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PNP Administration promising DELIVERY in House Opening Throne Speech



Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 


#TurksandCaicos, September 19, 2023 – While lengthy and containing new information regarding the constitution and healthcare, the 2023 Speech from the Throne served more as a recap of the PNP Administration’s tenure and rehash of already introduced programs, with few fresh ideas and solutions for the most significant issues facing the Turks and Caicos residents.

Penned by Hon Washington Misick, the Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands  and delivered by Her Excellency Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam, TCI Governor the over 30-minute long speech touched on a broad swath of issues that residents have expressed concern about including, Healthcare, Education, Infrastructure, the Economy, Cost of Living, Crime and Border Security.

The initiatives addressing these issues however were, for the most part, plans residents had already heard and simply emphasized the fact that the government was ‘working for residents’.

The Governor did reveal several significant pieces of information including that the government :

  • Is in the process of reassessing the delivery of services under the healthcare contract with Interhealth Canada “My government has engaged the services of experts to examine how the agreement with Interhealth Canada is being executed– I will update the House once a report on the way forward is received.”
  • Will bestow a cabinet member with the responsibility for representing the TCI at CARICOM and other regional bodies rather than a UK rep. 
  • Expects to have significant updates on constitutional reform by the end of the year  “A new proposal was submitted to the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office– and I am pleased to say the next round of talks is scheduled to take place in the TCI in October 2023. It is my government’s hope that changes should be announced before the end of the calendar year.”
  • Has secured increased funding from the UK for Aerial support. “The UK has committed to fund additional air surveillance assets to support our efforts to maintain full awareness across all our islands.”

The Premier’s speech, delivered on Thursday September 14, 2023, also addressed some of the top issues in the country.

Crime and Border Security.

“My government will not allow criminals to destroy the society we are creating. Everyone should feel safe, secure, and have full access to justice.” Selveratnam said on behalf of Misick. In that vein, the speech revealed that additional CCTV cameras are coming and ‘The UK has committed to fund additional air surveillance assets to support our efforts to enable full marine domain awareness across all of our islands.’

Other previously rolled-out initiatives like new laws extending prison times for firearm holders were also mentioned.

The Economy, 

The Speech indicated that the economy has recovered fully from the downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and recorded consistent growth over the last two and a half years. In the same breath, it was revealed that the country had recorded negative growth in the first quarter of 2023.

Two consecutive quarters of negative growth puts a market into recession. TCI revenues were $109.8 million, $3.7 million or 3% below estimates. The government underspent in that quarter as well Total Expenditure was $20.9 million below estimates.


“84.6M or 20% of the budget is allocated to health. Despite the huge sums, our people have not always received value for money. That must change.” Selvaratnam read, announcing the probe into the delivery of InterHealth Canada services. The government warned though that this could be a long process.


“Proposed amendments to the universities, colleges, training institutes ordinance to improve oversight and accountability of institutes of higher learning in the TCI will be tabled in the House of Assembly shortly. Our special needs school community will see major improvements,” promised the premier through the governor. The special needs school has missed its deadlines so far for completion but TCIG is promising that the wait is almost over and experts are being introduced to consult on its creation.


The speech addressed significant infrastructure concerns including roads and ports but new initiatives were few. The governor reflected on the already opened Bellefield Landing, the new $50 million port at South Dock, the Providenciales Airport redevelopment and other ongoing upgrades to the airports in South Caicos and Grand Turk.

The Speech emphasized that the government was working for the people of the Turks and Caicos and reaffirmed what it described as its sacred contract with the people.


Fleet expansion for inter-Caribbean Airways



Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 


#TurksandCaicos, September 24, 2023 – Another new aircraft has been added to the InterCaribbean Airways fleet and it’s already in the air. The Bombardier CRJ 700 series aircraft, which seats 70 passengers is one of the company’s larger aircraft and comes after the acquisition of a 68-seater ATR 72-500 in August.

The company says the twin-engine jet aircraft is outfitted with an onboard bathroom and two flight attendants and will ‘provide new opportunities for expanding air service in the region.’

The Turks and Caicos based airline company has faced harsh criticism from its various destinations for delays, cancellations and poor communication with government ministers calling for improved service.

In July, Chairman Lyndon Gardiner reported on additions to the fleet and asked for patience as he and his team enhanced the interCaribbean Airways travel experience.

“In June of this year, interCaribbean Airways added an additional seven ATR-42’s to their fleet. These new, larger aircraft are beginning to transition into service over the next weeks and months. Additionally, the company is implementing a robust backend communication system to enhance passenger notifications and proactively inform travelers when their flights are delayed or cancelled,” he had said.

This newest announcement about the Bombardier got mixed reactions, when shared on Facebook.  They ranged from congratulations to cautious hope.

“So, is the running late and abandoning people resolved as well????” one commenter asked.

“With all these updates and upgrades, I hope we won’t be canceling and stranded on islands,” said another.

“Excellent interCaribbean Airways. I believe in you despite all the mishaps…YOU CAN DO THIS!” a commenter expressed.

Another commenter said “20 additional seats, great move.”

The aircraft arrived in Providenciales, on Sunday 17th, and was immediately shuffled into the roster with its first flight on Monday, September 18th.

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Grand Turk drops in Rank for Cruising, Port profits down; Still Optimism High after major meeting with Carnival



Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer 


#TurksandCaicos, September 24, 2023 – A Tuesday night Town Hall meeting with Carnival Cruises has left Grand Turk residents feeling hopeful, even though concerning statistics were revealed according to attendees who spoke with Magnetic Media.

The Grand Turk Cruise Centre is apparently not as profitable, and the Grand Turk Port, we are told, has dropped out of the top 10 ports in terms of positive customer experience. Contributing to that rating drop are incidents involving illicit drugs and fighting.

Carnival, as the country’s major cruise partner, brings the vast majority of tourists into the Turks and Caicos Islands; they’re coming in via the Grand Turk Cruise Center. A recurring complaint from tourists for years has been the lack of activities and excursions for residents when they arrive in the country’s capital.

Aimed at discussing an increase in onshore activities for guests and bumping up the port rating, the well-attended town meeting was described by residents as “the most engaged and informative meeting involving Carnival top brass and high-level government officials.”

The Office of the Premier, on Wednesday reported, “Yesterday evening, the Premier, Honourable Charles Washington Misick, along with the Turks and Caicos Islands Government (TCIG), Carnival Corporation & plc, Grand Turk Cruise Centre (GTCC), and partners hosted an engaging town hall meeting with citizens and GTCC stakeholders. The crux of the town hall event was to address the impact of the Grand Turk Cruise Centre on Grand Turk.

The panellists provided thorough insights on future GTCC developments, including a partnership between the TCIG and the Carnival Corporation to implement a sustainable recycling program.  They also advocated for the partnership with citizens to see further GTCC and infrastructural improvement.  They highlighted business opportunities for locals to engage with Carnival to see an increase in revenue and guest satisfaction for the island of Grand Turk.

Citizens who attended were allowed to interact with the panellists by asking further questions on the presentations, expressing their concerns, and proposing valuable feedback and ideas on issues raised.”

Not only did Carnival Cruise Line executives confirm over 1.1 million visitors to Grand Turk in 2024, our news team was told the representatives appeared determined to make sure locals benefitted.

“There appears to be genuine concern for enhancing the relationship with vendors and providing additional auxiliary services. They emphasized that the goal is not to keep guests from exploring the town,” one resident explained.

The company now wants more vendors stationed at the Downtown Carnival Center. It will come at a cost to locals but that fee is described as ‘nominal’.

Managing public beach access is properly, once again, being assessed as Carnival revealed they are working with the Government to increase security solutions including sniffer dogs which can detect contraband.

A recycling initiative is also on the table to help rid the quaint oceanside town of the waste created by tourism.  It was suggested that empty shipping containers on cargo ships heading back to the US could be utilized to ferry out the accumulated rubbish.

We are told several politicians and concerned citizens fielded important questions to the representatives ranging from better coordination of ship schedules to maintaining the cleanliness of beaches.

Residents told us that though some were skeptical about the promises made during the gathering, an air of optimism could be felt.

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U.S. Embassy UPDATES Travel Advisory, Warning against taking Guns & Ammo to TCI



By Deandrea Hamilton




#TurksandCaicos, September 4, 2023 – After judges and attorneys in the Turks and Caicos vocalized their concern over the number of American tourists arrested for breach of firearms laws, there comes a notable change in the Travel Advice from the US Embassy, based in Nassau, Bahamas.

Too many arrests and too many convictions of American visitors to Turks and Caicos over guns and ammunition, including a man, who was this week sentenced to 8 months in prison, have resulted in a sensible notice.

“To avoid U.S. citizens facing arrest in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) for bringing firearms, ammunition, or other weapons into the country, U.S. Embassy Nassau updated the TCI Travel.State.Gov page to reflect the criminal penalties attached to traveling unlawfully with such weapons,” said a media release issued on Friday September 22.

The advice is clearly warning US citizens not to take their guns and ammo into the TCI, where unless you are licensed by local law enforcement, it is illegal with a mandatory jail term of 12 years.

In late March, David O’Connor was found with 44 rounds of ammunition while exiting the Turks and Caicos Islands.  In May, O’Connor was sentenced and fined between five to six thousands

Alec Nash, who was arrested over a firearm in his luggage in July was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine after pleading guilty to having an illegal firearm.

Most recently, the defendant was not so fortunate and in this case was sentenced to time in Grand Turk Prison.  Michael Grim was arrested in early August, caught at the airport exiting with 20 rounds of ammunition.  He was on Monday September 19, sentenced to eight months in prison with his parents looking on in the courtroom.

It is expected further action would come in defence of Grim; possibly an appeal.

Now, the United States, which is partnered with the Caribbean islands in efforts to curb firearms movement into the countries has outlined, what travellers to the TCI need to keep in mind, even if they are legal gun owners in the United States.

“… that declaring a weapon in your luggage with an airline carrier does not grant permission to bring the weapon into TCI and will result in arrest.”

A tab on the Travel.Gov.State website is also newly created to support giving accurate information to travellers to the TCI.

Interestingly, the U.S. Embassy also warns that if travellers disregard the advice and are arrested in the Turks and Caicos on firearms offences, they will not be able to get them out of trouble.

“If a U.S. citizen illegally brings a firearm or ammunition into TCI, U.S. Embassy Nassau will not be able to secure their release from custody.  The website reminds U.S. citizens that all foreign nationals are subject to TCI laws and must follow local law enforcement procedures.

However, if you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately.”

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