Transport Minister told Grand Bahama Taxi Drivers More Unity is Needed
#Bahamas, November 1, 2017 – Grand Bahama – In what could only be described as a frank, open and honest meeting with taxi cab drivers in Grand Bahama, Minister for Transport and Local Government, the Hon. Frankie Campbell addressed a number of serious issues facing cab drivers in Freeport.
From the hot button topic of the contention between cab drivers and tour operators at the Freeport Harbour, to the issues surrounding taxi plates and franchises, to an issue as simple as cab drivers keeping their vehicles clean, the Transport Minister was not shy in addressing all of the challenges being faced by taxi drivers in Grand Bahama, during a special called meeting at the GB Taxi Union Hall on Thursday, October 26, 2017
However, in spite of the past and present challenges taxi drivers must contend with on a regular basis, Minister Campbell assured them of one thing — that the public transportation system in Grand Bahama, as it relates directly to cab drivers, has to be dealt with as an overall effort to fix the whole of Grand Bahama.
“Grand Bahama is a very important part of the puzzle of The Bahamas,” Minister Campbell told cab drivers who had gathered at the GB Taxi Union Hall. “And as far as taxi drivers are concerned, I realize that you too play an important role in the economic sustainability of this island, because tourism being the major driver depends on all participants to play their role to ensure that the tourist experience is one that will result in repeat visitors.
“Our goal and objective as a Government, is to ensure that as quickly as possible we increase the size of this pie, so that there are sufficient slices so that everyone can get a slice of the pie, and that the hustling which I know for a fact exists in the industry will decrease somewhat and you would be in a better position to sustain your livelihood comfortably.”
Minister Campbell addressed the issues surrounding the leasing of taxi plates, noting that the whole idea of leasing a taxi plate is not necessarily the legal framework of how it is or how it was intended to work.
“Set criteria implied that it was intended that a person would have a taxi plate or a franchise to be an entrepreneur and to be able to look after his or her family,” noted Minister Campbell. “However, as time went on, some children inherited these taxi plates and franchises and many of them never drove a taxi in their lives, but had gone on to become doctors and lawyers and other professionals, but since they had the plates, they leased them out at a very high cost.
“It has become what I call modern day slavery, because those who are leasing the plates pay the Government $100 a year for the plate, but charge a driver $500 per month to use the plate. I don’t think that’s fair and I am convinced that it is the major cause of the hustle that goes on with taxi drivers.”
As far as finding a solution to this problem, the Transport Minister said that he could take the easy way out by giving out more taxi plates, but noted that in the long run this would only exacerbate the problem and make the hustle among taxi cab drivers even more severe. Instead, Minister Campbell said that he has instructed the Road Traffic Controller to provide him with an audit of every taxi, bus and public service plate that has been issued thus far in The Bahamas, specifying information on who has those plates, where they are located and what is being done with the plates.
“After that audit, I will make a certain determination and I will be prepared to live or die by that determination, as long as I get the support of the other members of Cabinet,” said Minister Campbell. “This will affect the entire Bahamas at one time and I will make the decision in good conscience.”
Minister Campbell slightly tugged at the major bone of contention among Grand Bahamian taxi drivers, which has always been a battle between cab drivers and tour operators at the GB Harbor. In trying to understand the issue, Minister Campbell noted that as far as he knows a tour is a pre-arranged journey, which means it is something that is not done on the spot, but something that has been arranged before that tourist took the cruise.
“So Mr. Controller, Enforcement Officers, it is wrong and illegal, according to the Road Traffic Act, for persons to try and sell those tours on the ground,” said Minister Campbell. “Don’t get me wrong, I admire the tour drivers, I admire the effort they put into their profession; many of them advertise their services on the internet and attend expos abroad to promote their services. But at the same time, I’m disappointed that taxi drivers cannot come together under one umbrella and advertise their services on that same internet.
“Taxi Drivers, you have an awesome responsibility if you would stick together. There is a certain unity necessary for the kind of success you are looking for.”
The Transport Minister then opened the meeting for questions from taxi drivers and allowed them to present burning issues for which they hoped the Government could assist in helping to find solutions. Aware that one meeting would not suffice in fully dealing with the myriad issues that face GB taxi drivers, Minister Campbell promised to follow up with more such meetings between himself and GB taxi drivers.
By: Andrew Coakley (BIS)
SPEAKING WITH CAB DRIVERS – Minister of Transport and Local Government, the Hon. Frankie Campbell took time from his tight schedule, October 26, 2017, during a visit to Grand Bahama to speak with Grand Bahama taxi drivers at the Taxi Union Hall. Minister Campbell addressed a number of issues that GB cab drivers face and promised to return for further discussions. Looking on is Minister of State for Grand Bahama, Senator Kwasi Thompson and Parliamentary Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, with responsibility for Information and Communications, Pakesia Parker-Edgecombe.
(BIS Photo/Andrew Coakley)
Soca Warriors crush Bahamas at home
By Rashaed Esson
#TheBahamas, March 27, 2023 – Trinidad and Tobago’s Soca Warriors dominated the Bahamas at home, at the Thomas Robinson Stadium in Nassau, for the 2022/2023 Concacaf Nations League on Friday, with a 3-0 victory.
The Soca Warriors struck their first blow within the first 5 minutes of the game, with Kareem Moses making the first shot in the top left corner of the net giving T&T one to the Bahamas’ zero (1-0).
Soon after, in about 26 minutes, they made another shot giving them 2-0 away from home; the scorer Joevin Jones. By the 34th minute mark, the winning goal was made by Ryan Telfer, T&T now at three.
Neither team scored any additional goals as the match progressed despite attempts made by various players.
Trinidad’s win gives them 12 points through five matches. Next match for the Soca Warriors is against Nicaragua; that clash is set for Monday March 27 (at home in Tobago at the Dwight Yorke Stadium), in a tussle of winner-take-all on the final match day. The victor takes home a promotion to League A and a spot in the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup.
Angus Eve, T&T’s head coach expressed that the job is only half done, keeping aware that more challenges are coming their way, one of which is the nearing match against Nicaragua who is one point ahead of the Warriors.
Meanwhile, The Bahamas will journey to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines with hopes of emerging victorious there.
7 million lives at risk because of salt
March 24, 2023 – Without immediate and widespread efforts at curbing salt intake, 7 million lives will be lost by 2030 according to the World Health Organization. The warning follows the first-ever Global Report on Sodium Intake Reduction, which revealed that the world would not meet its sodium intake reduction target of 30 percent by 2025 on its current path.
With only 5% of WHO Member States protected by mandatory and comprehensive sodium reduction policies, the rest of the world must immediately implement ‘highly cost-effective sodium reduction policies to protect against some of the most common non-communicable diseases.
No Caribbean country was mentioned in the group of nine countries with comprehensive salt laws, but Barbados is currently set to make effective stringent regulations to govern food consumption and food quality.
Tedros Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director-General said:
“Most countries are yet to adopt any mandatory sodium reduction policies, leaving their people at risk of heart attack, stroke, and other health problems. The WHO calls on all countries to implement the ‘Best Buys’ for sodium reduction, and on manufacturers to implement the WHO benchmarks for sodium content in food.”
North America and the Caribbean have the highest child diabetes statistics in the world, with the second highest prevalence in adults as well. In Turks and Caicos in particular, over 300 hundred residents have failing kidneys, a number described as ‘alarming’ by experts. Kidney disease is fueled in most cases by diabetes and hypertension.
The WHO is then advising Governments to do four things:
- Reformulating foods to contain less salt, and setting targets for the amount of sodium in foods and meals.
- Establishing public food procurement policies to limit salt or sodium-rich foods in public institutions such as hospitals, schools, workplaces, and nursing homes.
- Front-of-package labelling that helps consumers select products lower in sodium.
- Behaviour change communication and mass media campaigns to reduce salt/sodium consumption.
With these measures in place, the salt reduction target can still be achieved, according to the WHO.
FBI and Bahamas looking into woman’s death
#TheBahamas, March 17, 2023 – The FBI is investigating a woman’s ‘suspicious’ death on a Carnival Cruise ship in February. The unnamed woman and her husband boarded the Carnival Sunshine on February 27th, for a trip to the Bahamas, but she was dead before they arrived in the port in The Bahamas.
The FBI said Carnival’s team had administered life saving measures when the woman was reported unresponsive, but they were unsuccessful. The body and the woman’s husband were released to the Bahamian authorities when the cruise arrived in the country.
In a statement shared with US media houses, Carnival Cruises claimed the death has been a natural one. The Nassau Guardian said a source told them the police findings had concurred with that assessment saying it was a “normal sudden death of a tourist who wasn’t feeling well.”
The FBI was waiting for the cruise and when it got back to South Carolina on March 4th, they immediately boarded and began to investigate the room based on ‘evidence of a crime.’ The FBI also searched the couple’s car.
No updates have been shared to contradict the currently established cause of death.
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