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PM Davis berated for expensive Botswana trip, Opposition parties say the money is needed for Social solutions

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Rashaed Esson
Staff Writer 

Tensions are high within The Bahamas as the opposition party slams the David Administration for its 22-member delegation to the Republic of Botswana, citing more pressing needs at home and defending his decision to turn down the invitation to join in.

Michael Pintard, leader of the opposition party the FNM, was unapologetic in his stance and remarks at an FNM event where he judged the Prime Minister’s trip to the African nation, saying that the money and time used is more in need in The Bahamas, addressing the pressing concerns of the people.

“This trip alone if the report is correct, that there are some 22 persons, paid for by the Government of The Bahamas…would comfortably be between $400 and $500 thousand dollars, if going to Orlando was $200 thousand dollars for a much smaller delegation.”

Pintard reveals that the FNM was invited along with the Davis Administration, but declined and he explained why saying, “We believe the scarce resources of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas right now, should be used to deal with the most pressing set of issues that face our people.”

In line with this, he referred to a [halfway house] promised to female victims who live under domestic violence, which, though not confirmed, is seemingly incomplete or yet to start.

Prime Minister Philip Davis responded to the opposition regarding the Botswana trip. He clapped back at Pintard saying he missed the trip for a press conference and he expressed he will continue to strengthen partnerships and promote The Bahamas to bring future opportunities for the nation.

“ It’s too bad he said no, just so he could perform at a press conference instead – he missed an opportunity to learn something from a country with one of the world’s fastest-growing economies…I am never going to stop promoting our country or building the bridges and relationships that bring our people new opportunities. I will continue to strengthen our partnerships and build alliances on issues that matter to us – whether it’s a blockade to protect our borders, fighting against weapons trafficking, standing up for us on climate change, or getting us off the blacklist,” he maintained.

Davis’ Administration is also accused of heavy spending on luxury vehicles, one of them a $200 thousand dollar BMW, with money many are saying could be used to fund the social needs of Bahamians or to pay the staff for overtime at the Parliamentary Registry Department.

“If Brave wants to buy a luxury state vehicle, maybe he should do it like most other diplomats. How about a luxury Suburban for about $70k instead of a luxury $200k BMW? That’s over $100k that could pay for scholarship for several students or go towads an ambulance or fire truck for a family island,” said Lincoln Bain, Leader of the Coalition of Independents political party.

Bain described the actions of the administration as “partying like rock stars” while ordinary Bahamians suffer and struggle.

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Bahamas News

$36 Million Dollar Upgrade for World Athletics Relays in Nassau, Bahamas

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer 

 

After years of thorough maintenance, The Thomas A Robinson National Stadium in The Bahamas is finally getting a multi-million dollar makeover, readying the 10 year old facility ahead of the World Athletics Relays on May  5, 2024; it is being staged in Nassau for the fourth time. 

 

This $36 million refurbishment is being funded by the Chinese Government, as part of a vision to enhance the country’s sport infrastructure to benefit youths in athletics. The stadium was gifted to The Bahamas in 2012 by the Chinese.

 

The relay is the qualifying event for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games and there will be 32 national teams, in each relay event, and 20 races on both days of competition, according to World Athletics. 

Day 1, will have 20 heats across the five olympic events (4 heats each for 4×100, 4×400, men, women and mixed) and will qualify 40 teams for the Summer Olympics.  The top two teams from each heat will directly qualify for the Games.

On day 2, 30 more national teams will be qualified through 15 repechage heats and five finals, across those five events.

 

The upgrades which include new trusses, rooftops, seats, the lawn, score boards, LED displays and more, are expected to be complete at least two weeks before the relays, being held under the theme: ‘Chase the  Sun’. 

 

In a special ceremony on Monday April 8, The Bahamas Prime Minister, Philip Davis said:

 

In December 2023, our shared vision took shape, as the government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, and the government of the People’s Republic of China, inked an implementation agreement for the renovation of the stadium. This gesture of goodwill and friendship, from the Chinese government to undertake the China Aid Maintenance and Renovation project of our national stadium, stands as a testament to the strong bonds that unite our countries. This project, executed by China Urban Construction Research Institute Company Limited, and the China Machinery Industry Construction Group Company Limited, reflects our shared commitment to excellence, innovation and mutual development.”

 

Additionally, H.E Dai Qingli, outgoing Chinese Ambassador to The Bahamas who also attended that ceremony, spoke. 

 

“At the end of the project, the Bahamian people will get a fully renewed and modern world class stadium because everything is going to be either renewed or repaired,” she said.

Some 1600 athletes will be in The Bahamas for the World Athletics relays, with five events.  The Bahamas won the bid over Lausanne, Rome in 2022.

 

 Mario Bowleg,  Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture in reports, thanked China for their contribution to the redevelopment of the stadium. 

 

“We thank them for their commitment to ensuring that they bring this facility back up to A1 standard so that we can continue holding international events and using these facilities as a development of our young people.”

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Bahamas News

Grand Bahama Airport Demolition

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BIS Photo: Lisa Davis

Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

TheBahamas#TheGrandBahamaAirportDemolition, April 10, 2024 – The demolition of the Grand Bahama International Airport has begun, to start transformative construction as previously announced by Minister with responsibility for Tourism, Aviation and Investments, Chester Cooper, last month. Cooper says a new state of the art facility will be created to redefine Grand Bahama’s access to global opportunities and meet international standards.

 

 

 

 

 

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Bahamas News

Saxons Brass Section Thanks CWCO for Continued Commitment

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NASSAU, BAHAMAS (April 9th, 2024) Behind the vibrant costumes and electrifying beats of Junkanoo parades are committed members, mentors, and supporters such as Consolidated Water (Bahamas) Ltd. (CWCO). In a heartfelt acknowledgment of years of generous support, the Saxons Superstars’ brass section, High Voltage Brass, recently visited the water supplier to present a plaque of appreciation.

Jeremy Adderley, speaking on behalf of High Voltage Brass, said, “Without CWCO’s support, we would not have had the brass costumes needed to compete and secure our two-straight victory. Their support also helps us as we plan lessons for our young members to enhance their musicianship skills, not just for Junkanoo but for college and beyond.”

Adderley highlighted that the plaque is a token of High Voltage Brass’ immense gratitude for CWCO helping the Saxons Superstars keep culture alive and for being a steadfast partner in developing future leaders.

He added, “Every year, it is a struggle to make it to Bay Street. Many of our members are eager to participate, despite their circumstances, and every year our group continues to grow. Thanks to CWCO’s generosity, we look forward to continuing to grow and succeed alongside their great team and establishment.”

Henderson Cash, CWCO’s General Manager, said, “Receiving this plaque from the Saxons Superstars is a profound honor for us at CWCO. It symbolizes the strong relationship we’ve built over the years, rooted in mutual respect and a shared commitment to preserving Bahamian heritage.

“Our support for the Saxons Superstars’ brass section is emblematic of our broader mission to invest in our community’s vibrancy and the potential of its young people. We are deeply committed to continuing this support and fostering the traditions that make our culture so unique.”

 

Photo Caption: The Saxons Superstars’ brass section, High Voltage Brass, recently visited Consolidated Water (Bahamas) Ltd. (CWCO) to present a plaque of appreciation.

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