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PDM Slams Gov’t over Airport Shut Down

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, June 24, 2022 – The People’s Democratic Movement criticised the government for the recent shutdown at the Providenciales International Airport, maintaining that the strike was a repeat of “past actions that have not been addressed by the government of the day.”

There have been firefighter strikes under both the PDM (August 2019) and PNP (May 2021, June 2022) Administrations.

National Chairman of the PDM Ezra Taylor maintained that the strike was “indicative that their issues are not being addressed sufficiently. He expressed that if the issue was economic they should go to the House of Assembly and resolve it.

“While the government continues to brag about an economic boom in this country the citizens continue to feel economic pressure… compensation to our people is still marginal.”

Describing the firefighters as professionals Deputy Leader Robert Been said, “just like any other department, they deserve proper wages and proper working environments. It appears that the 15% salary increase wasn’t equal across the board. I am sure the firefighters communicated this before making their decision to strike. These kinds of situations can and could have been avoided by proper communication and mutual agreements by parties involved.”

The Turks and Caicos Islands Airport Authority has maintained there was no communication of the strike beforehand. Been said another group, the security officers, might soon be striking as well.  The TCIAA has confirmed this. Been lambasted the Deputy Premier.

“It makes me question the Deputy Premier when he makes statements about us living our best lives in Turks and Caicos.  I’m of the view that he’s just fascinated with the lyrics of the song because nothing has change to approve the lives of our people.” He further called on the government to, “Please take care of your people, please visit your department and find out issues, challenges, and concerns they may have to avoid repeats of today’s event.”

Caribbean News

Blue Hills Man Charged with Manslaughter  

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#TurksandCaicos, February 8, 2023 – A 48-year-old man has been charged with two counts of manslaughter.

MIUS ANDRE, a mason by trade from Blue Hills, Providenciales, was charged with the offences, following advice received through the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

He appeared before a Magistrate on January 30th. Following his court appearance, the matter was committed for sufficiency hearing on April 06th.

Andre was charged in connection with an incident which occurred on December 24th at the Residence Yard, Five Cays.

Two female minors -ages six and seven-  died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning.

 

Press Release: RTCIPF

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Bahamas News

Press Release: Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) Bahamas

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February 3, 2023 – ILM Bahamas Centre held its Certificate Presentation Ceremony for Cohort 7.  The cohort consisted of fourteen (14) Senior Immigration Officers from the Department of Immigration.  This Cohort was a hybrid of in-person and online learning. Four of the Immigration Officers were from the Family Islands (Grand Bahama, Abaco, Berry Islands and Eleuthera).

Present at the ceremony were:  The Hon. Keith Bell, Minister of Labour and Immigration, Madam Justice J. Denise Lewis-Johnson, Permanent Secretary Ms. Ceceila Strachan, Executive Chair of NTA Ms. Agatha Marcelle, Executive Director of NTA Mr. Terry Murray, Director of Immigration Mrs. Keturah Ferguson, Deputy Director of Immigration Mr. Dwight Beneby, Ms. Esther McKinney Office Manager at the Department of Immigration.

The guest speaker at the ceremony was Dr. Donald M. McCartney a Leadership and Management Consultant with Motivation Incorporated Bahamas and the United States. He was a former senior public servant.  He was also a First Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Public Service with responsibility for the Northern Bahamas. He was also a former educator and professor at various colleges in the United States.

In his address to ILM Cohort 7, Dr. McCartney spoke about having the courage to lead and that leadership goes beyond SELF.  It’s not about you or your ego but rather more about contributing to nation building. He said, “We must be prepared to take the bold steps that would not lead us into the abyss of despair but on the road that leads us to lift up our heads to the rising sun and press onward to the mountaintop experience, which will lead us to become the proud and productive people we were destine to be.”  He also expanded on the four fundamental virtues: COURAGE, TEMPERANCE, JUSTICE AND WISDOM.  Additionally, he expanded on the focus and influence of courage, on the ego and discipline.

The Hon. Keith Bell, Minister of Labour and Immigration brought brief remarks on the occasion.  Some of the highlights of his speech were that Immigration is one of the highest revenue earners, challenges within the Department of Immigration such as lack of autonomy from the Public Service as compared to the other armed forces. He also talked about that the fact that the top tier is going to be retired within two years and this would be an opportunity for many of the graduates of this Cohort 7 to gain upward mobility.

He also stated that there needs to be a complete overhaul of the Immigration Act, and a review of the Asylum Bill.  Furthermore, he discussed the inevitable need for the relocation of the Department of Immigration from its current location. Lastly, he stated that we must tread a delicate balance between enforcing the law and being humane, in regards to shanty towns.

It is noteworthy that the ILM Centre at the National Training Agency recently obtained a Centre upgrade.  The ILM Centre Bahamas now hold the statue of Direct Claim Status with City and Guilds of London. Additionally, the Centre is now registered with the National Accreditation and Equivalency Council of the Bahamas (NAECOB) for all of its current course offerings. The ILM Department is lead Miss Pamela Gomez as the ILM Centre Coordinator. Registration is now open for Level 2 Certificate in Leadership and Team Skill and Level 3 Certificate in Leadership and Management. Our mission statement is, “Helping people, organizations, and economies develop their skills for growth.”

For more information, contact the ILM Centre Bahamas located in the Gladstone Road Business Centre by calling 461-6021 or 461-6008.

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Bahamas News

Sugar and salt tax campaigns gaining steam 

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer 

 

 

February 7, 2023 – A global battle on sugar and salt is ramping up as the United States joins The Bahamas and Barbados in creating proposals for historic sugar and salt laws.

The country’s Agricultural Department for the first time in history, proposed a cap on the amount of sugar to be allowed in school meals.

The World Health Organization has found that North America and the Caribbean have the highest rates of childhood diabetes in the world and based on the International Diabetes Federation’s Diabetes Atlas we also have the second highest prevalence of Diabetes overall for all global regions at 14 percent  or 51 million people with a projected 24 percent increase in just 22 years.

Barbados, the United States, Canada, Haiti, Mexico, Belize and St. Kitts and Nevis are all suffering from incredibly high rates of diabetes.

Barbados and The Bahamas announced sugar taxes last month; the hope is to reduce the importation and sale of sugar and salt rich foods.

Advocates across the Caribbean including Jamaica, Trinidad, and others have been campaigning for sugar taxes in their own countries with support from the public.

Now the proposed nutritional rules for the United States would set firm boundaries on how much salt and sugar can legally be added to meals, setting a new standard as most food imports for countries like The Bahamas are from the US.

The plan for the US is expected to be rolled out by 2025.

The rules, are unapologetically an attempt to cut down incidences of diabetes and other diseases fueled by unhealthy diets, according to media reports.

For now, the quantities on sugar and salt additives is an idea waiting wider consultation.

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