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Tobias Clement fails to attend NNP party meeting in his constituency

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by Linda Straker

  • Tobias Clement did not attend constituency meeting
  • On 16 April 2019 Clement announced he may soon be in parliament from “another standpoint”
  • NNP convention will be held on 27 October 2019 in St Patrick

Roland Bhola, General Secretary of the ruling New National Party (NNP), has confirmed that Tobias Clement, Member of Parliament for the St George North East constituency, did not attend a constituency meeting organised by the party, despite an official invitation forwarded to him.

“As a party, we have a responsibility, as a National Executive we have a responsibility on our shoulders to ensure that the political work is being done in every constituency,” said Bhola, who explained that whenever the parliamentary representative is also a member of the party, that person will also lead with the political work.

“If they [are] not doing it then it’s incumbent on me as General Secretary to ensure that the work is being done and I have the backing of the National Executive that says to go get the work done in North East St George, so that is how we organised that meeting last night,” Bhola said without confirming the current political status of Clement who is serving his second term as the Member of Parliament for the constituency.

Bhola said that after the letter of invitation was sent, he personally visited Clement in his office to encourage him to attend the meeting.

Efforts to directly reach Clement, who is an educator at the St George’s University, have proven futile, but a few months ago he announced in a sitting of the House of Representatives which is currently functioning with a Leader of the Opposition, that he may soon be in the parliament from “another standpoint.”

He did not explain what he meant, but without sharing details, he told the House while speaking on the adjournment, that he felt compelled to raise issues about the separation of powers of a political party office and a Member of Parliament’s constituency office during the session.

“I am feeling as if I am at my wit’s end, because I do, believe me, Mr Speaker in the separation of powers, you have the executive branch, you have the legislative branch and you have the judiciary, and we are almost there as checks and balances to each other,” he said during the 16 April 2019 sitting.

Since that time, Clement who has attended every session of the House of Representatives has spoken very little or contributed to the debate of bills.

Held at the Boca Secondary School, the meeting which was not part of mobilisation effort for the party’s upcoming convention, was also not attended by NNP Political Leader Dr Keith Mitchell, but saw some of the more senior executive members addressing the session which lasted about 2 hours.

The party’s convention will be held on 27 October 2019 in the parish of St Patrick.

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Caribbean & World

Millions spent on importation of beef and pork – NOW Grenada

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by Linda Straker

  • As of September, 143,541 kg of beef valued at EC$2,809,463 has been imported in 2019
  • Most imports are from the US, UK, Canada, and Brazil
  • No official data on the number of cattle, pigs and goats butchered during festive season

Grenada appears to be on a path to surpassing the quantity of beef and pork imported into the country for 2017 and 2018, because as of September 2019, data from the Central Statistical Office shows the country has already surpassed the quantity imported in 2017.

In 2017, Grenada imported 138,555 kg of beef valued at EC$3,130,318. The following year 260,195 kg was imported, valued at EC$4,047,579. As of September this year, 143,541 kg of beef valued at EC$2,809,463 has been imported.

155,053 kg of pork was imported in 2017, valued at EC$1,713,728; in 2018 the imported quantity was 235,892 kg which was valued at EC$2,209,699. From January to September 2019, 164,216 kg has been imported, valued at EC$1,498,603.

Though a small quantity is imported from Antigua & Barbuda and Trinidad & Tobago, most of the imports are from the US, UK, Canada, and Brazil. Tenderloin or the tenderest part of a loin of beef or pork, as well as sirloin steak, showed a significant increase in terms of kilos.

The Ministry of Agriculture in a recent statement said that it recognises that there is a shortage of livestock in Grenada and is working to resuscitate the livestock sector.

“The Ministry of Agriculture will develop and implement a livestock policy; introduce new genetic stock at the Laura Livestock Station; strengthen the small ruminant programme at the Limlair Livestock Station in Carriacou and reintroduce the artificial insemination programme among other ongoing initiatives,” said a statement in response to the public concern that a licence was provided to a businessman to import 400 pigs and 100 cattle from St Vincent and the Grenadines.

The statement said the permit was issued to meet the demands of the upcoming festive season. Traditionally, based on observation, pork and beef products enjoy increased consumption during this period. There is no official data on the number of cattle, pigs and goats butchered during the Christmas festive season.

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Garden of Prayer – A Blue Sunday – NOW Grenada

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From swanky shoes to crisp men’s shirts and fashionable ladies’ dresses, members of the Garden of Prayer church on Sunday, 10 November 2019 were decked out in various shades of blue to commemorate their Blue Sunday – a diabetes awareness month initiative.

Every year, to kick off their November activities, the St David’s Branch of the Grenada Diabetes Association starts with a church service. Garden of Prayer was the church of choice this year, as it is right on the border of St David and St George, and many residents of St David attend that church. The group asked the church members to wear blue on that day, and they obliged.

Men, women and children wore different shades of blue, while team members gave presentations on Type 2 Diabetes prevention and management and showed a short video on the importance of a healthy diet which consists of portion and carbohydrate control. Additionally, the St David’s Branch of GDA invited everyone to participate in their two upcoming activities which are:

Free Health and Diabetic Clinic on Saturday, 23 November from 10 am to 2 pm at the Monsignor Cyril LaMontagne Community Centre, Perdmontemps, St David, next to St Dominic’s Catholic Church. Testing will be done by the Student National Medical Association and DIGA of St George’s University (SGU). Services offered: Blood pressure testing, glucose reading, eye examination, food examination, nutrition counselling and doctor consultation.

Free Online Diabetes Management Webinar on Saturday, 30 November from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm.

To participate: Register by going to http://bit.ly/diabetesgnd2019

Speakers:

  • Dr Francis Martin of the Grenada Medical Association
  • Charisse Bristol of the Grenada Food & Nutrition Council
  • Gemma Stewart of the St David’s Branch of the Grenada Diabetes Association

Organised by Central Health – Grenada and the St David’s Branch of the Grenada Diabetes Association.

Central Health – Grenada

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Grenada installing hydro-meteorological monitoring system

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by Linda Straker

  • 33 new climate stations will be installed as part of Hydrometrics Network
  • Installation began in October 2019 by SUTRON OTT

By February 2020 Grenada will have a fully functional Hydrometrics Network that will provide the relevant authorities with data which will among other things provide early signs that can promote public safety link directly to natural hazards such as floods.

“The development of an improved and effective hydro-meteorological monitoring system is designed to provide real-time or near real-time hydro-met data to support planning, engineering and disaster early warning activities to promote public safety and reduce vulnerability to potential disaster events, as well as improved hazard mitigation,” said a news release from the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, Communications Department.

Trevor Thompson, Acting Chief Land Use Officer said that 33 new climate stations will be installed as part of the network. “That will comprise Synoptic Stations, Climate stations, Agro-Climate Stations, Hydrometric Stations, Hydrometric Stations with Pressure Transducers, Hydrometric Stations with Radars, Groundwater Stations, and Marine Stations or Tide Gauges,” he said.

The installation of the devices began in October 2019.

Through the project which is receiving support from the World Bank and the Climate Investment Fund, 55 rain gauges will be installed to support the automatic weather stations installed. “The stations will record data such as rainfall, temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, wind speed and direction, evapotranspiration, soil temperature, leaf wetness, solar radiation, river discharge, tide levels, groundwater levels,” Thompson said.

Regional institutions whose work will require the use of the information gathered through the network will also have access to the information gathered through the monitoring system. The installation of the different hydrometric devices at various points throughout the country was contracted to the international company SUTRON OTT.

The ministries and agencies collaborating in this project are the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, Ministry of Finance, Procurement Unit, Ministry of Climate Resilience, Environment, Forestry, Fisheries, Disaster Management and Information, Ministry of Finance – Physical Planning Unit, Ministry of Carriacou and Petite Martinique Affairs, Ministry of Tourism – National Parks, National Water and Sewage Authority, Maurice Bishop International Airport’s Meteorological Office and the National Disaster Management Agency.

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