#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos – August 28, 2020 — It took nearly two days, but the Minister of Health informs that he was aware but unprepared to reveal to the country that there was a third COVID-19 death at the time of his Wednesday August 26 press conference.
The information was withheld intentionally admits Minister Edwin Astwood in that statement issued today.
The reason given by the Minister is he needed more time for his team to notify next of kin or family of the death of the person in question.
‘Next of kin notification’ is the reason officials may provide for withholding the identification of a deceased person; the goal is to ensure the loved ones of the deceased is well aware of their death before personal information is released to the general public or media.
In this instance ‘Next of Kin’ as a reason for not informing of a COVID-19 death is utterly irrelevant.
Here’s why: The statement, which was eventually issued on Wednesday night to inform of the death still had no identity, no time of death, no sex or age of the person.
In the end, the Minister in his Wednesday press release only said, what he could have said earlier… that there was a third COVID-19 related death.
The Minister claims he is deeply concerned and goes on to try to chastise Magnetic Media for exposing one of two possible scenarios. And there were two…
We questioned if it was a convenient truth intentionally left out at the press meeting.
We also offered that it was possible the Minister was unaware of the death at the time of the press conference.
We now know that he did intentionally leave it out. We also now know that he was well aware of the death and suspicion for possible cause of death.
Magnetic Media takes this opportunity to state that in our obviously powerful, little WhatsApp blast we are speaking solely about Minister of Health, Edwin Astwood; no one else.
This clarification must be made since the Minister tries to promote the hypothesis that my piece was directed at his ‘health professionals’.
It was not. It was just directed at the Minister with responsibility for Health, Agriculture, Sports and Human Services.
It is concerning that the Minister of Health found the time to draft and issue a two page media statement on our report which is of unquestionable accuracy. From where I sit, there is much critical work to be done. From what we are told, the Health Team is overwhelmed with an enormous work load. It is not useful to us for our Minister of Health to be “catching feelings” every time something of essence is said related to his ministry.
We are thinking, participating beings and this is our country too.
We are in a multi-faceted crisis, together. That people are dying as a result is a vital fact. It should not have been left out of a national press conference. It actually would have worked to underscore the urgency of residents to adhere to the health messages.
To the Minister: Magnetic Media will not shrink from citing what is noteworthy and news worthy because you are chaffed Mr. Minister… and perhaps if there was any response to Magnetic Media’s emails, texts, voice note or calls – I could believe you were truly sincere when you say you want a partnership.
Accountability. Transparency. Kudos when you nail it. Call out when you drop it. Get used to your job and welcome to the new normal.
Deandrea Hamilton, CEO – Magnetic Media
Energy & Utilities Commissioner says new legislation will help to stabilize energy costs in Turks & Caicos Islands
Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – Thursday, 30th November 2023: The Energy and Utilities Department (EUD) of the Turks and Caicos Islands, today reminds the public that the comprehensive Renewable Energy Legislation is currently before the House of Assembly and that the Legislation not only addresses the existing challenges posed by fuel price volatility but also lays the foundation for a sustainable and resilient energy future for the TCI.
In a recent press release, FortisTCI cited global factors such as production cuts and increased demand for fuel, leading to a surge in market prices. The EUD acknowledging these challenges thanks our power supplier for its proactivity when it comes to informing consumers of any changes in the cost of electricity. Further, the Government of Turks and Caicos wants residents and guests to know that it is committed to taking proactive measures that will transform the energy landscape through robust Renewable Energy Legislation.
In that vein, Delano Arthur, the new Energy and Utilities Commissioner looks forward to working with FortisTCI in the upcoming days to find innovative and collaborative solutions to reduce the cost of Fuel and Energy in the Turks and Caicos Islands. This initiative aims to not only mitigate the impact of volatile fuel prices but also secures a sustainable, reliable and affordable energy future for all of us.
Key components of the Renewable Energy Legislation include:
- Integrated Resource Plans: A formal planning process to prioritise renewable energy in addressing evolving energy needs.
- Competitive Tendering Process: Government-run initiatives to promote healthy renewable energy competition, achieve low-cost energy, and meet Paris Agreement goals.
- Administrative and Regulatory Measures: Establishing clear processes and responsibilities for all players who are in the renewable energy market.
- Licensing and Safety Standards: Comprehensive licensing provisions to ensure accountability and safety standards for renewable energy systems.
- Net Billing Program: Allowing building owners to self-generate and sell surplus electricity back to the grid.
The Renewable Energy Legislation serves as a mitigation against volatile fuel prices. By transitioning to cleaner energy sources and fostering a diverse renewable energy infrastructure, these Islands aim to reduce dependency on fossil fuels. The competitive tendering process introduced in the legislation ensures the selection of the most cost-effective renewable energy solutions, contributing to energy affordability and stability.
As the Islands invest in renewable energy, the increased share of clean, locally produced electricity provides a stable alternative to fluctuating fuel prices. The Net Billing Programme further incentivises distributed energy generation, offering a predictable path for building owners to contribute to the grid and receive compensation, thus reducing reliance on traditional fuel sources.
For further information, please contact:
Delano R. Arthur
Energy and Utilities Department
Turks and Caicos Islands Government
CARICOM Sec Gen speaks on Gender Based Violence
“Everyone must continue to invest in preventing violence against our women and girls (VAWG). It is an investment in our shared future,” were the words of Dr. Carla N. Barnett, CARICOM Secretary-General, as she reiterated the need for solutions against VAWG.
She called attention to VAWG as she gave a speech surrounding the annual campaign “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence,” which runs from November 25 to December 10, 2023.
Barnett expresses the well-known fact that VAWG is one of the most prevalent issues affecting all corners of society.
“VAWG remains one of the most pervasive forms of human rights violations in the world and cuts across all races, cultures, genders, and educational backgrounds,” she maintained, as she continued to point out the sad reality that this is still a major issue despite regional and global policies.
“Despite the existence of regional and global policies and legislation to combat VAWG, weak enforcement and discriminatory practices remain significant barriers to ending VAWG.”
The Secretary-General highlighted statistics for VAWG, bringing attention to how serious and embedded this issue is in society.
She said that globally, 736 million women—nearly one in three—have experienced violence—physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence, or even both.
For the Caribbean region, she said surveys conducted between 2016 and 2019 inform us that one in two women experience intimate partner violence, which is higher than the global average.
In continuation, Barnett expressed that the campaign calls everyone to action against VAWG, including “development partners, civil society organizations, women’s organizations, youth, the private sector, and the media.” Also, world governments are being asked to share how they are investing in gender-based violence prevention.
Ending her address, the Secretary-General urged everyone to wear the color orange for the duration of the campaign, as well as on the 25th of each month, “as a symbol of hope for a brighter future where women and girls live free from violence.”
Sea Patrol Vessels Approved by Cabinet, October 11 Meeting
#TurksandCaicos, November 25, 2023 – Her Excellency the Governor, Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam, chaired the 26th meeting of Cabinet on Wednesday, 11 October 2023 at the Governor’s Office, Providenciales.
All Members were present except the Hon. Josephine Connolly.
- Approved the Consultation Report on the Proposed Amendments to the Turks and Caicos Islands Immigration Ordinance with amendments and agreed for the amended document to be brought back to Cabinet for final approval for onward submission to the House of Assembly.
- Approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Turks and Caicos Islands Government (TCIG) and Geta Crew Holding Ltd. for a mixed use development project on the island of Grand Turk, with the view of entering into a Development Agreement as per the Encouragement of Development Ordinance and the National Investment Policy.
- Approved the renewal of rental lease agreement, for various Government offices, between TCIG and Waterloo Property Management, Grand Turk.
- Approved the awarding of the following contracts:
- PN 005694, TR 23/13, Furniture and Equipment for NJS Francis Building; and
- PN 005696, TR 22/10, Purchase of Patrol Vessels.
- It noted the update from Her Excellency the Governor regarding the upcoming visit of UK Ministers to the Turks and Caicos Islands.
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