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GBEMAA expresses condolences on passing of Albert McKinney
Submitted by Nat Cambridge   
Monday, 16 March 2015 07:40
The executive board of the GBEMAA is saddened to learn of the passing of one of its members.

Mr Albert McKinney passed away at the Rand Memorial Hospital on Thursday.

Condolences go out to his family, friends and fellow entertainers.

The industry has lost a bright star in this musician, singer, and entertainer.

Gone all too soon.

Wist expresses dismay.

Nat Cambridge
GBEMAA President
DNA commentary - The big picture on BAMSI!
Submitted by the DNA party   
Monday, 16 March 2015 07:12

During his contribution on BAMSI on Wednesday, Deputy PM Philip Davis sought to downplay the seriousness of this gross mismanagement of public funds calling pubic concerns a distraction. With 2.6 million dollars in tax payer monies up in smoke, and 5.5 million dollars being allocated to rebuild the uninsured structure, the Deputy PM’s comments were flippant and showed a disregard for the rule of law and a level of disrespect for the Bahamian people. The Democratic National Alliance repeats its call for his immediate resignation.

Equally culpable, if not more so, is PM Perry Christie who, as the substantive Minister of Finance holds the country’s purse strings in his hands. As Minister of Finance it is his ultimate responsibility to ensure that any and all payouts from the treasury are done so in accordance with the law.

By the DPM’s own admission mobilization payments were made without the inclusion of the necessary insurance documents. The failure of officials at the Ministries of Works AND Finance to ensure that these documents were in fact part of the contractor’s file BEFORE approving payment is not only negligent, but indicative of the way PM Perry Christie has run his cabinet and this country. Since taking office, the PM has allowed his band of merry men to run amuck failing on countless occasions to reign in officials who have skirted the law for personal gain. This time, his lackadaisical style of governance has cost the country MILLIONS.

For months now, the PM has touted the benefits of BAMSI spreading the message of its potential across the archipelago; recounting again and again the very personal attachment he had to this idea. It is hard to believe then that the PM was not intimately knowledgeable about the facilities inner workings, its progress and exactly how much money was paid out, when, and to whom. If this is indeed the case, it would seem that Mr. Christie has willfully and intentionally ignored the rule of law in favor of giving his longtime political associate a lucrative deal and for that he must also tender his IMMEDIATE resignation.

CIBC FirstCaribbean records improved results in The Bahamas
Submitted by Serena Williams   
Monday, 16 March 2015 07:10

NASSAU, Bahamas -- CIBC FirstCaribbean has announced an improved performance in its Bahamas business for the first quarter of the current financial year.

For the period ended 31st January 2015, the bank recorded net income of $13.5 million, an increase of $5.4 million, when compared with last year. This performance mirrors that of the CIBC FirstCaribbean group, which recorded its best quarterly financial performance in four years over the same period. For the three months ended January 31, 2015, the group recorded net income of $26.6 million, which is its best performance since 2010.  

Managing Director for CIBC FirstCaribbean in the Bahamas, Marie Rodland-Allen, attributed the improved performance to lower loan loss impairment expenses and lower operating expenses, which she added more than off-set lower revenues.

Mrs. Rodland-Allen added that, “Even though total revenue was down $5.3 million year-over-year due to lower loan earnings and lower gains from investment security sales, loan loss impairment expenses were also down significantly by $9.7 million compared to the prior year.”  

She also added that operating expenses were down by $1.1 million compared to the same period last year, as the bank continues to benefit from expense control initiatives and savings from the ongoing restructuring program.

DNA commentary: Lack of Freedom of Information sends clear message
Submitted by the DNA party   
Monday, 16 March 2015 06:51

Over the past three years of PLP governance, the rights and liberties upon which this country was founded have been threatened. Bahamians across the length and breadth of this country have been victimized, overtaxed, and undervalued. Our countries natural resources have been sold in back room deals while the men and women elected by the people to carry out the work of the people have succeeded only at lining the pockets of their friends, family and lovers.

So far, this Christie led administration has failed on all fronts to be transparent and accountable in its dealings. Instead, their term in office has been marred by countless acts of BLATANT CORRUPTION on the part of government officials. The Death of Democracy regarding the Gaming Act, BEC, PHA, the LOI saga and most recently BAMSI are all examples of government agencies where ineptitude, cronyism and corruption have been allowed to run rampant.  In most of those cases however, NOTHING has been done and NO ONE brought to justice!

For the last year or so, The Democratic National Alliance and countless other organizations have called for the implementation and enforcement of a Freedom of Information Act as part of wider efforts to hold public officials more accountable. That however has not happened and according to the PLP government, that will not happen until 2016 – less than a year from the next general election. HOW CONVENIENT!

The Freedom of Information Act, which was passed by the former Free National Movement administration was debated in Parliament with members of this government – then in opposition – present for those proceedings. More than 2 years ago, the PLP was given the opportunity to make whatever suggestions and recommendations they deemed necessary to make the Act enforceable and upon completion of the process, voted for the passage of that Bill in its current form.

Elcott Coleby: This week in The Bahamas (March 9-13)
Submitted by Elcott Coleby   
Saturday, 14 March 2015 15:47

PM announces another youth intervention initiative

Acknowledging some systemic failures, but seeking to identify and correct the root causes of many of the country’s social ills and apparent dysfunction and under performance in the education system, Prime Minister Christie believes that a system of institutional tracking of many of our young and vulnerable students will provide the requisite intelligence to inform public policy on the appropriate interventions to augment current initiatives.

According to Prime Minister Christie, one of the most important actions the government is currently taking is “being able to put ourselves in a position to track that child throughout and therefore to look back at his life to see what the story (of the child’s life) is all about. There is no doubt that the system has allowed people to fall through the cracks. Kids that come through school without being able to read properly – without being able to write properly and that’s something that we have to remediate and the Minister (of Education) is working on a plan now to augment what we are doing.”

The Prime Minister revealed this latest policy initiative to the press on Monday at a ceremony to rename the former Carmichael Road Primary School to the Sybil Louise Strachan Primary School.

Mr. Christie also sees this social intervention through the Ministry of Education as a pre-emptive strike against the potential for criminality later on in the lives of our vulnerable and at-risk youth population.

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