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TURKS AND CAICOS POST CABINET STATEMENT FROM WEDNESDAY AUGUST 25 MEETING

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#TurksandCaicos, August 27, 2021 – His Excellency the Governor, Nigel Dakin, chaired the 24th meeting of Cabinet on Wednesday 25 August 2021 at the Office of the Premier on Grand Turk.

All members were present with the exception of the Hon Minister for Tourism and Hon Deputy Governor. Mrs Khalila Astwood-Tatem was also present as Acting Attorney General.

 

At this meeting Cabinet:

 

  • Was given an update by the Ministry of Health on the measures being taken to address and mitigate against the threat of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) to the country, including:

 

  1. a)Positive cases, in particular hospitalization of unvaccinated persons,
  2. b)Recent death cases,
  3. c)Specific breaches of Regulations, and
  4. d)Progress with the vaccination programme, now standing at 69% fully vaccinated and future introduction of booster shots.

 

  • Approved amendments to the Public and Environmental Health Control Measures Regulations coming into effect from 1 September 2021, unless otherwise stated, including:

 

  1. No person shall host an event consisting of 50 persons or more without approval from the Chief Medical Officer or Chief Environmental Health Officer. (Definition of Event: Something that happens at a given time and place including Hotels, Bars, and Restaurants – e.g. show, party, karaoke, music festival, house party, private banquet, ball, dance, etc.),
  2. Work permits/temporary work permits should not be granted to performers for the purposes of hosting or performing at social events,

iii.          All night clubs and bars should reduce occupancy to 50%,

  1. Patrons at night clubs and bars must provide proof of being fully vaccinated,
  2. Bars/clubs to be responsible for verifying the identification and vaccination status of all participants and a logbook kept with the same, and shared with the Ministry of Health and the Environmental Health Department every Monday, and
  3. We require the introduction of a customer tracking system (manual or electronic) be implemented for all events going forward from 14 September 2021.

 

  • Approved a planning application PR 14707 for the renovation of an existing pier on parcel 60906/238 (adjacent), Providenciales.

 

  • Approved a planning application PR 15057, for the development of a Farmers Market on parcel 60602/272, Providenciales.

 

  • Were updated on the Turks and Caicos Islands Beach Vending and Coastal Vending Policy to include application processes, fee structures, vending zones, capacity of zones, enforcement and the building of appropriate facilities where required. Members also agreed a moratorium on new applications for specified categories of business licenses and activities.

 

  • Approved the proposed short, medium and long term solutions to address the issues at the Sapodilla Bay. Members also agreed to work towards the relocation of vendors at the Sapodilla Bay location by 1 December 2021 after which no vending on the beach will be allowed.

 

  • Approved guidelines for the operations of the existing Floating Bar/Restaurant also known as “Tiki bar” in the Turks and Caicos Islands ensuring safety of navigation, safety of life, protection of the marine environment and application process. Members also agreed a moratorium for new applicants.

 

  • Approved amendments to the Schedule of the Ports Authority (Stevedores, Fees and Charges) Regulations 2008 to come into effect on 1 September 2021.

 

  • Approved the appointment ofMr Deveraux Malcolm as Director of the National Insurance Board for a period of two years with effect from 30 September until 31 March 2023.

 

  • Discussed proposed amendments to the National Health Insurance Ordinance and agreed next steps.

 

  • Approved a proposal for the renewal of a lease agreement and expansion of office accommodations for the Ministry of Health and Departments, Grand Turk for a period of five years, with an option to renew.

 

  • Approved a COVID Works Program Policy under the Ministry of Physical Planning and Infrastructure Development to come into effect on 1 September 2021.

 

  • Granted approval for a waiver against the first time work permit moratorium in accordance with the policy.

 

  • Approved the appointment ofKitchandra Mcdonald as a Member of the Immigration Appeals Tribunal with effect from 30 August until 31 March 2023.

 

  • Noted a paper covering guidelines supporting the amended Public and Environmental Health Arriving Passengers Travel clearance Regulations

 

  • Approved amendments to the Citizen Stimulus Programme to allow: a) persons currently overseas for medical reasons, to have their cheques deposited into their bank accounts, and b) up to 25 persons who had applied for the Stimulus payments within the required timeframe, but for technical reasons with the portal, their applications were not processed, to be able to reapply.

 

  • Discussed the Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism (Taxation) Ordinance 2019 and agreed steps required.

 

  • Were updated on issues surrounding business licenses where external shareholders are involved.

 

  • Was updated on issues related to the Ministries of:

 

  1. Education,
  2. Health,
  3. House of Assembly, and
  4. Office of the Premier.

 

Further information on these matters will be provided by Ministers in due course.

 

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Caribbean News

Rich Nations told to pay for Climate Change, Mia Mottley bring another charged speech to World Leaders

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By Shanieka Smith

Features Writer

 

#Barbados, June 25, 2022 – Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, unapologetically laid the blame for the climate crisis on wealthy nations.  She said it is long past time for them to compensate countries undergoing the effects of climate change.  Motley expressed her thoughts and made the request in New York, where she joined a panel on sustainable development at the Global Citizen NOW summit with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Bill Nye.

“We’ve been carrying the costs on our balance sheet of your behaviour…”We’re not asking for the world.  We’re saying:  Look, put some money down and help us,” she said.

Barbados is battling rising sea levels, which threaten the water supply and encroach on coastal communities.  The World Health Organization has also warned that sea-level rise and changing weather could put immense pressure on freshwater resources.  However, this has not been a result of Barbados, which accounted for less than 0.01 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions in 2020.

Mottley expressed that the reason for the issues of climate change is the G20 nations, including the US, UK, China, Russia and the EU.  The countries that have released the vast majority of the emissions heating the planet.

“That’s what”s put us in this position,” she said.

To emphasize the effects of climate change on the island, she added, “Can you imagine going to a restaurant next to a place full of sargassum seaweed smelling?”  “You’re not gonna go!”

Meanwhile, the heavy polluters are better equipped to deal with the consequences of climate change, and smaller developing nations in the Caribbean are forced to battle climate extremes with very few resources.

“It would be not so bad if we had 25, 30 years to adapt.  Instead, we’ve got 12-13 years, according to everyone,” she said.  This is approximately 144 months.

Motley said that mitigating the issue is not simple and that it comes with obstacles like Covid-19 and Russia-Ukraine. She said, however, that we have to “push past the pain.”

She added, “the issue is, will we get there fast enough to save those of us on the front line?”

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Why Jonquel & WNBA Ladies get LESS PAY than Klay & NBA Guys; its forcing ladies into risks abroad

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#USA, June 25, 2022 – Being a player in the NBA is probably one of the most lucrative jobs that one can imagine.  Though better players get better salaries those salaries range between 900 thousand dollars for the lowest-paid players to up to 45 million for the highest-paid players but it is the NBA that ultimately decides how high salaries can go.

The total amount of money any team can spend on their players’ combined salaries is set by the NBA.  The teams then decide what to pay their lowest and highest-ranked players.  For the 22-23 season the cap is $122 million.

For example in the 2021-2022 Champions the Golden State Warrior’s lowest salary will go to Shaun Livingston, a guaranteed $1,333,332.  Their highest salary will go to Stephen Curry, a guaranteed $45,780,966.  This is in addition to sponsorship deals that can rake in millions of dollars for in-demand players.

In the WNBA 2021-2022 season, Brittney Griner earned a base maximum salary (without sponsorships) of $221,450.  That is the highest salary in the WNBA.  One of the best players in the league, Griner is paid four times lower than an NBA rookie.

This is true for women across the board, including the Bahamas’ Jonquel Jones.  Jones is one of the highest-paid players in the WNBA and is regarded as one of the most prolific.  Her salary is 208,000 per year.

Recently Griner was arrested in Russia for a small quantity of marijuana; she was there because she outsourced herself to the Russian team UMMC Ekaterinburg to have a chance at earning more money.

Grand Bahama’s Jonquel plays for the same team and says she can’t turn her back on the international leagues because the salary is just not comparable.  Two months ago she expressed the stress of traveling through Russia on Twitter.

“Just landed in Turkey and all I want to do is cry.  That situation was way more stressful than I realized.  Thank you God for always watching over and protecting me.”

Despite playing in China and Korea she said she never felt unsafe until the war describing it as “unprecedented.”

Despite the stress and danger, she told ESPN she was just going to have to deal with it.

“While the [WNBA] is making the right and necessary strides to pay us more and ensure that if we don’t want to go overseas, we don’t have to, I just feel like in my situation, the money is not comparable. I have to think about the financial status of my family and everybody else, and also the opportunities that I’m leaving if I don’t go.”

Remembering Griner Jones said “I’ve been looking at these pictures that I have on my phone, the last set of pictures I took with her we were going to Valencia or wherever. We were all just joking and laughing around and stuff, and it’s just crazy how fast things can change.” While she has hope things will change she says it probably won’t be in her playing years. For context, Jones and Curry are both power forwards.

In 63 appearances in 2020-21. Stephen Curry averaged 32.0 points, 5.8 assists, and 5.5 rebounds.  In 17 appearances in the same year, Jones has averaged 15.1 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 1.9 assists.  The men’s league plays over 1000 matches per year.  The women play under 300 WNBA and NBA players are comparable in talent so why is the pay so low?

Viewership plays a major role. More people watch the men’s games than women’s games, millions more which means a lot more money for the NBA. But this is not the only reason.

“The president of the WNBA thinks that one of the reasons men are paid more than women is that 50 percent of the NBA’s revenue is shared between the league and the players; however, there is about an 80-20 split for the WNBA. This means that the players only receive about 20% of the WNBA’s total revenue” says one academic paper done on the wage disparities in 2020. The study also referenced the 1,230 games men play each season compared to the women’s 204.

The WNBA has quality players with star value just like the NBA. The issue of lower revenues can be solved in great part, by better publicity, more games on the roster and lower age ranges for players.

Drumming up excitement, seeking out sponsorship deals, greater publicity, and all-star face-offs between the NBA and WNBA are all genuine possibilities that could prove instrumental indrawing tv viewership and courtside attention.

Until then stars like Griner and Jones will continue to relentlessly outsource themselves and play all year round for a piece of the pie their male counterparts take home in a single season.

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TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS POST CABINET MEETING STATEMENT

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#TurksandCaicos, June 25, 2022 – Her Excellency the Acting Governor, Anya Williams, chaired the 19th meeting of Cabinet on Wednesday 22 June 2022 in Grand Turk. All other members were present.

At this meeting Cabinet:

  • Approved the terms and conditions for an application from a land surveyor for a licence.
  • Approved the making of the Revised Edition of the Laws 2021 (Commencement Order) 2022 subject to the approval of the House of Assembly; laws will be now be made available free of charge to members of the public on the Attorney General’s website. Physical reproductions will continue to be sold.
  • Discussed proposed amendments to the Insurance Ordinance as drafting instructions to the Attorney General’s Chambers and consultation with the industry.
  • Approved for the Insurance (Amendment) Bill 2022 to be introduced to the House of Assembly as soon as possible.
  • Approved the revision of the Anti-Money Laundering Committee Budget for the Financial Year 2022/2023 for office furniture and supplies; confirmed annual payments for the annual membership costs to the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Agencies (FIA) and annual costs of the FIA’s travel costs for the Egmont annual meeting.
  • Approved a three year rental lease agreement for the relocation of the Ministry of Tourism, Environment, Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, Culture and Heritage, Agriculture, religious Affairs and Gaming, and the Tourist Board and Department of Culture in Providenciales.
  • Approved a lease agreement for a temporary HQ for the Turks & Caicos Islands Regiment in Providenciales.
  • Was updated on the proposed merger of NIB/NHIP Compliance and Collections. Further consideration was requested before Cabinet can take a decision.
  • Noted the award of the following contracts in line with the provisions of the Public Procurement Ordinance:
  1. PN 005600, TR 21/48, Furniture and equipment for Mental Health Facility – Grand Turk
  2. PN 005611, TR 21/30, Ballistic Vests for the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force

III. PN 005614, TR 21/37, Bellefield Landing Civilian Safety Project – Safe Boat Slips

  1. PN 005627, TR 21/53, Furniture and Equipment for Public Works Programme Management
  2. PN 005630, TR 21/08, Vehicles for Government (resubmission)
  • Approved for a request from American Airlines to waive the import customs duties and customs processing fees for replacement parts for an aircraft that had an emergency landing on Providenciales to be forwarded to the House of Assembly for consideration and approval.
  • Noted a paper from the Turks and Caicos Islands Airports Authority (TCIAA) for legislative amendments to be made to the TCIAA Ordinance to regulate industrial action by employees of the TCIAA. Cabinet requested further consideration. Proposed amendments will be considered by the House of Assembly for approval in due course.
  • Approved the grant of a long lease to an applicant for a funeral home and cemetery on 60003/231 PT (2.5 ACRES)

 

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