Grenlec Assures Customers about Continued Reliability and Service

Grenlec is assuring the public of its continued commitment to serving the needs of its customers, following the publication of a commencement date for the new Electricity Supply and the Public Utilities Regulatory Acts 2016.

Company officials are shocked and disappointed by the manner in which they received notice of the commencement date for the new legislation that will govern the electricity sector.

Rather than through an official communique from the Government, Grenlec instead obtained the information from the Government Gazette, which it received through the post on Monday, 15 August, a full two weeks after the 1 August commencement date set by the Minister for Public Utilities.

Grenlec received the notice on the same day of the extraordinary meeting of its shareholders scheduled for Monday, 15 August.

The meeting was called to discuss the impact of the new legislation on the rights granted to its shareholders (other than the Government of Grenada) as set out in sections 3, 13 and 29 of the Electricity Supply Act Chapter 86A of the 2010 Revised Laws of Grenada, and to consider what actions might be taken to protect those rights.

At the close of the meeting, shareholders voted on a resolution that would give Grenlec the mandate to take necessary and appropriate action to secure the Company’s assets and protect the legal rights of its non-Government shareholders.

The resolution passed with over 86% of the shares voted at the meeting in favour.

As Grenlec considers its next steps, it would like to reassure customers that the Company will continue to generate and supply electricity in the safe and reliable manner that it has over the years.

Bob Blanchard, Grenlec’s Chairman, emphasised that Grenlec has invested significantly in building a reliable, safe network – one of the best in the Caribbean – in the 22 years since the launching of the Public Private Partnership between the Government, WRB Enterprises and over 1,500 Grenadian, regional and other shareholders.

Mr. Blanchard observed, “while Grenlec continues to serve our customers well, we also have a duty to protect our Company’s assets and to ensure that our shareholders, who finance the Company’s development, are fairly treated.  Even then, all of us are saddened that our Government has not been open, thus far, to negotiating a result that will benefit all stakeholders, including our customers.

Notwithstanding this, we will continue to work towards a mutually acceptable solution’.

The Chairman concluded, “despite these unfortunate circumstances and any action that Grenlec may be forced to take in the future, it is our intention to continue to serve our customers and to maintain the high levels of reliability, excellent customer service and professionalism on which our customers depend in their businesses and homes”.

(The above was submitted by GRENLEC)

A step closer to renaming athletic stadium

Sports Minister Roland Bhola has reaffirmed the commitment of the ruling New National Party (NNP) government to name the national athletics stadium at Queen’s Park after two-time Olympic medal winner, Kirani James.

This was first hinted last week by Health Minister, Nickolas Steele at a post-Cabinet press briefing days after James took silver in his pet event, the Men’s 400M race at the Rio Olympics in Brazil.

Minister Bhola who featured in Tuesday’s weekly press conference at the Ministerial Complex said that although a date cannot be given at the moment when the renaming ceremony will be held, it is still very much the intention of government to name the stadium after the star track athlete.

“We are looking at the varying angles, we are listening to the concerns coming in.  We are answering privately in our deliberations questions that are being asked -what do you give to (Bralon) Taplin?

What do you give to another medalist, if we should have one in the future?  We simply say to people that we will continue as long as we are the government in office to recognise and to give recognition to all who achieve and to all who have won a medal at that level”, he told reporters.

“So whether or not, we would have a Senator Garraway winning a medal at some point in time, what do you give to him? That will be answered when the time comes. What we are concentrating on now is the first person (Kirani) and so we believe it is well-deserving,” he said.

Taplin was the other Grenadian athlete who was in the final of the Men’s 400 metres race.

Minister Bhola also addressed the issue of the facilities under construction at the Cuthbert Peters Playing Field in Gouyave, St. John’s.

“It is almost to completion with minor works, five or six percent of the work still to be done…that too is under consideration (with respect to a name). In due time we will make the appropriate announcements because we wanna make sure that as we would say in our common language, we dot all the I’s and cross all the T’s”, he said.

“Of course, we would never be able to be completely perfect and to do what will please every single Grenadian but we will continue to do what we think is right and what is going to be pleasing to the majority of our people,” he added.

James won Grenada’s first Olympic medal when he struck gold in the 400 metres at the London Olympics in 2012.

Sticking a Pin… Project Grenada and Sour Grapes

It is often said that the strength of the message depends on the identity and standing of the messenger. The issue of who is speaking is as relevant to those who compose distasteful ‘soca’ songs, as it is to those who distort the Gospel and those who fabricate political causes.

The proponent of Project Grenada, by the time he conceived and publicised the message, was already well-established as pivotal to the ‘Gun Standard’ of Grenadian politics! This is important as such an individual cannot be a democrat at the same time.

As is known, the ‘Gun Standard’ tramples human rights, dislodges the Constitution and rejects democracy. Un-masked in this way, Project Grenada was an endeavour in ‘tricks and traps’, unworthy of public embrace. The rejection of Project Grenada has left a ‘cocoa basket’ of very sour grapes in the messenger’s joopa!

Seriously, a genuine Project Grenada would have concerned itself, in terms of scope and intent, with deepening our democracy, bringing governance closer to the people, providing solutions to social problems, especially poverty, and achieving solid economic development. It would have raised high the standard of dignity, good-neighbourliness and the fear of God that defines our culture. The emphasis would have been on Grenada as a young, wounded (1983) but aspiring nation, not a playground for power-seekers.

There is no place for Cain’s clinched fist in the Grenada of 2016!

Humanity matters! A genuine Leader of Project Grenada (LPG), not trafficking in self-importance, would have used his high Office to call for the naming of the National Athletics Stadium after the one and only ‘Gold Standard’ of Grenadian athletics and statesmanship.

Unfortunately, Grenadians saw no energy or commitment from the LPG in any of these directions. The evidence is that his rhetoric produced no remedies. Not surprising, as the notion of Project Grenada was conceived in the belly of retribution politics, but masked as a patriotic gift; a ‘Trojan horse’!

Having been expelled from the NDC and losing leadership standing and respect in the trade union movement, the LPG needed a platform and a value proposition to secure shelter in the ‘green house’. Towards that end, he sought to re-do his political credentials so that he would no longer be identified with the ‘Gun Standard’ of Grenadian politics!

What better attempt at disguise than to put on the LPG mask!

Thankfully, legacy is legacy, and it cannot be erased by merely packaging words.

The ‘Gun Standard’ does not only raise the image of a deadly weapon.

It carries a certain outlook and psychology; a certain malicious attitude towards others. That is why, although the gun is not now employed to achieve political power, people who hold contrary views will find their bodies riddled with reckless and uncaring words.

A new and dangerous verbal sniper strategy is now employed by phone, the media and high Office to seek to hush up those who are not liked, including and especially those who are said to have engineered the LPG’s expulsion from the NDC in 2012.

Today, the LPG attempts to present himself as an authoritative voice on everything, manipulating and polishing the truth till it turns ‘green’. He provokes himself to speak because he has a self-pleasing need to hear his own voice! Perhaps, his purpose is to put free speech under heavy manners! If guns are a useful tool of struggle, then words, any words, have a valuable place in his armoury.

All trade unions are familiar with various means of settling industrial disputes. Labour leaders know that sometimes employers take unjust and unlawful action, giving rise to the need to either pursue legal remedies or to settle amicably. So how it is that the LPG keeps popping up in the media to misrepresent and cast aspersions on a 2010 settlement agreed upon fairly and without duress?

Unfortunately, his conscience seems not to be affected by honest facts. He finds release, relief and comfort by dishonouring and disposing of his union hat and donning his lately-adored green beret!

Grenadians deserve to celebrate not only Kirani’s  outstanding achievement, which for two years found no legacy support with the principals and agents of ‘tricks and traps’; but also their success in rejecting a deceptive device posing as patriotism, Project Grenada.

Political sour grapes are a threat to society!

William Joseph

Rental apartments

Economic research reported by international news outlets, all suggest that apartments located in major cities are well beyond the financial reach of persons working in those cities, resulting in long daily commutes, expanding city limits, growing ghettos surrounding the city centres and, as a further result, opportunities for those historical real estate owners to profit from the development of rental accommodations.

When an average office city worker has to travel for over an hour, it is time to relocate that operation and the answer always seems to be, just outside the city limits, naturally moving operations, converting slumps into industrial and commercial parks with middle class housing units.

The opportunity is for the previous owners in that location to sell or develop.

The city centre, traditionally marked by high rise buildings, architecturally designed to attract and keep global corporate headquarters, financial operations with high-end trade, entertainment and penthouse living spaces, is the first to react to economic movements.

Noting that, governments, which may own buildings in the city centre, may not be able to afford operations in that location, choosing to lease, to more profitable enterprises as economic growth occurs and in economic downturns host only special events as not to have the city centre seen as abandoned.

A few minutes from the city centre, by highway or other mode of transport, are economic conditions generally termed middle-class, consisting of some low cost housing that over a generation or two developed into a community; religious, educational, sporting and security facilities, which middle income earners can just barely afford.

Limited availability of such family units must escalate values, hence, driving further development and renovations into single and two bedrooms apartments to meet market demands. City type development is predicted to follow in the not too distance future, as roads, electrical and electronic networks expand, as jobs and companies seeking out more competitive economic rates, and as a skilled population grows.

Investment in ghettos, high crime areas, which has the potential to eventually evolve into middle-class communities, must be government led; primarily by police and special security forces, in association with religious, education and health interventions, all playing a part in building an investment climate.

Developing housing for low-income earners should be in association with or in close proximity to government funded housing projects.

Noting that, all values and estimates would instantly increase upon an announcement of the government project.

The opportunity is to purchase lands, next to a government or large developer-funded low income earners housing project, before it is made public and building more than one middle income earners housing unit, with the risks of breaks in rental agreements, the low income earner housing project being postponed for a lengthy time or cancelled, leaving a greater exposure to crime.

Another opportunity is based on having legal rights to land in a middle-class community and building more than one middle income earners apartment, with the risks of breaks in rental agreements.

And yet another opportunity is to purchase more than one unit in a city complex with the risks of getting a mortgage based on rental income and breaks in long lease contracts.

Terrance A. Jennings

Makandal and Massa

Makandal Dagga brought the wine of astonishment, Black Power, for the people to drink. By 1970, he and his colleagues had gotten fed up of new wine in old vessels. In the ensuing battle, Massa smashed his vessel, leaving the people to lap up, here and there, wherever they could.

Here is this story, from my view.

MY GRANDMOTHER. I first met Makandal Daaga when I was 11. Not directly. But through my grandmother. It was 1970. Groups of men occasionally came walking down the road. They did not look dangerous to me. They looked like refugees, walking in dribs and drabs from something. But before they even reached her house, her parlour, in which she sold everything from hops to mosquito coils, she cried: Lock up! Close the parlour! Black Power! She shut the swinging doors of the parlour tight. When they passed, she opened her doors again.

THE MEDIA. My grandmother dreaded that the Black Power people would set her parlour afire. Molotov it! Was this the woman who perpetually cried: “I have guts like corbeaux!”? Who, on being told of a violent rape, had uttered: “If it was me, I woulda bite it off!” Who farmed her own cane, planted, weeded, salted, and crossed swords with cussbud bullcart drivers?

She was running scared of the rag tag bands coming down our road. It was the media. Nothing in the mainstream media told her what Black Power was. To her it was a burning and lootin’. Buildings set afire. Run! Black Power. In time, when no Molotov came, she left her doors ajar, with a block, just in case.

COLLEGE. At the Naparima Colleges in the early 1970s, there were a few conscious students. Among them were Joy and Peter Persad. They went to a march, in San Fernando, Black Power, and were beaten. Prime Minister Williams’ police. Randolph Burroughs. The squads in the Blue Maria.

The students around me guffawed. Mocked. Scurrilous laughter. They were not laughing at the antagonists. They were laughing at Joy and Peter Persad. As if to say, it good for them. The mocking, chuckling, snide laughter shamed the brother and sister in my eyes. Nothing on the college syllabus, none of the teachers, offered a counter story.
Explained Black Power.

FREDERICK STREET. It was 1978. Clerk Two Power at the Government’s Service Commission was giving me thunder. Week after week I travelled up in a bus to Port of Spain. No matter how I tried, I could not get a job. I had to wait for that clerk to change. Walking down Frederick Street, I saw Makandal. He was walking breezy, swift and bold. I moved aside. In awe. He was being hailed, and he was answering back. One man hailed: “Dagga! What about the Revo?!” I remember Dagga’s long, large toes, striking out from his sandals. He answered the man. He was giving an explanation. A rationalisation. Something opaque.

TUNAPUNA. At the University of the West Indies, in the early 1980s, I encountered my first critique of the “system”. I was moved. The critique came from ideologues. Ideological literature. But came it did. I went to Tunapuna, on the Eastern Main Road, a stone’s throw from the market to listen to Dagga. I was amazed. The wine of astonishment: Power To The People! I was shocked by his rhetorical power. New wine in a new bottle! Intoxicating! My intellectual kinship, respect, for NJAC’s ideas grew.

DUKE STREET. I met, with Dr Peter Vine, Dagga at his headquarters in Duke Street in 2009. He had summoned Dr Vine and myself. He was pleased with our work. He came down to the port at Claxton Bay to give the fishermen support against an industrial port at Claxton Bay; the port was destructive to the fisheries and mangrove system. He wanted collaboration. He was large, humble, dignified, open, and friendly.

In our discussions, and later NJAC meetings at Duke Street, I learnt that Williams and Burroughs had tried to beat Dagga and Black Power survival out of existence: the jailings, the shootings, the killings, homes and properties destroyed; a viciousness and savagery, equal to Massa.

PICCADILLY GREENS. Just before the 2010 General Elections I attended a rally on Piccadilly Greens. The forces were gathering against Prime Minister Patrick Manning. Mr. Winston Dookeran and Dagga were there. I had left, too shy to speak, but was called back on the loudspeaker. I belted out a speech, right there before the COP and NJAC leaders. I gave them my full endorsement, telling them of the trials of the people from Cedros to Claxton Bay. I would support their partnership fully, but if they betrayed the people, they would be destroyed, scattered like sand.

When the People’s Partnership began to exercise its sadisms, I turned to Dookeran. He offered blandishments (mamaguy). I turned to Dagga.
Time and time again I called. I was being blocked. I lost access. At the funeral celebration for Dagga, the leaders of the opposition and government sent emissaries to offer tributes. Only one man, dressed in full African wear, carrying his totems and regalia, rose in protest.

“Hypocrite! Hypocrite!” He was admonishing the government minister.
One Prime Minister, Williams, had offered violence to Dagga, smashing one leg; the other, Kamla-Bissessar, offered blandishments, finishing him off.
Luckily, Power to the People, the wine of astonishment is still in the ground.

Wayne Kublalsingh

Replenished books on the way

A replenished stock of schoolbooks is on its way as a replacement for the stock that has diminished, according to Health Minister, Nickolas Steele.

Speaking to reporters at the weekly post-Cabinet press briefing, Minister Steele said that the ruling New National Party (NNP) administration wants the public to be aware that there has been no change to the free school books programme initiated in 2008-13 by the previous Congress government.

The Keith Mitchell-led NNP regime has been accused of abandoning the free schoolbooks programme after returning to power following its 15-0 victory over the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in general elections held in February 2013.

Prime Minister Mitchell has often advocated a policy in which those parents who can afford should be allowed to purchase schoolbooks for their children.

Minister Steele disclosed that the new shipment of books will be on island by September.

“On the schools books issue, I want to reiterate that there has been no change in policy with respect to the school books that the Ministry of Education is in the process of replenishing the stocks of schools books”, he said.

“The replenishment supplies, I am told will be arriving in early September and will be distributed throughout the various schools to those who need in the month of September. That process has started, it’s a re-evaluation, constant process of replenishment and evaluation of criteria for those who need the support,” The senior government minister stated that some books were not returned by students and where  returned were found not to be “in proper condition”.

The former government had a policy in which students had to pay for books damaged.
According to Minister Steele, government is seeking the cooperation of all involved to ensure that the situation with damaged books does not reoccur.

“We seek the co-operation of all involved, teachers, principals, parents and students to make sure that the books that are being restored are returned and are in the possession of individuals (and) that they are kept in good order.  It minimizes the cost on the nation as a whole in the replenishment process that we are now going through and have to consistently go through that allows us to provide more to more individuals if the cost of replenishment is less.

“To reiterate there is no change in (the free schoolbooks) policy.

The replenishment process has started and is well on the way – books have been ordered, and books will be distributed in September before school starts and during September as replenishment stocks arrive on island.

“Books are going to be a bit late, and not on the week of School because of the reprinting and some of them are out of stock in the order and there is a certain timeframe for the printing of it.

Over one hundred CPEA students awarded by GUTCU

The Grenada Union of Teachers Credit Union (GUTCU) has awarded 133 students who were successful in this year’s Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment (CPEA).

Students in Photo Op after receiving awards

Students in Photo Op after receiving awards

The students were recognized at a ceremony held last week Friday at the Horizon Plaza Emporium Building on St. John’s Street, St. George’s.

GUTCU handed out a cheque for school supplies and a savings voucher to the students.
Communications Manager of the credit union, Camille Goddard explained the rationale behind the two different awards given to the students to start the new school year in early September.

“One part being the cheque for school supplies to assist students in preparation and also we have seen it fit to provide a voucher for the students to start saving”, she told the awardees.

“It is never too early to start saving so each recipient today in addition to the parents receiving a cheque to assist with the school funds, each child will get a Smart Saver account if you do not have one as yet or if you have one, you’ll get a voucher to add money to that account to help you to get in the habit of saving and we want to encourage you to make use of that,” she said.

The Communications Manager congratulated both the students and parents for the strides they continue to make towards education.

“Your presence here is evident of the hard work that both you as parents and your children would have put to take them through this journey to meet their education but we are pleased as a Credit Union as we continue to support our members in various ways”, she said.

“…We understand the importance of helping to improve their education… we take our commitment to parents to members and to this nation very seriously. So we want to applaud all of you children here today to remind you that this is only the beginning and we hope that you would continue to work hard and make your parents proud,” she added.

Chairperson of GUTCU’s Education Committee, Florina Thomas who also addressed the ceremony pointed out that the CPEA grant programme is something dear to the Credit Union.

“GUT Credit Union is a family, so when your children succeed it’s our success too…all of us belong to the same Credit Union so it’s a pleasure this morning to hand out these awards. This programme is not done by chance, members are our priority and so we have many programmes that were targeted to better the lives of our members, this is only one of the programmes…”, she said.

No body cares!!!

The worst department with the public service without a doubt is the Lands Department.

I am in total disbelief to see how inconsiderate and ineffective is the Department of Lands and all they keep saying is that they have no staff even when there is the worst conflict over certain zones especially among the informal settlers better known as squatters.

It is well over four years now since the government had approved a portion of land for me in the south of the island after a submission was made to the Cabinet after fulfilling all of government’s requirements.

I had an approval for a portion of land totalling 6,500 sq. ft of lands to erect my tourism office as a tour person under the Crown Ordinance act.

I am a person who provides tourists and visitors alike with crucial information pertaining to our tourism product more so on the island’s history, geology, sites and attraction, plants, botanical plants, languages.

I am a person who was able to attract some of Grenada’s best reviews on social media especially Trip Advisor.

I was placed in an area where squatters surrounded me. From the moment I was shown the lot of lands there were problems.

The Lands Officer measured the lot but only placed two boundaries to the west and north west end of the lot and gave me the assurance that very soon they will erect the other two boundaries.

It’s now three years and even though I have called the Lands Department at least twice a week, they keep telling me the department is under-staffed thus leaving me in open conflict with those squatters who have no regards for the rule of law.

These people are tying goats and making an unauthorised road through the lot – it is like anarchism takes over.

The squatters are in open defiance of one’s legality of entitlement and this has led to a  series of conflicts so that many police reports have had to be made.

And even though the police came on many occasions to warn them there has been no change.

It has gotten so bad that one of the squatters and myself are now in the high court.

After making over thirty phone calls and emails to the first Lands Officer, I am still facing the same problem there .

A second Lands Officer got involved after the last general election but the same trend continues.

On one occasion he said to me, “don’t worry” because they will get to me. I was promised to be attended to before the carnival but I am still waiting.

Just over the carnival weekend I had to make two police reports because of the reckless behaviour of those squatters.

One of them cut through the middle of the land in total defiance of my warning through the police and nothing is being done about it.

The police are now begging me to have the Lands department intervene but it’s all falling on deft ears.

The only person who can settle this crisis  is Mr. Alleyne who is the present Lands officer.  I honestly do not know when this problem will be settled.

I can understand that the department is inundated with requests equally so I believe this department has failed with respect to its responsibilities.

Although there is frequent hostilities over the lands, this department continues to sit back and pay little or no attention to rules and procedures and does not care about the gravity of the situation.

Our politicians have corrupted the service to the point of open victimisation based on which political party you support.

I am calling on the government to please look into the areas of neglect whereby citizens are taken for granted.

It is a total embarrassment that after three years the Lands department cannot erect two boundary polls that can avoid a bitter conflict.

We have to stop fooling ourselves because when the so-called foreign investors come, the  department does find the staff to give prompt attention to them.

Do you see why we cannot move forward as a people? The service is infested with hate and spite and that is the legacy we are leaving for our future generation.

Kennedy Jawahir

Grenada’s youth population in crisis – who is to blame?

Grenada’s youths are in a ‘crisis’. Youth unemployment is at a record high approaching 60%. The much talked about NNP flagship youth program the ‘Imani ‘ program is a failure in terms of providing sustainable job opportunities for the tens of thousands of unemployed youths in the nation.

The longstanding Minister of Youth and Sports, Emmalin Pierre alias the ‘Imani Queen’ has been shamefully and unceremoniously ‘demoted’ by Prime Minister Mitchell and ‘closeted ‘ in his ministry far away from the youths of the nation.

The PM has lost confidence in her lackluster performance after having spent millions of taxpayers’ dollars on the Ministry of Youth with very little to show for it.

The youths of Grenada are being used as ‘political football’ by Keith Mitchell and the NNP. For the past decade the Prime Minister and his party used the prospect of jobs and more jobs during their election campaign to obtain the youth vote.

Mitchell and the NNP over the years have benefited greatly from the youth vote. In return the youths of Grenada have been exploited, manipulated and frustrated by the NNP.

Apart from the problem-plagued Imani program, a few scholarships for mainly the supporters of the party, the NNP has no ‘cutting edge’ plan, policy or program to address the many social and economic challenges facing the Grenadian youths.

Over 65% of the Grenadian population is under the age of 40 years.

Youth unemployment is almost 60%. This is crazy. Mitchell and the NNP’s political youth strategy over the years has been twofold.

Firstly, feed the youths with a heavy diet of negative culture in the form of massive shows by popular foreign artistes and entertainers.

Secondly, paint the opposition NDC as anti-youth.

Unfortunately, for the young people these strategies have worked to their detriment. The current unemployment situation is a manifestation of this.

The lack of knowledge, and an understanding of the socio-economic and political circumstances that they are exposed to has resulted in the young people blindly following and toeing a party’s line that has exploited them for decades.

Their circumstances would become even worse since given the fact that PM Mitchell has been able to form a ‘coalition and marriage of convenience’ with the churches, business community, NGOs, the media and other influential groups – each one seeking their own selfish agendas at the expense of the country especially the youths.

This situation may continue for the foreseeable future given the fact that the Grenadian youths have lost their revolutionary fighting spirit and have made themselves into political tools and graveyards.

Many of them can’t care less once they are given a bottle of rivers.

Sheldon Scot can run his mouth all day long, but as a Junior Minister of Youth and Sports he was a complete failure. Fortunately, for the Imani trainees he has been removed as a Minister and no longer sits in Cabinet.

Together with the Prime Minister, and Emmalin Pierre they have individually and collectively failed to provide the leadership, motivation and inspiration to inspire the youths to excellence and productivity.

The Prime Minister must take the blame for the plight of the Grenadian youth. Some may argue why but it is because he has used his position to mislead the youths. He has lied to them every election cycle. He has used his influence and power to misdirect their energies into negativity.

The parents and the youths themselves also have to take some responsibility for the situation the young people have found themselves in.

Former Prime Minister Tillman Thomas and the NDC tried to instill some value and self worth into the lives of the Grenadian youth, however the demonic NNP resisted their approach vigorously.

Through the Youth Upliftment program/education and the development of the human resource capacity and capability was the centerpiece of the party’s youth development initiative.

There was a drastic change in the attitude of the young people towards education and self-development. Something very positive was taking place. The NDC however missed an opportunity to implement drastic and radical changes after a decade of NNPism.

It would be unfair to blame the NDC for the many challenges facing
Grenada’s youths. The Tillman Thomas-led NDC administration initiated a host of youth programs, plans and policies to advance the interest of the young people.

The establishment of a Scholarship Desk in the Ministry of Education, the free school books program, the reimbursement of the exams tuition for students passing eight CXC subjects, paying off the exams fees for students in the youth program among others. The only other government to implement meaningful youth development programs was the PRG of Maurice Bishop.

Following the 2013 general elections all the great youth developmental initiatives of the NDC administration have been rolled back by the NNP.

In true NNP style, politics returned in every element of youth development and training. Hundreds of young people were sent home from their jobs and replaced with NNP cronies – many of whom have little or no qualification to do the jobs they were given.

The return of NNP in 2013 saw a rise in lawlessness, increase in youth unemployment, crime and violence, pornography drug use, prostitution, truancy and poverty. In recent times hijacking and kidnapping have surfaced in the country.

To make matters worse a ‘gun culture’ is slowly making its way into the society. It bleeds me to see what is happening to the young people under the NNP in collusion with some church leaders and other stooges of the government.

The lust for money has resulted in many folks who can make a positive difference in the lives of the youths selling their integrity and credibility for thirty pieces of silver. Divine intervention may be needed to change the situation.

If Keith Mitchell and the NNP had the young people at heart then they would have passed a bill in the parliament to enhance youth development to be voted on in the October referendum.

The young people should open their eyes and see which leader and political party genuinely cares about their development. Without any doubt it is Nazim Burke and the NDC. Contrary to what is being said, Nazim Burke will do a much better job at youth development than Keith Mitchell and the NNP.

The record is clear, under Keith Mitchell and the NNP Grenada’s youth unemployment rate has increased tenfold. Mitchell is the longest serving leader in Grenada and this must never be trivialised. He is a failure, period!

Under his leadership the lives of the youths have become remarkably worse. A few excel but the vast majority of us are ‘eating grass’ under the NNP. Tens of thousands of the youths are crying out for help.

To prove that the condition of the young people has deteriorated the only major infrastructure that the NNP has built in the last year for the youths is a Juvenile Rehabilitation Centre. The government hasn’t built a single school for years. Keep the youths ignorant, dependent and stupid, their votes are guaranteed.

All is not lost though as we witness the accomplishments of Kirani James and Kaplin. Nothing lasts forever and what is certain is that the future belongs to the youths.

The politicians who are exploiting the nation’s youths today won’t be around tomorrow. Their legacy will be bitter and history won’t ever be kind to these despots. When the time does come it may be too late for many of the youths who have allowed the NNP to turn them into ‘rum
Zombies’ but the power of the youths shall prevail.

Grenadian Class

Protective Custody for Boca Man

A Magistrate’s Court in St. George’s took the decision last week Friday to remand to the Richmond Hill prison a Boca, St. George man who is facing a charge of attempted Non-Capital Murder.

Errol Baptiste - charged with attempted murder

Errol Baptiste – charged with attempted murder

Acting Magistrate Francine Foster made the determination in order to protect the accused and other persons from perceived danger.

The Magistrate who agreed to a bail objection by the Police Prosecution Department in the case involving Errol Baptiste said she is concerned that should she release him on bail he might be discovered harmed somewhere because of the anger of his children over what he did to their mother.

Baptiste, 49, who is allegedly involved in a domestic dispute with his wife, is accused of inflicting stab wounds on the woman’s chest and abdomen area on August 16.

The lady was admitted to the Female Surgical ward of the St. George’s General Hospital to receive treatment for the injuries.

The presiding Magistrate said she is very concerned over the fact that the accused man lives in the same house with the victim and her decision to remand him to custody at the Richmond Hill Prisons is for his own protection and that of his wife.

She concluded that Baptiste was lacking in anger management in order to have inflicted the injuries to his wife, which resulted in her becoming a patient at the hospital.

Police Prosecutor, Corporal Terrence Andall informed the court that after the incident allegedly occurred, Baptiste ran away from the house in fear of the children reacting negatively towards him.

According to Cpl. Andall, Baptiste expressed fears to lawmen that the children will do harm to him.

Baptiste is the father of four children with his wife – ages 14, 16, 21 and 23.

Cpl. Andall described the charge laid against Baptiste as being very serious but was not using the objection to bail as a form of punishment against the accused.

He said the Prosecution’s objection to bail is based on fears that if the accused man who has been working on a project on the grounds of the General Hospital for the past four months is released on bail, they do not know what will happen to the victim or other members of the family.

Cpl. Andall informed the court that Baptiste has three previous convictions including wounding and praedial larceny.

The Police Prosecutor told the court the incident involving the accused man and his wife came about due to an ongoing feud between the two parties.

He spoke of Police Officers at Central Police Station on the Carenage, St. George’s being called out on several previous occasions to respond to reports relating to the dispute between Baptiste and his wife.

The accused is due back in court on September 5th.