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Opp-Ed: ‘Winter is Coming …but TCI tourism to see hell in 2020’

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from Beaches.com

November 9, 2020 — While that’s good news for most Caribbean destinations since it’s the peak season for travel and to make money, for the Turks and Caicos Islands it’s as worrying as it is for the people of King’s Landing in Game of Thrones; bringing only fear, pain and anxiety.

But unlike the leaders in George R.R. Martin’s masterpiece who were able to find a solution to save their people, the leaders in the TCI seem helpless – or maybe clueless – to get the vital hotel sector reopened in order to save the good people of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

At the heart of it remains this ongoing, now ancient standoff with Beaches Resorts, with no sign of a resolution any time soon. But as winter’s icy touch threatens to dampen Thanksgiving and Christmas for the TCI, elsewhere the sun is starting to shine through.

This week Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Ralph Gonzalves, signed off on plans to develop a 1,200 room Beaches Resort on that island! That should send a clear message to all and sundry in the TCI, that as we stand still the world is moving on, and the once precious dominion we had over the Beaches product is starting to whittle away.
Such a development would no doubt kickstart any forward thinking, progressive administration into action to seal what we have here in the TCI, but the current one can’t even solve a four-year old disagreement. What does that say for the future of the TCI? Are we going to awake one day and find out that the impossible is suddenly a reality? That we have lost our grip on the family vacation market that Beaches TCI has had for so long?

Is this the administration that will sound the death knell for travel and tourism? Only the blind will not admit that Beaches is not just the anchor resort of the TCI, it is the very lifeline that keeps our entire sector alive. Imaginary reports about rising occupancy levels do little to fill a hungry man’s belly. We all know better.

That is not meant to be sensational, but is meant to drive home a hard, hard truth, and if we think it can’t happen well guess what, it’s happening! Instead of earning money from our natural treasures as we have been doing for decades, we are now cap-in-hand for grants and loans in order keep Poor Man Hunger from whispering in Belongers’ ears.

That is the fate of people already hard hit by COVID. From one calamity to another. But while the pandemic is out of our control, the economy is something we can fix. I only wish our leaders truly cared for the suffering of people as they claim. Hand-outs are not how you empower people, you allow them to work and that then gives them dignity.

What kind of administration just twiddles its thumbs while keeping its people in financial limbo when it has the power to do something about it?  We elected you to provide solutions, not to drown us with your excuses.
This is not the Christmas Story we would have written for ourselves. We thought a new day was coming. That we would rise like our other Caribbean brothers and sisters in leading the way in controlling the pandemic; that we would set an example for how to jump-start the economy in a sustainable manner.

But alas, the skies continue to darken. The wind chills the depth of our very being. The candle 10 miles away offers no warmth. Instead of waking from our slumber we are being asked to hibernate. Winter is coming.

Op-Ed by
Keisha N. Simmons

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.

TCI News

FortisTCI has requested the appointment of an independent inquirer to examine the reasonableness of the Company’s submission for revised electric rates

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FortisTCI has requested the appointment of an independent inquirer to examine the reasonableness of the Company’s submission for revised electric rates. The request was submitted to Her Excellency the Governor today. The Company’s submission proposed a 6% rate increase across service territories.
The appointment of an inquirer forms part of the rate review process outlined in the Electricity Ordinance. Interested persons can make representation during the inquiry. Once completed, the inquirer provides a report to FortisTCI as the public supplier and to Her Excellency the Governor with its recommendations.

The Company’s proposal for revised electric rates was submitted to the Governor on February 14, 2024, and was supported by substantial information. As part of the rate review process, Her Excellency, the Governor, requested additional information through the Energy and Utilities Commissioner, and the Company met all additional requests.

FortisTCI understands the difficulties that customers can face with electricity bills. For this reason, the Company works hard to ensure that electric rates have remained as stable as possible. The Company invests responsibly and maintains an efficient operation, providing customers with one of the most reliable electricity services in the Caribbean.

FortisTCI maintains that revised electric rates are necessary at this time to expand the electricity system and maintain reliable service to customers, amid rising energy demand as the Turks and Caicos Islands economy continues to grow. Like other businesses, external pressures such as persistent high inflation and high interest costs have also impacted the operation. These are the primary reasons for the electric rates review.

Before the current submission of revised rates, FortisTCI had requested one general rate review in twenty years. This was to help recover significant investments made after Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017. The rate increase was granted after the appointment of an Inquirer, who determined that the Company’s request was necessary and reasonable. The inquirer’s report also highlighted that FortisTCI had prudently managed its costs and operation.

Similarly, the Company welcomes an open and independent examination of its current request for revised electric rates. FortisTCI will hold information meetings across the islands to discuss its proposed revised rates, providing customers with opportunities to have their questions answered. The schedule of meetings will be published on the Company’s social media pages.

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13th Annual Wine Cellar Golf & Fishing Tournament (WCGFT) Check Presentation Ceremony – 5th April, 2023

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#TurksandCaicos, April 10, 2024 – We are proud to announce that this year’s proceeds from the 13th WCGFT were presented to 3 youth-oriented organizations: Edward Gartland Youth Centre, TCI Amateur Athletic Association (TCIAAA) and TCI Swimming Federation (TCISF).

The Edward Gartland Youth Centre is a non-profit organization providing a space of learning for the youth of Providenciales with activities ranging from tutoring to sports and recreation, arts and craft and so much more.

TCIAAA and TCISF just represented the Turks & Caicos Islands in the CARIFTA Games in Grenada, 2024. We are proud of their achievements and happy that we could help in time.

The Charities were presented cheques totaling $70,000:

Edward Gartland Youth Centre:          $35,000

TCIAAA:                                            $20,000

TCISF:                                                $15,000

This brings the total donated by the WCGFT and its Sponsors to $530,000. We look forward to giving even more next year.

This concludes this year’s 13th WCGFT Event and Cheque Presentation. We would like to thank our sponsors and organizers who were key in our efforts to give back to the youth of the TCI Community.

We look forward with great anticipation to next year’s event.

Thank you all.

 

CONTACT: Desmond Williams, desmond@winecellar.tc, Wine Cellar Golf & Fishing Tournament

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Swearing-In Ceremony, six added to TCI Police Force

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Six police constables were today sworn into the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force.

Four experienced officers- Germaine Scott, Sandenia Francis, Tyrone Cox and Blake Hooker, along with Special Constables Rashaunda Cooke and Raymond Clare took their oaths during a brief ceremony at Police Headquarters, Airport Road, Providenciales.

The officers pledged to uphold justice, protect the community, and diligently serve their duties with pride and integrity.

Commissioner of Police (ag) Christopher Eyre addressed the constables, applauding the efforts of those currently serving and indicating that they are now part of dealing with the challenges facing the Turks and Caicos Islands, particularly that of illegal migration.

Mr Eyre said: “In this region, we face the humanitarian tragedy affecting Haiti, and our hearts go out to those affected on that island. Unfortunately, due to the collapse of Haiti’s government, we have seen the prisons being overrun and over 5000 prisoners escaping.

“We also face challenges from illegal migration to our shores. Deputy Commissioner of Police Mr. Rodney Adams and I have been working feverishly to coordinate with other law enforcement colleagues to secure the TCI borders.

“I am proud of this Force and how we have stepped up to the challenges. I look forward to seeing you and also seeing you excel as part of the team”.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Rodney Adams, Assistant Commissioner of Police Kendall Grant, Human Resource Officer Sgt. Tashauna Wilson, and Chairman of the Police Welfare Association Sgt. Jepson Victor were also at the swearing-in.

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