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FNM commentary: New Insights on Jobs for the Boys at BTC
Submitted by the FNM   
Monday, 07 April 2014 14:36

From the Office of the Chairman, Darron B. Cash

DISGRACEFUL!! This best describes the Christie Government’s actions. The FNM understands that in exchange for ONE job, C&W has gotten the BTC Board and PM Christie to agree to a massive programme of outsourcing that could cause the loss of several hundred Bahamian jobs.

Support for any C&W “jobs-exporting-scheme” would be an act of betrayal.


A central part of Prime Minister Perry Christie’s legacy will be his shameless determination to go to any length to take care of his boys, his family members and other special friends by giving them high-paying jobs and using the weight of his office to serve their personal and financial interests. Following the international-news-making brazen act of political interference with CIBC-First Caribbean, where Mr. Christie used the power of his high office to assist a single individual, the Free National Movement has learned more of the truth about the Prime Minister’s recent “jobs for the boys” intervention with BTC.

When the Prime Minister recently announced that he had gained additional charitable contributions from C&W but failed to get controlling interests in BTC, the FNM—and the rest of the country—noted with interest that only one person seemed to come out of the “take back negotiations” considerably better off—former BTC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Leon Williams. Williams emerged with a high-paying job as a special advisor to Phil Bentley, CEO of BTC’s parent company, Cable & Wireless (C&W). In the face of a much bragged about existing local management team, it was not clear what role Williams would play. We now know that the consultancy was only an interim part of the SWEET DEAL.

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Caribbean Consultation on Justice for All and Human Rights Agenda to take place in Jamaica
Submitted by BIS   
Friday, 04 April 2014 08:46

CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana -- The Caribbean Consultation on Justice for All and Human Rights Agenda takes place on 9-11 April 2014, at The Jamaica Pegasus, Kingston, Jamaica.  

The three-day dialogue advances the Caribbean human rights agenda and is the culmination of a series of national consultations held over the past six months in several Caribbean countries. These consultations provided “the fora for community consultations and conversations around establishing and sustaining equal opportunities regardless of race, religion, class, gender, among others and are expected to take forward the process to eliminate stigma and discrimination in the Caribbean’s HIV response by 2015 - the deadline for the achievement of the millennium development goals,” said PANCAP Coordinating Unit Director, Dereck Springer.  

The Caribbean Consultation is organised around sessions/ panels and group discussions and will, among other things, consider updates and outcomes of the key Caribbean milestones on HIV-related human rights and the setting up of a policy and advocacy monitoring group for the Justice for All Programme. The expected outcome is a PANCAP Justice for All Roadmap which identifies concrete programmes and policies to dismantle structural barriers that deny human rights and impact vulnerability.  

According to Prof. Edward Greene, the United Nations Secretary-General Envoy for HIV and AIDS in the Caribbean, “this consultation affords an opportunity to encourage leaders to ensure that human rights are respected for all persons including sexual minorities."

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Fred Mitchell's statement on Local Government including response to Duane Sands
Submitted by Elcott Coleby   
Friday, 04 April 2014 08:15

Remarks by Fred Mitchell MP
Fox Hill
Local Government Debate
2 April 2014
House of Assembly

I rise to support these amendments to the local government act

It is an honour to do so after having voted way back in 1996 to support the original local government act.

It is interesting what you sometimes discover when you are researching for your statements in the House.

As I was looking over this bill I saw where the Minister has the power by virtue of Section 4 (2) (b) of the principal act to create new districts in any part of The Bahamas including the island of New Providence.

I found that interesting because as an activist I supported local government for New Providence but more particularly as the MP for Fox Hill; I would like Fox Hill to be declared a district one day with its own governance structure. I had been searching for a formula to petition the government on this because of the unique cultural identity of Fox Hill to pass a special act to create a Fox Hill Corporation but it seems to me that this present act may in fact provide the formula to allow what I want done to be done.

That of course is for the future, for now we are dealing with the provisions of these proposed amendments.

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FNM press release: With Bank of The Bahamas the PM is too lackadaisical
Submitted by the FNM   
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 08:25

FROM THE OFFICE OF THE CHAIRMAN, DARRON B. CASH

As financial losses increase at Bank of The Bahamas, the Prime Minister’s “hear-no-evil see-no-evil” posture with respect to this financial institution is deeply troubling.  

The BIG QUESTION is whether the contemplated changes to the Board of Directors will result in the termination of outspoken directors who have been pushing for greater Executive Management accountability. The FNM will be watching closely.  

_____________________________________

Almost a year after its fiscal year ended on June 30, 2013 the Bank of The Bahamas has finally released financial results for that year. Those results were not good. The fact that release of last fiscal year’s financial information was delayed does not inspire confidence, coming as it does at a time when the Bank has been the subject of numerous whistleblower reports of questionable financial practices and when each charge has been answered by the Managing Director with words to the effect that ‘there is nothing out of the ordinary going on here.’ The year-end report of additional significant losses clearly suggests otherwise.

The FNM’s Shadow Minister of Finance, Peter Turnquest, has expressed his concerns, even going to the extent of suggesting that a Parliamentary Select Committee might be called for.  So far, the responses from the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance have been non-committal and obligatory commitments of government’s support for BOB, without giving the Bank’s leadership team any form of ringing endorsement. As quarterly losses were reported and questions asked about accounting practices, depositors started fleeing the Bank. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister has appeared indifferent.   

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DNA press release: Shanty Towns - Broken Promises
Submitted by the DNA Party   
Tuesday, 01 April 2014 06:53

bNearly one year ago, the PLP government set out on a mission to rid the island of New Providence and eventually the country of the scores of shanty town communities inhabited by illegal migrants. The Minister responsible for Immigration, even made an impassioned contribution from the floor of Parliament detailing government’s plans and further, orchestrated very public media displays in which a handful of buildings in a few of these communities were actually demolished. Now, months later however, it would appear that the government has lost its zeal for this effort, again proving that its promises of sustained action in addressing this long standing problem, were simply that, promises; and a promise is a comfort to a fool.

As this year has progressed, the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) has received reports that those “cleared” communities are not only being repopulated, but that new shanty towns continue to pop up all across New Providence and throughout the country. During my time as State Minister of Immigration, the Department of Immigration recorded up to 37 of these illegal communities in New Providence which housed hundreds of families (and in particular young children) living in what can only be described as deplorable conditions…conditions not fit for human habitation.

The existence of these illegal shanty towns continue to pose a threat to the development of a healthy and law abiding society. Data compiled by this and previous administrations have detailed the dangers which exist as a result of illegally run electrical wiring that have already resulted in countless fires. The environmental concerns arising out of such communities are equally alarming; however the government continues to lack the political will to sustain the push to rid the country of this element.

How many more times will the PLP government promise to do its job and fail? How many more chances will the PLP administration be given to get it right? And what about the government’s commitment to spreading these efforts to the family islands?

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