Connect with us

Caribbean & World

Former PM says in absence of no other evidence he will believe Al Jazeera report

Published

on

by Linda Straker

  • Tillman Thomas will believe the Diplomats for Sale report until government refutes the allegation
  • Questions repeal of mandatory publication of identities of all CBI programme citizens

Former Prime Minister, Tillman Thomas, said that until the ruling New National Party (NNP) Government provides information that will refute the allegation and information in the one-hour undercover investigation done by Al Jazeera Media Network called “Diplomats for Sale,” he will believe everything that was said in the report.

The report from the Qatari state-funded broadcaster in Doha claims that Grenada is among regional territories engaging the practice of selling diplomat passports to investors who contribute money to political parties’ campaigns. Most countries in the region do not have campaign financing legislation.

“Until the government comes to the contrary, I will accept it,” Thomas said during a news conference called by the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), which he led for some years before retiring from politics after serving as prime minister from 2008 to 2013.

“Let the government come out and refute it,” he said at the first news conference held by the party since a new national executive council was elected on 3 November 2019. Accompanying Thomas was Claudette Joseph who is serving as the party’s public relations officer, who admitted that some of the information in the report are allegations, while some are factual.

Thomas used the opportunity to express concern about the Citizenship By Investment (CBI) Programme, called for the repeal of certain changes to the law which was originally approved in parliament in 2013 but has undergone amendments, some of which is due to market changes and demands.

Questioning government’s move to repeal the section which made it mandatory to publish the names and address of all who received citizenship through the CBI programme, Thomas said that members of both houses who approved the amendment to the legislation were aiding and abetting in organised crime.

“The Parliament of Grenada is aiding and abetting in organised theft. That amendment is very revealing; why will parliament aid and abet the concealing of their identities?” he asked. He claims that such organised theft can lead to corruption. “Have we heard any issue being raised by parliamentarians, who are they representing? They are not representing the people of Grenada anymore in that particular issue,” said Thomas who believes that government must be held collectively responsible for the negatives surrounding the sale of both diplomat and regular passports.

“When people elect you to represent them in the parliament of the country, you become a trustee and here you have these trustees, these 15 trustees betraying the trust of the Grenadian people, and that is a danger itself,” Thomas said.

Joseph said that her party is not objecting to the CBI programme but is objecting to the process used for an applicant to gain citizenship. She disclosed that the NDC was in the process of implementing a similar programme before it was voted out of office in February 2013. That programme was to be called the Grenada Individual Investor Programme.

“In fact, when we left office in 2013 we were in the process of engaging the same company that helps the Canadian Government with their programme. Canada has one of the best and most respected programmes in the world. No country can run a proper CBI programme if the officials around it are corrupt,” she said. Joseph contested the Town of St George constituency for the 2018 General Election and failed to win the seat.

“NDC, therefore, demands that there must be substantial changes to the CBI law now. These changes must include, making it a criminal offence punishable by long jail time to sell diplomatic passports; making it mandatory for the names, addresses, and countries of origins of all persons applying for and obtaining CBI citizenship to be published,” she said.

Among other things, the NDC also wants the government to make it illegal for a government official to invest in a CBI approved project; to stop persons who acquired CBI status from being able to vote in an election; to enforce stringent due diligence for each applicant and for the legislation to mandate that some of the powers of the minister are removed and placed into the hands of an independent qualified body.

NOW Grenada is not responsible for the opinions, statements or media content presented by contributors. In case of abuse, click here to report.

Source: Source link

Caribbean & World

Co-op Bank and Grenada Nurses Association commence new relationship

Published

on

By

On 5 December 2019, Grenada Co-operative Bank Limited and the Grenada Nurses Association Inc. (GNA Inc.) forged a new business relationship.

At a ceremony held at the bank’s head office on Thursday, 5 December 2019, the two organisations signed a Memorandum of Understanding that offers preferred terms and conditions to members of the GNA Inc. and their spouses when seeking credit facilities from Co-op Bank.

Signing on behalf of Co-op Bank was the bank’s Chief Operating Officer, Deon Moses, while President of the GNA Inc., Nurse Patricia Strachan, executed on behalf of the nurses.

Nurse Strachan stated that this agreement is first of its kind for the association and described the occasion as a “great moment”, especially as there are limited opportunities existing for nurses. She believes this will enable members to become more empowered to advance and invest in their development once this opportunity is tapped into.

Moses reaffirmed Co-op Bank’s commitment to help build our local economy and people, and sees this relationship as another way it is manifested. He also pointed to the bank’s mission statement which highlights the bank’s commitment to contributing to the wellbeing of citizens where it operates.

Both organisations hope this relationship will be long-lasting and be mutually beneficial.

Co-op Bank

NOW Grenada is not responsible for the opinions, statements or media content presented by contributors. In case of abuse, click here to report.

Source: Source link

Continue Reading

Caribbean & World

Cuban nurses to temporarily fill vacancies

Published

on

By

by Linda Straker

  • 30 to 40 nurses from Cuba will be contracted to help fill vacancies within healthcare systems
  • 50 persons will undergo nursing assistants training through National Training Agency

In early 2020 Grenada will be contracting between 30 to 40 nurses from Cuba as a temporary measure to help fill vacancies within the healthcare systems as part of a short-term measure adopted by health administrators aimed at reducing the impact of nurses who are leaving the system and taking up jobs in places like the United Kingdom.

Health Minister Nikolas Steele said government is finalising arrangements for the nurses following the visit of a delegation to Grenada a few weeks ago. “This is a stop-gap measure,” he said, admitting that over the years nurses with experience are leaving the system. “Unfortunately, we are losing our nurses to first world countries,” he said. He did not share the number of nurses who have left the system in most recent times.

Besides Cuba, Steele said that Grenada is also looking to import nurses from Ghana and India. The final agreement will include housing for the nursing professionals.

While the government will be importing the qualified registered nurses and those of high-level qualification, Steele said that 50 persons are desirous of becoming nursing assistants while undergoing a one-year training through one of the certified national training centres of the National Training Agency (NTA).

“We are still on schedule for a January start of our nursing assistants programme. We are in final negotiations with La Boucan and the national training authority of Grenada as well as our Ministry of Youth and Education to finalise the training of 50 nursing assistants, in two batches of 25,” the minister said.

The curriculum is expected to meet the criteria of the Nursing Council, the National Training Agency and the Ministry of Health. The training will involve both theory and practical.

La Boucan Creative Centre is owned and operated by former Health Minister Ann Peters, and her husband Francis Urias Peters. As a recognised national training centre, its programme will be accredited by the National Accreditation Board.

NOW Grenada is not responsible for the opinions, statements or media content presented by contributors. In case of abuse, click here to report.

Source: Source link

Continue Reading

Caribbean & World

China proving EC$34.8 million in aid to Grenada

Published

on

By

by Linda Straker

  • EC$38.4 million in aid will fund Cricket Stadium renovation and other projects
  • Over 1,800 Grenadians have attended training courses in China
  • Chinese government has implemented several China-Aid framework projects

China is to provide EC$38.4 million in aid to the Government Grenada which will see the funding used for the Cricket Stadium renovation and other projects.

On 9 December, Dr Zhao Yongchen, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to Grenada and Hon. Peter David, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Labour of Grenada signed the Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation between the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of Grenada.

According to the agreement, the Chinese government will provide a grant fund of 100 million Chinese RMB yuan (EC$38.4 million) to the Grenadian government to implement the Cricket Stadium Renovation Project and other projects.

Ambassador Zhao Yongchen said that under China-Aid framework, the Chinese government has implemented many projects for Grenada such as Low-Income Housing Project, Rebuilding of Grenada National Cricket Stadium and Athletic Stadium, and Technical Cooperation on Agriculture.

A statement from the Chinese Embassy in Grenada said that since 2005 more than 200 Grenadian students have studied in China sponsored by the Chinese government and over 1,800 Grenadians have attended seminars or short-term training courses in China.

The Chinese hospital ship Peace Ark visited Grenada twice, providing free medical service to the Grenadian people. The Chinese government also donated police vehicles and medical equipment to the Grenadian government.

“All these projects are funded by the Chinese government grant assistance. He hopes the signing of the agreement will further enhance the bilateral cooperation under the Belt and Road initiative and promote the social and economic development of Grenada,” the statement said.

Minister David, on behalf of the Grenadian government, expressed his sincere appreciation to the Chinese government and people for the generous assistance. He acknowledged the support from the Chinese government to Grenada in infrastructure, education, sports and many other areas and said that Grenada is willing to deepen the cooperation with China under the Belt and Road initiative.

NOW Grenada is not responsible for the opinions, statements or media content presented by contributors. In case of abuse, click here to report.

Source: Source link

Continue Reading

Trending