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TCI: “We the People”

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#Providenciales, April 20, 2019 – Turks and Caicos – There are 4 important initiatives I think the government should embark on. All of which are extremely beneficial to this country and local businesses in the nations capital “Grand Turk”. But the most important issue pertains to the perceived lack of support for our local Marine branch.

Here are the initiatives:

  1. Public beach access near passenger loading zone, annex Carnival cruise center.
  2. Improvement of sanitation services on south beach.
  3. The need for a proper public ramp at south dock.
  4. A permanently stationed Marine vessel in Grand Turk.

On the behalf of the boat operators and concern citizens alike in Grand Turk, we are making a public plea for a marine vessel to be stationed here.

We understand the Government has austerity measures in place due to other capital projects, nevertheless, I think the welfare and safety of citizens should always be high priority for any government.

I have personally sent letters to the past and present respective government departments addressing these concerns. There has been discussions but little to no action taken.

We have a dedicated team of individuals working in our marine branch in Grand Turk, they just need the proper tools and resources and to do their jobs.

It’s No fault of their own. I have seen them up on south beach doing the jobs of local law enforcement and regulatory departments. Such as, confiscating illegal sale of alcohol, dealing with vendors over arguments with chairs, etc.

That should be No, No..their expertise should be much better utilized.

There is a host of benefits to government allocating a decent vessel just for Grand Turk and Salt Cay, and having a more robust marine branch.

  1. First of all, it will provide a means of transportation for rapid response in case of an emergency or a serious illness with our fellow citizens in Salt Cay.
  2. Secondly, it will help with the enforcement of DEMA and Fisheries regulations and protecting our marine life.
  3. Thirdly, it will helps to support the local boat operators especially in search and rescue operations not to include, Interception of Poachers and boarder protection.

Their presence alone in our waters is a show of force and added protection for cruise ship passengers embarking on our shores. On any given day, when the cruise ships are in, we literally have thousands of sunbathers on the beach or in our waters. Many of them stray in non swim zones with no security, available marine patrol or DEMA presence to assist if needed. This is a huge safety concern.

Boat tour operators are required to pay annual fee for radio licenses for each vessel. If there is no readily available marine rescue vessel, what’s the purpose or the value?

What are we waiting for; something drastic to happen before reacting?

It goes beyond just what can the government do for the people or boat operators. It’s common decency and making public safety and security a priority.

With Tourisim being our bread and butter particular in Grand Turk and Salt Cay, we need to be more proactive with matters of this nature. It’s not rocket science. What we have to do is start holding the folks we elected to represent us much more accountable. They were placed in office to be the voice of the people and this is an area where they have failed us miserably in Grand Turk.

For those who may not have been made aware, there has been a number of various serious boating incidents occurring right here in Grand Turk. I can name a hand full of them. There needs to be a paradigm shift in how we look at Grand Turk in terms of resource allocation, how things use to be and the growing demand for change. Still quaint, but Grand Turk is no longer a small sleepy town. Criminals and weapons are entering our boarders which ever way they can. We can not and should not stand by idol or turn a blind eye. Wake up my people!

Ed Forbes 

Concern citizen

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Caribbean News

New License Plates rolled out for Turks & Caicos

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, December 6, 2022 – The long-awaited new license plates for the Turks and Caicos have arrived, and notable changes have been made to them.  The new license plates were gazetted to come into effect on December 1st, along with the new rules regarding tints.  Wilbur Caley, Head of the Department of Motor Vehicles, shared the updated designs with Magnetic Media.

Each inhabited island now has their own specific plate, and so too do the highest public officers in the country, including the Governor and his Deputy; the Premier and his Deputy; Speaker; Attorney General; Opposition Leader; and all Ambassadors, Ministers and MPs.

The island-specific plates apply to all private vehicles, charter vehicles and taxis. The new Grand Turk plates feature a cactus on a green background; the North Caicos plates feature; Providenciales plates have what appears to be Grace Bay Beach; Middle Caicos plates show a native basket weaving; Salt Cay shows a depiction of a TC Islander working the salt flats and South Caicos has a red lobster on an orange background.

New plates are also in store for company vehicles, rentals and car dealers.

All drivers in the TCI must get these new plates affixed to their vehicles. Caley explained that over 16,000 pairs were in stock, and the DMV had 4,000 more on the way.

The DMV has had trouble with residents not outfitting their vehicles with the proper plates before. The public has had trouble with the DMV not having sufficient plates in stock, waiting months to be handed a plate.

The Department had explained those days of shortages are in the past, they now have sufficient plates for both front and back end tagging of vehicles.  It is also touted as being part of a crime prevention strategy by Police.

Back in June, Caley had told Magnetic Media that an estimated 3,000 vehicles were driving around the islands with incorrect plates; an offence which incurs a $300 fine.

Residents without license plates have roughly a year to apply for and affix the new plates to their vehicles.  Residents must do so between December 1st 2022, and November 30th 2023.

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North Caicos will get better Roads in the New Budget Year says Premier

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, December 6, 2022 – With a Triple B+ credit rating and no debt to speak of, even if the government were to slow down development, the Turk and Caicos Islands will still have ample resources to carry out enhancements for all islands according to Washington Misick  TCI Premier.

The premier was speaking at a recent town hall meeting in North Caicos and replying to a question regarding when certain dilapidated roads on the island would be upgraded.

He maintained that the government had made plans to improve on the roadways.

“We are putting in this budget for 23/24 funding for a feasibility study for the road, that has to come, it’s a must!” He reassured them, explaining that better roads would allow North and Middle Caicos residents to have more centralized schools and resources.  Not to mention residents could more easily and safely drive, lowering the social cost on the government.

Misick, who is originally from North Caicos maintained that he wanted the entire country to have access to the developments.

“We are committed to investing heavily in roads,  as I said we have no debt. If you have no debt you have no credit.  Fortunately for the Turks and Caicos we have no debt but we have a Triple B+ credit rating and even with the massive investment we are making in the airport in Providenciales, institutions are tripping over themselves to lend the Turks and Caicos money.”

Still the Government has shown zero interest in taking up any of the potentially beneficial offers.

Recently the PNP government which has described itself as frugal returned a loan that had been procured from Republic Bank in Trinidad to assist with possible economic shortfalls associated with Covid-19.  Consistently registering ‘in the black’ and with an economy outperforming projections, the loan negotiated under the Sharlene Robinson led administration was deemed no longer necessary and retired.

E Jay Saunders, Finance Minister and Deputy Premier, at the time had said that “There was a cost to having this [loan] facility in place, even if it was not being utilized. So, as it was in our economic interest to retire it, we did so,”

At the time of the announcement, this news organisation, as did many others in  the country opined that the loan could have been used on any number of legacy problem areas including improving the public sector, enhancing public infrastructure, undergirding residents through more stimulus money or tackling of the waste management issues across the islands.

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Caribbean News

SCOTIABANK TCI WINS ANOTHER MAJOR BANK OF THE YEAR 2022 AWARD

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#TurksandCaicos, December 6, 2022 – Scotiabank Turks and Caicos (TCI)  has been named Bank of the Year 2022 by internationally recognized UK-based banking publication -The Banker.

The award  celebrates increased product innovation, digital transformation and the widespread recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and is contested by the leading financial institutions in the world.

The Bank of the Year 2022 award is the third major banking awards that Scotiabank TCI has captured this year including Global Finance Magazine (New York) Best Bank 2022 that was awarded in July and Best Digital Bank 2022 by the same publication in September.

Across Scotiabank’s global operations, similar Bank of the Year 2022 accolades have also been secured in Canada, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica.

Dr. Suzan Snaggs -Wilson, Managing Director, Scotiabank TCI said “our success, and by extension, this award, is the direct result of the bank’s decision to expand and accelerate our digital transformation over the past two years . This was a central part of both our COVID-19 response strategy and general modernization objectives as we worked to align our operations with customer trends that favour self-service and remote banking conveniences.”

Snaggs-Wilson noted that the Bank has made strategic investments in technology and innovation to better serve customers, and that gains in digital have and allowed it to fast-track the optimization of the many products and services as key financial enablers for customers.

She also thanked her team of  Scotiabank employees who she says “have kept focus on delivering friendly, high quality financial services and enabling the financial wellbeing of the Bank’s customers and without whom, the success of the Bank would not be possible.”

The Banker is the world’s longest-running international banking magazine, providing economic and financial intelligence for the world’s financial sector.

The Banker selects one winning bank for each of the 120 countries judged and ranks them on their ability to deliver results, improve strategic positioning and enhance service to customers. Over 1,000 applications are collected each year and judges select winners based on which bank they believe has made the most progress over the past 12 months.

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