November 9, 2020 – Please allow me an opportunity to air my very serious concerns regarding this ongoing impasse with Beaches, and the latest developments which are more discouraging than encouraging.
After the latest volley of statements between the TCIG and Beaches Resorts, I must insist that the playing of games with the lives of the people must stop!
Only a few short days ago we heard all these great things about mediation and how it holds hope for a resolution, but barely had the print dried that mediation was out the window like everything else. Now we are left in a state of chaos with no idea about what is going to happen as we race toward the peak periods; Thanksgiving, Christmas and beyond.
First the TCIG comes and says Beaches called off the mediation, followed almost immediately by the resort denying this and pointing toward a letter which the TCIG had sent to the resort on the cusp of the mediation. The clear implication is that whatever was contained in that letter derailed the talks that were to come. Beaches for its part has demanded that the letter be published. Well if that is how we get to the bottom of this then I also wish to see the contents of that letter.
That is important for several reasons the most urgent being that if there was something in that letter that impacted the mediation then we have to wonder why it is that the Premier and the TCIG would do such a thing, and what is the reason behind refusing to resolve this matter while people suffer.
On the other hand, if the letter does not contain anything that could be seen as disruptive, then we have questions to ask of Beaches.
But at this point the only party that has called for full disclosure is Beaches, and I shudder to think that the TCIG is intentionally prolonging this debacle while people all over the TCI suffer. If this is a political gimmick as is being suggested, then shame on the TCIG for so playing with the lives of those who elected it to serve.
The people of the TCI can no longer sit idly by while we hear empty talk and promises.
One has to ask the question, what does it profit Beaches to keep its doors closed at a time when it needs to open resorts and it probably needs all the business it can get? It simply does not compute. If the liability is $26 million as is being claimed, then I cannot see a multi-billion dollar company allowing such a sum to prevent it from opening – unless it’s not about the money.
Let’s look at this practically; the TCIG is accusing it key investor of not meeting all its tax liabilities, however Beaches has stood its ground insisting that not only has it paid its taxes according to its long standing agreement with the government, but that it is actually owed millions in overpaid taxes. Then there is the letter sent by the sitting Finance Minister Washington Misick confirming the arrangement. So it is not hard to see why Beaches has taken the stand it has, and I can understand why the resort is standing its ground because essentially it is being accused by a host government of not meeting tax liabilities. That is a damning thing to say has far reaching implications, and any company that is within its rights will defend itself from such an accusation whether it is $26 million or $26 dollars. Furthermore Beaches has been very public in its defense so this cannot be about simply evading payment as the TCIG has suggested.
So what is the truth?
We are no longer comforted by the platitudes we hear from the TCIG regarding its willingness to ‘engage in discussions (facilitated or otherwise) in good faith, with a view to ultimately arriving at a workable resolution for both parties.” We need more than words we need action, we need to see real effort, we are tired of the talk, talk and more talk.
Well you had the opportunity to do that on November 18th in the mediation, and if it is that the TCIG has done something – in this case the finger is being pointed at the contents of a letter sent to Beaches on October 29th – that has derailed that process then the people deserve to know why. So let the citizens be the judge indeed, publish the letter and let Beaches publish its response.