THIS WEEK CONTINUED…
cialis usa for sale times;”>
- viagra buy for sale times;”>Result in a long term reduction in electricity rates;
- case times;”>Maintain 100% Bahamian Ownership of BEC;
- Reduce and eliminate the Government’s liability for the debts of BEC;
- Raise hundreds of millions required to upgrade our national electrical infrastructure WITHOUT- increasing the national debt through direct borrowings or guarantees for BEC; and
- Improve the vitality and prospects of the Bahamian Economy by providing cheaper cleaner and more reliable electricity.Attorney General Senator Allyson Maynard-Gibson told colleagues that under the new regime, the government through PowerSecure aims to reduce the cost of electricity by 41% – from the current 44 cents/KwH to 26 cents/KwH. She said that the management fee of $2 million per annum is a small price to pay for such huge cost savings to so many people, but beyond that, additional revenues accrued to PowerSecure will be predicated on their ability to meet agreed targets of profitability and rates reduction by BEC. Prime Minister Christie has advanced the argument from his feet in the House that “probity” was the watch word as the country’s financial system undergoes thorough audits for fitness and transparency. He also argued that the $700 million web shop gaming industry had to be a part of the financial audit and The Bahamas could not pass such an audit with a $700 million unregulated industry. The government, he said, had a responsibility to protect the international reputation and integrity of the country’s second economic pillar, financial services, and legalizing the web shop gaming industry was in the best interest of The Bahamas. “Probity” said Mr. Christie, was the watch word.As the country undergoes its fourth round of evaluations of its financial system by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF), Alicia Gibson of AG Consulting who worked with the Bahamas government to implement the new gaming regulations said that the gaming industry’s regulatory regime is “second to none” and “unrecognizable” one year later.“It’s unrecognizable” today said Ms. Gibson. Just one year ago there were many gaming related premises, “you didn’t know who owned these premises; you weren’t able to track the transactions, no tax was paid. Now in its place you have a completely transparently licensed and regulated industry. You have people that have been brought into the formal business fold in probably what is the most strictly regulated industry in the world.” Speaking of the journey to get to this point, she said that the government and its advisors wanted to create “a cutting edge product – a cutting edge jurisdiction…streamlined (and) effective regulation” to position The Bahamas “as a world leader in regulations.” The team successfully put in place “legislation and ensuring that proper mechanisms were in place for the identification of criminals, suspicious activities, making entirely and completely sure – and we went to extensive lengths to do this – that the legislation would stand up to any kind of muster from that perspective.” Criminal and civil forfeiture provisions in the gaming act are just some of the battery of provisions designed to “buttress and supplement what we have in our financial transaction legislation.” She said great care was taken to ensure that everything done “would be responsive to all these (international) requirements that would position The Bahamas as not only a leading jurisdiction in the region but a global leader in this field.” PM at Hero World Challenge Golf tourney High school student stabbed to death Prime Minister Christie: no rate charges “at this stage” of NHI
- Speaking with reporters after the House adjournment on Wednesday, Prime Minister Christie revealed that PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) was engaged in a special costing exercise and figures on health cost will be available to the government “soon” to share with the public.
- The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and the Member for Fox Hill joined in the grieving for the victim’s family, the Doris Johnson Senior High family and the community of Fox Hill as they extended condolences.
- In the aftermath a 17 year old 12th grade student of Doris Johnson High School died from injuries sustained in the attack allegedly by other students leaving families, friends, a school and a community in shock and in mourning.
- Much of the attack was caught on video and immediately posted on social media. It was horrific. “An unspeakable tragedy” said Fox Hill MP Fred Mitchell.
- Tiger Woods played host to the Hero World Challenge golf tournament this past weekend at Albany in western New Providence. PGA golf sensation Bubba Watson “destroyed” the course said Tiger by shooting twenty-five under par to secure the victory. As he took in the game and presented the winning trophy, Prime Minister Christie reflected on his first term as Prime Minister and his vision to promote sports tourism as a major component of the country’s product offerings. This tournament on the course designed by Tiger Woods was a manifestation of this vision. Mr. Christie was accompanied by Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe.
- Bahamas undergoes 4th round of CFATF audits
“The first thing we are going to roll out is primary health care and whatnot” said the Prime Minister.
“We are projecting what that will cost.
“If you noticed in my budget communication I indicated that I am not going to charge any rates at this stage because I want to ensure that people will be accommodated and know why they are being asked to pay and what they are being asked to pay for. All of that will come next year.”
The Prime Minister insisted that consistent with his position on VAT, he does not want to take on an adversarial role in the negotiations with stakeholders. He said he met with the Medical Association and was “very encouraged” by the meeting because they were all committed to NHI.
In response to calls for a delay, Mr. Christie said “no such thing will happen.”
In response to public relations, Mr. Christie said it has begun with Dr. Delon Braynen, Deputy Chief Medical Officer appearing on Issues of Today talk show where he revealed that the government will spend $100 million on NHI next year.
The Chief Medical Officer Dr. Glen Beneby was interviewed by Wendal Jones for the program Jones and Co. to be aired on Sunday afternoon.
Mr. Christie said he expects the communications and reports to the public to “ramp up” shortly where the government will explain to the people in detail what it is doing. The Prime Minister promised to launch a comprehensive communications campaign.
Attorney General: no “revolving door” on bail issue
Expressing the belief that members of the Royal Bahamas Police Force are doing their best in the fight against crime, Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister the Hon. Allyson Maynard-Gibson stressed the importance of preserving the independence of the judiciary.
Her comments came on the heels of some criticism of the judiciary in its sentencing and interpretation of legislated sentencing guidelines. The Attorney General does not believe the judiciary is the cause of the high levels of crime in the country.
“I think its extremely important to be careful about protecting the independence of the judiciary” she said. “The facts show that there is not a revolving door on bail for persons who have been charged of murder. This year we can show that for those who have been granted bail, the majority of them – I think it’s nine – were granted bail this year. Two were granted and we appealed and those appeals were successful. And the other seven were all in respect to people who have been held beyond three years. In a country like ours, we believe that people should be charged within a reasonable time but we are unable for various reasons, and the commissioner knows many of them, not able to (get them) tried within that period so, of course, our system protects those who are presumed innocent until proven guilty. They have a right to bail.”
Prime Minister Christie: “Significant movement” on Baha Mar
Reporting “significant movement” in the Baha Mar negotiations and his “expectation and fervent hope” of partial or full opening by March 2016, Prime Minister Christie expressed optimism over the future of Baha Mar.
He told reporters at the House of Assembly on Wednesday that a “significant statement” will be made shortly on the resort’s future.
He said he spoke extensively with the president of the China Export Import Bank while in London.
“We discussed the significant number of investors who had come forward from China.
“They include major construction companies, major engineering companies, communications subsidiaries, equity funds, some significant ones who have (visited) The Bahamas to look at the property.”
The Prime Minister said he expects Baha Mar to be partially or fully opened by March 2016 where it can play host to a major international conference scheduled for New Providence.
The project stalled on 29th June 2015 when Baha Mar filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Delaware; the case was later dismissed. Some 2,000 employees were laid off in October.
Bahamas government congratulates Dr. Ralph Gonsalves
The Bahamas government issued a press statement on Thursday congratulating Dr. Gonsalves and his party on their electoral victory. The statement read as follows:
“The government and people of The Bahamas extend congratulations to Dr. Ralph Gonsalves and his Unity Labour Party (ULP) on the occasion of their electoral victory at the polls in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines yesterday (Wednesday, 9th December).
“We wish the new government of Saint Vincent well as Dr. Gonsalves embarks on his fourth consecutive term of governance.”
Royal Seas cruises to market Grand Bahama
Grand Bahama affairs Minister the Hon. Michael Darville announced on Thursday that Royal Seas Cruises, a new travel marketing company, has commenced marketing cruise & stay vacation packages to Grand Bahama and is expected to attract over300,000 annual visitors, 50,000 stopover visitors generating over 100,000 visitor nights with some 80% of guests hosted at their preferred resort partner the Grand Lucayan Resort.
The projected value to the Grand Bahamian economy is estimated to reach some $16,450,000.00 in direct expenditure.
At 180 feet in length and 39 feet in width, the fifth and largest vessel in the new fleet of the Royal Bahamas Defense Force as part of the government’s Sandy Bottom Project, the auxiliary landing craft HMBS Lawrence W. Major, arrived in Nassau on Friday evening, 4th December. The vessel is currently docked at the Prince George Dock undergoing final testing and inspection before the formal handover to the Bahamas government by Damen executives.
In a press release earlier this week, the Bahamas Public Parks and Public Beaches Authority advised the public that it was in the process of regularizing the display of signs on roadsides and verges especially on the island of New Providence. The Authority called for all unauthorized signs and billboards presently erected on roadsides and roundabouts to be removed by their owners on or before December 31st, 2015. The Authority gave notice that it will begin the removal of illegal signs in the New Year.
Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen, that famous American Cajun themed fast food franchise, opened its doors for business in The Bahamas on Tuesday of this week to much fanfare and public interest, but the official opening took place on Thursday morning at its sole Prince Charles Drive $2 million location. Representing the government was Tourism Minister the Hon. Obie Wilchcombe who was instrumental in bringing the Popeye Bowl to Nassau. This NCAA Division One college Championship Bowl Series game was the first of its kind to be played outside of the continental USA since its inception during the 1930’s.
Two prominent Permanent Secretaries were feted with luncheons, gifts and showered with praises as they retired this week after stellar careers in the public service. They were Colin Higgs, PS in the Ministry of Works and Urban Development and Janeen McCartney, PS in the Ministry of Finance. Deputy Prime Minister Philip Davis paid tribute to Mr. Higgs and Prime Minister Christie paid tribute to Mrs. McCartney. In his tribute the PM said he and Mrs. McCartney’s careers in public service are paralleled which afforded him the opportunity to see Jan’s professional growth and development.
Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December. It commemorates the day on which, in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In its message commemorating that day, the Bahamas government said that “as the world is gripped with growing acts of violence, terror and atrocious impingement on the rights of humanity, it is imperative to recall the intent of the Universal Declaration that stands as a common standard to uphold fundamental human rights and universal protection for all.”
Local pastor the Reverend Leonard Johnson was recently re-elected as president of the Atlantic Caribbean Union of the Seventh Day Adventists for a second consecutive five-year term. The service of consecration was held at the Centerville Seventh Day Adventist Church and presided over by Pastor Israel Leito, president of the Inter-American Division of Seventh Day Adventists.
Local Government officials from across The Bahamas gathered in Nassau at the Melia Resort to attend a two-day workshop and symposium to sharpen their skills in the areas of leadership, public policy and public administration. The Prime Minister opened the event and on hand were the Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Philip Brave Davis and Local Government Minister the Hon. Hope Strachan.
The People-to-People long service award ceremony will be held tonight(Friday) at Government House to honour many unsung heroes and frontline ambassadors in the direct marketing campaign of The Bahamas to millions of tourists who grace our shores each year.