#TurksandCaicosIslands – December 10, 2020 – Approved and widely supported in the House of Assembly is the historic establishment of a Turks and Caicos Islands regiment.
The Defence Bill made a whirlwind trek through House of Assembly proceedings with first, second and third readings of the Bill completed and the measure passed into law within one day; that day was Tuesday December 8, 2020.
“Thank you very much honourable Attorney General, QC, for yet another piece of landmark legislation; a Defence Bill, for your preamble in committing it to the floor for debate,” said Hon Dwayne Taylor, Speaker of the House.
Premier Sharlene Robinson informed that a compelling report turned over the British outlined the serious national security concerns of the Turks and Caicos, including details on the surge in illegal migration and possible people, drug and gun trafficking happening in and around the islands via the illegal sloops. The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office responded with a Security Needs Assessment and several key visits from a Border Team and the UK Ministry of Defence.
“I want to thank the Governor who in the last year or so, with his national security background, would have helped to push a lot of these initiatives that were slowing moving along with a little more speed. We stand with a strengthened arm, another initiative in the protection of our borders,” said the premier in her contribution to the Defence Bill, which was laid by the Attorney General.
It is the first time modern Turks and Caicos will have its own military branch of law enforcement which as the Governor’s appointed member, John Phillips pointed out gives opportunity for elevation.
“I think it is a great thing for the islands. I think it is wonderful that we’ve matured to this stage where we will have our own border security force and we will have somewhere for the cadets to look forward to going,” said Phillips in his comments.
The TCI Cadet Corps will come under the command of the new unit where all recruits will have to undergo military training before joining and that training continues annually.
The TCI Regiment is charged with marine border security and its first staff members have already been hired including its commanding officer, Lt Col. Ennis Grant.
The bill also enjoys the support of the Opposition PNP, with one glaring caution expressed as a need to ensure there is equity in the recruitment or hiring of who staffs the regiment.
Opposition member and shadow minister for Youth, Akierra Misick said: “I have one little concern there; the ‘and British citizen’. So the reason why I have that concern there Mr. Speaker is not that I dod not appreciate the support we get from England and Wales and the United Kingdom, what I hope does not happen is that when we are recruiting these 40, as the attorney general has indicated, that a big old plane come from somewhere up the road lands at the Providenciales International Airport with 39 people on it from a certain place. I want to see a lot more people that look like you and I Mr. Speaker,” aid the Member for Leeward and Long Bay, Hon Akierra Missick.
The regiment will allow individuals currently employed to join, between the ages of 18 and 50 years old.
“I think it is also important that we as a community provide the regiment with support and respect. As employers, we should encourage those employees who wish to join. I look forward to the time when membership on the regiment is seen as a positive on any job application and I hope that in the future the regiment can attract some of our young men and perhaps provide an alternative to the gang activities that some get caught up in,” shared Josephine Connolly in her comments on the bill.
Originally published in the Magnate; our brand new E-newspaper. Want it every morning? Contact Deandrea Hamilton: 649-231-9261. We are the News Leader.
Turks and Caicos Islands school sports season 2023/24 officially opens in September
Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, September 19, 2023 – After an active summer of events, Turks and Caicos Islands School Sports (TCISS) season 2023/24 will open with TCISS Football for Boys and Girls on September 30, 2023.
The opening ceremony of TCISS Football will take place at the TCI Football Association on Venetian Road, Providenciales and we will commute to the National Stadium for the games. Games will take place weekly on Fridays and Saturdays. After making their debut last year, TCISS Girls Football will run concurrently with Boys Football on a split pitch from September through October. The championship games are slated for October 28, 2023.
Last year’s Girls’ football champions were the Marjorie Basden High School after defeating the British West Indies Collegiate 2-1. The Boys’ champions were the Clement Howell High School who beat out the Elite High School who forfeited the game 1-0. All current students, fans and alumni are encouraged to watch the games weekly each Friday and Saturday, with tickets for Adults $5 and Children $3.
TCISS Boys Basketball quickly picks up after the Football season ends, spanning from early November 2023 to January 2024. Home and away games are one the highlights of this event, affording all teams a chance at a ‘home-court’ advantage throughout the season. As is tradition in TCISS, schools will be randomly selected and placed into pools to compete. Ultimately the strongest teams will meet at the championships. The reigning champions are the Clement Howell High School who defeated the A. Louise Garland Thomas High School 92-56 for the gold.
In a double-team affair, TCISS Girls Softball will launch a few weeks post Boys Basketball’s commencement, for a season which lasts from November 2023 – January 2024. This means softball and basketball seasons will run concurrently like last year, and tickets will allow entry to both games. The reigning champions are the HJ Robinson High School who won the championships 14-6 in their hometown Grand Turk against the Wesley Methodist High School. The championships will return to the nation’s capital next year, in honour of last year’s champions.
Ending the TCISS season will be the Track and Field events also known as Athletics. The Athletics opener will be the Track and Field Development meets. Historically this has been segmented into two meets: Sprints and Throws, Distance and Jumps.
Following will be the TCISS Inter-High Track and Field Championships also known as Nationals in March 2024 then the TCISS Inter-Primary Track and Field Championships also in March. Last year’s champions of Inter-High was the A. Louise Garland Thomas High School and for Inter-Primary the Ona Glinton Primary School. After being implemented last season, TCISS Track and Field champions are determined by a medal count with gold holding the most weight.
TCISS 2023/24 Sport Schedule
- TCISS Inter-High School Football Boys, TCISS Inter-High School Football Girls – September 30, 2023 – October 28, 2023 (Providenciales)
- TCISS Inter-High School Basketball – November 2023 – January 2024 (All-Island)
- TCISS Inter-High School Softball – November 2023 – January 2023 (Season Games – Providenciales. Semi-finals & Championships – Grand Turk)
- Track and Field Development Meets – February 2024
- TCISS Inter-High School Track and Field – February – March 2024 (Providenciales)
- TCISS Inter-Primary School Track and Field – March 2023 (Providenciales)
The full TCISS event schedule and further updates will be found on the TCI Sports Commission’s website www.gov.tc/sports/.
For the latest news on the TCISS, fans can follow on Instagram (@tcisportscommission) and Facebook (Turks and Caicos Islands Sports Commission). To share your experience with TCISS on social, use the hashtags #TCISS and #morethanjustsports.
Court Ruling leaves Young Son without Mother, Father killed in 2022 violence
Freelance Court Reporter
#TurksandCaicos, September 19, 2023 – A young son is left without a father, taken through gun violence and his mother, now deported back to her home country of Jamaica.
A Jamaican woman, ANDREA ROSE MARIE ATKINSON, now in her late fifties, who was married to a Wheeland, Blue Hills, Providenciales native, appeared before the Hon. Chief Magistrate Mr. Jolyon Hatmin.
Atkinson was charged on August 7th with remaining in the Islands beyond the permitted time. The Chief Magistrate (CM) asked the lady if she would like an opportunity to get legal representation? She said, your Honour, I just want to get this over with because “mi can’t take da cell no more” “mi bin lock up now fa sa much days, mi just a plea guilty and go back to mi Yard.”
The lady, communicating in her native, raw Jamaican patois tried to explain to the CM that she once had a permanent resident certificate (PRC) but after the divorced she was trying to get a work permit.
She said, yes, she overstayed but she was trying to make herself legal.
The woman asked the CM for some time to sort out her son and her things before they send her home. The mother of a boy child told the chief magistrate that she didn’t know where her child was because since law enforcement arrested her and took her into Immigration lock-up and since, she has not seen or heard from her son.
This matter was heard in August.
Investigation by this reporter uncovered that the son, a Turks and Caicos Islander, was taken in by one of the deceased sisters; therefore an aunt to the boy.
The CM sentenced the Jamaican woman ANDREA ROSE MARIE ATKINSON to a fine of $2,000.00 to be paid immediately in default, she will serve 90 days imprisonment.
He also recommended deportation; giving the former PRC holder seven days to sort out her son and her belongings.
REOPENING OF THE TURKS & CAICOS ISLANDS HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY
The First (1st) Sitting of the First (1st) Meeting of the Third (3rd) Session of the Twelfth (12th) Legislature of the House of Assembly of the Turks & Caicos Islands
The Opening Ceremony for the First (1st) Sitting of the First (1st) Meeting of the Third (3rd) Session of the Twelfth (12th) Legislature of the House of Assembly occurred on the 14th September at 10 o’clock in the forenoon with its usual pomp and fanfare.
During the proceedings, the Honourable Premier and Minister for Public Policy, Hon. C. Washington Misick, moved the motion that the House of Assembly be suspended to allow for the reading of the Speech from the Throne, presented by Her Excellency, the Governor Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam.
The Speech from the Throne, having highlighted some of the Government’s accomplishments since being elected to office on 19th February 2021, culminated with the proposed Legislative Agenda to be considered for the upcoming legislative year which included, but is not limited to:
Constitution (Amendment) Order;
Retiring Allowance (Amendment) Bill;
Community College (Amendment) Bill;
Gaming Control (Amendment) Bill;
Business Licensing (Amendment) Bill;
Real Estate Licensing Bill
Immigration Bill; and
Crown Land (Amendment) Bill
The Speech from the Throne took a long-term perspective and placed emphasis on fulfilling the objectives of the Vision 2040 document and the Government’s strategic plan to move the Turks and Caicos Islands towards developed country status within the next two decades by investing in projects and policies that will result in a more robust triple-bottom-line economy.
The Speech from the Throne also addressed short to medium term deliverables; highlighting that the Government has twelve (12) high-priority projects being progressed. It posited that the National Delivery Unit (NDU) is tasked with assisting project owners and implementers advance the Government’s priorities. The value added by this Unit is the facilitation with streamlining of project management processes to ensure the most efficient timelines and use of available resources – all for the ultimate benefit of the citizens of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The day’s proceeding ended with a motion entitled: Write-Off of TC Invest/TOLCO Loan that was tabled by the Minister of Finance, the Honourable E. Jay Saunders. The motion which sought to write off $10.8 million in debt accumulated by scores of borrowers was passed. This write-off was a welcomed intervention by many Turks and Caicos Islanders, laden with debt obligations for over 11 years following the divestiture of the former TC Invest Agency. The write-off directly affects over 150 borrowers but is indirectly beneficial to many more.
For some, giving them a second lease on life, which, when property ownership is considered can be extended to inter-generationally.
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