#TheBahamas – May 13, 2020 – The thrust is being led by Dr. Eric Fox, an Anger Management and Temperance Expert and Consultant with the Urban Renewal Commission, who is utilizing various forms of social media and other communication networks to remain “in close contact” with graduates and participants of the Programme, in addition to members of the wider community.
Dr. Fox also serves as Executive Director of Teen Challenge and has performed extensive work in the inner-city communities over the past 32 years.
“Once an individual enters the Anger Management and Temperance Programme, we are connected for life,” Dr. Fox said. “The ability to stay connected is paying tremendous dividends for those persons needing our assistance as a result of some of the fall-out from the COVID-19 Pandemic.”
Dr. Fox said while the Government of The Bahamas’ stay at home policy is “an essential and necessary component” in the country’s efforts to stop/limit the community spread of the COVID-19 Pandemic throughout The Bahamas, there are persons who are having difficulty adjusting to being in close quarters over extended periods of time.
“There are persons in our communities who are experiencing challenges in adapting to remaining in close confinement at home for extended periods of time as a result of the essential and necessary curfew and mandatory lockdown periods designed to stop the community spread of the COVID-19 Pandemic, while others are having to contend with the fall-out from reduced work hours, to losing their jobs,” Dr. Fox said.
“Follow-up therefore, is critical and so we have been utilizing all forms of social media and other communication networks as a means of providing follow-up for those persons who have graduated from the programme, those who are participants of the programme, and those persons in the community who may be experiencing anger management and temperance issues as they try to navigate this new situation.
“We have also had a physical presence in the communities, utilizing all of the health and safety protocols established by the Ministry of Health – including the use of protective equipment, in addition to following the protocols relating to physical distancing.”
Dr. Fox said anger is an emotion that everyone has, but that some persons are better able to manage and/or contain their anger than others. Anger, he said, is an indication that there may be some other issues that could be impacting individuals.
“It’s like driving your car and the Check Engine Light appears. The car didn’t shut off, but that Check Engine Light serves as a warning that something is wrong and that the possibility exists that the car can eventually shut down. Anger is similar. It is an indication that there is some deeper stuff going on inside that an individual needs to pay attention to and try to address and resolve before the anger becomes a danger.”
Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell, applauded Dr. Fox, his team, and officials at Urban Renewal for taking proactive approaches to addressing the various needs of the urban communities pre-, and particularly during, COVID-19.
“When you consider the anxiety and, in instances, the frustration stemming from persons who would have been placed on reduced work hours, to others who have completely lost their jobs as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic, you would have a greater appreciation for the need to address their psychological needs, for the need to assist persons in remaining calm, for the need to assist persons in managing the various emotions that have come about as a result of the presence of the Pandemic,” Minister Campbell said.
“That is the kind of value Dr. Fox and his Anger Management Programme is offering. It is our hope that more persons with those skills would offer more of those services to the wider community,” Minister Campbell added.
BIS News By Matt Maura
National Food Policy to be created in the Bahamas
By Shanieka Smith
#TheBahamas, February 2, 2023 – A new initiative by the Ministry of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs in the Bahamas will see the creation of a National Food Policy geared towards ensuring food security on the island.
“This agricultural policy would encompass a holistic approach and incorporate regulations, legislation, and other aspects to assist the farmers who have not really gotten the attention they deserve for a long time,” said the Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs, Hon. Clay Sweeting.
Other initiatives within the agriculture sector will also be implemented, such as the digitalization of applications and forms, which will make farming more efficient.
Clay said, “we have already digitalized for the most part the Department of Marine Resources and soon we will unveil new services such as dog licences, import permits, and other services needed for a successful agricultural sector.”
The construction of the Cultivation Centres (TCC) in Eleuthera and New Providence with produce exchange, food processing kitchens and farm stores will continue.
Sweeting said he hopes these initiatives will help to decrease the country’s yearly $1 billion food import bill.
Consumer protection, 85 businesses to be put under watch
By Dana Malcolm
February 2, 2023 – Grocery stores and dozens of other businesses will be under the microscope soon as the government begins aggressively enforcing the Consumer Protection Ordinance passed back in 2016 with an all-new Compliance and Regulatory Enforcement (C.A.R.E) Drive.
Carried out by the Department of Trade, Industry, and Fair Competition the drive aims to “actively educate providers whilst enforcing the main provisions to protect consumers under the Consumer Protection Ordinance,” a press release explained.
Firstly, Consumer Officers charged with protecting the people of the TCI from unfair business practices will be assessing the prices of selected breadbasket items in 23 different stores countrywide each month to see whether price gouging is being carried out by businesses.
Breadbasket items are currently duty-free under the Food and Fuel Tax Break until the end of the financial year in March and all savings from those tax exemptions should be passed on directly to the consumer. After each assessment, which will continue for several months at least a monthly price report will be published on the Department of Trade’s website.
In addition, the Consumer Officers will be monitoring other business activities across the country “to ensure that providers are compliant with their duties to consumers.”
Those responsibilities include:
- Giving customers certain basic information about goods and services being sold;
- Informing consumers about terms and conditions before any payment is made (e.g., warranties, refunds, returns, exchanges, etc.) and;
- Abstaining from misleading and deceptive conduct, false representation and unfair business practices.
The government says they will reach at least 85 businesses with the C.A.R.E. Drive but they did not indicate the process behind how these businesses had been singled out. Non-compliant ones will be fined after a thorough investigation and warnings are issued by the Department of Trade.
With this in mind, business owners are being encouraged to familiarize themselves with their duties under the Ordinance lest they be caught in breach. The government did not say what entities would be assessed and whether that included major retail grocery stores, gasoline dealers, water companies, electricity providers, telecommunications companies and other essential providers of the services that all islanders spend on.
74 Foreign Nationals Convicted in The Magistrate’s Court
#TheBahamas, February 2, 2023 – In Magistrate’s Court #1 today, seventy-two (72) foreign nationals were arraigned before Magistrate Algernon Allen Jr. for various immigration offenses.
Thirty-two (32) Cuban nationals were convicted of Illegal Landing. Two (2) of them were subsequently sentenced to four months in the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services (BDOCS). Thirty (30) were conditionally discharged and released to the Department of Immigration to be deported.
A total of forty (40) Haitian nationals were convicted of Illegal Landing. Two (2) received custodial sentences of three months at BDOCS, and thirty-seven (37) were conditionally discharged and released to the Department to be deported. In addition to the charge of Illegal Landing, one (1) Haitian man was also convicted of Knowingly Attempting to Misleading an Immigration Officer and subsequently sentenced to six months at BDOCS on each count. The sentences are to run concurrently.
Three (3) Haitian nationals were also charged with Overstaying. Two (2) pleaded guilty and were convicted. Respectively they were fined $2,000.00 or, in default of payment, served six months at BDOCS, conditionally discharged, and deported. One (1) Haitian female pleaded not guilty, and the matter was adjourned to a later date. Upon payment of fines, completion of sentences, and discharge, all persons were ordered to be turned over to the Department of Immigration for deportation.
The Department remains committed to executing our mandate to ensure compliance with the Statue Laws of our country.
For more information, call the Public Relations Unit at 1-242-322-7530, visit our website at www.immigration.gov.bs, or call our Investigation hotline anonymously, at 1-242-604-0249.
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