Keith Mitchell loses again

In a matter in the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, Claim No. GDAHCV2015/0407 between Keith Mitchell (Claimant) and Grenada Today Limited (By its Liquidator Garvey Louison) and Others (Defendants). the Master, Justice Agnes Actie, ordered as follows:

(1).    The application to grant leave to commence the claim against the third named defendant (Grenada Today Limited (By its Liquidator Garvey Louison)) is refused;

(2).    The claim form against the third named defendant is struck out;

(3).    Summary judgment is granted in favour of the third named defendant on the counterclaim;

(4).    The refusal of leave to proceed against the third named defendant will not stop the proceedings against the other defendants.

Accordingly the claim shall be listed for further case management directions; and

(5).    Cost to the Liquidator of third named defendant in the sum of $1,500.00.

By way of background, on 19th October 2005, the Claimant/judgment creditor petitioned the court for a winding up order of the third named company/judgment debtor alleging its inability to pay the judgment debt.

The claimant/judgment creditor nominated Garvey Louison as the Liquidator. The court by order dated 27th October 2009 wound up the company appointing Garvey Louison as Liquidator to exercise all his powers pursuant to the Companies Act.

On 16th January 2014 the Claimant applied to the Court for removal and replacement of Garvey Louison as liquidator of the Company. The application was refused with cost in the sum of $2,000.00 to the liquidator.

On 24th September 2015, the Claimant instituted a new claim against the defendants on the ground that to date they have failed or neglected and or refused to make payment to the judgment debt.

The liquidator applied to the Court for summary judgment and striking out of the claim on the ground that the Claimant failed to obtain leave to commence an action against the company in liquidation.

The liquidator also objected to the filing of a fresh action on the ground that Keith Mitchell has failed to satisfy the court’s orders of cost in previous proceedings amounting to EC $3,500.00.

The Claimant applied to the court for retrospective leave to commence his action.

The Court held that in accordance with the Companies Act, leave is required to commence or continue proceedings against a company in liquidation.

The purpose and function of this requirement is to prevent a company in liquidation from being exposed to a multitude of actions, which could be expensive and consuming at the expense of the creditors of the company.

Case Law has established that the claim against the company in liquidation cannot proceed until the leave of the court is obtained.

The Court also observed that the granting of leave is a judicial discretion, which requires the court to consider several factors when deciding whether or not to grant leave.

Mr. Louison represented by Gennilyn Etienne of Excelsior Legal objected to the granting of leave to the claimant on the ground that the claimant is no stranger to the liquidation proceeding as it was the claimant’s application made in 2009 that resulted in the winding up of the company.

In dismissing the claim the court held that the claimant had not met the evidential burden necessary to convince the court to grant leave in retrospect. Thus the claim against the liquidator, Garvey Louison was struck out with cost granted in the sum of $1,500.00.

IRD Comptroller Corland Forrester resigns

The man regarded as Government’s Chief Tax Collector, Corland Forrester has quit the position of Comptroller of Inland Revenue Division (IRD) within the Ministry of Finance.

Corland Forrester resigns as Comptroller of the IRD after

Corland Forrester resigns as Comptroller of the IRD after

Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Mike Sylvester confirmed to THE NEW TODAY that Forrester, a Certified Public Accountant has resigned after serving in that capacity for approximately one year.

According to Sylvester, the top IRD official handed in his letter of resignation to the Ministry of Finance earlier this month.

“He would have submitted to us a resignation letter effective August 9 thereabout, in keeping with his contract”, he said.

“Later in conversation with him, he indicated that he had to go out to Washington to deal with some personal matters”, he added.

Forrester’s sudden resignation comes months before Grenada is due to end its three year Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) with supervision from the Washington-based International monetary Fund (IMF).

He landed agovernment contract after the Keith Mitchell-led New National Party (NNP) administration decided to transfer the holder of the post, Dr. Raphael Stephens to head the Grenada Postal Corporation (GPC).

The IRD, under Forrester’s leadership, had to play a key role in meeting government’s financial targets in keeping with certain benchmark figures set by the IMF.

Acting Permanent Secretary Mike Sylvester confirms departure of IRD comptroller

Acting Permanent Secretary Mike Sylvester confirms departure of IRD comptroller

Sylvester said recommendation has been made to the Public Service Commission (PSC) to appoint a successor to Forrester.

“In fact, we did an evaluation here and of course made recommendations to the Public Service Commission and we await their decision on that particular issue”, he said.

Forrester joined the IRD Staff on August 24, 2015 after living in the United States for several years.

A government statement issued at the time said that the new Comptroller of Inland Revenue was “bringing with him years of experience and knowledge from the private sector in the United States of America, where he operated his own consultancy firm and provided consultancy services at the Federal and State levels”.

THE NEW TODAY understands the former IRD boss along with PS Sylvester held a meeting with the staff early last week to inform them of his departure from the post.

There are currently two deputies at the IRD, Ophelia Wells-Cornwall and Michael Stephen.

Acting PS Sylvester affirmed that at the moment the IRD staff is reporting to him until feedback is received from the PSC on the way forward.

“So once we get that feedback we would of course make a public announcement on the issue and on the way forward”, he said.

Volleyball coach calls for financial support

National Volleyball Coach, Raphael Braithwaite, is calling for financial assistance to help with warm up games following Grenada’s 3rd place performance at last weekend’s Group B of the NORCECA Zone FIVB World Championships Qualifiers held at La Borie, St. George.

Team Grenada did not qualify for the finals taking the bronze in the penultimate match by defeating Bermuda 25-23, 25-19, and 28-26) in the game played at the La Borie Indoor Facility.

“I am urging the private sector to help the Grenada Volley Ball Association to organise funds so that the team can go (travel abroad) to have warm up games, because warm up games are very important when in those kind of situations (tournament)”, Coach Brathwaite told THE NEW TODAY newspaper.

He said it is only through the warm up games that the performances of the local players can be evaluated.

“Overall I think our guys did perform well because teams like St. Kitts and St. Vincent are more experienced than our team and (would have) had a lot of warm up games unlike our team – so it was really hearting to see the performance of our guys”, he added.

The players who stood out for Grenada in its third place showing were Outside Hitter, Jonell Phillip, who scored 12 points, while Middle Blockers, Christopher Oxford and Nikel John contributed 11 and 10, respectively.

For Bermuda, Middle Blocker, Eron Woods and Outside Hitter, Daniel Fiddick were joint lead scorers with 9 points each.

Grenada was ahead in Spiking 33-30; Blocks, 8-7 and prevailed in serving with 9 aces to 1 from their opponents.

Individually, Phillip accounted for 10 of his team’s total spikes, while John and Oxford each had 3 blocks, and Outside Hitter, Kevon Noel aced 4 serves.

Meanwhile, St. Kitts and Nevis turned the tables on St. Vincent and the Grenadines, trumping them 3-0 (25-19, 25-22, 25-22) to win the tournament.

St. Kitts and Nevis will move on to the finals to be held later in the year in Japan.

Msgr. LaMontagne laid to rest

The Roman Catholic Church in the Diocese of St. George’s-in-Grenada has laid to rest the body of the longest serving priest.

Archbishop Robert Rivas blessing the body of the late Monsignor La Montagne

Archbishop Robert Rivas blessing the body of the late Monsignor La Montagne

Fr. Cyril LaMontagne, born in St. Lucia in 1932, died at the St. George’s General Hospital on August 5th 2016 after suffering a slight stroke.

He was buried on August 18th at the St. George’s top cemetery following a Funeral Mass, which was celebrated by Most Reverend Robert Rivas, Metropolitan Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Castries, St. Lucia at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

At age 21, LaMontagne having overcome many obstacles began studies for the priesthood in Martinique with the Holy Ghost Fathers, and then went to Canada to further his studies for another nine years.

Since his priestly ordination on August 9, 1964 by the first Bishop of the Diocese of St. George’s-in-Grenada, Justin Field of the Dominican Order, LaMontagne made Grenada his homeland.

Homilist Fr. Gerard Paul, a close associate of the departed priest based his sermon on the crisis of the priesthood throughout the centuries.

Fr. Gerard said despite crisis after crisis for two thousand years, the priesthood survived and continued with its mission.

He believes the crisis that is now faced within the local presbyteriate, and globally is more daunting than the crisis of the 1950’s and 1960’s.

The hearse with the body of the late Catholic Administrator as it made its way to the final resting place at the Top Cemetery in St. George

The hearse with the body of the late Catholic Administrator as it made its way to the final resting place at the Top Cemetery in St. George

The Roman Catholic Cleric referred to the current status of his fellow Clergymen.

He said there are few priests, and the age is of concern.

“The fact is that we are few, and we are growing older and older. The average age of a priest in the Caribbean is 68, 69 years old, and it is continuing to deepen and go over the hill. That’s the reality we face today,” he said.

However, Fr. Gerard said the deeper part of the crisis is not just in the numbers, whereas the priesthood is not such an attractive prospects, but in the quality of the priesthood that is presented to the laity.

He noted that the Church’s ability to surrender is what is going to make the priesthood meaningful, and not the numbers.

“The priesthood that the people need, is a priesthood that stands for the sick, the marginalised, and the orphans and the widows, and the lonely people of our world, the people who face injustice,” he said.

According to Fr. Paul, the Church is looking for people who use power to empower others, and not those who use power for their own self and seeking to build their own kingdoms.

The Homilist believes that in as much as his priestly brother passing is a time of sadness, it is also a time of thanksgiving to God for the gifts that he freely gives to mankind.

He said gratitude to God should be for life, for the gift of the priesthood, and for the longevity of service given by Fr. LaMontagne.

The departed priest served in the priesthood for 52 years having his faculties throughout his years of service.

Fr. Gerard indicated that service of the priesthood is central to the life of the Church.

He stressed that the priesthood shaped the whole landscape and terrain of Christianity, adding that there wasn’t a Christian Community that did not have a priest at its head.

“Today, for us Catholics, that remains absolutely true,” he said.

Fr. LaMontagne served as Cathedral Administrator from January 1965 where he is best remembered.

He was appointed Vicar General by Bishop Emeritus Sydney Charles in October 1976, a position he held for 27 years.

He was honoured by the Holy Father, Pope John Paul ll with the Honorary Title of Monsignor in September 1983, and was reappointed Vicar General by Bishop Darius in 2003 until his retirement in 2012.

Altogether Fr. LaMontange served as Vicar General for 36 years.

Msgr. LaMontagne was also honoured by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth with the title Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in 1996.

Employment Agency for Imani Programme

An employment agency has been engaged by the Keith Mitchell-led New National Party (NNP) government to keep youths engaged in the Imani Programme, according to Youth and Sports Minister Roland Bhola.

Speaking at the weekly post-Cabinet press conference on Tuesday, Minister Bhola identified the outfit as HOPE, which is known as Helping Our People Excel.

HOPE has been described as both a training and employment agency, tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that youths have something to do after they have finished their two years expectancy service.

According to Minister Bhola, the arrangement with the agency was supposed to begin in April but had to be  pushed back to October.

“We’re still working out some of the finer details. It was our hope that by April of this year we might have been able to start fully with that relationship, where the HOPE agency will be the one after your two years of training … will then take them on and would provide them with continued training but at the same time assist in finding permanent places of employment for them”, he said.

“…The date has been pushed back to the first of October and we do have the legal team and others working along with the Board of HOPE ensuring that we cross all T’s and dot all I’s, making sure that that agency can deliver for us the services that we expect them to deliver and that we do not get into an arrangement and down the road we recognise this thing is falling apart,” he added.

The senior government minister pointed out that it is not government’s intention to have the youth return  home with nothing to do after the two-year stint.

“What we want to do (in) the final analysis is ensure that we continue to engage our young people. We have since engaged 3, 000  of them.  We do not think as a government it makes good sense after two years that you have them back on the street without anything to do…”, he said.

“…We want you (the youth) to continue to progress and move forward and that is why we have engaged the HOPE agency because government in itself has limitations in terms of the numbers we can employ; not just because of the Structural Adjustment Programme but at any given time government cannot provide employment for everyone but we are seeking a pathway to ensure that people can continue to be gainfully employed or engaged,” he added.

Minister Bhola addressed the control mechanism that was put in place by government to ensure that Imanis who did not show up for their engagement did not take  advantage of the financial resources of the tax-paying public.

He said: “You (the Imani) are expected to attend session on a weekly basis and (if) there has been 10 consecutive days that you would have missed out without bringing an adequate report or reason…they would deactivate you from the programme.

“…It is a control measure that we have so no one sits at home, limes on the block and then at the end of the month collects the resources which comes from the people,” he added.

The Imani programme is the major initiative introduced by the NNP administration to tackle high youth unemployment in the country.

Grenada is said to have the highest level of youth unemployment in the sub-regional Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).

GrenVet holds charitable Community Outreach Trip

GrenVet Island Veterinary Services (GIVS), a nonprofit charity group in Grenada and the United States carried out a largely successful community outreach mission in Grenada this past week.

DonationsFor the past four years, GrenVet has provided spay, neuter, and wellness clinics for farmers and pet owners in need in Grenada.

To date, over six hundred dogs, cats, sheep, goats, and pigs have been examined, vaccinated, and treated for diseases ranging from simple skin infections and tick-borne illnesses to an emergency tail amputation.

While GrenVet’s efforts have been aimed at helping the community by way of providing care to animals, the most recent trip had a very different focus.

After finishing an animal care clinic in St. David, Dr. Heather Douglas, Founder and Executive Veterinarian of GrenVet Island Veterinary Services, was invited to visit the nearby school – St. David’s Catholic Secondary School (SDCSS).

As Dr. Douglas was touring the facility with a former student Ranisher Livingston, she was touched by the hospitality of students and faculty alike.

The students were beaming with a deep passion for learning and were enthusiastic about sharing their experiences with a new visitor.

As she spent more time at the school, Dr. Douglas happened upon the computer lab and couldn’t help but take note of the outdated computers and lack of functional stations.

After observing a classroom of forty-two students who were sharing fifteen computers amongst themselves, Dr. Douglas envisioned a plan that would provide additional technological resources with the help of GrenVet Island Veterinary Services.

With the upcoming CSEC exams moving to being completely taken online, having a three student to one computer ratio with outdated hardware and software would create barriers to the success of the students.

SDCSS needed updated technology to stay relevant and be able to continue to offer top-notch educational experiences to its students.

At this moment Dr. Douglas found a way for her world of veterinary medicine and the technological world to collide.

A phone call to Dr. Douglas’ dad Stephen, who has been a computer programmer for as long as she can remember, launched the plan for a pilot program which would provide computer resources to schools in Grenada.

In collaboration with GrenVet and in part to generous donations from individuals committed to the advancement of youth, the Grenadian Youth Technology Improvement Program was created.

This program provided thirty new computer workstations, a computer server and laser printer to SDCSS.

A skilled volunteer team including Stephen Douglas and Mitch Burton (an information technologist specialist), installed and formatted a state-of-the art computer lab that will serve students at SDCSS for years to come.

In commenting on the project, Dr. Douglas said, “I consider Grenada my second home and am committed to giving back to the community however I can. I feel truly blessed with the support offered during our stay including lodging donated by Maca Bana and the volunteers at St. David’s Catholic Secondary School. They took great care of our team, assisting with the computer lab setup and providing home-cooked meals.”

As GrenVet continues to provide much needed services to the island of Grenada, the organisation will evaluate the sustainability of future technological advancement projects.

With their sights set on cultivating career opportunities and inspiring future generations, GrenVet and Dr. Douglas plan to continue finding ways to give back to the country that has given her so much.

GrenVet would like to thank Stephen Douglas, Mitch Burton, Janice Douglas, Principal Miriam Calliste, Shem Francis, Devon Greene, Akish Rennie, Brenard Malcolm, Denise Williams, Shirlene George, Edison Francis, Kell Hazzard, Mrs. Venta Bubb, Mrs. Jocelyn Francois, Douglas Animal Hospital Team, Maca Bana and Belmont Estate.

In addition, GrenVet would like to extend gratitude to the many donors that helped make this financially possible.

Ms. St. George takes major prizes

Over one million dollars in prize money have been paid out by the Spicemas Corporation (SMC) to winners of the 2016 Summer Festival with the National Queen, Samantha Francis walking away with the bulk of the prizes.

Carnival Queen, Miss St George receiving her prize from Kirk Seetahal

Carnival Queen, Miss St George receiving her prize from Kirk Seetahal

During the prize-giving ceremony that took place last week Saturday at Club Galaxy on the Carenage, St. George’s, Francis who represented St. George’s is to receive a full scholarship to attend St. George’s University.

In addition, the 2016 National Queen received one year’s supply of designer glasses, fragrances, designer handbags, skin-care products, cosmetics, jewelry, and a diamond wristwatch.

The winner of the Digicel Soca Monarch awarded is Jalon “Boyzie” Olive, Calypso Monarch, Finley “Scholar” Jeffrey, Groovy King is Shondell “Dash” Amanda, and road march went to Little Natty and Thunder.

The King of the Band Winner of the Fancy Band Section went to Rainbow City, RKD and Associates occupied the second position, while Lazarus Antoine and Associates placed third.

In the Fancy Mas section of the Queen of the Band, it was RKD and Associates in first place, followed by Rainbow City, while Lazarus Antoine and Associates took the third spot.

Scholar – the calypso monarch received his trophy from Bryon Campbell

Scholar – the calypso monarch received his trophy from Bryon Campbell

Band of the Year prize went to Rainbow City, while this year’s winner of the Monday Night Mas Band is Carib.

The first position in traditional mas band of the year was taken by Hermitage Shortknee, Coast Guard Youth came in second position and third spot was occupied by Demonic Angels.

House of Justice won the Pageant, second was Hermitage Shortknee, and Moyah Shortknee placed third.

Jab-jab Band of the Year went to The Real Jab-jab.

In the traditional section of the Children’s Carnival Frolic (CCF), Hermitage Shortknee placed first, House of Justice took the second prize, while Coast Guard Youth from St. Mark’s received the third prize.

In another traditional category of CCF, the top prize went to Demonic Angels, followed by Telescope Apache with Maypole Dancers coming in third.

King of the Band in CCF was awarded to Francis Redhead and Associates, while Queen of the band went to Commancheros and Associates.

The CCF title of Band of the Year was given to Commancheros and Associates while the Junior and Senior Panorama Champions is Flow Commancheros.

Pan representative Wendy Tamar-Ashby receiving trophy from Manager of the National Lottery Authority, Jeffrey Gilbert

Pan representative Wendy Tamar-Ashby receiving trophy from Manager of the National Lottery Authority, Jeffrey Gilbert

Although the Steel Band Director on SMC Board, Wendy Tamar-Ashby was on hand to collect the major trophies on behalf of the steel band fraternity, none of the participating steel bands at both the junior and senior championships were present at the prize-giving ceremony.

An official of the steel band movement told THE NEW TODAY newspaper that the absence of many steelband players from the prize-giving ceremony was a form of protest.

The action stems from the scant courtesy given to pan on panorama night, which had to compete with a private show at the same venue.

The competition, which saw nine steel bands participating was rushed, and at the end of the show, Flow Commancheros, which emerged winners was not given the opportunity to take to the stage to celebrate the victory.

NDC: Public information should not be a secret

The main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) is calling for the Keith Mitchell government to make available to the general public the identity of committee members responsible for recommending persons for the prestigious Knighthood under the National Honours and Awards Act.

NDC Chairman, Vincent Roberts made the call Monday following government’s announcement last week Tuesday, of its decision to rescind the knighthood of Sir Anthony Bailey of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George, which was awarded to him in November 2015.

“This information is not and should not be a secret. We (the NDC) are trying to find out who the members of the committee are and I have asked around but I am not satisfied that the committee is duly constituted”, Roberts told reporters during the weekly NDC Press conference.

The National Honours and Awards Act provides for the establishment of a committee comprising a chairperson appointed by the Governor General after consultation with the Prime Minister and the Leader of Opposition, Chairperson of the Public Service Commission (PSC), Commissioner of Police (CoP), two members of the public, one on advice of the Prime Minister and the other on advice of the Leader of the Opposition.

It also has serving on the body two persons appointed by the Governor General after consultations with civil society and the religious community.

A female trade union leader whose name was given to this newspaper by a top government official as being a member of the committee denied any involvement with the group.

According to the NDC Chairman, when the committee looks at someone who has been referred to them or, in their own judgment, are selecting someone for an award, they are requited to do a background check.

After this is done, according to the Act the committee shall forward to the Prime Minister the list of recommendations regarding each award, and the Prime Minster would then make the recommendation that he chooses including eliminating names from the list and then forward it to the Governor General for the awards to be granted.

Roberts pointed out that the Governor General “does not have a choice (in the matter) once the Prime Minister makes the recommendation”.

The Keith Mitchell-led government has announced that it took a decision at the level of Cabinet to revoke Sir Anthony’s award following charges leveled against him in British publications since May.

Health Minister Nickolas Steele said the decision to revoke was taken by the same committee that granted him the award.

“He (Sir Anthony) was awarded last year and it was – I believe – a reciprocal award. There is an awards committee. It was that committee that made the decision (to knight him)”, he said.

“It is also that committee, including legal individuals that have re-examined the criteria and the terms and conditions for giving of awards. Therefore steps have been taken to rescind the award”, he added.

The two awards bestowed upon Sir Anthony in 2015 were the “Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of the Nation within the Order of Grenada”, and “The Governor General’s Medal of Honour (Gold)”.

Minister Steele also told reporters that National honours awards that were bestowed on three other persons were also revoked.

The NDC Chairman charged that at the time the awards were granted to Bailey and others the recipients “had not done anything for Grenada”.

“… Awards should not be given in exchange for anything. There should be no consideration”, he said.

Roberts spoke of making checks minutes before the press conference with the authorities within the Roman Catholic Church “who assured me that with the exception of monies for work on the St. Joseph’s Convent (St. George’s), some work at New Life Organisation (NEWLO), a car for the Emeritus Bishop Sidney Charles, none of the contributions (promised by Sir. Anthony) for government projects have been realised and at this point we (NDC) doubt very much whether any sums would be forthcoming”.

“The NDC is therefore calling on Government to bring forward the information, which the people ought to be aware of”, Roberts said as he gave assurances that “once the NDC forms the government we will move swiftly to establish a Freedom of Information act making sure that the information belonging to the people of Grenada shall be available to them”.

“Things like the Gazette shall be online and accessible”, he said, adding that “the awards ought to have been published in the Gazette.

“They should at least have searchable PDF (files) so that you can put in the names, do a search and see if it appears in the Gazette”, Roberts declared.

NDC reiterates its position on Charles Liu

Speculation is rife that a religious outfit in Grenada might have received a large sum of money in the form of charity from embattled Chinese investor, Charles Liu who is facing a charge of fraud in the United States.

This information came at a press conference hosted by the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) at its weekly press conference held Monday at the party’s head office on H.A. Blaize Street in St. George’s.

NDC Chairman, Vincent Roberts did not reveal the name of the local organisation but said that the donation is somewhere in the region of “what we would call upper five figures”.

Well-placed sources told THE NEW TODAY that the figure is around $EC84, 000.00.

This newspaper understands that the funds that were received from Liu were used by the religious group to purchase lands in St. George North-east constituency.

Roberts spoke of engaging a senior official of the organization on the issue of the funds that were accepted from the coffers of Liu.

“I told him that I had reason to believe that his organisation has received an unusually large sum of money from Mr. Charles Liu and (I asked) was he in a position to confirm, he said, “yes, I can confirm that monies were received”.

According to the NDC Chairman, he is “speaking with the organisation to have them publicly return the money to Mr. Liu and to publicly acknowledge having received the money”.

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on June 2 announced fraud charges and an asset freeze against Liu and his wife, who are both accused of misusing two-thirds of the money raised from investors for the purpose of building and operating a new cancer treatment center in California.

The NDC has been calling on the Keith Mitchell-led government in St. George’s to revoke Liu’s diplomatic status as Commercial Trade Attaché at the Grenada Embassy in Beijing, China.

Roberts told reporters that Congress had taken note of a recent order issued by a judge in California  in which he rejected Liu’s request for him to be allowed to use $12, 250 per month from the frozen accounts for personal living expenses.  “Now if he (Liu) is asking the US Court to allow him to use $12, 250 a month from the frozen accounts, one must wonder – is it possible that his personal living expenses are now being funded from monies obtained for investment in the Mt. Hartman project? he asked.

The Chinese businessman is regarded as the driving force behind the US$2Billion Mt. Hartman project, which includes the development of the Mt. Hartman Peninsular and Hog Island.

The project is expected to include high-end resorts, a wellness centre and other recreational and entertainment features.

A Grenadian associate of Liu told this newspaper on Tuesday that although the project has halted for the time being he expected it to be back on stream before year-end.

He said that Liu is currently engaged in negotiations with SEC officials to resolve the issue and had found new investors for the Grenada project.

Roberts used the press briefing to reiterate NDC’s call for the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) to investigate Liu since it believes that others on the island including  individuals and corporations might have received financial gifts from the embattled Chinese investor.

He said the probe should not be conducted under the auspices of the current Acting Head of the FIU, Superintendent Tafawa Pierre, who is the husband of female Government Minister, Emmalin Pierre who is considered a politically exposed person.

He contended that Supt. Pierre is disqualified by law from holding the office as he is deemed to be in violation of Section 15 (f) of the FIU Act.

According to the act a person is disqualified from being appointed as a Director of the FIU and should not hold the post if he is or becomes a politically exposed person.

Roberts explained that the interpretation of a politically exposed person in the FIU Act has the meaning assigned to it under the Proceeds of Crime Act, Act 6, 2012, which he noted defines a politically exposed person as “a person who formally or currently is or has been entrusted with a permanent public function with the Executive, Legislative, Administrative or judicial branch of government or an immediate family member or close associate of such person”.

Roberts expressed the view that “it is very unfortunate that the person who is heading the FIU, Mr. Tafawa Pierre is a person who is currently entrusted with a prominent public function in the executive and legislative branch of government to wit, Minister Emmalin Pierre and he is her immediate family being her spouse”.

“While Mr. Pierre has not been confirmed in the position and he is referred to as the acting Director, he is the de-facto Director and a person acting as Director must fall within the ambit of the law”, he remarked.

The NDC Chairman said, “Mr. Pierre, as a politically exposed person is functioning in breach of the Act and as such, we (the NDC) are not satisfied that he can adequately and competently carry out the functions required as Director of the FIU and we are calling for his immediate removal from that position”.

The Mitchell-led government has not acceded to Congress’ request to remove Supt. Pierre from his FIU posting.

NDC speaks out against misrepresentation of the national colours

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) is reminding the nation that the national colours are “Red, Green and Gold” and not red, green and yellow, as currently being advertised locally.

Addressing the weekly NDC press conference in St. George’s Monday, the party’s Chairman, Vincent Roberts, said he has noticed in recent times the falsification of the Gold on the national Flag as the colour yellow, and this has become a trend that is becoming very bothersome.

“When we speak of our National Colours I am hearing it (the Gold) being referred to as yellow. There is an ad, and I am not speaking about the merit or the demerit of the ad, which appears to have been done by the NNP (New National Party), which proudly boasts of our national colours and it speaks of (them as being) red, green and yellow,” he told reporters.

Roberts also took issue with a song sung by a Grenadian artiste speaking of the achievements of the country’s Olympic star athlete Kirani James that has been uploaded to the Internet, which also “speaks of our National Colours as being red, green and yellow.”

He described the song as “a beautiful kind of soft calypso,” but expressed disappointment that it misrepresented the colour Gold as yellow.

“So I thought that I would bring this to our attention…it baffles me that as a people we don’t even know the colours of our flag.

“This is something we should take pride in and boast of our National Flag – Red, Green and Gold predominantly. So I would really appreciate it if we can correct others and see how we can correct it.

The Flag of Grenada was designed by Anthony C. George of Soubise, St. Andrew and was adopted on February 7, 1974 when the island received its political independence from the United Kingdom.

The National Flag is to be regarded as the sacred emblem of the nation to be paid due reverence and devotion by all its citizens.

The flag should never be allowed to touch the ground or floor nor should it be flown or used for purely decorative purposes on anything that is for temporary use and likely to be discarded, except on state occasions.

It should not be flown after sunset, except inside a building.

However, on important ceremonial occasions, the flag may be displayed in the open after sunset when it should be floodlit if possible.

Additionally, the National Flag should be flown on all government and municipal buildings and offices, on or near the main administrative building, but it is recommended if possible each day it should be lowered at sundown and raised at 8:00 a.m.

No other flag should be placed above or to the right of the Grenadian Flag, except at foreign embassies, consulates and missions.