Daily Archives: February 14, 2007

Government Minister Lynette Eastmond Volunteers To Answer Questions By Barbados Free Press Readers

Senator Lynette Eastmond, Minister of Commerce, Consumer Affairs and Business Development, has volunteered to answer questions from Barbados Free Press readers concerning her Ministerial portfolio. The Senator advised BFP readers…

Ladies and Gentlemen

I am prepared to answer any question on the portfolio of the Ministry of Commerce, Consumer Affairs and Business Development. I believe that to date I have answered those that were asked.

If I do not know the answer I will tell you.

I do not believe that I should answer questions that do not fall within my portfolio simply because I am here.

Of course I do not peruse every post that is on the site, so there might be one that I have not seen.

If there are any dealing with my portfolio that I have not seen I should be most grateful if you would draw them to my attention.

In case you are not sure of everything that falls within the portfolio of the Ministry you can go to http://www.commerce.gov.bb

My best regards

Lynette Eastmond

BFP Suggests Some Structure For Our Readers

Folks, Senator Eastmond has made a serious offer to answer your questions in a public forum. We believe her offer indicates Senator Eastmond’s respect for you, and that she has buckets more courage than some politicians of all stripes who avoid unstructured public venues like the plague. (I can’t but help mention the Prime Minister’s unfulfilled promise to appear on his own BLP Blog and his so-obviously-scripted appearance on Brass Tacks.)

Senator Eastmond is a daily visitor at Barbados Free Press, and certain readers have started to constantly address her with a vitriol and nastiness that lowers the level of discourse. While Lynette is a politician and therefore has extremely thick skin, if her offer is to have real value to our readers we must all remember our manners – so the issues can be properly addressed.

It is true that BFP’s staff, writers and readers often slash and burn politicians in our articles and comments, but, hey… that’s life. It is also true that when meeting elected officials in person, each one of us is on our best behaviour out of simple courtesy and respect for the office of the person we are talking with. (Truth is, BFP’s Robert had a most excellent conversation with the Prime Minister last year at a very brief, unplanned and casual meeting. He actually came away with a very positive impression of the PM after speaking with him for the first time – but that’s another story for another day.)

My friends, Senator Eastmond may, or may not, answer questions to your satisfaction – or even not answer them at all. If she ducks and dodges, it will be obvious in the record so there’s no need for less than respectful conversation. (I hate to harp on this, but you know who I’m talking to.)

Bring On The Questions!

We’ll start with the first question, and then we’ll let our readers carry the ball. Once again, thanks to Senator Eastmond for her willingness to talk to constituents in a non-scripted public forum. Lot’s a guts, there Senator!

First Question… Two Parts…

Senator Eastmond, please tell us what areas of responsibility you have – and also what you see as the limitations of your office and authority. In other words – what are your areas of responsibility, and are there any areas of responsibility where you lack either the authority or means to fulfill your duties or to make changes that you believe need to be made?

Thanks!

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276 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Politics & Corruption

Deputy Speaker Of British Parliament Says Forget About Cuban Human Rights Violations

TODAY AN interesting little piece appears in the BBC Caribbean News. Labour Party MP Sylvia Heal wants closer ties with Cuba – despite the fact that the human rights violations by Cuba that caused the chilly Brit-Cuba relationship are still happening.

Ms. Heal didn’t mention the human rights violations, so I guess she wants Britain and the EU to back down – for that is exactly what they will be doing if she has her way.

See for yourself…

Calls for better EU-Cuba ties

The Deputy Speaker of the British Parliament has called for improved European relations with Cuba that were upset by human rights concerns four years ago.

Sylvia Heal, a labour party MP, is on a four-day visit to the island.

Ms Heal met with Ricardo Alarcon, the president of Cuba’s National Assembly and a top aide to ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

A crackdown on dissent ordered by Mr Castro in March 2003 led to a freeze in ties with Europe.

Sanctions have since been lifted on both sides but ties remain cool due to continued EU calls for the release of political prisoners in Cuba.

… original article at BBC Caribbean News (link here)

1 Comment

Filed under Barbados, Politics & Corruption

Jamaican Prime Minister’s Office Issues Cautionary Statement To… Business Owners Near Kensington Oval – Barbados!

All you business owners nearby Kensington Oval, Barbados – the Office of the Jamaican Prime Minister wants to remind you that you can’t use the words “Cricket World Cup” on your premises unless you pay up. Also… no last minute erection of billboards and such.

Hey… we have to be careful here in Barbados. If you violate CWC policies, they send Jamaicans to “have a word” with you!

Scary!

Story Link: Jamaica Information Service – Office of The Prime Minister

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Filed under Barbados, Business, Cricket

Director Canada Cayman Tourism – “I Had To Show Barbadians How To Use Deodorant After Guest Complaints About Staff Body Odour”

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“I took off my shirt and showed them how to use it.”

Earl B. Smith is the Director of the Canada Cayman Islands Tourism Department, and has been for the past 30 years. Back in the 1960’s he was the manager of the Blue Water Beach Hotel and the president of the Barbados Hotel Association. Later, he became the president of the Caribbean Hotel Association.

In the February 5, 2007 issue of Canadian Travel Press (“Canada’s Most Influential Travel Trade Publication”) Mr. Smith relates his memories of the hotel and travel business in Barbados.

According to Mr. Smith, we Bajans are (or were) pretty stinky.

Presumably, Cayman Islanders don’t stink as badly as Barbadians – at least not badly enough to prevent Mr. Smith from taking their money to run the Cayman Canada Tourism Department. Toronto folks don’t stink at all, says Mr. Smith. (Really – that’ s what he says!)

When I started to write this post, I was going to rip a strip off Mr. Smith and turn it into a racial issue (Stuck-up white guy doesn’t like the smell of darkies, etc.), but then I reconsidered. He’s just an impolite old fart living in the past and is certainly one of the best choices that Barbados could hope for – to head up tourism for our Cayman competition! Probably still refers to the Caribbean as “the Colonies”.

If you need a reminder of pre-independence perspectives and attitudes, you can check out Mr. Smith’s armpits at the Canadian Travel Press website (link here)

Thanks to BFP Reader “A” for the story tip!

7 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Traveling and Tourism

Barbados Farmer Gives Away 5000 Pounds Of Tomatos – Deputy PM Mottley Heading To Guyana To Buy More Imported Produce!

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HUNDREDS OF BARBADIANS descended on Barrows Plantation in St Lucy yesterday to take advantage of farmer Arthur Smith’s tomato give-away, which pleased bargain hunters but upset other producers. From as early as 7 a.m. almost 200 people who walked, drove or caught buses were at the farm, and in less than an hour, all 5 000 pounds of the tomatoes Smith had been unable to sell were gone…

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

THE STORY behind the story is that Barbadian farmers are at the end of their wits over trying to compete with produce brought in from outside countries. Many are leaving their crops to rot in the ground because it is just not worth it anymore. The original story about Mr. Smith’s tomato giveaway is also worth reading. (link here)

In the midst of this story, we see that Deputy Prime Minister Mia Mottley is soon to be on her way to Guyana to negotiate yet more imports of produce…

Initiatives are being explored for achieving a comprehensive economic co-operation agreement between Barbados and Guyana.

Informal talks toward this end have taken place on the margins of the 18th Caricom Inter-Sessional Meeting here and will be pursued shortly at ministerial level.

Guyana, which has the potential to be a major supplier of food products consumed by Barbados and other Caricom partners, has indicated readiness to host a visit by Barbados’ deputy prime minister and minister of economic development Mia Mottley…

… continue reading this story at Jamaica Observer (link here)

Go figure.

We don’t have any answers, but in light of the current experience of so many of our food-growers, is it any wonder that young folks are avoiding an agricultural career like the plague?

48 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business, CARICOM

Minister Of Health Says “No Quick Fix” For Barbados Hospital – And He Is Giving The Upside!

Let me see here: Patients with serious injuries like a broken jaw waiting 14 hours in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital before being seen, others waiting over 24 hours. Deaths under circumstances where relatives are claiming negligence and unreasonable wait times as factors. Hospital Deputy Director saying widespread theft in the hospital is impacting care… and horror stories by the dozens told by families throughout Barbados…

And now Barbados Minister of Health Jerome Walcott says he is “disappointed” with the tone of recent media articles about the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

We Have News For The Minister Of Health: We’re “Disappointed” With People Suffering & Dying Needlessly

Mr. Walcott did make one true point though – he said that there will be no “quick fix” for the hospital woes.

I think that most of us already knew that. It has taken over a decade of criminal neglect and wrong spending priorities by government for the hospital to deteriorate to its current state.

Walcott’s New “Solution”?

A couple of clinics will stay open a few more hours here and there.

Read what Walcott has to say in The Nation News and pray that none of your family needs emergency care…

No A&E Quick Fix

IT IS IMPOSSIBLE, says Minister of Health Jerome Walcott, for everyone who walks into the Accident & Emergency (A&E) Department of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) to be treated immediately.

However, he said, to ease some of the pressure on the department which had about 42 000 to 45 000 passing through it last year, from April 1 two polyclinics – Maurice Byer in St Peter and Randal Phillips in Christ Church – would have extended opening hours.

Walcott made the disclosure ata Barbados Labour Party St Philip West branch meeting at St Patrick’s Primary School last Sunday.

He said that despite the fast track/walk-in clinic at the Sir Winston Scott Polyclinic which opens up to 10 p.m. on weekdaysand 6 p.m. on Saturdays, people with minor injuries/ailmentswere reluctant to go there.

There were plans for the “modernisation and expansion”of the A&E, the minister said, noting that a small unit, with a doctor and nurse, would be set up at the QEH to cater to those patients with minor ailments.

Commenting on stories on the A&E in the last SUNDAY SUN, Walcott said he was “disappointed” with the tone of the articles.

“No comment was made as to what [the nurses and doctors] were seeing, what sort of cases they were dealing with, what they were doing in the stat room at the same point in time when you were in the waiting room, what was actually happening in there, who was being resuscitated, which stab wound was being dealt with, which asthmatic . . . . No comment as to what was happening in the Accident & Emergency facility. They were just subjective comments.”

… original story link here

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Filed under Barbados, Health, Politics & Corruption

Judge’s Message To Barbados Estate Trust Lawyers: Stop Being Such Crooks

Caribbean Court Of Justice Judge Tells It Like It Is

Well, we are glad we have that straight now. A judge giving a lecture to estate lawyers saying that it is a good idea not to lie, cheat and steal but rather you should tell the truth.

Egad!

We are flummoxed here with what is not being said. Was there ever any question that lawyers need to be honest and especially so when they are executors or trustees of an estate? Apparently it is just not quite clear to those presently practicing law in Barbados so a judge had to set the record straight.

Estate trust horror stories abound in Barbados, and it looks like the embarrassment cup is running over. As well it should.

Trustees Called To Account

ESTATE TRUSTEES have an obligation to ensure beneficiaries of the estate under management are fully aware of their rights.

This was one of the messages sent by Mr Justice David Hayton of the Caribbean Court of Justice when he addressed the Barbados branch of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) last Friday.

“The basis for the duty to provide information is the fact that the trust is an obligation; trustees must account for what they’re doing and the beneficiaries must have a corresponding right to make the trustees accountable.”

Hayton made the comments as he spoke on the topic The Trustees’ Duty to Provide Information and the Significance of Letters of Wishes at Hilton Barbados , Needhams Point, St Michael.

The justice reminded the gathering of STEP members that accountability was at the core of the trust concept.

“If there’s no accountability, there’s no trust. You’ve got to have this tension because the right produces the obligation. If it’s not there, it splits apart,” said Hayton.

He also advised them that it was always better to disclose to beneficiaries the information due them rather than become embroiled in a court battle.

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

7 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Offshore Investments