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Nearly 300 people sent home today as Turks and Caicos Collection closes indefinitely

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Alexandra Resort, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands

#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – August 5, 2020 – At least 250 people were laid off and 13 executives made redundant today at the Turks and Caicos Collection of Resorts as the financial onslaught of the travel and tourism industry by COVID-19, escalates.

Lord Michael Ashcroft, Chairman of Waterloo Investment Holdings Ltd (WIHL), which owns the Collection, is in country and made known the painful decisions, Magnetic Media is told, in a private meeting with top executives.  By this afternoon, there came a NOTICE OF LAYOFF which said, in part:

“Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the hospitality industry and the continuous fallouts that we experience daily, we have made the decision to lay off employees in an effort to mitigate the loss of business experienced to date.”

Blue Haven and Beach House had closed in the early days of the pandemic’s impact on Turks and Caicos tourism.  The Alexandra and Ambergris Cay were reopened on July 22 but guest bookings for the Alexandra were a far cry from what is needed to sustain the all-inclusive operation.

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At peak there were 105 guests on property, reflecting a 30 percent occupancy level.

Staff from the Beach House, Blue Haven and the Alexandra were being rotated – an effort which kept staff employed, albeit with a lesser salary.

Employees were today surprised by the announcement which also confirmed an eight week layoff beginning on August 10.

Until there is a significant uptick in tourism, the Alexandra will close to tourists this coming Sunday August 9; most disconcerting is that no reopening date was revealed.

Ambergris Cay, which is a private island, also owned by WIHL has had a different experience largely due to the higher net worth of the multi-million-dollar home owners.  Ambergris Cay has its own airstrip, which has been welcoming private jets since tourism reopened in late July.

While interest in Turks and Caicos vacations have been healthy, there are at least two factors which have brought momentum to a crawl:  the five-day requirement of a negativeCOVID-19  PCR test by the TCI Assured program and the delay in the  reopening of Beaches Resort Villages and Spa.

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Turn-around time on COVID-19 tests in the United States (and Caribbean region) are generally falling outside of the 5-day TCI public health requirement.

The Beaches Resort announcement of reopening not until October 14, likely prompted a reduction of flights into Providenciales during August by both Delta and Jet Blue airline companies.

The 13 expatriate executives have all been made redundant and given severance pay as stipulated by law.  The same is said of the 250 staff members, who as of August 10 will be furloughed.

Owners of residences at all properties will be allowed to visit, unencumbered.

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PDM Party announces date for Official Launch of All Island Candidates

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#TurksandCaicos, March 3, 2024 – National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Movement, Ezra Taylor on Friday March 1 announced that “During this crucial time in our country, our people need leadership that will address the needs of our country. The People’s Democratic Movement is ready willing and able under the proven, caring, and trusted leadership of the Hon. Edwin Astwood, assisted by a dynamic group of candidates, who together, will forge a future where Turks and Caicos Islanders will feel safe, and be true beneficiaries of the resources of our economy.”

The PDM informed: after an extensive exercise conducted by the People’s Democratic Movement and much anticipation by the electorate, we are pleased to announce to the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands that an official launch of our All-Island candidates will take place on March 22, 2024, at 7:30pm, venue to be announced.

Secondly, the official launch of our constituency candidates will take place during the month of April 2024. The people of the Turks and Caicos Islands will be able to witness the launch of our candidates via The People’s Democratic Movement’s various social media platforms, and in person

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Another Poor Judgment by Premier Misick, says Sean Astwood

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#TurksandCaicos, March 3, 2024 – Sean Astwood, former Deputy Premier says with the firing of E. Jay Saunders, the Deputy Premier and MoF, current Premier Charles Washington Misick has put himself in another compromising position.

With an ongoing investigation before the Integrity Commission alleging a serious conflict of interest for a Gaming Amendment Bill, brought to the HOA by the Premier, when Gaming Commission fell under the Former Minister of Finance, the choice of the Premier to make himself the Minister of Gaming is troubling. The Gaming Commission falls under the Ministry of Finance and will undoubtedly receive directives from its Minister who now, conveniently, is the Premier.

I am extremely concerned as to what directives the Premier will be issuing to staff of the Gaming Commission that could potentially interfere with the ongoing Integrity Commission investigation. With seven other ministers as a part of his ministerial team and the ability to appoint a new minister to replace his former deputy, the Premier should have used better judgment and select a different ministry to oversee or continue to oversee none at all, as he has been doing for the past three years. It is now even more important for the Integrity Commission and the Governor to pay closer attention to the Gaming Commission and conduct a full review of that body since its inception to date.

This cannot be an oversight by a Premier who has been involved in politics for decades. The consistent poor judgement by this current Premier is both disappointing and disturbing and should have every voter wondering if he truly came for this “wuk” or did he just comeback for something else, as many believe.

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“Move on” from the PNP says PDM National Chairman Taylor 

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Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer 

 

#TurksandCaicos, March 3, 2024 – “There is obviously a great deal of internal conflicts going on within the PNP party,” says Ezra Taylor, PDM Party National Chairman in a new open letter following leadership challenges and changes affecting the Progressive National Party, PNP in the aftermath of a spirited National General Council (NGC) meeting.

In the February 27 letter, Taylor speculated on why there were so many hands vying for top spot of the PNP.

“There can be no doubt after this past weekend that there are large and different factions within the PNP party that are dissatisfied with the Hon. Misick’s leadership and are seeking a change in direction and leadership is a straight up power struggle. Three different members of his party challenged him inclusive of the most recent past Campaign Chairman and his current deputy leader.  This is an indictment on his leadership or the lack thereof,” Taylor maintained.

The PDM executive maintained that it does not bode well for Misick’s chances at the polls in upcoming elections.

“A challenge with such large support this close to the general elections also indicates that there are many members and supporters of the PNP who do not believe that Hon Misick can take the PNP successfully through the next general elections.”

Taylor echoed sentiments shared by other residents speculating that the leadership challenge was just a symptom of much larger cracks in the party.

“How will they function / govern moving forward with the hatred and mistrust that they all are feeling for each other?  With the challenges facing our people and our country, we the people cannot allow this Washington Misick led government to be re-elected,” Taylor maintained.

He also had his own suggestions  about what could have caused the rift,

“The challenge may indicate underlying tensions or disagreements within the party, some say over leadership styles others say over certain actions Premier Misick has taken like the Write off for Provo Water Company that seemingly was the major issue between Premier Misick and Hon. Akierra Missick that resulted in her abrupt firing as a Minister.  Now to more recently the move to quickly passing the Gaming Bills in the Deputy Premier’s absence noting that those bills fell directly under the remit of the Hon Saunders.  We are also understanding that there are also serious tensions in the PNP’s camp over the airport deal and who will be the one/s eventually benefiting from it.  Speculation is that this tension has been the main reason the process has been moving so slowly.”

None of these reasons have been substantiated publicly.

Taylor maintains that ‘for the perseveration of our people and country we must move on from this Government.’

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