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Beaches Resort makes bombshell reveal; lawsuit against TCI Gov’t still in court

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Beaches Turks & Caicos, Caribbean Village - From Trip Advisor

#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos – September 13, 2020 — Beaches Turks and Caicos, on Friday September 11, made a bombshell reveal; that its lawsuit against the Turks and Caicos Islands Government – filed in January 2019 – remains unresolved.

“The Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands, as well as the other defendants, were legally due to file their defence in June 2019 – well over a year ago. They did not. We have patiently waited upon the Government to file its defence but to no avail.”

A Magnetic Media article, published on March 14, 2019 reported this:

An unprecedented interest rate of 213 percent, an audit which exonerated the family all-inclusive resort of fiscal misbehavior, a surprise bill of reported back taxes, breach of government’s own agreement and deviation from its own written assurances plus over-payment of taxes by Beaches are among the reasons, Sandals Resorts International says it is forced to move forward with the lawsuit against TCIG.

“It is indeed most unfortunate that we had to litigate against our host country, but given the injustice we had no alternative. Based on the number of communications that our organization has been receiving, it is clear that the investment and banking community together with the travel trade including the airlines are all paying close attention to see whether the Government will honor its commitments.”

Beaches T&C has not changed its stance and in the Friday media statement claims the resort was compelled to file to take the matter to court and could not withdraw the lawsuit due to a string of alleged injustices perpetrated against them.

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The pending litigation had also threatened Beaches operations in Providenciales; still government is accused of inaction.

“Our numerous meetings, conference calls and letters have led to no positive action on the part of TCIG. We remain anxious to resolve the matter in a lawful and principled manner but we cannot do so in an environment where our correspondence go unanswered, our law suit un-defended and our good faith overtures to engage in steps toward resolution are not reciprocated and have led nowhere despite assurances,” informed the statement issued by Beaches Resort Turks and Caicos.

The charge against TCIG is becoming a common refrain.  Magnetic Media continues to be on the receiving end of complaints about the lack of response from Government Ministers and Officials. 

The reoccurring reports by members of the public fuelled an article on September 6, 2020 by Deandrea Hamilton, Magnetic Media owner, headlined:  PDM Administration, the “NO REPLY” Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Beaches Resort adds to the growing list of frustrated stakeholders and candidly expressed its disappointment about the lack of progress in the legal matter. 

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“No investor, and in particular Beaches, wants to be involved in court proceedings with a host Country. However, given the gravity of certain fundamental breaches of our Development Agreement(s), such as provisions relating to the payment of the Customs Processing Fee, Beaches had no choice but to protect our legal and constitutional rights by filing a lawsuit against the Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands, which is available to the public. This occurred in May 2019.”

The family all-inclusive, resort village has been operating in Turks and Caicos since 1995.  While negotiations in 2019 did result in a Revenue Control Department amnesty that exempted Beaches and others from past due payments and penalties, Beaches Resort informed our news organisation that the gesture fell short.   

“Since 1995 when we commenced operation in the TCI we have consistently and faithfully paid taxes in accordance with our Development Agreement(s) and the laws of the TCI. In 2017 TCIG unilaterally breached our Development Agreement(s) and other written governmental commitments which over the years formed the basis of our substantial investment in the TCI. 

We have over-performed on all our obligations to TCIG and the Government have virtually “torn up” legally binding commitments given in writing as a basis for our investment. As a foreign investor, international law assures us of fair and equitable treatment by our host country, and one should expect no less from TCIG.”                

Magnetic Media has reached out to the Minister of Finance, who is Premier Sharlene Robinson about the statement from Beaches.

Hon Sharlene Robinson, TCI Premier & Minister of Finance

Beaches Resort, in the media release, said they have no further comment.

The general public worries that this looming lawsuit could impact a planned reopening of Beaches Resort Turks and Caicos on October 14.

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.

Bahamas News

Bahamas and Turks & Caicos Immigration Ministers make appearance on TCI Radio Talk Show

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TheBahamas, November 25, 2022 – “We have a humanitarian concern of course but we can only absorb so much” was how Fred Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Public Service in The Bahamas addressed the issue of the UN constantly nudging Caribbean countries about the deportation of migrants and recommending that it not be done.

He was speaking Thursday November 24 with Cheryl and Zhavargo on First Edition which airs on RTC FM.

While acknowledging that the UN offices likely ‘have to do what they do’ Minister Mitchell  explained that the current irregular migrants trying to get into the Bahamas did not fit the bill of ‘refugees’ as defined by the UN.

“We have a treaty obligation that says that if people have a fear of persecution in their home country that we have an obligation to take them in as asylum seekers. The people who come through on these boats from the south of us are not asylum seekers. They are afraid of poverty and that’s a difficult issue but in a legal sense we’re not obligated to embrace people on that basis.”

He cited a study that had found, on any given day there were around 7,000 illegal migrants in The Bahamas trying to get to the US maintaining that his chain of islands had to take a stand on the issue.  The Foreign Affairs minister acknowledged that  TCI was in an identical situation, citing also the the cultural effects of irregular migration.

“There is a cleavage which has developed in our own society over this; people are very concerned that we could lose our identity if we do not get on top of it.”

Earlier this year Arlington “new sheriff in town” Musgrove, Minister of Immigration and Border Services in the Turks and Caicos had described statements calling on surrounding countries to do more to assist persons fleeing Haiti as “reckless and misguided.”

“Haiti has a population of 11.6 million people. How could any small developing state like the Turks and Caicos Islands assist that number of people or even the smallest fraction of them? We have a population of some 47,000 persons, and our health care, education and other social systems remain fragile and could never withstand an influx of refugees. This would be a risk to our very own livelihood,” he had said.

He was interviewed in the same show on Thursday prior to Mitchell and expressed a similar determination to crack down on illegal migration.

“I want to stress this. If we catch anyone harbouring illegals, it could be my mommy, she’s going up. We cannot tolerate this. We’re catching the sloops so my Haitian brothers and sisters should stress to them don’t waste your money we’re sending you back.”

Turks and Caicos, this year passed a law, doubling fines and prison times for individuals harbouring illegal migrants.

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Education

Next Year, more courses, more staff, new location for TVET says Minister Taylor 

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, November 25, 2022 – TVET offerings in the Turks and Caicos will definitely increase, especially for incarcerated people according to Minister of Education Rachel Taylor.  Taylor was responding to queries from a resident about the limited course offerings in a Town Hall meeting on Monday November 21st.

“By next year you will see more programs being offered, not just at the prison, but also at the community college.” she said.

Mentioning that the Turks and Caicos Community College already offered courses like Commercial Food Preparation, Customer services as well as Electrical Engineering, but not some others like masonry, she said that the one thing they were working on was synchronizing courses between high schools and higher education.

“We will have to align the courses that are offered in high school also in the community college.  Persons may not be aware but the Caribbean Vocational Qualification is actually level one of TVET, so when our students finish with the carpentry and the masonry and data entry, they can move into level two at the community college.”

In order to make that happen there are several things the government must do, she explained.

“Currently, we have to get onboard additional manpower at the community college [that] has already been budgeted.”  She said that interviews were already taking place for adult learning assessment officers and a larger space at Alliance Business Plaza had been procured.

“We have recently purchased Club Pillows, which will be our new Turks and Caicos Islands Community College, which will provide us a better outlet to introduce additional courses.”

Referencing the new program geared towards inmates, she said, “The first phase of the MOU is the introduction of the Commercial Food Preparation and Customer services so we will definitely increase the offerings.  We will have that dialogue with the inmates in terms of the — kind of training they would want to receive.”

Increased TVET offerings had been one of the major requests from young people during a recent youth survey.  The Bahamas Technical Vocational Institute has also been flown into the TCI to consult and help broaden the offerings provided in the technical, vocational programme.

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News

Claudine Ewing Appointed CEO of United Way TCI

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November 25, 2022 – United Way Turks and Caicos is pleased to reintroduce Ms. Claudine Ewing as our Chief Executive Officer.

Inciting change and promoting growth are major attributes of one that leads a Nonprofit Organization; attributes that is regularly exhibited by Ms. Ewing, who was among the founding leaders of this 4 years old Non-profit Organization, she held the post of Executive Director for 2 years and was able to incite change and growth for many young people through our various programs and initiatives. During the severe period of Covid she was forced to leave, to become a caregiver for her parents who demanded much of her time.

However, her love for philanthropic work always held a place in her heart and she knew that one day she needed to continue on the path of changing the lives of young people for the betterment of our country.

Ms. Ewing’s ability to be a creative thinker, forge relationships with community partners, promote volunteerism, leverage the community to be consistent and get involved, are just some of the qualities that she bring to this role in such crucial times to strengthen the fabric of our community.

Ms. Ewing said “ I’m excited to be back on the team and even more excited to get our program initiatives back up and running, with creative ideas and community conversations that will have everyone engaged. “

Chairman of the Board, Mr. Mark Fulford said “As a Board we are please to pledge our support to our Executive Director Ms. Claudine Ewing. We encourage the community to get involve, as we reignite our Program Initiatives and continue to forge relationships with fellow Non-profits to have a greater impact in our community”.

 

About United Way Turks and Caicos:

United Way Turks & Caicos was established in 2018 by a group of Turks and Caicos Islands business leaders, together along with an established international donor. Our vision for ‘giving back’ and contributing to society is aligned with United Way World wide’s mission and values. This was the driving force behind the desire to replicate the success of the United Way model in the Turks & Caicos Islands. United Way Turks & Caicos Islands is comprised of 15 Board Directors within diverse sectors of our society and business community.

Together we set the goals for UWTCI and envision a community where all individuals and families achieve their human potential through Education. Our Mission is to improve lives by cultivating and inspiring the caring power of the community to advance the common good of all which is being executed by an Executive Director and Staff supported by hundreds of volunteers.

 

Contact info: 6493334545

EDtci@unitedwaytci.org

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