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Turks and Caicos hosts game-changing meeting, Canada firmly states commitment to help in disaster recovery

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#Providenciales, March 20, 2019 – Turks and Caicos – Turks and Caicos was impressive today at the Roundtable on Regional Disaster Response Co-ordination, with 41 stakeholder participants sharing with and tuned into the High Commission of Canada to Jamaica and The Bahamas and the Caribbean Disaster Management Emergency Agency (CDEMA). 

“Today is the first time in a long time where we invited stakeholders to our roundtable discussion and had such great attendance. The goal today was really for us to get to know each other better and for us from the Canadian side to better understand the structure in Turks and Caicos. Some of the challenges as well as some of the work being done and CDEMA, and their role.  It was also for us to share what Canada can and cannot do,” said Damian Kotzev, Vice Consul of High Commission of Canada.

The discussion centered on the support Canada can lend to disaster recovery in the Turks and Caicos and the Caribbean; instantly catapulting this conversation from a national level to a regional and international game-changer.

Dr. Virginia Clerveaux, Director of the Turks and Caicos Islands Department of Disaster Management and Emergencies (DDME) admitted that thankfully, it is back to the drawing board on the External Affairs Plan, which is the protocol for accessing resources from regional and international partners.

Canada’s support abundantly promises significant help.  Dr. Clerveaux says the commitments outlined will positively broaden the opportunities for resource support for the Turks and Caicos Islands in the event of a disaster.

“Disaster Management plans and disaster management standard operating procedures are policies and are not like encyclopedias that you have on your shelf because it looks good, they are living documents that need to be constantly updated, whether it is through the result of a real event or after an exercise of this nature, you have to go back and update your plan to ensure that you reflect your reality.”

The Roundtable was opened by Governor Dr. John Freeman, Minister of Home Affairs, Delroy Williams and Non-resident Consul General to the Canadian High Commission, Laurie Peters; it was held at the Regent Village.

Also in attendance was Deputy Governor Anya William, Maxovanno Thomas, Opposition Appointed member to the House of Assembly and representing CDEMA, Mandela Christian, who is the Programming Officer.

The one-day event further showcased what the DDME does outside of hurricane season.

Dr. Clerveaux said it is all about building capacity.

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Caribbean News

Police De-Briefing with TCI Governor Daniel-Selvaratnam

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#TurksandCaicos#Anti-Crime, February 23rd, 2024 – De-briefing Acting Commissioner of Police Christopher Eyre held a meeting with Her Excellency the Governor Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam and Member of Parliament for Grand Turk North, the Hon. Otis Morris, today (February 21st ) at Police Headquarters, Airport Road, Providenciales.

The debriefing was to discuss concerns raised by residents during last evening’s Anti-Crime Town Hall meeting at the H.J Robinson High School, Grand Turk. Commissioner Eyre expressed his deep appreciation to Her Excellency and Hon Morris for their attendance, saying that work was already underway to address the community concerns.

Commissioner Eyre said: “I acknowledge the challenges raised and wish to assure you that the Executive of the RTCIPF remains steadfast in ensuring the TCI is safe. We listened to your concerns, and I assure you that rebuilding trust and strengthening community-policing relations are top priorities.“

The RTCIPF has taken a holistic approach in the fight against crime. Increased visibility, greater stakeholder collaborations and ongoing dialogue forums to appraise you will occur. We are accountable to you.”

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Caribbean News

Too much secrecy with Airport Tax increase says former Deputy Premier Sean Astwood

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Dana Malcolm
Staff Writer 

#TurksandCaicos#Tax, February 23rd, 2024 – “The TCIAA should not be allowed to announce and implement new or increased taxes or fees in this already difficult financial climate without more details,” says Sean Astwood, Former Deputy Premier regarding the increase in the  Airport Development Fee from $20 to $35 describing the increase as not proactive but premature.

Astwood said there were a number of questions that he believed every Turks and Caicos Islander should ask and have the right to know the answers to including ‘Why now?’

The Opposition PDM member pointed out that only one airport has international flights and it would soon undergo a change in structure, paired with the ‘unexplainable’ delay in the completion of the airport in South Caicos and the possibility of ongoing negotiations in relation to the one in North Caicos, he queried: ‘Why not wait to see what amount or step may be needed in facilitating services in these Airports before a hike in fees?’

“In this climate, taxpayers must have more information and the benefit of a complete picture from not just the TCIAA Chiefs but from the Premier himself. The people must know what the current earnings of the TCIAA is; how has the management of the Airports increased to warrant such a large increase; how much does it cost to operate all of these airports; what is the estimated increase in revenue and how will these monies be used,” the former DP said.

He also questioned the avalanche of resignations that had recently affected the TCIAA

“I have serious concerns with the Premier’s oversight of this matter knowing that the TCIAA is no doubt experiencing a major problem with the vast number of Turks and Caicos Islanders resigning from their positions including high level positions. This alone requires a more in-depth investigation.”

Astwood also demanded information about the ongoing canopy project at the Providenciales/Howard Hamilton International which should have been completed in less than six months but was running on two years.

“TCIAA has quickly developed a reputation for big spending recently and stalled projects. We need answers as taxpayers. Why now? How much do you intend to raise? How will it be used? The people deserve a response. In a “proactive” step, this information must be provided to the public before this increase is implemented,” he ended.

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Caribbean News

Justice system instructed to improve coordination 

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Dana Malcolm
Staff Writer 

#TurksandCaicos#Violence, February 23rd, 2024 – Violence exploded in the Turks and Caicos between January 26 and February 2nd, and with signs pointing to the involvement of recently released convicts the National Security Council is on a mission to reduce the risk of flare ups when offenders rejoin society.

The Police Force, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, and other criminal Justice partners have now been instructed to review how they coordinate with each other and complete their specific roles to support case progression. Assessments about public safety in respect to offenders during bail hearings are also to be given keen attention.

The NSC is also planning to engage with the Judiciary as part of this review to help with delivering verdicts in a timely manner,

Called after the January 26 killing in Grand Turk which allegedly involved a former inmate, the meeting gathered law enforcement and other partners so that the NSC could get a sense of how effectively they were working with each other to ‘secure criminal justice outcomes.’

“The NSC— sought briefings on the effectiveness of liaison between the RTCIPF, the office of the DPP and wider criminal justice agencies in respect of case progression, including the assessments made to public safety that inform representations at bail hearings,” a statement revealed.

The information detailing the January 30th NSC meeting was released on February 2nd.

With senior leadership from the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force (RTCIPF), the TCI Regiment, TCI Border Force, HMP and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in the room, the NSC looked into two incidents involving recently released inmates.

Two days after the meeting the NSC chairs had to be briefed again about another incident involving a former inmate where two men were left dead on February 1.

The Council headed jointly by Washington Misick, TCI Premier and Dileeni Daniel Selvaratnam, TCI Governor says the risk reduction strategies discussed in the meeting NSC will seek to address HMP exit arrangements and risks to public safety.

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