NDC candidates can form ‘credible, competent’ government

The leader of the main opposition party in Grenada has told WIC News that his party’s “patriotic” general election candidates have the skills to take on the responsibility of government.

The National Democratic Congress – represented in the Senate as the country’s de facto opposition – has finalised its list of 15 constituency caretakers ahead of the upcoming general election.

The ruling New National Party (NNP) of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell has also announced its 15 caretakers.

No date has been fixed for the polls but it is expected that Prime Minister Mitchell will announce a date before year-end.

At present, there are no NDC members in the Lower House of Parliament after the NNP won all 15 seats in the 2013 poll.

Social Development Minister, Delma Charles-Thomas has publicly stated that the ruling party is on the verge of another historic 15-0 victory at the polls but its emphasis is on making sure that all opponents lose their deposits.

According to former Finance Minister, Nazim Burke, leader of NDC, his party has learnt from that defeat.
“We are very proud in the team we have been able to put together. It is no secret that our party suffered a serious blow in the 2013 election.

“Our priority in the immediate aftermath of that election was to rebuild the organisation and to find credible, competent, patriotic Grenadians who were willing to step forward to represent our party and to serve the interests of the people.

“We feel a sense of pride that after some very diligent effort and searching we have found a very desirable mix of individuals with varying skill sets and experience.

“They not only add significant value to our team but are well positioned to assume cabinet positions and run a government.”

The NDC caretaker list is an eclectic blend, including people who have previously served as government ministers.

Sen. Franka Bernardine, standing in St George South East, is a former education minister, while Patrick Simmons, previously sports and youth minister, is caretaker for St Andrew South East.

A number of people have sidestepped into the political arena for the first time, such as St Patrick West caretaker Cecelia Ann John, who leader Burke described as “very experienced in matters pertaining to Social Development”.

Claudette Joseph (Town of St George), an attorney-at-law, and Phillip Alexander (St Andrew North West) were also singled out by Burke as new blood coming through for the party.

WIC News has approached the NNP for a comment on their selection but are yet to receive a reply.

One source, who asked not to be named, said he wasn’t impressed with NNP’s selection.

“They’re struggling to put a team together. Many of the persons who were there recognise that he (Keith Mitchell) may be leaving. There has been a lot of jostling for positions,” he said.

“And in order for the party to survive his exit, he seems to be pulling in people that he believes are likely to be more compliant, and more subservient”, he added.

The source felt that Mitchell’s recent reshuffle was nothing but “posturing” in order to give people some sort of a profile before the election.

The reshuffle saw no new entrants in frontline politics, former secondary school teacher Kate Lewis getting a position as Parliamentary Secretary for Education and female attorney-at-law, Kindra Maturine-Stewart being appointed as Advisor to the Minister of Carriacou & Petite Martinique.

Lewis has been named as Caretaker for St. Andrew North-east as replacement for former Youth Minister Roland Bhola while Maturine-Stewart is taking over from Foreign Affairs Minister Elvin Nimrod on the sister isles.

PANEXPORIA

It is time that we Caribbean people of African descent get to realise that the steel band movement is not just about music, but mainly the significance of a story dating back centuries ago, that has a spiritual linkage with our fore parents who passed on over these years and those of us that are alive today.

You see this story started with the drums on the plantation in different countries of the Western Hemisphere back in the 18th century, then in the 1920’s came the advent of the Bamboo-Tamboo in Trinidad followed by the steel band in the 1930’s, then it spread to the other islands in particularly Grenada.

So, let’s look at the steel band movement in Grenada: now unlike in the past when pan players were branded as people of low esteem, today we have people of all classes playing pan, and with the panorama noted as the pinnacle on the steel band calendar.

It is not bringing home the goodies because the players are complaining that they are not rewarded for the time and effort that are putting into this competition, and making matters worse there was no panorama for carnival 2017 because of a conflict with another show on the same night, leaving thousands of pan players and supporters in Limbo, especially finding a solution to this problem.

So, here I am with a suggestion. Now I am calling this “PANEXPORIA” where instead of having the bands rolling on stage to face the judges for 10 minutes, the alternative will be zoning the bands, where the judges will now have to visit each band in their respective booth.

If this is done then there wouldn’t be need for a stage. The day’s activity should begin at about 10:00 a.m. where you will have an introduction of drumming/dancing, storytelling, selling of Art & Craft.

Note, all these should be highlighted by the young members showcasing what they can do beside playing pan. The “Panorama” should begin at about 10.00 a.m. and run until 4.00 p.m. because I believe that pan music is most enjoyed in the daytime.

After panorama, there should be enough time for a block-o-rama type of session involving the audience until about 8:00 pm all in one making this a day of musical fun and frolic and lasting about 10 hours.

And also, please take note that this should be filmed to show in particular to our brothers and sisters in countries like Brazil that have the highest population of black people outside Africa, totaling about 80 million, followed by the U.S.A about 45 million and our Caribbean about 25 million.

I hope this information could be of use to whoever in an individual capacity, can influence this process, by getting others to join and make things work for the betterment of all of us.

Michael Modeste

October assizes get underway

The October Assizes of the Criminal High Court officially opened on Tuesday with a total of 167 cases listed for adjudication, an increase of 31 cases compared to the May assizes, which had 136 cases.

Sexual offences continue to dominate the cause list, with 62 of the matters listed for trial ranging from incest, sexual assault, rape, defilement of a female, indecent assault and harbouring, among others.

However, the 62 cases of a sexual nature in the October Assizes represent a decrease by one compared to the 63 that were listed in the May assizes.

Rape cases have been attracting a very high level of public concern.

And one case of major public interest involves a former Vice-Principal of a primary school in the south of the island, Devon Francique who is accused of raping a seven-year-old male student of his own school in March 2014.

Other matters of a sexual nature involve Handell Stafford, who is facing two counts of Rape and one count of indecent assault, as well as Desmond Roberts (two counts of Incest), Clinton Williams (one count of Rape), Glenroy Barry (one count of Unlawful Carnal Knowledge and two counts of sexual intercourse).
Mt. Tranquil resident Jamalie Campbell is facing six counts of sexual intercourse and three counts of habouring, while Kimon Ramdeen is facing four counts of sexual intercourse.

The assizes list also comprises a total of 13 Non-Capital Murder cases and 5 cases of Manslaughter.
One matter down for sentencing in the October Assizes, which went through the trial stage during the May Assizes, involves 62-year-old Albert Alexis, who was found guilty of Non-Capital murder in the May 2015 stabbing death of 31-year-old Alston Henry of Mt. Pleasance in St. Andrew.

Other Non-Capital Murder on the October Assizes list involves Dave Benjamin for the January 2016 death of United States Citizen, Jessica Colker, and Akim Frank for the December 2015 death of Canadian professor at St. George’s University, Linnea Veinotte.

Mardi Gras resident Demlyn Murray will also make an appearance in the assizes for the March 2016 death of his 15-year-old niece-in-law, Britney Baptiste.

The assizes list comprises other matters ranging from stealing by reason of employment, defrauding, robbery with violence, arson, assault, possession and trafficking of a controlled drug, possession of firearm and ammunition, grievous and dangerous harm, death by dangerous driving, kidnapping, and arson, among others.

The opening ceremony was presided over by Guyanese-born female Judge, Madam Justice Paula Gilford at the No. 2 High Court in St. George’s.

Matters on the cause list in the September Assizes would be dispensed between Justice Gilford and Trinidadian-born Judge, Justice Shiraf Aziz who presides over the No. 5 High Court in St. George’s.

Sealey: ‘I offer myself’

On the 24thAugust 2017 the nation was pleasantly informed by newcomer and now caretaker for St. Andrew North East on an NNP ticket, Kate Lewis that she offered herself to be caretaker and possible candidate for that constituency. That news broke on GBN television News that night.

It was confirmed by Minister Bhola in a quote in the New Today edition on 25th August 2017 page 11, when he was quoted as saying “we are excited that Kate has come forward”.

That led me as a thinker and opposition to start thinking. I am Derick Sealey, founder of the Grenada Christian Political Party. I started to think that things are really not well in the NNP camp and that’s bad for the country. A party that’s long standing and well established and boast of being the best. It should have its election engine well-oiled and running but instead I am seeing retardness, paralysis and turmoil in that party.

Where sin is present the author of confusion is present also, that’s the devil. NNP Party is run by practicing sinners. We just had the Terry Forrester fiasco and unmasking of the mask man. So there is a mask man in NNP. Mask man and bandits go hand in hand.

Confusion in the NNP camp. Is the divisive spirits of those that left NDC transferred to NNP? Spirits are transferable you know. Now we have a person putting forward themselves to be a caretaker to represent NNP in her constituency and is accepted? Is that how the NNP democracy work? Terry might have more to say.

I see the possibility for more confusion in the NNP camp but that’s left up to the people of that branch. That NNP constituency seems like it is still bleeding after that planass it got.

Unfortunately though, there will be no healing brought to that constituency by this new caretaker. I don’t know the young woman and would think that her plans, goals and aspirations for her people will be good. But isn’t that the way they all start off in these sin practicing political parties with vindictive, dictators as their leaders?

Then it all becomes about the big salary and self-development materially at the expense of the people. I hope she is not a born again Christian who has gone and become equally yoked together with practicing sinners.

It would be a shame because I have been bawling, begging and calling for born again Christians to come onboard with me to form GCPP and up to now none have responded. Instead I am hearing all sorts of foolish responses from them such as “I staying far from politics” as if politics is staying far from you today.

Politics is giving you the mark of the Beast today aware or unaware to you. Today they are making the call for all to be onboard with their plans and programs. To not be on board with them will soon have deadly consequences Rev 13:15 and 20:4.

One say, “I ain’t trust that one”. A political party Almighty God is raising up comprising of righteous, Godly and holy men to contest the upcoming elections you ain’t trust. Well it makes me wonder about your Christianity.

Another said to me that “I ain’t leaving no work for Jesus Christ to do when he return”. In other words, leave the country evil and corrupt as it is and don’t address the issues and help to change them for good.

Another one in government tell me God sent him in government. He being in government for so many years and these practicing sinners in government have gotten worst giving the people the mark of the beast, and pushing that evil carnival.

John the Baptist, Jesus the Christ, and the other prophets stood up and told the people to repent.

And in the case of King David, God sent the prophet Nathan to confront David to tell him about his sin. The sent so-called Christian minister is he doing that? If so the nation wants to hear him.

GCPP still calls on all holy, righteous and Godly Christian men and women to rise up and join GCPP and let’s take Grenada for God this upcoming election.

It’s the final opportunity the true Christian have. Senator Ray Roberts is selected by the NDC to be their caretaker in the St. George’s South Constituency. I am sorry for Ray because it’s the same kettle of fish. He also seems to have offered himself to be selected by the NDC to be the caretaker base on his utterances on

“To The Point”, the GBN Television programme the Tuesday after his selection.

Getting himself tied up in a political party of practicing sinners who are pushing carnival and the mark of the beast and selling the souls of the Grenadian people to the Devil just like NNP.

Sen. Roberts was quoted in the New Today Newspaper appealing to Christians to stand up for what is right. Bro. Roberts, GCPP is hearing you loud and clear. Are you hearing us? Are you willing to stand up and fight against the system that is introducing the biometric ID card the mark of the beast here in Grenada just as the Indian Supreme Court ruled against it in India?

It could be said that I now have the Indian Supreme court support indirectly on the matter – men of the highest legal knowledge in India. This is what I have and am still trying to show my people that this is wrong.

Are we going to wait until we can’t buy and sell before we wake up. The mark of the beast along with the return of Sodom are the two last prophecies to be fulfilled before Jesus Christ is revealed to take governance of planet earth from mankind. He will set up his millennium or thousand years reign after these two last prophecies. They are here and the mark of the beast have a period of only seven years to run and is being implemented right now.

We saw on the news a few weeks ago that a company in the US started to microchip its employees. The microchip that was first put into beast. God is so great and his word so true.

On the morning of the 24th August 2017 on GBN TV, BBC News headlines was about the supreme court in India ruling that the Biometric ID card or “the mark of the beast” given to over a billion Indian persons was a violation of the people’s privacy and wrong.

Here in Grenada that Biometric ID Card for National Health Insurance NHI being made compulsory by law to be received from two months and upwards is the same thing, the mark of the beast being pushed by the NNP government and selling the people’s souls to the Devil.

Don’t be fooled fellow Grenadians. This election is not about projects and material advancement etc. This election is more about spiritual things – more than physical things. It’s about your souls.

GCPP wants to make it abundantly clear that this election is about your soul. The Grenada Christian Political Party understands this based on what is written in the Holy Bible – the word of the true and living God.

Based on the fulfillment of the two last major prophecies, Almighty God has called yours truly and assigned him with the mission to form a Christian Political Party to contest the election and winning it to rescue Grenada from the mark of the beast and to prepare his people to meet him by taking government. Only preparation time of mankind to meet God that is left.

Almighty God wants a true Christian government to rule Grenada today and no other. The other politicians from the other political parties, once they stay unrepented and don’t see this truth and assignment are just practicing sinners, expired and rejected by Almighty God to rule Grenada today.

People reject them also because destruction lies with them. They will continue to be agents of the Devil in his mark of the business. Sorry for Ray and Kate but they will become badly contaminated also.

However, GCPP doors are wide open for any politician whose eyes would become opened, repent and converted to become a part of GCPP.

These are the mark of the beast times, politicians and people. Grenada has been a first and a leader of many things in the Caribbean and the world. Let’s be the first again, as coming together as a nation to fight against the mark of the beast.

GCPP is leading the way, directed by the Almighty God. Note this also: I Derick Sealey also will like to offer myself as the God-ordained next Prime Minister of Grenada in this difficult era.

My pay or salary could only be food. For it is written having food and clothing be content and I have clothing, 1 Timothy chap. 6:8.

Please read the service area of the classified section newspaper to contact me.

Derick Sealey
Founder
Grenada Christian Political Party

Republic Bank committed to Right Start Cup Youth Football Tournament

Republic Bank (Gda) Ltd. has once again pledged its commitment towards the development of youth in the area of sports.

GFA General Secretary Ken-Martin Whiteman

For the fourteenth year, the bank is sponsoring the highly anticipated Right Start Cup Youth Football Tournament for secondary schools, which is scheduled to open on September 28 at the Kirani James Athletic and Football Stadium at Queen’s Park.

During the official launch last week Thursday, the bank reaffirmed its continued support to the competition, with this year’s sponsorship to the tune of $80, 000 along with additional cash prizes.

According to Manager of Retail Services – Grenville Cluster Republic Bank (Gda) Ltd., Devon Thornhill, this year the Bank included a cash award for all the zone winners and a cash award for the best team on display at the opening parade.

“So, this is an opportunity for the teams to start preparing their uniforms and sharpening their parading skills and displays,” he said.

“…As we continue to promote the Republic Bank Right Start brand, our mission is to provide and empower you with the right start, be it financially in the field of sport or otherwise”, he added.

Manager of Retail Services – Grenville Cluster Republic Bank (G’da) Ltd., Devon Thornhill

Newly installed Youth and Sports Minister, Anthony Boatswain commended all the stakeholders in the tournament acknowledging that it has produced the current players on the national football team.

Minister Boatswain told the launch that his government is working assiduously towards enhancing some of the sporting facilities on the island.

“We are moving in that direction to ensure that all of our fields whether (it be) primary, secondary or tertiary are upgraded and even more, we are looking at lighting up some of these fields before the end of the year,” he said.

According to General Secretary of the Grenada Football Association (GFA), Ken-Martin Whiteman, the tournament has been yielding success in recent years but noted that continued early preparation is key to making it even more successful.

“When the tournament concludes at the end of November, we have to keep working to prepare for next year’s tournament. We have to be working behind the scene,” he said.

Newly installed Sports Minister Anthony Boatswain

Whiteman is confident that “the improvement in the games would not only be seen at the Right Start Cup but also at all the youth tournaments that Grenada participates in”.

“We just returned from Tampa, Florida with the U-15 Boys who have performed very, very well and from Trinidad with the U-17 girls who have done exceptionally well,” Whiteman told the tournament launch.

The Republic Bank Right Start Tournament, which will run for a duration of 5 weeks, has attracted participation from approximately 600 students drawn from 23 schools on the island, who will compete in three categories – Boys U-20, Boys U-15 and Girls Open.

Joslyn Whiteman in the race!!!

Former High Commissioner to London, Joslyn Whiteman has confirmed that he will be a candidate in the upcoming general election for the constituency of St. David.

Whiteman issued a public statement Tuesday indicating that he will stand in the election in opposition to the incumbent, Economic Development Minister, Oliver Joseph.

The former diplomat had stated weeks ago that the ruling New National Party (NNP) should look for a replacement candidate for Joseph since he (the current Member of Parliament) was not interested in representing the people of the constituency.

According to Whiteman, Joseph had told him in a conversation that he enjoyed being a minister in government but was not happy in the role of MP.

Speculation is rife that the Economic Development Minister is growing weary of the number of persons who are bombarding him on a monthly basis for financial help in the constituency.

Joseph, a former top civil servant, was brought in as a replacement candidate in the constituency for the late Engineer Gabriel Henry who was forced out after police arrested him in a case involving domestic abuse.

The decision by Whiteman to contest the seat in the upcoming poll is further signs of division within the Keith Mitchell-led NNP which has dominated the Grenada political landscape since 1995.

Whiteman served as MP for St. David during the 1999-2003 period when he won the seat running on the NNP ticket.

However, he lost the seat in the following election to the late Michael Denis Lett of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Whiteman’s entry in the race comes against a failed attempt by Prime Minister Mitchell to convince him in a meeting to back outfrom the head-on-battle with Minister Joseph “in the national interest”.

The former MP maintains that a number of pro-NNP supporters are urging him to throw his hat in the race since Joseph has lost their support.

The other major contender for the seat is former civil servant/calypsonian, Adrian “Persuader” Thomas of Congress.

Following is the full text of Whiteman’s statement in which he confirmed that he would be standing in the national poll:

“Following my statement to the media some weeks ago regarding my possible intention to contest the St David seat in the upcoming election, I would like to inform the general public that my party having named the caretaker for the constituency, I have decided to act on the many requests received from St. David to answer their call to represent their interest once again.

It is regrettable to note that the general consensus by the constituents is that they are not at all satisfied with the level of representation of the current representative and will not support him for a second term.

I have discussed my concerns and that of the people of St David at the highest level, and have given notice that if the incumbent was selected to run for a second term, then I would be forced to offer myself as an alternative candidate.

Now that the caretaker has been named, I can confirm that I will indeed be offering myself as an alternative candidate for the constituency of St. David thus giving the constituents the freedom of choice.

I would like to add that my motivation for the decision is wholly based on my deep-rooted sense of responsibility to my parish of birth.

It is certainly not a direct slur against my party with whom I have always and will continue to respect and work together regardless of the election outcome.

Together we will strive to unite St David and return good representation for the benefit of all.

I look forward to working closely with the people of St David.

May our heavenly father guide my efforts in the interest of the people of St David and by extension Grenada.”

$600 doesn’t cut it

A showdown is in the making between the Keith Mitchell-led New National Party (NNP) and two of the island’s three public sector unions on a one-off payment for civil servants.

President of the Public Workers Union (PWU), Rachael Roberts has urged the Mitchell government to come up with something more substantial than the $600.00 one-off payment put on the table for the unions to accept for their members.

TAWU/GTAWU joint negotiating team host press conference

“This is an election year and workers would take matters into their own hands when the time comes…”, Roberts told reporters at a press conference on Monday.

This is a clear warning to the current rulers that government employees might be inclined to vote against the regime in the upcoming poll expected before year-end.

The vast majority of civil servants reportedly voted against the Congress government of then Prime Minister Tillman Thomas in 2013 to help NNP to its 15-0 clean sweep of the polls.

Roberts and other members of the Joint negotiating team made up of representatives of PWU and the Grenada Technical and Allied Workers Union (GTAWU) assembled at the press briefing held at PWU main office in Tanteen.

The trade union leaders expressed dissatisfaction with the recommendation given to them by Labour Commissioner Cyrus Griffith to accept the $600 one-off payment as proposed by government.

The saga of the one-off payment between government and the public sector unions began in April.

The unions were demanding a one-off payment of $3000.00 to cover the 2013-16 period but government said it could only offer $1000 in light of the ongoing Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) with close monitoring from the Washington-based International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The unions accepted the offer after agreement was reached that more will be paid at a later date given improvements in the fiscal space.

In the negotiations for the additional sums, government is said to have proposed $250 in July, and then $500.00 which were both rejected by the unions.

The $600 that is now on the table came last week in negotiations before the Labour Commissioner.
TAWU’s boss, newly appointed labour senator, Andre Lewis termed the offer as “total disrespect” to the workers.

“We met with the Labour Commissioner last week Wednesday and on Friday we received a recommendation, if one may call it a recommendation from the Labour Commissioner, which basically said, look, just accept what the government has offered, just accept what the government has said without any reason, anything much said at all…”, he said.

“… As you would know … we are at a stage where we are discussing the “more”, the more which came out of an agreement in April earlier this year which indicated that we would meet sometime in June/July to discuss how much more that the government will give to us for our sacrifices (during the three years of the Structural Adjustment Programme)…”, he added.

According to Sen. Lewis, the Labour Commissioner’s recommendation has fell “very, very, very short” of the expectations of the workers and their bargaining agents.

Lewis is convinced that the Mitchell-led government can give much more to the workers than they are offering at the moment.

“…We know that they can do much better than that. We know that Supplemental Budget (of EC$86.7 million) has been passed. We know that monies have been spent left, right and centre.

“We are in an election period but when it comes to the workers to get something more, this is where we seem to have had the difficulties and therefore we used this opportunity to bring this to the attention of our members, to bring to the attention of our employers once again that workers need to be treated better…”.

Like Sen. Lewis, the PWU boss believes that government can give more to public officers given the increase in the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as often boasted by the regime.

Roberts said: “Government boast of a 5% GDP increase and how are they saying to us that they cannot afford more? We know the wastage that occurs…we know that government is paying huge amount of monies to persons.

“We are not upset about what they are paying to one person – we are saying if you pay it to that person, you must also treat the workers equally. We are also saying to government that we are the ones carrying the burden of this country to ensure that the economic space, the fiscal space that you speak about improve and therefore we should share in the benefits,” she added.

Roberts was clearly referring to the EC$1000.00 a month increase in salary that was given in 2015 to Kisha Alexander-Grant, the Press Secretary to Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell.

The female PWU boss pleaded with the NNP regime to give workers something more in this election year.

“We beg of our government, we beg our Prime Minister, we beg of our Labour Commissioner to do better and we ask the government negotiating team to give workers what they deserve.

“We ask for more and we are negotiating fairly and we know our government is not negotiating fairly by putting $600 on the table, and we plead with them, treat workers the way that they should be treated.

Reduce or Multiply: You Decide

By William Joseph

The process from nothing to something is one that is Creator-made for human existence. Whether one takes pleasure in doing or having nothing or is indifferent; or drives oneself for more, depends on one’s beliefs and decisions. In all aspects of life whether personal, social, spiritual or political, people are challenged to reduce or to multiply.

It’s a choice or judgment thing. To reduce is to be so closed and negative that one virtually takes away from life. To multiply is to be so open and positive that one lives life to the fullest.

The Scriptures abound with accounts of richness in poverty; of strength in weakness; of hope in despair; of triumph in defeat and of food in famine. Today, preachers who specialise in ‘Seed Theology’ have found ways to dramatise that little can be multiplied to much through a transaction of faith.

The world teaches that a seed’s existence above ground soon comes to nought, but that when it dies in soil that is fertile it brings forth many fruits. The message is that while the mysteries of life may be revealed to man, he can multiply by putting his God-given gifts to work. Unlike the ‘reduction’ of idleness, work is a multiplication seed.

The God who removes sin by forgiving is the same God who restores by giving. The God of favour and grace multiplies through provision and prosperity. The narrowness of competition on the journey to certification in education may prevent one from appreciating that to help a fellow student is not to diminish one’s prospects of success.

On the contrary, helping ensures the success comes not just to one individual, but to as many as are helped.

The gift of healing is given to one woman, but if she were to use it only for herself, then sickness would quickly surround her community. That is a ‘reduction’ outcome!

One man hears music in his soul, but unless he plays it aloud, enjoyment is restricted to him alone. That’s a state of ‘reduction’. When that music is played audibly, enjoyment is multiplied.

Multiplication is implicit in sharing and giving, and it is more powerful to share and to give than to be selfish and mean. The hand that is formed into a clenched fist may be adequate to strike a blow at someone, but hands that are opened wide strike a chord of friendship, love and protection. These are important values of multiplication.

Reflect on two significant happenings in our history. Grenada was a colony owned by Britain with production of wealth in the hands of slaves. Today, Grenada is an Independent State with production in the hands of free men and women. Secondly, we had a Revolution which some Grenadians opposed.

Now, all Grenadians are entitled to the Revolution’s heritage value; an intangible asset, but priceless for its role in keeping Grenada relatively safe going forward. Today, our Nation is richer and wiser for the experience of the Revolution.

Something has multiplied beyond the ‘reduction’ of the worst national stigma in our modern history (October 19, 1983).

The temporary loss of our democracy has been restored with repeated cycles of free elections. Now, men and women of importance are not identifiable by the AK47! They are declared, “Honourable”, by a sufficiency of votes. From the ‘reduction’ of one party, the NJM, a dozen parties have emerged. Freedom has multiplied! From the dictatorship of one un-elected leader; to the democracy of one elected leader!

In fact, our generosity of spirit and our forgiveness have multiplied so ‘bigly’ that former lovers of minority dictatorship and the ‘gun standard’ in politics are free to place themselves at the will and pleasure of the Grenadian majority.

One day, one of them may legitimately become Prime Minister, especially if he/she were to be open and positive. A multiplying persona is a landmark along the road from nothing to something!

(William Joseph is a former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Plight of Grand Anse Jetty

As the pre-election atmosphere heats up, the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has raised issue with the state of the jetty on the Grand Anse Beach with the 2017 Cruise Ship Season due to start in October.

The Grand Anse Jetty is said to badly in need of urgent repair work

Caretaker for NDC in the St. George South constituency, Ray Roberts has again expressed concerns that the dilapidated jetty, which is used by many tourists can become a safety hazard for users.

Speaking to reporters, Roberts who resigned from the Senate as Labour representative a month ago to get involved in frontline politics with Congress, said that the state of the jetty can leave a damaging effect on the “Pure Grenada” image and brand as promoted by the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA).

He stated that the jetty started to show signs of dilapidation more than six months ago.

The Member of Parliament for the constituency is former Tourism Minister, Alexandra Otway-Noel who resigned as a member of the government about a year ago.

The ruling New National Party (NNP) of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell has selected Health Minister Nickolas Steele as the new Caretaker candidate for the constituency.

Roberts accused Otway-Noel of failing in her duties as MP for the South to address the jetty issue on the world famous Grand Anse beach.

“I have never seen Grand Anse Beach in this despicable state as I am seeing it here today. I want to also draw your attention to the fact that our Parliamentary Representative (Otway-Noel) she’s credited for our Pure Grenada initiative, creating the name Pure Grenada. Now when you look at this (jetty), … this problem here is more than six months old, you have to question the sort of representation the people of the south and particularly the vendors who make a living from using this facility,” he said.

A look at the area of the dilapidated jetty where tourists step onto when coming to the Grand Anse Beach

Roberts also charged that about 20 metres from the dilapidated jetty, the new NNP Caretaker for the south, Health Minister Steele owns a beach front property near to the jetty.

The NDC Caretaker questioned Steele’s own commitment to the Pure Grenada image.

“The question must be asked, what sort of commitment and even pride the gentleman (Minister Steele) has in Pure Grenada because the Jetty over the years has always had problems…”, he said.

He also said: “…I have spoken to Sen. Simon Stiell (Leader of Government Businerss), I have emailed other government ministers because I am here (on Grand Anse beach) minimum three times a week using that facility, the President of the Senate is there too and over the last six months nothing has been done (to repair the jetty.

“If you go there, you would see some rope tie up the Jetty and what is happening now the rope is rotting as a result of, I suppose the sea salt and what have you and the Jetty is dismantled,” he added.

The NDC Caretaker for the South expressed fears that the country could face a massive lawsuit if a tourist is damaged while using the jetty.

“Speaking to some of the tour operators, I am told as much as about 40, 50% of cruise ship passengers used this facility to come to Grand Anse and to support the vendors market and all the people who do business around here, including the restaurant (Coconut Beach) that we close to. So we are talking about the livelihood of people.

Rae Roberts – points out the part of the jetty that is rotting

“…Imagine a tourist or anybody is injured here…imagine what will happen to Grenada. You’re suing the government through the Grenada Board of Tourism and you’re suing perhaps the Tour Operators and that is not going to be chicken feed – that’s going to be millions but even worse the image of the country shall be permanently finished.

The former Labour Senator called on the Keith Mitchell-led government to undertake some kind of an initiative needs to repair the jetty

“The government is cash-strapped and I am aware of that, they can’t do everything. I am sure … if Sir Eric Matthew Gairy was the Prime Minister of this country, he would have taken money from his pocket, pay a work man $500, $1000 …call Ramdhanny or call Jonas Browne and Hubbards get some pieces of wood and repair this (jetty)”, he said.

Roberts accused the Mitchell administration of demonstrating “absolutely no pride in Pure Grenada”.

The NDC Caretaker charged that if he is given the go ahead by the Tourism Authority which is responsible for beach that he will undertake some repairs to the jetty.

“If I get the blessings of the Board of Tourism, I will mobilise some people in the village, ask the lumber companies operating in the south for a couple pieces of necessary material and do a refurbishment”, he remarked.

“I know it (will) not be permanent because you need greater construction minds to do it (but) basically what I am talking about is a temporary fix, make it look good …”, he said.

New Labour Senator outlines TUC legislative agenda

As he graced the Upper House of Parliament for the very first time, the newly installed Labour representative, Senator Andre Lewis laid down his Legislative Agenda before President of the Senate, Chester Humphrey, his former boss at the powerful Technical & Allied Workers Union (TAWU).

Newly sworn in Labour Senator, Andre Lewis

Sen. Lewis, the current President of the Grenada Trade Union Council (GTUC) took his place at last Friday’ sitting of Senate at the Grenada Trade Centre at Morne Rouge, St. George’s.

The new Senator who replaced ex-General Secretary of the trade union movement, Raymond Roberts, outlined his priorities for the new few months that he will remain in the face of the expected dissolution of Parliament very soon for fresh general elections.

He would like to see changes made to the rules which prevent Senators from introducing bills for debate in Parliament.

According to Sen. Lewis, a way should be found to bring bills either through Private Members Bills or consultation.

Stating that this is one of the avenues to introduce bills in Parliament, he said it is also possible to do so through “the social dialogue mechanism” in which the government can bring the bill once there is agreement on the outside of the House through a process of dialogue.

Sen. Lewis also called for certain legal gaps in the dispute resolution procedure to be addressed.

He said: “Outside of the Essential Services if a matter is not resolved at the level of the work place and then you go to the Ministry of Labour and it is not resolved, there is no mandatory process to be followed and ….for the unions that have challenges it leads to a very unfair disadvantage for the workers – they are not able to get the justice that is needed. So, we need to address this and this would be one of the legislative agenda that will be addressed”.

This is an obvious reference to the manner in which the Grenada Breweries Limited locked out workers a few years ago after a protracted strike called by TAWU.

According to Sen. Lewis, one of the issues on his list of agenda relates to legislation to wipe out the scourge of sexual harassment at the work place.

He also identified another as the issue of termination allowances for workers which at the moment stands at one week.

“Could you imagine the company that is sending home employees through no fault of theirs? A worker who (has) given 25 and 30 years of service and who (has) been told by the employer that (for) whatever reason I want to improve my profit, I may have challenges but I want to improve my profit…you have to go home..”, he remarked.

The TAWU boss noted that under the existing law it makes provision for one week for each year of service.
“…It’s something that we need to address, that is a commitment that we give”, he said.

The new Labour Senator stressed that the time has come to enact into domestic legislation all those conventions the island has signed onto at the level of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

“…For too long our governments have gone to this international organisation, sign onto conventions and refused or have failed so far to sign their names to domestic legislation, domestic law…I want to pursue this,” he explained.

The strengthening of legislation dealing with violence against women is another issue that is on the agenda.
Sen. Lewis said: “We know this is a fact, we didn’t start today but we have a duty and an obligation to end violence against our women folks.

“We are boasting about the ratio of women folks in terms of our leadership and we must be proud of this but we must do everything to ensure that we do not only demonstrate this to the camera so the world can see us but we put systems in place to ensure that it cannot take place at the home and if it takes place at the home, justice must be done and justice must be done swiftly but fairly,” he added.

The Labour Senator served notice that the issue of the regularisation of public officers and the restoration of pension are items on his priority list.

He said, “We have colleagues working in the service for over 20 something years who are not regularised – they cannot approach a financial institution and get the necessary assistance because their tenure is not secured.

“We have the same thing in the Private Sector where workers are on contract for years upon years upon years, doing the same work as the permanent worker, even working harder because you know why if that contract worker slips up, it is felt that (he) can be more easily dismissed…so he has to work 10 times harder and he has less benefits to get …we must address this issue.

Lewis went on: “…The issue of pension restoration is something that must be addressed, not by lip service but must be addressed in practice.

“The Grenada Trade Union Council will like to call for the solidarity of this house…call upon this honourable house to join us in a call, a call that was made public on May Day 2017, a call that calls for us to call upon all parliamentarians who went into Parliament after April of 1983 to freeze their pension or put on hold their pension until pension is restored to all public officers.

“We ask for your solidarity…we are not saying to give up the pension. Workers who have worked 35 years go home and retire into abject poverty. We are sure, we are not saying that it is the only thing that is required to solve this issue but we are sure that if we demonstrate this solidarity and we call upon all of us to act upon that speedily, lock us up in this room and tell us do not leave until we solve this issue because my pension is on hold, we will find a solution…”.

71-year old Prime Minister Mitchell has given a commitment to solve the pension issue before leaving frontline politics to leave this behind as one of his legacies.