Monthly Archives: November 2006

Free Admission To Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary For Independence Day

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What A Great Way To Spend Independence Day

The Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary is celebrating Independence Day by giving free admission to everyone. Come on down, bring your family and friends, and see natural, beautiful Barbados. Lot’s of fun for the kids – they sure won’t be bored!

Meet Your Favourite BFP Writers At The Nature Sanctuary

Robert, Cliverton, Shona, Marcus and even Auntie Moses will all be at the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary shortly after noon.

See you there!

AND – don’t forget – FREE ADMISSION!

Visit the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary Website (link here).

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Environment, Island Life

Where Did The Prime Minister’s Photo Disappear To?

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Perhaps Some Technical Difficulties At Lynette Eastmond’s Website?

Back on September 2, 2006, Barbados Free Press noted that a photo on Senator Lynette Eastmond’s website showed Prime Minister Owen Arthur presenting an award to our sweetie, Rihanna.

With some humour, we mentioned that the Prime Minister’s eyes appeared to be wandering a bit south and we wrote about this in our article Barbados Prime Minister Fails To Look Rihanna In The Eye“.

This was all in fun and Senator Eastmond and others joined in with some good-natured humour in return. Everybody thought it just showed Owen Arthur as an ordinary healthy guy. Nothing wrong with that. Harvard Girl even replied that the Prime Minister wasn’t a bad looking man himself.

At the end of the day, it was all a bit of good-natured humour – and we’re sure that the PM would have chuckled a bit with everyone else.

Missing…

Then last week, one of our readers notified us that the original photo of Owen and Rihanna appeared to be missing from Senator Eastmond’s website. We looked, and sure enough, the photo and the article were nowhere to be seen.

hmmmmm…. Must be some technical difficulties over at Lynette’s website.

BFP To The Rescue!

It’s a good thing that we at BFP made a copy of the missing photo or it might have been lost forever! We are happy to publish it here while Lynette sorts out her technical difficulties and restores the original article to her website.

(Don’t even mention it, Lynette. We’re always happy to help a fellow blogger!)

Story Links

Website: Senator Lynette Eastmond

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Filed under Barbados, Island Life, Politics & Corruption

Barbados Airport Exit Tax: Has Partial Sense Prevailed?

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Who’s In Charge Of This Mess Anyway?

In a StarCom newscast at 12.30pm Tuesday, November 28th, followed by a media release by Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA Inc.), it was announced that the controversial 140% increased (but seemingly acceptable) former “departure tax”, now called a “service fee” – will not take place until 1st February 2007 and will then be hidden in the overall ticket price.

Of course it was far too simple for the common director that sits on both the board of GAIA Inc., and the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association to advise the BHTA (and perhaps the Barbados Tourism Authority at the same time) so they could jointly agree a national policy and implement it.

Instead, the tourism partners who we are led to believe formulate policy decisions in the national interest don’t talk about it until after the rest of us discover the news through the media.

Then belatedly when all the damage is done, they leap in and supposedly rectify poor channels of communication with retroactive damage control.

Is This Another Trolley Situation?

Order the trolleys,
have them delivered,
place them in the airport terminal
and then talk to the redcaps!

Its just as well that there are some of us left who are brave enough to ask questions.

… Our thanks to BFP reader and frequent “letter to the editor” writer, Adrian Loveridge, for his take on the Airport Exit Tax. Adrian’s original (unedited) comment can be seen here.

Related BFP Articles…

Barbados Airport Exit Tax Now Hits $60 Per Person!

Barbados Tourism Killer: Airport Departure Tax To Double

 

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Politics & Corruption, Traveling and Tourism

Former Barbados Ambassador To The USA: “Whites Are Not In Charge Of Barbados’ Economy, Whites Get Too Much Credit”

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Former Ambassador Disenfranchises Racial Minorities On The Eve Of Independence Celebrations

We often mention that issues of race, racism and racial prejudice (of all colours) hover just below the surface in Barbados – even in the most mundane activities of everyday life.

As if we needed more proof that we have a long way to go on this island before we view ourselves as Bajans first without regards to skin colour – Sir Courtney Blackman, former Ambassador to the United States, gives an interview to The Nation News and disenfranchises racial minorities on Barbados.

On the eve of our fortieth anniversary as an independent nation, Ambassador Blackman has one eye on the past and the other eye on skin colour.

If he’s driving, nobody is looking at the road ahead…

“I don’t know why people keep on saying Whites control the economy,” he said. “It simply isn’t true. If Whites were controlling the economy, then we would have to give credit to them for the economy doing so well over the last 40 years. I believe we have done well because successive administrations have followed policies, which have benefited the vast majority of Barbadians, and the vast majority of Barbadians are black. I would give credit to successive administrations and not to a few white people.”

The former Governor of the Barbados Central Bank said he believed Barbados was the best managed black society in the world, a rating first articulated by Dr Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St Vincent.

Blackman expressed doubts that if Whites were really in charge, Barbados would be in its current prosperous position…

… read the entire article in context at The Nation News (link here)

Ambassador Blackman may have been trying to give another message, to inspire or to chide – but for myself, a man whose family is all the colours of the rainbow, Mr. Blackman is still viewing Barbados and the world primarily through the narrow prism of race.

I understand where he is coming from, and God knows he has the right, but the future for all of us who love Barbados must belong to a different vision.

… our thanks to BFP reader Mike for the tip.

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Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, History, Politics & Corruption

Pursuing A $326,000 VAT Refund From Barbados Government

“THE BARBADOS Barbados Institute of Management and Productivity (BIMAP) is pursuing a $326 000 value added tax (VAT) refund from Government…”

… from The Nation Newspaper (link here). 

Kiss That Money Goodbye!

It will be a cold day you-know-where before the Government of Barbados cuts anyone a $326k VAT refund. As countless businesses on this island know, once they have that money in their hands, they will lawyer and accountant a business to death before giving it up.

The government is so over-spent that it is clouding decision making. Justice and rule of law have given way to making sure the next government payroll can be met.

Kiss that money goodbye, gentlemen, and get on with your lives – older and wiser.

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Offshore Investments, Politics & Corruption

BLP Blog Publishes DLP Leader’s “Fatted Calf” Speech

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DLP’s David Thompson Has Some Explaining To Do

The BLP Blog has published what they say is part of a speech given by DLP Leader David Thompson to the party faithful at the (last?) annual conference.

In speaking of those former DLPers who have gone elsewhere, Thompson says that upon the DLP victory…

“Under no circumstances, however, we will kill the fatted calf to welcome any such persons back into our fold.”

“We have learnt our lesson as a party. The fatted calf, under David Thompson’s watch, will be slaughtered and shared among those of you who have stood this course…”

What Does Thompson Mean?

Assuming that David Thompson did say the words as published by the BLP Blog, we have to ask ourselves “What does he mean?”

IF Mr. Thompson means that he will not offer Ministerial positions to entice former DLPers to return to the fold, that’s fine with me.

IF, however, Mr Thompson means that it is now the DLP’s turn for a feed at the trough, we soundly condemn him and his leadership for all time.

So let’s hear from Mr. Thompson or someone who can speak for him… Did he write and say these comments as alleged, and what was meant by the comments?

Read the BLP Blog article here.

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Filed under Barbados, Politics & Corruption

Barbados Abandons Canada At United Nations – “Thanks For Nothing” Say Canadians

Iran Calls For UN Censure Of Canada As Human Rights Abuser of Aboriginals & Immigrants

UNITED NATIONS – Some of the most popular holiday destinations for Canadians have spurned helping Ottawa fight off Iran’s bid to taint Canada’s human rights record.

In a showdown at the United Nations, Cuba joined Iran and four other countries supporting Tehran’s call for the world body to censure Canada over its treatment of aboriginal Canadians and immigrants.

Various other countries popular with Canadian tourists stopped short of speaking up for Canada by abstaining. Among them were China, Thailand, Singapore, Barbados, Costa Rica, and South Africa.

The backbone of support for Canada came from Western democracies, and the European Union, Australia and New Zealand went on record saying Iran’s anti-Canadian draft had been political retaliation for Canada’s leadership Tuesday in seeing Iran’s human rights record condemned…

… continue reading this article at Victoria Times Colonist (link here)

I missed this issue in the Barbados media and only discovered it accidentally on another blog. Was it mentioned in the Barbados media at all?

In retalitation for Canada’s introducing and having passed a UN motion condemning Iran’s human rights record (all to do with the torture and murder of Zahra Kazemi – a Canadian woman journalist who was beaten to death by Iranian police) – Iran introduced a motion to censure Canada for human rights violations of aboriginals and immigrants.

Supporting the failed motion to condemn Canada were the virtuous countries of Iran, Cuba, North Korea, Syria, Myanmar and Belarus.

Supporting Canada were despotic gulags like the European Union, Australia and New Zealand.

Barbados abstained – along with China, Singapore, Costa Rica and South Africa and 48 other countries.

That Barbados abandoned Canada is big news throughout the land of snow – with major newspapers carrying the story on Friday and Saturday, November 24 and 25.

Canada – practically little Barbados in some parts of Toronto – a country that has welcomed immigrants from all over the world for a century. Canada – where something like 100 languages are spoken in Toronto alone.

Sure, Canada abused the aboriginals in times past, but the Iranian motion condemned Canadians for current behaviour – not fifty years ago.

Does Barbados consider Canada such a brutal country that our diplomats were instructed not to support Canada?

Or maybe the Barbados government said “To Hell with Canada – we want all those tourists and investors from Iran, Cuba, North Korea, Syria, Myanmar and Belarus”

Whatever happened, the Canadians and their media are mad as hell at Barbados.

Thanks Owen!

Brilliant. Just brilliant.

Story Links

Victoria BC Times Colonist – Cuba joins Iran To Shame Canada at UN

General Speaking Blog – Choosing sides

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Filed under Barbados, Offshore Investments, Politics & Corruption

Barbados Professional Engineers Could Lose International Status

UWI-trained engineers could lose international accreditation

CBC Sunday, 26 November 2006

The Barbados Association of Professional Engineers is worried that their University of the West Indies-educated members could lose their ranking and status in the field internationally.

President Roger Blackman says the international body, which has been accrediting UWI degrees for decades, has changed its qualification requirements.

Mr. Blackman says this means the UWI’s three-year undergraduate programmes will no longer be given chartered engineering status…

… Read the rest at CBC News (link here).

This has far-reaching implications for more than just the engineers themselves. A general loss of accreditation for Barbados engineers would cripple many Bajan companies and force them to hire outsiders.

Let’s hope something can be worked out soon, because the simple mention of this problem is enough to send some clients packing.

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking

Chairman of Queen Elizabeth Hospital Says Stop “Airing Dirty Linen In Public”

From The Nation News…CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), Horace Cobham, is knocking the practice of “airing everything negative about the hospital in as public a forum as possible”. Speaking at the hospital’s 42nd anniversary celebrations, he said such practices “added no value to the development of the hospital”.

If there are any areas of concern, we will be the ones who will let the public know about them . . . . We are keen to hear how you feel and what you feel should be done,” he said…

… read the rest at The Nation News (link here)

We’ve Got News For Q.E.H’s Chairman: Everybody Knows Already

Mr. Cobham’s plea for the hospital staff and public to just mind their own business doesn’t fly anymore. The “going public” by the staff is because they haven’t been able to change things without drawing public attention to the disaster that is the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Simply put – staff and citizens have lost trust and faith in the hospital administration and the government.

Last month, we discovered that the premier hospital of Barbados had no working autoclaves to sterilize surgical instruments. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners described the situtation at Queen Elizabeth Hospital as A Disaster That Is Unfolding“.

A while ago, there was that major television news piece that went around the world (See Toronto TV News – Barbados Hospital ‘Squalid, Crumbling, Urine On Floor’).

This Is About A Government That Won’t Fund Hospitals, Sewers Or Water Distribution

While the Chairman at the QEH is doing the best he can with what he has, it is useless to talk about “priorities in spending” when the place has been starved to death by government neglect. It is useless to talk about the hospital administration being the ones to let the public know “if there are any areas of concern” when they have been quiet little government lap dogs for years.

No Functioning Autoclaves. Got that?

Even the hospital in Kigali, Rwanda has an autoclave.

Wonder what “The Father Of First World Barbados” has to say about that?

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Filed under Barbados, Politics & Corruption

March 25, 2007 – Two Hundredth Anniversary Of Britain’s Abolition Of The Slave Trade Act

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When Murder Wasn’t A Crime – Only An Insurance Claim For Lost Cargo

Later this week, Prime Minister Tony Blair will deliver a historical expression of regret for the British state’s involvement in slavery. He will condemn Britain’s role in the slave trade as a “crime against humanity” and express “deep sorrow” that it ever happened.

Why is Blair making the statement now? The timing may, or may not, have something to do with reminding the world that while Britain was an integral part of the slave trade at the time, the British people became world leaders in the abolishment of slavery.

The timing of Blair’s statement might be no accident as it closely precedes an important anniversary in the fight to abolish slavery in the British Empire.

On March 25, 1807, Britain passed the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act – which prohibited British subjects from transporting slaves. This was just one of the victories leading up to the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833, but it was an important victory that had taken anti-slavery advocates years to push through Parliament.

The Horror Of The Slave Vessel “Zong”

Today’s Guardian features an article about the murder of slaves on the sailing vessel “Zong” – one of the horrifying cases that helped to turn the British public against the institution of slavery. Slave Olaudah Equiano was on the Zong, and his 1789 autobiography is generally acknowledged to have fueled the anti-slavery movement. The truth and horrors of Equiano’s revelations allowed good people like William Wilberforce, Thomas Clarkson, Henry Brougham, Mary Lloyd and others to win over the British public.

Whether you have heard about Olaudah Equiano and the Zong or not, you must read this article…

Slavery: The Long Road To Our Historic ‘Sorrow”

Britain is poised to come to terms with its role in the brutal trade in human lives. Here leading historian Tristram Hunt considers why, 200 years after abolition, we are finally acknowledging our wrongs…

Captain Luke Collingwood’s voyage was not going well. Poor navigation and strong headwinds meant his ship, the Zong, was taking months, not weeks, to sail from Africa to Jamaica. More worryingly, his cargo was beginning to rot. For shackled beneath the deck, pressed back to face, festering in each others’ excrement, blood and sweat, some 440 slaves lay slowly dying.

Seeing his profits slip away as the deaths mounted, Collingwood resorted to an insurance scam. With each African covered at £30 apiece (over £2,000 at today’s prices), he decided to jettison parts of the cargo to ‘save’ the rest. The Zong’s maritime insurance would cover the cost of each lost slave. Citing a lack of drinking water, the captain had 133 slaves thrown overboard. Some went to their death with arms still shackled; others jumped into the ocean themselves…

… continue reading this article (link here)

Photo by Shona “Bussa”

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Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, History, Religion

Who Funds The Environmental Foundation Of Jamaica?

Through a friend, we heard about some of the good work being done by the Environmental Foundation Of Jamaica. The group has a reputation for doing rather than talking. The current project list as shown on their website is a little behind, but here it is…

Current Projects – Environmental Foundation Of Jamaica

The programme includes projects under the following themes:
– Watershed Management
– Urban Parks & GreenSpaces
– Child Development
– Biodiversity
– Waste Management

Projects currently being worked on are:

Dunn’s River Upper Watershed Project

The Dunn’s River is located in St. Ann, Jamaica. The falls which cascade into the Caribbean Sea are world famous as a tourist attraction The falls are fed by three rivers which start in areas in the upper watershed above the falls.

In order to secure water quality and sustain the streamflows, management of the watershed is critical.

The project will also address the following tasks:

1. Water Resource Monitoring of surface and ground water quality, streamflow volumes and groundwater levels.
2. Reforestation of 230 hectares of trees in the watershed.
3. Baseline Environmental Assessment
4. Sustainable Watershed Management and Development Plan
5. Solid Waste Management
6. Public Education in surrounding communities and Schools
7. Training

Who Funds This Good Work? … The USA

The United States of America entered into an agreement with the Government of Jamaica in which Jamaican debts to America are forgiven, and the payments that are otherwise due to America are re-invested into Jamaica for the good of Jamaican citizens.

“The Foundation promotes, supports and implements activities designed to conserve the natural resources and the environment of Jamaica and fosters the well-being of our children.

To this end the Foundation will give the highest priority to those activities from which benefits are sustainable and/or replicable.”

…From the foundation’s website (link here).

Will The United States Assist Barbados In The Same Manner?

As we noted in a previous article United States Eats Crow Responding To China In The Caribbean, the United States wants to kiss and make up with Barbados – so perhaps our government could make enquiries to see if the USA would be agreeable to an arrangement for watershed aid like it has with Jamaica.

Then again, it always takes some time for an old friend to forget they were slapped in the face.

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Filed under Barbados, Environment, Politics & Corruption

Barbados Developer Says “Goodbye Hotels – Hello Condos”

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Managing Director of the Caribbean Tourism Investment Management Company predicts that condominiums will replace hotels in Barbados in the not too distant future.

Timothy Boyce says the trend is already taking place in other destinations across the globe.

He argues that research has found the return on investment from hotels is not as great as from condominiums.

Boyce dismissed the argument that hotels generate more employment than the condominium market.

… continue reading the rest at CBC News (link here).

Mr. Boyce and his clients obviously believe that whatever is good for their pocketbooks must be good for Barbados and Bajans – and, seeing as the present Government of Barbados hasn’t bothered with any overall development plan or public debate on development, the condos are coming.

On the eve of our 40th anniversary as an independent nation, don’t we owe it to ourselves and to our children to hold a public debate about where we want this country to be in the years ahead? Should we not have the right as citizens to be fully aware of how today’s decisions will impact the character of our country in the future?

Extensive high-rise condo development will change more than just the view. On such a small island, there must be social, economic and environmental impacts that will result from the fundamental re-structuring that Mr. Boyce is talking about.

So far, our government is approving condo developments on a piecemeal basis, with no overall plan – and with zero public dialogue about where this will take Barbados or if the citizens want this to happen.

What are the social, cultural, environmental and economic changes that will result from more extensive condo development? Bajans can only guess.

Mr. Boyce and his friends say that condos are a good investment.

We should all be asking, “Good for whom?”

* Story Links *

CTIM Inc. – Caribbean Tourism Investment Management Inc. (website here)

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business & Banking, Island Life, Offshore Investments, Politics & Corruption, Traveling and Tourism

“Endless Death Threats” Against Barbados Author – We Believe It!

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HISTORIAN PROFESSOR HILARY BECKLES has revealed for the first time that he wrote the first edition of his book: The History Of Barbados, “in the midst of endless death threats”.

The principal of the University of the West Indies’ Cave Hill Campus made this disclosure on Thursday night at the launch of the second edition of the book, which was originally published in 1990…

…”We were told we were manufacturing history; we were told we were racist,” stated Beckles, explaining how his position on Barbadian history was received at that time.

…In the late 1980s, he was embroiled in public controversy over what he termed the economic disenfranchisement of Barbados’ majority black population, fiercely criticising a number of local companies for excluding Blacks from their boardrooms.

… read the entire article at The Nation News (link here).

Actually, Professor Beckles’ book is titled “A History of Barbados – From Amerindian Settlement to Nation-State” and to read it is to understand why there is always a racial undercurrent and class-consciousness about everything in contemporary Barbados.

To read it is also to understand that while we may be coming up on 40 years as a nation, it will take a lot longer than that to establish a political morality where duty to one’s fellow citizens is more important than the achievement and maintenance of political power at any cost.

Piggies At The Trough should read Professor Beckles’ book again some fifteen years after it was first published – if only to remind themselves of the noble intents that caused them to seek public office in the first place.

Cliverton

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Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, History, Island Life

Crane Hotel Barbados – Linda Posts A Bit Of Bajan History

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Crane Hotel Opened In 1887

When our snow-bound friends think of getting away to Barbados or just “The Caribbean” in January, many have an idyllic vision of enjoying a nice quiet dinner outside as they overlook the coast. The sound of waves on sand. Sun going down. You get the picture.

Unfortunately, that’s often not the reality of Barbados and other tourist destinations. Think of the party at the Gap or Bridgetown Harbour on a Saturday night. Think of Friday afternoon traffic along the south coast. Not exactly what some tourists have in mind.

Our friend Linda at My Barbados Blog has posted about the history of the Crane Hotel – one of the places on the island where you can find a certain type of slower, secluded vacation. Linda is also a travel agent who can get you into The Crane and other similar venues for not a whole lot more money than a typical “cookie cutter” vacation package.

Head on over to My Barbados Blog or her travel website Travel 2 The Caribbean.com and we will see you in Barbados in January!

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, History, Traveling and Tourism

British Airways Boycott Grows After Christian Employee Suspended For Wearing Cross

barbados-british-airways-christian-boycott-ewilda.jpg“I will not hide my belief in the Lord Jesus. British Airways permits Muslims to wear a headscarf, Sikhs to wear a turban and other faiths religious apparel.”Only Christians are forbidden to express their faith.I am a loyal and conscientious employee of British Airways, but I stand up for the rights of all citizens.”Nadia Eweida – BA employee suspended for wearing Christian cross.

100 British MPs Refusing To Fly British Airways Over Employee Crucifix Ban

British Airways is facing growing calls for a boycott by Christian passengers as it deals with the fallout after a Christian employee was suspended for wearing a small Christian Cross on a necklace while at work. * (See Update Below)

The airline allows Sikhs and Muslims to wear religious headcovering and jewellery, but the Christian employee, Nadia Ewilda, was suspended without pay for wearing the small cross.

“I’ve cut up my British Airways Executive Club card – will you?”

… businessman Marcus Stafford – creator of the Boycott British Airways website: www.baboycott.com

British Airways Gives A Slap In The Face To All Christians

This situation has been going on for six weeks and BA’s Chief Executive Willie Walsh has upheld the action against a Christian for wearing a cross.

Today, British Airways announced that they are going to “review” their policy. (Telegraph article here)

We Call Upon The Prime Minister Of Barbados To Cancel All Government Travel On British Airways

The Government off Barbados should cancel all travel on British Airways for reason of BA’s persecution of Christian employees – for putting the rights of Christian employees lower than any other religion.

“To Hell with British Airways. Even if they change their policy, I will look at their aircraft and tail logo for the next decade and remember.”

…Taxi passenger today at Grantley Adams Airport, Bridgetown, Barbados (courtesy of Shona’s little brother)

* Update

One of our readers points out that the Christian lady was offered another non-uniform post where her Cross would be allowed…

Ms Eweida said she was effectively forced to take unpaid leave after refusing to hide the cross symbol she wore round her neck when people of other faiths were allowed to wear visible religious symbols such as headscarves.” – (link here)

(BFP) Stated that BA suspended the employee when in fact she was offered an alternative position

“BA said Ms Eweida had been offered a non-uniformed post were she would be able to openly wear her cross but had refused to take it.” – (link here)

While I agree the the BA position is wrong, lets not un-necessarily demonise by falsely representing their actions.

We thank Andrew for his information and making the story more accurate, but we think it’s really a sidebar on the entire issue when Sikhs are allowed to wear their religious jewellery in uniform.

Once again, some Christians view the wearing of a cross as not important at all. Some view it as integral to their faith. Who are we, and who are BA to presume to dictate what is acceptable practice for a Christian?

In a society that is bending over backwards at every turn to accomodate faiths of all kinds, it is simply unacceptable that the same consideration is not extended to Christians. 

… and millions of Brits agree with our opinion.

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Filed under Barbados, Politics & Corruption, Religion

Barbados Ministry Of The Environment Website Is Packed Full Of Useful Information

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Oh… we forgot. The Barbados Ministry of the Environment doesn’t have a website.

That way, they don’t have to bother posting any advice, research, current environmental legislation or any other information to assist Barbados citizens.

Now if Environment Minister Liz Thompson would only put the same amount of work into her Ministry’s website as she put into her own “Elect Me, I’m Great!” website…

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The only link on Liz’s website is to the Barbados Labour Party.

Yup.

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Filed under Barbados, Environment, Politics & Corruption

More Barbados Cops Leaving

The best that Police Commissioner Dottin can do is to try and keep them until after Cricket World Cup… and then they are out of here. This is not Commissioner Dottin’s fault – he has been ordered to make bricks without straw.

Twelve good officers leaving because the Government of Barbados pays them less than the chaps who drive the garbage trucks.

Read it and weep…

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Politics & Corruption

Waterless Toilets For Barbados – A Good Idea That Government Ignores

UPDATED: April 14, 2010

This BFP article on waterless toilets from almost four years ago (!) makes interesting reading because nothing appears to have changed since then. The old mains are still leaking half of what we produce into the ground, government is talking about getting water from Dominica and everybody points out that if we would only fix the mains, conserve usage and gather water during the rains we’d have more than enough water on this little island.

Meanwhile as Prime Minister David Thompson so accurately and recently pointed out, the last government blew a billion dollars on cricket parties and failed environmental projects led by then-government Minister Liz Thompson.

How much would it take to replace, fix or harden the majority of our large water mains? Whatever the price, it would be worth it.

And then there is the “but” factor… but…

Sometimes I despair because I know that this is a country where we don’t change the engine oil. We’d rather replace an entire fleet of garbage trucks prematurely than to set a schedule for engine and transmission oil changes and adhere to it.

Oil is cheap: transmissions and engines are expensive. Barbados opted to “save money” on the oil changes!

Replacing water mains is cheap. Expanding our water making capacity to fill those leaking mains is expensive, but so far that’s been the choice of every government for the last 20 years.

Yes, folks… sometimes I do despair!

Here’s our original article: Waterless Toilets for Barbados – a Good Idea that Government ignores…

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Other Countries Benefit From Waterless Toilets – What About Barbados?

We have a water shortage in Barbados. Barbados Free Press calls it a crisis, but even if some dismiss the word “crisis” as hyperbole, none of us has any doubt that if things continue as they are going for another ten years there will be no disagreement over the word “crisis”.

This weekend, Barbados Free Press will publish the second article in our feature series: Water Crisis In Barbados. (You can link to our first article “A Bird’s Eye View” here.) As I was preparing the new article for posting, I started thinking about waterless toilets, so I Googled the term to see where the technology is now and ended up reading for half an hour about toilets of all kinds.

As usual, Wikipedia was a good place to start. There, I learned that governments in British Columbia, Sweden, Washington State, Hawaii, Montana, Fiji, Japan and other countries have modified their building codes to allow the use of various types of waterless toilets. I also learned that the NSF – the National Sanitation Foundation – has established “Standard 41” for waterless toilets and that many available models meet this internationally recognized standard.

When I Googled for “Barbados + Composting Toilet” or “Barbados + Waterless Toilet“, I really couldn’t find anything worthwhile about waterless toilets in Barbados – with the exception of a post about the life of that great Bajan environmentalist and futurist, Dr. Colin Hudson. (Tributes To Colin Hudson, 1938-2004)

Zero Information About Waterless Toilets In Barbados

In other words, nothing about the use of waterless toilets in Barbados, nothing about any government study or initiative. Zero. Nada.

Why hasn’t the Government of Barbados at least studied the technology and published the results? Why haven’t we started any pilot projects – perhaps in schools or government office buildings as other jurisdictions have successfully done?

The technology is at least one hundred and thirty-seven years old and, judging by what I see on the internet, waterless toilets are ready for prime time – especially in a country like Barbados that has both a water shortage and problems with the disposal of human waste.

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Zero Leadership From Barbados Environment Ministry

Talk Talk Talk – that’s all we seem to get from the Liz Thompson and the Barbados Ministry of The Environment. But when it comes to action, well, we’d better think and act for ourselves.

The only leadership I see is Ministry staffers fighting to see who’ll be first to the buffet table on Wednesdays at the Savannah Hotel. (As we pointed out in a previous article Can Barbados Pee It’s Way To More Water?, Environment Minister Thompson likes white wine with lunch at the Savannah, while her deputy takes rum ‘n coke.) Continue reading

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