National Health Insurance Logo revealed

The National Health Insurance Secretariat (NHIS) now has its own logo as the state-financed body moves ahead with plans to implement a National Health Insurance for citizens.

The winning piece from Prestyn High

The official unveiling of the logo was done at the conference room of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) last Friday, in the presence of the winning artiste, 21-year-old Trellson Charles as a result of competition among schools and the general public.

According to Communications Officer of NHIS, Abigail McIntyre, the winning logo fully represents the NHI slogan, “Securing your health: Today, Tomorrow, Forever.”

“The healthy tree with all of its lush green leaves is a symbol of a fresh start on life, positive energy, good health and a bright future”, said McIntyre in describing the logo.

She said, “it is also a symbol of immortality as even though tree grows old and may die, it passes on its essence through all of its seeds and lives on”.

Another noticeable feature of the logo is that, “the tree is held in and protected by its heart with the letters NHI inscribed on it, which is the colour of the ocean, which has surrounded us all, from the beginning and will continue to do so for all of time.”

McIntyre spoke of the journey towards coming up with the NHI Logo as it proved to be rather difficult given the current industrial climate in the country especially among teachers and government on the pension and gratuity issue.

The official NHI Logo

“The campaign to achieving a logo competition for the National Health Insurance was a very long one. Actually, it began in December 2017 when the staff of the National Insurance Scheme was invited to submit designs for the NHI Logo. The feedback was good and a member of staff, Trellon Charles was recognised and awarded for his clever design”, she said.

“…It was decided to involve participation from students and the general public – this was officially launched in October 2018. Maximum participation from schools was affected because of heightened industrial climate in the school system…this was a major challenge but we overcame. Submissions received from both primary and secondary school was good,” she added.

Project Head of NHI Secretariat, Claudette James who also spoke said that the agency is now well on its way to being fully implemented as the University of West Indies (UWI) has submitted to government the basket of services to be offered as part of the health insurance package.

The Health Economic Unit of UWI was contracted by government in 2017 as the lead consultant to execute the technical work on the project.

Winners of the Logo Competition, Trellson Charles and Prestyn High together with NHI officials, Claudette James and Dorset Cromwell

According to James, UWI personnel from the Trinidad Campus at St. Augustine were on the ground for approximately eight months conducting their research and gathering data but continue “to work on the project and closely with the staff of NHIS.

“…Today, UWI has completed and submitted to the government the benefit package, the group of health services that will be included in the NHI package. We now await approval from government on the acceptance of this proposal,” she said.

James disclosed that one of the things already decided upon by government is that NHI will become a department within NIS.

During the launch, the winner of the primary and secondary school component of the competition was recognized, seven-year-old Prestyn High of La Borie Mennonite School.

Michael Pierre heads Education Review Committee

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Michael Pierre has been selected by government to chair an Education Review Committee that will serve as a watchdog body to the Ministry of Education.

This was announced by Minister of Education, Emmalin Pierre at last week’s Cabinet Briefing at the Ministerial Complex Conference Room at Tanteen, St. George in which she said that Cabinet approved the committee, along with an Advisory Council in accordance with Sections 9 and 178 of the Education Act.

According to Minister Pierre, the Committee should have already have been in operation and reporting to the Minister of Education but this has not been done for years.

“As a matter of fact, the review board should have been over the years reviewing our education system, should have been reporting to the Minister for Education. That report should have been tabled by the Minister of Education in Parliament and published publicly”, she said.

The House Speaker is the brother-in-law of Minister Pierre who is married to his brother, Tafawa Pierre, the head of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).

Michael Pierre is also a former Chief Education Officer (CEO) in the Ministry of Education and past executive member of the Grenada Union of Teachers (GUT).

The Education Minister told reporters that the role of the committee, lead by Speaker Pierre is to review and assess how the Ministry of Education does business with special focus on: “…Are we doing business right? Are we operating by the standards that we’re supposed to be operating by? Are we functioning? Are we achieving our objectives?

“It supposed to be a serious scrutiny of the education system and that scrutiny must be published, it must be published so that Grenada can see how we’re doing and then we make a determination as to the way forward,” she added.

According to Minister Pierre, the Act also gives the ministry the power to appoint special committees to “ensure that we are implementing the Education Act and we are working on advancing the Education System”.

“Let me also say that one of those committees convened thus far is the Regulations committee. As you know the Act, which was developed in 2002, passed in Parliament, the act points to a number of areas in which regulations should have been developed and we are moving swiftly to ensure that we develop those regulations”, she said.

“So, that (Regulations) committee is meeting today (January 22nd) actually and we expect that within a week, they will have a presentation – that they would work in plenary after working in sub-committees. Following that, we expect a presentation will be made to the Advisory Committee and then to Cabinet anticipating that by the end of February, Ministry of Legal Affairs should have those documents ready for regulations,” she added.

Minister Pierre disclosed that another committee in the making under the act is intended to provide for the spiritual development of students.

She said: “We are firmly of the view that there is an urgent need to engage our churches in a deeper way in what is happening within our schools. I’ve always said this: I am very concerned about children who probably do not attend churches in their community, probably do not have an avenue at home for prayers and spiritual development and so I believe school must be an opportunity where this is provided.

“I am really happy to say too that at a recent meeting with representatives from the various denominations across Grenada, we have had firm commitments from our pastors, our leaders, that they are prepared to work with the Ministry of Education and so a sub-committee has been set up and that sub-committee would present a recommendation to the Ministry of Education basically outlining how this can be done within our schools.

Pierre’s ruling New National Party (NNP) has been in charge of Grenada’s education system for 19 of the past 24 years.

Republic Bank and BGWU sign agreement for workers

After two years of intensive negotiations, the Bank and General Workers Union (BGWU) and Republic Bank Grenada have finally signed onto a collective agreement that provides salary increases and other incentive benefits for employees.

Republic Bank and BGWU officials before Labour Commissioner as they prepare to sign agreement

The agreement, which was signed last Wednesday in the presence of Labour Commissioner Cyrus Griffith at the Ministry of Labour Conference Room, saw agreement being reached on wages and salary, personal development, an incentive plan, severance benefits, and a transfer and displacement allowance.

The union’s Field Officer, Joseph Mitchell told reporters that the parties were deadlocked on five articles in the collective agreement at the close of the bilateral stage of negotiations, which led to the union turning to the Labour Commissioner and the Minister of Labour to seek redress.

Mitchell said that when the negotiations started the issues at the forefront were the articles dealing with a Personal Development Incentive Plan, Severance Benefit, Transfer and Displacement Allowance, Wages and Salary and Profit sharing.

According to Mitchell, agreement was reached on four of the articles except Profit sharing but the workers will now be getting a 7.5% increase in Salaries and Wages for the next three years.

The union official said that Republic Bank staffers were benefitting from a severance agreement on months paid per year of service and a better deal was hammered out for the workers.

“The union sought an increase in severance benefit after several discussions on the issue. We have had settlements of increase severance to workers between 18 to 25 years (they) will now get an additional week and workers over 25 years would get two additional weeks…”, he said.

“…I believe it’s a welcome adjustment and I believe it’s something that the employees would be satisfied with. It is something that the union can work with and we are happy that we could have had some form of agreement on this article”, he added.

With respect to the article governing Transfer and Displacement, Mitchell noted that workers who were transferred between Grenada and Carriacou were benefitting rental displacement allowance of $1350 and $1650 respectively.

He said: The union argued that we believe that such arrangement (was) discriminatory and we sought an equal sum. Again, after a lot of discussion on the matter, we are happy that we were able to agree that all workers would benefit $1700”.

Mitchell told reporters that the union decided to withdraw its proposal on Profit Sharing.

“The workers at republic bank, we want to express thank you to the process. Again, we commend the management of the bank that we are able to work together in such a purposeful manner, although at times, it has been difficult but we are happy that we are able to get to this point”, he said.

Manager of Republic Bank, Keith Johnson thanked the parties for finally coming to a conclusion on the agreement.

“The bank is pleased that we have reached this stage in negotiations for the period January 2017 to December 2019 and that the agreement has been signed this morning. We would like to thank all parties engaged in this process; the union representatives, my team from Republic Bank and of course the Labour Commissioner,” he said.

IAC holds inaugural Regional Consultation in Grenada

The region’s leading insurance executives converged as one, for an early morning breakfast meeting in Grenada under the banner of the Insurance Association of the Caribbean (IAC).

The industry leaders gathered at the invitation of Ronald Hughes, Board Member of the IAC and Managing Director of Guardian General Insurance (OECS) Ltd who welcomed the CEO and the President of IAC and CEO of Guardian Life, Jamaica, Eric Hosin.

In his remarks, Mr Eric Hosin spoke of the plans made over the years, to visit all island territories.

He noted that these were finally being realised, starting with the visit to Grenada, on the heels of the strategic planning retreat held at the annual IAC conference.

The session challenged the original mandates and objectives of the organisation, to ensure their continued relevance to the industry.

Unanimous agreement was reached that consultation meetings throughout the Caribbean would be imperative for forward movement, with an integral part of these sessions being the inputs from each territory’s insurance entities.

CEO of the IAC, Janelle Thompson shared a brief history of the organisation, established in 1974, and its goal to provide an umbrella entity and act as the agent for support and change within the insurance sector.

She stated, “our mission is to promote and foster the advancement of the IAC, as a non-profit organisation, to this end we must work towards harmonising insurance and accompanying legislations, across the Caribbean, for their growth and advocacy”.

“We need to remain valid in our efforts to serve the needs of all member companies in the region”, she remarked.

Hosin appealed to the sector saying, “we need your involvement. A united voice is a strong voice, one that can be better heard across the region. But to unite we have to share information, so that a robust framework can evolve from which to achieve an agenda for the good of all. This will enable us to lobby for the advancement and betterment of the industry in the Caribbean”.

The consultation closed with a Question & Answer opportunity for Grenada’s insurance company representatives in attendance.

CANADIANS FINED EC$400, 000 FOR TRAFFICKING IN COCAINE

The St. George’s No.2 Magistrate’s Court on Monday imposed a fine in a combined sum of EC$400, 000.00, on two (2) Canadian nationals for the offence of Trafficking EC1M worth of cocaine.

Magistrate Tahira Gellineau handed down the sentence just after 1.00 p.m on Romario Washington Campbell, a 23-year-old unemployed male from Ajax, Ontario, Canada and Renee Elecia Ally, 25, a waitress from Ontario, Canada following mitigation pleas by their defense counsels, Anselm Clouden and Arley Gill.

Both defendants were nabbed at the Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA), with 10 kilograms of the illegal substance last October.

The court ordered them to pay a sum of $200, 000 each, with a default sentence of four (4) years imprisonment.

They were initially indictably charged but subsequent discussions between the criminal defense attorneys and the Police Prosecution team led to a reduction in the charge, allowing for the matter to proceed summarily at the level of the magistracy.

Campbell and Ally found themselves in trouble with the law after their belongings were checked in at the Air Canada counter at MBIA.

Police found the drugs concealed in false compartments of the luggage they carried, which led to them being arrested and charged.

During mitigation, both attorneys noted that their clients, who are first time offenders, have expressed remorse and begged the court for leniency on their behalf.

“This is not an effort to trivialise what has happened (but) the mitigating factors on behalf of Renee is very compelling”, said Attorney Gill, a former Magistrate himself.

He told the court that his 25-year-old client is the mother of a six (6) year old girl and a single parent, who was juggling between three (3) jobs to take care of herself and her family prior to her arrest.

“I can assure you that she would not find herself in another situation like that again…there is zero likelihood that she would re-offend”, he said.

Attorney Gill told the court that both defendants were being “used as mere pawns in a bigger game (while) the real culprits are still outside.

Her mother, Ramona Ally, who took no-pay leave to be able to support her only daughter at the sentencing, was a character witness for the defense and also begged the court for leniency.

Attorney Clouden, who represented Campbell invited the court to “take an unusual approach,” in sentencing, labeling the case as being “quite an unusual” one.

The veteran criminal defence attorney cited several points of law to substantiate his request for his client’s age to be considered among the mitigating factors as well as to be given a discount for the limited time already spent on remand.

Clouden called to the stand a ‘biblical counselor’ who holds sessions at the Richmond Hill Prison once weekly, where both defendants have been serving remand time for close to four (4) months.

The individual, Pastor Jude Hector, who is the man behind the “Adult & Teen Challenge” Non-Profit Organisation, described Campbell as “a young man who is very distressed and sorrowful and has indicated his intention to make a turn around to help others from going down that path.”

There were also reference letters on his behalf from some of his friends and the Pastor of his church in Canada, describing him as a humble individual who is not known to find himself in trouble.

In handing down the sentence, Magistrate Gellineau pointed to the aggravating factors in the matter, singling out the seriousness of the offence in light of the quantity of the substance and that they were caught while attempting to leave MBIA with it.

“Giving the aggravating factors this offence calls for a custodial sentence,” she said, adding that the matter first came to her as an indictable offence.

“You see how “one (1) bad decision can really change the course of our lives,” the female magistrate told the young offenders, who faced a maximum sentence of seven (7) years imprisonment and or a fine of EC$250, 000 or three (3) times the value of the drugs.

Magistrate Gellineau told the young drug offenders the court was being very lenient in sentencing them in light of the seriousness of the offence committed.

She reminded them that they are indeed young and have their whole lives ahead of them and encouraged them to use their experience in Grenada to deter others from making the same mistake.

Fighting fire with fire!!!

The people of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique should fully be aware by now that the impasse between the ruling New National Party (NNP) government and the trade unions and staff associations on the pension and gratuity issue will be a long drawn out affair with either side having a lot to lose.

A lot of fuel has now been added to the fire following the recent announcement from the association grouping School Principals that the body took the decision to cancel the 2019 Intercol games due to the ongoing dispute between the two sides.

As expected, the government reacted swiftly with an announcement of its own that it will be stepping in to fill the gap with the hastily organised so-called National Secondary School games.

THE NEW TODAY cannot offer any serious comment on what the government is actually doing as the plan has not yet been fully rolled out to the public for scrutiny.

However, it is really difficult to see the government games going ahead smoothly and successfully without the full participation and involvement of the school teachers and the principals.

In the past, these are the people who played the key roles in putting the systems in place to ensure the staging of the individual school sports and the actual Intercol run off.

If the athletes decide to boycott the government-run games in solidarity with their principals and teachers will Education Minister Emmalin Pierre take action against them?

This newspaper would ask the additional question – what kind of action can the minister take against the students who might engage in boycott action?

Equally important is the following question – will some of the parents encourage their children to stay away from the government games as a show of support to the principals and teachers?

The students would also be mindful of the fact that if they defy their principals and teachers and side with the government and take part in the track and field meet it is not Minister Pierre that they would have to interact with on the following day in school but the very principals and teachers.

The government might be putting the students in a very uncomfortable position by going ahead with its plans to stage a National secondary track and field meet in the face of the cancellation of Intercol by the association of secondary school principals.

The fact of the matter is that Intercol marks the culmination of the athletic season for the schools as the cream of the crop take to the track and field to bring glory in both the boys and girls division to the power house schools like GBSS, PBC, SAASS, AHS, St. David’s Secondary and the athletes from the sister isle.

The event also provides a platform for athletes to excel and gain a place on Grenada’s team to the Carifta games.

Even at this stage no one is certain about the individual schools holding their own respective sports meet in the face of the “Work to Rule” by teachers in accordance with a directive from their bargaining body, the Grenada Union of Teachers (GUT).

It is quite noticeable that there has not been students running on the streets and taking part in the many cross country runs for their houses as part of the build up to their own sports day due to the “Work to Rule”.

Some fuel has also been added to the impasse between the Mitchell government and the public sector unions following a meeting held last week between the Education Minister and newly appointed Attorney General, Guyanese Darshan Ramdhani and the principals.

The information coming out from the meeting was not good as some of the principals were not happy over the alleged attempt made by the AG to try and school them on the law in a very arrogant and rude manner as if they are not sensible and educated enough to understand their own rules of engagement in the public service.

The Minister and Ramdhani might have been engaged in an “ambush” exercise as the school principals did not have a legal counsel of their own to counter the legal points that the AG rightly or wrongly advanced to them during the course of the engagement.

The word in some quarters is that several Cabinet ministers are not happy with the current state of affairs between the government and unions but are afraid to openly voice their concerns due to fear of Prime Minister Mitchell.

As one minister was heard telling a party supporter after the docking of the pay cheques of the striking teachers, Dr. Mitchell has certain strong views on the issue and no one is prepared to raise an opposing hand towards him.

It is also clear that Prime Minister Mitchell does not want to come out of this mini-crisis with a bloody face as it can help to weaken him politically in the eyes of many Grenadians despite his back to back 15-0 victories at the polls in 2013 and 2018 as part of his legacy agenda.

The ongoing saga is devoid of politics and the Prime Minister has found himself in a battle on a money matter with teachers and school principals – some of whom might even be among his most ardent and loyal supporters.

This is not a battle involving the NNP and the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) with the whipping boy being Nazim Burke who has now slipped into political oblivion and is no longer a target for Dr. Mitchell to rally the NNP’ite troops and party base.

The opposition parties should continue to remain on the sideline and refrain from jumping into the battle and turning it into a political football which can only benefit PM Mitchell who is a master at political street fighting.

As the battle lingers on, the other 14 NNP elected Parliamentarians would be mindful that at some point they have to renew their mandate and approach the very teachers, school principals, public officers and their extended family members for the “X” in the ballot.

The message is apparently not clear enough for the current rulers – fighting fire with fire will not cut it in the current scenario.

Leadership Seminar at TAMCC

A new direction of teaching has been taken up by the T.A. Marryshow Community College (TAMCC) as it pushes its students towards accepting leadership roles rather than shy away from it.

One of the presenters at the seminar – Deputy Commissioner of Police, Franklyn Redhead

For approximately seven years, the college has been offering to interested students a 10 week leadership seminar that is aimed at creating and realising leaders in students who decide to take the course.

The seminar began January 17th at no cost to students with an opening ceremony at the Teacher Education at the college.

Acting Registrar at the college, Marva Bowen-Neptune explained that the seminar is intended to show students that it is more than just academics when venturing into society.

“Naturally as a tertiary institution we always observe our students and for us it is not only about what you learn in a book or the academics. At the college we are trying to ensure that students are well balanced and they have leadership skills”, she said.

“No doubt, you would understand that these students would be our future leaders, our future politicians, our future teachers, lawyers, doctors and in these capacities, you will have to have some leadership skills. So, the college decided to make sure that we expose the students to what leadership is all about – how it evolves, whether leaders are born, whether it’s something that you can learn; either way, we want to let them know that there are other aspects of the course in development and it’s not about…a whole set of degrees but how you develop as you proceed in your career as a leader,” she added.

Bowen-Neptune noted that students have the tendency to avoid roles and situations that would put them in the spotlight, something she blamed on how they are raised.

She said: “I think it’s a culture thing the way we in the Caribbean, moreso Grenada, the way we culture our students. I studied abroad, so, I am exposed to that culture as well. Sometimes we are a bit timid in terms of taking up responsibility and leadership and sometimes we as adults intimidate the students as well and our children because we feel that it’s not their place; they shouldn’t have a voice, they are young.

“Because of that, we want to make sure that these students know that they have a voice, they can speak up on issues, some of them, they are able to vote, they understand their role in society and they are young adults. It’s about time for these students to rise up and know that they have a voice in society,” she added.

One of the topics discussed at the first session of the seminar was “Understanding today’s leadership expectations/indentifying leadership requirements for the 21st Century and Deputy Commissioner of Police, Franklyn Redhead was invited on to give some advise to the students.

“I think the world is going through a critical change of transformation if you will and there is this mantra among young people of get rich quick or die trying and I think we need to manage more effectively youthful energies, both negative and positive, in terms of how do we contend with these energies and when the energies are coupled with charismatic leadership and understand the implication it has for crime and a range of other factors. My focus will be on the positive side of that in terms of how do you channel those energies in a positive way and get people to realise their full potential as young individuals”, Redhead told the students.

A student from nearly every department at the institution was in attendance at the first session.

Students at the first session of the Leadership Seminar

One student from the Natural Science Department, Joshua Francis told reporters that the seminar will help him understand his role in a modern society.

He said, “I believe the leadership seminar will be an incredible opportunity to learn new skills, new talents, new traits to be informed about things. I probably did not know and reaffirm what I want to know. Sometimes, I believe as human beings and as individuals we need to recalibrate ourselves and remind ourselves why we are doing what we’re doing and how we can improve ourselves, how we can improve others, our community.

“I believe a leadership seminar would be a perfect opportunity for me to understand my role in a modern society, how I can better my society through the actions and opportunities I’m presented with”, he added.

Jerome Gordon of the Culinary Department felt that the seminar will help him to be a blessing to another person especially his fellow students.

“…When I look at people in my classroom, friends and other colleagues, I see them struggling with other financial issues or their self esteem or their self worth, just understanding why they do the things they do, like why they becoming a chef or why they (are) in this industry and me learning how to be a better leader helps me to better understand who I am and why I do the things I do and then give them an opportunity to find their why as well,” he stated.

Another student, Daria Mc Meo said this will help in her aspirations to become a lawyer.

“I think that this seminar will help me because I intend to do great things. I have a vision to be the Attorney General an aspiring occupation in the legal fraternity and I think attending this session it will help me to bolster my leadership qualities,” she said.

Fight like a Tiger!

Very unfortunately, some adults – young and old – are sexual predators who sexually abuse young children. Those who are involved in such unhealthy behaviour need to change their ways instantly.

Sexual molesters, you need to recognise that you are destroying the children mentally, emotionally, physically, and otherwise. Children who are sexually molested often feel cheap, dirty, and develop low self-esteem, as though they are worth nothing, feeling useless.

Whenever you are tempted to molest a child, please stop and think. Ask yourself: How would I feel if I were the child and an adult sexually molested me? Would I love it? Would I appreciate hearing that someone molested a family member or relative? Luke 6:31.

Since we do not want to be a victim of sexual molestation, it is highly unfair and wicked to sexually molest a child, making him or her suffer mental anguish, and their family members and relatives hurting much too.

Molesters, like a tiger, fight any wrong desire you may have of wanting to molest a child. Put the dirty desire out of your mind IMMEDIATELY whenever it comes. Replace the dirty thought with a clean, positive thought. Philippians 4:8. Again, fight like a tiger against the desire to sexually molest any child. Be a decent man/woman by loving children and protecting them against any form of abuse.

Kenneth Kayman

ROAD 2 KAYAK MAS not a competing event

It has been drawn to our attention that certain individuals have found it necessary to reach out to Carriacou Carnival Committee members complaining to them that our event ‘Road 2 Kayak Mas’ is competing with the Carnival Committee events.

As a result of this unfortunate development, allow us to shed some light for those of you who seem to be obviously misinformed and somewhat confused.

To begin, the event is being held to raise awareness (create a hype) for the upcoming Carnival season. As a matter of fact, we did an event of a similar nature namely ‘Spice Island Summer 241’ for Carriacou Regatta and Spicemas which saw positive reviews from all levels of society.

Secondly, we are not competing with anyone and we have no intentions of doing so. As nationals of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique the onus is on us to ensure that our Festivals are promoted in whatever way possible.

Last but not least, our free event is in no way clashing or competing with any Carnival Committee events. It is important to note also, that our event is fully supported by the Carnival Committee simply because we are helping to boost the festival.

‘Road 2 Kayak Mas’ is an event for Artistes, Mas band leaders, Djs, Promoters, Carnival Committee and all stakeholders interested.

It is rather unfortunate that one would find the time to criticise an event rather than use that time to read, understand and pay attention to what ‘Road 2 Kayak Mas’ is all about especially as our flyer and Radio AD is very clear.

We trust that those mischievous individuals who used their energy in a negative way now that we have cleared the air, will come on board and help promote our biggest festival experienced every year.

Promoters of ‘Road 2 Kayak Mas’
Hillsborough,
Carriacou

ATTORNEY GILL: MY TRACK RECORD SPEAKS

Attorney-at-law Arley Gill, the Grenada government’s choice to replace Dr. Patrick Antoine as the country’s Ambassador to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has said that his job assignment would not necessarily hamper his day-to-day operations as a practicing lawyer.

Gill made the disclosure in an interview with local reporters in the wake of his appointment to the job as a replacement for Dr. Patrick Antoine who has severed all ties with the ruling New National Party (NNP) administration of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell.

The attorney, who returned home recently from Dominica after a stint as a Magistrate, has taken up most of the court matters that were previously dealt with by Attorney-at-Law Peter David, who is now serving as Foreign Affairs Minister with the NNP administration.

Gill told reporters: “I continue to work every day as I am working now so, I am not leaving to go reside anywhere else”.

The attorney once served as a Minister of State for Culture in the 2008-13 National Democratic Congress (NDC) government of Tillman Thomas, which was swept out of office in 2013 before his removal for allegedly taking decisions that fell within the domain of the Cabinet of Ministers.

Gill was also one of several individuals including Minister David who were expelled from Congress in September 2012 at the height of internal bickering within the party for Control of the government.

The ex-magistrate is considered as a key ally of the David faction which is now actively working within the NNP regime under the banner of “Project Grenada”.

Gill told reporters that he is confident of the new assignment given his stint in government.

He said: “I have served in public office before and I believe that my track record speaks with regards to delivery, commitment, hard work and dedication and one can expect the same level of dedication and commitment in the execution of my duties.

“First of all, obviously, it would be a learning curve to appreciate and understand the issues that are being dealt with then I will take it from there,” he added.

According to Gill, he will first have to be “properly briefed with regards to what is needed by the Foreign Affairs Minister (Peter David) and the Minister of Trade (Oliver Joseph) and so on.”

Since the departure of Dr. Antoine in August 2018, the Keith Mitchell-led government has been slow in appointing persons to fill at least four (4) vacant positions that were previously held by him.

Attorney Gill now awaits an acceptance letter from CARICOM confirming when his appointment date will take effect.

THE NEW TODAY was unable to confirm if Attorney Gill’s confirmation letter has been received by the region’s premier integration body.