Daily Archives: March 1, 2006

Bahamas Bird Flu Alert – Flamingos, Cormorants Dead, Being Tested

UPDATED: March 2, 2006 – Bahamas Authorities Say NOT Bird Flu
Scroll down for update…

Early reports state that Bahamas Health officials are on Inagua – testing numerous dead flamingos for the deadly bird flu.

“But let’s hope to God that that is not the case here in the Bahamas…”

“Anything is possible in nature. You have birds that fly around the world,”

…Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources Leslie Miller, declining to rule out the H5N1 bird flu strain that has killed at least 93 people and spread to 20 new countries in the past month alone.

Full story at Planet Ark.

UPDATE

Bahamas Authorities Say NOT Bird Flu

Story here.

BBC Caribbean is also following the story here. Not much new to report right now as it will be a couple of days for the test results.

Other Bird Flu links…

Bird flu likely in US flocks soon: Health Secretary

Calls for bird flu military labs: Evening Standard

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Filed under Barbados, Environment, Island Life

UN Convention Against Corruption – Barbados Seminar Update

A few items of interest concerning the United Nations Corruption Seminar being held this week at the Accra Beach Hotel and Resort. The seminar is being held to discuss the ratification of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, and is organised by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

“Abuse of Public Office Now Widespread In The Region” – Former T & T PM

Seminar attendee and former Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, A. N. R. Robinson, says “abuse of public office is now widespread in the region…”

Real Jamaica Radio report here.

Barbados Attorney General Marshall – “Barbados Plans Legislation Shortly”

From the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation website: “Mr. Marshall says government abhors corruption in both the public and private sector, noting that it plans to put legislation in place to effect this shortly.”

Barbados Free Press asks Mr. Marshall “How shortly is shortly?”

Ho-hum. We will try not to get too excited about the Government of Barbados making yet another announcement of anti-corruption reform. Mr. Marshall will have to pardon the doubts of Bajans who have watched his government and their associates feed at the trough for twelve long years.

And that is the point, Mr. Marshall… What is the big rush with anti-corruption legislation now? Could it have anything to do with the impending election and the fact that Bajans have reached their tolerance for government corruption?

As one of our friends mentioned last night…

“Barbados has no anti-corruption or conflict of interest legislation on the books, but that has suited the Owen Arthur Government just fine for the past 12 years.”

Ok, Mr. Marshall – we will give you a chance to show you mean business when it comes to accountability and transparency…

Please post your proposed anti-corruption legislation on the internet so all Barbadians can read and comment on the specifics. And, oh yes, also please post the Annual Report of the Auditor General of Barbados for the last ten years.

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Politics & Corruption

Illegal Workers in Barbados: What to Do?

Patrick Hoyos of The Broad Street Journal puts a human face on the issue of illegal workers in Barbados. He was on a flight to Trinidad recently where the man next to him asked for help in filling out his immigration form as he had never learned how to read or write.

Patrick’s article* “In search of a brighter sun” is a moving read about one illegal immigrant from Guyana – and also another reminder that Barbados can no longer simply ignore the issue.

Thanks to Patrick for an important and thoughtful article. Here’s an excerpt…

Charlie is clearly one of perhaps thousands of migrant workers who have entered Barbados by air over the past several years, not only from our CSME sister country Guyana, but from other CSME sister countries as well.

They come in search of a brighter sun.

They have generally been treated with tolerance by our society. Many of them have found employment, mainly in construction, and they are contributing by their labour to our national economic development.

They also avail themselves somehow of free medical care and schooling, I am led to understand. And wouldn’t you, in their position? I know I would. Gratefully.

But nobody seems to know, or if they do they won’t say, how many Charlies there are out there in the Barbados economy.

If they say on their immigration form that they are tourists, they help swell our tourist arrival numbers. Does anybody check to see who is overstaying? I doubt it, but maybe I’m uninformed…

* The website of the Broad Street Journal is written in “frames” so we are unable to directly link with any article. If the article is no longer displayed on the BSJ’s front web page, you can use their search box to find it by searching for…

In search of a brighter sun

Commentary by Patrick Hoyos

Published February 26, 2006

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Filed under Barbados, Business, Island Life, Politics & Corruption

Barbados Greenland Consultancy Fees

You know what they say… A million here, a million there – and pretty soon you’re talking real money…

From this morning’s Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation website

GREENLAND

Minister of Health, Jerome Walcott, has asked government for a supplemental of over a million dollars to retrofit the Greenland landfill.

Mr. Walcott says no provision for this expense was made in this year’s Sanitation Service Authority estimates.

He also told the Lower House the funds will provide part-payment for imported aggregate, key to retrofitting the landfill and the balance will also cover consultancy fees.

Whatever the cost of the consultant – we want the Minister to know that we could have achieved the same result for half the money. After all, the object of hiring a consultant was merely to provide public justification for what the government was already going to do.

Yes, for sure we could have produced a report that parroted the government’s position for only half the money. Next time, just give us a call, Minister!

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Filed under Barbados, Environment, Politics & Corruption