Opposition Leader says TCIs must push for more rigorous process in Islander Status grants
#GrandTurk, Turks and Caicos Islands – October 22, 2020 — PNP leader, Washington Misick has called for resistance against, what he described as ‘the UK agenda’ by making the process of gaining citizenship in Turks and Caicos more rigorous.
In response to the FAC report entitled: ‘Global Britain and the British Overseas Territories: Resetting the relationship’ that includes the latest pronouncement of the UK of its intentions for the Overseas Territories on important issues, the opposition leader asks Turks and Caicos Islanders to petition the Governor. Hon Misick also admonishes voters to push for the draft points criteria which are meant to supplement the requirements of the Ordinance for public consultation to be published.
In order for anyone to vote for any cultural, social and economic change that is significant for the enlargement of the franchise, they must have Islander Status under the Turks and Caicos Islands Islander Status Ordinance 2015.
Currently, the Islander Status is acquired by right or by grant. According to Misick, many Turks and Caicos Islanders are concerned about the acquisition by grant.
Hon. Misick suggested that the amendment to the Turks and Caicos Islands Islander Status Bill that was approved on January 8 be replaced with one that accounts for the current trend and the need to protect the interest of heritage Turks and Caicos Islanders.
He argued that at minimum, subsidiary legislation should have rigidified the assessment criteria, suggesting that all applicants should stand before the Commission in person especially because of the large number of applications that were received between 2016 and 2018.
The Opposition Leader is also concerned by how the system’ favours’ the financially influential, which he believes potentially side-lines others with otherwise substantial contributions.
Hon. Misick has condemned the Government for ‘bending over backwards and putting the system through legal contortions just to accomplish the UK’s agenda’ but having what he believes is a completely dissimilar assertiveness laced with ‘excuses and roadblocks’ when it is time for the UK to assist and deliver to the people of these islands.
“With all of the challenges faced by the Government and the hardships of the people the Government is caving into the dictates of the UK to expand the franchise with the expressed intention to alter the political hegemony in the interest of those who already have control of the economy,” he said.
Furthermore, Hon. Misick recommends that the Commission adopt rules to undertake a comprehensive interview of each applicant to determine whether the granting of Status to them is in the Public Interest, and in particular meet the criteria set out in Section 4 (7) of the Ordinance.
This, he said, is because the public is allegedly anxious over the fact that there is now an inverse relationship between the economic development of the islands and the social development of the local people.
Hon. Misick, the former Minister of Finance in the 2012-2016 PNP Administration thinks the Commission does not respect the Ordinance, however, they have been “advised by the AG Chambers that it has a quorum in the absence of a fully constituted membership”.
The Opposition Leader explains, “people who apply for Status have nothing to worry about. People who have made TCI their home and have shown that they are committed to “inclusive prosperity and camaraderie with the people of the islands” deserve to be granted Status. It is the people who have no respect for the culture, people or place who do not deserve to be granted status and who the rigid process is supposed to pick out.
Washington Misick, in the statement issued October 13 said the Opposition will not participate in any process which advances the Commission; restating the need for the draft points criteria for public consultation to be published.
By Magnetic Media Editorial Department
Millions to come from FSC
#TurksandCaicos, March 17, 2023 – Revenue from the Turks and Caicos’ Financial Services Sector will more than double in the next few years, if E Jay Saunders, Deputy Premier and Finance Minister gets his way. It ‘s one of the reasons the country is investing so much capital into getting off of the EU blacklist and becoming a secure trustworthy financial destination.
“The FSC’s revenues for 2020/21 was $10.5M— the figures for 2021/22, would be about similar,” he said. He further explained that $10.5 million from the FSC represented about 2.6 percent of the country’s 408.5-million-dollar revenue. Though it increased to $14 million in the 2021/22 financial year, finance is still a small fry compared to tourism or even stamp duties but that will change, says Saunders.
“My revenue goal for the Government by the year 2029 [or] the election after the next election – is $500M. By that time, I want the financial sector (FSC) revenues to represent at least 5% ($25M). So that’s my goal for the financial sector by 2029.”
This goal, should it be met, would increase the Government’s revenue by 100 million dollars, a significant increase in spending power for local upgrades and improvements for Turks and Caicos residents and visitors.
Saunders says it’s time for the TCI to diversify its sources of revenue to make sure that what happened in the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw residents out of a job for months, will not happen again. Tourism now makes up around 80 percent of the country’s GDP. The Minister of Finance wants to push that down to 60 or even 50 percent.
New ASHLEY’S LEARNING CENTRE CONCERT
#TurksandCaicos, March 17, 2023 – Musicians from the New World Symphony will be in the Turks and Caicos in concert next month and residents are invited to attend in support of the future of Ashley’s Learning Center.
A fairly young orchestral academy based in Miami, the New World Symphony was launched in the 1980s by 1987, Michael Tilson Thomas and Ted Arison,Carnival Cruises founder. From the 1500 applicants who vie for a spot each year, the symphony accepts around 35 music graduates annually for training fellowships.
A select few of those graduates will be in country on April 8th headlining at the Ashley’s Learning Center concert ‘We’re all in this together’. The concert which also feature local artistes will be held at Brayton Hall on Venetian Road from 6 pm to 8:30 pm
Tickets are available ON ISLEHELP $75 PER GENERAL SEAT $125 PER PREMIUM SEAT $195 PER GALLERY SEAT – with /FREFRESHMENTS.
For TICKET RESERVATIONs you can call: 649-341-2304 or email EVENTS@ASHLEYSLEARNINGCENTER.ORG
Women’s Health Connectivity and health a study for TCI’S benefit
#TurksandCaicos, March 17, 2023 – As the country moves toward new fiber optic connectivity, bridging the digital divide could be a game changer for healthcare and other family-friendly services in the TCI.
The power of universal digital connectivity across countries was one of the recurring themes when the United Nations in partnership with the Network of Afro Caribbean Women and the Diaspora recently explored how technology, innovation and education are being used to address women’s health issues.
The session aimed to highlight success stories and explore how those processes can be replicated to help women and girls globally including in The Turks and Caicos.
The UN explained that despite holding a 70 percent majority in healthcare jobs, women are poorly represented in leadership roles and subject to systemic gender inequalities that can make receiving healthcare challenging.
As delegates from Chile and Rwanda, who were also partners in the session, shared the upgrades to their countries’ systems that had significantly improved the level of care available to their women, digital connectivity was a deciding factor.
In Rwanda the health ministries have begun to use drones to deliver medicine, SMS messages to alert about health threats and a completely digitized health care that eliminates paper documents for pregnant women and makes records accessible to any doctor, immediately.
Rwandan delegate, Rose Rwabuhihi shared tips that countries should keep in mind when trying to implement new processes to benefit women and the wider community.
- Partnership and sustainability are key factors to successful programs. She urged governments not to give up on projects or allow their partners to give up on them halfway.
- Education campaigns to introduce residents to the technology: “We need to build skills and deepen the knowledge so they can use the innovations that have been put in place especially in rural areas.
Poor connectivity and technological issues have plagued the TCI for years especially in the islands outside of Providenciales. Government has substantially acknowledged this disparity in communications services and is investing in a new undersea cable to augment services in the Turks and Caicos.
The UNs perspectives can now ignite a fire for even more family friendly, digital services.
In fact,Senator Yasna Provoste Campillay, the Chilean Delegate explained how connectivity and videoconferencing had been used to reach the county’s women in the most rural of areas. Chile is a long country, its landmass spread lengthwise creating unique communication challenges. While healthcare in Chile is separated by length the Turks and Caicos islands are disconnected by the ocean and solutions that prove useful for the South American country could well be worth implementing locally.
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