#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – January 25, 2019 – Rumors had been swirling since Thursday that Beaches Resort Villages and Spa in the Turks and Caicos was planning a long term shut down in 2021 due to a massive bill, which is in dispute, with the Turks and Caicos Islands Government.
“Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa will be closed from September 3rd to October15th in 2019 and from September 7th to October 22, 2020, and then for an indefinite period from January 2021.”
Government taxes were reportedly calculated in a way that is not sitting well with Sandals Resorts International, which owns the Beaches family resorts. The calculations by the Ministry of Finance and backed by the Attorney General’s Chambers have reportedly been in dispute for years.
The lingering bill in dispute has now ballooned to some $60 million, we are told.
Finance Ministers have asked for the debt to be treated with leniency to no avail and once again exposes the topsy-turvy order of governance in the Turks and Caicos Islands, which is actually led by the Civil Service and not elected politicians.
“The upcoming closures of Beaches Turks & Caicos are the result of several critical and long-standing issues which have impacted our operations over the past several years. We apologize for any inconvenience caused to our customers and look forward to welcoming them back soon.”
Naturally, this decision by Beaches Resorts is being cited as catastrophic for the Turks and Caicos Tourism industry, as Beaches is a key linchpin in the success of air arrivals to Providenciales, in particular.
Beaches explained: “Guests traveling between now and January 2021 that are not impacted by these closures will receive the vacation experience that we have become known for. All features and facilities of the resort will be open and operating per usual. For impacted guests, we are committed to making this as seamless as possible by allowing them to change their travel dates to Beaches Turks & Caicos or travel on their original travel dates to one of our other locations in Jamaica, Beaches Negril or Beaches Ocho Rios, at no additional cost, including airfare change fees. Guests may also choose to travel to any of our 16 Sandals Resorts.”
Magnetic Media has reached out to Premier and Finance Minister Sharlene Robinson on the matter.
The statement from Beaches Resort is titled: ‘BTC Pending Closure’.
Blue Hills Man Charged with Manslaughter
#TurksandCaicos, February 8, 2023 – A 48-year-old man has been charged with two counts of manslaughter.
He appeared before a Magistrate on January 30th. Following his court appearance, the matter was committed for sufficiency hearing on April 06th.
Andre was charged in connection with an incident which occurred on December 24th at the Residence Yard, Five Cays.
Two female minors -ages six and seven- died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Press Release: RTCIPF
Sugar and salt tax campaigns gaining steam
By Dana Malcolm
February 7, 2023 – A global battle on sugar and salt is ramping up as the United States joins The Bahamas and Barbados in creating proposals for historic sugar and salt laws.
The country’s Agricultural Department for the first time in history, proposed a cap on the amount of sugar to be allowed in school meals.
The World Health Organization has found that North America and the Caribbean have the highest rates of childhood diabetes in the world and based on the International Diabetes Federation’s Diabetes Atlas we also have the second highest prevalence of Diabetes overall for all global regions at 14 percent or 51 million people with a projected 24 percent increase in just 22 years.
Barbados, the United States, Canada, Haiti, Mexico, Belize and St. Kitts and Nevis are all suffering from incredibly high rates of diabetes.
Barbados and The Bahamas announced sugar taxes last month; the hope is to reduce the importation and sale of sugar and salt rich foods.
Advocates across the Caribbean including Jamaica, Trinidad, and others have been campaigning for sugar taxes in their own countries with support from the public.
Now the proposed nutritional rules for the United States would set firm boundaries on how much salt and sugar can legally be added to meals, setting a new standard as most food imports for countries like The Bahamas are from the US.
The plan for the US is expected to be rolled out by 2025.
The rules, are unapologetically an attempt to cut down incidences of diabetes and other diseases fueled by unhealthy diets, according to media reports.
For now, the quantities on sugar and salt additives is an idea waiting wider consultation.
TCI Office in Bahamas identified
By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, February 7, 2023 – An office space has already been identified for an all-new TCI Immigration office in The Bahamas according to Arlington Musgrove, Minister of Immigration and Border Services.
Musgrove told Magnetic Media that the ministry was “almost there” in regard to securing the space; it indicates the Government is moving full speed ahead with plans for the passing of the new Immigration Bill which will allow third-generation TC Islanders citizenship, even as the public awaits consultations on it.
The announcement of the bill had caused some skepticism among islanders, some of whom wanted the government to focus on keeping TC Islanders at home instead of recruiting others. Musgrove however had made it clear that the TCI was in a population crisis and would need to slow down PRC naturalisation rates and naturalise people with historical, familial and cultural connections to the land or risk going ‘extinct’.
The office will work to deepen the relationship between the two sister countries even more and help increase the TCI’s population offsetting the need for masses of external labour according to the government.
When passed, the rule will apply to third-generation islanders everywhere, not only in The Bahamas giving them a free ticket to come home.
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