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Opposition Senator in Upper House says 2020 budget debate maybe his last

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by Linda Straker

  • Contribution to the 2020 Budget debate may be Ron Redhead’s last
  • The senate shall consist of 13 appointed by the Governor-General

Ron Redhead, one of the senators appointed to represent the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Upper House of Parliament, has informed the members that his contribution to the 2020 Budget debate may be his last.

“Mr President, I just want to say that this may, in fact, be one of my last presentations. You know, you are aware of the situation in the Lower House,” he told the 13-member house while wrapping up his presentation. “Politics is a numbers game and it has its players behind the scenes, in front as well and it has its people, so anything can play.”

Section 24 of the constitution says that the senate shall consist of 13 who shall be appointed by the Governor-General. Seven shall be appointed by the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister; 3 shall be appointed by the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Leader of the Opposition; and 3 shall be appointed by the Governor-General, acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister after the Prime Minister has consulted the organisations or interests which the Prime Minister considers the senators should be selected to represent.

Following the March 2018 General Election in which ruling New National Party (NNP) won the 15 seats in the Lower House, Governor-General, Dame Cecile La Grenade, invited the NDC to nominate 2 persons to the Upper House. Senators Redhead and Kerryne James were accepted and appointed. The third person appointed in accordance with the constitution guidance was former Member of Parliament for the Constituency of St George South, Glynnis Robert.

On 20 November 2019, Tobias Clement, who represents the people for the constituency of St George’s North East announced that he has resigned from the NNP but will continue to represent his constituency in parliament.

“I have been elected by the people of St George’s North East to represent them and it will remain that way. I don’t think our constitution speaks to recalling MPs like that,” Clement told the media as he walked out of the parliament on 20 November 2019, minutes after listening to Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell present the 2020 Budget.

“We do have at least 3 years to go and I will also consider becoming Leader of the Opposition. One might wonder if in this deposition is having an elected opposition in the country is it a bad thing or having an opposition to government is it a bad thing,” Clement said, advising he will be consulting with the constitution for guidance before he announces his next step.

Tobias can choose to remain as a government backbencher or take up the position of Leader of the Opposition which has been vacant since the 2013 General Election when the NNP won all 15 seats for a second time. If he takes up the Leader of the Opposition post, he will then have the right to appoint 3 persons to represent him in the Upper House and this will automatically revoke the appointment of the 3 who were appointed by the Head of State.

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Caribbean & World

Prime Minister meets with executive members of Caribbean Congress of Labour

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Prime Minister, Dr the Right Honourable Keith Mitchell, and Minister of Labour, Honourable, Peter David, met Friday with executive members of the Caribbean Congress of Labour (CCL) who were in Grenada for a meeting of the regional organisation.

In welcoming the team, headed by President Andre Lewis of Grenada, Dr Mitchell underscored the importance of the labour movement and of working together.

He noted that the current Chair of the Caribbean Community, Honourable Mia Mottley of Barbados shares that opinion, hence the invitation to labour representatives to attend the inter-sessional meeting in Barbados this week.

Dr Mitchell said, “In the new global community, unless we work together, we would not survive. We need to unify our efforts – businesses, governments and labour to meet the fundamental challenges we face today. The Government of Grenada looks forward to continued cooperation as we go forward.”

Andre Lewis, who was elected President of the CCL last November, said the organisation also favours the collaborative approach and welcomed the opportunity to work with Caribbean leaders. He said, the CCL also believes the tripartite approach is necessary.

The Prime Minister also raised the issue of productivity, which he said needs to be addressed. The CCL executive members noted that productivity must be looked at in all its dimensions.

The subject of a possible government subvention for the CCL was discussed. Dr Mitchell, who is also the Minister of Finance, said government will be willing to support efforts by the regional trade union umbrella body, especially as it endeavours to empower its membership.

This drive to empower has already started. Through the CCL’s partnership with Cipriani College of Labour and Cooperative Studies in Trinidad and Tobago, the Grenada Trades Union Council is planning a one-week training session in leadership for its affiliates.

Dr Mitchell also suggested that the trade unions get involved in business ventures that can benefit their members over time. Some unions in Trinidad and Tobago and Dominica are already engaged in such activities and Dr Mitchell suggested that this approach be encouraged in other countries, including Grenada.

Office of the Prime Minister

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Caribbean & World

CARIBEWAVE 2020 to be staged on 19 March

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The National Disaster Management Agency (NaDMA) continues its preparation for the hosting of CARIBEWAVE 2020, carded for Thursday, 19 March 2020.

This year’s scenario will involve a 8.9 magnitude earthquake just off the coast of Jamaica, triggering a tele-tsunami in our area.

The exercise will be held along the western corridor: Victoria, Gouyave and Grand Mal, but triggering a national response.

The 2020 exercise gives the sister isles of Carriacou and Petite Martinique a unique opportunity to test the SOP (Standard Operating Protocol) created in 2019 as part of the certification of being Tsunami Ready in November 2019.

The exercise will be conducted simultaneously in Carriacou and Petite Martinique. We therefore encourage the general public to visit the website Tsunamizone.org to register for the exercise.

CARIBEWAVE (Caribbean Tsunami Warning Exercise) is a tsunami exercise held annually in the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, under the direction of UNESCO and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

The purpose of the CARIBEWAVE exercise is to improve the effectiveness of the Tsunami Warning System along the Caribbean coast.  The exercise provides an opportunity for emergency management organisations throughout the region to test their operational lines of communications, review their tsunami response procedures, and to promote tsunami preparedness.

The objectives of the CARIBEWAVE Exercise are to test and evaluate the operations of the Caribbean Tsunami Warning System (Caribe EWS), to validate preparedness response to a tsunami (which are test protocols and communications systems between tsunami warning centres and the tsunami warning focal points), and the use of the PTWC (Pacific Tsunami Warning Center) enhanced tsunami products for the Caribbean, as well as assist in tsunami preparedness efforts of the emergency management agencies in those areas.

For additional information, please contact Oslyn Crosby Public Relations Officer, NaDMA on 440-8390/ 440-0838, or 533-0766 email: nadma@spiceisle.com / nadmapr@gmail.com . 

NaDMA, the official source for all disaster related information in Grenada. 

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Caribbean & World

Missing Man Found | NOW Grenada

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30-year old, Devon Jeffrey of La Mode, St George, who was reported missing on Monday, 17 February 2020 has been found and has been reunited with his family. 

The Royal Grenada Police Force thanks the general public and the media for their continued support.

Office of Commissioner of Police

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