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THIS WEEK IN THE BAHAMAS (11 – 15 APRIL)

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cialis canada times;”>colebyBY ELCOTT COLEBY

Prime Minister Christie delivers State of the Nation address

Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie said that, in its scope and detail, the State of The Nation Report gives much food for thought and presents a unique opportunity to “fundamentally transform” The Bahamas for the better.

Prime Minister Christie was delivering his response to the State of the Nation Report by Felix Stubbs, chair of the National Development Plan Secretariat. The Prime Minister’s presentation entitled “Planning for a New Bahamas” was delivered at the College Of The Bahamas’ Harry C. Moore Library, on April 11, 2016.

The State of the Nation Report is the result of the diagnostic phase of the overall National Development Plan implementation process.

The report outlined a number of challenges facing The Bahamas from its administration of public finance and the lack of economic diversification to performance challenges in our education system, access to affordable health care, the high rates of crime, security, income inequality and the country’s growing poverty rate.

Acknowledging the myriad of national challenges, Prime Minister Christie issued a series of challenges to stakeholders present on how best to address these deficiencies as the country secures its future “among the leading countries of the world.”

“What is the biggest, boldest, most ambitious Vision we can set for ourselves, so that we are not just surviving, not just doing better, but marching towards that common, loftier Goal that will secure our future among the leading countries in the world, for the rest of time?”

He added: “In respect of education: what can we do to ensure that we are the best-educated, most highly-skilled population on earth? What can we do to become the healthiest, ‘most well’ people on the planet? How soon can we free everyone from poverty? How can we build secure, crime-free communities, where our relationships with our families, friends and neighbours can thrive in an atmosphere of mutual respect, civility and social tranquility?

He further asked the following questions: “How do we ensure that our country is one of the best in the world in which to live, work and play, able to withstand and mitigate the effects of climate change? How do we build an Infrastructure that will serve us well into the 22nd Century? How can we maximize economic opportunities for everyone, to build long-term wealth and prosperity for us all? How best to govern ourselves so that the contract between the People and the Government is one based on mutual trust and respect?”

Prime Minister Christie said that, in answering those questions — in seizing this moment to establish a bold vision for The Bahamas — all Bahamians can work towards an almost unimaginably bright future.

Escaped Cuban nationals recaptured

Five Cuban nationals escaped lawful custody at the Carmichael Road Detention Center on the evening of Saturday, 9th April. Within forty-eight hours, all five of the escapees were in lawful custody at the Carmichael Road Detention Center. It was reported that one turned himself in and that one was captured near the detention center and led officials to the others. The Department of Immigration released the following statement Monday afternoon:

“The Department wishes to announce that a force under the command of Chief Immigration Officer Kirk Neely with the support of the Royal Bahamas Police and Defense Forces, this morning (11th April), recaptured the five Cuban nationals who escaped from the Detention Centre on the evening of Saturday 9 April.

“The Minister for Immigration, the Hon. Fred Mitchell congratulated the team for their joint work in that effort; praising the corporation between the uniform branches.
The captured detainees will be brought before the courts as quickly as possible.”

Gender Equality Referendum date set: 7th June 2016

“On Tuesday, June 7, Bahamians will be asked to vote yes on four common sense changes to our constitution, so that Bahamian men and women are able to pass citizenship to their families in the same way, and so that it will be impossible for any future parliament to pass laws discriminating against either men or women.” With this pronouncement by Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie, the countdown to the referendum on gender equality via the ‘Yes Bahamas’ campaign began.

The ‘Yes Bahamas’ campaign was launched at the Harry C. Moore Library on the campus of the College of The Bahamas on Sunday, the 10th April 2016. 

The Prime Minister said that the proposed constitutional changes are not radical, but are to make sure that “the Supreme Law of the land reflects our values and our commitment to fairness.”

Co-chairs of the ‘Yes Bahamas campaign’ Senate President Sharon Wilson and former Senate President Lynn Holowesko urged Bahamians against politicizing this issue of gender equality.

Bill one deals with passing citizenship to a child born to a married Bahamian woman outside The Bahamas to a foreign husband. The second bill allows a Bahamian woman to pass her citizenship on to her foreign spouse, subject to certain conditions including national security issues. Bill three allows a an unmarried Bahamian male to pass his citizenship onto his child with a foreign woman subject to verification such as a DNA test and bill 4 makes it impossible to discriminate against a person on the basis of their sex or because they are male or female.

The four bills were passed in the House last month with near unanimous support. READ MORE…