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CHRISTMAS MESSAGE 2015 From the Hon Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the PDM

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Providenciales, 25 Dec 2015 – What a blessing it is to have made it this far in 2015. It is only by God’s grace and mercy we are alive and at our station in life. I am indeed grateful for the gift of life and for the privilege to address you from this platform another year and so it is with a heart of gratitude and one filled with hope that I greet you our residents and visitors alike.

As this year draw near its end, it is more innate than customary that we begin a period of reflection. This year has seen many challenges and while many are struggling to find cause to celebrate or to be cheerful, I wish to call us to reflect on the reason we celebrate Christmas.

If we were to allow ourselves to be stuck in what was a difficult year for many and if we were to dwell on the lack of material things or the past hurts, losses and disappointments in 2015, then we would be robbing God of the gratitude and thanksgiving that He deserves. I offer you the following thoughts: whatever you have been through and are going through, you have made it this far and not without God’s grace and mercy and whatever you anticipate for the new year, God is already there ahead of you. This is enough to be thankful for and enough to encourage us to trust Him with our past and more importantly our future.

And as we reflect on this time of year, let us not miss the true reason we pause to celebrate. It is all about Jesus and what His birth signified. His birth, the greatest gift and expression of love, signaled an opportunity for man to be reconciled back to God. His very birth offered eternal hope, peace and joy. In these times, we ought to want to pause from all of the hustle and bustle to delight ourselves in this reality. As we celebrate, while we reflect on the birth of Jesus, let us also seek to emulate the life that He led: one of peace, love and giving. Throughout His time on earth, He delighted in being around and meeting the needs of people especially the disadvantaged. Let us do what we can to minister to those in need: not just in an encouraging word but in real deeds. Let us give lovingly, cheerfully, and for no praise from men, but for the glory of God.
In our time of reflection, with thankful and grateful hearts, let us give God the praise that is due Him for keeping us to this time, for the tests and challenges that did not kill us but can and will serve to make us better, for the gift of life, family and friends and for the gift of His Son, the Promise that brings us hope in this time.

During this season, give your family some quality time, give praise and celebrate in a place of Worship, give to those less fortunate and in all be sure to give God all the glory.

On behalf of the PDM Party: our officers, members and families, and with grateful and thankful hearts, I extend to you a very Merry Christmas and a Christ filled New Year. In this New Year, it is our prayer that you will embrace the new possibilities and beginnings that it will bring and remember that whatever our struggles and challenges in life and wherever we might find ourselves, there is still the opportunity to start anew, to change our attitude and outlook.

This is a time of reflection, sharing, hope and new possibilities.

In the words of an unknown author, “May you have the spirit of Christmas which is peace, the gladness of Christmas which is hope and the heart of Christmas which is love.”

And from my heart to yours, may the Christ of Christmas fill your hearts and homes.

Again I wish for you a very Merry Christmas and a Christ filled 2016.

Magnetic Media is a Telly Award winning multi-media company specializing in creating compelling and socially uplifting TV and Radio broadcast programming as a means for advertising and public relations exposure for its clients.

Bahamas News

Minister Moxey says partnerships for development will help get Grand Bahama going again

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#TheBahamas, November 27, 2021 – One means by which Minister for Grand Bahama, Hon. Ginger Moxey plans to utilize every resource at her disposal to get things moving for Grand Bahama again, is to utilize partnerships for development.

“Success with these partnerships on our island are embedded in collaborative efforts between the ministry of Grand Bahama, other government ministries, the Grand Bahama Port Authority, the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce, Hutchinson Whampoa Holdings Ltd., industry stakeholders and the business community at large,” explained Minister Moxey.

“We must unite and work together to build alliances for success with the ultimate goal of ensuring that Grand Bahama Island excels.  We are all in this together.”

The Minister’s remarks came during her keynote address at the ninth annual Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce’s Business Excellence Awards Luncheon, which was held on Wednesday, November 24th, 2021 at Pelican Bay resort. The event is held to honor Grand Bahamian business owners for their commitment, achievements and dedication to the development of the second city.

Minister Moxey pointed out that this year’s event, under the theme, celebration of excellence, acknowledges and highlights businesses on Grand Bahama that have stayed the course. She added that this kind of recognition is a beacon of hope for local business owners who have faced and overcame some of the most challenging circumstances ever encountered within the island’s history.

“On November first during my contribution on the bill to thank the Governor General for his Speech from the Throne, I pledged to the nation that I would do the people’s business and utilize every resource at my disposal, to get the job done for Grand Bahama,” said Minister Moxey.

“As a Grand Bahamian and business owner, I can attest to the challenges we have faced over the past decade. The devastation of Hurricane Dorian in 2019, which was closely followed by the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. It further strained our already fragile economy. Today’s administration is also well aware of the challenges that Grand Bahama has faced over the past decade. Nevertheless, we will deliver on our commitment to recover, rebuild and revolutionize our island, our economy and usher our people into the new day.

“I would like to thank all of the businesses represented today, that have kept their doors opened and our people employed. To all of the Business Excellence Award nominees, I congratulate you. Remain encouraged and know that your efforts have not gone unnoticed.

“To the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce, thank you for being a staple in the business community and for celebrating excellence for the past nine years. Welcome back business excellence awards.”

 

By Andrew Coakley

Photo Caption: Minister for Grand Bahama, Ginger Moxey (right), along with President of the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce, Greg Laroda presents Mrs. Leslie Baptista, of Paint Fair, with the President’s Award, during the ninth annual GB Chamber of Commerce’s Business Excellence Awards Luncheon, which was held on Wednesday, November 24th, 2021 at Pelican Bay resort.

(BIS Photo/Andrew Miller)

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Caribbean Development Bank to offer solutions for TCI with Sea Defences

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, November 27, 2021 – The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has committed $600,000 to investigate upgrades to sea defences in the Turks and Caicos Islands, disclosed by the Minister of Physical Planning and Infrastructure Akierra Missick as she sought to reassure residents about the state of the defenses.

Concerns were raised by residents recently when the newly paved Front Street, Grand Turk was severely flooded because the sea wall was unable to hold back massive waves.

Minister Missick acknowledged the concerns but said that the government had been working on upgrades since August of this year. This, she said, had begun with a “holistic review of all of the island’s sea defenses.” It was revealed that this review is being done through an environmental consultancy agency.

The consultancy is set to run for 11 months.

At the end of the consultation period, the government should have what Missick described as shoreline characterization for Grand Turk and Salt Cay as well as designs for measures to break wave strength before it reaches shore and infrastructure upgrade designs for the entire coast of Grand Turk and Salt Cay.

Feasibility studies will be carried out alongside these infrastructure designs to determine their effectiveness.

Meetings between CDB and stakeholders including residents, tourism operators, engineers, coasts resource advisors, and others are set to occur over the 11 month time frame.

A coastal resource and vulnerability analysis is also set to be completed. This, Missick said, is a pre-emptive effort to prevent future problems.

Opposition leader Edwin Astwood spoke out regarding the flooding incident. He said the flooding was caused by faulty engineering of the sea wall rather than drainage along the road. In the House of Assembly on November 22, Astwood claimed the wall, which should have been built with a curve, was built flat.

Missick has not yet responded to the claims but has promised that CDB’s preliminary report should be tabled with Government by Summer 2022.

 

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Leading revenue earners need to include a boosted Financial Services Sector says Finance Minister Saunders

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, November 27, 2021 – The Turks and Caicos economy has surpassed expectations for revenue by almost $90 million dollars. Finance Minister E.Jay Saunders revealed the top four categories that spearheaded the increase, accounting for nearly 80 per cent of the revenue brought into the TCI.

The information was presented at a November 8 press conference where the Finance, Investment and Trade Minister also provided a simplified version of country finances in a Citizens’ Guide to the Budget.

Saunders said, in his presentation, that every single revenue item overachieved, pushing the original $271 million dollar budget to a projected $361 million.

The first category was Work Permits which is projected to have, a near $2 million dollar increase. Next was Accommodation Tax, which is projected to have an almost $15 million dollar increase in revenue, followed by Customs Import Duties with a projected $22 million dollar increase.  Finally, Stamp Duties rounded out the main four with a whopping $34 million projected increase.

He did warn that despite its brilliant performance, the TCI economy must diversify and do so soon. He cited supply chain issues that are currently affecting the global market saying that if even one of the major categories of revenue were to be affected it could be detrimental for the economy.

He said “Over 80% of our revenue comes from four categories…When we talk about diversifying this is one of the reasons why, because of anything happens to say, Customs Import duties it would be a disaster.”

In tandem with this call to diversify that the minister made significant mention of Financial Services as a fifth category for fiscal development. He said that despite the industry still being fairly small that “if the government can manage to grow it just a little bit it would make a huge difference.”

Cayman and the BVI were cited as examples of territories which had managed to build strong financial services sectors. He assured the press that, “The only thing we have to do is modernize our legislation and become more of a competitor…and we don’t need to increase our market share significantly to grab another 50 million dollars.”

In contrast, the biggest expenses were Salaries, Pensions, and Hospital charges with the Ministry of Health getting the bulk of the budget.

While the Finance Minister was pleased with the progress, he also expressed his determination that the TCIG be able to increase their now $360 million budget to $400 or even $500 million.

This, said Saunders, would allow the government to hit their 2040 goals to improve quality of life for TCI citizens.

 

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