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Attorney General Outlines Government’s Legislative Agenda in the Senate

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By: Betty Vedrine

Bahamas Information Services

 

 

#TheBahamas, June 23, 2022 –  As part of his contribution to the 2022/2023 national Budget Debate, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Senator, the Hon. L. Ryan Pinder outlined legislative actions by the government to meet some of its objectives.

He started off by firstly thanking the Law Reform and Revision Commission for working ‘tirelessly’ to ensure the government can proceed with its aggressive legislative agenda from day one. He then went on to highlight parts of the legislative agenda under consideration during the first half of this upcoming fiscal year.

“The ‘Evidence Amendment (2022)’ – this is fulfillment of a promise in our Blueprint for Change – to address needs of disaster victims to return to normalcy. We hope to debate, before we break for the summer, this amendment which will shorten the number of years for those that have gone missing in events of peril. This is fundamentally important to bring finality to scores of families across The Bahamas as a result of missing family members from Hurricane Dorian and allow normalcy to return to day-to-day life,” he said.

He also discussed the ‘Rehabilitation of Offenders (Amendment) Bill 2022’, which he said is ‘consistent’ with the government’s mandate.

“We  will shortly table an amendment to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act to expunge records of minor offenses due to violations of emergency orders.”

As it relates to the ‘Healthcare Suite of Legislation,’ he said that in addition to the recently tabled Nurses and Midwives Bill 2022, an amendment will be tabled shortly to the National Health Insurance Bill, and introduction of a modern and comprehensive Mental Health Bill 2022.

This, he said, would be the most comprehensive health care compendium of legislation advanced in recent memory to provide a comprehensive framework for the health care, both physical and mental health care, for Bahamians.

There is also legislation foreshadowing the introduction of a Cannabis industry in the country.

“We will advance a comprehensive suite of legislation on the regulation of Cannabis, creating a new agri-business industry in The Bahamas. This legislation is internationally benchmarked against the countries around the world in the industry. The framework will be for the regulation of the medical Cannabis industry from the farm to the border, and will also provide a separate regulatory framework for industrial hemp, for wellness products and for pure industrial uses such as clothing, rope and building materials made from hemp. We will also provide a framework for the de-criminalization of possession of small amounts of Cannabis products,” he said.

The ‘Carbon Exchange Bill 2022’ will advance the monetization of carbon credits. “We will be bringing to Parliament specially drafted legislation to establish a carbon credit exchange in The Bahamas,” said Senator Pinder.

“The desire is to create a regulated framework that will establish The Bahamas as the regional, and hopefully the global center for the trade in carbon credits. We will participate in the vertically integrated carbon credit marketplace, The Bahamas — a leader in the world on this issue.”

Referring to the ‘Mining Authority Bill 2022’ as a “long overdue piece of regulatory reform”, he said it would address the mining of natural resources in The Bahamas. “The approach now is an industry-led approach without a modern regulatory envelope to ensure best international standards are being followed in natural resources mining.  We are a country where there is foreign direct investment in real estate development projects, many of these require mining. We also have commercial aggregate mining.”

The ‘Nationality Bill 2022’  is being put in place to advance appropriate legislation to bring equality to Bahamian men and women in the transmission of citizenship to their children. He said this would end the issue of inequality.  He said that an  initial draft has been prepared and commented on internally with a view to presenting it to cabinet  and ultimately tabling in Parliament.

In order to clear up any issues with the bill, the Senator said that the Constitution in Article 13 provides that Parliament may make provision for the acquisition of citizenship of The Bahamas by persons who do not become citizens of The Bahamas by virtue of the provisions of this Chapter.  Advancing equality, he expanded, when it comes to transmission of citizenship, is ‘explicitly’ permitted through the legislative mechanisms of Parliament.

There are also plans for The ‘Bahamas Strategic Investment Fund Legislation’, a pledge that the government made to support community projects and initiatives.

In Our Blueprint for Change we pledge:

1)For infrastructure projects, develop PPPs to support community development initiatives

2) Strengthen legislation for a Sovereign Wealth Fund

3)A new sovereign investment fund to hold private sector investment interests (such as APD, BTC Cable Bahamas, etc.).

He said that consistent with this pledge, the government would advance comprehensive, international best practices legislation that would incorporate the flexibility for the government to undertake promises in this area ensuring the highest standards of governance.

The initial draft of the bill,  he said, has been prepared and is being reviewed and refined.

Mr. Pinder also discussed Amendments to the Antiquities, Monuments and Museums Act & Regulations.  He said the government is seeking to update The Bahamas’ legislation relative to underwater cultural heritage by amending the Antiquities, Monuments and Museums Act, along with its amendments and regulations. “The proposed amendments specifically relate to licensing requirements, costs, timeframes, geographical areas, and the current government/licensee revenue-split with respect to salvage licensees.”

In a bid to improve the current law pertaining the registration of companies, insolvency and bankruptcy, he said that there will be ‘Company Legislative Reform.’ This, he believes,  would be conducive to the  rapidly evolving domestic and international economic and financial services environments.

“There  is a clear need to improve the current law pertaining to the registration of companies, insolvency, and bankruptcy in The Bahamas. In this vein, the Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas led by the Office of the Attorney General has set a goal to revise the relevant law.

He said that Terms of Reference have been finalized and the government is now prepared to appoint a project team made up of public and private sector individuals formed to overhaul the Bahamas’ registered companies, insolvency, and bankruptcy legislative regimes.

“The goal now, is to ensure that these relevant new proposed laws remain current, modern, competitive and reflect international best practices generally. These reforms have the ability to materially change the Bahamas’ commercial offering internationally and provide another boost to our financial services and commercial structuring markets. We look to become the near shore Delaware for corporate structuring and reorganization.”

He said that the government is now armed with a distinct legislative agenda that is focused on deliverables to the Bahamian people.  (BIS Photo/Ulric Woodside)

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TCIFA Referees selected to participate in FIFA RAP Course

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#TurksandCaicos, August 18, 2022 – It is always a massive boost when not only our players are given opportunities to develop, but also our Match Officials. The FIFA RAP (Referee Assistance Programme) presents referees with an opportunity to not solely refresh their understanding of the laws of the game, but also to improve with the ultimate objective of being appointed to the FIFA list of International Referees. This year, a FIFA RAP Course is set to take place in Nassau, Bahamas on August 25-28. From the TCIFA, three referees have been granted the chance to partake in the course; Watson Antoine, Anice Bernadin, and Leonard Suckrajh.

The course also serves to renominate existing FIFA Referees onto the list of International FIFA Referees for 2023. Last year, Anice Bernadin made it onto the list for International FIFA Referees for 2022 as an assistant referee, being given the chance to represent the Turks and Caicos Islands on the international stage.

The program is divided into two parts- theory of refereeing, as well as the practical elements. In order to qualify for this list, referees are required to pass the FIFA Fitness Test.

Patrice Senior, Head of Referees at the TCIFA, commented the following, “The role of the referee is key for the implementation of a football match, that is to interpret and enforce the laws of the game. Referees require positive learning environments with a framework that incorporates continuous development based on meaningful performance objectives – that allows successful promotion through the ranks from the grassroots level, up to the football league and beyond.

She continued by saying, “I am pleased to see the hard work and dedication of our referees in these Turks and Caicos Islands. I would like to congratulate those persons nominated by the TCIFA, Watson Antoine, Ancie Bernadine, and Leonard Suckrahj, and wish them all the best on their journey to the 2022-2023 FIFA International Referees list.”

Patrice also extended thanks to President Sonia Fulford and the TCIFA. She’s also shown gratitude towards the Bahamas Football Association for continuing to include the TCIFA.

Refereeing is a vitally important part of football. For our referees here in the Turks and Caicos to be given the chance to improve their knowledge and experience in an international setting is nothing less than magnificent.

 

Written by: Joshua Hall, Intern

For more information, please contact TCIFA Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Candia Ewing at 941-5532 or cewingtcifa@gmail.com

 

Address:

TCIFA National Academy

Venetian Road

Providenciales

Turks and Caicos Islands

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FortisTCI partners with Sam’s Club and Cargo Express/Tropical Shipping for Solar Energy 

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Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands (Thursday, August 18, 2022) – FortisTCI is pleased to announce that Cargo Express/Tropical Shipping and Sam’s Club have signed onto the Utility-Owned Renewable Energy (UORE) program.

FortisTCI has leased the 18,000 square foot roof space of Sam’s Club, a grocery wholesale business on Leeward Highway in Providenciales, to install a 312.8 kW solar photovoltaic system. Once commissioned, the system will produce renewable energy for the country’s electricity grid and avoid approximately 317 metric tons of carbon emissions annually.

FortisTCI has also leased the 13,000 square foot roof space of Cargo Express/Tropical Shipping’s building on South Dock Road in Providenciales to install a 200 kW solar photovoltaic system. The system is projected to avoid approximately 188 metric tons of carbon emissions annually once commissioned. Both systems will be installed by the end of 2022.

The UORE program, operated by FortisTCI, has been in place since 2015. The program now has 18 partnerships following the recent signees, which will increase the number of solar energy system installations across partner properties.

Customers undergo a pre-qualification process, and successful applicants receive incentives for leasing their roof space and the solar energy produced by the system. FortisTCI purchases, install, maintains, and owns the solar system at these properties at no cost to the customer.

Commenting on the partnership, Director of Cargo Express/Tropical Shipping, Carl Simmons stated: The Cargo Express brand is eager to partner with FortisTCI in advancing renewable energy initiatives in the TCI. This partnership allows us to protect the environment by generating electricity using solar energy, thereby reducing the use of fossil fuels. The installation of solar panels on Cargo Express’s 13,000 square foot roof will benefit our organizations and the wider community.”  

Owner and Manager of Sam’s Club, Gus Karagianis stated: “I am very fortunate to qualify for the UORE program operated by FortisTCI. I hope that more businesses that can qualify for the program, embrace the opportunity, and one rooftop at a time, we can all make a difference in creating a more sustainable energy future.”

President and CEO at FortisTCI Ruth Forbes stated: “We wish to commend our newest UORE customers for supporting the journey to a more sustainable energy future. Roof-mounted solar installations have allowed us to steadily increase our solar footprint year-over-year. Our studies have found that at least four acres of land are needed to produce 1MW of solar energy.

Therefore, we continue to maximize roof spaces through customer partnerships. We also continue to pursue regulatory reform to advance our clean energy plan, which includes investing in utility-scale solar projects. By December 2022, we expect to have at least 2.6 MW of solar energy installed on the grid.”

 

Photo Captions:

Header: (L-R) Vice President of Innovation, Technology and Strategic Planning at FortisTCI, Rachell Roullet,  President and CEO at FortisTCI, Ruth Forbes, Owner and Manager of Sam’s Club, Gus Karagianis, and Manager of Innovation and Resource Planning, TeAnn Thomas.

Insert: Rachell Roullet,  President and CEO at FortisTCI, Ruth Forbes, Director of Cargo Express -Tropical Shipping, Carl Simmons,  and Manager of Innovation and Resource Planning, TeAnn Thomas.

 

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TCI Beach Soccer National Team Players Train in Italy

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#TurksandCaicos, August 18, 2022 – In June of this year, Pisa Beach Soccer, located in Italy, presented an opportunity for two of our Beach Soccer National Players to train alongside their team. This opportunity was nothing short of astounding. Herby Magny and Makenson Cadet were the two fortunate players who were chosen to train with the Pisa Beach Soccer team. Pisa Beach Soccer is ranked at the top of the Italian Serie AON Beach Soccer League and in addition to that, they are the reigning champions from last season.

This entire experience would not have been possible for Herby or Makenson if it was not for the recommendation of Matteo Marucci, Head Coach of Pisa Beach Soccer as well as Head Coach of the Turks and Caicos Islands Men’s beach Soccer Team. Coach Marucci has a long-standing history within the sport of Beach Soccer, representing Italy in both the 2015 and 2017 Beach Soccer World Cups.

Both Herby and Makenson engaged in a series of intensive training sessions that took place over a ten-day span.  These were morning and evening sessions. The morning sessions were coached by Bruno Xavier, Captain of the Brazilian Men’s National Beach Soccer Team. Bruno is not a new face to the Beach Soccer World, he was awarded World’s Best Player in 2014 and was a part of the Dream Team from 2014 to 2018. In the morning the focal point was working on core, balance, agility, and strength. The evening sessions consisted of a training session with the Pisa Beach Soccer first team under the supervision of Coach Marucci.

When asked for a comment on what It was like to train with the team, Herby Magny had the following to say, “It was one of the best experiences in my soccer career. It has made me fall in love with the beautiful game of beach soccer even more. Training with the Pisa Beach Soccer Team was conducted at a different level than how I’m used to training. The level of intensity and professionalism stood out the most, as most of the players are key players for the Brazilian & Italian national teams.” He went on to add, “The first 2 sessions were difficult as the guys did not really know us and so they didn’t pass to us during the games, however by the third day onwards it was fantastic, as we proved ourselves. The guys welcomed us like their own teammates and involved us in every play.”

Fellow teammate, Makenson Cadet, had this take on his time spent in Italy, “The experience was needed. Italy is beautiful, the food was delicious and training in a professional environment was top notch.” He continued, “What really stood out to me is the passion they had for the game, it’s unbelievable some of the players still have to work full-time jobs because they are not getting paid enough, but they still showed up every day with the same strong mentality. Matteo is a really good coach and a good person as well.”

Without doubt, these training sessions challenged Herby and Mackenson for the better. Both players expressed an abundance of gratitude for the chance to take part in the training sessions. Experiences like these are crucial in the development of our players here at the TCIFA.

 

Written by: Joshua Hall, Intern

For more information, please contact TCIFA Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Candia Ewing at 941-5532 or cewingtcifa@gmail.com

 

Address:

TCIFA National Academy

Venetian Road

Providenciales

Turks and Caicos Islands

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