Citation
The Tribune.

Material Information

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

Subjects

Genre:
newspaper ( sobekcm )
Spatial Coverage:
Bahamas

Notes

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 )

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Nassau & Bahama Islands Leading Newspaper MONDAY HIGH 92F LOW 79F it! 24/7 BREAKING NEWS ON TRIBUNE242.COM Biggest And Best! The Tribune THE PEOPLES PAPER: $1 Established 1903 INSIGHT: TIME FOR A RADICAL OVERHAUL OF IMMIGRATION Christie & Davis: $46k water debt EXCLUSIVE By TANEKA THOMPSON tmthompson@tribunemedia.net FORMER Prime Minister Perry Christie tops a con dential list at the Water and Sewerage Corporation which allowed politicians and elites to accumulate arrears and not be disconnected, with one of two accounts in his name owing more than $20,000 as of July 2014. The list also shows law rm Davis & Co, headed by Pro gressive Liberal Party Leader Philip Brave Davis, owed $22,603.33 the second larg est amount as of March 31 of this year when a payment of $5,000 was made. Mr Davis had a substantially lower bill at his Westridge resi dence, owing $2,334.21 as of April 5. The condential document obtained by The Tribune lists dozens of politicians and other well-connected people, however not everyone has an exorbitant bill. Some on the list have zero balances, owe less than $500 or are even owed money by WSC. The document, dated June 13, shows that a payment of $57 was made on July 25, 2014 on a West Bay Street account in Mr Christies name, leaving ANOTHER senior man ager at Bahamas Power and Light has been terminated, The Tribune can conrm. According to sources close to the matter, former president of the Bahamas Electrical Utility Managerial Union and former manager of the Credit and Collections Department Irvin Dean was red without cause last Friday. BPL MANAGER VOWS TO FIGHT SACKING A CARIBBEAN regulatory body has urged Bahamian banks to show more dedica tion and urgency in cleaning up 20,000 unveri ed accounts that collectively hold almost $184m. The Caribbean Financial Action Task Force urged commercial banks and the Central Bank to give priority to updating the necessary benecial owner due diligence documents. $180M HELD IN 20,000 UNVETTED ACCOUNTS By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor nhartnell@tribunemedia.net PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis announced plans to accommodate students from Dominica displaced by Hurricane Maria, the rst step in a series of moves to provide aid to the island nation. In a press brieng fol lowing the departure of Dominicas Prime Minis ter Roosevelt Skerrit from Jet Aviation on Sunday, Dr Minnis also urged all Bahamians to display their caring nature, calling it essential for The Baha mas to do all it could to assist in Dominicas rebuild ing efforts. Dr Minnis declared that whatever needs to be done will be done as quickly as possible to accommodate as many of the countrys students dis placed by the storm here in The Bahamas in both the public and private school systems. MINNIS OPENS DOOR TO By RICARDO WELLS Tribune Staff Reporter rwells@tribunemedia.net NO child should be denied education because of their status, according to Immigration Minister Brent Symonette, who yes terday implored all school administrators to admit students and contact his ofce for any needed clarication. Mr Symonette, whose ministerial portfolio also includes nancial services, trade and industry, said no government should prohibit SCHOOLS TOLD TO ADMIT MIGRANT PUPILS By RICARDO WELLS Tribune Staff Reporter rwells@tribunemedia.net PLP leader Philip Brave Davis, left, and former Prime Minister Perry Christie By SANCHESKA DORSETT Tribune Staff Reporter sdorsett@tribunemedia.net SEE PAGE FIVE SEE PAGE 11 SEE PAGE SIX SEE PAGE THREE FULL STORY SEE BUSINESS A1MAIN 16 PAGES HOUSE HOME &

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PAGE 2, Monday, September 25, 2017 THE TRIBUNE A ROYAL Bahamas Police Force ofcer is under investigation after he was caught on video purchasing alcohol while in uniform, Assistant Commissioner of Police Stephen Dean con rmed yesterday. In the 31 second video, which went viral over the weekend, the ofcer, who appears to be attached to the Trafc Division of the RBPF, can be heard order ing beers, ice and cigarettes from a local store. The ofcer ordered two Bud Lights and two Heinekens and 50 cents worth of bidis. A bidi is a hand rolled cigarette. The video, recorded on cell phone, cuts out as the ofcer is counting some money, seemingly to pay for the items. It is unclear if he was on duty at the time. I am sure you are aware of a recent video of a police ofcer at a local store being circulated on social media, ACP Dean said in a statement. I wish to conrm that an internal investigation has been launched into this matter in accordance with the Police Disciplinary Regulations and the Police Act that governs the Royal Bahamas Police Force. Please be reminded that each person deserves the process of natural justice. Last month, two RBPF ofcers caught drinking on video while riding in a police squad car were demoted, according to an order obtained by The Tribune. One ofcer, a corporal, was demoted to the rank of constable while the other ofcer who held the rank of constable was also reduced in seniority. The demotions were conrmed by police. The video in question went viral in July. In the video, one ofcer is seen holding a bottle of Kalik while they appeared to ignore a call from the Police Control Room. The ofcers also appeared to ride without seatbelts on and they ignored a call from the control room because as one said, they were (exple tive) getting drunk. The video appeared to be recorded by the driver on his cellphone who said in the expletive laden record ing: Dont send this video out you know. It was viewed and shared thousands of times on Facebook, prompting wide spread condemnation and calls for the men to be red. Shortly after the video surfaced in July, Minister of National Security Marvin Dames described it as disgusting, and not what anyone should expect from police ofcers. Investigations continue. Policeman in uniform lmed as he buys beer By SANCHESKA DORSETT Tribune Staff Reporter sdorsett@tribunemedia.net THE POLICE ofcer in the video buying beer. A2MAIN rfntb LRG. 1-TOPPING PIZZA 8 WINGS 2L PEPSI (INCL. VAT) (INCL. VAT) $25 rfntb

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THE TRIBUNE Monday, September 25, 2017, PAGE 3 BRADLEY Roberts. PLP chairman, accused the Free National Movement of making public portions of a forensic report into Baha mas Power and Light to deect from the fact the government and Works Minister Desmond Bannis ter have no plan for the utility provider. In a statement, Mr Rob erts also said the FNM is hypocritical for accusing the PLP of handing out no bid contracts, as he accused the government of not using the tender process in certain cases. A forensic investigation into BPL unearthed glar ing infractions, revealing a company owned by the father of Jerome Fitzger ald was awarded a contract for brokerage work despite no participation in the tender process and a rec ommendation that another entity should be given the approval. According to the Ernst & Young audit into BPL, Mr Bannister told the House of Assembly that in one egregious instance, Mr Fitzgeralds fathers busi ness, Bahamas Courier & Logistics (BCL), was awarded a contract over Pinders Customs Broker age, a company with the best bid. Mr Fitzgerald was minister of education in the last Christie administration. The electricity provider spent $2,626,001 with BCL since 2012. The audit further found in two separate instances, Mr Bannister said last week, J S Johnson was the winning contractor in the bidding process for insurance cov erage, but both contracts totaling $14,183,159 were ultimately issued to Sunshine Insurance, the company of Franklyn Wilson, a Progres sive Liberal Party supporter and nancier. Mr Roberts defended the actions of the former administration saying trading goods and services for money is not a gift. Former Education Min ister Jerome Fitzgerald responded that the infer ence by Bannister that his familial connection was the reason for the contract award to Bahamas Cargo and Logistics, formerly Global Custom Brokers, or that he inuenced or ben etted from the contract were both false and defam atory. Fitzgerald said he would le a lawsuit and we agree, the statement said. Sunshine Insurance for its part responded that at no stage did they ever use any political effort or lev erage to seek to inuence the outcome of any tender process; we believe them. This insurance broker par ticipated in a sealed tender process for the provision of captive insurance cov erage for BEC/BPL in 2013; they won the bid and was awarded the contract. In 2017, four years later, Sunshine Insurance again participated in the same process and the contract was renewed in June 2017 to the period June 2018 under the superintendence of FNM Minister Bannister. The contract award begs the question of why Minister Bannister refused to intervene in the public interest if he had evidence of impropriety on the part of Sunshine Insurance that he felt corrupted the process. Impropriety is suf cient cause for cancellation and I charge that Bannister has no cause or evidence of impropriety and his posturing and charade in the House were cowardly abuses of parliamentary privilege. Mr Roberts said if Mr Bannisters sole aim was to malign the character and reputation of political per sonalities aligned with the PLP, then the FNM is fair game. We know the FNM has no plans to govern; no plans for BEC and after being scammed out of $2.8 million, we know the prime minister has absolutely no intentions of tabling that letter from CCRIF he promised three times to table, Mr Rob erts said, referring to the $2.8m premium the Minnis administration paid to the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility to renew the countrys tropical cyclone policy. Deections, however, through... the agrant abuse of parliamentary privilege are unseemly even for a FNM minister, he said. On Thursday, PLP Leader Phillip Brave Davis told The Tribune he sees nothing wrong with awarding contracts to party supporters or the justied circumvention of the tender process. The audit has not been tabled in the House of Assembly as police investi gation into its ndings are continuing. ROBERTS: FNM REVELATIONS HIDING LACK OF PLAN FOR BPL By SANCHESKA DORSETT Tribune Staff Reporter sdorsett@tribunemedia.net a balance of $23,432.51. It is unclear if other payments were made on the account after that. Another West Bay Street account in the former Centreville MPs name, which he shared with his wife Bernadette, had a balance of $514.55 as of May 1. Several PLP politicians populate the list. The Trib une can reveal former Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources V Alfred Gray had a balance for a residence at Culberts Hill of $7,051.43 as of June 7, after making a payment of $100. Dr Perry Gomez, former minister of health, owed $7,529.64 after a $2,000 pay ment on July 1, 2015. South Andros MP Pice well Forbes owed $3,270.51 after making a $500 pay ment in February. Former Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe owed the cor poration $3,156.22 after making a $1,000 payment on March 20. Former Labour and National Insurance Min ister Shane Gibson owed $1,046.50 after making a payment in December 2015 while former National Security Minister in the rst Christie administration Cynthia Mother Pratt owed just over $1,800 as of April. Another account in her name owed less than $200 as of May. Members of the Free National Movement are also on the list, however on average they did not have high balances. For instance, former Deputy Prime Minis ter Frank Watson owed nearly $900 as of April 18. Former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham is also on the list, with a balance of $576.63 in April for an address in Coopers Town, Abaco. Former Minister of Works Neko Grant had a negative balance of $46.60 as of April, suggesting he was owed money by WSC. Minister of Immigration Brent Symonette did not owe any money, and Attor ney General Carl Bethel owed less than $200, among others. The list is populated by several former government ofcials as well. Former Central Bank Governor Julian Francis owed $3,765.79 in June 2016 while former Urban Renewal Co-Chair Alger non Allen had a balance of $3,586.56 in April 10, 2014, after making a payment of just over $200. Several companies are also listed. An entity called June One Ltd owed $3,975.96 after making a payment of $1,000 on March 8. Laverne Holdings Ltd had a balance of $2,290.44 as of October 3, 2013. The Fort Charlotte Com munity Centre on Boyd Road owed $8,967.44 after making a payment in November 2013. Meanwhile, the Ameri can embassy appears on the list several times with multiple accounts, most of which had zero balances or were owed money by WSC. However, one US Embassy account owed more than $1,400 as of April. The headquarters of both major political parties are also on the list however, neither entity had an over due balance. Last week, WSC Cor poration chairman Adrian Gibson conrmed the existence of a special list populated by scores of elites at the government owned utility provider as he pledged to initiate a crackdown on delinquent accounts. At the time, Mr Gibson told The Tribune the con dential list held 221 accounts, with a combined total of $175,000 for the period ending June 2017. The Tribune understands WSC has written to persons holding these delinquent accounts giving them 14 days to pay their debts or arrange a suitable payment plan or face disconnection. This revelation comes after The Tribune reported last week about a simi lar list at Bahamas Power and Light. Persons in this category owed the cash-strapped electricity provider thousands of dol lars, with many owing more than $10,000. Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis has ordered ofcials to end the list and stop giving special treatment. In the aftermath of the report, some people claimed they never asked to be on BPLs special list. Former BEC Executive Chairman Leslie Miller, who was on BPLs list owing thousands, said a similar policy was also in place at BTC and all government corporations. Christie & Davis: $46k water debt from page one FORMER Prime Minister Perry Christie and current PLP leader Philip Brave Da vis. Pictured below are some of the sums owed The Tribune has blacked out tel ephone numbers and address information. A3MAIN

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The Tribune Limited NULLIUS 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 1972Published daily Monday to Friday Shirley & 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 www.tribune242.com @tribune242 tribune news network PAGE 4, Monday, September 25, 2017 THE TRIBUNE EDITOR, The Tribune My dear friends, Thanks for your prayers and concern. Prayer can never be underesti mated. It is much needed to move the Faith of the people thus preventing despair and despondency which are openings for the enemys despicable plans which ultimately is to kill steal and destroy... (John 10:10) Already its said persons are walking the streets in a daze. Prayer is also needed to touch the hearts and pockets of those who are capable, to not only give generously, but to move expeditiously to help alle viate the plight of our people. It also restores hope in God and human ity. The mysteries of an incomprehensible God can be fathomed through prayer who always works all things good for those who love him (Rom 8:28). Yes and prayer (still) opens the ood gates of heaven allowing for direct divine intervention. Intrinsic here is that your prayers are not being taken for granted. I am thank ful and appreciative for your prayers. Keep them coming. Rest assured your intentions will be placed at the Altar as I offer the greatest Sacrice. The news coming from the Dominican Govern ments ofce is bleak, dreadfully bleak. Perhaps you may have seen some aspects of the devastation on the TV. Of course the reality is always graver than the images. We watch from the outside in, while its their lived daily reality, and for how long (?) Our salvic history story shows clearly we are a resilient people and we always do emerge victori ously. I love saying, Gods people can be enslaved for so longnever forever Our story from antiquity and even that of our par ents and grandparents can attest. Now we will have our story to attest. One can ill talk about know ing God or experiencing God without having a story to tell. What an incred ible God! St Paul reassures, But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. (2 Cor 4:7-9). Unquestionably, we will rise. The end is a given. Gods modus oper andi never changes, the crucixion and resurrec tion another unequivocal example. The writer of the book of Hebrews asks of us to take some strength by simply reminiscing, Remember your lead ers, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Heb 4:7-8). Havent heard from my bishop but his expectation is that I would put some mechanism in place to organize relief for the Dio cese of Roseau, Dominica. Past experiences show that there is greater account ability when the bishop receives assistance as opposed to the politicians, who unfortunately manipu late these for political gains. I am yet to receive news from my family but pre sumably like everyone else, they share the same fate, but Im hopeful they are in the 5% that was untouched cant blame me, Im a person of faith. Yester day was very sombre, the tears were close but I held back but my stomach bore the brunt of the pain of my people, resulting in my being an athlete through out the day.I feel much healthier today. Once again thanks for your love, prayers and support. The words of the Psalm ist echoes triumphantly, My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth (Ps. 121:2). Gods peace. FATHER CELSUS (Of Dominica now study ing in Florida). ALTHOUGH the PLP government seemed to have no difculty spend ing $10m in consultancy fees to set up a National Health Insurance scheme, it could not nd $642,567.70, part of which was urgently needed to repair the roof of the Princess Margaret Hospital dam aged by Hurricane Matthew in October last year. As a result, the Minnis govern ment will now have to spend even more than that because thanks to lack of repair to the roof the recent rains have ooded the female medi cal 1, male medical 2, and damaged the dialysis area and a part of the old admin istrative building. Urgent repairs have now started on the hospitals roof. It was not as though the Christie government had not been reminded of the urgency of the repairs. In a letter dated May 26 this year, the PLP govern ments attention was again directed to a letter dated November 30 last year regarding Hurricane Matthew claims totaling $920,733.70 of which $642,567.70 related to critical capi tal works, including roof repairs for the Princess Margaret Hospital and the Rand Memorial Hospital. This matter is of major concern as we have yet to receive the required funding and we are days away from the commencement of the 2017 hurricane season. Hence, I am again urging that the requested funds be provided, so that we may carry out repairs to our facilities to ensure that they are all in a state of readiness. Obviously, this urgent reminder was ignored. Princess Margaret Hospitals roof is only now undergoing repairs after further damage has been done to the hospital. As for the the over stated and much promised National Health Insurance (NHI) obviously an unworkable scam to win votes it crashed before it could even get off the ground. So anxious was the Christie government to pin its elec tion win on improved health services that it started patients enrolment in the scheme on April 24, just nine days before the May 10 election. Obviously, Bahamians were not fooled this time considering the PLPs massive defeat at the polls. However, some doctors and patients fell into the medical spiders web, from which they are now trying to extricate themselves. Recently, we received a couple of calls doctors wanting to know when and if they were to be paid for their services rendered to their NIB patients. It is now a question as to whether the set up of the plan had been completed by the PLP government making it possible for the new Board to legally make any pay ments at all. Last month, the Bahamas Insurance Association pointed out that certain aspects of the NHI, by the time the scheme was launched, had not even been gazetted. The proper corporate structure had to be in place before anyone could be paid anything. Also the scheme was launched without know ing where the funds were coming from to pay for it. If this is so, who is going to pay the bills of the doctors who were sucked into the scheme? A scheme that was not only not properly constituted, but with no plans as to how it was to be funded. Dr Sands has said that no funds will be made under the NHI scheme until a proper structure is in place and even then the Board will take legal advice as to the validity of the contracts entered into by the NHI. As Health Minister, Dr Duane Sands has said, The Bahamas would abso lutely have suffered another credit rating downgrade if it had gone ahead with NHI, not having identied how it was to be paid for. The IMF also made it clear that the scheme left by the Christie government was unsustainable. We hate to be in the we told you so chorus, but from the beginning The Tribune has been against the scheme advising that whatever funds govern ment could raise should rst go towards upgrading the third rate hospital before putting an elaborate scheme on top of what was already there that could nei ther be funded nor staffed. Already PMH is understaffed. Recently, we had an opportunity to take a tour of the hospital not just the new Critical Care Unit, but the old sec tion of the hospital. What a shock! We knew it was bad, but not quite that bad. As Health Minister Sands has said the PLPs NHI plan was a pie in the sky scheme given the scal realities of the country. Members of the new Health Board, chaired by Julian Rolle, have a daunting task before them. It is now time for them to roll up their sleeves and get to work. They have much to do in ve years and will have succeeded if they only get the PMH up to an accept able standard. Faith in the face of the hurricane LETTERS letters@tribunemedia.net PMH must be brought up to an aceptable standard jrolle@tribunemedia.net EDITOR, The Tribune. I READ with disbe lief the governments announced intention of shortening the closed season on Nassau Grouper ostensibly to compensate shermen for disruption to the crawsh season due to hurricanes. This Landmark Conser vation Legislation passed by the former Ingraham government has been hailed as a huge success and it would be terribly short sighted of the current administration to reverse it in the face of that evidence. Nassau Grouper popu lations have been on the decline for decades with The Bahamas having some of the few remaining viable spawning aggregates in the region. Harvesting of Nassau Grouper is prohib ited in US waters, including Puerto Rico & USVI, and is heavily regulated in Mexico and other parts of the Caribbean. The species is classied and red listed as endan gered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) the primary reason due to aggregation shing. Therefore let us not in our haste to appease and enrich a few now further endanger this already frag ile resource at the expense of future generations of Bahamians. IAN MABON Nassau, September 23, 2017. Grouper season folly EDITOR, The Tribune I WAS astonished to read the minister of agriculture is considering shortening the closed season on the Nassau grouper. The Nassau grouper is identied as endangered on the IUCN Red List, having virtually disap peared from countries where once it was plen tiful. Some years ago, legislation was enacted under the FNM govern ment for a closed season to protect the Nassau grouper for future generations. It is because of this sig nature law that Bahamian shermen are today still able to work this industry with a reasonable degree of success. During the full moons of the closed season, the Nassau grouper aggregate to mate and thus, continue the very survival of their species. This is when they are most vulnerable to exploitation. Any thought of allow ing for further decimation when the Nassau grouper is engaged in the act of ensur ing its very existence must be rejected outright. To do otherwise would be extremely shortsighted and will likely lead to the col lapse of this very important resource here in The Baha mas. If the shermen are hurting now, what will they do when there are no more grouper to sell? What will their children do? Not only will the sher men hurt, but one of our few food resources will be placed in peril. ATHENA DAMIANOS Nassau, September 23, 2017 Dont shorten the grouper season Re: Special List of NonPaying Customers of BPL EDITOR, The Tribune. I CAN state categorically that during my time (2007 2009) as executive chair man of BEC (now BPL), no policy was implemented or followed by the board which would have exempted persons on a special list from being disconnected for non-payment of their elec tricity bills. Indeed, I recollect that the feathers of certain politicians (in both par ties) were rufed when it was made clear to them that their electricity supply would be disconnected for non-payment. As someone who has, like the majority of customers of BEC/BPL, paid his electric ity bills when due (whether he was chairman of BEC or not), I am offended and nd it totally unacceptable and deplorable that the individ uals who have recently been identied would have been exempted from being dis connected for non-payment of their electricity bills. FRED GOTTLIEB Marsh Harbour, Abaco September 20, 2017. BPL list not in my time A4MAIN

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THE TRIBUNE Monday, September 25, 2017, PAGE 5 The termination came one day after Mr Dean celebrated his 30th anniver sary at the company, formerly called the Bahamas Electricity Corporation. Last Thursday in an interview with the press, BPL chairwoman Darnell Osborne conrmed that at least one more person would be terminated in connection with a probe into a $2m theft at the utility provider. We are almost to the end of that (investigation). I believe that there is one last person in the process and that should be done by the end of the week, Mrs Osbourne said in an inter view with TV station Our News. Mr Dean was red the next day, however it is unclear whether his termination is related to the missing funds investigation. Three employees of BPL were terminated in August following a forensic audit at the company. The workers include an accounts payable clerk, an accounts ling clerk and a nancial assistant. BPLs new board has also red Pamela Hill, the companys former CEO. When contacted yesterday, Ms Osborne said she had no comment on the termination. The Tribune also attempted to contact Mr Dean but calls were not returned up to press time. However, a source close to the matter said Mr Dean is not taking this foolishness sitting down. He was let go one day after celebrating 30 years on the job with out a reason, without cause, the source said. When he got to work on Friday, a representative from the Human Resources Department was waiting on him with the letter of termination. They just red him and didnt give him any reason, they just didnt want him there anymore, the source claimed. I think they are trying to make it seem as though the termination was connected to the (investigation) but they have been trying to re him for some time because of his former afliation with the union. The problem they are going to encounter is, you just cannot re a senior person without cause. So this is going to get interesting. Police in May announced that an investigation was launched into the alleged theft of a large amount of money at BPL. Both the government and the BPL board have received copies of an audit conducted by Ernst and Young into the discovery of a ve-month long scheme, which involved fraudulent cheques paid out to different vendors from December 16, 2016 to May 9. Ms Osbourne conrmed last month that more than $2m was missing as a result of the scheme. She said the company takes the matter surrounding the missing funds very seriously and intends to go through the necessary channels to reclaim all money lost, adding that BPL will follow up with police to ensure justice and guard against sim ilar actions in the future. BPL MANAGER VOWS TO FIGHT SACKING from page one THE revelations that some politicians and others enjoyed special treatment which allowed them to rack up exorbitant utility bills without disconnection is nothing new, former Pro gressive Liberal Party Cabinet minister Loftus Roker said yesterday, telling The Tribune he faced push back decades ago when he disconnected members of Parliament who owed money to the Bahamas Electricity Corporation. Last week, The Tribune revealed a culture of prefer ential treatment afforded to politicians and other wellconnected people, which allowed them to be placed on a special list to avoid disconnection of electricity despite exorbitant bills. Subsequently, there were also reports of circumven tion of the tender process at Bahamas Power and Light and a similar list at the Water and Sewerage Corporation. Reecting on the revela tions from the past week, Mr Roker said behaviour and actions on display today were nothing more than a manifestation of things we saw laying root back in my day. My boy, there is noth ing new under the sun, you hear me? These things been going on and been known, do you hear me? Why you think these boys like this thing so much? I recall during my time, (former Prime Min ister) Sir Lynden held a Cabinet meeting where he told us we were getting a raise, and in that same breath he told all of us pay our utility bills because the practice of non-payment was becoming an issue. I was the minister responsible for BEC at this time, and a couple of the (Cabinet ministers) went back to Pindling complain ing after I turned them off for non-payment. Mr Roker added: I was shocked by it because the man (Sir Lynden) told us specically to pay our bills and these men, about four of them, three still alive today, had gotten so use to the slackness, that they refused to pay their bills. He continued: So thats why I say it like this, while we should be proud of what is going on now with eve rything coming to light, we have to wait this out and see if they going all the way with it and clean the whole slate because this thing run deep. Mr Roker suggested the perks that have enticed so many to pursue careers in politics are out there for all to see now, but he asserted wrong still exists on both sides of the politi cal divide. The outspoken Pindling era politician also cautioned those celebrating the recent actions of the Minnis administration, warning it is too early to grade actions of a party recently on the ropes. Mr Roker, who served as immigration and works minister in two separate Pindling administrations, said the Free National Movement, led by Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis, had yet to clarify and make right a number of signicant ordeals. All we see coming out is great and moving us in the right direction, Mr Roker said. But it wasnt that long ago when these guys were ghting to stay relevant, pushing back against their own problems and wrongdoings. Winning an election doesnt delete those facts. Mr Roker, reecting on Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Renward Wells letter of intent (LOI) mishap when he served as parliamentary secre tary in the former Christie administration and the management of public health contracts in the Ministry of Health when Dr Minnis was the minis ter of health in the former Ingraham administra tion, said average people still need answers on what exactly happened. He said: I consider myself an average person, and still have no clue what happened with that LOI with Wells. Yes we can be happy about all of the things that they are doing to air out the former gov ernment, but we cannot forget their wrongs in our happiness. Mr Roker added: We have to pat them on the back for making public eve rything they have to date, the light bill foolishness and the water bill thing. Yes, that is great. But we remember the issues under the prime minister when he was in health. We remem ber if we are going to clean the slate, can we clean it fully? Dr Minnis company received a contract with the Public Hospitals Author ity while he was private citizen in 2005 for a build ing rental. The contract continued while he was minister of health, although Dr Minnis said he dis closed the matter and had asked for the PHA to nd another landlord. The contract reportedly came to an end shortly after Dr Minnis became prime minister. Meanwhile, when asked about the status of the governments effort to investigate the existence of similar pref erential lists throughout other government entities, Press Secretary Anthony Newbold told The Tribune comprehensive reviews were ordered for all gov ernment ministries and departments shortly after the Minnis administration took ofce, and that all revealed to date came as a result of those reviews. Mr Newbold said the government has taken the approach to report on findings already con cluded and wait for those still ongoing to conclude. He said: There is no rush to bring things to the public. As things are discov ered and concluded, they are presented. Everything you have heard to date, came as a result of those reviews and as they con tinue and conclude, you will hear more. Roker: Special treatment of elites is nothing new By RICARDO WELLS Tribune Staff Reporter rwells@tribunemedia.net DARNELL OSBORNE, BPL board of directors chairman. 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PAGE 6, Monday, September 25, 2017 THE TRIBUNE POINTING to a decided drop in school enrolment over the last three years, Education Minister Jeff Lloyd stressed on Friday the impact of the coun trys immigration policy on public services had the potential of creating fatal consequences, and a seri ous threat to the countrys national security. Mr Lloyd said the gov ernment intended to review the policys impact on access to education with urgent and immediate advi sory at the next Cabinet meeting, suggesting a new policy or amendment was on the horizon. He acknowledged the impact of the policy intro duced in November 2014 on school registration, contravened both the domestic Education Act and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). This has obviously been a very sensitive and emo tionally wrought issue, said Mr Lloyd as a guest on Guardian Radio talk show Real Talk Live with host Carlton Smith. Our Education Act is very clear; the act pre scribes that the minister of education shall provide all persons in the Bahamas an opportunity to receive an education. Thats the act, thats the law, all persons. He continued: Now let me take this out side of the law for the moment and speak to a cosmological, sociological, philosophical understand ing that our Bahamian people need to have. It would be fatal and a threat to our national security, and I dont mince my words. It would be fatal and a serious threat to our national security for us to have any group of people in our country, particularly young persons of school age who are resident in this country, who are likely to remain resident in this country, who do not benet from our own sociological and cultural conditioning, it would be fatal. Mr Lloyd said: I cannot be serious about this more than I am right now, and I know that we need to have an adult conversa tion and Bahamian people have got to grow up and understand. The November 2014 policy mandates that every person living in The Baha mas has a passport of their nationality with proof to legally reside in this country, among other restrictions, like the requirement for every foreign person enrolled in schools, includ ing children born in The Bahamas to immigrants, to have a student permit. Although the policy was introduced in Novem ber 2014, the restrictions did not come into effect until the Fall 2015 school semester. Its in contravention of the law, Mr Lloyd contin ued, thats the policy as it stands today, until the Cabi net of The Bahamas decides otherwise that is the policy. I have to be directed by the Cabinet and the Cabi net of course is taking this right now under urgent and immediate advisory and discussion, and will come forth with a policy. Mr Lloyd said he fully understood the anger and anxiety many Bahamian parents hold concerning overcrowding in schools, which he admitted were bursting at the seams. He said he sympathised with parents in certain com munities who are unable to register their children in area schools because they were full. The parents, they sur mise that [schools] are full with illegal children or chil dren of illegal immigrants have gone in and taken up the spaces that should rightfully be reserved for Bahamians. I understand the emo tions that run on this, I understand the anger, I understand all of that, he said. He continued: Im tell ing you from a fundamental national sovereignty and national security standpoint that you cannot afford to have in your country per sons who are oppressed, marginalised, ostracised, or even feel that way because of actions that are being taken by you. Activists like Louby Georges and Rights Baha mas have repeatedly raised concerns over the harmful, dehumanising conditions created by the 2014 immi gration policy, which they saw as an attempt to legitimise inhumane state practices against unregu larised or undocumented persons. Last week, Mr Georges highlighted the plight of an 11-year-old special needs boy, who has been unable to attend school for the past three years because of his Haitian mothers legal status. Haitians represent the largest migrant group in The Bahamas. However, Mr Lloyd stressed that he did not want to single out an ethnic group because the policys impact stretched across the entire demographic prole in the country. Im advised that many Bahamians approached the school system without the requisite documentation because they either have no passport or they have no birth certicate, he said, especially those coming from certain family islands. They dont have any birth certicate so how do we know who you are. Mr Lloyd said: As a result of this policy back in 2014 there has been a decided drop in the enrol ment in some of our schools particularly of children of what you might consider to be foreign nationals. If theyre going to be in The Bahamas they may be ve today but in some short period of time theyre going to be 12. Notwithstanding the critical need to resolve the complex issue of citizen ship surrounding persons born in The Bahamas to non-nationals, and illegal immigration challenges, Mr Lloyd said it was unfor tunate that some persons were tying the countrys immigration laws to chil drens access to education. Yes, we need to be very clear about those who are here illegally and they should be dealt with obvi ously, Mr Lloyd said, but weve got a big issue, a mountain of a giant of an elephant in the room. And that is thousands of people who are born in this country, children who according to the constitu tion have to wait for 18 years before they can make an application (for citi zenship) and in that time, they are basically outside of the system, what do you expect them to feel and do? Thats something to be addressed. Mr Lloyd said: This issue of denying children who legitimately reside and/or born in The Baha mas a right to education in The Bahamas, that par ticular policy is going to be reviewed by the Cabinet of The Bahamas and a deci sion will have to be made. Im suggesting to you, without preempting the decision by Cabinet, that we have a law on the books and a Cabinet of The Baha mas must be guided by the law. He added: You are sworn to uphold the laws of this country. Government to review immigration policy over access to education By AVA TURNQUEST Tribune Chief Reporter aturnquest@tribunemedia.net any student from maintain ing their education due to an apparent immigration issue. He indicated resources have been allocated in his ministry to handle all applications in the process of equipping school age children with the adequate permits needed to enrol and attend school. Principals should admit these students to school so that they can maintain their education, he told The Tribune on Sunday. If there is a difculty get ting a belongers permit or whatever permit it is that they need, the administra tors should email me so that we can regularise those per sons status, so that they can attend school. He added: But children should not be denied access to education because of an apparent immigration issue. We are making sure that persons who apply, receive the appropriate belongers permit so that they can attend school. There is a department that deals with this issue specically. I am being made to believe that we are doing a very good job at it, but if persons have slipped through the cracks, we urge them to contact the Immi gration Department and/or myself. Last week, The Tribune reported about a Haitian mother who said she was considering placing her 11-year-old special needs son in the care of the state after he was allegedly denied access to school for three consecutive years because of the countrys immigration policy. Jan Pierre, 36, told The Tribune the grim prospect for her son Watson was one of only two options at her disposal, having exhausted attempts to obtain the required documentation for her child because of her own status. The second would be to send him to Haiti to live with his father, a place hes never been and a set back that would drastically inhibit his ability to apply for Bahamian citizenship. The 2014 policy man dates that every person living in The Bahamas has a passport of their nationality with proof to legally reside in this country, among other restrictions, like the requirement for every for eign person enrolled in schools, including children born in The Bahamas to immigrants, to have a stu dent permit. Although the policy was introduced in Novem ber 2014, the restrictions did not come into effect until the Fall 2015 school semester. Then Immigration Minis ter Fred Mitchell explained the school permit rule would help the government keep track of who works and lives in The Bahamas and who attends schools here. When asked if the Minnis administration had attempted to address any of the issues surrounding the controversial policy, Mr Symonette yesterday said the Minnis administra tion was working to address several key aspects of the policy behind the scenes. However, he indicated that in the interim, no child should be forced outside of the system. Mr Symonette admit ted that he was unsure of exactly how many children were being affected by the policy, pointing to the lack of computerised sys tems in the Department of Immigration. Nonetheless, Mr Symon ette said that all was being done to improve the processes surrounding the issue. One of the great problems we have with immigration is that things are not computerised, so we have no way of knowing the number of applicants. But over the year, most of those persons should have gotten their permits, he said. So it cant be that many. Once we know about them, we will deal with them. Rights Bahamas has repeatedly raised concerns over the harmful, dehu manising conditions created by the 2014 immigration policy, which activists saw as an attempt to legitimise inhumane state practices against unregularised or undocumented persons. In 2015, while out of ofce, Mr Symonette warned that making it harder for children of immigrants to get an edu cation could create a slippery slope that results in a myriad of long-term social problems for Baha mians. He was appointed minister of immigration after the 2017 general election, a post he held in the previous Ingraham administration. SCHOOLS TOLD TO ADMIT MIGRANT PUPILS from page one JEFF LLOYD, Minister of Education. 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EMAIL: insight@tribunemedia.net INSIGHT MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 2017 PAGE 9 T HERE are four basic types of bullying: verbal, physical, psy chological, and cyber. Cyber-bullying is becoming one of the most common types. While victims can experience bullying at any age, it is witnessed most often in school-aged children. Bullying is a deliber ate and repeated attempt to cause harm to others of lesser power. It is a distinc tive pattern of harming and humiliating others, spe cically those who are in some way smaller, weaker, younger or in any way more vulnerable than the bully. Its a very durable behav ioural style, largely because bullies get what they want at least at rst. Bullies are made, not born, and it happens at an early age. Bullies do not under stand others feelings. They typically see themselves quite positively. Those who chronically bully have strained relationships with parents and peers. Bullying has become a signicant problem in our country. Bullies couldnt exist without victims, and they dont pick on just anyone; those singled out lack assertiveness and radiate fear long before they ever encounter a bully. No one likes a bully, but no one likes a victim either. Increasingly, children are growing up without the kinds of experiences that lead to the development of social skills, and free play has been in decline. Yet, its in playing with peers, with out adult monitoring, that children develop the skills that make them well-liked by age-mates and learn how to solve social problems. 1. Bullying in the home All families will occa sionally argue but changes at home such as a parent losing their job, an illness, a new baby or a marriage breakdown can cause seri ous conict. Also, a new marriage creating a step mother or father, along with stepbrothers or sisters moving into the home will change the dynamics of a family. An adult or sibling can have problems with drugs, alcohol or other sub stances which may create bullying behaviour. Bullying in the home can be physical violence or verbal and emotional abuse. Sometimes it includes both. Verbal abuse and emo tional abuse can include name calling, constant faultnding or nit-picking, never giving praise or not even acknowledging your exist ence. The bully may try to set people within the family against each other by telling lies about the other person to provoke arguments. Bullying at home can make you feel very alone and frightened. 2. In the school Many bullies exhibit at least some of the fol lowing behaviour and characteristics. The most obvious dis play of bullying is teasing and ridiculing other stu dents. Bullies may be very open about it, or they may be extremely sneaky. They sometimes choose to insti gate rather than act out the bullying; they may have their followers actually do their bullying for them. Many bullies are easy to anger. They are impulsive and hot-tempered, even with adults, whom they are often deant toward. Many bullies have friends. In the past, it was assumed that bullies were loners who harassed their peers out of fear of rejec tion, but we now know that is not the case. Often, they have many supportive friends, which can greatly strengthen their bullying behaviour. Bullies often have an inated view of themselves. They are generally not insecure or weak, as once thought. They may use their self-assured attitude to talk themselves out of trouble. Many times, but not always, bullies are physi cally stronger than their peers and use their physi cal domination in their bullying. Bullies are generally not concerned with others feelings and do not dis play empathy toward their peers. Bullies can also be victims. Some kids that have been bullied in the past begin bullying later. 3. In the work place A workplace bully pre fers you to be blind to his/ her true nature. Perceptive people are difcult targets. And the better your under standing of a bully and his/ her behaviour, the more effective you will be in applying the techniques for ghting back. Bullies manipulates through seduction A bully encourages others to obey him by offering to meet their emo tional and nancial needs. He promises friendship, respect, career advance ment and nancial rewards, hoping you will strive for the success and accept ance that can come through them. However, they only deliver on their promises when it benets them. A bully is verbally aggres sive in order to intimidate others into compliance. He uses angry outbursts as a weapon. He threatens fail ure, or uses guilt and shame to appeal to your sense of duty. If you resist, he argues intensely. And if he feels you need to be taught a lesson, he embarrasses you in front of others. A bully is constantly building his power base. He builds alliances within the company and undermines anyone who wont support him. He gathers damaging information on his oppo nents, or blames them for any failures. He uses subtle, negative phrasing to demean his opponents and weaken them. He also seeks to control more company resources, which means fewer resources are avail able for his rivals. A bully creates an alter native reality in the minds of those around him. He keeps people off-balance through half-truths, hear say and misstatements. His distorted version of events is intended to obscure and confuse, or he intentionally misleads you so that you arrive at an incorrect con clusion, and then exposes your mistaken opinion as proof of your ignorance or unreliability. A bully puts on a good act to gain your trust and respect. He never reveals his true intentions, which are self-serving and at times harmful to others. He conceals his innermost attitudes and emotions, which are self-absorbed and disrespectful of others. He maintains an image of strength, vision and lead ership, and thus avoids exposing his underhanded, manipulative nature. A skilled bully can achieve a lifetime of success through his deceptions, not just in atypical workplace, but in entertainment, media and politics. 4. Cyber-bullying Cyber-bullying is the use of technology to harass, threaten, embarrass, or target another person. Sometimes its easy to spot in the form of a tweet, text or Facebook post, but sometimes it can be hidden away for a victim to battle alone. Most people are reluctant to report bullying, so its impossible to know exactly how many have been affected. Cyber-bullying can some times happen accidently, with the impersonal nature of text messages, IMs, and emails making it hard to accurately interpret the senders tone. But repeated message posts that attack someone directly on a per sonal level are undeniably online harassment. Examples of cyber-bully ing include: Mean text messages Harsh emails Starting or spreading rumours about someone online Posting or sharing embarrassing pictures or videos of someone without their permission Setting up fake proles and posing as someone else Creating cruel websites as an attack on someone Mobile phones and com puters cannot be solely blamed for todays cyberbullying trends. Social media sites can be used for positive activities, like connecting with friends and family, education and entertainment, but they can also be used to hurt other people. It has been suggested that cyber-bullying is on the rise because people generally feel safe to say what they want when theyre tucked behind a computer screen or device. As long as a person has access to a phone, computer, or other commu nication device, they are at risk of cyber-bullying. Signs to look for include: Being upset or unusu ally quiet following use of the phone or internet Emotional withdrawal Being secretive or pro tective of a device Sudden disinterest in social activities or sport Reluctance to go to school Slipping in grades or lack of focus on study Changes in mood, behaviour, sleep or appetite An increased suscepti bility to illness; this could be real or used as an excuse to avoid the source of the bullying Sudden withdrawal and dislike of social media Nervous behaviour when getting an instant message, text or email Avoiding discussions on bullying Kids may not always rec ognise teasing as bullying, but if you notice signs that your child might be being hassled online or by text, address it with your child. Even if you dont notice the signs, still have the conver sation. Its never too early to learn how to deal with bullies. Victims of cyber-bullying are in a vulnerable state, so how you respond to them is crucial. Your rst task is to listen to your child with out judgment, blame, or attempting to solve it. Let them know you appreciate them opening up to you, and reassure them that you are there to listen and not out to restrict their online access. This is a fear that holds many children back from opening up about whats happening to them. Acknowledge your childs pain. Help them see that the bullys actions are not a reection of something theyve done, but is a fault of the bully. Its important that you do not do anything to alienate your child fur ther by angering, confusing or embarrassing him or her. Try to refrain from using the words just ignore them. Its not always that easy. Gently ask questions about how long the bully ing has been going on for, and how many persons are involved. If they are will ing to share with you names then great, but if not, dont push it until you know exactly whats going on. Be patient and allow your chil dren to take their time in talking to you about it, as it may be very hard for them to open up about it. Ask your child if they would like to share any of the messages or comments with you. At the very least, encourage your child to print or save hurtful exam ples and place them in a saved le. Should the situa tion worsen, or if you need to take further action, you will need the conversations documented. Ask about any retaliation on your childs part. Ask them to be entirely honest, and remind them that you wont get angry we all do things we regret when were scared and confused. Do, however, explain that its important that they try to stay calm and not do any thing that might get them in trouble. Now you know the scope of the problem, assess what support your child needs and the best way to achieve it. Dont wait to see if the bullying goes away. Report the bully and any bullying behaviour to the websites where the bully ing occurred, and block the bullies from making further contact. Most social media sites and apps have easy ways to report users and harassment. This will help to empower your child, and will reduce the number of attacks. Ask your child to tighten up the security and pri vacy settings on their social media accounts and encour age them to purge their list of friends or followers. These should be limited to their friends of people whom they know they can trust. If your child is at school, think about contacting their school principal. Staff will be able to provide support for your child, and youll be able to familiarise yourself with the schools bullying policies. If the bully is a student at the same school, they may be able to step in. In the case of severe cyber-bullying (or any bul lying, for that matter) away from school grounds, con sider speaking with the police. Cyber-bullying can be a crime and can result in serious consequences in extreme cases. As always, its important to ensure that your child feels they have a safe and secure environment in their home. This doesnt neces sarily mean taking their computer away; rather, work with them on ways to make sure their online activity is safe and fulll ing. Distract them with fun activities away from the online world, give them plenty of support and remind them that you are there whenever they need you. Increase the amount of time you spend together as a family, and nd ways to strengthen these positive friendships. You may also wish to consult a counsellor. Throughout these pro cesses, monitor your childs emotional wellbeing and create moments in which your child can feel good about him or herself. Traditionally, we think of bullies as being male, but as online bullying becomes more and more of a problem, we are seeing many girls engage in bully ing behaviour. In fact, the majority of cyber bullies are females. 5. How to deal with a bully If the situation seems threatening or danger ous, its best to get away from the bully. Even if it is not a dangerous situation, remember that you dont have to listen to someone say mean things to you. The best thing to do might be to calmly walk away from the person. This will send the message that you wont put up with this kind of treatment. Its important to report bullying right away so that it will stop. By telling some one that you are being bullied, you will be standing up for yourself and showing the bullies that you will not put up with their abuse. Using direct, assertive communication and body language is the best way to address a bully. If a bully continues to harass you even after you have walked away, then let him or her know that you will not put up with their behaviour. Turn and face the bully and tell him or her to stop. It is the bullys goal to get an emotional response out of you, so do your best to keep calm and avoid show ing the bully how you feel. Try your best not to show that you are angry, sad, or frightened. The bully may feed off of these emotions and increase his or her efforts. Bullying has become a huge issue these days, both online and off. Not just for individuals, but also for families and communities. Its a mentally, emotionally trying experience. Bullying can be stopped by Parents, Teachers and Community members joining hands in the ght against bullying Sharing stories on bullying Hold a National Bully ing Prevention Month Hosting community events against bullying Donating to events in the ght against bullying Supporting the ght against bullying LETS STOP BULLY ING TODAY For more information, contact the National Crime Prevention Ofce on 3028430, 3028431, 3028154 or visit our website @ www. royalbahamaspolice.org. Dont let bullies ruin your life By SERGEANT 3150 NATHALIE RANGER Police advice A9INSIGHT

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PAGE 10 MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 2017 INSIGHT EMAIL: insight@tribunemedia.net T HIS week I was asked to pro vide an answer to a question posed by an inuential Washington-based publica tion regarding the future of tourism in the Caribbean in the wake of the damage wreaked, in quick succes sion, by two Category 5 hurricanes. The question was disturb ing. Its inference was that tourism in the Caribbean could be fatally affected by the recent storms and by more frequent and intense storms in the future, and, further, tourists would now have to consider alternative destinations. I did not regard the ques tion as idle speculation and I pondered whose inter ests would be served by spreading the notion that tourism to the Caribbean has become dangerous. I provided an answer to the question for the publi cation. I reproduce below both the question and the answer that I gave. The question was: How have recent events (the massive earthquake that toppled buildings and killed many in Mexico City) affected the outlook for tourism in Mexico and elsewhere in the region? How badly damaged is the Caribbean basins tourism infrastructure, and how long will it take to recover? Will some countries of the region, spared from damage be able to accommodate more visitors, or will trends see tourists choose entirely different parts of the world to vacation altogether? The answer I gave was as follows: I am unable to speak for Mexico in this matter, but I would imag ine that both the Mexican government and the private sector will act swiftly to cor rect any impression that the earthquake prohibits the country from welcoming tourists. Tourism to Mexico is not to Mexico City alone. With regard to the Caribbean, while the tour ism infrastructure in some countries in the Caribbean has been damaged by the recent hurricanes, this is not true of the entire area. Many destinations for both air and sea arrivals are open and functioning normally. The countries that were not impacted by the hurri canes recognise that there will be greater demand and they have taken measures to accommodate this devel opment, such as earlier opening of resorts that had closed for the summer. Some of them, such as Antigua and Barbuda, have already entered agree ments with airlines, cruise ship liners and yachting companies for more calls at their ports. Several cruise ship lines, such as Royal Caribbean and MSC cruises have organised their schedules to allow their clients to proceed seamlessly with Caribbean cruises by increasing the number of their berthings at non-affected ports. Both Caribbean countries and the airlines and cruise ship companies have a vested interest in preserving and promoting the Caribbean. They are already adjusting their marketing campaigns to reect that reality. Tour ists have the entire world from which to choose for their holidays, but the Car ibbean has a special appeal whose lustre has not been lost because of the damage caused to a few destina tions. The damage is not permanent and the Carib bean has a record of swift recovery. It is important to note that while territories, such as the British and US Virgin Islands, Anguilla, French/Dutch St Martin/St Maarten, Puerto Rico and Dominica, were damaged as well as the small island of Barbuda (the other island of the State of Antigua and Barbuda), other Caribbean destinations weathered the storm and are operating normally. These include The Bahamas, Jamaica, St KittsNevis, Antigua, St Lucia, Grenada, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados and Tobago. The unimpeded opera tions of these countries and the readiness of their ports and resorts to welcome visi tors are messages that their tourism authorities should be broadcasting in the tourist markets loudly and clearly. In tourism competi tion, as in all forms of competition, underhand propaganda that hurts contestants is par for the course. The undermining by challengers of contenders for the same prize is subtle, but widespread. The international media coverage of the awful damage done by hurri canes Irma and Maria help unconscionable contestants to try to grab as much busi ness from the Caribbean as possible. In their quest to increase their market share and to benet at the Carib beans expense, few would be privately troubled. Of course, the region wants the international community to recognise the enormous damage that has been done to the gravely affected islands and their peoples. Rebuilding in these countries will require an international response in many ways. But, at the same time, the region must also let the world know that damage to some islands has not closed the area, and the damage is not permanent or irreparable. Tourism now accounts for at least sixty percent of the Gross Domestic Product of the Caribbean. Retaining the regions share of world tourism is vital to economic growth and development and the well-being of the Caribbean people. We must tell the world that the affected countries especially those that are not dependencies of the US, Britain, France and the Netherlands need interna tional help. But, we must also let the world know that the Caribbean is resil ient and determined, and remains a little bit of para dise on a planet troubled by terrorism, conicts and disease. After Hurricanes Irma and Maria ripped through parts of the Caribbean, fol lowing basically the same path, there were whispered suggestions that life on these islands was becoming unsustainable, and it might be prudent to abandon them. That fatalistic notion must never be an option for Caribbean societies. Carib bean civilisation must not be made extinct not even partly. Recognising the increased frequency and intensity of hurricanes, Caribbean countries must rebuild damaged infrastruc ture and property and construct new ones at much more resilient stand ards. Modern day building materials make the achieve ment of such standards possible. The region may be bowed, but it does not have to be beaten. Responses and previous commentaries: www.sir ronaldsanders.com The writer is Antigua and Barbudas Ambassador to the United States and the OAS. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies at the University of London and Massey College in the University of Toronto. The views expressed are his own. Caribbean bowed but far from beaten By SIR RONALD SANDERS World View DAMAGE in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. A10INSIGHT CAVES VILLAGEPremium Oce Space for Lease1,409 sq.. 5 oces, conference room, reception, kitchen, bathroom with shower, IT/ling room. $5,459.88 pm inc. 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THE TRIBUNE Monday, September 25, 2017, PAGE 11 There would have been a lot of children that were displaced and therefore we are opening our school system to accommodate them, Dr Minnis said. Our immigration minister will deal with that matter so that they can be placed within our school system and, of course, I plead to Bahamians, especially with Dominican roots and Baha mians in general, to assist, and even accommodate these individuals in the pri vate schools. Dr Minnis added: I am not sure, (but I think) we have a lot of individuals out there who will assist in accommodating these indi viduals, both nancially and otherwise. After all, we are a caring nation and this is our time to display and show that. Then there are a lot of Dominicans here who would also have families there, and, therefore, we will accommodate those individuals also. Hurricane Maria, which made landfall in Dominica on September 18 as a mas sive category ve storm, ripped through that island nation completely destroy ing communications, infrastructure and critical facilities. That night, Dominicas prime minister, in a Face book post said even he had to be rescued from his ofcial residence after the powerful storm ripped the roof off his home. Mr Skerrit has since said the intensive care unit at the islands main hospital had been destroyed and dialysis machines were down. Its worse than in a war zone, Mr Skerrit said in a live broadcast from Antigua last Thursday. Everything has to be manual. Mr Skerrit said the hospi tals dialysis machines had to be powered with solar equipment in order to save patients. Dr Minnis has spoken about the need for the Bahamas to utilise green energy with plans to rebuild storm ravaged Ragged Island as a green community and has said the region needs a solar ini tiative that can be helpful in times of natural disasters when power is knocked out. On Sunday, Dr Minnis noted the role countries such as Dominica played in the development of the Bahamas following its inde pendence in 1973. A lot of people tend to forget that as we were developing and growing as a nation, it was Dominica and some of the other Car ibbean nations that helped in our development, Dr Minnis said. The police force was Dominicans; some of the teachers were Domini cans; land and surveys were Dominicans; a lot of the professional groups who helped in our development, Dominicans. So they are part of our society and for all intents and purposes, they are our brothers and sisters. He also said: We have offered assistance via our Defence Force. All of that is done through a network, through CARICOM. We will do all we can to assist because theyve been dev astated and a similar thing could have happened to us. We will help them to (rebuild), to redevelop, to get back on their feet as soon as possible. Asked when the coun try could expect the initial groups of Dominican stu dents in the country, Dr Minnis said the process to enable their arrival had already started. He said he had already held talks with Immigration Minister Brent Symonette, who has assured him that plans were in motion. However, he said he had yet to communicate directly with Education Minister Jeffery Lloyd. On Friday, as a guest on Guardian Radio talk show Real Talk Live with host Carlton Smith, Mr Lloyd said public schools in the country were bursting at the seams, implying the public school system could not absorb more students. Despite these ongoing issues, Dr Minnis said he was certain Mr Lloyd would be able to ensure that it is done, referring to the accommodation of Domini can students in Bahamian schools. For his part, Mr Symon ette, on hand for Sundays brieng, said: The prime minister is not sure (of how many students will travel to the Bahamas), but (Dominica) will do its work through CARICOM to establish those lists and well further the list on in a few days. In the days following that storm, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs conrmed there were three Bahami ans living and working in Dominica: two students and a businesswoman. Dr Minnis on Sunday conrmed that all three of those persons were safe and sound. Addressing the steps those persons should take moving forward, Dr Minnis added: We have a number of students and Bahamians who live there, those indi viduals would have called us here for advice on what they should do, they would like to leave, etc. He continued: Our advice to them was the Dominican government will advise them as to what they should do as they would be advising all of their nation als, visitors and guest to their shore. So they are only to follow the direction and the advice of the govern ment, and once they do that they will be safe. Minnis opens door to Dominicas students from page one ROOSEVELT SKERRIT, prime minister of Dominica, which was recently ravaged by Hurricane Maria, stopped in Nassau yes terday morning, and met at Jet Aviation with Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis; Minister of Financial Services Trade & Industry and Immigration Brent Symonette and Minister of Transport and Local Government Frankie Campbell. Inside the private jet facility, they are pictured discussing the hurricanes devastation. From left: Prime Minister Minnis, Mr Campbell, Prime Minister Skerrit, and Mr Symonette Photos: Peter Ramsay /BIS A11MAIN Available at these ne stores677-2100 326-4121393-816526 X 26 $120.0037 X 38 3/8 $150.0037 X 50 5/8 $170.0038 3/8 MULLION $10.0050 5/8 MULLION $16.001-year limited warranty ~ Same day collection or delivery

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PAGE 12, Monday, September 25, 2017 THE TRIBUNE MORE than half a mil lion dollars has been spent on evacuation and repa triation exercises so far this hurricane season, National Emergency Management Agency head Captain Ste phen Russell said on Friday. We may have conducted some 23 ight commissions, bringing people out (of their islands) and returning them. (Thats cost us) just over half a million so far. Overall, about 1,400 people have been evacu ated by the government, and about 1,000 of them have been returned by the government to their island. Some used their own expenses to return home. As of last week, about 85 people, all but two from Acklins, remained at the Kendal G Isaacs Gymna sium at the expense of the government. They have been reluctant to return to their island out of concern that it is not yet livable. The government plans to transport those remaining evacuees to their homes soon. The government has said restoration efforts follow ing Hurricane Irma will cost the country tens of mil lions. Captain Russell said restoration efforts that involve rebuilding peoples homes is unsustainable, and it may be time to nd a new formula. Over the past three consecutive years weve had three major hurri canes (and) its costly, he said. Is it sustainable for the government after every hurricane to dish out funds for reconstruction? Its a very expensive operation. I think The Bahamas is one of the only countries in the Caribbean jurisdiction that really reconstructs houses for persons. Its not sustain able every year to rebuild homes for people whose homes were destroyed. We have to look at some other formula to provide assistance. A one bedroom house is $71,000. A threebedroom house can go up to almost $115,000. If you have to rebuild over 100 homes in any island thats almost $10m. Its a cycle. As assessments of the cost-burden of this hurricane season continue, forecasters stress the country is not out of the woods yet. $500,000 COST OF HURRICANE FLIGHTS By RASHAD ROLLE Tribune Staff Reporter rrolle@tribunemedia.net OFFICERS from the Mobile Division took two men into custody after they seized another illegal hand gun off the streets of New Providence on Sunday. Shortly after 9.30am, police said alert ofcers were on routine patrol in the area of Anthol Road in the Ridgeland Park area when they intercepted a Nissan Cube vehicle with two male occupants. The two men were accosted and they along with the vehicle were searched. During the search, a .45 pistol with a loaded maga zine containing ten rounds of ammunition was found. The two male suspects were subsequently taken into custody. HANDGUN SEIZED BY POLICE OFFICERS ISLAND Luck has changed the life of yet another patron with the smashing success of the gaming companys promo tion Crack the Code 2.0. According to the com pany, players had the opportunity to guess a sixdigit code for a chance to win up to $250,000. On Wednesday, September 21, Island Luck customer Inga Poitier took home the grand prize in full. The six-digit code 081087 was a special one to Ms Poi tier, who chose the number because it is her brothers birth date. I tried a few times and when I was about to play one last time I thought, this better be it, she said, according to a press release from Island Luck. When I entered the number and I saw con gratulations, you have won $250,000 on the screen, I screamed nobody touch the computer. The prize money is par ticularly special to Ms Poitier because she expe rienced a house re this year. She says she will use this money to work on the repairs of her home, Island Luck said. Island Luck CEO Sebas Bastian said: We (Island Luck) are always thinking of ways to give back to our players. We want to provide the best gaming experi ences for our patrons while encouraging them to game responsibly. There will denitely be more exciting and new promotions like this one provided by Island Luck in the future. The games sign up pro cess is an easy and seamless one for Island Luck account holders. After receiving reward and promotion points, players got the opportunity to crack the code. The over the coun ter experience allowed customers to earn voucher codes by purchasing lottery products. A new game code has been added and Island Luck account holders still have a chance to enter to win up to $250,000. The promotion ends November 13. $250,000 jackpot ISLAND Luck promotion winner Inga Poitier with Island Luck CEO Sebas Bastian. A12MAIN

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THE TRIBUNE Monday, September 25, 2017, PAGE 13 AGRICULTURE and Marine Resources Min ister Renward Wells is under re for comments he made last week con cerning the potential shortening of the Nassau grouper closed season, with local environmental groups and international advocates condemning the proposal as an ill-advised misstep. In a release this weekend, the Bahamas National Trust (BNT) called on Mr Wells to engage with all nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) before making a decision on the matter. BNT in that release noted it had written the minis ter on the issue to express concern over the potential move and advised against it. The release stated: The BNT has also reached out to the minister, seeking to engage in dialogue before any decisions are made. We understand he is busy as chair of the 5th Meeting of the ACP Ministers of Fisheries and Aquaculture that the Bahamas is host ing, but we are still hopeful of meeting with Minister Wells to discuss this impor tant matter. It was at the opening of that conferences where Prime Minister (Dr Hubert Minnis) reafrmed The Bahamas commitment to marine protected areas to secure the future of our marine resources. As the BNT has been mandated to advise the ministry on environmen tal impacts and policy, the BNT would advise that this seemingly short-term solution to hardships could have an extremely devastat ing impact on a species that is already in peril. Last week, Mr Wells told The Nassau Guard ian members of the shing industry have requested that government extend the grouper season. Many of the shermen want us to move in that direction and we are going to take it into considera tion, he said. However, the BNT said the Nassau grouper is listed as endangered. It has disappeared from many countries where it was previously common, and continues to decline in over 80 per cent of its range, the BNT added. During the full moon between November to February, Nassau grouper travel from all around the Bahamas to join together in specic locations to mate and this pattern is well known. When sher men exploit these grouper spawning aggregations, in just a few weeks they can capture nearly all of the groupers in a school, making this species vulner able to being wiped out. Protection of the sh during these months where they are rendered vulnerable is one of the most important measures we can use to help ensure that we can continue to have grouper for many generations to come. The release added: Weather events like hur ricanes and storms are increasingly threatening to The Bahamas and our econ omy. It is important to note that marine ecosystems are also severely stressed by these powerful and destruc tive storms. In 2008, post-Ike, our Inagua wardens docu mented vast numbers of baby conch washed up onto shore and killed. In 1992, post-Andrew, the government of Loui siana estimated that more than nine million sh were killed offshore and an assessment of the Everglades Basin in Florida showed that 182 million sh were killed. It is therefore not unreasonable to expect ferocious Hurricane Irma, which destroyed thou sands of lobster traps and habitats, likely also killed massive numbers of sh, likely including Nassau groupers. Additionally, executive director of BREEF Casu arina McKinney-Lambert said any move that short ens the Nassau grouper closed season damages the lives of current and future shermen. Mrs McKinney-Lambert insisted the Nassau grouper is vulnerable in a region that is slammed with major storms almost every year. This species is trying to recover following three consecutive years of major storms, to go this route will be devastating, she said. Her comments were endorsed by international advocate for the Nassau grouper Guy Harvey, who in an interview with The Trib une said he was troubled by the consideration. This cant be followed through, Mr Harvey, a Jamaican born artist cur rently living in the Cayman Islands. Everything that can be done to stop this move, should be done because the sh are already endangered, and to limit spawning time in anyway could limit numbers moving forward. Mr Harvey called on The Bahamas government, spe cically Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis, to protect the species. By RICARDO WELLS Tribune Staff Reporter rwells@tribunemedia.net Wells under re over grouper season comments ECLAC Caribbean has dispatched a team of dis aster assessment experts to The Bahamas to conduct a weeklong assessment exercise, in the wake of hur ricanes Irma and Maria. In the rst instance, during September 24-29, the ECLAC Damage and Loss Assessment (DALA) team will carry out an extensive economic impact assessment on those islands which were affected. Led by the coordinator of the Sustainable Devel opment and Disaster Unit, Omar Bello, the team will take a close look at the impact of these hurricanes on The Bahamas health, education, housing, power, telecommunications, transportation, shing and tourism sectors. The ECLAC team will visit a number of islands affected, including Ragged Island, Acklins, Inagua, Grand Bahama and Bimini. These islands received damage from Hurricane Irma ear lier this month. This assessment exer cise is being funded by the Inter-American Develop ment Bank (IDB), and is the third such assessment for The Bahamas. ECLAC Caribbean conducted a sim ilar assessment following Hurricane Matthew last year, and Hurricane Joaquin in 2015. The mission to The Bahamas will be the rst of many DALA missions that will be conducted across the Caribbean on the request of ECLAC member governments, following the devasta tion wrought by Irma and Maria on numerous islands, including Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, St Maarten, Turks and Caicos islands and most recently Dominica, Guadeloupe and Puerto Rico, a press released noted. DISASTER ASSESSMENT TEAM TO VISIT BAHAMAS RENWARD WELLS A13MAIN

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PAGE 14, Monday, September 25, 2017 THE TRIBUNE PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said gov ernment ofcials are in discussions with the opera tors of Grand Celebration Cruise ship for the possibil ity of a second ship to bring service to the island, which is expected to begin on April 1. During a media brief ing at the Ofce of the Prime Minister in Free port on Friday, Dr Minnis said he held a productive meeting with the Grand Bahama Port Authority and met with the principals of the Bahamas Paradise Cruise, the operators of Grand Celebration Cruise ship. He said they also spoke about the resumption of cruise ferry service in December by the Grand Celebration, which has tem porarily ceased cruises to the island. The ship is headed for the US Virgin Islands to assist with recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Irma, and will not resume its twonight excursion from Palm Beach to Grand Bahama until December 23. Some on Grand Bahama have called it a big blow to the economy. We understand the cir cumstances of the Bahamas Celebration assisting the US government in hurri cane relief efforts. It was a priority under the circum stances, said Dr Minnis. In addition to meeting with a number of businesses and potential investment partners in Freeport, the prime minister also went to Port Lucaya Marketplace to show his support for Grand Bahama. I hope that others will show just as much interest as I do in Grand Bahama because Grand Bahama cannot grow only through the connes of Grand Bahamians; its all one Bahamas, he said. He also announced that a honey production business is set to come on stream on October 26, as part of the launch of the rst in a series of the governments entre preneurship programme. The apiary he said guaran tees 30 young people the opportunity to start their own business. Dr Minnis indicated that his government is com mitted to working with the GBPA to eliminate all roadblocks to investment. We are dedicated to streamlining our invest ment process with the rst step being the creation of an Investment Unit in Grand Bahama, he said. He noted that the gov ernment expects to review its immigration, customs, and exchange control poli cies with a view to make it easier to invest and do busi ness in Grand Bahama. On the matter of Grand Lucayan Resort, the prime minister did not provide anything new concerning the sale of the property. However, he assured Grand Bahamians that his government is focused on the redevelopment of the hotel strip. We recognise the urgency of this matter and my colleagues, and I are working diligently to complete the best deal. Grand Bahama requires more than just the reopen ing of the hotel strip. We must revive our entire tour ism product, he said. Dr Minnis added: Our discussion with the owner and potential partners are with a view to transform ing the property into the rst step of an innovative and unique destination for Grand Bahama. He added that govern ment is committed to ensuring that the existing jobs on the strip remain. We will continue our aggressive discussions until we can unveil our plan for a new tourism product and a new destination. We remain committed and on track to conclude discussions with potential partners, and we are work ing towards this end, he stated. The prime minister also indicated that plans are also moving forward for the creation of a Grand Bahama Investment Pro motion Board, which will be responsible for mar keting Grand Bahama as a destination ready to do business. This board will send the message to the world, he said. Dr Minnis also announced plans to open temporary ofces in the Family Islands, including Exuma, Eleuthera, and Central Andros to begin monthly visits there. Dr Minnis, who was in Grand Bahama on Friday for his monthly visit, pledged to become inti mately involved in those island communities as well. Talks for second GB cruise ship By DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Freeport Reporter dmaycock@tribunemedia.net THERE was a signi cant drug seizure in North Bimini on Wednesday, resulting in the discovery of more than $300,000 worth of suspected marijuana, police reported. According to Assistant Superintendent Terecita Pinder, ofcers were on routine patrol around 11pm in the area of Kings High way when they observed a suspicious vehicle. They stopped and searched the vehicle where they discovered nine nylon bags, each containing sus pected marijuana, with an estimated street value of $340,000. ASP Pinder said two male occupants of the car, who are residents of Bimini, were arrested and taken into custody. $300,000 MARIJUANA FIND A14MAIN

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PAGE 16, Monday, September 25, 2017 THE TRIBUNE MINISTER of Youth, Sports and Culture Michael Pintard (seventh from left) and stakeholders are pictured last week after presenting seed funding to Junkanoo groups and partic ipants in the 2017 parades. Minister Pintard said that it was an honour to serve at a time when so many young Bahamians were making the decision to step up to the plate and continue the tradition that was started by many of the giants who are in this room. We are looking forward to playing a pivotal role, as a government, in helping to revitalise and further expand Junkanoo, Minis ter Pintard said. The Prime Minister in particular is a Junkanooer. He is absolutely committed to culture, in general, and Junkanoo in particular; and that is going to be reected in the increased allocation to the expansion of Junka noo in general. Minister Pintard added that the Government was happy to have as partners the Junkanoo leaders and all of their members, as well as corporate Bahamas. Photo: Shawn Hanna / Tribune Staff SEEDING THE SUCCESS OF JUNKANOO A16MAIN 5 PCS. CHICKEN 12 WINGS POPCORN CHICKEN