Daily Archives: October 29, 2008

Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary Closing – World-Class Eco-Tourism Attraction, 85+ Jobs Gone – Canadian Philanthropist Gives Up On Barbados

Click On The Photo To See The New Graeme Hall Video

Click On The Photo To See The New Graeme Hall Video

Goodbye To The National Park & The Last Mangrove Wetlands In Barbados

We’ll have more to say about this tomorrow. We can hardly cope right now. Anger. Sorrow. Despair at what our country has become. There is so much corruption on this island that foreign philanthropists can’t even give it away without a dozen people wanting a piece of the action.

So much for the National Park. So much for all the fine words of two successive governments of Owen Arthur and David Thompson.

Oh well, don’t worry kiddies… they’ll be another sucker of a foreign philanthropist along shortly. Some other factory or joint venture will open and we’ll get those jobs back.

Kiss the National Park and all that green space goodbye though. Too much money to be made so the political elites will have it paved over soon. That is why both the DLP and the BLP just couldn’t let us have a national park on the south coast. Too much money to be made.

Here’s the press release from Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary. Read it and weep…


GRAEME HALL NATURE SANCTUARY, INC.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Bridgetown, Barbados
Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Contact:                Harry Roberts, General Manager
Telephone:            (246)  426-3610
Email:                    hroberts@graemehall.com
Backup Letters, Art and Archives:    http://www.graemehall.com/press.htm

Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary in Barbados to Close

[Vancouver, Canada]   Environmental philanthropist Peter Allard announced that the 35-acre Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary in Barbados will close on December 15, 2008.

Saying that “no one individual can stand longer than a generation in the wilderness of environmental preservation,” Allard despaired that to preserve the environmental heritage at Graeme Hall for future generations of Barbadians would require “a government-led consciousness.”

“I thank the the citizens of Barbados who came to the Sanctuary to visit, and thank those who signed the petition with the Friends of Graeme Hall for a National Park,” said Allard.   “I believe the Sanctuary would not have been possible without the support of the many eco-visitors, school children and the hard-working employees who put their heart and soul into making the Sanctuary a first class visitor experience.”

Allard went on to say that the Sanctuary would not exist if it had not been for special individuals who helped make it happen  such as Dame Billie Miller and her kind and capable Permanent Secretary, the late Brie St. John, Dr. Lorna Inniss, Dr. Trevor Carmichael, Dr. Karl Watson and many, many others.

Approximately 85 employees and contractors will be negatively affected by the closing.   It is expected that tour companies, taxis and local businesses will lose bookings as well.

In 2007, over 6,000 Barbadians signed a Friends of Graeme Hall petition in favor of preserving the approximately 240 acre green area at Graeme Hall as a National Park.    As the largest green space on the South Coast between the Airport and Bridgetown, the proposed National Park would include the designated 91-acre RAMSAR wetland approved under the international Convention on Wetlands, the 35-acre Sanctuary, and recreational lands.

Saying that that the future of the Sanctuary and the National Park is in the hands of the people of Barbados, Allard believes that the Friends of Graeme Hall and the citizens of Barbados must decide what their priorities are.

“We have great affection and regard for the people of Barbados, and the Sanctuary effort has always been a philanthropic mission.   This has been an incredibly painful and saddening decision, but ultimately it is not for us to initiate or set national goals and long term legacies for the nation.”

More information about the Sanctuary and the proposed Graeme Hall National Park can be found at www.graemehall.com/press.htm and www.graemehallnationalpark.org .

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Filed under Agriculture, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Corruption, Disaster, Environment, Ethics, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption, Tourism, Travel, Traveling and Tourism, Wildlife

Barbados Takes Out Yet Another Loan – US$ 35 Million From World Bank

Barbados Government Bragging About Borrowing More Money!

The latest loan is in the amount of US$ 35 million dollars to “fight AIDS”, but it really doesn’t matter what the loan is for because it goes on top of a heap of other loans all purportedly taken out for worthwhile projects by various Barbados governments over the years.

Lets look at what that US$35 million dollar loan really means to a small island like ours.

According to the CIA World Factbook about Barbados, our population as of July 2008 was an estimated 281,968. Accurate or not, that’s good enough for our purposes. For this little exercise we’re going to eliminate everyone under 15 or over 65 years of age…

Which leaves us with 202,040 people of “working age” even though many do not work full time. But we’ll take it that they all work full time and all pay taxes. Nonsense, I know. There’s no way everyone 15 or over and younger than 65 works full time and pays taxes.

But we’ll say they all do.

So divide US$35 million by the number of “taxpayers” on Barbados and that works out to US$172.23 per citizen. Let’s round it off and say BDS$350 per person.

That doesn’t sound like a whole lot now, does it?

Unless you have to pay it tomorrow.

What’s the interest on this loan? Who knows… because the government always celebrates a new loan for some worthy purpose but they never tell us what the interest rate is or when they intend to pay it back. No Sir… you won’t find that information in the “Aren’t we wonderful, we’re fighting AIDS” press release or Nation newspaper story.

And I’ve never seen a media release that says, “Just so you should know, we’ve paid off that US$100 million dollars we borrowed for Cricket World Cup.” Nope, we never see any press release about loans being paid off.

What is our national debt? Who knows! Do you? And even if they do tell us something, you can bet they are hiding operational expenses under capital costs and commiting a number of other sins.

So while the Nation News celebrates another loan from the World Bank, we’re wondering about when and how it will be paid back and whether it will be wisely spent.

You can ask all you want about how the government spends your money, but you’ll never get down to the real details about who received how much for doing what and how their work was evaluated.

Even after the new Freedom of Information law is passed it will take a serious change of culture before those government servants acknowledge that it is our money and our information. Meanwhile, there is no law in place to prohibit government officials from hiring relatives or companies they own to perform the work for this AIDS project. Thompson and his gang could have declared a “no contracts to relatives” policy from day one, but they refused.

Ever wonder why?

Further Reading

The Nation: Multi-million dollar loan

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Filed under Barbados, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Health, Politics & Corruption