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RBC wins prestigious Retail Banker International Award
Submitted by Barefoot Marketing   
Monday, 14 July 2014 11:49
Photo: The employees of RBC were honoured today with the most prestigious international prize that Retail Banker International (RBI) can bestow in its yearly global awards competition - Global Retail Bank of the Year.  The annual RBI Awards are a well-established global competition and highly regarded within the industry as a mark of exceptional performance. In addition to being named Global Retail Bank of the Year, RBC was shortlisted in five other categories including North American Retail Bank of the Year; Retail Banker of the Year; Best Branch Strategy; Best Use of Digital Marketing; and Best Digital Channels Strategy, which received an honourable mention. (Photo courtesy of RBC for Barefoot Marketing)TORONTO, Ontario – The employees of RBC were honoured today with the most prestigious international prize that Retail Banker International (RBI) can bestow in its yearly global awards competition - Global Retail Bank of the Year.

The annual RBI Awards are a well-established global competition and highly regarded within the industry as a mark of exceptional performance. In addition to being named Global Retail Bank of the Year, RBC was shortlisted in five other categories including North American Retail Bank of the Year; Retail Banker of the Year; Best Branch Strategy; Best Use of Digital Marketing; and Best Digital Channels Strategy, which received an honourable mention.

“By every measure – record financial performance, sustainable profitable growth and outperforming its peer group in a wide variety of metrics - RBC led the way in North America and internationally,” said Douglas Blakey, Editor, Retail Banker International. “RBC is also being recognized for continuing to dominate the Canadian landscape in terms of good governance, integrity, diversity and corporate social responsibility, which all contributed to an exceptional year for RBC.”

RBC was the only Canadian bank to win an award, a notable achievement in a wide field with just under 300 banks nominated for RBI Awards globally.

“It’s a great honour to see RBC recognized globally,” said Gord Nixon, RBC’s Chief Executive Officer. “These awards are a testament to the outstanding leadership of our President Dave McKay, formerly the Group Head of Personal & Commercial Banking, and our employees’ incredible dedication and commitment to serving our clients and supporting the communities in which we operate.”

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Statement from Fred Mitchell Foreign Minister
Submitted by Elcott Coleby   
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 14:08
RESPONDING TO BRENT SYMONETTE (Former Foreign Affairs Minister)
8th July 2014
Nassau, The Bahamas  

I once told Brent Symonette the former Deputy Prime Minister to climb back under the rock from which he came.  I renew that call today.  He has accused me in this morning's Tribune of "grandstanding" because I am standing up for The Bahamas.  Here we go again with this nastiness.  

There is a difference between the policy of the FNM and the PLP when it comes to the defence of The Bahamas and our foreign policy.  The FNM and its spokesmen only see the case of the other country, not the case for The Bahamas.  The FNM 's foreign policy supports silence, stupidity, and obsequiousness and apologetic behavior.  The PLP stands up for The Bahamas.  One day the FNM will grow a spine and stand up for Bahamians.  

Substantively on the matter of the NSA spying allegations, The Bahamas is doing its own work and what we do about it will have nothing to do with whether or not the Americans answer our reasonable request.  The fact is a spokesman for an honourable country the United States Of America, made a promise to provide an explanation.  Honourable countries are expected to do honourable things.  Since the United States is an honourable country, I  and Bahamians have every right to expect that the United States will in these circumstances do the honourable thing.    

 
41st Independence Anniversary message by Dr. Hubert A. Minnis, Opposition Leader
Submitted by Katherine Stewart-Gibson   
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 09:46
Message to the Bahamian People

BY THE HON. DR. HUBERT A. MINNIS, MP

Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition

on the 41st Anniversary of Independence

Forty One years ago, at the hour of midnight, the Union Jack, the symbol of British Colonialism, was lowered for the final time in our country. In its place, was raised, the gold, aquamarine and black flag of a free and independent Bahamas.

The dream of equality, freedom and fair play for every citizen of this country, of whatever sexual gender, race, creed or colour, began in my father’s generation, in the hearts of men like R.M Bailey, S.C. McPherson, L. Walton Young, A. Leon McKinney, Charles Rodriquez, Dr. Claudius Roland Walker, Bert Cambridge; and women like Mabel Walker, Georgiana Symonette and Mary Ingraham.

This dream was fulfilled on July 10th 1973, through the determined, selfless and untiring efforts of men like Sir Lynden Oscar Pindling, Sir Randolph Fawkes, Sir Arthur Dion Hanna, Sir Cecil Wallace-Whitfield, Sir Clement T. Maynard, Sir Arthur Alexander Foulkes, Curtis McMillan, James Shepherd, Garnett Levarity, Paul Lawrence Adderley and Geoffrey Thompson and so many others. These men, and women like Dame Doris Johnson, are all true heroes of Bahamian Independence.

President John F. Kennedy said it well over fifty years ago at his Inauguration, when he observed that “the torch has now passed to a new generation…”. It is now the time for the new generation of Bahamian leaders to take up the torch, and to advance the dream. Such an undertaking is not easy, for while we enjoy greater political, social and economic opportunities than the previous generation could only imagine, there is still much work to be done to ensure that more and more Bahamians come to enjoy the full fruits of Nationhood, civic participation and greater ownership in the Bahamian economy.

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DNA commentary: Is this where we should be after 41 years of independence?
Submitted by Branville McCartney   
Tuesday, 08 July 2014 10:52
Are you satisfied with our country after forty one (41) years of Independence and 47 years of PLP and FNM Governance?  

As we look at our Bahama land forty one (41) years after independence I would ask our Bahamian citizens to really take a look at where we are as a country and ask yourself if you are satisfied with the status quo.  

Consider this: Crime in this country is at an all time high. Successive governments have failed to fulfill their fundamental duty and that is the protection of its citizens. We are daily under attack by the criminal element. Illegal immigration continues to flourish in our country with the continued growth of shantytowns. Unemployment is perhaps the highest it has ever been with no light at the end of the tunnel; the promised 10,000 jobs being just a political promise. Bahamians continue to lose their homes on a large scale as the highly promoted mortgage relief plan never materialized. The cost of living and doing business in this country is one of the highest in this region. Food prices and the cost of gas are just too high and the cost of electricity is astronomical. Summertime, in particular, has become known for blackouts. There has been little to no movement for the introduction of alternative energy.

Our environment and personal health are constantly under attack because of the city dump that successive governments have turned a blind eye to. Our country is dirty. Our educational system has not enhanced and best practices in education in the Bahamas seem to be taboo! Our students remain at a D average. The public health system can only be described as a mess. Public transportation has not improved in forty one (41) years. We have lost our standing as the number one tourist destination in this region. Our financial sector has gone south. Our national debt is almost 6 billion dollars. Successive governments have failed to diversify our economy. Food security is something that we do not have. The despair index is the highest it has ever been.

Our Second city, Grand Bahama, is depressed. Our Bahamian people are not empowered. There is lack of opportunity for Bahamians. We have a brain drain! As opposed to “a bridge to the future” we have a bridge from the Bahamas! We are quickly becoming a Welfare State. Gender Equality has not become a reality. We have no Freedom of Information Act. The Public Disclosure Act for public officials has been ignored. There has been no campaign finance reform. We fail to explore our other natural resources for the good of the Bahamian people. Our governments have not been accountable and transparent.  

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It’s what they have in common – nation’s top performing bank sponsors top performing Junior Achievers
Submitted by Alex Dorsett   
Tuesday, 08 July 2014 10:47
Photo 1: Commonwealth Bank Junior Achievers – The nation’s top performing bank celebrates its top performing Junior Achievement club, the SPARKS. Pictured receiving a special thank you prize from Mavis Burrows, Vice President, Operations, 3rd from left, is Michael Johnson, Jr., centre, who won three awards, including first place as the most distinguished achiever among hundreds of JA members in groups throughout high schools in New Providence.      More than 25,000 young people have passed through the training grounds of Junior Achievement since the late 1970s, learning how to run a business by operating one in a club while still in school, but for this year’s crop of teen entrepreneurs there was something extraordinary about the exercise. SPARKS, sponsored and mentored by Commonwealth Bank, set a record by taking one of the top three places in every single one of the eight categories on which students are judged. And one young man, Michael Johnson, Jr., a senior at CR Walker, won top prize as the Most Distinguished Achiever, beating out more than 3,500 students in schools throughout the country.

“We are so proud of our SPARKS Achievers,” said Ian Jennings, President. “They demonstrated the qualities that will take them far in business and in life – teamwork, dedication, leadership, staying true to their values. They not only developed their business plan, sold their products earning nearly $7,000, but they contributed to beach clean-ups, to the Children’s Emergency Hostel, organized a church service and more, and they did so while balancing school work, keeping up their grades and honouring other commitments.”

SPARKS lit up the stage at the end of year Junior Achievement awards ceremony with the 16–year-old Johnson winning Most Distinguished Achiever, Most Distinguished Marketing Officer, placing third place among all salespeople and placing second in the speech competition. Commonwealth Bank’s Advisory Team also came in second, just behind KPMG, and SPARKS club members Clarence Sherman, Clyshaun King, Donica Thurston and Nikita Coakley were all in the winners’ or honourees’ circle for various activities.

But it was President Johnson’s winning speech that touched so many, detailing how he came so close to going wrong until he realized he didn’t need anyone else to believe in him, he had to find the strength within.

“If I had waited for someone to believe in me, I would not have been a prefect today,” Johnson said. “If I had waited on someone to believe in me I would not have achieved anything in life, because as a young man that grew up in Kemp Road, the only thing most people believed that I would achieve was accommodations at Her Majesty’s Prison but here I am today, an Achiever. So like the young boy in the story, like Sir Milo lets believe in ourselves because belief will empower us to succeed.”

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