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NHT Undertaking $182.3M Masemure Phase II Housing Development

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Jamaica, March 13, 2017 – Montego Bay – The National Housing Trust (NHT) will undertake phase two development of serviced lots at Masemure in Little London, Westmoreland at a cost of $182.3 million.   The project, for which Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, broke ground on Friday, March 10, will comprise 106 lots.    It forms part of a 2014 agreement involving the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries which saw lands owned by the Trust that were deemed suitable for agriculture being exchanged for lots ideally suited for housing.

The agreement also stipulated that 40 of the 106 lots were to be sold to the Sugar Company Holdings of Jamaica Limited, (SCHJL) to facilitate the relocation of sugar workers.  The lots at Masemure are among 14,000 housing solutions being targeted for development over the next two years by the Government, through the NHT.

Addressing Friday’s ground breaking ceremony, Mr. Holness said since assuming office, the administration has sought to increase the pace of housing solutions delivery in an effort to meet the high demand.   “What I have said to the NHT (is) build wherever you can…so that (persons) can get houses,” he stated.

Mr. Holness indicated that work has commenced to develop 1,670 housing lots, with another 1,003 slated to get underway by the end of the current fiscal year.  “In total for this financial year (2016/17), this Government would have started 3,075 housing solutions for Jamaicans,” he stated.

The Prime Minister indicated that the number of housing solutions on which development will commence should increase to 8,000 during the 2017/18 fiscal year, adding that by 2018/19, “we hope to have at least 14,000 starts.”  Mr. Holness said the Masemure development, which was initiated under the previous administration, was partly geared towards addressing the “historical inequities” which Jamaicans who worked on sugar plantations in Westmoreland have faced for centuries.

He indicated that the parish’s housing stock would be significantly boosted over the next four years, with several new developments coming on stream to alleviate what he described as a “significant deficit.”  “We intend to deliver six housing developments, totaling 1,493 housing solutions in Westmoreland. You will have Barham – 44 solutions; Darliston – 32 solutions; Masemure – 106; Negril – 1,200; Shrewsbury – 61; and Yeast Plant – 50 solutions,” the Prime Minister outlined.

#MasemureHousingDevelopment #NationalHousingTrust #PhaseIIWestmorelandHousing

 

Photo Credit: CARICOM Today

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Bahamas News

Brave presentation in defence of Bahamas’ financial services reputation by PM Davis

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#TheBahamas, October 1, 2022 – Prime Minister of the Bahamas Phillip ‘Brave’ Davis is again calling for equality in the financial services sector and for the United Nations to leverage its universal jurisdiction for greater oversight of global anti-money laundering de-risking and tax cooperation matters.

In addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday, September 24, Prime Minister Davis said the Bahamas is one of the best-regulated countries in the world, yet it has been under attack by international bodies and placed on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) blacklist while transgressions in the developed world are ignored.

He questioned why this was the case and highlighted some disparities in the financial sector.

“Why is it that European states that operate frameworks akin to that of high-risk or blacklisted countries, are not even eligible for inclusion on these lists? Why are all the countries targeted – all of them – small and vulnerable, and former colonies of European states? We find it astounding that the $2-$3 trillion dollars which is estimated to be laundered each year through the developed countries, are never flagged as causes for concern,” articulated Phillip Davis, addressing the 77th session in New York.

Prime Minister Davis further noted that there are elements of racism in the decision-making when it comes to regulating black-governed countries in the financial services sector. He also declared that black-governed countries matter as well.

And yet my country, which is widely recognized as one of the best-regulated countries in the world, and other countries like The Bahamas, are singled-out for such reputational attacks? The robust regulatory regimes of our Central Bank, Securities Commission, and Insurance Commission, are chastised on minor details of technical process, while much bigger transgressions in the developed world are ignored.

The evidence is mounting, that the considerations behind these decisions have less to do with compliance, and more to do with darker issues of pre-judged, discriminatory perceptions. Black-governed countries also matter.”

 Davis also highlighted the need for reforms that apply to all in the global financial system.

“Mr. President: We support the call for reforms in the global financial system to make it more relevant to the needs of today. But those reforms need ambition. They need to go beyond the incremental. And they need to apply to all. For example, the community of international financial institutions are in a position to forgive the debt incurred by the economic shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. They should do so.”

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Caribbean News

Hurricane Ian impact on Cayman Islands

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#Cayman, October 1, 2022 – The Cayman Islands experienced fierce winds and high seas from Hurricane Ian on Monday, as the storm passed offshore, causing little lasting damage.

Some areas on the island experienced flooding as low-lying condo complexes and some residential back roads were inundated with water. Almost 4,000 homes were without power on Monday; however, most had electricity restored by the evening.

There were also no reports of any injuries, deaths, or serious structural damage.  The country started its restoration process on Monday afternoon, clearing debris from the roads, surveying the damage and providing support to residents where needed.

In a statement on Monday afternoon, Premier of the Cayman Islands Wayne Panton said he was pleased with how residents handled the situation.

“While we have been very fortunate to have been spared the worst of a potentially very serious storm, I’m extremely pleased to have seen the efforts made by the Caymanian public to prepare for ‘the worst, while praying for the best. In this situation, this is simply the safest, most strategic thing to do,” the Premier said

Despite the all-clear being issued on Monday evening, the Ministry of Education announced that government schools will remain closed to students until Wednesday, 28 September.

Meanwhile, in Cuba, authorities have declared emergencies in six areas, with forecasters warning of storm surges on the coast along with flash floods and mudslides.

Tens of thousands of people were told to leave their homes and seek shelter. Cuba could see up to 12 inches of rain from Hurricane Ian.

Hurricane Ian dramatically intensified and is blamed for at least two dozen deaths in Florida; where the storm struck with near category five force winds and a near 20 foot storm surge.

Over 700 rescue operations were activated in Florida in the aftermath of the storm, which is still wreaking havoc in the U.S.

 

Cayman photo credit:  RC Cord

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Caribbean News

Soca Boss honoured as Trinidad & Tobago marks 50 Years

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#Trinidad&Tobago, October 1, 2022 – Machel Montano, the Soca Boss, was on Saturday, September 24, awarded the Hummingbird Gold National Award as Trinidad and Tobago celebrated its 46th anniversary of becoming a republic.

The Hummingbird medal is awarded for loyal and devoted service beneficial to the state in any field or acts of conspicuous gallantry or other outstanding humane action.

Montano, who is celebrating 40 years in soca music, expressed his gratitude for the award in a statement on his social media pages.

The Soca Monarch expressed gratitude to his family, who he said have always supported him throughout his journey.

“I am humbled and wish to dedicate this honor to my family, my parents, Elizabeth and Winston Montano, who set me on this path and without whom I would not stand proud here in this moment. Their love, guidance and support throughout the years have absolutely been my foundation,” Montano said.

Adding that: “My brother Marcus for igniting my musical spark and always being there up to this day, someone I can call on anytime for any task. My wife, my children, in-laws, sister-in-law, nieces, aunts, cousins and loved ones who have all steered and cheered me on.”

He also expressed heartfelt gratitude to his musical family, friends and fans.

“Over my 40-year journey in music my family has grown into a Famalay…sprawling all over the globe, all my musical friends; writers, producers, musicians, managers, dancers, collaborators, creators, techs, teachers, assistants, dedicated staff, friends and FANS 🙌… everyone who has ever contributed to anything I’ve done, it’s always been fun and I thank you all,” he said.

Montano said he hopes his award will inspire other entertainers and encourage them to keep working hard and aspiring.

Congratulations to the Soca Monarch and Boss on this major milestone.

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