Mark Fulford announces candidacy for leadership of TCI Opposition party, PNP
#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
CIBC FirstCaribbean TODAY shuts another TCI branch, CONFIRMED
By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, April, 2023 – The Turks and Caicos will be losing yet another banking branch following confirmation of reports that CIBC FirstCaribbean bank in Grace Bay will be shut down on Friday March 31st.
CIBC representatives confirmed the shutdown to MM Thursday March 30th. Employees at the Leeward Highway branch moved over to the Grace Bay branch in January to allow for necessary upgrades and expansions to infrastructure. That shift lasted for four months and employees were scheduled to move back to Leeward Highway in early April. No mention of a closure to the Grace Bay branch was made in the January 12 press release that detailed the upgrades.
Citing those upgrades, which are now complete, Managing Director of the Bahamas Operating Company, responsible also for TCI, Dr. Jacqui Bend said, “CIBC FirstCaribbean is continuing to work on a number of initiatives aimed at improving the processes and technologies that our teams use to support our clients and employees alike. We have committed further investments in simplification, automation, and security across our bank and, as always, our clients will be the beneficiaries of this renewed effort,
It’s a repeat of the firm’s new mantra focused on self-service and digitization that has seen the local presence of the country’s oldest bank diminish more and more.
CIBC defends the decision explaining that retail client services had already been ceased at that Grace Bay branch and the closure of it earlier this year, while expansion Leeward Highway’s location was designed to ‘reconfigure and improve’ their network for the future.
“While there may be a few teething issues being encountered while our teams and clients adjust to their new surroundings, our teams are working with an ‘all hands on deck approach’ to expedite service to our clients,” she said in the statement shared with Magnetic Media.
The shifts to more digitized services eliminates the in person experience and residents have voiced discontent with the strategy. Earlier this year CIBC First Caribbean indicated they would pare down services and the in branch experience at their Grand Turk location.
It left Grand Turk with no banks within which they could enter to get that ‘human touch’. While there was outrage, Government remained silent.
Since January 3rd, customers of the bank have had to shift to the digital approach which now requires smaller cash deposits and smaller cash withdrawals to be made via ABMs, which are more state of the art and it also means applying for many of the banking features online.
Three days, two matches, two wins for Natl Men’s Football
#TurksandCaicos, March 31, 2023 – Belief in themselves and an inspiring new coach has caused a dramatic shift in the Turks and Caicos National Men’s Football team according to captain Billy Forbes; the TCI National Men’s Football team secured two impressive back-to-back wins.
“The guys are buying in now, having a coach that they can look up to, who has played professionally before– it’s really amazing,” he explained. “For me, I’m really proud of the guys because three or four years ago that would have been us losing the game probably like 6-0, something like that. For us to go down 1-0 and come back and win it- I think that was fantastic, you can’t really ask for much more.”
He was speaking to the press after a March 28th match against Bonaire. The team is on a winning streak following back-to-back victories over the US Virgin Islands and Bonaire in the Concacaf Nations League. The most recent match with Bonaire almost looked like a miss just one minute in- but as Forbes said they pulled it together. Coach Hayden Mullins, former Crystal Palace, Portsmouth, and National English Footballer detailed the nail-biting match.
“I thought we started slow; we gave a goal away in the first minute,” he said. “The pleasing thing for me is we went from one nil down to 2-1 up at halftime. We had something to build on. Full assessment? The game had everything, we had a red card; we missed a penalty; we went goal down; but the resolve and the character from the guys was perfect. It’s exactly what we’re looking for.”
Sebastian Turbyfield (# 1 goalkeeper), concurred with his captain and coach. Turbeyfield performed quite a few gymnastic feats to keep TCI in the running throughout the match. He described his teammates as having a completely different resolve and promised they would only be getting better from here.
Mullings said the team is one that the country can be proud of and ‘could definitely get out of league C.”
The men returned to the country on March 29th.
Earth Day celebrations
#TurksandCaicos, March 31, 2023 – Earth Day is coming up on April 22, 2023, and the Department of Environment and Coastal resources is hosting a poetry competition for TCI youth to mark the event.
Students of all ages are encouraged to write a sonnet to celebrate the TCI’s natural beauty; the winning poem will be published in the Times of the Island Magazine.
The deadline for poems to be submitted is April 30, 2023, and students should submit their poem via email to email@example.com or in person to any DECR office. Entries must include the student’s name, age and school.
The department promises that there are prizes to be won for the top poets.
April 22 marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement 53 years ago and helps demonstrate support for environmental protection. The theme for this year is “Invest In Our Planet.”
This year‘s theme follows years of missed climate action goals by governments globally, including poor climate financing. The Turks and Caicos and other small island developing states are particularly at risk environmentally because of the growing threat of climate change.
Currently the country is working through the Environmental Health Department DECR, Fisheries Department, and more to create sustainable fishing, farming, and marine practices that will benefit the country economically, but also protect its natural flora and fauna.
Projects include sargassum research, coral nurseries to rebuild the country’s coral reef, farming in schools, marine spatial planning to create an effective plan for the use of marine resources, participation in the UK Blue Belt program to protect local marine life, and much more.
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