Monthly Archives: August 2012

Prime Minister Thompson said supporting Four Seasons could be “extremely risky” to the DLP Government

How much public money is exposed in the Four Seasons project?

In the year 2012 under the DLP government of Freundel Stuart, Bajans aren’t quite sure how much public money is ‘invested’ or ‘guaranteed’ towards the Four Seasons Resort project.

Is it US$52 million through the IADB loan that is guaranteed, and another US$60 million in National Insurance Scheme cash? Or is that the other way around? Or something altogether different? And what about infrastructure guarantees and construction costs coming from the taxpayers? We’ve heard so many different versions from government and the news media that we don’t think anyone in government or media can provide a definitive answer.

We at BFP think that the Four Seasons project support is out of control with the amount unknown – that the government will not, cannot, provide a comprehensive and accurate answer about how much Bajans are invested and exposed.

Today we found this old article in some old notes we made back in February 2010 while David Thompson was our Prime Minister.

PM Thompson’s comments at the time make for interesting reading. Perhaps our accidental PM Freundel Stuart should read them too…

“Now of course the first objective is not for Government to give guarantees to projects of this type. So the Government is not available, generally speaking, for that kind of thing and I want to make that abundantly clear. It is extremely risky. It has brought down Governments in other countries and I don’t intend to let it bring down my government. And it can sometimes smack of an element of favouritism and once you start it, it becomes like a rolling stone that will gather moss…and therefore, we have to be very careful,”

February 2, 2010 – Prime Minister David Thompson in the Barbados Advocate article PM defends stance on Four Seasons

Further Reading

Are we ever happy that we preserved a copy of the Barbados Advocate from February of 2010, because the BA’s online version of the article seems to have disappeared! What a surprise!

Maybe some of our readers are better searchers than we are, so if anyone finds it let us know the link and we’ll include it.

Meanwhile, here is our copy:

PM defends stance on Four Seasons

2/2/2010

By Regina Selman Moore

Government could not sit idly by and watch a player of the size and significance of the Four Seasons Resort, pack up and move away from Barbados.This was just one of the reasons why the present Democratic Labour Party administration intervened to lend its support to restart the stalled multi-million dollar Four Seasons Resort project. Continue reading

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19 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy

Bajans pick cotton, cut sugar cane twenty years from now? Let’s get real!

Does Barbados really have a cotton industry?

Cotton industry ‘revamp’ same talk we’ve heard for 40 years

submitted by Bleeding Hands

Barbados takes pride in our educated population and in our status as an ‘almost’ developed nation. The recent economic setbacks might have pushed us back a step or two, but this is a worldwide phenomena not exclusive to our country. Bajans should be proud of what we have achieved together in the last four decades.

One of the social changes brought about by our development and increased education, however, is that few if any of our young people aspire to jobs or business ownership in agriculture and especially not in agricultural sectors reminiscent of the plantation era of our history. If one could grow tomatoes or other food crops and make a decent living that is one thing: sugar and cotton are another world entirely in the minds of bajans and for good reason. Aside from the unprofitable nature of the those two crops, sugar and cotton have historical baggage that young bajans want nothing to do with and I cannot blame them.

Despite the unemployment on this island, Barbados has to import labour from other countires to work our sugar and cotton industries. That is because our population rejects the work, and they reject it because they have been conditioned to reject it – and also it pays nothing or next to nothing. Continue reading

11 Comments

Filed under Agriculture, Barbados, Cotton, Economy, Sugar

Visitor asks if Grantley Adams Airport Immigration service has improved

“A full 747 unloaded and we found one Immigration booth open”

Dear Barbados Free Press,

My wife and I are looking to revisit your lovely country again later this year, but have been put off because of the delay we experienced ‘clearing’ immigration earlier this year.

We queued for 1hr. 45mins, during which time there was shift change, and for a significant period of time just one booth was open.

It was a shambles.

I wonder, have things improved?

Thanks,

(name withheld by BFP editor)

31 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Venus the cat reminds me of our Barbados

Does Gline Clarke appreciate this viral YouTube video?

Can any of us on this rock of mongrels call themselves racially pure? As those of us who have traveled know, what passes for white skin on this island is called coloured or black in some other places. That’s why racists like former Government Ministers Gline Clarke and Elizabeth Thompson are constantly inserting foot into mouth. To Clarke, Thompson and their racist ilk, skin colour is always placed ahead of any other personal traits.

So here’s Venus the cat: like Bim she’s a little of this and a little of that – but all those different coloured hairs make just one cat.

16 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Race

Barbados Health Ministry fails to ensure Dialysis clinics have back-up generators

Two out of our three dialysis clinics lack a generator

by Doctor Feelgood

Forget all the excuses: somebody has to be in charge of the health system. In Barbados that person is Minister of Health Donville Inniss. (photo above) After almost 5 years in power, Inniss and the DLP government own any operational problems. Any management failures are theirs. Any failure to budget for sufficient inspections to maintain standards is theirs.

“I sat there watching my blood sitting motionless in tubes outside my body and precious time running out. With two minutes to spare before the situation became critical and with the look of panic etched on the nurse’s face, I sent my wife and kids a bb message saying ‘I love U’….

Soca band leader George Jones describes what happened in Barbados Today’s Close Call. Also see Standard Care.

Sometime I’d love to see Minister Inniss (or any government minister from any party) simply tell the truth and say: “The Ministry of Health should have ensured that this critical health care supplier complied with the standard, but we did not. I apologise. We will now re-inspect each dialysis facility and ensure more regular inspections are done in the future. We will now test back-up power systems during our inspections.”

Instead, we get a blame the victim speech from the Health Minister. Yes, according to Donville Inniss it’s the victim’s fault for needing dialysis. Anything to deflect the story away from the fact that of the three dialysis clinics in Barbados, two operate without backup generators. Standards? I call that a third world standard.

Also during his Barbados Today interview, Minister Inniss started talking about how there was no power failure at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and the QEH has backup generators. Was Inniss playing stupid to spin the story? He knows that this nearly averted disaster didn’t happen at the QEH: it happened at a private dialysis center that is supposed to be licensed, inspected and adhering to Ministry of Health standards.

Yes, patients almost died during a power outage last week because Minister of Health Donville Inniss and his staff failed to do their jobs. The public wouldn’t know about this except that one of the patients was George Jones of the Soca band Square One and he put his harrowing tale up on Facebook.

All that talk about making Barbados a destination for health care tourism? Without real actions to set, maintain and enforce standards, it’s all wish talk and nothing else.

17 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Health

Environment Minister says your flooding not his problem

What exactly has Minister Denis Lowe accomplished during his term?

Five years ago we heard the current Minister of the Environment and his fellow DLP candidates explain that the then BLP government had been negligent about flooding and the environment in general.

During the 2007 election campaign, Dr. Denis Lowe and other DLP candidates said that the Owen Arthur BLP government:

  • failed to pass an Environmental Protection Act.
  • didn’t care about valuable wetlands and natural flood buffers.
  • failed to establish standards and laws for drainage to guide developers and builders.
  • failed to take effective action to ensure that property owners kept their lands debushed and free of stagnant water that breeds mosquitoes.

That was five years ago, so let’s listen to what Dr. Lowe is saying these days… Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Environment

Henderson Bovell loses memory, maybe his entire mind…

Apparently Mr. Bovell has entirely forgotten about the Owen Arthur government’s 14 years of non-stop corruption. Where to start? It was so bad that, not content with merely stealing public funds, the Prime Minister deposited campaign donations into his personal bank account!

Not that the DLP is any better, but to hear Henderson Bovell say that electing the BLP is the answer: well, mongoose meet chicken coop!

Read it all at Bajan Reporter with your jaw dropping lower at every sentence: Barbados Under seige and being held hostage by the DLP

23 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Politics