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Premier suggests expanded unit for Police

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Providenciales, 15 Sept 2015 – A new unit may be imminent for the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police as the Force grapples with an escalation in missing person’s cases. Premier Rufus Ewing on Saturday, during a special press conference said the TCI was just about to borrow the cadaver dogs of nearby Bahamas when Rev Dr. Conrad Howell’s body was found; he said it may be time to look into a special unit.

The Premier said that, “given the increasing number of missing persons in Turks and Caicos investing in a full fledged canine unit not only for drugs but [also for assistance in] human search [would be beneficial]; we were grateful for the assistance of that dog.”

Rev. Howell was reported missing by family on Friday morning and despite searches by police that day, a reported aerial search by drone and scores of residents who formed search parties Friday and Saturday, it was a potcake dog named Cocoa, said to be trained in hunting who found the missing pastor.

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Turks & Caicos Islands Government retains it BBB+ credit rating

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#TurksandCaicos, June 25, 2022 – On the 29th of March 2022, Standard and Poor’s Global (S&P) released the results of the review of the 2021 sovereign credit rating for the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI). S&P has affirmed the country’s sovereign credit rating for long-term bonds, denominated in both domestic and foreign currency, of BBB+. Additionally, the agency also maintained the outlook as Stable for the TCI.

The Rating Agency advised that the stable outlook takes into account that the country’s economy will continue to recover given the strong performance of tourism and will improve in 2022. Furthermore, S&P believes the TCI will continue to adhere to prudent financial management and limit borrowing, and that fiscal reserve balances will increase during the next two years. Additionally, the rating agency also expects continuity in TCI’s institutional relationship with the U.K.

In its report, the rating agency advised that the rationale for the rating was a result of the Country’s institutional and economic profile. That is, the economic recovery led by resurgence in tourism and continued institutional stability. S&P indicated that despite the short-term pressures of the global COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the TCI Government’s prudent actions, aided by the U.K.’s swift transfer of vaccines, allowed international travel to resume as early as the first quarter of 2021. The combination of the Government’s swift response, coupled with pent-up demand in key source markets, led to a strong recovery in tourism, which in turn, has led to a better-than anticipated economic recovery. S&P estimates GDP per capita to be $23,674 in 2021, up from $20,757 in 2020 – a 14% year over year increase. Tourism remains the core pillar of the economy, indirectly accounting for about 65% of GDP.

S&P indicated that the ratings could be revised upwards if better-than-expected GDP increases and continued favorable growth prospects were to substantially boost economic resilience. Additionally, the rating agency also stated that they could also raise the ratings if better availability of timely data, especially on external flows and stocks, were to boost transparency and indicated that TCI enjoyed a significantly stronger economic or external position.

However, if the rebound in tourism is interrupted or turns out to be weaker than expected, leading to prolonged stress on revenues, this may cause the TCI Government to run persistent fiscal deficits that could materially worsen public finances. This could lead to a down grading of the rating.

Commenting on the rating, Minister of Finance, Investment & Trade, Hon. E. Jay Saunders, stated that “I am happy and extremely proud that S&P saw fit to maintain our country’s credit rating at BBB+, particularly at a time when many countries had theirs downgraded – mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a testament to the strength of our economy, and particularly, our government’s prudent handling of it. We have taken particular note of S&P’s comment that they could raise the ratings on better availability of timely data, and we are working towards achieving that.”

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Limited space but Pine Cay Project helps the return of DECR Junior Park Warden Program

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, June 25, 2022 – The 22nd staging of the Junior Park Warden Program is set for this July and your kids can be a part of it!

Sponsored by the Pine Cay Project the program was started in 2000 and Department of Environment and Coastal Resources representative Amy Avenant says it has been wildly successful so far with several students going on to become professionals in the environmental field.

This year students age 10-12 will be hosted from the 4th to the 8th of July and teens 13-16 will be hosted from the 11th to the 15th of July. The program will be held at the National Environmental Center on lower bight road. Admission as usual is free but spaces are limited.

“Due to safety and ensuring that everyone gets a quality experience we have to limit the numbers” she explained.

The early birds who do sign up will be able to take part in kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, learning to swim and snorkel and sessions with environmentalists.

“We have some experts that come in, previously we’ve had Catherine Hart from the Turks and Caicos Turtle project and whale projects come speak to children and tag a turtle with them.” Avenant said.

This year the focus is climate change and instead of just the regular “gloom and doom of climate change” Avenant says the DECR will be focused on climate action and how children can become climate activists.

“We will be focused on teaching them how to use their voices through effective and kind activism.”

Despite the Turks and Caicos’ small size Avenant says we have power in numbers and as a region can demand change from larger countries that can turn the tide of the climate emergency

“We are educating students on the serious implications we face as an island but also what they can do to quite frankly stand up and save their home for themselves and future generations.”

Interested parents can email Amy to apply at aavenant@gov.tc.

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TCI House of Assembly Members take ‘info-gathering’ trip to Isle of Man

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, June 25, 2022 – A five-man Turks and Caicos delegation recently visited the Isle of Man on a diplomatic mission to the country.  Hon John Malcolm, Deputy Speaker of the TCI House of Assembly; Hon Edwin Astwood, Leader of the Opposition; Hon Kyle Knowles, Member of Parliament for Wheeland and Hon Shaun Malcolm, All Island Member of Parliament represented Turks and Caicos on the visit.

The Isle of Man is a self-Governing British dependency which means the country sets its own laws and is not bound by British ones.  The delegates during their visit have called on the Lord Bishop of Sodor, the President of Tynwald Laurence Skelly, the Mayor of Douglas Janet Thommeny, and Lieutenant Governor John Lorimer.

Additionally, they were welcomed at the House of Keys (Parliament).

After the experience, MP Shaun Malcolm expressed that the Turks and Caicos would eventually like to get to this place as well telling news organisations in Isle of Man, “There are parts of your [governance] system that we in the Turks and Caicos do desire to have in terms of full internal self-government.”

Malcolm praised the independence of the electorate noting that the TCI hoped to get to the point where there was more autonomy and internal control of the governance of the country.

Malcolm couldn’t help but give some press to his own country making sure to note that “we boast the best beaches on the globe literally!”

Malcolm described the trip as an ‘information gathering trip.’

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