CARTWRIGHT ACCUSES GOVERNMENT OF NOT PRIORITIZING RELIEF FOR THE POOR AND MOST VULNERABLE BAHAMIANS

CARTWRIGHT ACCUSES GOVERNMENT OF NOT PRIORITIZING RELIEF FOR THE POOR AND MOST VULNERABLE BAHAMIANS

As many poor, low income and working class Bahamian families continue to struggle and drown under the weight of sustained inflation and a high cost of living, the government continues to ignore the cries of those desperately in need of social assistance.

A recent United Nations Food Survey indicates that many Bahamians are “forced to eat less” or” skip meals”. Sadly it has been months since the government slashed social service benefits and placed a burdensome food tax on breadbasket items and still remains defiant by not removing vat.

An even greater injustice has added insult to injury. The government’s long awaited promise to structure more programming and more assistance to the poor and most vulnerable in our society is nowhere to be found.

This empty promise has made daily living for thousands of struggling Bahamian families even harder and more painful. In this inflationary environment the government should be doing all it can as quickly as it can to help the most vulnerable among us not create additional burden and hurt for them.

We call upon the government to bring the much needed relief to the poor, low income and working class Bahamian families desperate for help. It’s the right thing to do. END

Shanendon E. Cartwright

Deputy Leader Free National Movement

Member of Parliament for St. Barnabas

FNM LEADER EXTEND CONDOLENCES TO THE FAMILY OF FORMER DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF SPORTS KEVIN COLEBROOKE

FNM LEADER EXTEND CONDOLENCES TO THE FAMILY OF FORMER DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF SPORTS KEVIN COLEBROOKE

I was both surprised and saddened to learn of the passing of Kevin Colebrooke, former Deputy Director of Sports at the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture. For many years Kevin built a reputation as an integral part of the Sporting community in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

Some Bahamians came to know him as an outstanding track and field athlete in the 1980s whose gift took him to St Augustine’s College in Raleigh North Carolina. While serving as Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Kevin played an important role in guiding and implementing our various sporting initiatives.

He was self-assured and very confident. He was his own man and shared his views candidly. He developed an intimate relationship with the Aquatic community. He became somewhat of a fixture at the Betty-Kenning Aquatic Center. He took pride in ensuring things were managed properly in the period leading up to the establishment of the National Sports Authority. He was a true friend and helpmate to a number of our national swim teams and international teams that trained in the Bahamas during the spring.

Kevin will be missed tremendously by various sporting and other communities including those of us who had the pleasure of working with him. On behalf of my wife Berlice and my colleagues who benefitted from his expertise while serving at the Ministry, I extend condolences to Kevin’s wife Permanent Secretary Cora Bain-Colebrooke, his daughter Kristin Colebrooke and his extended family. May God bring you comfort in this difficult

time.

Michael C. Pintard

Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition Leader of the Free National Movement

FNM CALLS ON DPM CHESTER COOPER TO DELIVER ON PROMISED GRAND LUCAYAN HOTEL AND GRAND BAHAMA AIRPORT DEALS

FNM CALLS ON DPM CHESTER COOPER TO DELIVER ON PROMISED GRAND LUCAYAN HOTEL AND GRAND BAHAMA AIRPORT DEALS

The decision to extend the closing of the Grand Lucayan is both troubling and disheartening to the residents of Grand Bahama. Back in May 2022, and with much fanfare, pomp and pageantry, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation, Chester Cooper, proudly announced the sale of the Grand Lucayan for $100 million with a 60 day closing. We are now on the third extension of that closing and the entire nation is worried that DPM Cooper will not deliver as promised.

This is, no doubt, a complex transaction that needs the personal and focused attention of DPM Cooper to conclude. For the sake of all of the residents of Grand Bahama, and the rebound of tourism on that island, we implore DPM Cooper to stay the course and deliver what he promised.

The Free National Movement, that purchased the hotel to halt its potential closure and abandonment by the previous owner, want this hotel to be reopened and the promised jobs and positive economic impact to be delivered. COVID is now behind us and the catastrophic effect of that once in a century event should no longer be preventing the redevelopment of that hotel. It just needs focus and attention!

The FNM, the residents of Freeport and Grand Bahama, and indeed the nation are all watching to ensure DPM Cooper delivers what he promised as quickly as possible

without any further delays.

DPM Cooper also promised the residents of Grand Bahama a new airport. All they have heard to date is that a Public Private Partnership (PPP), as it relates to the redevelopment of that airport, is happening. We have no idea who are the potential partners, no idea of their experience in airport redevelopment and management, no idea of the level of investment required, no idea of the extent of the redevelopment and no idea of the structure of the transaction.

In short, the Bahamian people know nothing about the redevelopment of the Grand Bahama International Airport and are beginning to wonder if any transaction is close to conclusion or just, once again, more promises from a PLP Government that is long on

talk but short on results.

Finally, the FNM is concerned that the failure to conclude a plan on the redevelopment of the airport is, in some way, hampering the closure of the sale of the Grand Lucayan. After all, until the airport is fixed and airlift into Grand Bahama is resumed, it will be difficult for any future operator of the hotel to deliver on the occupancy levels that it has projected.

In short, DPM Cooper needs to deliver, urgently, on his long overdue dual promises of selling the Grand Lucayan and redeveloping the Grand Bahama International Airport.

END

FNM CALLS ON DPM CHESTER COOPER TO DELIVER ON PROMISED GRAND LUCAYAN HOTEL AND GRAND BAHAMA AIRPORT DEALS

FNM EXPRESSES CONCERN AND ENCOURAGES PREPARATION AS HURRICANE FIONA EYES SOUTHERN ISLANDS

Leader of the Official Opposition and the Free National Movement, the Hon. Michael Pintard is expressing concern on behalf of the party for the residents of Acklins, Crooked Island, Inagua, Mayaguana, Long Island, Samana Cay and Ragged Island as Hurricane Fiona eyes the Southern Islands. Mr. Pintard is also encouraging residents in the path of the category one Hurricane to pay close attention to all updates from Bahamian meteorological officials and for residents to continue to make last minute preparations in anticipation of the passage of the storm.

“We have been advised that a Tropical Storm Warning has now been issued for Acklins, Crooked Island, Inagua, Mayaguana, Long Island, Samana Cay and Ragged Island, which means Tropical Storm conditions could be experienced in the above mentioned Islands within 36 hours”.

“We are encouraging residents on each of these Islands that are within the path of the storm to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves, their families and their property says Mr Pintard”.

The Leader of the Free National Movement has also convened and completed a meeting via zoom with party officials as well as contacts on various Islands to activate a response in the immediate aftermath of the passage of the storm. “We are deeply concerned for the safety of each and every one of our brothers and sisters in the Southern Bahamas

and stand ready to be of assistance in any way we can”.

Mr Pintard is also asking for all Bahamians to cover the residents of each of the Islands in the path of the storm in prayer. END

OPPOSITION LEADER PAYS TRIBUTE TO HM QUEEN ELIZABETH II IN PARLIAMENT

OPPOSITION LEADER PAYS TRIBUTE TO HM QUEEN ELIZABETH II IN PARLIAMENT

Leader of the Official Opposition and the Free National Movement, the Hon

Michael Pintard paid tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in the House

of Assembly, Wednesday September 14th 2022.

In his tribute, Mr Pintard shared that “Her Majesty the Queen was a

consummate leader who served humanity with dignity, decency and

unchanging loyalty during her 70 year reign of the Commonwealth of

Nations. Her Majesty the Queen was committed to empowering young

people, protecting our Environment and our Democracy while promoting

our shared values and technological advances. We will miss her greatly and

thank God for her service.

The Leader of the Opposition also expressed that “I wish on behalf of His

Majesty’s Loyal Opposition to reiterate our condolences to King Charles III

and other members of the Royal Family on this occasion”. END

THOMPSON INSISTS THAT INCREASE IN REVENUE HAS NOT TRANSLATED TO A BETTER LIFE FOR BAHAMIANS

THOMPSON INSISTS THAT INCREASE IN REVENUE HAS NOT TRANSLATED TO A BETTER LIFE FOR BAHAMIANS

It is to be expected and no surprise that the country’s revenue has had a significant increase. The economy was recovering under the last FNM administration and we saw a significant increase in revenues prior to the change in Government. The increase in revenue is to be expected as the year prior we were in the middle of COVID and still recovering from Hurricane Dorian. Our economy is now open, and our Tourism performance has significantly improved.

The Opposition is however extremely concerned that the increase in Revenue has not translated to improved circumstances for Bahamians. Bahamians continue to struggle with high prices, high inflation, high energy costs, high food prices, and a high crime rate. Life is not better for most Bahamians. While we see an increase in taxes collected from Bahamians we do not see a corresponding increase in assistance and relief in particular for islands still recovering like Grand Bahama and Abaco.

We do however see an increase in travel and subsistence which happen to exceed the budgeted amount by 11.1 percent. It was also very concerning that the Government spent 34.8 million less on Small Business assistance. Unfortunately, Small Businesses continue to struggle as they have not received significant help during the inflation crisis, and many continue to struggle to survive. The government should not take a victory lap as most Bahamians are still struggling to survive the inflation crisis.

J. Kwasi Thompson

Member of Parliament East Grand Bahama Shadow Minister for Finance
September 9, 2022

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