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NDC holding anti-corruption protest | NOW Grenada

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by Linda Straker

  • NDC will be picketing Ministry of Finance on Thursday, 1 August
  • Purpose of protest to highlight chronic corruption of NNP administration

The main opposition National Democratic Congress said that it will be picketing the compound of the Ministry of Finance on Thursday, 1 August 2019, the purpose of which is to publicly condemn what it describes as corruption with the system and at the same time, call for justice.

“We’re inviting you and members of your group to a gathering to picket the Ministry of Finance at the Carenage on Thursday, 1 August 2019 between the hours of 11 am to 1 pm,” said a notification on the political party’s Facebook page.

“Walk with your placards and posters condemning systemic corruption and calling for justice. Mobilise yourself, family, friends, and constituencies. Join the struggle to protect our democracy and protect the taxpayers of our country,” the notification recommended.

Joseph Andall, Interim Political Leader of the NDC explained the purpose of the protest: “To highlight the chronic corruption of the NNP administration, to get relevant authorities to investigate and if necessary, charge and prosecute culprits; to awaken taxpayers to the theft of their hard-earned money and the cost of corruption.”

The party announced the protest after it made public via its weekly Tuesday talk show on the Grenada Broadcasting Network (GBN) that the political leader had written Head of State, Governor-General Dame Cecile La Grenade and Edvin Martin, Commissioner of Police recommending an investigation be conducted in the recent cellphone abuse scandal.

The party wants the Governor-General to establish a Commission of Inquiry in accordance with the Commission of Inquiry legislation, while the recommendation is for the police to investigate to determine the type of criminal wrongdoing in the cellphone scandal. They are yet to receive a response.

Government has confirmed that former public officers were recently discovered using cellphones which were assigned to them while they were public officers. In one case the bill was approximately EC$70,000 over a 3-month period.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell who is also the Minister for Finance has publicly acknowledged the cellphone abuse was due to systematic failure from both government and the service provider. “Government has accepted full responsibility for what has happened. Let me reassure the population that as long I am in office, that will not reoccur again,” he said on Tuesday, 30 July during the weekly post-cabinet briefing.

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Caribbean & World

Raymond Smith OBE, chief negotiator of Grentel deal dies

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by Linda Straker

  • Chief negotiator to form Grenada Telephone Company and Cable & Wireless into Grentel
  • Served as Grentel’s first chairman
  • Founding member of the Willie Redhead Foundation

Raymond “Ray” Smith who had responsibility for Telecommunications and Health during the interim administration following the collapse of the People’s Revolutionary Government, has died.

Among the first communications engineers in the region, Smith during the late 1980s was the adviser and chief negotiator for the Government of Grenada in the initiative to bring together the business interests of the Grenada Telephone Company, and Cable and Wireless, leading to the establishment of Grentel of which he served as its first chairman. Grentel no longer exists, but it was the parent of what has is now known as FLOW.

He has been described by regional telecommunications experts for innovations in broadcasting engineering. “This includes devising a news form of studio soundproofing using natural material, which was adopted by broadcast operations as far as ways as the Pacific Islands,” said the Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU) which named Smith into its Hall of Hame in 2017. At the ceremony, he was recognised for his service to the establishment of the CBU in 1970 and steering the union in its early years.

Born in 1930, Ray Smith attended the Grenada Boys Secondary School (GBSS) in St George. He received his initial training in basic engineering at the Public Health Engineering Unit in St George’s before migrating to Canada to pursue studies in radio engineering. He pursued night courses in Management and Administration at Sir George Williams College while working in Montreal.

Recruited in Montreal, he returned to Grenada to take up the post of Chief Engineer Windward, Island. Broadcasting Service (WIBS) in 1954, serving until its disbandment in 1971, whereafter, as a consultant in private practice he advised Dominica, St Lucia and St Vincent, on the establishment of their own respective local broadcasting service and Corporation. He served training attachments at the BBC and The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation according to his biography on the Willie Redhead Foundation (tWRF) of which he was a founding member.

The foundation’s website states that Smith was known as a descendant of James Smith, one of the Scots-Grenadian master builders educated in Edinburgh, who constructed several of the Georgian buildings which grace the historic district of St George’s.

Smith was honoured by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II in 2000 and awarded the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, (OBE) to be an officer of the Civil Division for Outstanding Service.

Smith and his wife who preceded in death are survived by 2 children.

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Caribbean & World

Ray Smith OBE, chief negotiator of GRENTEL deal dies

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by Linda Straker

  • Chief negotiator to form Grenada Telephone Company, and Cable and Wireless into GRENTEL
  • Served as GRENTEL’S first chairman
  • Founding member of the Willie Redhead Foundation

Raymond “Ray” Smith who had responsibility for Telecommunications and Health during the Interim Administration following the collapse of the People’s Revolutionary Government, has died.

Among the first Communications Engineers in the region, Smith during the late 1980s was the adviser and chief negotiator for the Government of Grenada in the initiative to bring together the business interests of the Grenada Telephone Company, and Cable and Wireless, leading to the establishment of GRENTEL of which he served as its first chairman.

GRENTEL no longer exists, but it was the parent of what has is now known as FLOW.

He has been described by regional telecommunications experts for innovations in broadcasting engineering. “This includes devising a news form of studio soundproofing using natural material, which was adopted by broadcast operations as far as ways as the Pacific Islands,” said the Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU) which named Smith into its Hall of Hame in 2017. At the ceremony, he was recognised for his service to the establishment of the CBU in 1970 and steering the union in its early years.

Born in 1930, Ray Smith attended the Grenada Boys Secondary School (GBSS) in St George’s. He received his initial training in basic engineering at the Public Health Engineering Unit in St George’s before migrating to Canada to pursue studies in radio engineering. He pursued night courses in Management and Administration at Sir George Williams College while working in Montreal.

Recruited in Montreal, he returned to Grenada to take up the post of Chief Engineer Windward, Island. Broadcasting Service (WIBS) in 1954, serving until its disbandment in 1971, whereafter, as a consultant in private practice he advised Dominica, St Lucia and St Vincent, on the establishment of their own respective local broadcasting service and Corporation. He served training attachments at the BBC and The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation according to his biography on the Willie Redhead Foundation (tWRF) of which he was a founding member.

The foundation’s website states that Smith was known as a descendant of James Smith, one of the Scots-Grenadian master builders educated in Edinburgh, who constructed several of the Georgian buildings which grace the historic district of St George’s.

Smith was honoured by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II in 2000 and awarded the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, (OBE) to be an officer of the Civil Division for Outstanding Service.

Smith and his wife who preceded in death are survived by 2 children.

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Grenada and other CDB borrowing members getting access to US$140 million

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  • Caribbean Development Bank approves US$140 million to tackle economic fallout from Covid-19 pandemic
  • Concern that situation could be exacerbated in near future given hurricane season less than 2 months away

Grenada and other members of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) stand to benefit from US$140 million which the Board of Directors approved for use by the bank’s Borrowing Member Countries to tackle the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic and other shocks to their economies.

CDB is often the main partner that several the Borrowing Member Countries rely on for financing, technical assistance and policy advice during crises. “The US$140 million allocation is the first of a package of assistance that CDB is developing to assist our Borrowing Member Countries to cope with Covid-19. Our financing and technical assistance, during this period, will be directed mainly towards the most vulnerable within our societies and give the highest priority to strengthening social safety nets,” stressed CDB President, Dr William Warren Smith. “The economic and social shock of the Covid-19 pandemic will likely be severe in most Caribbean countries. There is the additional concern that the situation could be exacerbated in the near future given our region’s vulnerability to natural disasters, and with the hurricane season less than 2 months away. We, at CDB, stand ready to assist Caribbean countries to alleviate these shocks.”

“Taking into account the high degree of uncertainty, it is expected that at least 1-2% could be shaved off previous estimates of global growth as a result of Covid-19. For the Caribbean Region, as a whole, the impact could be even more profound,” said a news release from the bank.

“The extent of decline of gross domestic product will depend on the duration of the pandemic and the effectiveness of the policy responses by the countries. Our goal is to ensure our Borrowing Member Countries get access to appropriate financing during the Covid-19 pandemic and to be their partner in the post-crisis recovery,” said Dr Smith.

CDB has responded to its Borrowing Member Countries’ need for assistance during this crisis by increasing the limit on its policy-based loans. These loans are designed to respond to exogenous shocks and to support economic growth and poverty reduction through policy reforms. Since the first policy-based loan in 2006, CDB has provided some US$875 million for such loans.

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

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