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Statement by Environment Minister on petroleum legislation
Submitted by Joette Penn   
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 10:53
Press Statement
The Hon. Kenred M.A. Dorsett, M.P.
The Minister of Environment & Housing
Update on Petroleum Legislation

8th October, 2014

The Government has completed the preparation of a new Petroleum Act and a suite of regulations designed to guide and govern oil exploration in The Bahamas as an integral part of the recently announced National Energy Policy. This new legislative package will also include the legislative framework for a Sovereign Wealth Fund to ensure that in the event oil is discovered in commercially viable quantities, the wealth that will accrue to the nation as a result will be invested, managed and conserved in the most optimal way for present and future generations of Bahamians.   

The new legislative package will be introduced to Parliament as soon as it meets following the short recess.  

In the meantime, it should be clearly understood that the new legislative regime will ensure that exploration for oil in The Bahamas will be undertaken in a safe and environmentally responsible manner, consistent with international standards, best practices and the most up-to-date risk management, health and safety protocols.
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DNA commentary: Ebola at our back door
Submitted by the DNA Party   
Tuesday, 07 October 2014 14:52
In early September, the flames of fear consumed many Bahamians as social media erupted with reports of an Ebola infected visitor to the Bahamas. In the last month alone, the deadly viral outbreak – classified as the most severe in the world’s history – has ravaged parts of West Africa claiming the lives of thousands of men women and children. Concern surrounding the spread of the disease has become so widespread that officials at the World Health Organization have declared the situation a public health emergency of international concern; and international it has become.

Just this week, the United States reported its very first cases of the disease. So far, US officials say they have been able to quarantine and isolate those affected and have dismissed the idea of a potential US outbreak. The spread of the disease to our closest neighbor and ally however, should be cause for great concern for the leadership of this country. There is a popular saying that states: “If the United States sneezes, the Bahamas will catch a cold”. While meant in jest, this adage could not be truer. Our proximity to the US and our close relationship with the country while beneficial could also prove harmful in this regard.

According to statistics from the Center for Disease Control, the recent Ebola outbreak has killed more than three thousand people in just over one month. Based on available figures from the last population census in the Bahamas, the figure represents 58% of the population in Exuma as recorded in 2010. It surpasses the number of persons living on Long Island according figures recorded in 2008 and is higher than the combined populations of Inagua, Ragged Island and Mayaguana.

The threat of this lethal disease at our back door has raised a number of serious concerns ranging from the strength of our immigration controls and border protection systems, to the preparedness of our healthcare systems to manage a potential outbreak.
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McCartney to be praised for his stance against crowd buying
Submitted by Barefoot Marketing   
Tuesday, 07 October 2014 10:30
McCartney to be praised for his stance against crowd buying - A pro-Peter Nygard demonstration in Rawson Square in July, at which Save The Bays members and supporters were branded liars, frauds and subjected to racist and intimidating jibes. Respected church leader Rev. CB Moss claimed that many of those who took part were paid to be there. (Photo courtesy of Save The Bays)A STATEMENT BY
FRED SMITH, QC
DIRECTOR OF LEGAL AFFAIRS
SAVE THE BAYS

Save The Bays supports DNA leader’s assault on culture of political inducements; says it has been the victim of personal and racist attacks by ‘rent-a-crowds’

NASSAU, Bahamas – Branville McCartney is to be praised for his attack on crowd buying and the many other forms of underhanded inducement that have contaminated our political system from time immemorial.

In hitting out at cronyism, vote buying and mutual back-scratching arrangements, the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) leader identified the festering infection at the root of many of our woes as a nation.

Political inducements – whether monetary or otherwise – have encouraged a culture of dishonesty, favoritism and entitlement that over the years opened an enormous divide between the political elites and their friends on the one hand, and the rest of Bahamian society on the other.

McCartney was also correct is calling seasoned politicians hypocrites for accusing others of giving political inducements, but failing to also criticize the behavior of their own party in this regard. Corruption has featured in all political contests and all previous administrations, whether they be UBP, FNM or PLP.
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DNA commentary: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
Submitted by the DNA Party   
Tuesday, 07 October 2014 07:32

There is an old adage that says: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, the lesson: that taking the necessary steps and precautions to PREVENT disaster from occurring is worth far more than any time, energy and resources spent on CORRECTING a problem.

Unfortunately, this Christie led administration has failed to see the value of that lesson and in so many ways continues to take a reactionary position to many of the country’s pressing concerns. Among them: the issue of environmental stewardship. Less than one month ago, amid investigations into a significant spill near Adelaide beach, environmentalists and concerned citizens from around the country raised the alarm about the ongoing oil spills being reported in the Clifton area.

The Democratic National Alliance (DNA) at the time also joined those groups in calling on the government to take a more hands on approach to dealing with this longstanding issue. We however, have been IGNORED. In the face of consistent oil spills in the area over the course of several weeks, months and years, SUCCESSIVE GOVERNMENTS have failed to enact the kind of policies which would make corporations, companies, and residents MORE ACCOUNTABLE for the destruction and or damage of our natural resources.

I was disturbed, but not surprised by reports of yet another oil spill taking place over the weekend near Stuart’s Cove and Albany. Even more disturbing however was the response of the Minister of the Environment. In a statement released to the media, he acknowledges the spill and again committed the government’s efforts to address what he called a “vexing problem”. He further pointed to the intent of the government to secure “international consultants” to assist.

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DNA commentary: Vote buying! Crowd renting! And hypocrisy
Submitted by the DNA Party   
Sunday, 05 October 2014 16:39

During a time when our country’s borders and resources continue to be drained by the burden of illegal immigration, I find it absolutely amazing that Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Fred Mitchell found the time to “review” footage of the demonstration that was held in Rawson Square last Wednesday.  

For a Minister of the government to take the time to review and study the footage of a political organization which members of his own party have called insignificant tells me that his priorities in overseeing his portfolio in the governance of this nation leaves much to be desired and suggests to me that the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) has become more of a threat to the political establishment in this country than any third party before it.  

Perhaps the Minister’s time would have been better spent reviewing footage of PLP rallies over the course of the last election campaign. Doing so would have reminded him of the many promises he and his colleagues in government have failed to address, chief among them the promise to BELIEVE IN BAHAMIANS. The good Minister could have also used his time to review crime statistics under this PLP administration and perhaps suggest a suitable solution to Prime Minister Perry Christie who, after promising to have the answers, has gone “back to the drawing board” on the issue. Or perhaps a review of the Freedom of Information Act, which according to the government is in NEED of review and amendment, would have been a more appropriate use of Mr. Mitchell’s time.  

And what about an in depth review of the Minister’s travel itinerary since taking office in 2012? Has Mr. Mitchell reviewed the results of the many first class trips abroad which were funded by the public purse? A review of that information is CERTAINLY necessary and we call on Minister Mitchell to release those findings to the public via a similar statement to the media.  

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