39 thoughts on “The 2022-2023 Estimates Debate

  1. Medicinal cannabis licences by June
    BARBADOS’ FIRST TWO medicinal cannabis licences should be issued by June as the fledgling industry enters a new phase that will include more opportunities for Barbadians.
    This was announced yesterday during the Estimates Debate by Minister of Agriculture and Food and Nutritional Security Indar Weir and chairman of the Barbados Medicinal Cannabis Licensing Authority Anthony Bryan.
    With Bryan reporting that there were 11 entities now going through the application process, Weir said: “We are at the point of issuing a cultivation licence. I know that we are very close also to issuing a therapeutic spa licence.”
    The minister told the House of Assembly that “this is all happening now that people are coming out of COVID and feel confident that they can proceed with this large type of investment”.
    “Investment in medicinal cannabis is by no means small, it takes huge investment to get in but the returns are great,” he added.
    Weir said while it appeared the medicinal cannabis industry licensing process had taken long, progress was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and last year.
    He and Bryan also stressed that the due diligence process was a detailed one that could not be rushed.
    Due diligence
    “As it relates now to the issue of licences for people who have applied, first of all there is a protocol under the legislation where you have to do your due diligence and that due diligence takes a period of time,” Weir explained.
    “So it can take as high as six months in some instances before you issue a licence because it comes with very strict restrictions. We have to make sure that we clear all of the protocols that are required.”
    The St Philip West representative also told the House that Government was taking a number of steps to give Barbadians an opportunity to participate in the medicinal cannabis industry.
    This included enabling participants in the Farmers’ Empowerment and Enfranchisement Drive (FEED) programme not only to plant crops or raise livestock but also to be involved in the medicinal cannabis aspect of agriculture.
    Weir said Government was also establishing a new company that would be solely owned by Barbadians.
    “They will be carried just like how we carry the sugar industry for a period of time and then transitioned on to their own,” he noted.
    “This matter is currently being pursued with the ministry. We are at the stage where we have prepared the Cabinet paper and once we get the blessings of Cabinet we will be able to deliver for Barbadians to be actual owners in the medicinal cannabis industry.
    “When we looked at the numbers we recognised that Government can get out of that space between three to five years and therefore it represents an opportunity for Barbadians to own whilst at the same time Government getting a return on its investment,” he said.
    Weir also reminded that “the legislation allows for Barbadians to own 100 per cent of any investment in the medicinal cannabis industry and that is really similar to what we are doing with renewable [energy] industry but equally . . . any foreign direct investment that is coming must allow for 30 per cent ownership between Barbados and CARICOM,” he said.

  2. Symmonds: Natural gas not the future
    BARBADIANS HOPING TO one day have natural gas piped into their homes may ultimately have those hopes dashed.
    Minister of Energy Kerrie Symmonds told the House of Assembly yesterday that given the island’s race towards renewable energy sufficiency, “there is going to be a limited scope or a reducing scope for the use of natural gas” down the road.
    He was responding to a question from Member of Parliament for St Michael West, Christopher Gibbs about the provision of the utility for some of his constituents.
    “While there is an ongoing demand for natural gas in Barbados and while for the next decade or so it is anticipated that there will continue to be a demand which has to be met, natural gas . . . is really only a bridging fuel that takes us into that era between 2030 and maybe the next three or five years after 2030, when the country would ideally be 100 per cent fossil fuel-free,” Symmonds said.
    “We accept that it is going to be a bridging fuel and the question therefore remains how long will it be a bridge for,” the St James Central MP added, but he pointed out that natural gas would only be a bridge to Barbados being 100 per cent fossil fuel-free. While he conceded there would be a continuing demand for natural gas in the medium term that would have to be serviced, Symmonds also pointed to Government’s plans that would eventually see households outfitted with the kind of technology that would enable fuelling by renewable energy.
    “In an effort to find that balance, we want to accelerate the delivery of renewable energy, so that we take as many households and businesses as possible off of the dependence of the bridging fuels,” he said.
    He added there was a desire of all parliamentarians to have natural gas supplied to their constituents, but said Government wanted to ensure “that every household is able to access the cheapest form of technology to fuel the household”.
    “It is by no stretch of the imagination to say, ‘No, there will be no natural gas.’ I am simply saying that while we want it to happen, I could not honestly look honourable Members in the eye . . . and say that I can foresee that we are going to be able to have an expansion programme for natural gas in Barbados that will touch each of the 30 constituencies in this country over the
    course of the next three to five years.” (GC)

    Source: Nation

  3. Debate begins on $1.8bn bill
    THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY yesterday opened debate of the Appropriations Bill 2022 which provides for the grant of $1 871 229 503 from the Consolidated Fund for Government’s service of Barbados for the year ending March 31.
    The opening session at the Worthing Corporate Centre, the temporary location of the House of Assembly, saw Minister of Energy and Business Development Kerrie Symmonds and his team, including Minister of State in that Ministry, Sandra Husbands, as the first taking their places in the well in accordance with the format introduced three years ago, in which senior public officers from the respective ministry and related agencies are present in the House to field questions from parliamentarians.
    The sum of $39 483 647 has been allocated to the Ministry of Energy and Business Development, and there was much focus on the subject of energy and Barbados’ plans to move to renewable energy by 2030.
    Symmonds said Barbados
    was carefully monitoring developments in Europe, with the potential of war looming between Russia and the Ukraine.
    “It creates a certain situation of significance because of Russia’s ability to manipulate not only prices but the economic well-being of countries which are deeply reliant on natural gas in Europe.”
    Debate of the Appropriations Bill 2022 continues throughout today. (GC)

    Source: Nation

  4. Fund a success story, says minister
    THE BARBADOS TRUST FUND LIMITED’S programme has been described as “a success story” by Minister of Industry and Business Development Kerrie Symmonds.
    Symmonds also defended the repayment ethic of borrowers, saying that the Trust Fund history had shown that contrary to claims made otherwise, “people have borrowed, people have been working hard to pay back and have in fact been paying back . . . and come back and borrow again in order to broaden the scope and the nature of their enterprise.”
    Reporting to Members of the House of Assembly on the performance of his ministry during yesterday’s debate of the Appropriation Bill 2022, Symmonds lauded the performance of the scheme, launched just over three years ago to provide low-cost loans to entrepreneurs and which has to date seen just over 4 067 disbursed to the tune of $18.5 million.
    In his comprehensive presentation, the fund’s general manager Jerry Amos said only 730 loans were disbursed last year at a cost of $3.5 million as a “direct result of the COVID environment.”
    He added that planned disbursement of 1 200 loans for 2022-23 had since been revised “due to budget constraints” and informed the House that the fund was now looking to spend “just over $4 million on the financing of loans this year.”
    With regard to repayments, Amos said there was some downturn in payment after February of 2020, a factor he attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, he
    added that as businesses had been gradually reopening over the last few months, payments had “steadily improved.”
    In the interim, he said, realising that “businesses were really struggling”, the fund had instituted a programme to reschedule loans and have “some debt-forgive in order to enable defaulters to get back on track.”
    The update on the Trust Fund Limited’s performance was given in response to questions from Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of Government Business in the House, Santia Bradshaw, who suggested there were still lots of young people interested in participating. She enquired how the ministry would be supporting some of the businesses involved through the Estimates before the House, to ensure that Barbados could come out of the pandemic “with a different energy being brought to small business”. (GC)

    Source: Nation

  5. More businesses ‘struggling’
    THE OFFICE OF THE SUPERVISOR of Insolvency is seeing “an exponential increase” in blackowned businesses.
    Not only that, said Supervisor of Insolvency Esther Springer yesterday during discussion on the Appropriation Bill, 2022, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that “a lot” of Barbadian businesses were on the edge of insolvency.
    “As part of our mandate, we are required to document the causes of bankruptcy and insolvency and what we’re seeing in our businesses, we recognise especially and I didn’t want to refer to race, but we see an exponential increase in our black businesses coming before us. “They are unaware of the ability to costs their products, their statutory obligations in relation to tax, to national insurance, the obligation to, if they are employers, in terms of calculating vacation pay, and these are things that have strangled the businesses from the outset.
    “The COVID-19 pandemic, what it did is to further reveal a lot of our businesses were already skating on the edge. What we’re seeing now is a situation where we recognise that … we need to change a culture. We are not treating the area as important as it should. We have situations where when clients come to us under the Dealing with Debt programme, and we as we go through their financial affairs and we look at cost savings, we realise that they are unaware of the charges in terms of the banks.
    “When they look at their savings, they’re seeing deductions of $4.50 for point of sale, or $3 at the ATM, and they were unaware that these charges existed. We need to educate our people,” said Springer during discussions related to Ministry of Energy and Business Development.
    The Supervisor told the House of Assembly that “a whole government approach” was needed to bridge the existing fractures and Barbados’ taxation and enforcement policies in relation to “both NIS and taxation need to be adjusted to facilitate”.
    She stated that during the recent exercise to collect taxes from businesses which were “assessed for periods if they had not been registered”, “a flood of persons” went to their offices “trying to determine how they were going to deal with the debt that they had to deal with”.
    Springer said people had to be educated about. among other things, needing “a clearance” to obtain certain concessions, and how to take advantage of certain benefits.
    “We deal with persons who are already in a financial
    crisis, but these problems are systematic and need to be dealt with even at the level of our schools in terms of what we teach our children. Our people are risk averse, so when we speak of introducing topics and training on investment, we need to recognise that we need to start at the very beginning, their spending habits, corporate governance in our business.
    “We have business people who are highly skilled but they’re functionally illiterate. We have clients that cannot read, write, or spell but they own a business so yes, training is necessary. How are we going to address these issues if we don’t recognise that the area is important and that the training is needed.
    “What I will say is that in an effort to ensure that we have a fair and balanced personal and corporate insolvency regime which not only promotes investor confidence but also supports economic growth, we recognise that programmes such as our soon-to-be launched Money Smart programme is necessary, which is basically aimed at educating our people about the implications as they try to take advantage of financial services products,” said Springer.

    Source: Nation

  6. Supervisor of Insolvency: Bajans drowning in debt
    BARBADIANS APPEAR TO be drowning in debt they are unable to manage and some businesses are turning to Government’s Department of Insolvency to rescue them.
    “We are seeing people as young as 23 and up to the age of 72 suffering with severe debt problems. We are seeing people with eight credit cards using one credit card to pay the other. We are seeing businesses which start out, but because of a lack of awareness of what is out there, they are getting themselves into financial trouble,” Supervisor of Insolvency in the Office of Insolvency, Esther Springer told the House of Assembly yesterday.
    Citing the case of a young businessman who she explained ran into difficulty in the course of a business transaction, Springer also said young people were “unaware of the implications of the contracts that they enter into when they access financial products.”
    The Department of Insolvency is responsible for overseeing the administration of the provisions of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and Springer said her department was working to assist the debt-ridden with a programme developed for that purpose.
    Provide assistance
    She explained that as part of the work programme for the upcoming financial year, the department would continue to roll out its “ Dealing With Debt Programme,” designed to provide assistance for indebted businesses and individuals who are going through a financial crisis.
    The programme, she added, was structured to allow for the development of debt management plans for affected businesses and individuals, outside of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act. Businesses must undergo mandatory financial counselling
    and are required to participate in training offered by the Financial Literacy Bureau in areas of weakness that have been identified by the Office of Insolvency and by the accountants who work with that office voluntarily.
    She was part of the team of 15 public officers from various departments that fall under the umbrella of the Ministry of Energy and Business development, sitting with the minister Kerrie Symmonds and Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Business Development Sandra Husbands, fielding questions from parliamentarians when the Estimates debate opened in the House of Assembly yesterday.
    Husbands had earlier highlighted the issue of debt management, saying it “has been a terrible noose around the necks of businesses and especially for small businesses.” She noted such businesses were “undercapitalised; they don’t have enough working capital; they can’t get access and then you have got the debt strangling them and they do not have a method by which to escape”.

    Source: Nation

  7. Growth despite challenges, says Weir
    MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, Food and Nutritional Security Indar Weir has painted a series of positive developments for the ministry as it embarks on a sustained effort for food self-sufficiency in Barbados.
    Speaking yesterday on the Appropriation Bill from the Well of the House of Assembly and accompanied by the various sector heads under his ministry, Weir, Member of Parliament for St Philip South said last year his ministry “was in the vanguard of providing agricultural support to the sector” against a background of COVID-19, La Soufriére ashfall, a freak storm and Hurricane Elsa.
    He said the ministry still implemented a number of programmes and projects to give assistance to the sector with a goal to increase production and to explore agricultural opportunities with Suriname, Guyana and Africa.
    Weir said it was critical to empower the farmers and stakeholders and to engage them through legislation which can impact policy.
    He said in spite of the challenges last year there was growth in a number of crop productions: yam which increased by 42 per cent, bonavis 113 per cent, squash 13 per cent, bananas 16 per cent, plantain 117 per cent and zucchini 27 per cent.
    Weir said the livestock sector was impacted by the sensitive weather patterns, but he was “pleased that poultry is the one area where we were able to see continuous growth over 2020 by some 13 per cent.”
    The minister said a number of initiatives were identified to move the sector forward “to bring it into the modern 21st century…”
    He spoke of a farmers
    empowerment and enfranchisement drive feed programme started in 2019 and described as a flagship project to provide applicants one acre of land managed by the Barbados Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation.
    “To date we have moved 306 persons successfully through the training, 148 have already processed this, representing 52 percent of the persons who have applied. There are also 32 project care participants who have moved forward and the ministry will continue to work on the programme to provide participants with land, adequate water supply towards increasing food production in Barbados,” noted Weir. (JS)

    Source: Nation

  8. Civic education: Another perspective
    by DR DAN C. CARTER THE QUESTION of civic education has once again been drawn to the public’s attention through an Editorial published in this newspaper on February 13, 2022 titled Opportune Time For Lesson In Civics.
    This focus on civics clearly demonstrates the Editorial’s interest in a topic that continues to attract public comment.
    In fact, in the 1980s, Anthony Griffith, former lecturer at the School of Education, University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus, wrote a series of articles, one of which was titled In Defence Of Social Justice.
    After anticipating that the region would be faced with a myriad of economic, political and social problems, he went on to say, “It is most surprising that a large number of students, 14 years old and over, are totally ignorant of such things: what constitutes the two houses of Parliament, the function of ministers, or what ‘conservation’ means.
    Griffith said that “students so ill-equipped for the world outside the classroom cannot be expected to function fully as useful citizens or to contribute productively to the solution of our pressing problems”.
    Some 45 years later, this newspaper’s Editorial has identified only two of an expanding set of challenges even more compelling than have gone before the COVID-19 pandemic and the present constitutional crisis.
    Controversial issues
    Both these events have placed Government at the heart of these controversial issues. In the first instance, it shows how governmental agencies, in this case the health sectors, have combined to mitigate the threat of the virus as it affected the lives of citizens.
    In the second situation, the machinery of the country’s entire parliamentary process has been placed on display as the judiciary is called upon to find a solution to the non-appointment of two Opposition Senators. This is an opportune time for a public tutored in their civic responsibility to have their knowledge further enhanced as to the role of Parliament and the judiciary in our democracy.
    However, the continued reminder that our citizens are not sufficiently knowledgeable in civic education is most likely to be found in the approach of this subject within the curriculum at our schools. While prior to the 1960s, history and geography dominated the school curriculum, after the 1960s social studies gradually replaced the former at the primary level.
    At the secondary level, by the early 1980s, social studies was taken at CXC level. According to Griffith: “Social studies, as a discipline, is the medium through which the study and analysis of . . . topics and issues would be introduced into the curriculum.”
    Separate subject
    It should, therefore, be obvious by now that our citizens should be more informed as regards the workings of our institutions. However, this seems not to be the case and this deficiency could be traced to the curriculum itself. There has been some discussion over the years as to whether, at the primary level, history should not be a separate subject and not part of the social studies curriculum. The point here is that history has become too culturally significant to Caribbean Blacks as to be submerged under social studies.
    Within the same vein, civic education seems to want to have the same curriculum ventilation as history. Civic education, according to one source, is education in self-government, which allows its citizens to be actively involved in their own governance and does not sit back and just passively accept the dictums of others. Citizenship is, therefore, the cornerstone of our democratic way of life to be taught, not in place of what was once “general knowledge”.
    The public must be reminded, however, that civic education is an integral part of the social studies curriculum. At the primary level, it comes generally under the theme Nationhood, which covers such areas as Independence and patriotism, the benefits and challenges of Independence, our system of government, the uses and laws of our country and the rights and responsibilities of the child in the nation-building process.
    Additionally, the social studies curriculum at the secondary level is even more expansive in
    terms of Nationhood. The areas of study involve the functions of institutions, the electoral process, the different types of government, the structure of government and the relationship between citizens and government according to the constitution.
    Such areas, including those at both primary and secondary, are sufficiently broad-based for the social studies teacher to instill in students a sense and knowledge of citizenship.
    The mere fact that this call for civic education is constantly being repeated should inspire curriculum planners to take another look at the actual teaching of the subject.
    Role of a republic
    Firstly, Barbadian society must be aware of the pivotal importance social studies can play in fostering a sense of citizenship, as the country assumes the role of a republic among the international community of nations.
    The subject must be seen by society as just as critical and meaningful as mathematics or language arts. Barbados needs enlightened minds to enable it to chart new avenues of social development.
    Greater prestige, therefore, must be accorded the subject within the school environment. It cannot be seen as just another subject at the secondary level in order to make up a complement of subjects.
    While the concept of STEAM – science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics – is desirable as the system hopes to produce the best intellects, subjects such as social studies and moral education must not be marginalised in the process.
    Secondly, teachers must use their creativity in the way they approach the teaching of the subject. While not putting a case for a separate subject called civics, greater effort must be made, however, to involve students in small-scale research, polls, interviews, in-house school and inter-school debates and so on that stretch the boundaries of what is done at present.
    The civic section of the subject must not be compromised for school activities that appear more important.
    In fact, I am suggesting that in this new era of educational reform, a new look be taken at the topic of social studies as it relates to black studies and civic education.
    I believe that there needs to be greater balance in the delivery of this subject, if not the very laudable aim of the NATION’s Editorial: “that civic education enhances the root of our political and constitutional systems” may never be realised.

    Dr Dan C. Carter is an educational historian and author.

    Source: Nation

  9. Noted long of long talk about this and that but no.mention of numbers e.g how much would it cost for the medicinal license

  10. Wasn’t there some time ago when a minister was touting how great an opportunity it was for barbadians to have credit
    Now on yesterday hearings there were concerns on the debt barbadians have because of numerous credit cards

  11. DavidFebruary 24, 2022 6:52 AM

    The cost of licenses is a matter of public record

    Hopefully they minister in charge would be more proficient in his utterance paying attention of others concerns on this matter for those who live outside of Barbados and cannot at ease get availability to such records
    Repetition should be included and seen as necessary

  12. DavidFebruary 24, 2022 7:28 AM

    Google it. The internet makes conveying information as easy as abc.
    Would hold on to that thought with am understanding that u are thinking what is best for self and not for all of society
    E.g not all have access to internet
    The school challenges in recess during Covid should have.be a lesson learned
    But No!. Some of u amongst the so-called intelligent think u know and have all the answers

  13. I think, we should pay attention to all the feel good stories about tourism. When read carefully , the BHTA, seems to contradict the Minister of Tourism..
    It’s becoming very obvious that Barbados being constantly touted as a preferred destination may be a bit overblown.
    The truth is that St. Lucia has been a very strong competitor for the past fifteen years or so.,Jamaica, is also doing well because of a weaker currency and very low wages compared to Bim.
    Cuba’s tourism even at the height of Castro’s leadership, never ceased being alively competition and Guyana because of its natural resources has cornered the eco tourism market.’
    Quite frankly , outside of PLT’s product, our industry, seems to be in decline.
    I think we need some serious honesty about this industry from the administration.
    COVID, can be blamed for some of it. But our tourism product has been on the decline for at least twenty five years.

    • @William

      How often must we say it, our economy is almost 100% reliant on a fickle industry. Government after government has neglected to inject the ingenuity of thought to stabilize the economy. The other side of the issue is that WE the people have not demonstrated required outrage to signal that as an intelligent people the government is failing in its responsibility to govern.

  14. My son had a great class teacher at St. Catherine’s Primary School who brought Social Studies to life both inside an outside of the classroom.

    He had also a good teacher at Deighton Griffith Secondary School who managed to pique his interest in the subject.

    It’s really down to the teacher.

    But we do need to focus more on our history, starting from BEFORE slavery.

  15. Here we go again.

    Conflict ‘puts focus on food security’

    The potential of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine to impact food security is but a sharp reminder that Barbados needs to fast-track its plans to shore up the food and nutritional security of the island.
    This point was driven home yesterday by Minister of Agriculture Indar Weir, who was fielding questions from his parliamentary colleagues from the Well of Parliament, when the Estimates Debate continued.
    Weir said that the Ministry was working with NGOs such as the Cancer Society and the Diabetes Association to embark on a programme of changing the eating habits of Barbadians, curtailing the reliance on processed food. He also disclosed that his ministry was working on establishing a seed bank, as well as on production of hatching eggs locally.
    “We do see people doing foolish things in this current day and age. If ever there was a time for us to focus on food security, this is the time. We now need to forge ahead with the establishment of a seed bank as well as establish ways for us to produce our own hatching eggs. If there is a supply chain disruption, we need to ensure that we can still continue on this work that we are doing in conjunction with Guyana. Once we can get the production of healthy food up, once we can get the consistency of supply, then we can break the back of what we consider to be unhealthy diets and get people to transition to more nutritious diets,” Weir said.
    The minister also pointed to recent talks with Guyana and the ensuing plans for the production of a million heads of Blackbelly sheep, noting, however, that the time frame for the realisation of this initiative, which would significantly reduce Barbados’ lamb imports, was a work in progress.
    Meanwhile, Chief Agricultural Officer Keeley Holder told the Members of Parliament that Barbados was close to accomplishing its goal of being self-sufficient in ground provisions, noting that there has been an increase in the yields of each category of root crop. However, she said that while production has increased, consumption has not, as Barbadians were still opting for imported starches ahead of those locally grown.
    “I think we are almost
    one hundred per cent in terms of self-sufficiency in root crops. Typically, we have seen more than 98 per cent production in Barbados for cassava, the same as well for sweet potatoes, [and] yam production went up by 32 per cent this year. Eddoes is the only root crop that is less than 50 per cent in terms of production and part of that is the low yield and the length of time that it takes to grow,” Holder said.
    She added: “A better indicator of where we need to go is a plan for how we can encourage consumers to consume more root crops, making them the starch of choice. This would ensure that there is even greater growth within the agricultural sector because of less consumption of imported starches such as rice or white potatoes. White potatoes are the largest fresh vegetable import in Barbados, so to make an inroad into that, we are talking about more than three million kilograms of white potato that we import. So if we start to do that import replacement, not just reducing the small amount of imports we get from OECS countries, those would be things that would make an impact.” ( CLM)

  16. It is interesting a building can be bought and be under construction and the public does not know who and why.

    New owners of Banks building staying mum

    The identities of the new owners of the former Banks Barbados Ltd property at Wildey, St Michael, remain a mystery.
    The building had stood idle for more than a decade but was sold last year, allegedly to Trinidadian interests.
    However, while there has been construction activity on the site, management refused to provide any information when asked. When approached, a man identified as representing the new owners said they would issue a press release when they were ready.
    When the property initially went on sale, officials at the nearby People’s Cathedral private school had put down a deposit with the brewery to purchase it at the cost of $10 million. However, the church was never able to come up with the remainder of the money.
    Banks put the decadesold building up for sale after relocating its offices and plant to Newton, Christ Church. (CA)

  17. Of prime ministerial power

    By Ezra Alleyne
    Given the imminent discussions on constitutional reform, today we may look at one or two aspects of prime ministerial power. There has been talk of prime ministers having too much power.
    It was once famously said of our first Prime Minister that “all roads lead to Mr Barrow”. That statement was an emphatic observation about the exercise of political power during the Barrow administration.
    Many years before, leading British politician Lord Hailsham described the Westminster system as tending to an “elective dictatorship”.
    With prime ministers sitting at the apex of such a system with the power to hire and fire their fellow Cabinet ministers, it is easy to understand calls for clipping the wings of Westminster-style prime ministers.
    The 1974 constitutional amendment in which Mr Barrow assumed the right to choose the judges of the High Court made its own statement. But recent decisions by Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley to divest herself of that power and another highlight honest differences on how leaders may view their powers within a democratic framework.
    There was also an even more definitive “live” exchange between Prime Minister Tom Adams and Erskine Sandiford on prime ministerial power in 1983. That was two years before Adams died; and four years before Sandiford became Prime Minister.
    Adams pointed out that the Constitution was very generous to prime ministers because, he asserted, that even where a PM has been deserted by his colleagues and has lost their support, he could still bring down the whole Government. Adams said that was a bit too much power for our prime ministers to have.
    Mr Erskine Sandiford (later Sir Lloyd) disagreed with Adams’ views and declared that the Prime Minister was no longer merely any “first among equals”. Sandiford argued that in modern times the Government was the Prime Minister’s; and that political evolution now means that the Prime Minister is “it”.
    In 1994, as it happened when he lost the no-confidence motion which was supported by some of his former Cabinet colleagues, Sandiford invoked the very provisions which Adams thought gave prime ministers too much power and ended his administration.
    In so doing, Mr Sandiford exercised another of the very potent powers of a Prime Minister – that is to request (from the head of state) a dissolution of Parliament and the holding of a General Election.
    There are merits on both sides of the argument, but I tend to support the Sandiford thesis.
    This brings us to the very hot topic of term limits for parliaments
    and the removal from the Prime Minister of that right to call a General Election whenever he (or she) likes.
    Calling for fixed dates
    Already some people are calling for fixed dates, as in the United States. Yet these matters need very careful consideration. We are comparing eggs and oranges. The American system prohibits the president from sitting in the Senate or the House of Representatives.
    Now consider this: It seems to me that elections by proportional representation, rather than the first-past-the-post system we use, could seriously clip the wings of prime ministerial power.
    Proportional representation leads to many smaller parties managing to get a few seats in the Lower House and this results in fragmented power with no party getting a working majority.
    Hence, after general elections, “horsetrading” negotiations often take place between the leaders of the winning parties. In the Irish solution case recently spoken of, it took two months of horse-trading before a Prime Minister or (Taoiseach) was chosen.
    Put bluntly, constitutional reform is not an easy exercise if it is to be done properly. Becoming a republic is one of the easiest “stand-alone” amendments to make. Constitutions are interconnected documents designed to function, and tinkering with their functional foundation planks can sometimes seriously damage the entire system.
    Prime ministerial power is such a major foundational plank. Changes of aspects of that area of the system must be carefully, sensitively and seriously dealt with. The aim of any reform should be to retain its major benefits while discarding or restraining those aspects of the awesome power of the office that could become dangerous or even toxic.
    Ezra Alleyne is an attorney and a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly.

    Source: Nation

  18. “It is interesting a building can be bought and be under construction and the public does not know who and why.”

    Information about any under construction building IS in the public domain. Reporters too lazy, like commess or plain ignorant. 🤣

    • @enuff

      Reacting to the nation report. It exposes a systemic problem in media. No surprise how the politicians twist them around the finger.

  19. Our media do need a slap alongside their heads, but …

    Still lagging behind and trying to catch-up. One possible item and suddenly we are a model of transparency

    Who is EWBSB
    Did they tell us of the vaccine scam
    Add to the list

    Lies and pretense. Partial truths and nothing but bitsand pieces.

  20. It is very difficult to be not negative at times . You want to be positive, to trumpets victories, but some will try to convince you that yellow liquid running down your leg is just rain ….

  21. @ David
    You mind Enuff..?

    How would the local ‘press’ be able to expose something like this?
    The whole place belong to Trinidad.
    The press belong to Trinidad
    The Banks belong to Trinidad
    The project likely belongs to Trinidad

    …all this thanks to Enuff and his clan of mendicant political Judases who are for sale to those with the most pieces of silver.

    So what is Enuff calling on some little reporter to do..besides PR for the BOSSES so that he can keep the little pick…
    Cause the only thing that Enuff can offer when the Trinis fire him, is a $100 road-sweeping pick (like those that got ac jealous.)

    • @Bush Tea

      A transaction like this too many people would have been involved and then there are the builders on-site etc.

  22. ” The TCDPO will now be providing monthly reports detailing the applications submitted and approved. The report will contain information oregardining the applicant, application number and status.”

  23. @David
    It is interesting a building can be bought and be under construction and the public does not know who and why
    Off topic but I remember when this building was first constructed and the fountain in front with an array of lights that changed formation every few minutes. I also remember the Brewmaster with his Irish wolfhounds walking around the adjacent cricket field.
    Many organisations including schools toured the facility and after were rewarded with Tiger Malts and the adults received adult beverages (Banks).

    Those were the days

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