#TurksandCaicos, November 24, 2017 – Providenciales – A historic milestone for the children of the Turks and Caicos Islands took place on Wednesday, 15 November 2017, at the Premier’s Office Conference room, Providenciales. The occasion was the official signing ceremony for the Child Protection Multi Agency Protocols –Reporting, Managing and Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect, Working Together in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
In addition to the official and public commitment of stakeholder agencies to work together in the interest of children, the signing of the Child Protection Protocols brought the Turks and Caicos Islands in line with our sister Overseas Territory Countries including Montserrat, Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands who have all passed and signed their Child Protection Protocols, and by extension, attest the Turks and Caicos Islands commitment to compliance with UN Convention on the Rights of a Child, to which the Turks and Caicos Islands is signatory.
Earlier this year, the Foreign Commonwealth Office of the UK, through the H. E. the Governor’s Office engaged a Social Work Advisor, who specializes in Child Safeguarding to work with the Department of Social Development, Miss Samantha Dunn. Miss Dunn worked tirelessly for the past few months on incorporating relevant provisions of the Children Care and Protection Ordinance 2015 and updating the 2008 United Nations Children’s Fund (UNCICEF) sponsored draft version of the Turks and Caicos Islands’ Child Protection protocol.
The Protocol is critical as it:
- Helps to establish standards for points of contact, methods of contact and purpose of contact between relevant agencies
- Helps to define professional roles and responsibilities, and,
- Helps to ensure consistency in the way cases are handled.
- The Protocol helps to improve the response of stakeholder to child abuse cases by:
- Defining the steps that must be completed at each stage
- Having concrete and practical procedures for handling special issues
- Protecting agencies from allegations of discrimination in their handling of cases
In their brief remarks Hon Premier Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson highlighted the significance of government agencies in protecting and safeguarding children and stated that; “The Turks and Caicos Islands is committed to ensuring that a Child Protection Unit is established within the Turks and Caicos Islands to address such matter in addition to supporting the resources needed to effectively implement.”
Likewise, Honorable Vaden Williams, Minister for Home Affairs Transportation and Communication, noted that the protocol is communicating several messages to the society and world but paramount among those messages “the protocol signing signals clearly how we want our children to be treated in the Turks and Caicos Islands.”
Participating directly in the ceremony were Premier Cartwright-Robinson who did the honor of untying the red ribbon of the protocol document, students from primary schools throughout the Islands who presented the Signatories with a pen for signing and a colorful inflated “Thank you” balloon, and signatories who signed the protocol on behalf of stakeholder sectors.
- Signatories to the protocol were as follows.
- Honorable Vaden Delroy Williams, Minister of Home Affairs
- Honorable Edwin Astwood, Minister of Health
- Honorable Karen Malcolm, Minister of Education
- Mr. James Smith, Commissioner of Police
- Mr. Michael Dillon, Acting Attorney General
The event would have been less meaningful without the rendition of a song by students from the SNAP Center, as well as the presence of teachers and students from the various public schools, staff of the Department of Social Development, Domestic Violence and Sexual Offense Team, Director of Special Needs Unit, and representatives from the Ministry and Department of Health and Education.
Her Excellency, Deputy Governor Anya Williams, Hon. Goldray Ewing, Minister of Infrastructure Housing and Planning, Hon. Ralph Higgs, Minister of Tourism Environment Heritage and Culture, Chief Magistrate, Mrs. Tanya Lobban-Jackson, Permanent Secretary for Education, Mr. Wesley Clerveaux, Human Rights Commissioner, Ms. Sabrina Green and Consultant to the Social Development Department Mrs. Doreen Quelch-Missick all supported the event through their presence.
In bringing the vote of thanks Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Mrs. Clara Gardiner OBE recognized individuals and organizations for their contribution over the years leading up to the final draft and reiterated the highlighted the prominence and protection of a child’s human rights, in a changing world.
It was a special moment that will remain in the hearts and minds of all those who were a part of this occasion.
The protocol was approved by Cabinet on June 30th 2017.
Minister Moxey says partnerships for development will help get Grand Bahama going again
#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)
Caribbean Development Bank to offer solutions for TCI with Sea Defences
By Dana Malcolm
#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.
Leading revenue earners need to include a boosted Financial Services Sector says Finance Minister Saunders
By Dana Malcolm
#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.
FIND US ON FACEBOOK
News5 days ago
Thank You for Keeping your Word Mr. Carl Simmons
News6 days ago
Stand Out Student
News4 days ago
Deputy Governor defends hiring in Public Service
News4 days ago
TCI Government asked to Reconsider Vaxx Rule for Foreign Home Owners
Bahamas News1 week ago
Grand Bahama government services to be placed on Digital Transformation Unit platform
News1 day ago
Premier and Deputy Premier discussed high-priority issues with UK Government at Joint Ministerial Council Forum in London
News1 day ago
Caribbean Development Bank to offer solutions for TCI with Sea Defences
News5 days ago
House Administration Committee recommends haste for license plates by prisoners