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Mark Fulford announces candidacy for leadership of TCI Opposition party, PNP

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#TurksandCaicosIslands – March 6, 2020 — FULL STATEMENT: Today I wish to announce my candidacy for Leadership of the PNP. The PNP Constitution mandates that leadership elections are due in March of this year.

Our country is at a crossroad, people are living in fear with crime at an all time high, the illegal immigrants continue to come by the boatloads, people are choosing whether to pay the power bill or buy groceries, – minimum wage does not match cost of living – our people are having to work 2 hours to choose between buying chicken or rice – our healthcare system is in disarray, single mothers cant get their children in Government schools as they are over populated, our people have no access to their own land other than to play the trash bag lottery,  our people have no access to capital or credit to start their business or buy a home, I’m deeply concerned about the future of this country, I hear the cries and feel the pain of  our people! This may be the last election to save our people from complete and total marginalization – that is why I am answering the call of service. 

Having worked at the top of government, as advisor to the first three Premiers;  Having served on national policy committees and led national agencies.  Having built a law firm with lawyers my senior and currently leading a major international charity, I understand our political and constitutional structure, and I believe in getting things done. I have a bold new vision for our country and our people.  Together our dreams can be fulfilled .  I am satisfied that I have the skills, the elders and advisors for guidance and I have a deep love for our country and our people.  Together we can achieve our country’s greatest potential and restore the value of being a Turks and Caicos Islander in the Turks & Caicos!

The problems in our country don’t leave me feeling hopeless, instead my first reaction is to develop solutions.  Our current leaders seem unsure of themselves. When you think of our people and how good decisions cannot just ease but remove the misery of crime and illegal migration or can drive our education system not just to be good, but to the top of the world’s rankings, when you have the nerve to demand of experts to show how TCI’s economy could be three times larger and TI’s could have access to credit…that’s the call of leadership!

As it relates to contesting a seat in the upcoming elections, I would say that I love every inch of our country, but I grew up in the twin islands and so did the current candidate who now lives there and I support him remaining there. National leaders should run at-large, even though its not required constitutionally.  In my vision I see a different Turks and Caicos, one where No person, no family, no community and no island will be left behind. 

Everyone prospers but our people come first; Turks and Caicos moves to the top of the ease of doing business in the global rankings; There will be a zero tolerance approach to crime and illegal migration;  We will be number one in the world in educational achievement; We will create a beautification culture that keeps our country a global example of cleanliness;  Our labour force will not work in luxury and go home to misery – minimum wage will be raised in line with cost of living; we will not pay high taxes yet cannot feel safe in our homes; gone will be the days where hardwork is not rewarded in every industry; gone will be the days where we will not have access to credit & capital. Gone will be the days that we have to play the lotto to obtain our land; Our Healthcare will be administered by the best & most experienced qualified Doctors. What I see for us is together restoring  the value of being a Turks and Caicos Islander in Turks and Caicos and ensuring that there is a fair and equal distribution of wealth in TCI! 
In Closing, let me say something about the current leader of the PNP,  Hon. C W Misick whether he hangs up his hat or not, its not for me to say.

My leadership quest does not have to be against the Hon. Washington C Misick. That man has had quite a career and he made his contribution.

The rules of democracy does not require me to put him down to put my agenda and candidacy forward. Obama was friends with his opponents who did not waiver support for his party. 

Recently After winning super Tuesday, Biden’s opponents have thrown their support behind him – the results of the leadership should not change your support for your party, we move on.  But this is not about Washington or Mark, this is about our people, and the call of leadership and what I see for us is based on what we deserve! I see it for us I want it for us and I am willing to work for it, for us. I am putting myself up to serve every Turks and Caicos Islander, regardless of party affiliation. We need to unite as a people if we want to truly realise our greatest potential. Do not lose hope,  we have always been a resilient people, everyone near and far who loves TCI as much as I do, and who call TCI home, join me in this fight to save our people and to save our country!

May the Good Lord impart his riches blessings on every living one in our beloved homeland Turks and Caicos Islands.  Mark A Fulford

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Caribbean News

WE GOIN’ KEW: Festival of the Year

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#TurksandCaicos, November 29, 2022 – The WE GOIN’ KEW’ festival charity event was a huge success bringing people together to enjoy Turks and Caicos Islands food and cultural performances and organised by the Turks and Caicos Islands Unity Committee.

On Saturday, November 19, 2022, residents from across the Turks and Caicos Islands chain found their way to the Bellefield Landing in Kew, North Caicos, to support what is being described as the biggest festival of the year with an estimated two thousand people attending.  The event also saw fifteen vendors present, serving local Twin Island dishes, and featuring three local bands, and artists from The Turks and Caicos Islands and The Bahamas.

Proceeds garnered from the WE GOIN’ KEW Festival will support key projects across North and Middle Caicos and assist with completing the homeroom at Ashley’s Learning Center, according to the Director of the TCI Unity Community, Mr. Alvin Hegner.

Hegner added, “This charitable event was held for the people of the Twin Islands and Ashley’s Learning Center.  We wanted to give back to the community while showcasing local food vendors and craft and farmers’ markets.  On behalf of the organising committee, I would like to express thanks and appreciation to the people of the Twin Islands for their unwavering support and for helping us to create an extraordinary outcome.  Thanks to Sharmaine Clarke for her coordinating efforts on the Twin Islands”.

A special thanks to the event’s sponsors for making it all happen in various ways: The Wine Cellar, Turks Head Brewery, Anderson Media, Big Josh Country Club, Play Big Win Big Entertainment, Prime DJ’s, JACA TCI , Grant Thornton, LEW 1 Shipping, Rasco Sounds, Building Materials DoITCenter, Engel & Volkers, Wymara Resort and Villas, Fortis TCI, FLOW, Dragon Cay Resort, Digicel, MEP Solutions: Electrical and Plumbing, HAB Group, Waratah Construction TCI, RED Hospitality and Leisure & Lady Grace, Catamaran, Mac N Cheese Adventures, The Strand, Beaches Turks and Caicos, BCQS, Turquoise Horizons, Franks Hardware, Delta Electric, AE&S construction, COMO Hotels and Resorts, Caicos Isle Management, Island Drilling, Ports Authority, Turks and Caicos Islands, Robinsons’s Variety, Island Convenience – Grace Bay, Got You Covered, Reliable Security, Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force, TCI Ministry Of Health, District Commissioner Of North Caicos Madam Musgrove, and the District Commissioner of Middle Caicos Sir Delancy.

The  WE GOIN’ KEW Festival is now an annual event.  The scheduled date for WE GOIN’ KEW 2023 is Saturday, November 4, 2023.  The proceeds from WE GOIN’ KEW 2023 will assist with housing projects throughout the Turks and Caicos Islands.

TCI Unity is a nonprofit organisation geared towards helping those in need in the Turk and Caicos Islands.  Founded during the COVID-19 pandemic, the TCI Unity distributed over 500 meal boxes to families in need throughout the country.

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Bahamas News

Experts Make Recommendations on Framework to Help Caribbean Access and Use Needed Climate Financing

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November 29, 2022 – If Caribbean countries are to survive the impacts of climate change, then finding ways to make the money match their needs will be of paramount importance.

“It won’t be a rainbow that gets you to the pot of gold, it will be a framework that enables us to unlock the type of financing that we need for the actions that we committed to under the Paris Agreement in terms of  mitigation, adaptation and loss and damage,” was how Ambassador Jeanine Felson, Senior Advisor on Climate Matters to the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), put it on Monday.

Ambassador Felson was among the regional experts speaking on Monday, November 14 at ‘Aligning Climate Finance Flows with Caribbean Countries’ Climate Resilience Needs’, a panel discussion coordinated by Caribbean institutions at COP27 to highlight the challenges of and propose solutions around climate change in the region.

The panel was coordinated by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) and the Organisation for Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission and was an official side event at the United Nations’ climate change conference, currently being held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

Speakers highlighted aspects that needed to be considered, incorporated or strengthened in the effort to build an overall framework that would allow Caribbean countries to be able to access more climate financing and use it effectively.

CDB Director of Projects, Daniel Best, spoke of the new framework which CDB is proposing for determining access to finance by small island developing states, many of which are bedevilled by the twin dilemmas of being very climate vulnerable but also being considered middle income and hence ineligible for concessional financing.

CDB’s framework includes three tools: the IRC of a country, which estimates the ability to recover from an exogenous shock, the Recovery Duration Adjuster, to anticipate the length of the recovery period after a shock, which is much longer for developing countries when compared with developed countries, and the Vulnerability and Resilience Assessment Tool.  These calculations will then provide a more judicious means of determining access to finance for small developing states,” stated Best.

However, he stressed that financing frameworks must be improved and strengthened across the world’s development financing system, adding:

While international financial institutions may have pledged trillions of dollars to finance building resilience against the effects of climate change, those pledges may end up meaning very little if we do not strengthen the ‘architecture of the international financial system’ to ensure that these financial resources efficiently flow to developing countries and assist in meeting their development needs and boosting growth prospects.”

Head of the Climate Policy Unit at the European Investment Bank, Edward Calthrop shared how their institution was working to do just that, noting that as the largest provider of climate finance globally, the European Investment Bank is seeking to “work with public authorities to be able to quickly develop high quality studies to make sure infrastructure is designed for the future.

An important element for accelerating finance is having the capacity to deal with the resilience of projects…. Not just in the Caribbean, but globally, we need to get better and quicker at developing high design standards for infrastructure,” stated Calthorp.

Ways to accommodate for the issues of size and scale were also discussed with speakers noting it was a perennial issue for the region made up as it is of small states. Trinidad and Tobago’s Minister of Planning and Development, Hon. Pennelope Beckles, suggested ways this could be addressed in building out a framework that allows countries to be able to properly implement climate resilience projects, saying:

I think it is fair to say that attracting climate finance flows to the Caribbean is a multi-faceted issue. For flows of finance to be effective, recipients must be capable of receiving and utilising such financing. Given the unique nature of the Caribbean, it may also be necessary to create economies of scale that attract feasible investments and climate financing in order to maximise impacts. This, of course, will require coordination and collaboration by all countries of the region to create a uniformed enabling environment across the region.”

 

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Eric Salamanca is TCI’s new Energy Commissioner; TODAY he announces EU funding for Renewable Energy 

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, November 29, 2022 – As the globe looks to more sustainable energy, the Turks and Caicos Islands’ renewable energy bill is progressing with the help of a new Energy Commissioner.  Longtime resident, Eric Salamanca has taken up the post just when residents are bruised by the pinch of ever-increasing oil and gas prices globally.

The appointment was announced by Jamell Robinson, Minister of Physical Planning and Infrastructure Development and Acting Minister of Home Affairs.  He revealed the information while responding to queries by residents about the pace of renewable energy implementation in the Turks and Caicos Islands at a town hall meeting in Providenciales on November 21st.

“The bill is being worked on, and hopefully we’ll have some resolution to bring something to Cabinet in the future to be able to take to the House of Assembly to pass. We’ve just appointed our energy commissioner, so once he’s in, he will have sight of the bill to give his input so that can be finalized,” Robinson stated.

An energy analyst by profession, Salamanca worked with the Department of Environment and Coastal Resources and other government agencies before the Energy and Utilities Department.  He has over 20 years of experience in his field.

On Tuesday November 29, Salamanca will make a major announcement related to funding accessed by the TCI Government through the European Union.

The programme is dubbed:  The Resilience, Sustainable Energy and Marine Biodiversity Programme (RESEMBID).  RESEMBID executive team members will join the press conference, to be held at the Office of the Premier in Providenciales, virtually.

Turks and Caicos Islands is one of 12 overseas territories qualifying for a slice of the 1.4 million euros and in attendance will be Nigel Dakin, TCI Governor and Otis Morris, TCI Minister of Home Affairs, Public Utilities & Transport.

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