Submitted by the Barbados Association of Professional Engineers (BAPE)
Press release from Barbados Association of Professional Engineers
The Barbados Fair Trading Commission (FTC) in late 2022, granted an ‘interim’ rate increase to the Barbados Light & Power Company (BLPC) based only on that Company’s assertion that they were facing a ‘cash crisis’.
On November 28, 2022, the BLPC issued a letter to the public indicating that they would no longer be entertaining photovoltaic (PV) connections to their Grid, unless appropriate ‘mitigating measures’ were addressed.
These measures apparently require the provision of commensurate battery storage by the applicants themselves, or the granting of licenses to BLPC to install their own battery storage – to be 100% paid for by electricity consumers along with handsome guaranteed profits to Emera.
In recent weeks there has been noise in the traditional and social media space triggered by concerns coming out of the largest credit union in Barbados. It is no secret the blogmaster in the not too recent past registered concerns about how some matters were being managed at Barbados Public Workers Cooperative Credit Union (BPWCCUL) and subsidiaries, specifically CAPITA Financial.
It says a lot about the current state of member relations at BPWCCUL a few vocal members felt driven to share concerns in the public space. The blogmaster must admit a lot of the concerns are steeped in ignorance. Several of the few voicing concerns readily admitted to not having attended AGMs or having read relevant laws and rules governing how members should interact with the credit union it owns. For the purpose of this intervention the blogmaster will ignore those prominent persons from other credit unions seeking to ‘exploit’.
The good thing about having wall flies as friends and white rum bottles as magnifying glasses is that sometimes the random story pops out. Last night under the moon in the glare of a pint was one of those nights.
Barbados woke up to the appointment of an Acting Registrar by the name of SD. Congrats SD!!!
But, does the average Bajan know the intertwinnings, interwranglings and woven webs that may have an impact on their lives and cost of living?
Let the rabbit hole begin.
SD according to LinkedIn is the substantive Chief Legal Officer in the Ministry of Housing.
Recently she was the Acting Public Counsel for the Ministry of Energy and Business Development.
In much the same way successive governments have struggled to implement a ‘fit for purpose’ economic strategy- so too have successive Attorney Generals and Commissioners of Police failed to effectively stop violent crime.
It is accepted that an important strand to defining good leadership is the ‘ability to organize in an effective and efficient manner’. It has become evident after years of a business as usual approach by the hierarchy of the police and government that the two key have surrendered to serving narrow interest.
During the last decade there was an underground buzz about questionable characters like Bounty Killer courted by ministers in government. On the 2018 campaign trail there is the dramatic video of Mia Mottley in the company of questionable characters as well.
More Canadians are choosing legal forms of cannabis then previously, from 52% to 61% reported last year. The 2022Cannabis Surveycarried out by Health Canada has shown that smoking is the most favorable form of consumption, but the number of people choosing to use vape pens is increasing.
The study was carried out April-June 2022 and offers insights into Canadians knowledge, attitudes and behaviors on Cannabis use.
It is no secret the blogmaster fell in love with late Prime Minister David Thompson’s sweet mouth. He seemed earnest about his public spiritedness, especially addressing the introduction of integrity and freedom of information laws. He ran a Democratic Labour Party (DLP) campaign based on a promise to attack corruption in public life. He led the DLP to victory in 2008 and although he fell sick and eventually died in 2010, there was an expectation among the electorate the DLP would have and should have delivered on the promise to enact transparency legislation. A manifesto is a social contract and should mean something to HONOURABLE men and women?
Barbados has been fortunate through the years to avoid significant damage from acts of nature. Until Hurricane Elsa and a freak storm struck Barbados last year, one had to go-back to hurricane Janet of 1955.
Many will argue with justification Barbadians were lulled into complacency, observing weather systems veering from Barbados year after year. The consequence is that a touted Building Code was not followed or enforced with any rigour. The reality is that the quality of the local housing stock is questionable, one that includes a high number of chattel buildings owned mostly by the low income segment.
In 2017 the then leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley stated … “one man cannot get a $24 million contract at Valerie, $28 million housing contract at Grotto; a $42 million molasses storage tank, 20-year contract in the Barbados Bridgetown Harbour… Coverley which is over 1,100 houses at which the government is only receiving less than $2.50 a square foot on the land there; 2,300 lots at Bushy Park that have been committed to in an MOU [Memorandum of Understanding] but mercifully the contract has not been signed [by] the National Housing Commission to give them the lots”. See BU blog – Mark Maloney Take Your Advice, Guhlong.
There is a lot that can be said about Barbadians and the way we manage garbage disposal. The observation is true at the household and country level. In many developed countries garbage is treated as a raw material to convert to energy and in the process contribute to protecting the environment. Prime Minister Mia Mottley has become a spokesperson since being elected to office in 2018 on environmental issues in the international arena, it is therefore ironic that in the country she leads, we continue to oversee a primitive garbage collection AND waste disposal system.
A peeve of the blogmaster is to be subjected to the perennial call from public relations persons employed by the Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) – Alf Padmore is the incumbent – asking Barbadians to desist from including green waste in garbage to be collected by the SSA. Nobody ever heeds the calls, including SSA workers, who are always willing to please the many households served. The increase in built-up neighbourhoods in Barbados and concomitant lifestyle guarantee that green waste will be ‘trashed’. Isn’t a manicured lawn integral to the look and feel expected of the heights and terrace?
The following is an update from a BU correspondent with a few edits applied by the blogmaster. It is important we maintain focus on the management of the economy. It is encouraging to observe in recent days the Nation newspaper has been guided to also focus on the economy and related news as Barbadians immerse themselves in matters related to celebrating Christmas. The challenges facing the country will be waiting patiently for a return to more sober ways.
The Estimates for 2022/2023 confirm the common practice in recent decades of successive governments constrained to fund ugly deficits to support our consumption behaviour, graft, financial incompetence/mismanagement exposed in annual Auditor General Reports and Central Bank Reports. The estimates for 2022/2023 read a shortfall of $173. million dollars.
Christmas is one birthday party where we celebrate as if we do not like the person, but attend to eat the food and meet our friends and relatives.
A birthday party normally celebrates the current age of the person. But not Jesus’. We seem too embarrassed by what He said as an adult. So, to feel a measure of control we try to keep Him in His place – as a baby in a manger. Perhaps this Christmas, we will respect Him enough to celebrate Him as He is.
THE PATH TO LIFE.
Jesus revealed how He would judge everyone at the end of the age, and he repeatedly explained what He requires. He claimed that many were on the easier broad road that leads to destruction because the narrow road to life was more difficult. He noted that people could choose the road to life, and then decide to leave and travel on the easier path – that leads to destruction. Nope, back in the manger for you.
Jesus repeatedly explained that forgiving others is critically important to where we will spend our after-life. We get on the narrow road by asking God to forgive us for the debts we owed. God promised to forgive us – but in the same manner that we later forgive others.
This letter is an issuance of grave concern with the government of Barbados & the IDB Loan seeking to borrow $200 M and the heightened perception of corruption and unethical practices within government.
Taken from the executive summary of transparency international “This year’s corruption perception index paints a grim picture of the state of corruption worldwide. The pandemic is not just a health crises or economic crises but a corruption crises with countless lives loss due to government corruption undermining a fair and equitable response to issues of the day”
A letter to the editor of the Nation newspaper featured on December 7th 2022, submitted by myself Kemar Stuart raised alarm to some sections of a letter to the acting IDB President signed by yourself as minister in the ministry of finance.
Component 4 of the letter to the acting IDB President said that the loan is for economic and fiscal strengthening for post pandemic .The blatant red flag in component 4 of your letter is the use of reason for borrowing this loan which are recommendations from a progress report of the measures prioritized by the jobs and investment council. Investigations into the missing report revealed that at no point in time did this jobs and investment council report or publish their findings and recommendations to the public via consultation / town hall or press conference, written media or else.
Since Independence many of our public institutions have had little (if any) serious structural changes to make them fit for purpose in the new global environment. The inefficiency of governmental bureaucracy has plagued our public institutions for decades and has hampered effective service delivery to the masses. These public corporations are no longer fit for purpose and drain finances through yearly subsidies and transfers accounting for most of the shortfall in financing afflicting these institutions.
This ill-advised formula can be blamed for the structural adjustment program Barbados now faces which prescribes bitter reforms to our statutory corporations. We must now as a country focus on how these services will be rationalized, paying special emphasis on the most vulnerable and needy.
Last week it was reported the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) suffered a cybersecurity incident. Another way to explain it – information was stolen from QEH’s database by unknown parties. So far the official and sanitized explanation is – “the QEH was taking all necessary precautions to protect the integrity of our systems ans patient privacy“. On December 14. 2022 the QEH issued a report indicating changes to its operations because of the cybersecurity incident – Temporary Changes At QEH Due To Internet Outage.