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Thorough Report on Connolly’s Ministerial Portfolio in the HOA by new Tourism Leader



#TurksandCaicos, April 2, 2021 – House of Assembly held a session on Tuesday March 30, but it was during the March 22, 2021 meeting the nation heard from Tourism & Environment Minister, Josephine Connolly who said there is already preparation ongoing on ways to enhance the speed of service of the TCI Assured portal.

“Mr. Speaker, the Ministry and Tourist Board spent most of the last year very much involved with the COVID 19 response and the setting up and management of the TCI Assured Portal. Mr. Speaker the portal continues to assess persons entering the country to avoid the importation of COVID 19. In the coming weeks, we will assess the workings of the portal and work with the Ministry of Health to review the current entry protocols.

Mr. Speaker we expect that over the next few weeks the arrival rates from the United States will increase. Although they will not meet the pre COVID 19 figures, with increases in vaccination it means that we must determine how we will manage the portal in the coming months,” said Minister Connolly who was reporting following a string of departmental debriefings within her ministerial portfolio.

Minister Connolly said new promotions for Turks and Caicos have been launched in partnership with the Caribbean Tourism Organisation, even as the US continues to discourage non-essential travel and as Joe Biden, President of the US, this week announced a fourth wave of COVID infection for the States is looming. 

TCI is working the safe and secure destination angle in its promotions said the Minister, who also encouraged vaccination. 

“Although, Mr. Speaker we know we will not meet the pre COVID numbers, we are still encouraged that the numbers regarding arrivals show increases in arrival. This is not for us to let our guard down. Mr. Speaker we are promoting our islands as a safe and secure destination with clear pre-arrival protocols and a vaccination program. We continue to encourage everyone to get vaccinated. This act helps you and helps our country as well. It will put us on the map as a country that doing all it can to prevent and protect against the spread of COVID 19. Get vaccinated!”

With social gatherings still banned under current health protocols, the Fish Fry, which was successfully staged at the Bight beachside Park is not able to be held, however, when the weekly native show and marketplace does resume, it will be at a new location in Providenciales. 

“I should mention that I was also briefed on the future of the Fish Fry. The Fish Fry is a staple for visitors and residents. Several factors including COVID 19 has put the Fish Fry on hold. I am informed of discussions and decisions on a new site for the Fish Fry and in the coming weeks will be discussing this matter so that we make the best decision possible on the suitability of a new site and timelines to achieve our objectives for this,” informed Minister Connolly.

The Gaming sector is under pressure to morph to a Commission ahead of the expanded casino and gaming landscape which is coming as a result of the RitzCarlton resort due to be completed construction in four months.  Also the Minister for Gaming, Josephine Connolly revealed that the transition to a Gaming Commission is frustrated by a lack of capacity. 

“Mr. Speaker, I am currently continuing my review of this program, I am working toward a speedy placement of key personnel and reviewing several matters to ensure that the Gaming sector is on the right footing.”

The Minister who gave the report in the House of Assembly session on Tourism, Environment & Coastal Resources, the National Trust, Environment & Maritime Affairs, Disaster Management and Emergencies and Gaming said debriefings with each of her departments have been enlightening. 

She said the National Trust needs support with Marketing and Public Relations as culture becomes more intertwined with Heritage for cultural preservation, she commended the DDME as one of the best run government engines but informed that improvements in voluntary support, early warning and communications systems and erasing the issues surrounding shelter management are among her focuses there. 

“Mr. Speaker my aim would be to ensure that we address the shelter management issues and that we establish systems to improve early warnings, stronger volunteer involvement, and communication systems that will ensure that we can communicate throughout a disaster and immediately following. Mr. Speaker the evidence is there that for an effective disaster management response, everyone has to be involved and see themselves as part of the solution.”

Meetings are planned over the next few weeks to establish the Throne Speech promise of organising and expanding the fishing industry – the country’s third industry and the Maritime sector needs new laws, said Minister Josephine Connolly.

“Mr. Speaker my aim is to ensure that the new laws that are drafted are at the top of our Legislative agenda. These new laws will help to modernize the Maritime Sector and improve the safety and security issues surrounding our boats and ship register. Mr. Speaker I am pleased at the effort that the new Director and her team have put in to make sure the Department is ready for the Maritime Audit of our Industry. We aim to marry this industry more strongly with our fishing industry and ensure that the resources that are needed are in place.”

Adding to this, it was explained:  “Mr. Speaker during the next few weeks I will be meeting with representatives from the Fisheries Advisory Committee, the Fishing Corp and all other stakeholder and interest groups. These groups are important to our vision of inclusiveness. I am looking forward to meeting with them and together designing a way forward.”


Energy & Utilities Commissioner says new legislation will help to stabilize energy costs in Turks & Caicos Islands



Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – Thursday, 30th November 2023: The Energy and Utilities Department (EUD) of the Turks and Caicos Islands, today reminds the public that the comprehensive Renewable Energy Legislation is currently before the House of Assembly and that the Legislation not only addresses the existing challenges posed by fuel price volatility but also lays the foundation for a sustainable and resilient energy future for the TCI.

In a recent press release, FortisTCI cited global factors such as production cuts and increased demand for fuel, leading to a surge in market prices. The EUD acknowledging these challenges thanks our power supplier for its proactivity when it comes to informing consumers of any changes in the cost of electricity.  Further, the Government of Turks and Caicos wants residents and guests to know that it is committed to taking proactive measures that will transform the energy landscape through robust Renewable Energy Legislation. 

In that vein, Delano Arthur, the new Energy and Utilities Commissioner looks forward to working with FortisTCI in the upcoming days to find innovative and collaborative solutions to reduce the cost of Fuel and Energy in the Turks and Caicos Islands.  This initiative aims to not only mitigate the impact of volatile fuel prices but also secures a sustainable, reliable and affordable energy future for all of us.

 Key components of the Renewable Energy Legislation include:

  • Integrated Resource Plans: A formal planning process to prioritise renewable energy in addressing evolving energy needs.
  • Competitive Tendering Process: Government-run initiatives to promote healthy renewable energy competition, achieve low-cost energy, and meet Paris Agreement goals.
  • Administrative and Regulatory Measures: Establishing clear processes and responsibilities for all players who are in the renewable energy market.
  • Licensing and Safety Standards: Comprehensive licensing provisions to ensure accountability and safety standards for renewable energy systems.
  • Net Billing Program: Allowing building owners to self-generate and sell surplus electricity back to the grid.

The Renewable Energy Legislation serves as a mitigation against volatile fuel prices. By transitioning to cleaner energy sources and fostering a diverse renewable energy infrastructure, these Islands aim to reduce dependency on fossil fuels. The competitive tendering process introduced in the legislation ensures the selection of the most cost-effective renewable energy solutions, contributing to energy affordability and stability.

As the Islands invest in renewable energy, the increased share of clean, locally produced electricity provides a stable alternative to fluctuating fuel prices. The Net Billing Programme further incentivises distributed energy generation, offering a predictable path for building owners to contribute to the grid and receive compensation, thus reducing reliance on traditional fuel sources.


For further information, please contact:

Delano R. Arthur


Energy and Utilities Department

Turks and Caicos Islands Government


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Caribbean News

CANARI outlines climate priorities ahead of Cop28



Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer


The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) informed that the Caribbean Climate Justice Alliance, in preparation for the upcoming annual COP28 in 2023, launched its “Caribbean Climate Justice and Resilience Agenda,” outlining the priorities for climate justice and resilience in vulnerable Caribbean small island developing states (SIDS).


In a press release, CANARI highlighted that the agenda recognizes the major threat of climate change to the region as well as aims to louden the voices of the at-risk groups “on the frontlines of the climate crisis and catalyze actions for climate justice and local resilience in the Caribbean SIDS.”


The priorities stated under the agenda are:


  1. Curbing emissions to limit global temperature

increase to 1.5 ̊C


  1. Scaling up locally-led solutions for adaptation and

loss and damage


  1. Improving access to and delivery of climate finance

for frontline communities, small and micro enterprises, and civil society organizations as part of a ‘whole of society’ approach


  1. Scaling up just, nature-based solutions for resilience


  1. Supporting a just transition for pro-poor, inclusive,

sustainable and resilient development


  1. Promoting gender equity and social inclusion

approaches to climate action


  1. Promoting youth and intergenerational equity as

core to the climate response


  1. Integrating a rights-based and earth-centered

approach in addressing all these priorities and ensuring climate justice


The at-risk groups referred to in the release include small-scale farmers and fisherfolk, rural women producers, income-poor people, elderly and disabled people, Indigenous and Afro-descendant communities, migrants, and LGBTQIA+ people.


Being cognizant of the severity of the effects of climate change on the Caribbean, CANARI referred to the fact that the very existence of the region is on the line.


“If greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated and global temperature exceeds 1.5 ̊C, the impacts of rising sea levels, more intense hurricanes, rainfall variability, ocean acidification, and other changes threaten the very existence of our way of life in the Caribbean and other SIDS that have contributed the least to global emissions.”


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Bahamas News

CARICOM Sec Gen speaks on Gender Based Violence



Rashaed Esson


Staff Writer 


“Everyone must continue to invest in preventing violence against our women and girls (VAWG). It is an investment in our shared future,” were the words of Dr. Carla N. Barnett, CARICOM Secretary-General, as she reiterated the need for solutions against VAWG.


She called attention to VAWG as she gave a speech surrounding the annual campaign “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence,” which runs from November 25 to December 10, 2023.


Barnett expresses the well-known fact that VAWG is one of the most prevalent issues affecting all corners of society.


“VAWG remains one of the most pervasive forms of human rights violations in the world and cuts across all races, cultures, genders, and educational backgrounds,” she maintained, as she continued to point out the sad reality that this is still a major issue despite regional and global policies.


“Despite the existence of regional and global policies and legislation to combat VAWG, weak enforcement and discriminatory practices remain significant barriers to ending VAWG.”


The Secretary-General highlighted statistics for VAWG, bringing attention to how serious and embedded this issue is in society.


She said that globally, 736 million women—nearly one in three—have experienced violence—physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence, or even both.


For the Caribbean region, she said surveys conducted between 2016 and 2019 inform us that one in two women experience intimate partner violence, which is higher than the global average. 


In continuation, Barnett expressed that the campaign calls everyone to action against VAWG, including “development partners, civil society organizations, women’s organizations, youth, the private sector, and the media.”  Also, world governments are being asked to share how they are investing in gender-based violence prevention.


Ending her address, the Secretary-General urged everyone to wear the color orange for the duration of the campaign, as well as on the 25th of each month, “as a symbol of hope for a brighter future where women and girls live free from violence.”

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