In this world, attention span is short, people forget quickly, media is often on to the next in no time and politics and the gods in them that we worship quickly return to their thrones of attention. The Government needs to give a new official update on the status of the living conditions on all islands affected by Hurricane Joaquin. We need to know the state of home and business repair. How many homes have been repaired and replaced thus far? How many homeless storm victims have been given the temporary trailer-housing facilities the government claimed it paid for? How much money has been donated to NEMA to-date and what is the specific breakdown of how the money has been spent thus far? How have agencies like Social Services specifically assisted storm victims, including those who re-located to other islands immediately after the storm? We need to know the state of repairs to public infrastructure and facilities and the restoration of essential utilities to all areas. We need to know the state of physical and mental health post-storm. We need to know how the economies of those islands are faring now. We need to know the level of joblessness created by the storm. We need to know the condition of the children and their schooling/education on these islands. We need to know the environmental impacts of the storm. We need to know the impact and performance thus far of Exigency Orders. Weeks ago, State Minister Halkitis said not too many victims had taken advantage of the Exigency Orders up to that point. Of course not – if you have no money and no job, what items are you going to bring in from foreign within 90 days for duty and VAT exemption? We need to know what is going on to-date. Just because new stories have captured our attention does not mean the realities of the devastation caused by Joaquin have disappeared.
Our politicians must think they are converted architects of the world-renowned Shock Doctrine. Politicians on both the Government and Opposition side – since they either do not know or do not want to discuss what is really needed to combat serious crime and criminality in this country – are now saying it may have to take the Constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens such as freedom of movement and assembly, etc to be violated in order to fight serious crime.
NOW HOLD UP: Continue reading
God has allowed me to amass a stellar resume for my young age. He’s made it possible for me to nation-build with leaders, help shape political history, gain wisdom, knowledge & understanding, travel the world, shake hands with Presidents, and sit with kings; but He has always enabled me to know and honor who the true King is, and for that I am thankful. Now I stand in God’s grace and in my own office to continue to give to my people and the universe despite the obstacles of life and the many people in years past who thought they could hold back what God raised up. Youth is strength. Use it, use it rightly & you will be amazed at what you can achieve for your society & the world. #YoungGiftedAndStrong #LadyBoss #LifeTestedGodApproved
A few weeks ago, Prime Minister Christie told the nation from Parliament that 836 homes were “completely destroyed” on all the affected islands. Yesterday, he turned around and said the same assessment groups that gave him the 836 figure, now say 600 homes need replacement OR repair.
#1 – Where did the other at-least 236 homes disappear to?
#2 – If 836 were completely destroyed as of several weeks ago, certainly far more than that number would still be standing, but be in need of repairs. There were almost no homes untouched or undamaged in some way by Hurricane Joaquin; they all would need some sort of repairs and that “replacement or repair” number would be far larger than being only part of this new total count of 600 homes impacted. If the claim now is that 600 homes are in need of replacement or repair, then that would mean that instead of 836 destroyed homes, even less than that 600 number would have been destroyed. So the officials counted at-least over 236 destroyed homes that never actually existed to begin with?
What is going on here? And what is the situation with all persons made homeless on the affected islands, and persons living in damaged structures not suitable for occupancy?
WE SAY we want people to take a stand – but when they do, we are not prepared or willing to get up, get out and stand with them.
WE SAY we want Bahamians to strive for excellence – but when they do, we turn around and hate them for it and try to block them at every turn.
WE SAY we want good leaders – but we spend our energies propping up useless, unethical personalities while tearing down those who can truly make a lasting, positive difference.
WE SAY we want a better tomorrow – but we are destroying the souls and minds of our young people and hence destroying our tomorrow.
WE SAY we want change – but we are not prepared to work for it or personally sacrifice anything to get it, hence we want change that costs us nothing. Continue reading
Going on a month after Hurricane Joaquin’s devastation, at least 16 Bahamians are still living in the small clinic on Crooked Island because they are homeless with nowhere else to go. The Prime Minister, in his last address to Parliament, did not give a timeline for when the restoration of electricity there would begin, all he said was work should begin “soon”. As for all residents there who are now homeless, all he said was accommodations need to be found for them – but said nothing of what the government was doing about that obvious need. Almost 70% of the homes there are said to have been destroyed. A private citizen – and not the government – is repairing the government schools on the island, according to the Prime Minister’s Communication to Parliament. Continue reading
1 – The now unemployed workers of Baha Mar are eligible for temporary unemployment benefits through NIB. Has the government of The Bahamas made all NIB payments for staff during the period it disbursed salaries with the millions it already previously owed to Baha Mar but had refused to pay to Baha Mar?
2 – When Baha Mar filed for Chapter 11 Debtor in Possession Bankruptcy Protection, part of that filing involved the payment of monies to Baha Mar’s creditors. The government blocked that plan. So what is the way forward now for all those creditors?
3 – Bahamian taxpayers, including the affected workers, are paying for the government’s provisional liquidators in the Baha Mar matter – and as it turned out, Bahamians who are now out of job have been made to pay these persons to ultimately put them out of a job. How much of our tax dollars has the government spent so far on damaging our lives and our economy through their court actions? Continue reading
It is with a very heavy heart that I write this article. Let me begin by expressing my deep sadness for all of the workers of Baha Mar, many of whom I have developed camaraderie with in the midst of this project’s upheaval.
Today, The Bahamas government’s provisional liquidators asked the Supreme Court to make Baha Mar’s 2,000 workers redundant and the Court approved the provisional liquidators’ request. Baha Mar did not terminate any workers. Baha Mar’s developers lost say in such a decision the day the Court gave the government what it sought from the Court – provisional liquidators over this private development. The provisional liquidators belong to the government’s court action, not Baha Mar. They only got into this because of the government’s court action against Baha Mar. The government asked for the provisional liquidators – the court gave it to them – and now the provisional liquidators have gotten the court’s permission to have all workers terminated as of Friday. Continue reading
This is what the Prime Minister said in Parliament today. Eight hundred thirty-six homes is the figure the Prime Minister says has been given to him by the Department of Social Services. Bahamas – do you realize how many Bahamians in total, including children, each one of those homes potentially represent? That figure has yet to be given. And that figure can grow because assessments are still being done on Long Island.
The count given of number of homes destroyed (given in this exact order by the Prime Minister):
Acklins – 123
Crooked Island – 50
Rum Cay – 23
San Salvador – 227
Long Island – 413
Everyone who is sitting reading this with a roof over your head, stop and think about how many people no longer have what you currently have. At-least 836 homes gone.
So today the Government, through the Speaker of the House, denied the Member of Parliament for Long Island the opportunity to make a Statement to Parliament on the status of the island post Hurricane Joaquin. All government MPs who wished to, have had their chance to speak in Parliament on this storm (though they have had yet to say anything of substance therein). WHEN AN MP IS DENIED THE OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK ON SUCH MATTERS, IT IS NOT SIMPLY THE MP WHO IS BEING SILENCED, IT IS EVERY SINGLE BAHAMIAN THAT MP REPRESENTS, whether you voted for that MP or not. An MP only has a voice because of the Bahamian people of their constituency. No MP can become an MP without you and me. AND THE PARLIAMENT BELONGS TO YOU AND ME. So, what happened today was that BAHAMIANS WERE TOLD NO IN THEIR OWN PARLIAMENT. Their condition was told no. Their plight was told no. Their needs were told no. Their voice was told no. Continue reading