Providenciales, 06 Mar 2015 – Nothing more than a flowery speech is how the Opposition Leader, Hon Sharlene Robinson described the Speech from the Throne delivered in the House of Assembly yesterday,
“We noted, Mr. Speaker, last year that 69 of the 74 of the commitments made were not fulfilled while only five last year had updates, five were even removed from the Budget. Last year’s Throne Speech Mr. Speaker contained 46 promises and of course, quick glance of this year’s Throne Speech, we see four were completed, eight were mentioned again, some issues Mr. Speaker have seen no progress and have just dropped off the radar altogether.”
Robinson said the government continues to fall short on actually doing what it says it will do and that her PDM side is concerned on the constant boasts of the surplus when the country’s infrastructure is falling apart.
“Why do we boast about the surplus and everything in this country seems to be broken down. The roads are pretty much pot holes especially on the island of Grand Turk, and we are grateful for the little paving we see being done, but we have to remember the number of tourists we have passing through here…”
The Throne Speech did address greater focus on consumer protection laws, yet the Opposition said there continues to be no real progress report on people-centered accomplishments including doing more to see electricity costs reduced.
“Mr. Speaker, no mention again of the energy policy and transportation. Mr. Speaker our people are still buckling under high energy costs and that maintains its position as one of the greatest deterrents to doing business in the islands.”
Hon Sharlene Robinson reminded that 2014 was dubbed the Year of the Young Person; she said this year’s Throne Speech failed to focus on important areas for the Youth.
“The promise was: ‘My Government would begin the upgrading of existing sporting facilities around the islands, including the installation of proper lighting to encourage the safe use of these facilities,’ but Mr. Speaker no mention of sports.”
Terms like ‘lip service’ and ‘talks’ were used to respond to the Speech from the Throne which was delivered by the Governor and written by the governing Progressive National Party.
“But it is our responsibility on this side of the House, Mr. Speaker to hold the government to account not just for the promises contained in its manifesto but in its Throne Speech and what it says to the people of this country and in whatever other forum.”
Missing in House Meetings, BVI law requires By-Election soon
By Dana Malcolm
#BVI, August 4, 2022 – The British Virgin Islands will soon have a by-election to contest embattled former premier Andrew Fahie seat in the House of Assembly(HOA). Fahie will likely lose his seat in the coming weeks as the speaker of the house confirmed she will not be granting the ex-premier anymore leave to miss sittings of the House according to local media.
Fahie is forbidden from leaving Miami while he awaits his court appearance on drug charges after being arrested along with fellow countrywoman, Olenvine Maynard in a DEA operation.
No member of the HOA is allowed to miss three consecutive meetings without leave from the speaker of the house in the BVI. Once the time expires a by election will be triggered
Fahie has plead “not guilty” to the drug charges against him and remains in Miami at the home of his two daughters who along with his wife have had to surrender their passports.
The BVI narrowly avoided a partial constitutional suspension earlier this year after a UK led Commission of Inquiry found widespread instances of corruption in the government.
Dr Natalio D. Wheatley continues as Acting Premier of the British Virgin Islands.
A pristine bay in Exuma contaminated in Diesel Spill, Bahamas Gov’t opens investigation
By Dana Malcolm
#TheBahamas, July 25, 2022 – Bahamian companies are making significant progress in their effort to clean up a 35,000 gallon fuel spill in some of the most pristine waters in the world: Exuma.
By Thursday afternoon 11,000 gallons had already been removed and the rest is expected to be siphoned out by Friday. The spill was noticed about 4am Wednesday morning during a fuel transfer which was on its way to Bahamas Power and Light (BPL).
Chester Cooper, in acting Prime Minister capacity at the time of the messy spill in his constituency. Cooper flew into Exuma with a team of ministers and media to assess the damage. Bahamian-owned, Sun Oil was the source of the diesel leak.
“It was on its way to BPL but ended up here in the cove. We are happy that it appears to be contained,” said Cooper, obviously concerned but expressing relief for the manageable scope of the spill.
In a statement shared with Bahamian media houses Sun Oil said ‘at 4am Wednesday morning crew members onboard the MT Arabian, a vessel contracted on behalf of Sun Oil Limited to deliver diesel fuel, discovered a leak during the discharging process. The crew deployed absorbent pads and containment buoys near the shoreline at sunrise.’
Cleanup is being led by the crew of the vessel with mechanical assistance from BPL whose trucks are holding the fuel.
Utilities Minister Alfred Sears gave this report last week on the cleanup efforts.
The fuel is contained to one area, thanks to the booms, said to be the bay of the Exuma Sailing Club.
In photos, while it does appear to be contained, the turquoise of the fuel free water is a jarring contrast with the now brown-black of the contaminated water and residents say the odor is equally putrid and far reaching.
Bahamian Reporter Marlena Leonard said she could smell the odor in the bus on her way to the site and residents told her they could smell it all the way in town.
Aerial images shared by the Bahamian Ministry of Works on Twitter are heartbreaking, showing the extent of the spill stretching from the bay to the open ocean.
Bahamians have taken to Twitter expressing distress, one said
“In the interest of my mental health, I am required to pretend that I did not see news about that oil spill in Exuma.”
Another said, “An oil spill anywhere in this country should spark outrage but something about seeing it happened in Exuma just feels different—“
The was a concerted effort by high ranking officials to see the scene and debrief the media. Officials from Sun Oil, BPL, the Ministry of Environment, Utilities Minister Alfred Sears, various other government officials and Acting Prime Minister Chester Cooper attended the scene yesterday morning. Prime Minister Philip Davis was in Miami at the time attending a CANTO telecommunications conference.
Turks & Caicos and World trending up in COVID cases while Africa experiences big drop
By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, July 15, 2022 – Covid-19 cases are trending up globally and in the Turks and Caicos. There were twenty one new cases between July 3rd to 9th and 61 positive cases on the island overall according to the most recent COVID-19 report. This is the highest reported total weekly case count since the beginning of May.
Global deaths on the other hand have a risen over 1,500 compared to two weeks ago
Brazil and the United States consistently record some of the highest case numbers in the Americas. The US had 722,000 new cases and Brazil had 396,000 new cases. Both countries along with Chile continue to record the highest death toll in the Americas.
The African region saw a major drop in cases a 33 percent decrease compared to the previous week, deaths were 17 percent lower.
Unfortunately the Eastern Mediterranean region including countries like Tunisia, Iran and Morocco saw a 78 percent increase in people who died due to Covid-19.
The BA.5 variant has not overtaken Omicron as the most dominant strain of the COVID-19 virus but infection linked to BA.5 are rising.
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