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Claudette Joseph receives pre-action protocol letter from PM Mitchell

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by Linda Straker

  • Seven days from 13 December 2019 to respond to pre-action protocol letter
  • Letter demands cease and desist from repeating the claim; apologise and pay compensation of EC$350,000

Claudette Joseph, the Public Relations Officer of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has seven days from 13 December 2019 to respond to a pre-action protocol letter from Prime Minister, Dr Keith Mitchell. If she fails to comply with the demands, a defamatory lawsuit will be filed against her in the civil court.

The letter to Joseph said that on 2 December in a live news conference from the headquarters of the NDC, she uttered words that can have negative effects on the Prime Minister who is the Minister for Finance and is also the person under whose ministry the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programme falls.

“You made certain statements on behalf of the NDC about our client which we believe are defamatory in nature, and geared to impugn on his good name, his standing and reputation,” said the letter from the law firm of Nigel Stewarts and Associates. “These statements are therefore completely false and malicious in all respect and were intentionally made by you to cause damage to our client’s reputation.” The letter demands that Joseph, who is a lawyer by profession, cease and desist from repeating the claim; apologise and pay compensation of EC$350,000.

In the news conference whose speakers were former Political Leader and Prime Minister, Tillman Thomas, and Joseph — who was elected to the PRO role in early November 2019 — they expressed concern about the recent Al Jazeera production called “Diplomat passports for Sale.”  The documentary is claiming that several Caribbean islands with citizenship by investment programmes are selling diplomat passports.

The segment on Grenada focused on the failed Grenada Sustainable Aquaculture project which was to be located in St Mark. While speaking on the matter, Joseph said that the Prime Minister was also an investor in the project and directed members of media to watch a Youtube video where he is disclosing the information.

“Our client denies uttering those words but merely to say that he has invested in the parish,” the letter informed Joseph.

The Prime Minister is known to own a historic house in St Mark which is undergoing significant refurbishing and upgrading.

As for the project, in October 2018, government placed a notice on its CBI website announcing the suspension of applications in respect of the project until further notice. In March 2019, the Prime Minister announced that an investigation was been conducted. An update is yet to be provided.

The letters ended by informing Joseph that failure to comply with the demands of the letter will give the firm no choice to proceed with legal action.

Calls to Joseph for a comment on the development proved futile as her telephone went unanswered.

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Caribbean & World

Grenada’s COVID-19 public health threat level raised to HIGH

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The Ministry of Health today announced that it has raised its public health threat alert level to HIGH.

ORANGE (High) level means VERY HIGH POSSIBILITY/EXPECTED and the condition applies when a credible threat of increased infectious diseases transmission (of an unusual virus activity/spread/outbreak, etc.) exists of disruptive public health activity/activities with a direct and specific threat against the health sector/country and its dependencies…

The decision was taken in accordance with the Ministry’s Infectious Diseases Public Health Threat Level Response Protocols, at the daily (COVID-19) Briefings with the Health Minister  Hon. Nickolas Steele and his team, managing the current threat of the coronavirus.

In taking the decision the MOH considered the Caribbean Public Health Agency’s (CARPHA) situation report #15, which concluded that the risk for the Caribbean is now Moderate to High.

Grenadian health authorities, keeping a very close eye on outbreak of COVID-19 indicated that they are also tracking travellers from Japan, South Korea, Iran, Singapore, and Italy, which have seen steady increases in the number of confirmed COVID-19) cases.

The MOH said it is presently monitoring the situation in the rest of Europe, the United States, North and South America, and any other region where community transmission has been established.

Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Francis Martin, told the GIS that at this time all options are being considered and the system is in full response mode.

The Ministry, acting on sound advice from its local, regional and international public health experts, reminds the Grenadian public that its Importation Transmission Watch (ITW), remains in full effect for the entire tri-island.

GIS

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Caribbean & World

IRD keeping in touch with the sister isles

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The Inland Revenue Division (IRD) is encouraging the citizens of Carriacou and Petite Martinique to take advantage of its visit to the island from Monday 2 to Friday, 6 March 2020.

A team from the IRD will be conducting an Outreach Office at the District Revenue Office in Hillsborough, where the general public will be able to:

  • Register businesses
  • File objections for property tax
  • Obtain clarity/information on any tax-related matter including assistance with the completion of tax returns

Tax advisory for businesses will also be conducted.

All residents, agents and/or representatives of properties on the Sister Isles that have to be assessed for Transfer Tax are advised to contact the Division via telephone on 435-6945/6, 435-1905 or email at gndird@ird.gd to facilitate same.

Inland Revenue Division – Striving for Greater Taxpayer Compliance.

Comptroller, Inland Revenue Division

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St David’s Day celebrations 2020

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The Virgin Parish Cultural Organisation (VPCO) will be hosting St David’s Day celebrations from 1–8 March 2020.

Activities kick off on 1 March with a church service from 10 am at the Petite Bacaye RC Church, St David. On 8 March, celebrations go into full mode at the organisation’s home, Marlmount Big Yard, from 3 pm. There will be an exhibition featuring arts, crafts, agricultural produce, and more. Individuals in the parish and organisations who have made an impact in various areas will also be recognised. The event will culminate with performances from calypso and soca artistes and a live band from the parish.

 

Additionally, during the month of March, VPCO’s Facebook page will highlight groups, organisations, companies and individuals who have made significant contributions towards the development of the parish.

The Virgin Parish Cultural Organisation (VPCO) is an organisation made up of individuals committed to the development of sports and culture in the parish of St David. Our current focus is on raising the standard of events that are part of our parish way of life. 1 March is recognised as St David’s Day.

Follow the Virgin Parish Cultural Organisation on Facebook for updates.

VPCO

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