Fingers pointed at opposition Senator Ron Redhead

Opposition Senator, Ron Redhead, who was absent from the sitting of the Lower House of Representatives last Thursday, was lambasted for what was described as “unfounded” and “reckless” claims by him of there being unclean water in the community of Mt. Rich, St. Patrick.

Leader of Government Business in the Senate – Simon Stiell

Sen. Redhead who is a member of the opposition Congress party, made his claim in the previous sitting of the Senate in which he showed a bottle of water with the questionable content.

“I have here some liquid in a bottle. This is water from the Mt Rich dam in St. Patrick. A few of its residence asked me to raise this as a concern, and I believe it should form as our basis as we go forward with the issue Mr President, of access to clean drinking water”, Sen. Redhead told the Senate session.

According to the opposition member, some of the residents in the Mt. Rich community complained of the water having an “unpleasant scent and taste” and has caused “constipation and diarrhea” after consumption.

“Now this is a grave concern, I believe Mr. President, that the Ministry of Health and the line ministry in conjunction certainly with NAWASA should look into this, and I want to raise this as a big issue because I think Mr. President, access to clean drinking water in our communities must be a right. And rural communities, as you know, have issues with sanitation that sort of thing and we must all try and play our part in ensuring Mr. President that they have access to clean drinking water,” he said.

Leader of the Government Business in the Senate, Simon Stiell expressed his disappointment in the Senator for the claims he made, as investigations conducted by the National Water and Sewerage Authority (NAWASA) showed no evidence.

“I contacted NAWASA, the General Manager, and a thorough investigation was initiated. Engineers, teams were sent out to the region, looked at all of the equipment in nearest pumping stations, the water supply to those communities, water qualities were tested throughout the area, equipment was checked and there was no evidence…no evidence of any form of contamination to that water.

They went into the communities, they went to households, they interviewed persons, spoke to local residents, tested water on residents properties and again Mr. President, no evidence…not even any complaints in their investigations,” Senator Stiell said.

The senior government minister also took issue with Sen. Redhead’s assertion of “foul smelling water”, and “bad tasting water, water that was causing everything from constipation to Diarrhea”.

“How you can have those two extremes? I am no medical expert but that kind of seems a little extraordinary to be that the sickness that was being inflicted on those communities. We also had the theatrics of Senator Redhead bringing a bottle of water that looked pretty clear and clean to me, Mr President, that the theatrics of presenting a water bottle and lecturing us on the fact that access to clean drinking water is a human right, as if this government, this administration was failing its people in supplying clean safe drinking water to its people and that we were failing to do what we had to do,” Sen. Stiell said.

Sen. Ron Redhead – put under the ‘sword’ by government Senators

The government minister told Senate President, Chester Humphrey that based on the investigation that were carried out, the claims made by Sen. Redhead are unfounded and he should be cautioned for his utterances.

“If it turns out that these claims are actually unfounded and unrelated, then I would wish to caution through you, Mr President, the Senator, for the recklessness of those statements, the immaturity of those statements, not taking into account the true welfare of the people, trying to create some mass hysteria, for what, for what, Mr. President, for politics, for politics sake? You’re going to stand on the floor of the parliament of the people to make unfounded, wild allegations that do not only speak to the people of Grenada, but it also speaks to these  statements, what we say in this house is broadcasted internationally. What impact does that have on our tourists, visitors to our island, their confidence in the public services that are provided, the economic considerations.

“…Mr. President, these statements are wild and unfounded and through you, the Senator needs to be cautioned. He cannot use this parliament, this senate, this chamber as a platform for fake news and for cheap, cheap politics.

Sen. Stiell stated that NAWASA is now awaiting the names of the complainants from Sen. Redhead to conclude their investigations.

“NAWASA has written directly to Sen. Redhead to ask him to provide the names of the persons who claim to have a combination of diarrhea and constipation to identify those persons so that we investigate further. The only possibility that’s currently outstanding – and Sen. Redhead has that responsibility to identify those persons – is that there could be contamination on those residents’ property, not through the fault of NAWASA in terms of where the water is fed to the property, but whether there is something peculiar, whether water storage, whether there is something on the premises, within the homes of these individuals that could have caused this problem and if that is the case, that is not the fault of NAWASA,” he said.

Minister in the Ministry of Climate Resilience with responsibility of Disaster Management and Information, Sen. Winston Garraway called for Sen. Redhead to retract the statements made by him at the then sitting.

“I do trust that he would be man enough to retract those statements and of course apologise – retract and apologise to the nation. We travel quite a lot around the world in climate change fora and to listen to the international community commending Grenada for all the services that we provided and to have someone trying to hurt our face, hurt our noses, for what, politics? We have to mature, grow beyond this, we have a country, a nation to build and every time we hit those low jabs to try to score political points, it hurts us, we have to do better; we must do better,” Sen. Garraway said.

Grenada to Debut Culinary Team at Taste of the Caribbean Competition

Amidst cheers in a room filled with budding chefs and bartenders, the Grenada Hotel & Tourism Association (GHTA) announced the team of culinary experts selected to represent the three-island nation of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique at the prestigious ‘Taste of the Caribbean’ competition from June 21-25, 2019 in Miami.

The 2019 Pure Grenada National Culinary Team

“This is a proud moment for all the members of the GHTA and the island of Grenada,” commented Jerry Rappaport, GHTA president.

“The team is thrilled to be representing the destination on the international stage and is eager to show the world the depth of talent here on the island”, he said.

Sponsored by GHTA, Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) and other private sector entities, the delegation, led by team manager, Chef Belinda Bishop will join 11 other Caribbean teams in various competitions and will also showcase innovative cuisine inspired by the destination’s rich culinary traditions during the Caribbean 305 cooking showcase on June 22, which is open to the public.

Members of the six-member delegation include senior chefs Josh D. Buckmire of Silversands Grenada and Kellon Maximay, Sandals Grenada; bartender Antonio J. Bayne, Mount Cinnamon; Pastry Chef, Nelcia Joseph-Mapson, Silversands Grenada and junior chefs Samesha Dominique and Shemar Clarke, T.A. Marryshow Community College.

“Pure Grenada is known as the Spice of the Caribbean, and it’s our goal to highlight and bring awareness to the amazing culinary offerings and the tremendous creativity in the world of gastronomy available on the island,” noted GTA CEO, Patricia Maher.

“It’s been 11 years since a team from Grenada last competed in the competition and we are delighted to once again be part of this stellar event”, she said.

From now until June 12, Chef Belinda will work with the team on a strict schedule that will include practice dinners and culinary showcases as they prepare for the ‘Taste of the Caribbean’ competition.

Chef Belinda Bishop is highly respected within the industry, having cooked for celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and former US President Bill Clinton, in her role as Chef de partie at the iconic five star Plaza Hotel in New York City.

Since relocating to Grenada, she has been an advocate for sustainable culinary practices, and spearheads Grenada’s annual food and beverage festival – Flavours of Grenada to be held May 20-27, 2019.

Since 1993, ‘Taste of the Caribbean’ has been the Caribbean’s leading culinary competition.

Held annually under the auspices of the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (GHTA), the four-day event showcases the best chefs and bartenders from around the region.

Aptly described as an avenue ‘to provide education and inspiration through tastings and demonstrations,’ Taste of the Caribbean also offers participants an opportunity to receive expert advice from culinary connoisseurs, all on hand to help build the region’s food and beverage industry.

CCJ reserves ruling on David Bain matter

The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has reserved a decision in its Original Jurisdiction, concerning preliminary issues arising in the case brought against Trinidad and Tobago by David Bain of Concord, St. John.

Attorney-at-Law Ruggles Ferguson, is heading the legal team on the David Bain matter

The matter, which was heard by five Court of Appeal judges via video conferencing from the St. George’s High Court, arose after the Grenadian national, who is also a United States citizen, was denied entry into the twin-island republic in December 2017.

Bain, who was at the time traveling to the neighbouring island to attend a wedding, retained the services of Attorney-at-Law Ruggles Ferguson to seek legal redress at the level of the CCJ.

He became the first Grenadian to be granted leave to commence proceedings in the Original Jurisdiction of the CCJ in November 2018.

Bain is seeking a declaration and damages for an alleged breach of his right to freedom of movement within CARICOM as guaranteed by Articles 45 & 46 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas (“the Revised Treaty”), following his denial of entry into Trinidad & Tobago on December 14, 2017 on board a LIAT flight from Grenada.

In an exclusive interview with THE NEW TODAY following Tuesday’s video conferencing, Attorney Ferguson noted that his client “went down there (Trinidad) on the late flight and arrived sometime after midnight and was sent back the following morning on the 5.45 a.m flight.”

According to the attorney, Bain was denied entry into the twin island republic because “of allegations that he was convicted of drug offences in the United States, which he denied…”.

“So, they sent him back…but they raised the issue that he is not a person entitled to freedom of movement stipulated (in the Treaty of Chaguaramas) because at the material time when he entered Trinidad, he was travelling on a US passport”, he said.

“Apart from everything during the period of questioning, he told them that he was a Grenadian national…and he produced his national identification card and driver’s license, which both showed that his place of birth was Grenada,” he added.

However, the authorities in Trinidad & Tobago contended that at the material time, Bain was not entitled to the privileges and protections afforded CARICOM nationals under the Revised Treaty, since he was travelling on a United States passport and presented, upon entry, a completed immigration form acknowledging United States citizenship.

When the matter came up for case management in February, CARICOM was asked to address, in its written submissions, the status of the Caribbean Community Travel Treaty (CARIPASS) and the appropriate travel documentation to be presented by Caribbean Community nationals to immigration/border control in member states for the purposes of invoking the right to freedom of movement.

The issues to be decided upon are:

(1). Whether Bain waived his rights to be treated as a Caribbean Community national by the immigration authorities of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago on his presentation of a completed immigration form acknowledging citizenship of the United States of America along with a valid United States of America passport and thereby invoking citizenship of the United States of America;

(2). Whether it would make a difference in the establishment of any such waiver if Bain’s disclosure of his Grenadian citizenship occurred before or after the decision was made by the immigration authorities to deny Bain entry into Trinidad & Tobago.

(3). Whether the presentation by Bain of his Grenada National Identification Card and his Driver’s Licence was sufficient to conclusively determine his Grenadian citizenship and thereby entitle him to be treated by the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago as a national of a Caribbean Community member state.

Presiding over Tuesday’s video conferencing were Justices Adrian Saunders, Jacob Wit, David Hayton, Nancy Anderson and Andrew Burgess.

Bain was represented by Ruggles Ferguson, Sabina Gibbs and Anyika Johnson-Cassone of Ciboney Chambers; and Trinidad & Tobago by attorneys Rishi P.A. Dass, Sasha Sukhram and Sean Julien.

If the CCJ rules on any of the preliminary issues in a manner favourable to Bain, the matter will proceed to a full trial to determine whether his right to freedom of movement within CARICOM was breached and, if so, his entitlement to damages.

An adverse ruling to Bain on all the preliminary issues will bring an end to the matter.

The preliminary issues identified are being ventilated for the first time since the establishment of the court in April 2005.

No figures were provided

The Ministry of Social Development, headed by Delma Thomas has not been able to provide specific numbers of how many persons on the government welfare programme have been able to exit as a result of improvement in their means.

Delma Thomas – in charge of the Ministry of Social Development

Responding to a question on the issue, the female government minister said that beneficiaries under the various programmes cannot be removed upon request, even if their financial situation changes but that some beneficiaries have requested to be taken of the list.

The Support for Education, Empowerment and Development Programme, known as SEED, functions under criteria set by the Washington-based World Bank.

Eligibility is determined based on monthly income of less than two hundred dollars, ownership of any income generating establishments, or whether applicants have access to necessities such as electricity and running water.

The current data from the Ministry of Social Development shows that just over 5000 children and about 3000 elderly persons are receiving this monthly financial support.

Last year, the Keith Mitchell-led government spent almost $15.5-million to provide support to 6100 households.

Speaking to reporters at a post-Cabinet press briefing, Minister Thomas said the Grenada economy continues to grow and people have been finding jobs but offered no figures to support this claim and could not say how many of the 8, 494 persons no longer need welfare support.

“People are exiting the programme. People are finding jobs and coming to us to ask to be removed from the list because they have a job,” she remarked.

However, the minister pointed out that this cannot happen unless the official assessment, under the World Bank criteria, deems them ineligible to remain on the list.

Beneficiaries of the monthly financial support are determined through what is known as a proxy means tests and it is through this assessment that one can also officially exit the welfare programme, which government refers to as a social safety net, Minister Thomas said.

SEED was launched in 2012, replacing the School Transportation Allowance, the Necessitous Fund and the Public Assistance Program.

Eating Eggs!!!

Eggs are one of the most commonly consumed animal products in Grenada.

It is a great source of protein and contains vitamins and minerals like vitamins A, B-2, B-12, B-5, D and E, folic acid, iodine and phosphorus. An average size egg provides about 6 grams of protein.

Your body uses protein to build and repair muscles, provide energy, promote growth and development in children and create enzymes and hormones. The amount of protein in eggs might help keep you feeling full longer, which means you’ll snack less, reducing your overall caloric intake.

Eggs contain vitamins and minerals that are needed for the regular functioning of cells, including the brain, nervous system, memory and metabolism. Vitamin A found in significant amounts and B-12 in minute amounts in eggs are essential for a healthy immune system. A strong immune system helps you better fight diseases and viruses and helps you feel and look better.

Eggs form part of a healthy diet but it is also one of the foods more prone to bacteria if not properly stored or cooked. Avoid eating raw or under-cooked eggs and do not use an egg if the shell is cracked.

Eggs should be properly cooked until the yolks are firm. It is recommended that eggs be stored in the refrigerator because if left at room temperature, they can sweat, making it easier for bacteria to grow.

Eggs can be prepared in many ways; frying, hard-boiling, poaching, scrambling, and baking; made into omelets, pancakes or quiche. It’s quite simple to incorporate into your diet as a great breakfast, lunch or snack option.

(Submitted by the Grenada Food & Nutrition Council)

Repair work at Chinese housing project

A Chinese construction company has begun fixing structural problems at homes in the Mt Gay Housing Development.

The team, from Beijing Construction Company, arrived on site last week and they are expected to spend about one month dealing with the severe problems that have, in some cases, affected the quality of life of home occupants.

The government of China built and donated the homes to the people of Grenada, several years ago, with sites at Mt Gay and Frequente in St George’s and Soubise in St Andrew.

For years the residents at all three sites have been plagued by problems arising from poor construction and improper sewer systems.

Some of the more serious problems at the Mt Gay site include cracking walls and major plumbing leaks.

Chinese representatives have said they will attempt to fix all the problems and this week the National Water and Sewerage Authority (NAWASA) was scheduled to come in with special testing equipment to identify broken pipes so that repairs can be undertaken.

The Soubise residents are also facing plumbing issues as pipes contained within walls have been breaking, resulting in the constant flow of water through the porous walls.

According to an official of the Chinese Embassy in St George’s, the type of material used for the walls is meant to be used in areas of Northern China where it hardly rains.

This has proved unsuitable for Grenada which has an official rainy season. So far, the small team of Chinese workers have been engaged in less critical work, such as scraping of interior walls and reapplying wall treatments.

Rusted railings on upper floors are also expected to get attention as some are close to breaking, which could result in catastrophic events for residents at the apartment units.

The housing developments contain three types of homes, including townhouses and duplex units, with about three hundred units at the Mt Gay site.

The problems began occurring shortly after the Mt Gay facility was settled about five years but the Housing Authority of Grenada, which manages the housing scheme had done nothing to address them.

After reports of the problems were published in this newspaper, the Housing Authority met with residents earlier this year and informed them that the Chinese company had agreed to do repairs.

Building experts have said that to properly refurbish the homes it would cost close to $1-million in material and Labour, money which the HAG cannot afford to spend.

Many of the units have been rented to low-income tenants and many are in arrears.

Currently, other housing schemes are being built in St David, St Mark and Carriacou and a sod-turning ceremony was held Wednesday at Beausejour for more low-income homes.

Minister for Housing Delma Thomas has said the new projects would be better constructed by the Chinese.

Flow promises faster Internet Service for Customers

Under mounting public criticisms for its poor internet service, telecommunications giant, Flow has responded by announcing that it has just spent $15 million to upgrade the system to provide faster internet for its customers.

Commercial Manager, Lincoln Baptiste and Country Manager for FLOW, James Pitt and at press conference

Country Manager, James Pitt and Commercial Manager of Flow, Lincoln Baptiste met with reporters at the Venus Restaurant & Lounge Conference Room on Wall Street in Grand Anse to brief them on the move.

According to Pitt, Flow has an unwavering “commitment” to always provide the best possible platform for customers and recognizes that the benefits of broadband penetration and reliability especially in developing countries are already well documented.

“Telecommunications is a tremendous enabler to many of the technological advancements that we enjoy, that create meaningful moments in our lives. These advancements include changes in our commerce, family sharing moments, entertainment, health care etc,” he said.

“…We have listened to our customers and their demands for faster internet access. Today, we announce another step in delivering on our promises to you our customers, in being always connected to the best network. Our teams have been working all over Grenada, upgrading and expanding our network,” he added.

Baptiste told reporters that the company’s broadband speed has been moved from 15 megabits to 50 megabits per second, which puts Grenada on par with many developing nations.

“All of our customers who are on the HFC internet –they have the white boxes, some of you have the black boxes – are getting turned up today for free. We are moving – our base package on our HFC internet is 15 Megs – that is what it is today. We have moved everyone in Grenada who is on the 15 meg package…from 15 to 50 for free…we are giving this to all of our Flow customers…”, he said.

“…Our customers have complained in the past that our internet speeds were slow in some areas. We invested as the Country Manager said over $15 million in infrastructure to make sure that you are not seeing this problem and then in doing that, we realised that we can now actually make the speeds faster. So, we are now giving it to you, and delivered it to you at no extra cost…this is part of our promise and we will continue to deliver our promise,” he added.

Baptiste announced that existing customers will not be required to pay extra for the upgrade but new customers who are just joining the network will be required to pay more for the service.

He went on: “On the 15 Megs internet that our HFC customers are currently on, that same video would take about 40 seconds (to download). What we are giving you today – 50 Megs – is four times the speed in download. So, that means, you’re talking about around 10 seconds to download something that would have taken you 40 seconds yesterday and again there is no extra cost to you and this is to our Flow customers.

“…We’ve also said … maybe they have a lot of Flow customers who are interested in going out now and making sure they are on our HFC network – you will be able to get it for a short period of time – you will be able to get on and be a Flow customer at the same price that everybody else is getting right now and get the same 50 megs,” he said.

Baptiste also addressed those customers of the company who are currently using the Lime internet technology with its “old infrastructure” who have been left out of the upgrade.

He said that these people will be given a chance to upgrade through free installation, which will come at a $20 difference on their bills.

Flow is also said to be working on plans and packages to deliver speeds of up to 300 megabits per second for existing customers.

BELIZE: The people have spoken, politicians should respect them

As territorial claims go, Guatemala’s claim to all – every square inch – of Belize is, perhaps, the most outrageous.

The only thing that is more outrageous than the scale of the claim is the argument on which it is based.

In this context, it would have been right to expect the Belizean electorate, at a referendum held on May 8, to vote a resounding ‘yes’ to the question: “Do you agree that any legal claim of Guatemala against Belize relating to land and insular territories and to any maritime areas pertaining to these territories should be submitted to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for final settlement and that it determine finally the boundaries of the respective territories and areas of the Parties?”

As it happened, early counts show that 55.38 per cent of the voters gave their consent. At its referendum in April 2018, the majority of the Guatemalan electorate, that turned out to vote, also assented to submitting the territorial issue to the ICJ.

Interestingly, unlike the high voter turn-out, just shy of 65 per cent in Belize, only 26.65 per cent of the electorate in Guatemala showed up for the referendum, although 95.88 per cent of them voted yes. Therefore, there was remarkably little interest by the Guatemalans in an ICJ decision that might quash the claim to Belize. But, a high degree of concern by Belizeans about the possible loss of their country. In the end, the majority of the Belizean voters put their faith in the legality of their cause, and the renowned fairness of the Justices of the ICJ.

The Guatemala territorial claim will now head to The Hague in the Netherlands for a peaceful and legal settlement after decades of threats to the territorial integrity and security of Belize by successive Guatemala governments and their military.

Indeed, no one born since Belize became independent from Britain in 1981, knows a single day in which their lives have not been overshadowed by the Guatemala claim. The country’s development, despite the threats, has been remarkable, but it tells a story of how much more economically and socially advanced Belize could have been had this unremitting peril not hung over its head like the sword of Damocles.

The ICJ will have to determine the merits of the Guatemalan claim which, basically, is the allegation that is has been dispossessed of the territory, constituting Belize, by British settlement. It also asserts that one clause of an ancient and arcane Treaty, which it signed with Britain in 1859, establishes the rights of its claim. For its part, Britain flatly rejected the Guatemalan argument from the outset.

Beyond the fantasy of rights accorded under one clause of the 1859 Treaty, Judge Stephen M. Schwebel, who was President of the International Court of Justice (1997-2000), has pointed out that: “The title of Great Britain and, since independence, of Belize (over all of Belizean territory), is also sustained by considerations of customary international law. Britain initially acquired title to the territory of Belize by occupation beyond the limits of the Anglo‐Spanish Treaties of 1783 and 1786 as far south as the River Sarstoon prior to the acquisition of independence by Guatemala in 1821.

‘There was thus no basis on which Guatemala could validly invoke the doctrine of uti possidetis juris (a principle of international law which provides that newly formed sovereign states should have the same borders that their preceding dependent area had before their independence) in support of its claim to Belizean territory. Nor has Guatemala ever occupied, possessed or administered any part of the territory of Belize. Its claim is a claim without substance in international law”.

But, this is in the future. Belize and Guatemala now have to seek the consent of the ICJ to hear the case. Much legal work lies ahead of both governments. However, once it starts, the process should move rapidly. The Court’s record of delivering judgements in a timely manner is exemplary.

For now, there are other matters that are pressing, particularly a challenge in the Belizean Court by the opposition People’s United Party (PUP), that a Special Agreement between the governments of Belize and Guatemala is unconstitutional. The Special Agreement sets out the accord between the two governments to settle the claim at the ICJ once referenda in both countries gave consent.

Given the fact that 64.93 per cent of the Belize electorate turned out to vote and that 55.38 per cent of that number voted in favour, the PUP should withdraw its challenge from the local court.

The majority of the Belizean people have spoken and in democracies the will of the majority prevails. Further, there was a vigorous campaign leading to the referendum in which the PUP and others strongly voiced their opposing opinions and positions to the public. Nonetheless, the majority voted to submit the territorial claim to the ICJ. There can be no greater nor more powerful voice than that of the majority in any society.

The PUP should now do the right thing and drop their case. If they proceed with it, nothing more than delays and disruption will be achieved, and few will thank them for it. The business community, foreign and local investors, financial institutions, and clearly the people themselves, want to have finality to the Guatemalan claim so that they can plan their lives and Belize’s future.

There is greater reason for the PUP to accept and respect the voice of the people, because it is the PUP itself that did a great deal of the work to bring Belize and Guatemala to the point where a peaceful and legal settlement can be brought to this long-standing and nationally debilitating issue. National interest must prevail over party politics.

Commenting on the referendum result, the British government summed it up well in saying: “Through, at times, very lively and passionate debate, discussion, and deliberations, Belizeans confirmed that the ICJ route is the best way to resolve differences.”

From around the world, other governments and peoples have welcomed the decision of the Belizean electorate to proceed to the ICJ. If others can respect the will of the Belizean people, then those who fought and lost should also do so.

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

tWRF celebrates Silver Anniversary with BOOK Launch

At the Museum, on Thursday May 9th, 2019, honoured guests and special invitees filled the auditorium in celebration of the launch of a heritage publication titled “The Pride of our Waterfront Heritage – The Renaissance of Urban St. George”, which marked the beginning of a year-long programme to mark the Willie Redhead Foundation’s 25th anniversary.

Invited guests at the book launch

After the invocation by the President, Rev. Mr. Samuel “Tim” Byam, the audience was given a treat by thirteen year old Mkendu DeGale who played the national anthem on pan in the presence of Her Excellency Dame Cecile La Grenade, Governor General of Grenada.

The Welcoming Remarks were given by Vice President, James Finlay, who greeted all present especially Her Excellency, Hon. Peter David, Dr. Angus Friday and Mrs. Roxie McLeish-Hutchinson – Permanent Secretary (Ag.) in the Ministry of Climate Resilience, the Environment, Forestry, Fisheries, Disaster Management and Information.

Dr. Friday, Co-chair of the Blue Innovative Institute, who is tWRF co-ordinating partner presented a report on his involvement with the Foundation.

The feature address was given by Hon. Peter David, Parliamentary Representative for the Town of St. George. As a third time representative of our Capital City, the minister is well acquainted with the objective of the foundation as represented in its mantra – “The Willie Redhead Foundation for the conservation and renewal of the National Heritage of Grenada”.

In this regard the foundation has over the years paid particular attention to the accelerated deterioration of our Capital City, especially after Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and the urgent need for its restoration and enhancement, not only for its intrinsic value and aesthetic charm, but more especially as an economic powerhouse in the Tourism Industry, if it is to become the first Climate Smart City in the Caribbean.

The minister’s speech drew attention to the balance which must be struck in order to satisfy contenting interests for survival in a restrictive environment; this said the need for action by the relevant authorities is long overdue when one contemplates the physical state of York House, the Public Library, the Market Square and Fort George.

tWRF is always ready to lend a helping hand in the pending transformation/renaissance of Urban St. George.

Complimenting copies of the Heritage Publication were presented to those who over the years, have been friends to the Foundation and also to those who have made monetary contributions in the successful implementation of our projects.

All of the above was presided over by Host member, Ms. Jacqueline Lorice Pascal, who did a commendable job, and reminded invitees of the other upcoming events later in the year to which they would be invited, especially the film – “Island in the Sun” when St. George’s was still a pristine city .

(The above reflects the views of the Willie Redhead Foundation)

$175, 000.00 Fines For Drugs

Kimonie Jeremiah – leaving court after being slapped with a huge fine

Chief Magistrate Tamara Gill has imposed stiff fines on two St George’s men from Marian who pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges.

Attorneys for the two defendants, Kimonie Jeremiah and Kiaal Brown, pleaded with the Chief Magistrate Tamara Gill at the sitting in the St. George’s No. 1 Court, not to send their clients to jail and instead to opt to impose fines for Conspiracy to traffic in a controlled drug.

The two were intercepted by a member of the Drug Squad of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) on the western main road last year as they made their way to St George’s with 115 pounds of marijuana in the back of their vehicle.

Jeremiah has been fined $100, 000.00 to be paid within a year and in default serve four years at the Richmond Hill Prison.

Brown was fined $75, 000.00, also to be paid in twelve months, failing which he will be sent to jail for three years.

Attorney Francis Paul, who appeared for Brown, told the court that his client’s involvement in the crime was to a lesser degree, as he was just the driver of the vehicle.

According to the evidence presented, Jeremiah had telephoned Brown to request a ride from Duquesne in St Mark and that he was not aware that he would be transporting drugs until he arrived in the western village and the marijuana was loaded into the vehicle.

Kiaal Brown with his lawyer Francis Paul after he was ordered to pay $75, 000 in one year

The maximum penalty for the crime is seven years in prison along with a fine of half a million dollars or three times the value of the drugs confiscated.

In presenting the evidence, the Prosecutor told the court the marijuana had a retail value of $260, 000.00.

Brown received the lighter sentence because he had no criminal record and his lawyer claimed he was not to benefit directly from the operation and had asked Jeremiah to pay for gas.

Attorney Williams, who represented Jeremiah, told the court that his client “had made a grave error” and had acknowledged it.

He said Jeremiah, a high school drop-out, was unemployed at the time and turned to the illegal activity to make some money.

Had the matter come up for hearing in June, both men would have faced a mandatory jail sentence, under new sentencing guidelines which comes into force next month.

Both men are currently employed in the construction industry with Brown earning $65 daily and Jeremiah, $70.