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PDM Deputy Leader: No to VAT, Silence on Crime, Where’s the Water and call for Financial relief



#TurksandCaicos, April 22, 2022 – I am very disappointed to see the lack of representation for Five Cays, following the shocking crime wave of last week. Many of you may know, I consider Five Cays home because that is the community I grew up in, so the disregard for the situation is just fully unacceptable.

Earlier this year I expressed deep concern for the way life was deteriorating in so many of the communities of the Turks and Caicos, and that crime was escalating. It is a trend that has sadly not stopped, it is getting worse. In my regular visits to areas like Five Cays, I am learning that people continue to feel deserted, and this latest shooting spree with no one from the government coming out to offer a word of comfort or hope, demonstrates that the representative elected for the work is so preoccupied with her Cabinet seat, that she seems to have forgotten about her Constituency seat.

I hear nothing being said about National Security – sad to say – the Five Cays constituency has the most crime happening in the country. It is on her watch that nothing is being said and it seems nothing is being done when young people are committing serious crime and people are dying or being seriously injured as a result of violence.

We all know that if the PDM were the government, when this crime spike broke loose, the current MP would have been all over it. Now that she has the power she asked for, we get silence. It’s a total no show on her job of taking care of Five Cays and Chalk Sound.

Chalk Sound is also an area I grew up in, and so to see, that these areas are being neglected is hurtful. While this government continues to promote their “Best life’ slogan around like all is well with the world, the people in this country are struggling under the weight of global inflation, run down infrastructure, slow government services, low or unchanged salaries and the fear of being the next victim of deadly crime.

On another note, Economists, Accountants, the Business Community and the Media have all reported that the reduction in CPF and government fuel tax will not change the costs to consumers, but the Government, who is aware of these reports, is silent on this issue. Not one word from the elected government in a month. This is disrespectful to our professional community.

A decision was made without proper and thorough consultation, so the taxes announced last month have so far been a waste of time and added paperwork which offers no real money savings that residents can feel. We know that you the people of this country are frustrated. You voted in people who said they would work, but the work must improve.

But, do not despair, the PDM will continue to speak out and agitate on your behalf. I will continue to keep this government aware of what you need or what you say, and how many of their policies are failing you.

I saw the Minister of Finance in one of his many boasts, highlighting what was not even a handful of businesspeople receiving grants through the MSME of Invest Turks and Caicos Agency. To me, to show off for two people receiving government funding proves the goals for this PNP Administration are far too conservative. We are an enterprising people; ready to build our own businesses and succeed. We need a government with big goals and big heart who are ready to equip us and help us achieve our goals. If we are going to be serious about changing the lives of people, and empowering people economically, then we need to be attracting crowds. The kinds of crowds which were attracted when you were giving out the stimulus.

Thousands came when you gave $1,000 and $500; so ask yourself, why then are they not coming when you are offering $10,000 or more in program benefits?

Let’s discuss Grand Turk for a moment. What credentials do the people of Grand Turk need in order for you to get them a reliable water supply? Year after year, we hear of issues about the water for Grand Turk including broken equipment and lack of security to protect it. What is it going to take for the Government to just give this matter the dedicated attention it deserves? Your priority list needs shuffling PNP. You’re thinking about vendors’ markets and how to accommodate more cruise passengers when Grand Turk can’t even supply water to a few thousand people.

Water is a fundamental, essential part of life and living, and doing business and providing health care. How do these officials rest at night knowing, thousands of people in Grand Turk are denied basic water? Once and for all, fix the water problem in our nation’s capital.

We are still in a pandemic which demands higher levels of good hygiene which means they need reliable water services. It is where the majority of tourists come in due to the cruise ships, the water cannot keep running out.

Back to finance. Mr. Finance Minister, the IMF is coming in here, looking for ways to make more money on the backs of the smallest earners, and government services are struggling to keep pace with the growing population demands. As for E Government – can we have a progress report on that? Yes, we can apply for a police record online, but it’s taking three months to get one in hand. Adding to these issues, you want to introduce a new tax, maybe a VAT tax.

The PDM is not in support of VAT.

Our people cannot handle a bigger tax burden. From where I stand, you are not getting the work done as much as our people need, and in the meaningful ways we need it. Your show and tell time is up, you cannot get tired now. Work







PROVIDENCIALES, TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS (June 22nd, 2024) – It is with deep regret that Experience Turks and Caicos confirms the passing of Mr. Reggie Dickenson, one of our employees who worked in the Grand Turk office.

Mr. Dickenson passed away on Saturday, June 22nd following a vehicular accident in Providenciales. We extend our condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.

A passionate, vivacious and animated person, Mr. Dickenson was a former employee at the Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board who transitioned to Experience Turks and Caicos in 2023.

He worked as the Grand Turk Customer Service Representative alongside Ms. Kadeisha Forbes, a role he took seriously as he greeted visitors to the Cruise Centre, interacted with them and ensured they had the relevant information they needed to enjoy their stay on island.

Mr. Dickenson was known for his unwavering positivity and team spirit, always eager to contribute his opinions and ideas. He last participated in a Customer Service Training session with his colleagues on June 10th in Providenciales where he invoked laughter with his witty remarks.

Minister of Tourism, the Hon Josephine Connolly expressed her sadness upon receipt of the news of Mr. Dickenson’s passing.

“Reggie was a passionate son of the soil of Grand Turk. I last saw him at our celebrations for Salt Cay Day where he was thoroughly enjoying himself. This is devastating news. Reggie would certainly be missed and I would like to extend my condolences to his family and loved ones. May he Rest in Eternal Peace,” the Minister said.

Mr. Alvin Hegner, co-chair of Experience Turks and Caicos also expressed his condolences.

“Reggie will definitely be missed. He had a larger-than-life personality, always jovial and a positive. His energy was infectious and his loss will certainly create a void that would be difficult to replace. From the board and staff of Experience Turks and Caicos, I would like to extend my condolences to his family, friends and colleagues. May he Rest in Peace.”

Experience Turks and Caicos will update the public on Mr. Dickenson’s funeral arrangements as those details become available.

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Arrests made in connection with Serious and Organised Crime





#TurksandCaicos, June 21, 2024 – Over the last 24 hours, officers from the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force Serious Crime Unit and the Tactical Unit undertook proactive operations in Kew Town and The Bight to combat serious and organised crime.

During these operations, three addresses were searched, and eight males were arrested for Gang Membership, Robbery and Firearms offences.

They are currently detained and will be processed in due course. The men detained are between 19 and 27 years old.

Superintendent Dean Holden, Head of Crime, Safeguarding, Public Protection, and Intelligence, said, “This proactive activity is part of our continued targeting of persons we suspect are involved in serious and organised crime. These arrests and continued operations are to progress investigations into serious offences, disrupt serious criminality, and demonstrate to our communities our commitment to striving to protect them and build public confidence.

“We will continue to conduct such operations when necessary and urge the public to contact us if they have any information that can assist investigations or otherwise support our fight against serious and organised crime.”

Anyone with information that may help in this investigation is urged to contact the closest police station, 911, the Serious Crime Unit at 231-1842, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-8477 to provide any information anonymously.

Additionally, individuals are encouraged to download the Crime Stoppers P3 app to share information anonymously.


Release: RTCIPF

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Sada Williams: Training alongside the best athletes in the world to become the pride of Barbados at Paris 2024





After participating in both the Youth Olympic Games Nanjing 2014 and the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, 400m runner from Barbados Sada Williams hopes that the help she has received through her Olympic Solidarity scholarship, and the ability to train in Jamaica, will take her to the top at Paris 2024.

Sada Williams will be cheered on by the whole of Barbados at the Olympic Games Paris 2024, but the athlete appears relaxed about shouldering the hopes of an entire nation. She has the chance to become the first woman from the eastern Caribbean island to finish on the podium at the Olympic Games, and only the second athlete, after Obadele Thompson claimed the 100m bronze medal at Sydney 2000.

“There’s no pressure, really,” says Williams. “I know Barbados will be proud of me regardless of the outcome, and I couldn’t be happier to represent them at the Games.”

Aside from earning a medal in Paris, Williams is also hoping to break the 48-second barrier and record a personal best. The 26-year-old’s upward trajectory certainly suggests she is capable of this, with her bronze medals at the 2022 and 2023 World Athletics Championships coming either side of a gold medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Williams believes her recent performances have been helped by a move to Jamaica, where she trains in the same group as multiple Olympic medallist Shericka Jackson.

“I have training partners who are some of the best athletes in the world – training and competing with them is really great. It pushes me and us to be better athletes. In Barbados, I didn’t really have that type of competition or training group.”

Olympic Solidarity support

Williams’s move from Barbados to Jamaica was supported by an Olympic Solidarity scholarship, which provides financial assistance to athletes through monthly grants.

“The scholarship has provided me with the necessary funding to train and compete here in Jamaica. It’s also given me the opportunity to travel to various meets around the world, and to compete in and prepare for major competitions, such as the Commonwealth Games and Olympic Games.”

The scholarship has also shown Williams that coming from a small country with fewer resources for sport does not have to be a barrier to success.

“It shows me that there are people out there who believe in me and my potential,” she says. “They want to see me succeed at the highest level while representing my country. So, I’m truly grateful for that opportunity.”

Lessons from the Olympic Games

Paris 2024 won’t be Williams’s first appearance at the Olympic Games. Her time at Tokyo 2020 was “bittersweet”, after she failed to progress from the 400m semi-finals. But Williams also learnt a lot from her very first Olympic experience in 2014. Aged 16, she competed at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, reaching the 400m final.

When Williams was a teenager, there was no female athlete from Barbados whose success she could look to replicate. But now she is a source of inspiration for the next generation from her home country. She is hopeful Barbados can one day rise to the levels of neighbouring Jamaica and become an athletics powerhouse.

“I always hope that I’m inspiring young athletes from Barbados, whether I compete locally or internationally,” she says. “I always want the best for track and field in Barbados. I want other athletes in Barbados to believe that they can excel at the highest levels without needing to leave the country. It would be really nice to have the same facilities and resources as Jamaica or the United States in Barbados.”

Over 1,300 athletes supported through Olympic Solidarity

A total of 1,331 athletes from 159 National Olympic Committees (NOCs), covering 26 sports, received Olympic Solidarity scholarships for Paris 2024. Olympic Solidarity aims to ensure that talented athletes of all backgrounds have an equal chance of reaching and succeeding in the Olympic arena by providing crucial funding to help finance their Olympic dreams. With a particular focus on athletes and NOCs most in need, individual scholarship-holders receive financial support through monthly grants that contribute to their preparation and qualification for the Games, whether in their home country or at a high-level training centre abroad.

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