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Turks and Caicos Premier Remarks: Natl News Conference on Coronavirus COVID-19

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Delivered on Tuesday March 10, 2020

GOOD MORNING

THANK YOU TO THE MEDIA FOR POSITIVELY RESPONDING AGAIN TO OUR CALL TO ASSIST US IN GETTING OUT IMPORTANT MESSAGING.

Over the past few months, there has been nothing short of fear and frenzy worldwide which in the end may be contributing to what we as leaders and citizens wish to not see, a people feeling hopeless and helpless. While this virus is new and there is much we do not know, there is much we do know about the spread.

This issue is a worldwide health matter that requires a steady head and hand. I want to congratulate our Health Team led by the Hon Edwin Astwood, Minister of Health, Dr Nadia Astwood, the Permanent Secretary and Deputy Permanent Secretary of Health, on the leadership shown since the first announcement of this virus. As early as January, we were briefed in Cabinet, saw radio appearances and witnessed press conferences. I was pleased that on February 14th, the Hon Edwin Astwood, Minister of Health presented a full statement during the House of Assembly on the coronavirus stating symptoms, precautions to take, global scenario and our state of readiness and work in train. The Health Team with full government support has been working around the clock on this issue and I ask only that we appreciate and respect in this time, the Ministry of Health as the official voice of the government and for these Islands.

 It is in times like these, this must be identified for what it is: an issue of grave national and international importance that cannot and must not be ignored. We require a partnership with leaders opposite and to see a divide along party lines is to fail our people in what can be a life and death issue.

I acknowledge the leadership at the regional and global levels:  CARICOM, PAHO with support from our representative in the Bahamas, WHO which attended our virtual CARICOM Leaders’ Meeting last Sunday and Public Health England who was present with us and whose team leader attended our first National Security Council meeting on this issue. We do draw on the expertise of these bodies and are united with our region in standards and basic protocols. Given our size and capacity challenges, decisions must be home grown in many aspects and they will be taken in the best interest of our people under the guidance of the Ministry of Health.

Issued by TCIG March 11, 10:30 pm

As I conclude I want to reinforce the need to take precautions. There are simple good hygienic practices that once done, helps in the fight against the virus and building your immune system is also key. The good news is many more are recovering daily and there is no reason to feel helpless. Pay attention to the PSAs and messages from the Ministry of Health and as we have done at the Ministerial level, I ask that we restrict non-essential travel at this time across the public and private sector. Our first plan of action must be to prevent.

As the Minister of Finance, I wish to say that we are at the final stages of the country’s budget preparation, and we have certainly factored in the possible economic fall-out from the CO VID 19/Coronavirus outbreak. We are cognizant that fear and travel advisories are preventing travel and we are anticipating but cannot say what the future impact can be given the uncertainty of the duration of this current crisis. We are and will be prudent in our financial plans and will revise and amend as necessary. Likewise, rest assured we continue to fund the requests of the Ministry of Health in this fight.

I only encourage us to share credible information, follow health advice, adhere to the protocols set out in the regulations published today and take the precautions necessary to keep TCI and yourself coronavirus free.

Magnetic Media is a Telly Award winning multi-media company specializing in creating compelling and socially uplifting TV and Radio broadcast programming as a means for advertising and public relations exposure for its clients.

Caribbean News

Turks & Caicos Islands Cabinet Report, Meeting held January 10

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#TurksandCaicos, January 26, 2023 – His Excellency the Governor, Nigel Dakin, chaired the 1st meeting of Cabinet on Tuesday 10 January 2023 at the Premier’s Office on Providenciales.

All Members were present.

At this meeting Cabinet:

  • Approved the Fiscal Strategic Policy Statement (FSPS) 2023-27 which includes the fiscal targets of the Government for the next four (4) years to be submitted to the UK Government before being submitted to the House of Assembly for approval. Members also agreed a wide range of associated steps going forwards.
  • Approved an application for duty concessions on the importation of construction materials, furniture, fixtures and fittings from Grace Bay Club Ltd. to allow the resort to complete refurbishment work.
  • Approved an extension and revision to the MOU between the TCI Government and TCI Finance Limited, which leads on the development and growth of Financial Services in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
  • Approved adjustments to the Agriculture Finance Support Programme (Agro- Grant Incentive) for the provision of compensation for registered farms that incurred damages due to Hurricane Fiona in 2022. Members also supported the adoption of a “Farmer Information System”.
  • Approved proposed measures to control the roaming of livestock in the country covering the registration of livestock farms, construction and maintenance of holding facilities, and the transport of livestock.
  • Approved a proposed model and structure for the New Destination Management and Marketing Organisation and Tourism Regulatory Authority. Members also approved an implementation process, the composition of the appointed Board of Directors, staffing implications, and a financing model, including the establishment of Tourism Improvement Districts and the payment of fees by tourism entities.
  • Approved amendments to the Schedule of the Ports Authority (Stevedorers, Fees, and Charges) Regulations 2008, introducing a variation of stevedoring tariffs. Members also agreed next steps.
  • Noted the impact of the moratorium on the issuance of new visas to Hattian nationals originating out of Haiti and approved the implementation of a moratorium on the issuing of all visas to Haitian Nationals entering the Turks and Caicos Islands for six months with effect from 11 January 2023.
  • Approved the granting of a licence to a named individual for the purpose of erecting a swim deck protruding from the Crown parcel 60400/366 into the adjoining sea and the payment of associated annual fees.
  • Approved the renewal of a lease for the rental of office space for the Government’s Planning Department on Providenciales for a period of three years.
  • Discussed the renewal of a lease for the rental of office space for the Government’s Gender Affairs and Social Development Departments on Grand Turk and agreed next steps.
  • Approved the use of existing funds for the use of retrofitting the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College.
  • Approved the gradual outsourcing of janitorial services for government buildings, including schools.
  • Approved the observance of Public Holidays on 8 May 2023 to mark the King’s Coronation and on 19 June 2023 to mark the King’s Birthday.
  • Was updated on issues related to the Ministries of:
  1. Tourism,
  2. Education, and
  3. AG Chambers,
  4. Office of the Deputy Governor, and
  5. Office of the Governor

Further information on these matters will be provided by Ministers in due course.

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Government

DELANO ARTHUR APPOINTED AS COMMISSIONER OF ENERGY AND UTILITIES

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#TurksandCaicos, January 26, 2023 – The Office of the Deputy Governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Delano R. Arthur to the post of Commissioner of Energy and Utilities in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Transportation, Energy and Utilities.

Mr. Arthur holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan (2002) and a Master of Science Degree in Information Systems and Management from the University of Phoenix in Phoenix, Arizona (2007).

With over fifteen (15) years’ service as an Engineering Professional, Mr. Arthur served in the posts of: Senior Technical Associate at the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) in Freeport, Bahamas from 2006-2009; as a Senior Project Officer and Diplomat with the Caribbean Community Secretariat (CARICOM) in Georgetown, Guyana from 2009-2011; as the Manager of Information Technology at the Grand Bahama Power Company Ltd. (GBPC) from 2012-2015; as the Operations Manager of Transmission and Distribution at GBPC from 2015-2018 and as the Director of Grid Solutions at GBPC from 2018-2022.

Mr. Arthur during his tenure at the Grand Bahama Power Company (GBPC) gained extensive experience in all aspects of engineering, technical automation, transmission, distribution and energy supply where he provided strategic and tactical planning advice on the design and operation of GBPC’s Grid inclusive of transmission and distribution, sub stations, power transformers, renewable energy, protection and relaying devices. He also served as the Technical Storm Lead for Hurricane Matthew, as well as the Project Owner to rebuild GBPC’s 45MW Base Load Generation Fleet in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.

Commenting on his appointment Mr. Arthur stated:

“My father and mother, having been born and raised in Conch Bar and Bottle Creek, respectively, humbles me as I consider this a pleasure to serve the people of these Islands.

I am also grateful to be part of the team that will pioneer the way in strengthening the Regulatory Regime for Energy and Utilities in these Islands, while we move towards a Net 0 carbon footprint”.

Deputy Governor and Head of the Public Service Her Excellency Anya Williams in commenting on Mr. Arthur’s appointment stated:

“It is with great pleasure that I extend congratulations to Mr. Delano Arthur on his appointment as the new Commissioner of Energy and Utilities here in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

This appointment is extremely critical in helping the Turks and Caicos Islands not only progress Energy Reform here in these islands, but also in ensuring that the appropriate regulatory functions are carried out and adhered in these islands.

Having had the early opportunity along with Premier the Honourable Dr. Charles Washington Misick to meet with Mr. Arthur since his appointment to discuss the vision for Energy Reform here in the islands and to understand his early assessment and futuristic plans for the Energy and Utilities Commission, we are fully confident in his ability to lead on these initiatives and pledge our full support of the provision of the necessary resources to ensure the Commissions success.

I wish Mr. Arthur well on his appointment and welcome him to the Turks and Caicos Islands Public Service.

Congratulations Delano!”

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Crime

RTCIPF Press Release: FIVE CAYS MURDER UPDATE  

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#TurksandCaicos, January 25, 2023 – An investigation has commenced into the shooting death of a male.

The murder occurred today (January 24th).

Based on preliminary reports, at around 3pm, the Police Control Room  received a call from a resident stating that gunshots were being heard in Five Cays

RTCIPF officers responded to the given location at Reece Street and found the lifeless body of a male, lying face down on the ground with what appeared to be gunshot wounds about the body.

Based on initial information received, the victim resided at Sand Bar Street, Five Cays.

Officers are at this time gathering pertinent details to ascertain a motive behind the murder of  the deceased.

The public is being advised to notify the closest police station or to contact Crime Stoppers and give any information regarding this murder or  any illegal activity anonymously.

Please note, that Crime Stoppers calls are answered in Miami and in Houston by Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers which is a non-profit and not a police agency.

The calls are anonymous and cannot be traced in the United States or the TCI.

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