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Fort George to be restored

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The Grenada National Trust is pleased to be able to announce that, now there is some real movement towards the restoration of Fort George and the opening up of its potential as a tourist attraction for the island.

We all know that St George’s and her forts are wonderful. St George’s and the Carenage must be two of the most beautiful of the towns and harbours in the Caribbean, if not the world. Surely, we all deplore the failure to tap their potential for earning tourism dollars and the acceptance of the slow erosion of the island’s history and heritage. These, once lost can never be replaced.

Of all the forts on the island, and there are a lot, Fort George is the biggest and most important. It is also right in the heart of the tourist area. As such it probably deserves to receive first priority status when money is available. And money is available. Several million dollars are being given by the World Bank for the development of the tourist attraction potential of Fort George.

That’s good but the works to Fort George should not be undertaken without any reference to the fort’s relationship to the Town of St George and the other forts, most notably forts Matthew and Frederick. In this regard it is good to hear that the work will be undertaken within the guidelines established in the [David] Lesterhuis Report.

This excellent document was produced in 2004, and despite the passage of time (15 years) and Hurricane Ivan, remains relevant today. The report was commissioned by UNESCO and prepared for the Government of Grenada to facilitate the listing of St George’s fortified system as a World Heritage Site. There can be little argument that having the forts and the town listed as World Heritage Sites would be a good thing. It would be a massive tourist attraction and so bring in large amounts of tourist dollars, create jobs, directly and indirectly, educate Grenadians in their heritage and teach skills in the tourism and construction industries.

These things are only the tip of a financial iceberg. By demonstrating that Grenada takes its heritage serious and cares for it properly, more funding dollars will flow in … free money that will further enhance tourism, employment and the island’s economy generally. The Lesterhuis Report was an excellent first step along this road. Of course, it is easy to say that the second, third and fourth are long overdue but the appointment of INES, a firm of consultant engineers specialising in the conservation work that Fort George needs, could be what is so desperately needed.

It’s good too that Grenadians are not being sidelined. It is our island, our culture, our heritage, our past and our future. Stakeholders will be consulted and they will be invited to form a working group to participate in the design process and realisation of works.

Did I hear, “What about the police?” Yes, they are to be progressively moved out of the fort as part of this exercise.

Grenada National Trust

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Caribbean & World

Canada to provide biometric processing for visa applications in Grenada – NOW Grenada

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NOTICE: DATES HAVE BEEN EXTENDED

The Government of Canada, in partnership with the Government of Grenada, is pleased to announce that Canadian officials have extended the dates and will be in Grenada from Monday 18 to Friday 22, November 2019 to carry out biometric processing for persons wishing to obtain visas.

As part of the visa application process, Grenadian nationals must provide biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) when applying for a Canadian visitor visa, study, work, or temporary residence permit, or for permanent residence. During the upcoming November dates, Grenadian visa applicants may take the opportunity to provide biometric information in Grenada rather than travelling abroad.

If you are planning to travel to Canada for study, business, tourism, family reunions or other reasons, please complete your online visa application as soon as possible in order to take advantage of this opportunity in November. Canada is pleased that officials will be able to travel to meet applicants on-site at the Radisson Grenada Beach Resort in November, and it is hoped that this eased convenience will be fully taken advantage of. Outside of this visit, standard procedures remain for Grenadian nationals to travel to biometrics collection points in Barbados, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, or Trinidad and Tobago at all other times.

This exercise is geared towards the following individuals:

  • Grenadians who anticipate travel to Canada;
  • Persons who have already applied whether online or by mail for a visa, work or study permit or for permanent residence and have received their Biometric Instruction Letter; and
  • Nationals of other biometric information-required countries residing in Grenada planning to travel to Canada.

In order to book an appointment for biometrics collection, please write to bdgtn@international.gc.ca referencing the visa application file number. Canadian officials will be pleased to assist applicants with both appointments and the required Biometrics Instruction Letter during the hours listed. Officials will not be collecting applications or biometric information from applicants who have not received this letter.

All applicants will be required to bring their Biometrics Instruction Letter with them in order to have their biometrics taken. The biometrics collection will take place from Monday, 18 November to Friday, 22 November 2019 from 8 am to 5 pm at Radisson Grenada Beach Resort, Grenada.

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Vincentian duo awaiting extradition hearing out on bail

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Anlee Parsons (left) and Hyah Browne being escorted by a police officer

Two Vincentians awaiting an extradition hearing to determine whether they should be deported to Grenada to be charged with the robbery of a credit union in Carriacou, have been granted bail.

Anlee Parsons, and Hyah Browne, represented by attorney Grant Connell gained freedom following the submission by their lawyer of an affidavit before the Serious Offences Court this week.

SEARCHLIGHT understands that there is contention expressed about the CCTV footage captured outside the Grenada Union of Teachers Credit Union (GUTCU) which authorities are claiming shows Parsons and Browne.

Additionally, it is said that there is also evidence that Browne, who works at the Central Sewage and Water Authority(CWSA), and Parsons, who works with a contractor, were signed in to work on the day of the robbery, October 11, 2019.

On Tuesday, November 12, Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne asked Senior Prosecutor Adolphus Delplesche if he had any objection to the bail application.

Delplesche’s answer to this was no.

The chief magistrate commented that there were some interesting issues highlighted in the affidavit, but did not elaborate.

She set bail in the amount of $3000 with one surety, and ordered that the two Carriere residents report to the Mesopotamia police station every Monday, between 6am and 6pm.

They are to surrender their passports, and Identification Cards to the court.

In the interim, the prosecution awaits documents pending from Grenada for the extradition hearing on December 10.

Arrest warrants were issued in Grenada for Browne and Parsons before they were picked up by police on October 25. After being taken into custody, the duo were brought to court and had been on remand since, awaiting the extradition hearing.

The robbery of the GUTCU has shaken the usually peaceful Carriacou, “The Grenada Informer” reports.

The publication noted that, according to “lawmen” two men walked into the credit union on the said date, one armed with a gun. The men demanded money, after leading the workers to the back of the building, and putting a gun to the head of the security guard to lead him somewhere inside of the building.

Money was stacked into a bag. The amount which the two robbers who entered the GUTCU that day stole is $26,205.60, according to the charge that may be put to the two men.

The Grenada informer noted that there was a getaway vehicle awaiting the robbers, and the alleged driver of this vehicle has been charged with conspiracy to rob.

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Government concludes more union and staff associations negotiations – NOW Grenada

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Government’s Negotiating Team (GNT) has concluded negotiations with another trade union as well as the staff associations which represent prison and police officers.

The agreements with the Grenada Manual, Maritime and Intellectual Workers Union; Police Gazetted Officers Association; Police Welfare Association and Prison Officers Welfare Association were brokered during talks late Thursday and early Friday morning. The respective agreements will be signed on Monday.

All public officers represented by the unions and staff associations which have concluded negotiations, will benefit from annual increases of 4% for each of the years covered in the new collective labour agreement.

The 12% increase over three years is the largest settlement for public sector employees in the last 20 years. The overall cost of the settlement is $43.5 million which means government will have to undertake extensive reallocation to fund the agreed wage increases.

Another union, the Bank and General workers Union will seek the approval of its membership before agreeing to the proposed increases.

Agreement with the joint negotiating team from the Technical and Allied Workers Union (GTAWU) and the Public Workers Union (PWU) is still outstanding. The joint GTAWU/PWU team is demanding increases of 5% for each of the three years. This would add $59.6 million to the government’s wage bill, an amount which is not affordable or sustainable and which will breach the Fiscal Responsibility Law.

Additionally, effective January 2020, government is expected to meet the increase in NIS rates for all of its employees.

The GNT awaits the recommendations of the Labour Commissioner who is conciliating in the dispute. The GNT remains hopeful that there will be an amicable resolution.

The Grenada Union of Teachers has already signed its collective labour agreement with the GNT following the conclusion of talks earlier this week.

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