Category Archives: Hot Issues

Three Months Since Water Park Developer Told Of Private Meeting With Prime Minister Owen Arthur

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Developer Matthew Kerins Said Government “Cannot Back Out Of Deal”

We just thought we’d point out that it has now been three months since we printed that Caribbean Splash Water Park developer Matthew Kerins had been overheard at a town hall meeting stating that he had a private meeting with Prime Minister Owen Arthur and Mr. Leonard Nurse. (original BFP story here.)

The next day, July 12, 2006, a Barbados Free Press reader who attended the town hall meeting commented that Mr. Kerins also stated that the Barbados Government “Cannot back out of the deal…” – which caused other readers to ask the obvious question…

“Does a written memorandum of understanding exist between the Government of Barbados and the water park developer?”

Three months later, and citizens of Barbados are still waiting for the answers to these important questions. We have had responses to our water park articles at the Barbados Labour Party Blog and comments on BFP articles from official BLP sources – and we heard the Prime Minister on Down To Brass Tacks call-in show… BUT ALL COMPLETELY AVOIDED THE TWO CENTRAL QUESTIONS.

So how about it, Mr. Nurse, Dr. Duguid, Mr. Prime Minister, Mr. Kerins…

1/ What was said at the private meeting between the Prime Minister, Mr. Nurse and Mr. Kerins?

2/ Does a written agreement of any kind exist between the water park developer and the Government of Barbados?

You know how to contact us, gentlemen. (And we are told that the PM reads us every day. Hey there Mr. Prime Minister!)

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business & Banking, Environment, Hot Issues, Politics & Corruption, Traveling and Tourism

Barbados Town Planner Mark Cummins Receives Waterpark Petition

Petition To Halt Caribbean Splash Water Park

A GROUP representing citizens around Graeme Hall, Christ Church, Barbaods has delivered a petition against development of a proposed water park in the area to Chief Town Planner Mark Cummins.

The petition by the “Friends of Graeme Hall Committee”, delivered September 29, contained about 420 signatures and was accompanied by a nine-page document itemising apparent deficiencies in the proposal presented by Caribbean Splash Inc.

Allan Marshall, of Warrens Terrace, said: “We believe there are serious deficiencies with the water park proposal and with the environmental and social impact assessments made by the developer . . . .

“[Caribbean Splash] failed to prove that [the] development would not permanently harm the environment, or safeguard neighbours from health and public safety issues.”

Developer Matthew Kerins has been under fire from residents for his proposal to site a US$22 million water park in Graeme Hall, an area best known for its wetlands and bird sanctuary.

Kerins said the project, for which he is seeking 17 acres of land and Town Planning approval, would boost revenues from tourism by millions of dollars.

Residents have consistently objected to the proposals, citing noise pollution, traffic congestion, water use and the absorption of agricultural land as their main objections to the initiative.

Also see The Nation News article Graeme Hall Park Plan”

Previous BFP Caribbean Splash Water Park articles LINK HERE 

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Filed under Barbados Tourism, Business & Banking, Environment, Hot Issues, Politics & Corruption, Traveling and Tourism

Wonder of Wonders! – Barbados Nation News Covers DLP Integrity Legislation Speech

Barbados Media Had Ignored DLP Integrity Legislation Announcement

Last Sunday, DLP candidate and executive member Chris Sinckler spoke at a DLP rally and delivered a major policy position – promising that the DLP will institute Integrity Legislation and ongoing audits of public expenditures.

Although their reporters were present, neither The Nation Newspaper nor the Barbados Advocate chose to even mention the Integrity Legislation policy, and so the people of Barbados – including yours truly – remained unaware that last Sunday, the DLP publically declared that Intergrity Legislation will be a major issue in the forthcoming election…

…Until, of course, the Barbados Free Press published DLP Leader Gives Major Speech – No Mention Of Integrity Legislation, Conflict of Interest Rules etc… on Monday, and then a second article also on Monday, Barbados Free Press Reader Says DLP Meeting Started With Integrity Legislation Speech

Now, after three days of the Barbados Free Press and our readers talking about what happened on the weekend, The Nation News has finally decided that the DLP’s Integrity Legislation might be worth mentioning.

Golly… wonder what happened over at the Nation’s newsroom? Did they just wake up… or like so many others, are the Nation’s editors starting to smell something new in the wind this season?

Barbados Media Ignores Ongoing BLP Government Integrity Scandals

Do you suppose that the Nation News might now start sending some reporters over to the Land Registry to see how a certain Minister of Government came to live on government-expropriated “public housing” land?

Nah… probably too much for the citizens of Barbados to hope that their big old media might actually do some investigative digging about conflicts of interest and such.

Oh well… at least the guys and gals over at The Nation News are starting to smell that new breeze…

From The Nation News (link here)

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Dems Promise “Better to Come”

A NEW Democratic Labour Party (DLP) administration will be placing greater emphasis on transparency and accountability.

This was the word from Chris Sinckler, who led off his party’s public charge during its political mass meeting on Sunday night in Quakers Road, Carrington Village, St Michael.

He said the DLP would be focusing on measures to combat wastage and squandermania, much of which he claimed had taken place over the past 12 years under the incumbent Barbados Labour Party administration.

Sinckler, a member of the DLP’s executive council, listed projects with problems ranging from GEMS, the flyovers coming for the ABC Highway, to Government’s office complex at Warrens.

He also pointed to both the Urban and Rural Development Commissions as areas where there had not been an efficient application of resources.

It was against this background that Sinckler, who is expected to be the party’s candidate in St Michael North West in the next general election, highlighted three specific things which the Dems would introduce to eliminate these problems.

They would be integrity legislation, an audit for public services (different from the one done by the Auditor-General), and expenditure surveys.

He said integrity legislation was particularly necessary for leaders, while the public services audit would allow for accountability on how resources were spent.

This is a system in place in several African, Asian and Latin American countries. Sinckler added it also helped to build accountability since it would involve both the politicians and technocrats.

With the expenditure surveys, also used in a number of developing countries, there was no need to wait on the Auditor-General to do an annual report, he said. Departments must follow and map expenditure of their various programmes to know how money was spent and if services were delivered.

Since it was not always an issue of money but how service was delivered, Sinckler added it was important to look at procurement rules to ensure transparency.

He said the entire system needed an overhaul – not just a case of throwing more money behind a project, but efficiently allocating resources.

Sinckler, who unsuccessfully contested the St Michael Central seat in the 1999 general election, told his audience that the Dems were on a mission, promising that “better can be done, better is to come.

“This is no time to fool around. I’ve decided to re-enter politics at this level, not to stay in Opposition, but to win.”

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Hot Issues, Politics & Corruption

Investors Watching Barbados Lawsuit As Deputy PM Mia Mottley Heads To Toronto

Who Will Win Cox v Knox Lawsuit? That’s Not The Point!

We really do appreciate hearing from both sides of the Cox v Knox lawsuit not to mention a lot of other observers. If the case is being fought with as much gusto in court as it is in our comments section, then it will make for some thrilling court moments for those who are into that sort of thing.

We even heard from a British lawfirm voicing its opinion on who should win. A British lawfirm? Egads, everyone is watching (did we say Harvard has already contacted us?)!

But that’s not what it is all about, is it? While we know some people have an interest in the outcome of the case, Barbados Free Press is looking at the bigger picture; the picture that counts to the local and foreign investment community.

Mia Mottley To Speak To Canadian Investors

Our very own Mia Mottley is going to give the keynote speech in Toronto later this month at an event sponsored by the Barbados Investment & Development Corporation. The conference is called “ Government’s Policy on Welcoming International Investment”, and she is going there to talk Canadian investors, who can put their money wherever they wish, into investing in our beloved country.

And, Mia, we sure you are going to tell these investors the answers to the questions they will be asking…

* What are the tax implications of having my money in Barbados and also of getting money in and out of Barbados.

* How stable is the currency?

* When issues arise, as they invariably do, how can I be sure they will be resolved quickly and fairly? Tell me about some investors in and out of Barbados who had problems and how they were fixed.

* Are the Barbados Courts fair, reliable and reasonably quick?

* Are the Business Investment Treaties and the dispute resolution functions in good working order? Please supply us with statistics and examples.

After all, folks, international investors can do what they want with their money – and they didn’t get their money by blindly trusting everyone with a smile and a friendly handshake.

We hope Mia is well prepared for the types of hardball questions that investors tend to ask – because the friendly speech and a smile count for very little without our country’s foundation of professional integrity and the effective rule of law.

International Investors Watching Barbados Court Case

Which brings us back to Cox v Knox. Investors in Canada and elsewhere are watching this case because it will answer the question: “When there are corporate and oppression issues to be resolved in Barbados Courts will there be a full, fair and expeditious hearing?”

Because the sections of the Companies Act are involved that have never been examined before we are all watching and look forward to saying with pride: “Barbados Courts do the right thing, no matter if you are a Bajan or a foreigner and never mind who has more money or “knows the Chief Justice” (which we have heard lately).

We salute Mia Mottley and the Barbados High Court and say: “Do us Proud”

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Hot Issues, Offshore Investments

Barbados Government Minister Gline Clarke – House and Mercedes On Expropriated Land

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The house where the Barbados Minister of Public Works sleeps every night is built upon land that was originally expropriated by the Government of Barbados for “Public Housing”.

According to a BFP source, once the privately-owned land was seized by the government, the building lot then “somehow” passed from public ownership and into private hands again – through a magical process that is not altogether unknown in Barbados.

And now the Minister of Public Works for Barbados has a place to lay his weary head every night after his long days of selfless dedication to the common good.

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Neighbours say that the Honourable Gline A. Clarke J.P., M.P., Barbados Minister of Public Works, has lived in the house since it was built, and that he can often be seen in the evening sitting on the front steps – surveying his domain while enjoying a cup of tea.

The house itself is a modern 2-storey design and like many of the nearby homes is still in need of final outside finishing and landscaping.

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Minister Clarke’s polished Mercedes sedan is one of two autos that are parked at the home each night, and, (again according to the neighbours) the lady of the home leaves each morning slightly after the Minister and usually returns before he arrives home – so the Minister’s Mercedes is seldom in the garage. (A pity as such a magnificent automobile should be more protected from the hot sun.)

The Reader’s Digest Version

1. Privately owned land is expropriated by the Government of Barbados for “Public Housing”. (Under what circumstances, who made the decision and how much was actually paid to the landowners by the government is a whole other matter.)

2. Part of the expropriated land – a choice building lot – is then “somehow” transferred from public ownership to a private owner.

3. Government Minister of Public Works, the Honourable Gline Clarke, J.P., M.P. moves into a newly-built home on the now privately-owned choice building lot.

4. No Integrity Legislation exists in Barbados. As a result, powerful Government Ministers like Mr. Clarke do not have to declare their assets or explain how it is that, as a Member of the Cabinet that approves the expropriation of privately-owned lands, a Minister of Government comes to live upon a choice building lot that was forceably taken from an owner – using the full power of the Government.

Dear Minister Clarke…

Dear Minister Clarke,

This article was written using information provided by your fellow citizens. If any of the information contained in this article is incorrect, we want to hear about it from you.

We will publish, unedited, any response received from you, and we will ensure that your response stays at the top of the article and this blog so that you can speak directly to the same citizens of Barbados and visitors from around the world who read the original Barbados Free Press article.

We await your response, Mr. Minister.

Marcus, Robert, Shona, Cliverton (and Auntie Moses)

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Hot Issues, Island Life, Offshore Investments, Politics & Corruption