The Tribune.

Material Information

The Tribune.
Uniform Title:
Tribune. (Nassau, Bahamas).
Alternate Title:
Nassau tribune
Place of Publication:
Nassau, Bahamas
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
v. : ill. ; 58 cm.


newspaper ( sobekcm )
Spatial Coverage:


General Note:
Description based on: Vol. 79, no. 210 (Aug. 3, 1983); title from caption.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
09994850 ( OCLC )
9994850 ( OCLC )


This item is only available as the following downloads:

Full Text


THE conservative scal measures undertaken by the Minnis administration were introduced as a means to avoid another down grade, according to Labour Minister Dion Foulkes, who yesterday contended that the nearly 6,000 public service hires by the Christie administration played a signicant role in past credit downgrades. In an interview with re porters outside the Ofce of the Prime Minister on Tues day, Mr Foulkes, responding to calls by the Department of Statistics for more resourc es, insisted the government remains hard pressed to meet its nancial commit ments and stands unable to add people to the govern ment payroll. We want to avoid anoth er downgrade at all costs, he said. If we begin to add people to the government payroll, it will not be fa vourable for us (as it relates to) the international ratings agencies. Nassau & Bahama Islands Leading Newspaper BACK TO SCHOOL: SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT INSIDE TODAY WEDNESDAY HIGH 93FLOW 80F it! 24/7 BREAKING NEWS ON TRIBUNE242.COM Biggest And Best!The Tribune THE PEOPLES PAPER: $1Established 1903 AVOIDING DOWNGRADE THE National Congress of Trade Unions of The Bahamas, an umbrella or ganisation representing thousands of Bahamian employees, put the Min nis administration on no tice that it will be watching closely to ensure the coun trys workers do not suffer unduly so the government can meet its political prom ises at their expense. The NCTUB said while some of the governments new austerity measures are reasonable, they have to be implemented with sensi tivity and wisdom to en sure workers are not nega tively affected. The union also wants the Minnis administration to be more specic about its plans and policies, releasing a statement yesterday that calls for the administration to live up to its transpar ency pledge. During his national ad dress last month, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis announced a ten per cent cut in spending in all gov ernment ministries and no new public sector hiring. He also said there will be no renewal of contracts for salaries which exceed $100,000 per year, adding he said he will ensure his ministers adhere to their budgets and to nancial constraints. Details needed on decit plans FORMER Tourism Min ister Obie Wilchcombe re vealed yesterday the Min istry of Tourism saved the government $3.5m in agen cy fees and commissions last year as he defended the capacity of the ministrys inhouse public relations team. By AVA TURNQUEST Tribune Chief Reporter Unions warn govt be very careful FOR more than two dec ades, the Bahamas has not met its obligations as a signatory to a United Nations treaty on the rights of refu gees, according to a United Nations High Commission er for Refugees representa tive. UNHCR Assistant Pro tection Ofcer Deneisha Moss Balboni told The Tribune yesterday that while the commission has observed positive devel opments, there were still gaps in meeting member state obligations due to the LEGAL FAILURE By AVA TURNQUEST Tribune Chief Reporter A 41-YEAR-OLD moth er of ten is wondering how she will take care of her six school-aged children now that she has been let go from the Bahamas Agricul ture & Industrial Corpora tion. She is one of the 15 work ers sent home from the cor poration on Monday. I didnt work for three years before I got that job in May, the mother, who asked not to be identied, said yesterday. I thought things were nally coming together for me, but now look; its hard with no help. Shes not alone. A father of six who left his job at At lantis in May seeking the favourable benets govern ment employees receive told The Tribune hes won dering about the life he will provide for his nearly twoyear-old daughter and her siblings after he too was red on Monday. I applied for that job three times and I took it only after the human re sources representative as sured me it was a perma nent job, and now look at the position theyve put me in, the father, who also did not want to be named, said. The red workers were hired in May. The father of six said he was hired one week before the election and the mother of ten said she was told on May 8 that she would get the job. The Tribune saw at least one oth er contract for a red work er that was signed on May 9 the day before the general election. As the Minnis admin istration embraces a con servative approach to pub lic sector hiring placing a freeze on new hires the experiences of the red em ployees highlight the nowin situation the admin istration faces as it tries to curb expenditure in part by undoing the public sector By RASHAD ROLLE Tribune Staff Reporter PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis taking part in the verication process for all public service employees, assisted by Donna Delancy, deputy treasurer and co-ordinator of the verication process. See page ve for the full story. By RASHAD ROLLE Tribune Staff Reporter By RICARDO WELLS Tribune Staff Reporter SEE PAGE SIX SEE PAGE SIX SEE PAGE SIX SEE PAGE FIVE SEE PAGE 11 A1MAIN HURRICANE INSURANCE:Are you Covered?242.394.5555242.350.3500242.367 .4204r242.332.3211f242.336.2304 Covering The Bahamas for 40 years. www.InsuranceManagementBahamas.comNobody Does it Better! (BAHAMAS) LIMITED. INSURANCE BROKERS & AGENTSINSURANCE MANAGEMENT


PAGE 2, Wednesday, August 16, 2017 THE TRIBUNE IT HAS been ten months since the passage of Hur ricane Matthew, and not much has been done re garding repairs and rebuild ing in the West End, Grand Bahama community. There are still lots of damaged homes and struc tures along Bay Shore Road that are vacant, uninhabit able or condemned. Many residents who once occupied those homes have relocated and are now living in temporary housing in the nearby settlement of Bootle Bay on a government rental assistance programme. Just before the general election, repair work had commenced in West End, but since the change in gov ernment, some residents told The Tribune the work has been halted. Elijah Stuart, of West End, believes that the Free National Movement gov ernment is moving too slowly on home repairs in West End. Mr Stuarts home was be ing repaired on a National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) contract, and he was not happy with the stoppage of repairs. They should be moving much faster than they are doing now with these hous es in West End, he said, complaining that ofcials are wasting too much time conducting assessments. They are taking too much time interviewing people. They need to do something. I am an FNM, and we did not change the government for them to come here and for us to be out of jobs, he said. Last November, when The Tribune visited the small shing village about a month after the storm, it was like a war zone. Today, there are some signs of improvement: the community has been cleaned up; little food booths have been rebuilt along the roadside and some homes and businesses have been repaired. But for many, help and assistance has not yet come. West End resident Errol Millers home was severely destroyed during the storm, and he has not received any help with repairs. We need help, oh we need help here in West End, said the 72-yearold, who this newspaper found sitting inside his se verely damaged house. I have been trying for months and since the storm to get some assistance, Mr Miller said. Some packages of shingles, roof material and a few boards of ply wood were provided to him for repairs just weeks be fore the election. Mr Miller is one of many residents who is living with Ten months on and West End By DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Freeport Reporter KENNETH WILSON, owner of Da Bight Better Days Restaurant & Bar, which sustained severe hurricane damage and still awaits some assistance. Photos: Denise Maycock/Tribune Staff THE ICONIC Star Club in West End has now partially collapsed. A2MAIN


THE TRIBUNE Wednesday, August 16, 2017, PAGE 3 still waits for hurricane repairs family in temporary hous ing in Bootle Bay, but he comes down to his house in West End every day, hoping that help will come soon. I am hoping the new government right now will help us with repairs. The past government came to do work, but the election came, and the government changed, and the work stopped. I am hoping one day they will return and (work will resume). His three bed, two bath house is destroyed and needs to be rebuilt. His family lost everything furniture and appliances. However, still hanging on a wall displayed for all to see was his prized Father of the Year plaque. I have been living here more than 21 years. I come here every day hoping and praying that someone will come and do something. I am not criticising the old or the new (government), I want the government to help me, Mr Miller said. Area resident James Ro kers entire home was swept away. I was hoping to get some assistance by now. I was wiped out by the hur ricane; my three bed, one bath house was destroyed, he said. The father of ve now lives with relatives in West End. Since last October it has not been easy. I am actually on the oor. I have not got ten any assistance, Mr Ro ker said. He said that he had sought answers from vari ous agencies, including So cial Services. When asked whether an yone from Urban Renewal had visited him, he said: Does Urban Renewal still exist? I have not seen Urban Renewal personnel around here for some time now. I am here every day, and I am hoping some good news will come through for West End because there are others in the same situa tion like me. I havent seen anybody come by and say we will assist you with this or that. I am just here wait ing, said Mr Roker. He said that residents who lost their homes are concerned that they wont be given any government assistance for rebuilding. Kenneth Wilson, 89, owner of the Da Bight Bet ter Days Restaurant & Bar, in The Bight, West End, said he too had received no assistance for the past ten months. Urban Renewal came here three or four times, and nothing happened yet. I have not received any help at all. I feel terrible because at my age I cant do any thing for myself and I need some help, Mr Wilson said that noth ing had changed since The Tribune visited him last No vember. His building is one of the oldest structures in West End. Mr Wilson had hoped to pass on his legacy to his children and grandchil dren. The structure is on the verge of collapsing, and wooden planks are erected to brace the second oor. Mr Wilson has owned and operated the business for 56 years. The iconic Star Club, owned and operated by the Grant family of West End, has now partially collapsed. Earlier this month, The Tribune reported that the government does not yet have a timeline of when re pairs will be completed on homes damaged as a result of Hurricanes Joaquin and Matthew, which ravaged part of the country in Octo ber 2015 and 2016 According to Press Sec retary Anthony Newbold, while it is certain the homes must be repaired there will be no hurricane czar as was the case during the Christie administration. He said NEMA and the Ministry of Works will oversee these efforts. Mr Newbold also said as each member of Parliament has received their $100,000 capital grants, the public should see some repairs to homes shortly. (We) dont have a time line yet, Mr Newbold said on August 1. We just got budgets and ministers can start to get to work. I imagine we will see some of that happening now. For example, as I said the constituency allowances are now available (and) the parks and beaches board has now been constituted. I spoke to the minister of the environment and he says listen we are ready to go with this thing. DA Bight Better Days Restaurant & Bar, still showing damage ten months after the passage of Hurricane Matthew. Photos: Denise Maycock/Tribune Staff A BUILDING still without a roof in West End after the storm. KENNETH Wilson at his damaged bar. A DAMAGED home in West End. ERROL Miller at his home in West End. JAMES Roker standing where his three bed, one bath wooden house once stood. A3MAIN


The Tribune LimitedNULLIUS ADDICTUS JURARE IN VERBA MAGISTRI Being Bound to Swear to The Dogmas of No Master LEON E. H. DUPUCH Publisher/Editor 1903-1914 SIR ETIENNE DUPUCH, Kt., O.B.E., K.M., K.C.S.G., (Hon.) LL.D., D.Litt Publisher/Editor 1919-1972 Contributing Editor 1972-1991 EILEEN DUPUCH CARRON, C.M.G., M.S., B.A., LL.B. Publisher/Editor 1972-Published daily Monday to FridayShirley & Deveaux Streets, Nassau, Bahamas N3207 TELEPHONES News & General Information (242) 322-1986 Advertising Manager (242) 502-2394 Circulation Department (242) 502-2386 Nassau fax (242) 328-2398 Freeport, Grand Bahama (242)-352-6608 Freeport fax (242) 352-9348 WEBSITE, TWITTER & FACEBOOK @tribune242 tribune news network PAGE 4, Wednesday, August 16, 2017 THE TRIBUNE EDITOR, The Tribune. PAUL Major, the former chairman of the Junka noo Carnival boondoggle is a banker by profession and supposedly he knows a thing or two about num bers. He spent a lot of time in Trinidad & Tobago under studying carnival there so perhaps he learned that the Trinis like the expression doltish because thats the only way to explain his awed mathematics used to justify wasting public money on a mimicked faux celebration. Over the years, Major took a trailer-load of mu sicians and culturalists to Trinidad to see how they play mas there. Their National Carnival Com mission no doubt would have sat him down and ex plained that carnival has been around so long in Trinidad that it is an insti tution as germane to the Trini identity as Junkanoo is to us. Major thought he could take a festival that was 300 years in the making for Trinidad and make it a uniquely Bahamian experience in just three years. The Trinis have another word for a person who gets taken advantage of very easily: bobolee. Major went up against Paul Thompson, a TriniBahamian who is a cardcarrying carnivalist who knows whence the Trini carnival bands come and who plays mas better than whom. In such a dust-up, the smart money has to be on Thompson. The allegation is that the government of Trinidad and Tobago spent US$134m on carnival celebrations in Port of Spain, San Fernan do and Tobago over the last three years. The real num ber spent was $114m but for some people when it comes to government money, whats the odd $20m differ ence between friends? By contrast, we spent $25m in the same period and Majors argument is that this was great value for money to the Treasury. Trinidads Central Statis tical Ofce reported that in 2016 a total of 35,483 peo ple visited Trinidad over the carnival period. Not surprisingly the vast majority of them were Trinis returning home to celebrate. Just 3,267 tourists were recorded and its a safe bet that two-thirds of them came from three Caribbean countries The Bahamas, Jamaica and Barbados. In 2015, the govern ment in Trinidad allocat ed TT$340m for carnival (about $44m). Faced with budget con straints as the price of oil started plummeting, they decreased the budget to $40m in 2016 and even more drastically to $30m this year. Given the size of their carnival compared to ours, it is plain to see that the Trinidadian tax pay ers got more bang for their bucks than we did over the same period, even if you capitalise a chunk of our expenditure as start-up costs. With a population of 1.3 million people, the cost per Trini taxpayer to host 2015s carnival was $32. That same year every taxpayer here paid $34. The major (no pun in tended) difference be tween Trinidad and us is that they use the govern ments money to prime the pump to get the economic ball rolling in the private sector. Costume-making, big truck mobile studios, elab orate outdoor stages and party planning are big busi ness and the private sector pitches in to reap the re wards. Nobody works in Trini dad between Saturday and Wednesday of carnival so all other economic output takes a hit. I have no doubt that eco nomic activity is generated here from the junkanoo carnival. We, like copycats in Miami, Nottinghill, New York, and Toronto all try to outdo the mother carnival in Trinidad, with varying degrees of suc cess. Trinidadians push their government to export car nival because it is good for business. Many of the skimpy costumes on display here were conceived, de signed and manufactured by the masters in Trinidad, no doubt earning a tidy sum of foreign exchange for them. But for us it defeats the purpose of carnival which, when last I checked, was to boost tourism and foreign exchange earnings here. Spending to promote art and culture is always a good investment. But spending public money to promote someone elses culture looks like plain old followfashion to me. By the way, if we are go ing to keep up this charade at least lets stop calling it Junkanoo Carnival. It has nothing to do with Junka noo and it will give some people the false impression that if they have seen carni val they have seen Junka noo. THE GRADUATE Nassau, August 15, 2017. PHILIP Brave Davis, who now heads an Opposition of three members in an FNM parliament, al though admitting that his party made mistakes during its ve years in of ce, saw no reason to apologise to any one for those mistakes. Not only was he not going to apologise, but he want ed Bahamians to note that after only three months in ofce the FNM have shown that they have no plans to eradi cate crime. As the prime minister observed, said Mr Davis, crime continues to plague our society. During the campaign, he (Prime Minister Minnis) promised that they had the answers, that once in gov ernment, he and his team would unveil a crime-ghting plan, which would suc cessfully tackle the problem. Rather disappointingly, just last week we now have the Minister of Na tional Security admitting that they dont have the answers, said Mr Davis. Wasnt this the same predicament that Mr Davis and his PLP found themselves in at the end of their ve year term? So far, the PLP are cutting a very poor gure as Mr Davis, their spokesman, at tempts to distort political facts. Has he forgotten that before the 2012 elec tion the PLP erected large placards in strategic areas of the island to broad cast the growing number of murders un der an FNM government? The PLP even made certain that the placards were erected in areas where the tour ists the lifeblood of this countrys economy were made aware that the Bahamas was no longer a safe place to visit. A comment made at the time by then Prime Minister Christie seemed to indicate that such empty promises could get a pass during election season even though advertising crime so blatantly might damage our tourist industry Bahamians, by then desperate to be able to sleep at night without their homes being desecrated or being awak ened by gun ghts, wanted any political party that could remove the criminals from their midst. The PLP made a sol emn promise no ifs, ands or buts about it they had the secret formula to eradi cate crime. They were elected on their promise to hear them tell it during the campaign, it was more than a prom ise, it was a guarantee. A guarantee when once elected they found they could not deliver, because they had no secret formula. They had fooled the people. It was then that crime really took off, for mula or no formula, there was no stop ping it. Instead of beating his own chest with many mea culpas, Mr Davis astonishingly now tries to point an accusing nger at the FNM. Rather disappointingly, just last week we now have the Minister of National Security admitting that they dont have the answer, says Mr Davis. At least, if this is in fact what Security Minister Marvin Dames said, he, unlike Mr Davis PLP, was telling the truth. If we remember correctly, the PLP main tained to the bitter end that they had the secret formula, whereas at least the FNM Minister has made no such claim. The FNM might not have the answers, but at least they are starting off in a posi tion of zero tolerance whoever does the crime, will have to do the time. It is a slow process, but in time it should pay dividends. Mr Davis then turns to the comments by Prime Minister Minnis about pro viding resources for societys poorly guided young men brought down by the drug trade. Mr Davis said that the Prime Ministers attacks on the drug trade made no sense. The average age of people com mitting crimes over the last several years has been between the ages of 1725. Those persons would not have been around in the1970s and 80s. The prime minister should be careful about blam ing history for all our challenges, said Mr Davis. What an unthinking, stupid statement. It reminds us of Topsy that delightful little slave girl in Uncle Toms Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stow. When asked how old she was she replied: I spect I just growed. Dont think nobody never made me. Well, our present generation of drug pushers did not live during the drug years, but it was certainly dur ing those years that their embryo was formed. If Mr Davis as a child had ever stood on the seashore and skipped a small pebble onto the surface of a calm sea, he would have seen on landing how it disturbed the water creating a small wave that would keep growing as it moved from wave to wave until absorbed into the mighty ocean, he would then under stand cause and effect, and what has happened in our community. The hand of the child on the seashore was the cause and the disturbance of the calm water was the effect that kept growing until it was a mighty ocean. That, Mr Davis, is one of the laws of life, and what we have today is the result of the drug trade that took over these islands in the 70s and 80s and kept growing into to days social menace. Read The Tribune of those years and it is easy to trace what we have today from its early beginnings. In fact, Paul Thompson, who a few weeks ago cel ebrated his 90th birthday, was in the Royal Bahamas Police Forces Crimi nal Investigation Department in those days. At that time, he was one of the few police ofcers that we could trust. One day in a conversation with him, he pre dicted exactly where we would be today, if something drastic were not done then. And so, like Topsy, who didnt know when or how she was born, our criminal class just kept growing, because little was done to turn the tide in time. We shall never forget the words of Prime Minister Pindling in his New Years day address in January 1986 at the end of the Commission of Inquiry into drug peddling when he encour aged Bahamians to take advantage of the opportunities provided by his Cabinet to become a millionaire. We are not suggesting that he was encouraging them to go into the drug trade, but in those days the fastest way to become a millionaire was to get into the business of drugs. In our les, one can also nd the com plaints of teachers about the subject of many of their students essays. Seeing the extravagant lives being lived by their fathers, and uncles and friends who only a short time before were nobod ies, but were then moving in what they thought was high society made them decide that that was the path they wanted to follow. Teachers were not only concerned, they were alarmed for the future. And now here we are with the results of those years and Mr Davis is still ask ing why? If Mr Davis and his party do not un derstand where we have come from and the major cause of our problems today, then we need a new generation of lead ers who, understanding our past, might at last nd a solution for our future. Majors Carnival maths Bahamians understand the past to nd the EDITOR, The Tribune. THIS WEEK was the an niversary, of The Bahamas exchanging diplomatic rela tions and recognition, with the Peoples Republic of Chi na (during the Ingraham Gov ernment). I believe it might be the 23rd or 24th year. Watching our TV News, I was shocked to see how few people, and I mean the banquet room at The Hil ton was empty, attended the event which I am told usu ally is very well attended. Was this an embarrass ment, caused by the nonexistent Postal Service? If no one has noticed, you mail something today, the person it was sent to might re ceive it in 3-4 weeks, or even longer, have been witnessed and the Ministry responsible seems totally oblivious to the issue. It was bad under the PLP, and has not improved under this new group. Clearly if you have a func tion, do not try to send the invitations by Bahamas Mail, as it will arrive anytime up to three months after the event! J. A. ALBURY, Nassau, August 13, 2017 Invite lost in the post? A4MAIN


THE TRIBUNE Wednesday, August 16, 2017, PAGE 5 absence of any domestic le gal framework. She acknowledged the long-term detention of refugees at the Carmichael Road Detention Centre as an example of those gaps. In the absence of do mestic legislation, just some form of formalised proce dures that would guide in how persons are identied, how they are screened and how they are admitted into a process and so on. Thats on one end of the spectrum, but if you look at the peo ple who are admitted into a process and have access to UNHCR, there are still ongoing gaps because there are no guarantees under Bahamian law for people who are recognised as refu gees. So things that are pro tections that are provided for in the refugee conven tion that people dont have access to, for example the right to be issued ID docu ments and whatever nec essary residence permit to facilitate a refugees continued stay in a coun try of asylum, or a right to gainful employment so they could become selfsufcient or the right to ac cess basic healthcare and education. The fact that you dont also have those things en shrined in law means that there are difculties ensur ing that those rights are actually respected because there is no legal basis in which to do so. Four refugees were re leased from the CRDC last month, more than two years after they received the refu gee status. Eight additional migrants were released from the fa cility earlier this month, in cluding a Kenyan man who had been held for six years without charge. It was conrmed that among those migrants were several persons of concern to the UNHCR, which is a programme mandated to protect and support asylum seekers, refugees and state liness persons. Ms Moss Balboni said: Once youre granted that (refugee) status your free dom of movement should be reinstated, but again there is no legal framework. So without a legal frame work that recognises who is a refugee, what their indi vidual rights are that comes from the refugee conven tion, those are the gaps or outcomes of not having legislation in place. The Bahamas acceded to the 1951 Convention relat ing to the Status of Refu gees, and its 1967 Protocol, in 1993. Although The Bahamas has acceded to that treaty in 1993, Ms Moss Balboni said, it hasnt actually es tablished any domestic le gal framework to formally recognise or protect the rights of refugees. There isnt actually any policy or regulatory framework to implement the obligations under the 1951 convention, so in that context in the ab sence of a legal framework obviously there is a need for guarantees against refoule ment to be instituted. She continued: Basically identifying people who may be refugees and giving them access to a refugee status determination procedure is really a fundamental, and is key and necessary before any removal or repatriation takes place. I think especially when you look at the volume of irregular migrants that move through The Baha mas, its really important. A lot of those people mov ing through come from known refugee produc ing countries and what we see as fundamental is the implementation of protec tion-sensitive screening mechanisms to be in place so that people who need in ternational protection are systematically identied and have access to proce dures. Ms Balboni Moss main tained that the UNHCRs local ofce worked closely with the government, and was pleased that the mem ber state has expressed an intention to address current gaps by instituting formal mechanisms in the absence of legislation. She pointed to the Migra tion Task Force, within the Ofce of the Attorney Gen eral, and the Refugee Unit established by the Depart ment of Immigration. The UNHCR plays an advisory role and thats something really positive that weve observed with the Bahamas and look for ward to helping to continue to develop procedures and eventually legislation on refugee protection. We do have a positive outlook for the future. REFUGEES ARE LET DOWN BY LEGAL FAILURE from page one FOREIGN Affairs Min ister Darren Heneld said yesterday the government was awaiting responses from host countries before new diplomats are deployed. He told The Tribune that all diplomat appointments had been nalised. In June, Mr Heneld revealed his ofce had re quested that all foreign ser vice workers appointed by the Christie administration tie up their ofces by late July, as the Minnis admin istration prepares to soon name their replacements. At the time, the North Abaco MP admitted that there was no clear time line in place for any ofcial transition. Shortly after the FNM was elected to ofce, party Chairman Sidney Collie indicated that the FNM would begin making ap pointments to government boards, committees and diplomatic posts in two to three weeks. Mr Collie, a member of the administrations transition team, at that time said the partys rst order of busi ness was to get to Parlia ment and approve its initial budget; subsequent to which the party had proposed to make its appointments. When it served as the Of cial Opposition, the FNM was very outspoken on the Progressive Liberal Partys appointments. Then shadow minister of foreign affairs, former St Annes MP Hubert Chip man raised concerns about the former governments diplomatic appointments, referring to the Christie ad ministrations approach to them as drip, drip, helterskelter announcements. Several diplomatic posts went unlled for more than a year under the Christie administration. The new scal year began July 1. DIPLOMAT APPOINTMENTS AWAITING RESPONSES FROM HOST COUNTRIES By AVA TURNQUEST Tribune Chief Reporter aturnquest @ A 23-YEAR-OLD man was sentenced yesterday to 30 months in prison over rearm and ammunition possession charges after pleading with the chief magistrate not to view him as a gangland thug for his actions. Durrell Hanna, of Hos pital Lane, told Chief Magistrate Joyann FergusonPratt that the black Kel-Tec .380 pistol and ve live rounds of ammunition he was previously found with by police were only for his protection, and not because he was involved in any gang activity. Chief Magistrate Fer guson-Pratt accepted as mitigating factors Hannas guilty plea at the earliest convenience during his ini tial arraignment on Mon day, stating that he had a clean record before his sentencing. She also noted the Crowns statements that Hanna was co-operative while being questioned by police. Charging that it can nev er be right to compound a problem by breaking the law however, she sen tenced Hanna to 30 months each for one count of pos session of an unlicensed rearm and one count of possession of ammunition, with both to run concur rently. The sentences take effect from August 14. Hanna was arraigned just days after police reportedly seized a handgun and am munition not far from the Magistrate Courts com plex. According to initial po lice reports, shortly after 6.30pm on August 11, Selective Enforcement Unit officers acting on in formation went to South Street near Hospital Lane, where they encoun tered a male suspect. The officers searched the man and found a .380 Kel-Tec pistol with five rounds of ammunition in his posses sion. The man was subsequent ly taken into custody in con nection with the discovery. 30 months in jail for rearm possession By NICO SCAVELLA Tribune Staff Reporter THE chief magistrate yesterday expressed her de sire to expeditiously con clude the trial of a Jamaican woman facing allegations of human trafcking after it was delayed for a month because of the malfunction ing air-conditioning system at the Magistrates Court complex. Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt, presiding over day one of 20-yearold Abigail Wilsons trial, told the court that although she was scheduled to be on vacation, she cleared her calendar specically to ad judicate Wilsons matter primarily because of the national and international signicance it holds. Wilson had previously appeared before the chief magistrate in July for what was expected to be the start of her case on four counts of trafcking in per sons allegedly committed between March and May of this year. The charges were brought under Section 3(1) (a) of the Trafcking in Persons Prevention and Suppression Act Chapter 106. It is alleged that Wilson recruited, received, har boured and transported a woman to and within the Bahamas for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Wilson pleaded not guilty to all of the allegations when they were read by Chief Magis trate Ferguson-Pratt yester day. Wilson was expected to stand trial on July 12 and 13. However, the case was adjourned by 24 hours be cause the court complex had to be closed at 1pm due to a malfunctioning airconditioning unit. The chief magistrate later explained to Wilson that the matter would have to be adjourned to August 15, 16 and 17. Yesterdays proceedings saw testimonies from two police ofcers, Detective Corporal Nathaniel Far rington of the Central De tective Units (CDU) Se lective Enforcement team, who was present at Wilsons initial arrest, as well as Detective Sergeant James Colebrooke, a crime scene investigator. The trial continues today at 11am. JUDGE SKIPS HOLIDAY TO ENSURE HUMAN TRAFFICKING TRIAL PROCEEDS By NICO SCAVELLA Tribune Staff Reporter PRIME Minister Dr Hu bert A Minnis and Deputy Prime Minister and Min ister of Finance K Peter Turnquest led the verica tion process for members of Parliament before partici pating in the weekly Cabi net meeting on Tuesday. Dr Minnis and Mr Turn quest were two of 15 Cabi net ministers to take ad vantage of the opportunity provided by ofcials from the Public Treasury De partment who were at the Cecil V Wallace-Whiteld Centre to conduct the veri cation process for public service employees there. Other Cabinet ministers undergoing the verication process included: Brent Sy monette, Senator Carl W Bethel, Desmond T Bannis ter, Jeffrey L Lloyd, Marvin Dames, Frankie A Camp bell, Dionisio J DAguilar, Michael C Pintard, Darren Heneld, Dion Foulkes, Kwasi Thompson and Els worth Johnson. Minister of Environment Romauld Ferreira, Social Services Minister Lanisha Rolle and Minister of Pub lic Service and National Insurance Brensil D Rolle are off the island. Health Minister Dr Duane Sands had already completed the verication process. The verication of the Cabinet ministers/mem bers of Parliament is part of an ongoing national veri cation exercise for govern ment monthly and weekly employees, senators and members of Parliament. Verication centres were established at public schools in New Providence and at government ofces in Grand Bahama and the Family Islands since the process began on Tuesday, August 8. Verication ends Thursday, August 31. The ve verication cen tres in New Providence -H O Nash High School, T A Thompson Junior High School, C C Sweeting High School, C R Walker High School and Doris Johnson High School will cease operations as of the close of business on Friday, Au gust 18 in preparation for the upcoming school year. Operations will be relocat ed to the Thomas A Robin son National Stadium. Treasury ofcials say public ofcers who are as signed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Tourism over seas ofces, are expected to verify at their respective lo cations, following the pro cedures that have been for warded directly to them by the Treasury Department. Persons who fail to pre sent themselves to be veri ed will have their salaries interrupted not ceased beginning September, 2017, until they comply with the verication and reinstatement process. Treasury ofcials further say the 2017 verication process is not new in gov ernment, as some form of the process has been undertaken by all serving treasurers. The verication process actually protects the public service employee because in addition to ensuring that they are legitimate public service employees, it also ensures that we have the correct data on each em ployee, an ofcial said. Allowances have been made for public service em ployees on vacation within and outside of the Bahamas. Those travelling outside of the country whose return date will not allow them to return ahead of the August 31 deadline, can verify at any Bahamas Tourist Ofce (BTO) or foreign affairs mission abroad while those within the Bahamas can verify at the administrators ofce in any Family Island, along with the Public Treas ury (Central Abaco and Freeport, Grand Bahama). MINISTERS LEAD THE WAY FOR VERIFICATION DEPUTY Prime Minister Peter Turnquest verifying his identity. A5MAIN


PAGE 6, Wednesday, August 16, 2017 THE TRIBUNE Dr Minnis also an nounced a reduction in gov ernment vehicles as part of a new era of nancial dis cipline. Reacting to the planned cuts in government spend ing, the NCTUB said its closely monitoring this austerity exercise. While we wish to assure Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis of the assistance of the workers of the nation in bringing the economy of The Bahamas into order, we also put the government of The Bahamas on notice that the NCTUB is closely monitoring this austerity exercise, the union said. In his rst address to the nation, Dr Minnis an nounced a number of initia tives he said were intended to create the economic and social environment in which the talents of the Bahamian people can ourish and in which we can live in peace and prosperity. Those ini tiatives impinge directly or indirectly on the lives of the nations workers, and as such are subject to the scrutiny of the NCTUB, the recognised voice of la bour in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. The group also said: In this era of austerity, what steps have the government taken to ensure that it can properly supply and equip the Royal Bahamas De fence Force to enforce the vigilance to which Dr Min nis through his National Security Minister Marvin Dames has called for? How does the Ministry of Na tional Security intend to handle the critical matter of minimising the risk to defence force ofcers lives to as low a risk as possible, acknowledging the nature of the job with which they have been tasked? No new public sec tor hiring? Salary freezes over $100K? Reduction in the number of govern ment vehicles? These are all reasonable measures, and as long as they are im plemented with sensitivity and wisdom, the NCTUB supports these measures. However, we will be watch ing carefully to ensure that the workers of the country are not made to suffer un duly in order for political promises to be kept at the expense of the good of the nations workers. Last month, Dr Minnis also announced numerous policies as well as the es tablishment of several com mittees/councils responsi ble for examining ways to reduce the burden stateowned enterprises placed on the country and ways to improve the ease of do ing business. The administration has not disclosed the people who have been appointed to these groups. The joint statement from NCTUB President Bernard Evans and General Sec retary Zane Lightbourne said: We take special note of the appointment of a spe cial committee to advise on state-owned enterprises, with a view to reducing the burden of such enterprises on public nance. This is perhaps subtle language in tended to reintroduce the discussion of privatisation. However, the fact is that a signicant portion of the burden of such enter prises on public nances is the compensation of the workers who make these state-owned enterprises run. Who is on this special committee? What are their terms of reference? What is the specic timeline against which they are being held accountable? Who repre sents labour on this com mittee? Similarly, who is on the National Economic Ad visory Council appointed to advise the Minnis adminis tration on specic propos als for economic diversica tion and economic growth? Is the voice of labour absent from this council? When were they appointed? Un der what terms of reference exactly are they operating? And again, the Ease of Do ing Business Committee announced by the prime minister must bear the same scrutiny: who are its members and what are the terms of reference? For this administration that places such a premium on trans parency and accountability, and that has committed it self to freedom of informa tion, these are questions to which the countrys workers demand answers. The NCTUB also asked for details on the subcom mittee of Cabinet ministers appointed to address the is sues facing the New Provi dence Landll. Who is on this Cabinet subcommittee, the group asked. What are their terms of references? What is the specic timelines against which theyre being held ac countable? What measures exist to ensure they are serv ing the needs of the workers of the Bahamas, rather than their own commercial and self-interest? With respect to educa tion, the NCTUB is seeking answers from the adminis tration concerning its reve lation that it has recruited a number of new teachers. What contract terms (exist) with regard to these new teachers? the group asked. Where have they been recruited from? What protections exist for them, and how are they to be integrated into the indus trial agreement prevailing between the government of the Bahamas and the Bahamas Union of Teach ers? Does this number sat isfy the teacher shortage expressed for some years now? Unions warn govt be very careful Mr Foulkes pointed to the Christie administra tions hiring strategy as one of the reasons the Bahamas was downgraded twice during its tenure and teetering on a third shortly after being voted out of of ce in May. To that end, he main tained the Minnis admin istration would rather limit public service hiring than face another downgrade to the countrys sovereign credit rating. If we are to avoid a downgrade, a further down grade, we have to tighten our belts, the senator said before heading into a Cabi net meeting. The prime minister said it in his national address, the deputy prime minister and the minister of nance has said it and that is the re ality, he added. The whole point is for the economy to get strong. That is what we are trying to do. The key element in this is the private sector. We are very pleased that Baha Mar will employ an additional 2,500 persons by the end of next year. All three of the hotels will be operational by the end of next year and that will be a massive injection in our economy. There are some big plans that will be announced shortly in Grand Bahama, I am not at liberty to say any thing, but the appropriate minister will make an an nouncement shortly. There are a lot of good things happening as far as the economy is concerned, a lot of opportunities for Bahamians, Mr Foulkes said. Last Friday, the Depart ment of Statistics reported the countrys unemploy ment rate dipped below 10 per cent for the rst time since the 2008 recession. The Labour Force Sur vey, conducted between April 24 and April 30, put the countrys unemploy ment rate at 9.9 per cent a 1.7 per cent decrease from the results of Octobers sur vey. The decline came as 7,770 people gained employment while there was a decrease of 3,485 unemployed peo ple. According to the survey, the unemployment rate in New Providence was 10.4 per cent; in Grand Bahama it was 12.4 per cent and in Abaco it was 7.8 per cent. In a statement released Monday evening, Mr Foulkes applauded the re port, but called for adjust ments to surveys method ology. He continued yesterday: The signicant amount of those jobs were temporary jobs related to (Bahamas Junkanoo) Carnival, the 52-weeks programme and election hiring; especially in Abaco, Grand Bahama and New Providence. A signicant amount of those persons are now un employed; those who were employed on a temporary basis, Mr Foulkes added. As a government, Prime Minister Minnis has in structed all of us to do whatever we can within our ministries to create jobs; permanent jobs, not neces sarily government jobs, but private sector jobs. Our economy is general ly driven by small business es and by large businesses. We are trying to do everything in our power to encourage the business community to employ Ba hamians and to increase the employment base. In the months since tak ing ofce, the Minnis ad ministration has overseen several layoff exercises, the latest coming Monday at the Bahamas Agriculture and Industrial Corporation. Fifteen workers said to be hired on three-month contracts were let go Mon day after their contracts ex pired. According to a wellplaced source in the Minnis administration, the workers were Progressive Liberal Party operatives all hired just before the May 10 gen eral election, a claim Mr Foulkes denied yesterday. Deputy Prime Minister K Peter Turnquest, last month denied claims that the Min nis administration is seek ing to inict pain with its conservative scal meas ures, insisting the govern ment will not participate in any action that is going to further cause the Bahamian people to suffer. Mr Turnquest, also the minister of nance, said the government will not be us ing a blunt instrument for which a precision scalpel is required as it attempts to reduce spending, but will aggressively seek to bring discipline to government nances and rationalisation of the programmes we are engaged in. Mr Turnquest also said the government was not seeking to stie the essen tial services provided by such entities as the Depart ment of Social Services and Ministry of Education in its attempts to introduce scal reform, but is more focused on the wastage and the ex cess in these ministries. Reacting to reports that the ministry has reengaged global PR rm Weber Shandwick, Mr Wilchcombe said it was unfortunate the Minnis ad ministration would prefer to spend millions creating employment overseas. He underscored that the cadre of young profession als at the Ministry of Tour ism must not be overlooked or shunned. Mr Wilchcombe said: Bahamians have the ca pacity and have proven to be equal to the task of any professional in the tourism industry. We have been in the business for almost 55 years now. We must reduce our dependence on foreign ers and give more responsi bility to qualied Bahami ans, black, white, FNM or PLP. He continued: We should spare no efforts in getting the best of our young people engaged in the sustained growth and development of our num ber one industry. I dare say it is most unfortunate that we would prefer to spend millions creating employ ment overseas as opposed to spending even less in cre ating employment for quali ed, creative and compe tent Bahamians to develop an enviable communica tions division that could only grow in the interest of the Bahamas. Weber Shandwick was dropped in 2013 by the former Progressive Liberal Party administration after an 18-year long run with the ministry. The PR rm was report edly re-engaged by the Ministry of Tourism in re cent weeks; however, Min ister of Tourism Dionisio DAguilar declined com ment yesterday. Notwithstanding the sav ings, Mr Wilchcombe point ed to the numerous interna tional accolades awarded during the last term as he recounted the Christie ad ministrations decision to sever ties with the global PR rm and instead utilise Bahamian talent. He noted that the relationship ended on good terms, and praised the rm as an industry lead er. When we severed our relationship with Weber it was predicated on a vision to bring all components of communications, including public relations in house utilising qualied, compe tent and creative Bahami ans to run the division, Mr Wilchcombe said. In fact, the division was headed by Mia Weech Lange who was attached to Weber during my 20022007 tenure to become fa miliar with the operations of a major public relations agency. She and her team of young Bahamians rep resent the premium qual ity of Bahamian talent. Through their work the exposure of this country of multi-destinations sky rocketed. He continued: Our team stood head and shoulders with all professionals in the industry. The acclaim of the Bahamas team was seen by the myriad of awards including winner of USA Todays Readers Choice Award for Best Caribbean Celebration (Junkanoo) for two consecutive years; win ner of the World Tourism Award for Leading Wed ding Destination; winner of the Luxury Destination Award and numerous print awards. In 2016, the Bahamas was ranked in the top ten most searched destination globally by Expedia in its summer travel report show ing a ve per cent increase over the previous year. In 2016 Bloomberg ranked The Bahamas the number one vacation spot for Amer icas wealthiest. Through the divisions initiative our culture was taken to the world through the famed Music Voyager 6 series 30 minute episodes that won numerous global awards. Mr Wilchcombe noted the ministrys plans to es tablish a fully equipped communications division with a digital platform headed by young Bahamian professional Andre Miller. He added that the Min istry of Tourisms commu nications team generated more than $600m worth of media exposure for the country during the Decem ber to May 2016 period. The Weber Shandwick contract follows redundan cies in the Ministry of Tour isms Grand Bahama ofce earlier this month that af fected 11 persons. In July, 12 persons were recalled to Nassau after the ministry amalgamated its Washing ton, DC, and Los Angeles ofces with New York and Houston. Mr DAguilar had previ ously said that move would save around $1m a year. Mr Wilchcombe previ ously defended his decision to increase the size of the ministrys staff by 55 per cent during his 2012 -2017 term, telling Tribune Busi ness the move was done within the ministrys budg etary constraints. Yesterday, he said the ministry had seen tremen dous progress and was slow ly lling its human capital needs through an extensive search for the best and the brightest. from page one from page one from page one BERNARD EVANS, president of the National Congress of Trade Unions Bahamas. ZANE LIGHTBOURNE, NCTUB General Secretay. A6MAIN


PAGE 8, Wednesday, August 16, 2017 THE TRIBUNE THE deadly week end violence in Virginia sparked by a white na tionalist rally in support of a Confederate memorial is alarming for more reasons than one. According to the New York Times, the racist Dai ly Stormer neo-Nazi web site has been calling 2017 the Summer of Hate in the United States, and iden tifying Charlottesville as ground zero. But overlooking this more tangible threat to Americas liberal democra cy (which we love so much), many Bahamians have tak en to social media to argue over the pros and cons of removing historical statues from public places. Thats because the Char lottesville violence owed from a decision by that citys governing council to remove a statue of Con federate General Robert E Lee from a public park, where it had been installed in 1924. This is not an isolated case. There are thousands of Confederate monuments around the US. Some me morialise the dead of civil war battles, but others sim ply glorify the top white supremacists who fought to entrench slavery. Most were erected during the decades of Jim Crow laws and segregation in the American south, speci cally to intimidate blacks. Some are still being in stalled, and there is support in many communities for the retention of these mon uments. This is not a matter of confusion. There is abso lutely no doubt what the confederacy stood for. It was formed in 1861 with the specic aim of preserv ing black slavery to support the lifestyle of white slave owners. At the time, slaves accounted for about a third of the southern population and about a quarter of the white population were slave owners As noted by Mississippis secession document: Our position is thoroughly identied with the institu tion of slavery the great est material interest of the world...A blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilisation. Texas was even more pointed: We hold as un deniable truths that the governments of the various states, and of the confeder acy itself, were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity. At the end of the Civil War, former slaves received citizenship and (in theory) equal protection under the law. But within a dec ade or so, white supremacy had been restored in the southenforced by armed terror groups like the Ku Klux Klan. Ofcial segregation maintained sharp inequali ties between whites and blacks for over a century following emancipation. It was not until the civil rights movement of the 1960s that African-Americans achieved any signicant po litical and social gains. So those are the histori cal facts. But what about the argument over monu ments? Is it really a matter of heritage over hate? Well, the Confederate heritage that some like to celebrate or justify is ex actly that hate. Racism, slavery and segregation are inseparable from hate. And how can any modern Amer ican glorify the great 19th century treason in defence of slavery? As journalist Roberto Ferdman has noted: If you celebrate the hoisting of a battle ag in front of your states capitol, and you have roads all over your state that are named after Con federate generals, and you celebrate this 19th century past, it should surprise ab solutely no one when peo ple pick up on this and im agine that the South is still at war with the North over whether blacks deserve rights and representation, or even life. The most rational coun ter-argument to this was put by legal scholar Alfred Brophy. He contends that the removal of Confederate monuments would erase an unsavoury but impor tant part of (the) nations history. In their Facebook posts, most Bahamians applied Ferdmans logic to the stat ues of Queen Victoria in Rawson Square and Chris topher Columbus at Gov ernment House. Similar views have been expressed about statues of the British imperialist Cecil Rhodes in both South Af rica and the United Kingdom. The erection of a stat ue of Oliver Cromwell at Westminster was opposed by Irish nationalists. And statues of Lenin and Stalin have been toppled in many formerly communist coun tries. According to historian Madge Dresser, statues are lightning rods, symbols of the prevailing values of the society. When those val ues are not shared a debate needs to be startedMany of the people celebrated in statues have been responsi ble for death and destruc tion. Do we start taking them all down? Ms Dresser suggests there is another way for more recent statues to be handled. For example, the positive plaques and inter pretations on these statues could be replaced by those that make clear what their true legacy was. The argument is that it is better on the whole to keep the statues, but to recontextualise them, she said. Others advocate a simple test to guide such decisions. If an historical gure is be ing honoured principally for an act of human oppres sion for instance, lead ing a pro-slavery rebellion that honour should be removed. But if a school, bridge or town is named to recognise a positive contri bution to society, it should stay even if that person has other negative associa tions. Columbus, the Italian navigator who landed in the Bahamas in 1492, was responsible for opening up the New World to Euro pean colonisation, which had a terrible impact on the indigenous people. His statue was erected on the steps at Government House in 1830 in honour of the landfall. Queen Victoria reigned over Britain (and the Baha mas) for over 60 years. Her statue was erected in the public square in 1905, four years after her death. It un derscored Victorias status as a symbol of the empire, the Bahamas having been a British territory since the 17th century. These statues were part of the normal context of the time. They were not erected after independ ence, or to glorify the Spanish conquest. The Ba hamas was deserted when the British settled here, and there was no war to get rid of them. Both Government House and Parliament Square are unt for the modern role they play today. But they are among our most historic places. It has long been suggested that they should be come living museums, with new facilities built else where to replace them. As part of a museum district, these two statues would be placed in their proper context in history just as Vendue House downtown has been placed in its proper context as a former slave market by the creation of the Pompey Mu seum. The big difference be tween these examples and the violent contention over the removal of Confeder ate symbols is that no-one is currently calling for the restoration of the British Empire or the oppression of Amerindians. But in the US today, there is a large, so-called Patriot Movement composed of various white nationalist, neo-Nazi, radical religious and militia groupsinclud ing the KKK. Law enforce ment agencies have identi ed over 400 armed militia groups in all 50 American states. This movement offers something for everyone. And it feeds on weird con spiracy theories such as the belief that the Sandy Hook primary school mas sacre was part of a govern ment plot to control guns. Timothy McVeigh, who killed 168 people in a ter ror attack in Oklahoma 22 years ago, is perhaps the best known Patriot activ ist. Neo-Nazis like those who demonstrated in Char lottesville over the weekend are part of this movement. While they also hate other minorities and homosexu als, Jews are their main tar get, and social problems are often traced to a worldwide Jewish conspiracy. The alt-right, or alterna tive right, is a loosely de ned group of people with far-right ideologies who reject mainstream con servatism in favour of white nationalism, principally in the United States. White supremacist Richard Spen cer coined the term in 2010 as an attempt to re-brand white nationalism. It has been listed as a key factor in Trumps election win last year, and White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon is associated with the alt-right. These people look back to what they imagine to be a golden age for white people and believe that identity is everything. The rally in Charlottes ville starred several of the alt-rights leading gures, and photos of the event show Confederate ags, Nazi insignia, and militia members with high-pow ered weapons. According to a recent article by Yale University professor James Whitman, In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, America led the world in race-based lawmaking, as a broad po litical consensus favoured safeguarding the histori cally white character of the country. European racists took note. Among them was Ad olf Hitler. In Mein Kampf, Hitler called America the one state making progress toward the creation of the kind of order he wanted for Germany. It is undeniable that the United States was founded on white supremacy. The civil war re-ordered the countrys values to a de gree, and In the second half of the 20th century those values began to be enforced. The Trump supporters who demand their coun try back, and the domestic terrorists who run private armies, must be seen in the light of that history as must Trumps equivocal response to the Charlottes ville violence. What do you think? Send comments to lsmith@ or visit The rise of hate and the debate on removing statues A VEHICLE drives into a group of protesters demonstrating against a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday, injuring a number of protestors and leaving one woman dead. Photo: The Daily Progress/AP A8MAIN


PAGE 10, Wednesday, August 16, 2017 THE TRIBUNE PLP Chairman Brad ley Roberts said a recent statement from Minister of Labour Dion Foulkes on job gures and plans to in crease employment showed the government has simply adopted Progressive Liber al Party pro-growth policies established by the Christie administration. Mr Roberts comments came a day after Senator Foulkes welcomed a slight decrease in the unemploy ment gures but added that many of those workers are likely now on the unem ployment line because their jobs were temporary. Senator Foulkes said the Minnis administra tion is focused on job crea tion and highlighted the planned expansion of the National Training Agency and discussions with the Inter-American Develop ment Bank to nalise the implementation of the Na tional Apprenticeship Pro gramme as a way to better train young people to enter the job market. Mr Foulkes also said the opening of more hotels at Baha Mar in Winter 2018, the reopening of the Grand Lucayan Resort in Grand Bahama and an increase in new businesses as a result of government condence will all increase job opportuni ties. In response, Mr Rob erts said: While the La bour Minister Foulkes lists a number of programmes to cause for further job creation. . his exercise was nothing more than a wholesale adoption of the pro-growth policies of the Christie PLP administra tion where the heavy lifting established a rm and solid foundation of progress on which to build. The PLP has made this point over and repeatedly and nds it necessary to remind Ba hamians of the same once again. Mr Roberts claimed af ter the election campaign bluster labelling the PLP as a failure while in ofce, the FNM has not advanced any new or original policy or programme. The use of the National Training Agency (NTA) to respond to the training needs of young Bahami ans is a PLP policy, Mr Roberts said. Thousands of young Bahamians were trained with job ready skills between 2012 and 2017. The apprenticeship pro gramme for young Bahami ans is in full swing and the Grand Bahama Shipyard apprenticeship model is one to emulate regionally, thanks to the PLP govern ment. The opening of addi tional hotels at the Baha Mar Resort in the winter of 2018 was negotiated by the Christie administra tion in August of 2016, but the FNM is just now com ing to their senses on Baha Mar after literally years of self-denial and blatant lies which they arrogantly re fuse to apologise for now that the truth has seen the light of day. The negotiations with the Steve Wynn investment group of Canada for the reopening of the Lucayan hotel (in Grand Bahama) complex were in the ad vanced stages with a heads of terms already prepared. Quite frankly the FNM gov ernment should have closed that deal by now if they were focused on governance. The Citizens Security and Justice Programme was another landmark pro gramme that the Christie government developed in partnership with the IDB to address youth truancy and meet the job skills training needs of our young peo ple. This was the last major programme spearheaded by our dearly departed col league and brother, the late Dr Bernard J Nottage, (for mer) minister of national security. These PLP inspired pro grammes are in fact bold and innovative policies that are designed to provide permanent and sustainable employment for our citi zens as the labour minister rightly pointed out, vindi cating the PLP government yet again. The caveat for success rests with the FNM governments ability to ex ecute these programmes without dropping the ball and botching these pro grammes as the Opposition Leader Davis pointed out to House members during the budget debate. It is unfortunate that the FNM has started its tenure of governance on a losing wicket by sabotaging the national economy through among other decisions, talking down the economy, massive tax concessions to the rich, unnecessary and excessive borrowing and conducting mass rings while blaming all of their ill-advised actions on the PLP. By RICARDO WELLS Tribune Staff Reporter HEALTH Minister Dr Duane Sands yesterday praised the appointment of Dr Caroline Burnett-Gar raway as the new medical chief of staff for Princess Margaret Hospital, calling her career experiences in emergency medicine sym bolic to what the Minnis administration intends to do throughout the sector. Dr Sands in an inter view outside of Cabinet on Tuesday, said Dr BurnettGarraways new role allows her to serve as the ultimate and nal authority on phy sician activity at the hospi tal, placing more focus on emergency care as a holistic view of healthcare. He also said more changes are on the way for the healthcare sector. Dr Sands said: Dr Bur nett and I go back a very long way. She would have been my senior registrar when I was the director of emergency services at the Princess Margaret Hospi tal. He added: Ive had the opportunity to watch her develop into an exceptional physician leader, she was my right hand in the emer gency department, ulti mately took over running Accident and Emergency, she was one of a number of consultants in emergency medicine. This new role allows her to serve in the capacity of medical chief of staff as the ultimate and nal authority in terms of physician activ ity in PMH. I have always dened A&E as ground zero in our acute healthcare setting and so to have someone who is the medical chief of staff who is versed in emer gency medicine, I think says an awful lot (and) is really symbolic of what we need to do as we renovate our approach to health care in the acute care setting, Dr Sands continued. So we have spoken about improving dignity to improve service, to get peo ple to feel as if their loved ones are getting the type of care that they need to get. So to have a new medical chief of staff who is particu larly focused on emergency care as a holistic view of healthcare is really exciting. Dr Sands added that the government is aiming to improve physician par ticipation and supervision throughout the sector, in sisting the redeployment of physicians will, in time, im prove the level of care that patients get. Dr Burnett-Garraways appointment lls the role left vacant last November by the resignation of Dr James Johnson, who stepped down in protest after health ofcials moved forward with plans to recruit foreign doctors despite months of back-and-forth discussion over the changes. Town Meeting Dr Sands yesterday also revealed that health of cials will host a forum this evening to update the pub lic on various health issues that have arisen in recent months. The Elizabeth MP said the government is doing all it can to ensure the public is aware, informed and edu cated. According to Dr Sands, the forum will take place at 7 oclock tonight at Garvin Tynes Primary, and will feature updates on the New Providence landll crisis, the Zika pandemic, the Ru bis fuel spill and issues at Clifton. Dr Sands said: Weve had several public health disasters, one was Rubis and that, unfortunately, was badly mishandled. The dump is yet another prob lem and we have a grow ing environmental issue at Clifton. He added: So the role of public health and sur veillance is extremely im portant to protect the pub lic and the public needs to know what is happening on their behalf, behind the scenes. Deputy House Speaker Don Saunders is also ex pected to attend. HOSPITAL CHIEF OF STAFF APPOINTMENT PRAISED By RICARDO WELLS Tribune Staff Reporter FNM are using PLP policies PLP chairman Bradley Roberts. DR Caroline Burnett-Garraway. A10MAIN Immigration Ofcer GR II LASHANDA NIKENYA PERCENTIE, 36 a resident of Sunshine Road, Gamble Heights, will be held at New Mt. Zion Mis sionary Baptist Church, Baillou Hill Road South, on Thursday, 17th August, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. Ofciating will be Pastor Mario Moxey, assisted by Bishop Hubert Kemp & Pastor Alfred Stewart (Host Pastor). Inter ment follows in Woodlawn Gardens, Soldier Road. Left to cherish precious memories are her Husband: James Oliver Percentie; Stepson: James Oliver Percentie Jr.; Mother: Sandra Lewis-Gaitor; Fathers: Albert Major, Albert Gaitor; Mothers-in-law: Melonie Ward & Dorothy Ward Johnson; Sisters: Alvashan & Alvanique Gaitor, Abbigail, Kiyoshi, Na trice, Shavaughn, Denise, Eulisa, Eugina, Antoinette & Latrenda; Brothers: Albert, Jamaine, Daniel, Deniro, Akeem, Malik & Miguel Major; Sisters-in-law: Claudette Whymns & Shekiera Calma; Brothers-inlaw : Reginald Ingraham & Julian Ward; Grandfathers: Edmund Samuel Lewis Sr., Lloyd Ranger Sr., Clarence Major & The Late Humphrey James Arthur Percentie of Harbour Island; Grandmothers: Thelma Major, Geraldine Lewis & The Late Ruby Hanna Percentie MBE of Harbour Island; Aunts: Elaine Sands, Deidre Ferguson, Anetria Lewis, Patrice, Denika, Deborah, Latoya, Cookie, Candy, Keyma, Janet, Sandra and Mary Major, Charlotte, Janae, Garry & Geneva Cooper and Persephanie Ranger; Uncles: Anthony Lewis, Lloyd Jr. & Darryl Ranger, Edmund Lewis Jr., Edmund Jerome Lewis, Tawian, Dwayne Dion, Don & Ross, Leevan Sands Sr., Keith Ferguson Sr., Larry & Junior Major; Uncles-In-Law: Wilmott Ward & family, Edison Ward, Raymond Ward & family, John, Humphrey, Lea, Elvis & Martin Percentie; Grandaunts: Cynthia Mother Pratt, Patricia Moxey, Laurial Lewis, Daphne, Dorothy, Brenda, Deborah, Cecile, Pastor Rosilyn Astwood, Bernadette, Patricia, Linda, Sheila & Patsy Moxey, Cyprianna Strachan & Elsie Bur rows, Olga Percentie-Higgs of Harbour Island & Ella Lewis; Granduncles: Rev. Charles & Edmundo Moxey, Tyrone Strachan, Sammy, Tony, Dudley, Rhodrick, Brian, Clifford, Carlton Hanna; Aunt-In-Laws: Rosemary Ward & Family, Cora Johnson & family, Mary Russell & family, Virginia Cartwright & family, Ila, Val erie, Nancy, BJ, Juanita Percentie, Paulette Ferguson, Karen Catalyn & Keisha Kemp; Numerous nieces & nephews including: Emmanuel Gaitor; Cousins including: Shenika Moxey, Nicole Pratt, Candice & Brianna, Paula Ranger, Alia, Vandia & Bria Sands, Raina Hanna, Tina Schroeter, Latoya Rolle, Juankah, Troy, Seanray, Stacy Lewis, Latrell King, Keithrelle, Danielle Capron, Janelle, Dr. Tonyia Lewis, Tanya, Ms. Flowers, Livingston Moxey & family, Jason Moxey, Keith Jr., Keidr, Clyde & Brian Schroeter, Leevan Superman & DAngelo Sands, Demarco, Jamith, Lamont, Llewlyn, Ron, Sebas Bastian, Alvin Jr., Don, Juan & Sherelle, Julian & Barry Pratt, Antonio Lewis, Kevin Moxey, Micheal, Gino, Jenarosa Johnson & family, Daphnie Mckinney & family, Beatrice Hall & family, Jody Wilson & family, Daisy, Dr. Larano, Ryan and Anthon Knowles, Eaisha, Javar, Adrian Pinder, Marrotte Wilson, Pamiko Reckley & family, Jere my Johnson, Shevan Ward, Candy Adderley & family, Dennis Whymns, Sabrina Lowe, Nicole Adderley & family, Nathea Skyers & family, Nathan Ward & family, Beleka Watson & family, Shavourne Brown & family, Jillian Gray & family, Molly Moss & family, Helena Neilly & family, Rose Mackey & family, Mr. & Mrs. Elijah Brice & family, Mrs. Eloise Knowles & Family, Children and Grand Children of the Percentie Clans (Herman, Anna, Henry, Victor, Duke, Anthony, Olga & Humphrey Percentie) especially Joenesca, JJ (Prince of Dunmore), Kenstantin, Iesha, Elvis Jr., Teasha, Wanda, Rayon, Christopher, Jammie, Ferdie, Amelia, Iris, Joneka, Jasmine, Imani, Kenneth Jr., Kendyce, Kenderia, Dominic & Kelly. Other Relatives: Rosemary Ward & family, Cora Johnson & family, Wilmott Ward & family, Mary Russell & family, Virginia Cartwright & family, Edison Ward, Raymond Ward & family, Jenarosa Johnson & family, Daphanie McKinney & family, Beatrice Hall and family, Jody Wilson & family, Tamiko Reckley & family, Jeremy Johnson, Shevan Ward, Candy Adderley & family, Dennis Whymns, Sabrina Lowe, Nicole Adderley & family, Nathea Skyers & family, Nathan Ward & family, Deleka Watson & family, Shavourne Brown & family, Jillian Gray & family, Molly Moss & family, Helena Neilly & family, Rose Mackey & family; Godparents: Woodley & Rhonda Carroll, Antoinette Bain, Katherine Demeritte, Sherry Kemp; Godsisters: Keno, Nishitae, Delisia Knowles, Leanne; Godbrother : Adam; Special Friends: Carla Deveaux and family, Tia Deveaux, Angelique Ferguson, DaReesia, Frances Palmer, Mott; Special Thanks: Staff of Doctors Hospital, Director Dr. William Pratt, Training Ofcer Mr. Rudy Ferguson and Staff of Bahamas Immigration Department, Mr. Kirkland Neely Overseer Enforcement Unit of the Bahamas Immigration De partment, Staff of Accident & Emergency Department of the Princess Margaret Hospital, Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade & Deputy Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson, Chief Superintendent Dennis Sturrup & the Police Force Band, The Royal Bahamas Police Force, the Percentie, Hanna, Heastie, Tynes Families and a host of other relatives and friends too numerous to men tion. Friends may pay their last respects at Demerittes Funeral Home, Market Street from 10-6:00 p.m. on Wednesday & on Thursday at the church from 10:00 a.m. until service time. Full Military Service for


THE TRIBUNE Wednesday, August 16, 2017, PAGE 11 excesses that characterised the Christie administra tions tenure. An ofcial in the Min nis administration said the workers were let go after their three-month contract ended. The source said the employees were brought on ahead of the May 10 gen eral election and seen as Progressive Liberal Party operatives. However, a contract of a red worker seen by The Tribune showed no three-month limitation on his work. And oth ers who spoke to this news paper denied their period of work was only for three months. The contract this newspaper saw said the ap pointment was subject to a probationary period of six months and that conr mation in appointment is based on satisfactory com pletion of the probation pe riod. The father of six, who worked in the mainte nance department at BAIC, also insisted he had no po litical ties to a party and was no operative. He criticised the new chairman of BAIC, Mir iam Emmanuel, for re fusing to meet with the red employees. He criti cised the government for failing to help them secure a new job. When I was accepted in May for the job I speci cally asked them if it was a permanent job, the fa ther said. They told me yes and thats the only rea son I left Atlantis. I would not have accepted it if it were a short-term job or a contract job. Since thats what they told me, the least they couldve done if they were going to re me was put in a word with Atlan tis to help me get that job back. The father of six doesnt buy the argument that ex penditure cuts in an era when the country faces costly credit downgrades are so necessary that the government has to let peo ple like him go. If you saying there needs to be cuts, you should be looking at the people who on pension and still on the payroll, he said. If you on pension, still employed, thats dou ble dipping. They should start their cuts with them, not with innocent ones like me who trying to make it through. The Minnis administra tion has pledged to coun ter the practice of rehiring pensioners. The status of its efforts to do this is not clear. The fired workers told The Tribune that since be ing hired they were paid for the first time Mon day when they received a cheque along with a let ter informing them that their services are no longer necessary. We were working like everybody else, going into the field like eve ryone else so they cant say they didnt need the bodies, the father said. He said he made several failed attempts in recent weeks to meet Attorney General Carl Bethel af ter the general manager of BAIC told them high er powers would decide on their employment fu ture. My family of six in my house, he said. All my children under age. One is 22 months old. One is seven, one nine, one 13, one 15. I was liv ing off my saving funds for four months because they werent paying me. My wife dont work. This the position they put me in where I have to now jump on every part time job to maintain my family. As for the mother of ten, the Marathon resident ad mitted she was a major, vocal supporter of the Pro gressive Liberal Party and she suggested she got her job through help from for mer BAIC Chairman Dion Smith. However, she said: I didnt think when I got the job that if the FNM came in I would lose it. Whether its FNM or PLP, we all lose if people dont have work. She said two of her chil dren are working, but both have families of their own to sustain. I still dont know which way to turn, she said. She added: They gave us no notice that we were being red. No one even came to say they appreci ated the work we did. And whats so bad is they gave us the letter at 4pm and had security guards in the room like we were some kind of threat. Sacked BAIC staff: We thought our roles were permanent A PHOTO sent to The Tribune of the employment offer from one of the workers let go from BAIC earlier this week. Some of the workers claim they were hired with the promise of full time employment and were shocked to be let go from the government agency. from page one AMBASSADOR of the Peoples Republic of China Huang Qinguo making a courtesy call on Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis on Monday at the Ofce of the Prime Minister. Photos: OPM Media Services A11MAIN


PAGE 12, Wednesday, August 16, 2017 THE TRIBUNE UNDER the theme To day a Reader, Tomorrow a Leader, 58 primary school students attended The South Eleuthera Missions literacy and numeracy sum mer programme which ran from June 26 to July 21. Funded by a grant from the Cotton Bay Fund, for merly the Cotton Bay Foun dation, the summer school intervention programme is designed to offer much needed assistance to nonreaders, those reading be low their grade level as well as those struggling with ba sic math. At the end of the school year, students were recommended by their class teachers and letters of con sent were distributed to the parents/guardians of these children, enabling them to attend the programme. Classes were held on the campuses of Tarpum Bay Primary, Rock Sound Pri mary, Wemyss Bight Prima ry, Green Castle Primary and Deep Creek Primary to facilitate students who at tend those schools and live in those communities. To effectively cater to them, the programme began with pre-testing to ascertain each students competency level, they were then placed accordingly. A typical day in the sum mer programme began with uency exercises; where the students practiced reading at their independent level or received assistance that would help them to read at their appropriate grade levels. They would then re ceive whole group, small group and/or individual instruction and help with phonemic awareness or phonics activities. The aim was to ensure that students were exposed to targeted instruction and positive reinforcement in order to improve in noted problematic areas as it re lates to phonemic awareness, phonics, grammar and com prehension; as well as math concepts, computation, ap plication and mental math. As part of a well-rounded programme, each child was provided with a healthy snack and drink daily. They also partook in an educa tional eld trip with a visit to the historic Preachers Cave. Ade Pinder, programme co-ordinator, said: SEMs intervention programmes work. In our continued ef fort to promote reading, we launched The Book Busters Reading Club this summer, a club that targets strong and avid readers. Remark ably, most of the students who are now a part of that club, were once enrolled in our afterschool and summer intervention pro grammes. It testies to the strength and effectiveness of what we do. The programme culmi nated with a closing ceremo ny at the South Eleuthera Mission on Friday, July 21. The ceremony heavily un derscored literacy as stu dents demonstrated their improved reading through poetry and choral reading. In attendance were teach ers, families and members of the community. Teacher Sharon Carey, who worked with the pro gramme said in her summa tion, I have seen the ben ets of SEMs intervention programmes, as a teacher I can say with certainty that the summer programme is most effective. I have seen the marked improvements in children who could not read or properly hold a pen cil transform into condent readers and writers. Eight-year-old Taliah Evans of Wemyss Bight Primary, loves to read and write stories but was having difculties with math. She said: I was happy for summer school because I got to go over the math I didnt understand in school. I can do better now. For Jenny Joseph, a fourth grader of Rock Sound Primary, summer school gave her much need ed help. I got help everyday with my reading and spelling and I am glad about that, I wanted to read better, she said. Director of the South Eleuthera Mission Errol McPhee said at the closing ceremony he had profound pleasure at the impact of the programme and laud ed the commitment of the teachers who delayed their vacation to lend their ex pertise. Certicates of participa tion and report cards were distributed to each student. The South Eleuthera Mission is a non-prot or ganisation that seeks to strengthen students, schools and communities through educational offerings. It partners with the Ministry of Education and The One Eleuthera Foundation to bring quality and impact ful programmes across the island of Eleuthera. From readers to leaders at Eleuthera summer camp YOUNGSTERS pictured above and below at the South Eleuthera Missions summer programme, which ended last month. A12MAIN