Funds allocated to the new Ministry of Climate Resilience

The Grenada Parliament has taken steps to ensure that there is funding for the newly created Ministry of Climate Resilience, the Environment, Forestry, Fisheries, Disaster Management and Information.

The Keith Mitchell-led New National Party (NNP) which won all 15 seats in the March 13 general election has passed the Appropriation (2018) Amendment Bill (2018) to provide the necessary funding for the ministry headed by Senator Simon Stiell.

The bill seeks to re-allocate some of the EC$1.1 allocated in the 2018 budget for the period January 1to December 31 from the different ministries to the new ministry.

This re-allocation of $17.4 will ensure that the Stiell-led ministry can function without any added monies having to be found for the billion-dollar budget.

In addressing the issue, Sen. Stiell who is the Leader of Government Business in the Upper House said that government through his ministry can now work on building capacity in climate change.

“Climate change as we all know is the greatest threat that is facing not only Grenada but countries worldwide and in particular highly vulnerable states, Small Island Developing States such as Grenada”, he told a Senate sitting.

According to the Cabinet Minister, the newly created ministry has put Grenada in a position to become far more resilient to environmental shocks.

“We have seen the impact of a very active hurricane season, the damage, the destruction that was caused to many of our neighbours and let us not forget our own experiences in 2004, 2005 with Hurricanes Ivan and Emily. So, by becoming more resilient and having this natural focus on building resilience, it means we will be able to sustain less damage during an environmental shock and then we’ll be able to recover
far faster”, he said.

He stated that the new ministry will also allow government to take advantage of the opportunities that exist locally with climate finance and the billions of dollars that are available to Small Island Developing States “which will provide us with the necessary resources to build that said resilience and by combining Climate Resilience with the Environment, Forestry, Fisheries, Disaster Management and Information, it also enables Grenada to take a far more strategic approach in protecting and strengthening our natural resources.”

Sen. Stiell pointed out that four ministries will in effect be now working side by side as a result of the changes made in allocation of portfolios after the General Elections.

He stressed that the creation of the Ministry of Climate Resilience ties in closely with the Ministries of Implementation and the Energy Divisions which now operates under the Ministry of Infrastructural Development, Public Utilities, Energy, Transportation and Implementation and the move of the portfolio of Economic Development to the Ministry of Finance.

“These four ministries … that will now work hand in glove in terms of the goal to maximise resource mobilisation – the Ministry of Climate Resilience, the Division of Economic and Technical Cooperation within the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and International Relations and the Ministry of Implementation will now be working in concert, whether it be using our international relations through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, whether it is the project identification, preparation through climate resilience or through the Department of Economic and Technical Cooperation – (they) all come together and then the critical thing is the ability to implement those projects”, he said.

Sen. Stiell contended that combining the Ministry of Culture with the Ministry of Youth and Sports will not only save government money but also benefit the nation’s youth.

He said: “These three portfolios … youth, sports and culture are recognising the significant opportunities that exist for the development of our youth within these areas”.

“We already have seen significant success by young sportsmen and women both nationally, regionally and internationally and that is already being built on within the Ministry of Youth but now pulling in culture again.

“We have so many talented young men and women in the performing arts and creative arts (we will be) able to draw upon that, pull out those opportunities, which will help us develop and raise our youth in Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique,” he remarked.
Minister of Culture, Senator Norland Cox who stood in support of the bill, highlighted the fact that the various government ministries will also be kept in check on their spending.

“This amendment is showing that government is keeping in mind with what it is set out to do – to ensure that we do not in any way interfere or create any harm for fiscal stability by making ad-hoc amendment or adding to our budget, but to ensure that we keep inline and to secure those gains that we would have had in terms of how we did business before and how we are doing it now after the Structural Adjustment Programme…”, he said.

“I believe that is a clear indication that that legislation is needed to keep each and every one of us in check to ensure that we just don’t go on a spending spree and forces us to make those changes while we have new ministries and changes in portfolios are reconfigured but also what is most important, we are doing that without adding any new monies to the 2018 budget at this current time”, he added.

The 1995-2008 NNP regime of Prime Minister Mitchell has often been accused of creating the financial debacle in the country through its massive borrowing and spending spree to try and jump start the Grenadian economy.

Minister with responsibility for Disaster Management and Information, Sen. Winston Garraway lamented that the Appropriation Amendment Bill is timely given the start of the hurricane season.

“The Bill before us is extremely important because it now gives the government the ability to spend in this new ministry (Ministry of Climate Resilience…) and given that come June 1st will be the start of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, it is important to note Mr. President that we need to spend monies re: our work to ensure that we are fully prepared and ready for whatever realities come this hurricane season,” he said.

Man Buried by Gravel

One man was reportedly killed Wednesday when he was covered up by falling gravel from a pit in the Mt Rush area.

THE NEW TODAY understands that the pit is located near to a site where the National Water & Sewerage Authority (NAWASA) has some water tanks.

The man has been identified as Steve Marcel who is from Paradise in St. Andrew.

Marcel was living in the Darbeau area with his female companion.A source said that Marcel often visited the pit on early mornings to get gravel to sell for some building contractors.

Neighbours got worried when he was not seen and raised the alarm.

The trust quotient

We have all grown familiar with IQ or Intelligent Quotient and in more recent time with EQ or Emotional Quotient. Well, how about TQ, Trust Quotient?
Sadly, this quality is at an all-time low in society today. Human performance has reduced the trust level in society to unacceptable levels.

There is a crisis of integrity because trust is intimately linked to truth and credibility. Many around us have fallen or are falling on account of moral failure resulting in the undermining of the trust factor.

We are made to wonder who can be trusted or can we trust anyone anymore? Can we even trust ourselves? For each man has some insight in his own heart, although not completely.

Sadly, the undermining of trust has also extended to God himself. Can God be trusted? Can his Word be trusted? Some people have problems trusting God because they blame him for the death of a child, a spouse or a parent or for some other tragedy which they have gone through. They have withdrawn trust in him because they presumed that he did not answer their prayer or seemed distant from them.

The Hebrew word for trust means confidence. It has the idea of leaning upon someone or something. We are cautioned against trusting in or leaning on our own understanding (Prov. 3:5, 6). We ought to trust in the Lord with all our heart and not lean upon ourselves. The bible also cautions us against putting our trust or confidence in man or in princes (leaders).

The God of the bible is trustworthy because he has integrity. He is a God of truth, holiness, and love. His track record is all over history and is inscribed in the Holy Bible.

Millions today in almost every culture can testify to the trustworthiness of God. Why then do some people have problems trusting him? He is faithful and has never failed to keep his word. Unfortunately, men put their trust in a teacher, scholar, or scientist who has said much or written much but has no integrity. In fact, we find many in the classroom and media who have taken on the task of undermining faith in God. Some 70% of Christian young people lose their faith in God and the bible after starting college or university.

Take the person of Jesus Christ who was God manifest. Comparatively few people would question his integrity, not even his enemies. If anyone is worthy of trust, it is Jesus Christ. You can trust him with your finance or to baby-sit your children.

You can trust him to counsel your wife as he did with a woman in Samaria. You can trust him with your darkest secrets for he can deal with them. You can trust one who lived a perfect life and then died for sinners as only Jesus did.

Since he was God manifest in the flesh why then is it so hard to trust God. Failure to trust God is failure to trust Jesus the only one who is worthy of our trust. Jesus said to his disciples, “If you have seen me you have seen the Father.” If when it comes to God our trust quotient has diminished the thing to do is to rebuild it.

We can only do this by reminding ourselves of who God is and what he has done. That kind of data is found in Holy Scripture. In Romans 10 we learn that, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” Faith is a synonym of trust.

 

We cannot build faith in God by listening to the opinions of men even if they spoke about God obliquely. Let God speak for himself. God does not need human interpretation to explain himself. In fact, the bible has no preface or introduction. It commences its contents by stating, “In the beginning God.”
God the author introduces himself simply as GOD. No explanation is needed or given. The trust factor comes into place immediately. You either believe him or you do not. The burden of proof lies with you and not with him.

We cannot neglect the bible and expect to grow in our faith or trust in God. To dismiss the bible as a book of simplistic fables or Alice in Wonderland stories is to ignore the scholarship that went into it, its impact on civilizations, science, technology, music, art, and so much more.

Even men like Robert J. Oppenheimer and Alfred North Whitehead recognised the role of Christianity in scientific development because of its basis in Holy Scripture. The greatest scientists were bible-believers such as Isaac Newton (who wrote more on the bible than he did on science), Galileo Galilee, Roger Bacon, Nicolas Copernicus, Johannes Kepler, and Francis Collins (who mapped the human genome). Those who condemn and reject the Bible tell us more about themselves than about the bible.

It is interesting to note that ignorance and neglect of the bible has resulted in massive collateral damage in society. Immorality has sky-rocketed, the value of human life has diminished, the culture of death has expanded, and natural affection has decayed. Rejection of the bible has made nations difficult to govern as George Washington observed.

He said that “apart from the bible America will be difficult to govern.” Security companies have proliferated as crime increases because the conscience of postmodern man is devoid of biblical data. Apart from the bible society becomes a fragmented, autonomous, entity without rules or regulations.

The same bible which made western civilisation great, the envy of the east, is the same bible which tells us about a God who can be trusted. Do yourself a favour. Be honest enough to examine what the bible has to say about God and especially Jesus Christ.

This is the only way you can increase your TRUST QUOTIENT. A careful, open-hearted and pen-minded examination of Holy Scripture will lead you to one conclusion – THY WORD IS TRUTH. The one whose word is truth can be trusted without reservation.

Alfred Horsford

Forum for Financing and Development

Dear Mr. Editor/News Director,

I write to you in my capacity as Chairman of the Grenada Jubilee Committee and Coordinator Jubilee Caribbean.

In April, I went to attend a side event at the UN to attempt to get the Call of Jubilee Caribbean known to many of the bodies meeting at the Forum for Financing and Development.

The call of Jubilee Caribbean came out of a March Workshop held in Grenada to discuss the vulnerability to natural disasters of small island developing states and their debt burden.

The Call of Jubilee Caribbean urged the Governments of the Caribbean and the International Financial Institutions to put in place a mechanism for debt relief as an instrument for emergency support and reconstruction before we enter the next hurricane season.

What we are requesting is as follows:

*That our heads of State and Government unite and collectively demand the creation of an efficient debt relief option ahead of the next hurricane season through all available means, including the United Nations System and the Bretton Woods Institutions;

*That the IMF use its rule-setting power to endorse a full debt moratorium once a hurricane or any other serious disaster brings destruction beyond a pre-defined level and make sure that a serious debt restructuring of all external commitments shall be possible under due consideration of our peoples’ human rights;

*That the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) support a comprehensive debt restructuring process once it is needed.

Not long after we made this call, the Prime Minister of Grenada, just before the Commonwealth Summit, supported our call with a letter which was printed in The Guardian of the UK on Sun 15 Apr 2018.

The following is the text of the letter:

Hurricane-hit islands need debt relief

Those who have contributed the most to climate change are the real debtors so it is unfair that small island states be indebted as a result, write Keith Mitchell, prime minister of Grenada, and Gaston Browne, prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda.

Plus, a coalition of organisations called on Theresa May to apologise for the UK’s anti-gay legacy.

This week we will meet with fellow Commonwealth heads of government in Windsor. One of the most pressing challenges facing smaller Commonwealth governments is the impact of climate change, and the rising debt burden we face as a result.

The 2017 hurricane season was one of the most devastating in Caribbean history. In Barbuda and Dominica destruction totalled more than twice annual GDP.

The growing severity of hurricanes in the Caribbean is related to climate change, a major global threat primarily caused by countries far richer and larger than our own.

In the wake of increasingly frequent and devastating disasters, and in the absence of sufficient grants to support climate mitigation and adaption and sustainable development, small islands have no choice but to resort to taking on more debt.

Yet many already have large debts as a result of past disasters and injustices, loss of trade preferences, and exclusion from debt relief schemes, while our small size makes us more vulnerable to economic shocks such as global financial crises.

As climate change gets worse, we urgently need a new system for fast and effective debt relief when disasters hit. We should not have to bear these extra costs ourselves through climate risk insurance.

We call on larger Commonwealth countries, including the UK, to play a leading role in the creation of such a system. Those who have contributed the most to climate change are the real debtors and it is, therefore, unfair that small island developing states, which are most vulnerable, like those in the Caribbean, be indebted as a result.

We look forward to this meeting resulting in a bold decision to address the issues raised above, in the best interests of all.

Keith Mitchell
Prime Minister of Grenada

Gaston Browne
Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda

Jubilee Caribbean is asking for you to reprint this letter to help in promulgating its call and to create awareness of potential for crisis given the start of the new hurricane season if a hurricane of the magnitude of that which hurt us in 2014 and Dominica in 2017 occurs before a mechanism is in place.

Jubilee Caribbean is a network of member churches and affiliated national councils of the Caribbean Conference of Churches (CCC). It is committed, however, to collaborate with any religious body or social partners who share our values.

In its quest to achieve our mission, we will form partnerships and alliances nationally, regionally and internationally. This mission is to hold Creditors accountable, advocate for national governments to implement policies and laws to ensure accountability and transparency and to network with the global Jubilee movement, government and Civil Society to ensure leverage in negotiation.

Rev. Osbert James
Chair
Jubilee Grenada

Focus for senatorial debate on Grenada second CCJ/Referendum

Grenadians are again faced with a one-sided House of Representatives and an expeditious manoeuvring to replace the London-based Judicial Committee of the Privy Council with the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).

Despite the politically-dominated configuration of the Senate and regrettably with it having a gross bias to the governing party, in accordance with section 24 of the constitution of Grenada, the merit of the Senate must be appreciated in terms of it having to provide a sober and technical approach to the various debates on the legislative and financial policies of the government, as well as to provide oversight scrutiny and constructive suggestions accordingly.

The constitution also recognises and encourages this ‘checks and balances’ role of the Senate, as reflected in sections 45 and 49 regarding the powers and processes of making laws for the peace, order and good government of Grenada; section 38 also referenced.

That’s why there should be no wonder that the Senate is the Upper House of Parliament, and a higher level of decorum and integrity is expected.

The critical role of the Senate is definitely most needed and relevant when democracy is threatened, as in the unfortunate situation of having all fifteen seats in the House of Representatives being occupied by a single political party and thus having virtually no official Opposition in the Parliament, and that besides, there is usually no independent and conscientious voting by the politically-elected members to the House of Representatives.

Amidst the concerns and complaints by the Grenadian people about the conduct of the first attempted constitutional referendum which has been clouded with controversies, confusions and conspiracies, but be that as it may, it was held on 24 November 2016, the debates then in the Senate on the pertinent bills were not of any substance.

For instructive consideration; the referendum was really an electoral event of voting on seven different Constitution Amendment Bills, in which one of such bills was for the establishing of the CCJ as the final appellate court for Grenada, but all of them failed to receive the requisite percentage of the yes votes for assent.

The powers-that-be and the campaigners of the first referendum have shown vehement ridicule to and rejection of the sentiments and statements of the people on the approach for the referendum.

However, after their disappointment and disgust against the failure of particularly the 2016 CCJ Bill, the powers-that-be and the campaigners are now trying to caress the people for a yes vote on the bill, by confessing that the first referendum was indeed complex with various issues and proposals, and that they are committed this time to concentrate on a single simple bill.

This single and simple bill, within a concealed or mysterious ‘executive agenda’, is the CCJ Bill.

Despite whatever concessions which are made towards the expressed piece-meal reforming of the constitution, many disturbing questions still remain and a lot leaves to be desired about the ‘intent and strategy’ for this second referendum, especially coming this soon after the first.

Review the previously internet-circulated article, “Grenada Constitution Reform: Referendum In Question” to appreciate some offensive experiences of the past.

On 15 May 2018, a new CCJ Bill, drafted without consultation with the people, was first tabled in the House of Representatives and according to the constitution in section 39, a ninety-day period must elapse before debate can begin on the bill.

Although a White Paper on the 2018 CCJ Bill has not been circulated in the public domain for familiarity and input, any appropriate views and suggestions from the people should form part of the parliamentary debates and be incorporated as any meaningful amendments to the bill before taking it to the referendum.

The objectivity and meaning of the debates must be realised by the Senate, especially by the so-called independent Senators of special interest groups representing the private sector, farmers and labour unions.

With reference to the previously internet-circulated article “Caricom CCJ Agreement and Grenada CCJ Bill”, the public education and parliamentary debates must be focused on the Agreement Establishing the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ Agreement) and the Treaty establishing the Caribbean Community (Caricom’s Treaty of Chaguaramas), and on the process and progress of the pertinent institutions such as The Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) and The Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED).

Although it has been said that the primary goal of the private sector is to maximise profits, it also has a corporate responsibility to assist with the socio-economic development of the people.

Therefore, with respect to the CCJ Agreement/Treaty of Chaguaramas, the private sector needs to discuss the CCJ Bill so as to explore the business and economic arrangements which Grenada entered into, and to determine the benefits to be accrued and/or the liabilities to be incurred accordingly.

Both the labour and farming representatives should be forceful in bringing to the fore the plights and cries of the informal or small entrepreneurs, since they also make-up the working class.

The opportunity must be taken to address Grenada’s employment/unemployment statistics, balance of trade and foreign reserves, cost of living and taxation measures, and the competitive markets for the local producers, manufacturers and agro-processors.

These factors must be considered in terms of how applicable and effective are any provisions of Caricom for special treatments, including dispute settlement, between the More Developed Countries (MDCs) like Trinidad and the Less Developed Countries (LDCs) like Grenada.

Indeed, the 2018 CCJ Bill has to be debated in terms of its construct and content, as well as the position and privilege of Grenada within Caricom’s framework, and whether or not Grenada acceding to CCJ’s appellate jurisdiction will affect its current circumstances and relations.

The Senate should call for a thorough report on the amount of cases of ‘unfair trading practices’ which have been brought for redress to the CCJ in its Original Jurisdiction by Grenadians, or for that matter by the Government of Grenada, ever since Grenada has been a payer and signatory to the CCJ Agreement of 2001.

Without this background information, there can be no confidence and no merit in preaching that the CCJ is all about “access to justice”.
Moreover, the quest for regional integration or for the completion of Caribbean Independence cannot be real when there are disparities and disadvantages for some national sovereignties.

External goods are allowed to be dumped freely in Grenada, at the expense of the health and security of its people, and particularly at the expense of the poultry and agro-industry framers.

Why is CCJ not used to address the issue of Grenada’s honey exporters being unable to sell on the Trinidad market? Also, is COTED promoting the demise of Grenada’s concrete-block producers?

As advised in the internet-circulated article “Grenada Constitution Reform: The CCJ Issue”, Grenadians must demand answers to the related concerns on the administration of justice in all its spheres, including the implementation of all of the articles of Caricom’s Revised Treaty, and must be satisfied before they decide favourably for the CCJ in its totality.

At this juncture there is absolutely no harm for the electorate to Vote No for the 2018 CCJ Bill, whilst Grenadians wait and monitor the actions of the other countries on the issue – to do the contrary would be tragic for People Power and National Sovereignty.

Significantly also the Senate needs to debate and demand a review of all of the legal provisions and procedures which are pertinent to the planned constitutional referendum, as highlighted in the previously circulated article “Legislative Reforms Required For Grenada’s Second CCJ Referendum”.

J. K. Roberts

The lawless state!!!

Is Grenada descending into a lawless state?

THE NEW TODAY is forced to ask the above question in light of recent developments in the country especially the rising tide of gun violence with deaths and an upsurge in the illegal drug trade.

The situation is not yet at crisis level but the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) need to be more aggressive in taking charge of the situation and sending a strong and serious message to those “hot spot” areas like Saigon in South St. George.

Our neighbour Trinidad and Tobago did not just get up one morning and realise that violence was on the increase and hoodlums had actually taken over some areas of the country.

The situation in TNT deteriorated over a period of years and is making Port-of-Spain the murder capital in the English-speaking Caribbean after Kingston in Jamaica.

If our police force does not act swiftly, there will soon be another “Saigon” in some other section of the country as the growing youth population have a much different mindset to those of the 70’s and 80’s.

It is this band of youthful members of the society who have replaced the old “dons” and are now the major players in the movement of illegal drugs in the country like ganja and cocaine and the guns that are now causing a major problem for RGPF.

The police need to be more pro-active in addressing this plague and menace in the society which if not turned back can have negative impact on the vital tourism industry.

As far as THE NEW TODAY is concerned the Police Force dropped the ball badly and did nothing to prevent the incident in Saigon in which Kendall Smith was chopped and killed by a group of six persons.

This murder could have been avoided if the police had taken some kind of action as they had full knowledge of the situation which existed in Saigon.
Smith had visited South St. George Police Station and informed the officers at the station that he was fearful for his life after a chopping incident in which he inflicted some wounds to one named with “Timmy”.

What did the police do with this information provided by the slain man? Is there a policy within RGPF on how such situation should be handled?

Who is in charge of South St. George Police station – and what course of action was suggested in light of Smith’s complaint?

If a prominent family member in the country living in the likes of Lance Aux Epines, Fort Jeudy and Westerhall Point was faced with a similar situation, would RGPF had acted the same way?

The signs of in-action by the police force in grappling with the situation was further compounded by the holding of an all-night street party in Saigon on Wednesday night, leading into Thursday morning which was the Corpus Christi holiday.

Why would the police allow such an activity to take place in “Saigon” so soon after the two chopping incidents in which one ended tragically in the death of Smith?

Who gave permission for these elements in this “hot spot” area of the country to hold the block party so soon after the tragic events?

Did those who control the “business” in Saigon take on their own without police permission to stage this all-night activity?

Is there a law in the country on the hours for the sale of alcohol and the likes?

However, much more important is the question – why Saigon was not “locked down” by the police in light of the recent violent activities in the place?

This state of lawlessness is being compounded by the actions of some politicians in the country to by-pass the actions of the Physical Planning Unit (PPU) to enforce law and order in some places.

THE NEW TODAY has picked up information of two recent incidents in one of the constituencies in the Parish of St. George in which the Grenada Ports Authority and the PPU were prevented from doing some specific activities.

It is alleged that residents in the area who are mainly supporters of the “Green Machine” made telephone calls to a particular high up who instructed them to do what they are doing and forget those who were trying to interfere with them.

This is the state of play in Grenada today – the makers of law in Parliament are encouraging their supporters to break the law.

Is it any wonder that the country is on a slippery slope and fast descending into a lawless state?

Top Cop to Pay $98, 000 in Damages

The Court of Appeal has maintained a High Court ruling against Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Michael Francios, who was ordered to pay a sum of $98, 000 to Ryan Richards following a motor vehicle accident almost a decade ago.

ACP Michael Francois – lost his appeal in the road accident case

The 34-year-old man was struck by a motor vehicle on January 18, 2008, driven by ACP Francios, as he alighted from his omnibus, which was parked on the right side of the Westerhall/Petite Bacaye main road.

Female high court judge, Justice Madam Justice Margaret Mohammed ordered the top cop to pay the money for pain and suffering to the victim as well as in general damages and loss of amenities.

ACP Francios was at the time of the accident a Superintendent of Police and the person in charge of the Traffic Department of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF),

THE NEW TODAY understands that Richards, who worked as a Bus Driver plying the St. George’s/St. David/Grenville route, was struck by the vehicle as he attempted to cross over to the left side of the road to purchase barbeque.

He sustained injuries to his left arm, leg and shoulders and was hospitalised for 14 weeks before being discharged.

Doctors concluded that Richards will suffer permanent scars to those parts of his body that sustained injuries and that he would not be able to run again or lift loads heavier than 30 pounds.

He took legal action against ACP Francios to recover damages for personal injuries resulting from the alleged negligence of the high-ranking police officer on the grounds that he was driving fast and failed to exercise due care and attention on the road.

ACP Francios denied negligence on his part contending that it was Richards who was negligent by attempting to cross the road at a time when it was not safe to do so.

On November 7, 2013, Justice Mohammed, in a written judgment found that there was indeed negligence on the part of ACP Francois and that he had breached his duty of care to drive at a speed that was safe in the circumstances and to manage his vehicle so as to avoid the collision.

The female judge found that ACP Francios was driving in excess of the speed limit of 30-35 miles per hour, was speeding at the time of the accident and also concluded that Richards too should have exercised greater care in crossing the road as he would have seen the approaching vehicle.

Justice Mohammed held that the victim should also bear some responsibility for the accident since his actions amounted to recklessly descending from his bus in almost the middle of the road.

The female judge ruled that both Richards and ACP Francios contributed to the accident and are both liable for it.

She made an award of $862.90 to the victim for special damages, general damages of $80, 000 for pain and suffering and $60, 000 for loss of amenities.

She ordered the senior police officer to pay 70% of the amounts as awarded by the court.

Dissatisfied with the decision, ACP Francios appealed in December 2013, on grounds that the trial judge erred in finding that the accident was caused by his negligence and that she erred in the apportionment of liability.

Richards cross appealed against the decision of the trial judge, contending that Francios should be held 100% liable for the accident and that the award for general damages should be increased.

Both appeals were dismissed by Justices of Appeal, Mde. Louise Esther Blenman, Mario Michel, Mde. Gertel Thom, last week Friday (June 1), as they upheld the High Court ruling.

ACP Francois was represented by Attorney-at-law, Alban John while Richard’s interest was looked after by Attorneys Cathisha Williams and Hazel Hopkin from the Law Firm of Derrick Sylvester & Associates on Lucas Street, St. George.

Protect Your Children!

“Janet, come here!” called her mother. “Go by Uncle X and tell him to lend me his hoe.” Eight year old Janet ran off to Uncle X. Does Mother really know if Uncle X can be trusted? Maybe or maybe not.

Uncle X appears to be a very pleasant man. He offers Janet sweets, gives her money, and at times invites her to sit and watch TV or play online games at his house. Janet is from a poor family so she is happy to accept Uncle X’s offers and invitations.

Her Mom does not object because X is Janet’s uncle. Of course, not all relatives or others who do kind deeds to children are child molesters. Some really love children and look out for their welfare.

However, others do kind deeds to take advantage of children and sexually molest them, telling the children to keep silent. Often, persons who molest children are those whom the parents, guardians, and children trust.

Hence, parents/guardians, whether from the lower, middle, or upper class in society, need to MAKE SURE that they know what is going on in their children’s lives. They must train them to say a firm “NO” and run from anyone who tries to lure them into sexual activity.

Proverbs 22:6. Tell them they must not accept bribes to keep silent. They must tell on anyone who tries to hurt them sexually or otherwise, thus making parents/guardians joyful as they stand for what is right.

Proverbs23:15, 16. Children are gifts from the Almighty God. Psalm 127: 3. Parents and guardians, PROTECT, PROTECT, PROTECT YOUR CHILDREN!

Kenneth Kayman

Problems with Intra-Regional Travel feature at CDB Meeting

The thorny issue of air transportation in the region was featured highly at the 48th annual Board of Directors meeting of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) held in Grenada last week.

Prime Minister Dr. Mitchell repeats calls for LIAT to operate as a business

Addressing the opening ceremony last Wednesday at the Grenada Trade Centre, host Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell made another call for the boiling issue of regional air travel to be addressed by the Governors and for there to be a reduction in cost of travel throughout the region.

“I have long advocated that we urgently need to reduce the cost of intra-regional air travel. I echo my call made at various Heads of Government Conferences that the Heads should collectively agree to reduce the airline ticket taxes, and some other fees which attach to intra-regional air travel”, he told the gathering.

According to Dr. Mitchell, if this is done it can represent “a significant installment to the regional integration account, while facilitating enhanced freedom of movement of goods, services and people”.

Over the years, the issue of regional transportation has been a hotly debated issue with the trading of words between the Grenadian Prime Minister and his Vincentian counterpart, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves.

St. Vincent is a major shareholder of the island hopping regional carrier, Liat while Grenada is not a financial contributor.

Dr. Gonsalves has consistently called on Grenada to stop talking and to put up money to help finance the cash-strapped airline with PM Mitchell hitting back with a promise to donate cash if there is improvement in the service provided to Grenadians by Liat.

Dr. Mitchell reiterated before the CDB Governors the need for Liat, the premier airline in the region to start operating as a business.

“I continue to strongly advance that the region’s major air travel carrier must be made to operate as an efficient and sustainable business. I, therefore, look forward to the recommendations from CDB’s thematic study on improving connectivity and competitiveness in the regional aviation industry, which will be presented this afternoon”,
he said.

“I also look forward to the Bank’s forthcoming research on regional transportation, which will focus on enhancing the policy and operational frameworks for marine and road transport,” he added.

The issue of regional transportation was also addressed by the President of CDB, Dr. Warren Smith, who stated that between the period 2003 and 2016, the number of annual roundtrip journeys by Eastern Caribbean residents to the United States rose by more than 200% to 250,000 while Caribbean-originating roundtrips to the Eastern Caribbean fell by 30% to 420,000.

Dr. Warren Smith – answers can come from the CDB study on Regional Travel

Based on a study funded by the CDB, Dr. Smith attributed the increasing trek by Caribbean people to the U.S on the high cost of tickets and the number of taxes a traveller has to incur when flying to another island.

He said: “The Eastern Caribbean’s air transportation connectivity problems stem from operational inefficiencies within the principal air carrier and issues in the business environment within which that carrier operates – high and regressive taxes and airport-related charges lead to an escalation in the cost of travel and a reduction in the number of passengers travelling between the islands, regulations relating to security, border control, and other issues militate against the seamless and expeditious movement of connecting passengers to out-bound flights, and the arrangements for funding the principal air carrier, its governance framework and the industrial relations environment add to the difficulties”.

The President warned that there is no sound justification for the regional airline industry remaining in the situation that it is currently in and noted that its survivability is currently threatened as nothing is being done to rectify the issues.

Dr Smith recalled that in July 2017, the Heads of Government of CARICOM “agreed that the incidence and impact of taxation on air transport in the region should be properly studied and proposals made on financially viable changes to taxation to make regional air travel more affordable without hurting government revenues”.

“At CDB, we are satisfied that resolution of the issue of high and regressive taxation on air travel within CARICOM without loss of revenue to regional governments is a vital part of the resolution of the regional aviation crisis in the Eastern Caribbean.

“The CDB study confirms that air travel within the Eastern Caribbean is price elastic. It also concludes that reductions in both taxes and airport charges would lead to sizeable growth in arrivals in virtually all countries,” he said.

“Lowering taxes, liberalising the regional market and making changes to the increase airport efficiency could lead to a 60% jump in intra-regional visitor numbers by 2023.

“Strengthening connectivity of the regional airlines and lowering fares via reduced taxes are two key options for a smart regional transportation sector.

These measures promise improvements in the resilience and efficiency of the transportation network, with downstream enhancements in overall economic resilience…”.

Dr. Smith assured Governors that CDB will continue to work with stakeholder governments to accelerate implementation of reforms needed to create a sustainable and resilient inter-island transport system.

Man Charged With Murder For Killing “The “Don”

Law enforcement officers have charged a 33-year-old man for the May 20 shooting to death of ex-police officer, Cainisaac Edwards, considered as a political heavyweight in Telescope, St. Andrew.

Steven Croney – charged by police for the murder of ruling party political activist Cainisaac Edwards, who some refer to as a “Community Leader”

The arrest of Steven Croney, comes after approximately 2 weeks of intensive police investigations into the slaying of Edwards, who is known to be a close associate of Member of Parliament for St. Andrew South-east, Education Minister, Emmalin Pierre.

The victim was shot dead by a lone gunman dressed in a white overall suit, who then fled the scene on foot through some nearby bushes close to ‘Mega Shop’ in Telescope.

THE NEW TODAY understands that the 33-year-old Plumber was apprehended by police on Tuesday at his home at Telescope.

Scores of onlookers flocked the precincts of the Grenville Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday morning to get a glimpse of the murder accused as he made his first appearance before Magistrate Nevlyn John, who read out the indictable charge to him.

Croney was represented by Attorney-at-Law Andre Thomas from Franco Chambers.

Senior Crown Counsel, Howard Pinnock, who is prosecuting the high-profile murder case, said that the firearm used to execute the crime is still at large.

Pinnock informed the court that he has a list of 22 witnesses to support the murder charge laid against the 33-year-old man.

Edwards who is referred to in some quarters as a “Community Leader” in Telescope has been on the police radar for some time now as a major player in the illegal drug business on the island.

Speaking with reporters outside the court, Pinnock commended officers attached to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF), led by Inspector Ryan Hall, whom he said did a very good job to find Edwards’ alleged killer.

Some of the Edwards relatives were seen weeping outside the court as the man charged for his death was being escorted from the brief hearing to the waiting police vehicle surrounded by heavily armed police officers, who were clad in their uniforms and wore bullet proof vests.

“He killed a whole man and ‘allu’ protecting him,” some persons were heard shouting as the murder accused was being escorted away by policemen.
Others were heard saying Croney will “not make a week” up at the Richmond Hill Prison where Magistrate John ordered him to be kept on remand.

“They go kill him up dey…just now you hearing he dead up they”, a man was heard shouting.

The mother and some other relatives of the murder accused, who were present in court, appeared very emotional and with eyes full of tears during the course of the proceedings.

One relative of Croney fainted and fell to the ground as he emerged from the court room in handcuffs and surrounded by a party of police officers.
Minutes earlier, a worried looking Croney, clad in a blue, white and red checkered designer dress shirt and Khaki pants, was led into the court room where he soon engaged in a conversation with Attorney Thomas.

The defence lawyer declined an offer to speak with reporters who approached him as he exited the court room on conclusion of the first hearing.

The Preliminary Inquiry into the murder charge against Croney is expected to commence when the matter comes back up for hearing on June 25.

Well-placed source told THE NEW TODAY that Edwards was undoubtedly a key political figure in Telescope for the ruling New National Party (NNP) as he was seen as one able to deliver “blocks of voters”.

The executed man once served as a Police Prosecutor at the Magistrate level, until he was sacked from the police force amidst reports of many shady dealings.

A police insider told this newspaper that at the time of his death, the self-styled “Community Leader” had just came out of a birthday party with his girlfriend and was making his way to a vehicle when he was called out by another man whom he was very familiar with.

As Edwards was speaking with the individual, an assassin emerged from the shadows and shot him at close range before running off into the dark.

The first significant lead the police had about the killing related to reports that the “Telescope Don” had been engaged days earlier in a serious conflict with an individual in the village over a sex related matter.

When he was gunned down, Edwards is said to have had a number of pending court matters brought against him by the police in the Grenville Magistrate’s Court.