduled for the end of the month or via the foundation’s bank account number which can be obtained by calling the President Marva Gilkes on 534 1959.

Calliste said that persons can also contact him on 421 5086.

Sandals Foundation Teaches Youth about Endangered Species for Earth Day

The world is facing an unprecedented rate of destruction, reduction and extinction of plant and wildlife populations as a result of human activities, and sadly the Caribbean region has not been exempt from this.

In celebration of World Mother Earth Day (April 22), the Sandals Foundation took up the mantle to spread awareness by bringing students face to face with endangered species across several islands, educating them on the threats they face as well as conservation and other measures needed to protect them.

Environmental Officer at the Sandals Foundation, Bianca Young said it was important for the students to go out on the field trips as it strengthens the message and Earth Day 2019 theme ‘Protect our Species’ if they are able to see it firsthand.

“The children are the future and they are the ones who will inherit the earth so it is very important that we engage them as early as possible on how their actions and the actions of people around them could negatively affect plant and animal life. It is our hope that, by bringing them in direct contact with the endangered species and explaining the importance of biodiversity, they will have a better understanding of the urgency of this campaign,” Young said.

Here in Grenada, students from Grand Roy Government School were taken to the Bathway & Levera Park to learn about the leatherback turtle and the importance of mangroves within our ecosystem.

“Today’s activities were truly enlightening for the children. They learned so much about the phenomenal leatherback turtle that travels all around the globe but returns right here to our Grenadian shores to lay their eggs. Their interest and awareness has been heightened by this memorable outing that we can integrate within the classroom,” shared Jenner James, Principal of Grand Roy Government School.

Last month, the Sandals Foundation celebrated its 10th anniversary with a pledge to double down on its efforts to promote and support sustainable environmental initiatives across the Caribbean.

Executive Director of the Sandals Foundation, Heidi Clarke, said “We have made a pledge to the Caribbean which we intend to fulfill. Over the next year and beyond, we will be putting a special emphasis on expanding awareness and funding to engage people in environmental protection and conservation.

“This includes working with schools and educators to integrate marine education in their lesson plans and spearheading hands-on field trips like these to protected areas.”

The field trips are also taking place in Antigua, Barbados, Jamaica, St. Lucia, The Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands, looking at species such as hutias, flamingos, turtles, iguanas, Bahama Parrot, Sea Turtles, Wetland Tortoises, bats, boas, and birds.

Migrant Caravans: Are they in the Caribbean’s future?

Imagine the scene if people with little hope of a better life in Caribbean countries could walk to the United States. Undoubtedly, many would do so, joining the tens of thousands in the present so-called Caravan from three countries in Central America – El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

Television, cinema and other media have for decades painted a portrait of the United States as a land of plenty where fairness, justice and the rule of law prevail, and where the poor, however uneducated and unskilled, have a better chance to improve their lives than they have in their native lands.

If that portrayal was ever true, it certainly is not so now. And, to be clear, the unwelcomeness of unskilled and uneducated immigrants did not start with the present US administration of President Donald Trump. The famous legend at the base of the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbour, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore”, has long been abandoned.

Recall the turning back of shiploads of Haitians risking their lives in perilous journeys across the sea to US shores in the 1980s. It was President Jimmy Carter’s Democratic administration in 1980 that introduced detention camps for Haitians – a tool that Republican President Ronald Reagan embraced fully when he came to office in 1981.

President Bill Clinton also maintained the system, trying at one point to convince other Caribbean countries to absorb thousands of the Haitians detainees held in the US. After 9/11, the detention regime expanded under President George W. Bush, and it continued until it has reached the present point of political controversy in the US.

The controversy is not over the desire to curb immigration; it is over how it is done. All parties in the US want the issue tackled. That includes the former administration of President Barack Obama which also detained immigrants and deported illegal ones and those that committed crimes.

The point should be made that the US has no policy to stop immigration. The country has one of the most liberal legal immigration schemes in the world through which skilled and trained persons from every continent have gained access to the US. But, it wishes to stop illegal and uncontrolled immigration, mostly by unskilled people who would increase unemployment, enlarge impoverished areas and add to the national welfare bill. In this overall desire, the US is no different from any other country.

The Caribbean region has experienced – and resisted – migration from countries such as Guyana, Jamaica, Dominica and St Vincent to others like Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Antigua and Barbuda which, at one point, were more economically prosperous.

Haitians have also migrated illegally to the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas where the reception of them was no better than in the US. And, if Haitians could walk to the US, as can the people from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, they would be amongst the huddled masses on the US southern border.

What causes this migration from the three Central American countries and Haiti? Some of the factors are now normal. They include high unemployment, limited economic opportunities, inadequate education and training, high crime, poverty, corruption, violence and downright bad governance. But, now, there is a new factor, one that will become a more important determinant in the future – Climate Change.

Thirteen independent Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries are differentiated from the three Central American countries and Haiti by three things: a continuing commitment to democracy and the rule of law, including freedom of expression; investment in education and training up to the tertiary level; and lower levels of poverty and crime. These elements allow for continuing investment, both local and foreign, in their economies; keeping poverty levels relatively low; maintaining a steady level of employment; and political stability.

If these CARICOM countries depart from their democratic values, including the rule of law and political freedoms, the effect on good governance will choke-out investment and collapse their economies, driving up unemployment and poverty. In turn, economic refugees will emerge, and they too will find their way to the borders of richer nearby countries such as the US and Canada. Fortunately, there is no sign of such a departure in CARICOM states where people participation in political life remains organised, vibrant and accepted.

However, climate change could well prove to be the common factor that could create refugees for CARICOM countries and Central America in the future. The Global Climate Change conferences in France and Poland talked much but delivered little. The worst aspect of both these conferences was the acceptance that Climate Change, with its attendant global warming and sea-level rise, is a fact of life now and in the future.

The pledging of money to build resilience and mitigate disasters is, of itself, a glaring admission that, instead of stopping climate change, the abuser countries are delaying the total extinction that it will wreak by giving abused countries money here and there to manage increasingly fatal destruction.

Rising temperatures, more extreme weather events and increasingly unpredictable patterns – like rain not falling when it should or pouring when it shouldn’t – have disrupted agricultural cycles, severely affecting farming communities. This is evident in Central America, and the World Bank reported last year that climate change could create 1.4 million refugees as people flee their homes in Mexico and Central America and migrate during the next three decades.

In the Caribbean, in 2017, all the residents of Barbuda became the first climate refugees – people who had to abandon their island which was decimated by Hurricane Irma. Hundreds of Dominicans also had to seek refuge in Barbados and Antigua. As global warming increases to more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, coastal areas of Caribbean countries will gradually be severely eroded, adversely affecting tourism and marine industries, including fisheries.

The first impact will be unemployment and increased poverty. The affected people will have no option but migration, and, to survive, they too will join the caravan of refugees – however they can.

That is why, Caribbean governments and all stakeholders in Caribbean islands and countries with low-lying coastal areas, such as Guyana and Belize, must rail in every global forum against the clear and present danger of Climate Change.

(Sir Ronald Sanders is Ambassador of Antigua and Barbuda to the United States and the Organisation of American States. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies at the University of London and at Massey College in the University of Toronto. The views expressed are entirely his own)

GFA Council to decide on suspended executive members

The Council of the Grenada Football Association (GFA) is expected to meet on May 25 to decide the way forward for (5) five executive members suspended from their duties at an extraordinary meeting on April 6th.

Patrick Francis – the highest ranking GFA executive member to be placed on suspension

Communications Officer at GFA, Neisha Peters made the disclosure last week Thursday during a telephone conversation with THE NEW TODAY newspaper.

“At that meeting, they would decide where they go from there,” said Peters, in response to questions about the duration of the suspension period, which was not indicated in a press release announcing the suspension of the executive members earlier this month.

Those suspended were 2nd Vice President, Patrick Francis, Women’s Representative, Renae Samuel, Director for St. John, Randy Campbell, Director for St. George, Nigel Gibbs and Director for St. Andrew, Peter Blair.

The move against the five follows the provisional dismissal of GFA President Joseph last January, pending an inquiry into the outcome of a recent court matter involving himself and former GFA Vice President and former national football coach, Roderick ‘Rado’ Griffith.

Randy Campbell – was one of the suspended five

The motion to provisionally dismiss Joseph was moved by the women’s representative and received strong support from the other four (4) members.

Joseph was forced to step down in light of an assault conviction at the level of a St. George’s Magistrate in a case brought against him for assault by Griffith, who like also the GFA boss were members of Queen’s Park Rangers football team.

The move against Joseph was reversed by the international football body, FIFA, which communicated to then acting President Allan James that it “continues to recognise Joseph as the duly elected President,” and ordered his reinstatement.

The April 6th Council meeting, which suspended the five members, was the first, since the return of Joseph at the helm of local football and according to the GFA; was attended by 22 delegates and several observers.

Upon resuming his presidency, Joseph issued a statement to the media, in which he sought to give assurance that he is “committed to the development of football and working along with the Executive to fulfill the mandate, which we have been entrusted with.”

Peter Blair – the GFA representative from the north of the island

He said then that “those who insisted on bringing football into disrepute must be held accountable for their  actions as deemed by our statutes”.

Joseph went on: “The seriousness of their actions cannot and should not be ignored. However, now is not a time for revenge but instead healing, soul searching and discussions with all stakeholders to bring positive change to the association.

“We must never have a repeat of the recent past if Grenada’s football and its continued development are to be taken seriously. As President, the Executive’s top priority is to restore confidence in the FA, its vision and leadership. Not only Council but each affiliate must be engaged regarding outstanding issues, but football must also continue.

“We have a tremendous opportunity if all come together in the interest of moving the football agenda forward. We must not waste it. We must all play our part and not be over shadowed by over zealousness and the pursuit of power.

Renae Samuel – filed the motion against the GFA President

“At this time, I will like to give the football fraternity my assurance that I remain 100 percent committed to the development of football and working along with my Executive to fulfill the mandate which we have been entrusted with.

“To my accusers, though disappointed, I forgive you. We can no longer afford the divide among us to continue to hurt football. Let us drop the egos and resentment. Let us do what is necessary and right for football.”

All attempts made by THE NEW TODAY to contact Joseph and the five suspended members for a comment on the latest development surrounding the disciplinary action taken have been futile.