Tag Archives: Barbados Government Corruption

Cowardly pee-in-pants Barbados Nation Newspaper hides name of corrupt Government Minister

When a Government Minister’s husband is awarded a $300,000 contract for work he has no experience doing – That’s Corrupt!

Cecil McDowald "Asbestos removal? Sure, I done lots of that before!"

Cecil McDowald "Asbestos removal? Sure, I done lots of that before!"

The current DLP Government says it is taking steps to sue the husband of a former Minister in the previous Arthur/Mottley BLP government – over the non-fulfillment of a 2004 government contract for the removal of asbestos roofing from government units.

Naturally, the BLP Government Minister’s husband was paid $300,000 of your tax dollars despite complaints of shoddy work.

Some will hail this move by the DLP Thompson Government as some sort of great milestone or victory for integrity in government. Some will say this proves the current Thompson DLP government is serious about fighting corruption.

Ha! Not so fast, children!

It’s all a sham for the purposes of political publicity and we can prove it – so read on.

Nothing will really happen, so don’t get your hopes up. This is not some fundamental change in the behaviour of government. It’s more of the same politics that we’ve heard all along from the Thompson government. “Going to do” this. “Going to do” that. “Thinking about” this or that. But real change or real action about government corruption? Nada. Nothing. Zip. Zilch.

Don’t forget friends – this is the same David Thompson who waved around a “campaign donation” cheque made out personally to then Prime Minister Owen Arthur and corruptly deposited into Arthur’s PERSONAL bank account. In the end, Thompson did nothing about that because the DLP and the BLP have a gentleman’s agreement that only harsh words will be spoken. Nobody will be charged with any offense because the DLP don’t want the same treatment when they are once again in Opposition.

And you can take that to the bank, friends… after all, Owen Arthur did!

Liz Thompson - Married "Her love of four years" McDowald in January 2005

Liz Thompson - Married "love of four years" in January 2005

The current story about BLP Government Minister of Housing, Lands and the Environment Liz Thompson and her contractor husband Cecil McDowald is actually old news that was known as far back as 2005 when the DLP (then in Opposition) made a big deal about it. The papers covered the story and the DLP Opposition knew the details back then.

So why did it take until now to announce “GOVERNMENT HAS instructed its attorneys to pursue all legal means to recover about $300 000 paid to the company of a private contractor and husband of a former government minister for work done at Kensington Lodge, St Michael, five years ago…” ??? (Nation News: Govt wants money back)

That’s simple, my friends. The government strategically held off and then played the issue like a surprise in a card game. Note the government doesn’t say it has filed a lawsuit, or actually DONE anything. The government announced it had “instructed attorneys”. OH…. Why didn’t it happen back in January of 2008? Why now?

The answer is: The DLP government is announcing this now because it is convenient for them to do so. They undoubtedly have all kinds of dirt tucked away that will be released when it is politically expedient. Nothing will happen, but it sure gets people talking for a month or two! Then… it will fade away just like all the other dirt that the government discloses but does nothing about.

Gosh the Thompson DLP government thinks everybody is stupid – just like the Arthur/Mottley government thought too.

And the worst part of it is that even today the yellow-bellied-pee-in-their-own-pants editors at The Nation don’t dare to print the name of the former BLP Government Minister whose lover of four years and soon to be husband was CORRUPTLY awarded the government contract in 2004.

As our friend over at Living in Barbados blog says “Does it look like a piece of rotten fish? Does it look like ‘business as usual?” Ha! The answer “yes to both observations”.

Here are a few quick thoughts about this story that is an indictment of the two major political parties and the Barbados news media…

– It was not illegal for Minister Thompson’s spouse to receive big government contracts back in 2004/2005. There was no law against this, and there still isn’t.

– Back in 2004/2005, it was not illegal for the Barbados Government to arbitrarily award fat government contracts without due process or transparency. If a Government Minister’s husband put in the highest bid and it was accepted… so what? It’s corrupt and immoral, yes – but not illegal. That is still the case today that no law prohibits such activity by Government Ministers and civil servants or their families.

– The current DLP Government said they would introduce a Ministerial Code and Conflict of Interest standards IMMEDIATELY upon taking office in January 2008. They lied to get your vote. Get over it.

– Minister of Housing and Lands Michael Lashley told the papers yesterday that “there were several grey areas in the entire saga, including the manner in which the company was awarded the contract in the first place. He said the company had the highest bid, was not even on the Environmental Engineering Division’s list of preferred contractors for the removal of asbestos roofing, and had no history of dealing with such specialised work.”

– Minister Lashley knows very well that no laws were broken because there are no laws. He knows that his government has failed to put integrity legislation and conflicts of interest standards in place just like the BLP.

– So any potential court case is simply about the quality of the work… and five years later, good luck taking that to trial. I guarantee that no photographs or evidence gathering was done at the time by the BLP against Liz Thompson’s husband, so Lashley can forget about a win in court.

Besides, the Chief Justice of Barbados, David Cathcart Simmons, is an old friend and fellow Cabinet Minister with Liz Thompson!  Cha! For a whole lot of reasons, this case against Liz Thompson’s husband is going to go nowhere fast and Minister Lashley knows that full well.

It’s all a show, my friends. Just a scam.

To the Cowardly Nation News Editors

Cowardly Nation News Pees Self Thinking About Reporting This Story

Cowardly Nation News Pees self thinking about saying the words "Cabinet Minister Liz Thompson"

Why didn’t you print Liz Thompson’s name in your article? What are you afraid of?

If you are afraid of being sued, why didn’t you ask Minister Lashley why the DLP Thompson Government hasn’t changed the defamation laws as they promised to do within 100 days of being elected?

Why didn’t your reporters ask Minister Lashley about his government’s failure to “Immediately” implement a Ministerial code and conflicts of interest standards?

Why didn’t your story point out that Barbados has no laws prohibiting the awarding of fat government contracts to the family members of Government Ministers?

Why didn’t you ask if any other government members or their families were ever awarded government contracts?

Talk about useless!

Here’s the Nation News article folks, in case they take it down like they have so many others. Wade Gibbons is a good man and a good journalist, but he works for Cowardly pee-in-their-pants editors. Don’t blame him…

Govt wants money back (click title to read the original at The Nation)

GOVERNMENT HAS instructed its attorneys to pursue all legal means to recover about $300 000 paid to the company of a private contractor and husband of a former government minister for work done at Kensington Lodge, St Michael, five years ago.

Minister of Housing and Lands Michael Lashley told the DAILY NATION yesterday his ministry was intent on recovering taxpayers’ money paid to Creative Business Services in 2004 despite the unsatisfactory removal of asbestos roofing from Government units. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Where did Denis Lowe get the money to pay for this Barbados Advocate advertisement?

Denis Lowe Barbados 2

The Public has no right in law to monitor any government expenditures – Once elected, MPs do as they wish

The simplest questions are often the most awkward – but only if you have to answer them. Dr. Lowe and our other elected representatives don’t have to answer questions about money, so why should they worry? With zero transparency and accountability required of government officials, Barbados Members of Parliament don’t have to be concerned about keeping financial records showing where the money comes from and how it is spent.

Barbados has no Freedom of Information laws, so unlike in many responsible democracies Bajans have neither the right in law nor the tools necessary to monitor how government officials spend our tax dollars. We were promised an FOI law within 100 days of the DLP’s election, but you know what happened to that and other promises of Integrity, Transparency and Accountability.

But back to our simple little question…

…where did Denis Lowe get the money to pay for the advertisement in today’s Barbados Advocate?

Did Minister Lowe pay for the advertisement out of his own salary? (As if!)

Did the money come from the DLP’s bank account. (I don’t think so!)

I’d have to guess that the money came from the taxpayers. That’s your money and mine that Minister Lowe used to congratulate the Sanitation Service Authority for 40 years of hard work.

How much money does Mr. Lowe spend on newspaper advertising? How much on meals and entertainment? How much on trips? Has he ever purchased any personal items using government funds? Any computers or clothes? Any books or supplies for his “home” office?

How much money does Mr. Lowe spend in a year placing advertisements in the Barbados Advocate? How much in the Nation? How much does the DLP spend in advertising with the Advocate compared with the Nation?

These are all valid questions. Citizens have a moral right to know how our tax dollars are spent, but thanks to the joint efforts of David Thompson, Owen Arthur, Mia Mottley and a host of present and past politicians, there is no transparency or accountability concerning the discretionary spending of the government and individual elected members.

And that is exactly the way that Denis Lowe, Mia Mottley and David Thompson prefer it.

Your local MP?

Your local MP?

And speaking about Members of Parliament and money, we hear rumours that one or two MPs turn around and walk the other way when they see certain landlords and creditors heading in their direction.

With no accountability for official spending and everyone willing to extend credit to members of a newly elected government, it wouldn’t surprise us to hear that some elected members have dug themselves into a little hole with their personal finances. This, of course, opens the door to temptation as a Member of Parliament who is under personal financial pressure might be susceptible to “loans” from land developers or people who obtain government contracts.

As strange as it seems, elected Members of Parliament are free to take “loans” or “gifts” from people who do business with the government – because Barbados has no law against this activity. Prime Minister Thompson and the DLP government reneged on their promise to implement a code of conduct immediately upon taking office, but we don’t hear Mia Mottley and the BLP Opposition saying anything about it. Something about pots and kettles.

Rumours of a Fax from Dr. Lowe

You might want to read our piece from December 19, 2008 to remember a controversy that came and died and was forgotten…

BFP, Dec 19, 2008: Barbados Government Minister Denis Lowe Seduced By The Dark Side

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Typical Barbados Justice System Follies: Another Police File “Missing” at Director of Public Prosecutions Office

Justice-Scales-MoneyIn a real Justice System all the alarm bells and sirens go off when a police file goes missing in a high-profile case.

In Barbados, its only another day of at the office.

Welcome to the Justice System of Barbados…

This is a country where a twelve year old girl is raped and it doesn’t come to court for ten years and then gets tossed because the “old boy network” looked after things.

This is a country where a popular pastor is charged with rape and it doesn’t come to court for seven years.

This is a country where a civil lawsuit against the Attorney General can’t come to trial in 17 bloody years!

This is a country where we have no laws to protect buyers of condominiums, a country where a court dispute over a condominium can take 19 years and still be unresolved!

This is a country where a seriously injured tourist has to wait eleven long years for justice.

This is a country where a foreign resident who purchased land in Barbados can’t get title or deed for 34 years! No, that is not a typo error. It is 34 bloody years and still counting!

This is a country where rape victims are pressured into taking money in exchange for not testifying when criminal charges have already been laid… and the courts go along with it!

And if the courts give a decision that the government of the day doesn’t like? The foreign investor is just as likely to see the army sent in with guns to overrule the court’s decision. They don’t usually print the story of Barbados Sea Island Cotton and Nitin Amersey in the local news!

“Rule of law?”

Ha! You mek sport my friends!

This is the reality of our Barbados courts and it has been recognized again and again but nothing changes.

Here is the latest story. Just today’s story — but citizens and foreign investors alike should be aware that if they have a dispute with one of the Barbados elites or the government, or find themselves relying upon the Barbados Justice System, this is what they are in for…

from The Nation (online story here)…

Delay in Radio Boss’ Case

THE POLICE FILE has been allegedly lost and so a year after the case against radio manager Veoma Alisha Ali first came to court, it is yet to start.

Ali’s counsel Wilfred Abrahams yesterday told the District “A” Magistrates’ Court that “apparently the file had gone to the Director of Public Prosecutions’ office and had been misplaced”.

His comments came after police prosecutor Sergeant Trenton Small said he was not yet in possession of a file.

“Even if that were true,” said Magistrate Pamela Beckles in response to Abrahams’ comments, “this is a whole year that has passed and you should go back to the complainant and re-interview her.”

Ali, 29, of No. 397 A, Westwood Park, Husbands, St James, has been accused that with intent to maim, disfigure or disable Kareen Clarke, of Denton Road, Grazettes, St Michael, she did serious bodily harm to Clarke on August 27, 2008.

Ali remains on $20 000 bail.

The matter was then adjourned until Novembers 9.

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Barbados Police Allow Thieves To Take Home Stolen Fish – No Charges

Graeme Hall Mangrove Wetland & Watershed

Graeme Hall Mangrove Wetland & Watershed

GRAEME HALL NATURE SANCTUARY, INC.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Bridgetown, Barbados
MONDAY, August 24, 2009
Email Contact:               news@graemehall.com
Archives and Art:          www.graemehall.com/reference.htm

Poachers Caught and Released by Police

On Saturday, August 15, 2009, a group of about 15 fisherman were found in the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary fishing illegally for its rare tarpon, the largest and most popular exhibit fish in the Graeme Hall wetland.  Five of the “ringleader” fishermen were caught and questioned by police and Sanctuary security personnel as the other ten fled.

Another incident like this happened in late March of this year.  In both instances police were called, but there was no immediate response, and insistent follow up requests by Sanctuary staff had to be made before they came.

As of Friday, August 21, police had not made any arrests or brought charges in either case, and in fact had allowed the fishermen to leave the Sanctuary with all of the dead tarpon.

According to Peter Allard, owner of the Sanctuary, the value and integrity of the Sanctuary investment depend on enforced protections of wildlife inventory.   The long term health of the Sanctuary also depends on the enforcement of Barbados’ pollution and other environmental laws within the Graeme Hall wetland and contiguous lands.

To protect his investment, Mr. Allard is making a formal request to the Government of Barbados that immediate criminal trespass, theft, and related environmental poaching charges be brought against all future violators and the ringleaders of the last trespass be immediately notified of this proposed action.

Allard noted that it is also an issue of protecting the last remaining biological reserves of Barbados.  This wildlife is part of Barbados’ natural heritage within the OS2 Natural Heritage Conservation Area, and is part of the international Convention on Wetlands Multilateral Environmental Agreement (RAMSAR) to which Barbados is a party.

The Sanctuary is also calling upon the Ministry of Environment and all conservation groups to increase their efforts to educate the mainstream public about the seriousness of wildlife and habitat protection in Barbados.

The Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary occupies 35 acres of the 81 acre RAMSAR wetland at Graeme Hall.  The RAMSAR designation is associated with the 1971 RAMSAR Convention on Wetlands Treaty for internationally significant areas of biodiversity.

More information about the Sanctuary can be found at www.graemehall.com.

BFP Editor’s Note: The above media release was printed exactly as received via email from the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary. Our previous articles about the lack of police response to crimes committed against the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary can be found at…

August 19, 2009: Barbados Police Again Fail To Uphold Law At Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary & RAMSAR Protected Wetlands

April 1, 2009: Barbados Advocate Covers Up Police Failure To Respond To Theft, Gunshots At Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary

March 30, 2009: Another Reason Why Barbados Police Commissioner Dottin Should Be Fired – Police Again Fail To Answer Call For Help

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Barbados Police Again Fail To Uphold Law At Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary & RAMSAR Protected Wetlands

Barbados Deliberately Neglects Enforcement of Wildlife Laws on RAMSAR Treaty Protected Wetlands

On Saturday August 15, Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary personnel reported at least 15 people boldly fishing in broad daylight from the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary boardwalk.

The Royal Barbados Police Force were called but as usual they didn’t respond for hours. I guess the sanctuary people should feel honoured the police arrived at all because back in March the police didn’t bother coming and the staff had to go to the station to file a report even though gunshots and threats were part of the story. (See BFP’s Barbados Police Again Fail To Answer Call For Help)

So last Saturday when the police didn’t arrive for hours, staff eventually triggered the alarm to involve the private security company employed by Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary.

Finally two police officers and two armed security guards arrived and caught the thieves red handed. Most of them ran off toward the end of the GHNS boardwalk towards the Migratory Bird Exhibit.  The last group who were the ones caught were older, and it is believed they are the ringleaders.

No Arrests, No Charges

According to our source, the police only warned the thieves that it was private property and told them they were not allowed to fish. This was despite the fact that the Graeme Hall staff informed police that they wanted the perpetrators arrested and charged.

The tarpon that the thieves were taking are not good eating because the waters of the ponds are polluted due to the government’s refusal to maintain the sluice gate that controls the flow of tidal water in and out of the wetlands.   GHNS staff members believe that the thieves may have been after the tarpons’ large and shiny scales which can be used to make jewelry.

Barbados Environment Disaster

Typical Lazy Police Officers or Police Carrying Out A Political Agenda?

Why did the police not arrest and/or charge the thieves? Were they being lazy or does it go much deeper than that?

There are powerful and corrupt people who want to see the end of the nature sanctuary and wetlands so they can profit from commercial development at Graeme Hall. This was true of the previous BLP government and it is true of the current David Thompson DLP government.

The current DLP government even changed the law to remove protection from two thirds of the Graeme Hall parkland. This change to allow commercial development on the parkland was initiated by the Owen Arthur government, but when Arthur was defeated, the DLP passed the legislation anyway because now their DLP friends (like Leroy Parris) would profit from the environmental rape!

You owe it to yourself and your children to read our background story Barbados Government Steals 2/3 Of Parkland For Developer Friends – Graeme Hall Environmental Disaster Continues

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Barbados Government On Integrity Legislation: “Not until we’ve pigged out at the public trough for a few more years”

We Told You So…

david-thompson-piggy-smlAt the last moment in the 2007 election campaign, David Thompson and the DLP were dragged kicking and screaming into announcing they would introduce Integrity Legislation and Freedom of Information laws within 100 days of taking office in January, 2008 – and also “immediately” declare a Ministerial Code with conflict of interest rules.

We had our doubts – especially when it appeared that Thompson’s commitment included doing some last minute cut and pasting off the internet for his then-proposed legislation – but Thompson and the DLP gave the promise in writing. Like many citizens we took him at his word, held our noses and voted.

What suckers we were. Thompson took office and did not “immediately” declare a Ministerial Code as he had promised to do, and the 100 days came and went without ITAL.

In June of 2008, the DLP Thompson government announced that the promised Integrity, Transparency and Accountability laws (ITAL) would be in final draft form by the end of 2008. (BFP June 25, 2008 article here)

That was over a year ago and now we are being told that the draft legislation won’t see Parliament until 2010.

In today’s Advocate, Senator Orlando Marville explains the process of Integrity and Freedom of Information legislation to us poor dumb citizens. It’s all very complex, you see. Takes a lot of time, you see. After the draft legislation goes to Parliament for a first look, then the legislation will have to be sent back for “corrections”, then back to “the drafter” then “back to Cabinet” who “would take some time to examine the document.” (Barbados Advocate: Drafts Complete)

Yup… and that will no doubt bring us heading into 2011 and the next election campaign. Maybe. If we’re lucky.

Thompson Didn’t Even Keep The Simplest and Easiest Of His ITAL Promises: An Immediate Code of Conduct Policy Announcement

Meanwhile, the piggies of the DLP Thompson Government continue to operate without the Code of Conduct that David Thompson promised would be declared IMMEDIATELY upon taking office in January of 2008. That code of conduct would have prevented, for instance, a government official from issuing government contracts to a company owned by the government official or a close family member. David Thompson and the DLP promised that IN WRITING during the campaign.

David Thompson lied. You see, once the DLP had the power of government and the cheque book in their hands, that was the end of making that simple policy declaration that Thompson promised.

Friends, we’re not talking about the Integrity Legislation or FOI law that he promised in 100 days. Nope… we’re talking about a simple policy change that Thompson promised to make on day one. No legislation required, just a simple government policy order – but Thompson didn’t do it because his Cabinet and his party rebelled when he brought it up. So much for leadership. So much for a real commitment to integrity by the Democratic Labour Party.

Have no doubts, folks. The sharing of the fatted calf will continue right up to the next election so Thompson and the DLP can continue to feed at the public trough without worrying about integrity laws. Then, at the last moment, the DLP may try to pass some weak integrity and FOI legislation with holes so big that a cruise ship with Mia Mottley on deck could slide through.

My fellow citizens: this latest Barbados Advocate article is the same song and dance that was published in the papers in June of 2008 with Thompson broke his “100 days” promise. The lies mean nothing anymore.

Senator Marville: If, as you say, the draft Integrity Legislation and Freedom of Information laws are ready, release them publicly so citizens can have the time to carefully study the legislation.

You see, we citizens don’t trust the politicians. We believe the law will be carefully crafted for the benefit of the politicians, not for the good of Barbados.

Further Reading

December 29, 2008: Thanks To Prime Minister David Thompson, Barbados Government Officials Can Still Use Their Office For Personal Profit

September 19, 2008: Conversations About Integrity And The Current DLP Piggies In Government

July 19, 2008: Ho Hum – Another ‘Special Forensic Audit’ To Nowhere In Barbados

June 25, 2008: UPDATED: Barbados Government Says Integrity, Freedom Of Information and Defamation Laws In A Year Or So – Or Maybe Two Years

Continue reading

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Barbados Flyover Builder Jonathan Danos Posts Photos On flickr – But Not A Word About His Involvement In Corrupt Activities With Mabey & Johnson

Year 2000: Her Majesty awards MBE to Jonathan Danos "for services to export in Central and South America"

Year 2000: Her Majesty awards MBE to Jonathan Danos "for services to export in Central and South America". In 2007 Danos would testify that he participated in corrupt activities with others working for British engineering firm Mabey & Johnson - bribing Jamaican and Panamanian government officials .

Jonathan Danos Participated In Corruption for Years – According To Jonathan Danos!

As Mr. Danos no doubt would agree, once the manure hits the fan it is difficult to avoid getting some on you.

Jonathan DanosAnd Jonathan Danos is now covered in manure after the admission last week by his old employer, Mabey & Johnson, that the firm engaged in corrupt activities when bidding for public contracts in Jamaica and Ghana. The company was prosecuted by the UK Serious Fraud Office and will be returning to court on July 17, 2009 for sentencing. (BBC article: Firm admits overseas corruption)

The activities of Mabey & Johnson and Jonathan Danos came to light when M & J launched a lawsuit against Danos – alleging that he had taken a secret commission from the secret commission that M & J was paying a Jamaican politician for influencing that government’s purchase of bridges. In other words, the crooked company alleged that Danos had stolen from them while doing their corrupt deals!

Although Danos denied stealing from the illegal payments to government officials (got that?), he did confirm in his own court documents that he was part of the Mabey & Johnson corrupt team that bribed politicians in Jamaica, Dominican Republic and Panama.

No honour among thieves, apparently. (You can read about the lawsuit and see court documents filed by Danos and Mabey & Johnson at the Guardian article: Court battle over secret export commissions claims.)

How Much Did Jonathan Danos Pay In Bribes To Barbados Politicians For The Flyover Contract?

After falling out with Mabey & Johnson, Jonathan Danos formed his own company – 3S Structural Steel Solutions. When the Owen Arthur government awarded the flyover project to Danos’ company, it did so without putting the project out for bidding. Owen Arthur, Mia Mottley and the gang simply awarded the contract then valued at BDS$120 million to Jonathan Danos.

Gosh… Owen Arthur must have taken a shine to Danos for some reason – especially considering that Danos’ company was brand new formed in 2005 and had never built anything at all, let alone flyovers and highways. But for some reason the government awarded the contract to Jonathan Danos. Of course, the project skyrocketed from $120 million to $360 million or so. When the story of the Danos lawsuit over secret commissions broke in Jamaica, the Barbados news media hid the story from the Barbados public for almost two weeks. You can read about it at BFP’s President Of Barbados Flyover Contractor 3S Structural Steal Solutions Being Sued For Fraud, Kickbacks In Jamaican Bridge Project!

Barbados Government Empowers Corrupt Government Contractors & Politicians

People like Jonathan Danos are able to operate as they do because politicians in developing countries typically operate with little or no effective public oversight or accountability. In Barbados, successive governments under both the DLP and BLP have refused to enact laws that would prohibit public officials from receiving gifts from government contractors or otherwise engaging in, or profiting from, conflicts of interest. Barbados has no integrity legislation, conflicts of interest standards or freedom of information laws – and it is still legal for government officials to receive gifts from government contractors or even to award government contracts to their spouses and family members.

Corrupt Barbados Government Minister Gline Clarke on Danos' flickr page

Corrupt Barbados Government Minister Gline Clarke on Danos' flickr page

Jonathan Danos flickr photos

Mr. Danos has posted selected photos at his Jonathan Danos flickr account – and some of the photos are very interesting. A photo taken July 22, 2006 shows then Public Works Minister Gline Clarke speaking at 3S Structural Steel Solutions press conference. As our longtime readers will remember, Gline Clarke built a house for his mistress on land that his government had expropriated from private ownership for the announced purpose of “public housing”.

It doesn’t get much more corrupt than that, friends!

Other photos show Jonathan Danos hanging out in Panama, but of course he doesn’t mention the corruption scandal about his work in that country either! (See the Panama-Guide.com article Mabey Bridge Scandal Continues To Grow.)

Have a look at the flickr photos of Jonathan Danos here – and while you’re at it, just remember that people like Danos are empowered by politicians like Barbados Prime Minister David Thompson and Opposition Leader Mia Mottley – who have both refused to pass integrity legislation, conflict of interest standards and freedom of information laws.

UPDATE: Jonathan Danos.com website.

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Barbados Free Press Posts Article Three Thousand (#3000)

Welcome to BFP’s 3,000th Article!

Barbados Free Press StatsBarbados Free Press published our first article on January 17, 2006, and right away we let the world know where we stood on Integrity, Transparency and Accountability of elected and appointed public officials in Barbados.

In that article, Prime Minister Owen Arthur Opens a New Can of Paint – To Cover Old Corruption, we took the first shot across the bow of a corrupt BLP government led by then-PM Owen Arthur. The article also mentioned the controversy over the flyovers, a company called 3S Structural Steel Solutions LLC, of Maryland USA and said…

The last thing that Barbadians need is a “public relations programme” instead of an open accountability about where every dollar is spent.

Prime Minister Arthur is correct: the cartel must stop misusing their political offices and connections for “personal material gain.” Only time will tell if the Prime Minister is really serious about stopping the corruption, or whether, like a used car salesman, he really means “Give her a new coat of paint and some sucker will buy it.”

We followed up the very next day with an expose, Barbados Tender Process Corrupt? that told how the $120 million dollar flyover project had been awarded without being put out to tender. On our third day, January 19, 2006, we expressed our hopes and doubts about the newly appointed Leader of the Opposition, David Thompson. About David Thompson, BFP said

“…will Mr. Thompson (whom this writer greatly respects) remain true to the principles he so ably espoused earlier that day? Will he be able to ignore the siren call of easy money that has corrupted so many in the current government?”

Barbados Blogs Hounded Prime Minister Arthur & Opposition Leader Thompson On Integrity Legislation For Two Years Leading Up To The 2008 Election

As our long term readers know, Barbados Free Press hounded Prime Minister Arthur and the BLP Government for two more years on integrity and competency issues.

Dragged Kicking & Screaming Towards ITAL

David Thompson & DLP Dragged Kicking & Screaming Towards ITAL

At the same time we urged Mr. Thompson to break his silence on ITAL – Integrity, Transparency and Accountability Legislation – and to declare that if elected his government would implement ITAL forthwith. We chided Thompson and the DLP to introduce Integrity Legislation while in Opposition to shame the government into action, but Thompson and his members remained silent until the last minute.

In the final weeks of the January 2008 election contest and with everything in the balance, David Thompson and the DLP finally came out in favour of ITAL. Although we were skeptical that Thompson’s last minute “cut and paste” declaration taken from an internet website was merely an election ploy, Barbados Free Press declared for the Thompson and the DLP.

After all, Thompson and the Democratic Labour Party promised in writing to implement ITAL within 100 days of forming a government, and to implement a Ministerial Code of Conduct immediately upon forming a government.

The rest of the election, as they say, is history.

Some people, perhaps many, believe that the island blogs were responsible for the DLP’s last minute Integrity Legislation promises and in fact, that without the island blogs and Thompson’s 100 day ITAL promise – the BLP may have succeeded in gaining an unprecedented fourth term.

Lies Before The Election: Denis Lowe & David Thompson Promising Integrity Legislation

Lies Before The Election: Denis Lowe & David Thompson Promising Integrity Legislation

Three and a half years later, Barbados still lacks Integrity, Transparency and Accountability Legislation

So here we are in June, 2009 some three and a half years after Barbados Free Press published our first article (that was viewed by I think seven people on the first day). We are about to welcome our six millionth visitor. Thompson’s “implement a Ministerial Code of Conduct” promise was dead the minute he took office. His “ITAL in 100 days” promise is now overdue by almost a year and a half and anyone with half a brain can see that integrity is the furthest thing from the DLP Government’s concerns.

Most telling, it is still legal for Barbados Government Ministers, and elected and appointed government officials to receive gifts – even money – from companies that do business with the government. It is still legal for elected or appointed government officials to award government contracts to themselves or their immediate family.

The issue of gifts, contracts and conflicts of interest standards could easily be declared as policy by Prime Minister Thompson – as he promised to do immediately upon forming a government. Such a policy declaration does not require legislation or discussion, and it is exactly what David Thompson promised to do IMMEDIATELY upon becoming Prime Minister.

Why didn’t Thompson do as he promised in writing?

Die hard DLP supporters don’t want to face that issue. They are too busy enjoying the spoils of their election victory.

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Barbados Law Library In Ruin Due To Water Damage: “Preventative Maintenance” An Unknown Concept To Successive Barbados Governments

“There are two types of people in the world: Those who change their engine oil regularly, and those who ignore maintenance until the engine is already headed for ruin. We Bajans are usually of the second type…”

Shouldn’t The Chief Law Librarian Be Fired For Failure To Preserve Irreplaceable Books & Documents?

Barbados Law BooksAccording to the Bajan news media “environmental problems” are responsible for ruining a “substantial” amount of the books and other documents in the law library of the Supreme Court.

Typical Barbados news story: “environmental problems” are responsible for this massive loss. God forbid we would ever hold a real person responsible for anything.

No, it wasn’t the people in charge of the law library who are responsible for failing to note the deterioration and protect the thousands of books and documents – many of them irreplaceable. No, it wasn’t Chief Justice who is responsible – even though according to his own statement in the Barbados Advocate he has known for at least four years of the deterioration and did nothing to stop it. No, it wasn’t former Attorneys General Mia Mottley or Dale Marshall who are responsible for this loss. It wasn’t 15 years of a BLP government that spent hundreds of millions on cricket and consulting payments while neglecting everything from schools, to police stations to the law library.

According to Attorney General Freundel Stuart, nobody in the current or former governments ever thought to train ANY of our law librarians in book preservation or about the dangers of dampness, mould and fungus to our almost 300 year-old law archives. It is like the whole problem just happened last week without any warning.

Books are damaged by water and dampness? Well, who could have known!

So you see? No person is responsible… it was “environmental problems”.

And the solution to the “environmental problems”?  The usual: borrow or beg for more money from the Inter-American Development Bank.

“Just put it on the tab, waiter… the next generation will pay for my spilled drinks.”

Court library compromised

read the full article at: The Barbados Advocate 6/23/2009

By Shawn Cumberbatch

ENVIRONMENTAL problems, including mould and fungus, have cost Barbados’ highest domestic court a “substantial” amount of its library material.

Chief Justice (CJ) Sir David Simmons disclosed yesterday that authorities were now looking to secure funding from the Inter-American Development Bank, as part of its Justice Improvement Programme with the island, to significantly restore the large volume of legal books and other important reading material housed in the 278-year-old Supreme Court library.

Both Sir David and Attorney-General Freundel Stuart voiced concern about the impact these environment-related issues could have, with Stuart saying most Caribbean governments had devoted larger budgets to libraries, but had not paid enough attention to training law librarians in book preservation.

The officials were speaking yesterday at the Faculty of Law, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, during the official opening of the Caribbean Association of Law Libraries 24th Annual General Meeting and seminar.

The CJ noted that over the last few years Barbados had suffered the fate of most libraries, which “face the problem of contamination of the environment by mould, fungus and other deleterious substances”. Continue reading

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Cover-Up In Barbados: Inquest Into Deaths Of Hugh Springer & I’Akobi Maloney – But No Inquest Into Codrington Family Deaths

barbados-cave-children

Too Many Big Names Involved So No Inquest Called: Family Died When Home Collapsed Into Known Cave

An inquest, however unsatisfactory, was held into the death of I’Akobi Maloney while in police custody. An inquest has been announced into the death of Hugh Springer – an innocent passerby shot in the back of the head by a police officer.

But no inquest has been called into the death of an entire family who died because of actions taken or not taken by corrupt and/or incompetent government officials, engineers, developers and greedy landowners.

Why call inquests into suspicious, unusual or controversial deaths like Hugh Springer or I’Akobi Maloney and not into the deaths of an entire family where evidence of wrong-doing has already come to light at BFP and in the Barbados Advocate?

Stupid question. Too many big names involved in the Codrington family deaths. This is Barbados and we only do inquests or other public enquiries when it is safe and convenient. Rule of law be damned.

There are many villains who must bear responsibility for the deaths of an entire Barbados family whose members died after their house fell into a collapsing cave at Arch Cot. Horrifically, we know that members of the Codrington family did not die all at the same time. As he was trapped in the rubble, Donavere (the father) talked to people at the scene after the initial event. Some of the children could be heard screaming for a time.

Although we have been denied a public inquest by two successive governments, Bajans now know some of what happened thanks to the efforts of Hans Machel, Richard Goddard and a handful of others who, unlike Barbados politicians, still care about the truth and the public good. No thanks to the professional Barbados news media who are (or were, in the case of the Barbados Advocate) part of the cover-up to protect the members of the Bajan nobility who murdered the Codringtons…

… from the Barbados Free Press article Expert: Arch Cot Cave-In Victims May Have Been Killed By Wrong Decisions, Actions and Inaction By Barbados Emergency Officials

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Is Rihanna About To Do Something Stupid? Rihanna & Chris Brown Attend Orlando NBA Game – Separately

At the MTV Awards The Night Of The Assault

At the MTV Awards The Night Of The Assault

We Hope Rihanna Isn’t Getting Stupes Again!

People Magazine reported yesterday (Thursday) morning that Rihanna and Chris Brown would be sitting together last night at Game 4 of the NBA Finals in Orlando. When game time arrived sure enough they were both there – but sitting far apart.

How unusual that both should end up at the same game, and that it should be reported in the press beforehand. Then again, Tiger Woods, Chris Tucker and Hulk Hogan also attended the game so its not as if its unknown to have multiple celebrities at an NBA Final.

But still…

What happened? Did Rihanna and Chris Brown initially intend to sit together and then change their minds after the publicity?

I hope that Rihanna hasn’t decided to “forgive and forget” after the famous incident last February when it is alleged that Brown beat her and left her by the side of the road. Rihanna has been subpoenaed to testify against Chris Brown at his June 22, 2009 preliminary hearing on assault charges.

Rihanna Fans: Before you leave Barbados Free Press, please take the time to read the following…

Save Graeme Hall

Help Rihanna’s Home Island Save The Last Mangrove Forest…

For any of Rihanna’s fans who are interested in knowing about her home island of Barbados and the kind of natural, quiet and peaceful place that Bajans need once in a while, please visit the website of the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary and also the Graeme Hall National Park.

We’re in a battle here to save the last natural area on the south of our island. The Government and their land developer friends want to turn the Graeme Hall wetlands into a row of highrise condos, golf course and water park. This is the last Mangrove Forest on the island!

Please help raise awareness around the world.

You can also help by joining the Facebook Group: Save The Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary.

Thank you from the ordinary people of Barbados!

Here are a few background stories…

How The Barbados Government Is Stealing Graeme Hall National Park From Our Children – With The Help Of The News Media

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

Barbados Government Confirms Plans To Develop Graeme Hall Wetlands. Thompson’s Million-Dollar Lie

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Consultant Hired To Take Barbados Stock Exchange International – But If The Chief Justice & Others Don’t Have To Obey Our Financial Laws, What Message Does That Send To The World?

Barbados has hired a Canadian company to transform the Barbados Stock Exchange into an international exchange. This might be possible because, unlike so many small islands, Barbados has so far escaped some of the huge public scandals that call attention to the lack of standards and contempt for the rule of law that is endemic in offshore financial centers.

Escaped so far, anyway.

david-thompson-piggy-smlOne has to wonder though, if Barbados international reputation is more a result of luck, hype and spin than a reflection of reality. Successive Barbados governments, including the current DLP Thompson government, have refused to pass any laws relating to integrity, conflicts of interest, accountability and freedom of information.

Laws regarding records keeping by businesses — even public companies — are all but ignored on this island. Even the Chief Justice, Sir David Simmons, has been caught out in a corporate scandal where business records disappeared or never existed.

Prime Minister David Thompson is likewise caught up in a scandal over the lack of financial records and failure to file records by CLICO when he acted as their lawyer for years. Oh, and coincidentally, Prime Minister Thompson just gave CLICO 10s of millions of dollars in guarantees, concessions and cold hard cash. Oh, did we also mention that Prime Minister Thompson and CLICO CEO Leroy Parris are godfathers to each other’s children?

Same old, same old ’bout hey!

Some day all these chickens gots to come home to roost, and when it happens Prime Minister Thompson and Chief Justice Simmons will say, “Barbados is acting to put in place additional oversight in our financial and corporate sectors. The government will soon introduce integrity legislation…”

Same old, same old ’bout hey!

Thompson’s plan for his friends: Privatize Profits, Socialize Losses

A great article at Keltruth: $10M for Clico Fund – Privatize Profits, Socialize Losses

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Prime Minister Thompson Taunts Mia Mottley With Barbados Money Laundering Advisory Story!

sexy-barbados-sex

Barbados Opposition Leader’s Offshore Family Assets Revealed By Blog

If Prime Minister Thompson intended to really do anything to document and recover the public assets outright stolen by corrupt members of the previous BLP government, he would have already done so. But its not going to happen. Thompy has no intention of playing hardball with Mia, Owen and the old BLP gang because he knows that the situation could be easily reversed after the next election.

But that doesn’t stop Thompy from throwing the BLP Government’s corruption in the face of the Opposition every once in a while just for show. That’s what happened in the House of Assembly a few days ago when the Prime Minister quoted a story he saw on a local blog: Barbados Money Laundering Advisory.

BMLA featured a story on the Mottley family mansions in Miami and published photos of the homes that were obviously seen by Prime Minister Thompson. So if Thompson visits the blogs, I guess he’ll pick up on our cartoon as well. This is the second time we’ve published a cartoon showing Mia and David in bed together and it underscores the truth that the public spats between the BLP and the DLP are nothing more than a show.

When the sun goes down and the public isn’t looking – be it land deals, government contracts or a job for somebody’s brother-in-law, the battle cry of the DLP and the BLP is “Let’s cuddle!”

Barbados Money Laundering Advisory…

Mia Mottley’s Parents Have Million Dollar Home In Florida

PM David Thompson Mia Mottley have heated discussion over properties in Miami

Nation News: PM, Motley Clash

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Graeme Hall Sanctuary “New Plans To Develop Most Of Graeme Hall Lands Will Kill Wetlands & Migratory Bird Site”

Barbados Free Press received the following press release from the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary almost a week ago, but frankly we had other more urgent stories to write about (the tourist attacks), so we didn’t get around to printing this release until now.

We must not however confuse the difference between “urgent” and “important”. The tourist attack story is both urgent and important. We at BFP believe that the issue of tourist safety and the growth of general lawlessness on the island could be made 90% better almost overnight if the current DLP government would recognise that the ability of the Royal Barbados Police Force to keep our island safe is the very foundation of our economy. The government should…

1/ Double police salaries immediately so as to attract better quality police officers.

2/ Triple the non-salary operational budget of the Royal Barbados Police Force to give them the tools they need to do the job.

3/ Immediately implement beach and tourist area police patrols and augment them with joint police – military patrols where the military members have sidearms only (ie: no rifles).

4/ Immediately implement intensive training for military members involved in the joint-patrols to orientate them to the differences between the public expectation and duties of police vs. military. (This joint military-police action is only short term for 1 year until police staffing levels can be increased)

5/ Fire the current Commissioner of Police and replace him with someone who loves the rule of law and has the leadership skills and vision to do the job.

Graeme Hall Wetlands To Be Developed By DLP Campaign Funder CLICO & Leroy Paris

Graeme Hall Wetlands To Be Developed By DLP Campaign Funder CLICO & Leroy Paris

Government of Barbados Intending To Develop Our Last Remaining Wetlands

The impending destruction of our last remaining wetlands at Graeme Hall and Long Beach does not seem to have the immediate urgency of the tourist attacks, but it is just as important in the next few years because if the developers and their corrupt politician friends continue as they have been doing this island will be nothing but a piece of concrete when they are finished. And just watch how many tourists find other venues when that day comes. Many are already fleeing Barbados for St. Lucia and other islands and this trend will continue in proportion to the amount of concrete we pour.

There is no dispute that the Thompson DLP Government of Barbados intends to develop the lands around Graeme Hall. One of Thompson’s first acts was to pass the law that changed the permissions on the land to allow this development.

Oh… did we mention that much of the land around Graeme Hall is owned by Prime Minister Thompson’s old friend and godfather to his daughter: Leroy Parris, CEO of CLICO?

And just yesterday two of our over-fed Government Ministers, Denis Lowe and Richard Sealy announced that the government was going to allow “responsible development” of the Long Beach wetlands. Saying “Responsible development of wetlands” is like saying “I’m going to rape your sister, but I’ll be gentle.”

Tell Us The Truth, PM Thompson!

Tell Us The Truth, PM Thompson!

We’d say that this DLP government, like the last BLP government, “Just doesn’t get it” about the environment, but that is not true… The DO “get it”. They have just decided that making money for their developer friends is what they are going to do.

Ladies and Gentlemen, read this press release from the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary and then at least you will know why your country’s last two wetlands areas are about to be destroyed…

GRAEME HALL NATURE SANCTUARY, INC.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Bridgetown, Barbados
MONDAY, March 9, 2009
Email Contact:  graemehall@graemehall.com
Archives and Art:          http://www.graemehall.com/press.htm  and http://www.graemehall.com/reference.htm

Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary: A Legacy Lost?

From the field journal of Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary’s naturalist, Ryan Chenery:

“During (my) most recent kayak trip on the lake I had the privilege of watching a Peregrine Falcon (at times no more than 20 feet overhead) effortlessly reaching mind-boggling speeds as it hunted bats at sunset.  As I paddled through the water I noticed millions of small white flies which had evidently just hatched – desperately seeking out a mate before they fell and died on the water all around me (an image not unlike a snowfall).   Osprey and Great Blue Herons called and sought roosting sites for the night amongst the mangroves, while in the distance the solitary figure of a juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron stirred to life in a small patch of White Mangroves to the west of the egret colony.   It is at times like these that I am struck by the magic of this place and am reminded of its staggering importance”
-Ryan Chenery, February 2009

—————————————————————————————————————————-

[ Bridgetown , BARBADOS ]   Many have asked why Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary is closed to the public.  It has been 13 weeks since the closure, and as of Monday  all employees except for a small maintenance and security team have been permanently severed from their jobs.

According to Peter Allard, Chairman of the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary, the decision to close was extraordinarily painful, as it affected the lives of many good men and women.  But the closure was inevitable because the physical survival of the Sanctuary is at stake.

“After spending nearly $35 million US on the Sanctuary and its operations over fifteen years, we finally realized the Sanctuary would not survive,” said Allard.

“We rely on a natural healthy ecosystem, along with its natural peace and tranquility, because it is the only “inventory” that the Sanctuary has to offer visitors.”

“It is not, as some would believe, about simple economics.  Increasing pollution and government policies and procedures outside of the Sanctuary are killing the wetlands at Graeme Hall, and no amount of continued investment inside the Sanctuary can change that.”

“It is simply not prudent or feasible for one man to continue supporting the Sanctuary in perpetuity.   The matter is further complicated when governmental policies and actions are dooming its ecosystem to failure.”

“I understand that the future of the Sanctuary is a national issue and that it is up to the people of Barbados to let their government know what they want.  Perhaps the academic and scientific community will step up as well, if only to preserve the very areas they wish to study,” observed Allard.

Allard ticked off a partial list of issues that led to the closure:

1. The physical survival of the Sanctuary is threatened by specific land use policies that have changed since the initial decision to invest in the Graeme Hall ecosystem.

“We would not have made the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary investment if we had known the upland buffer lands at Graeme Hall were, in fact, scheduled for massive re-classification to Predominantly Residential and Urban Corridor use.

“We made the investment in the Sanctuary based on our knowledge that the uplands and surrounding area would remain open natural parkland, as defined in the 1988 Barbados National Physical Development Plan (PDP) which was in force at the time.  We are knowledgeable about conservation investments, and our experience has shown that wetland and other conservation projects always need significant buffers around them, especially those in urban areas, otherwise polluted and excessive water runoff and other environmental disturbances will kill the natural ecological balance in the very area we are trying to protect.”

“Our investment began in 1993.  We envisioned an environmental centre that would anchor the approximately 240 acres of green parkland space at Graeme Hall.  Government already owned most of this land, and the 1988 PDP vision assured us that the original Graeme Hall green space between Greater Bridgetown and Oistins would always be there.  And in July, 1995, Mark Cummins, Chief Town Planner wrote us saying that the Sanctuary would indeed have appropriate buffers by saying, “The Planning Office has a very stringent policy on significant environmental areas, whose fragility is in need of protection.  It is felt that such areas require management as opposed to development and should be left for posterity.”

“Along with thousands of citizens, we were shocked to learn that the new 2003 PDP passed Parliament in early 2008,” recalled Allard.   “Everyone had hoped that the 2003 PDP legislation would be amended to reinstate the Graeme Hall green area as originally promised and legislated in the 1988 PDP.”

Citizen discussions, Town Hall meetings, notice to stakeholders and environmental impact studies were almost completely ignored by the government for the momentous land rezoning of green space at Graeme Hall.  It became more and more evident that government really wanted to proceed quietly and without fanfare to overturn the 1988 PDP recommendations for green space at Graeme Hall, and develop most of the area with commercial and residential land development.

2. The natural ecosystem inventory at the Sanctuary is being degraded by specific government-run environmental management practices and lack of environmental enforcement.

“Over the past 15 years scientists and naturalists have been observing increasing stress on the Graeme Hall ecosystem from surrounding pollution sources.  Examples include raw sewage, pesticides, contaminated stormwater and contaminated runoff such as fuel, cooking grease and other pollutants from homes and businesses.”

From water quality testing done by the University of the West Indies and others on waterbodies at Graeme Hall, measured pollutants include abnormally high levels of faecal coliforms from human sewage, high nitrogen from fertilizer and other runoff, corresponding low oxygen concentrations, high turbidity, and concentrations of carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide.

“One example of a catastrophic event was the government’s decision to bypass an approved emergency dump line and manually pump an estimated 3 to 6 million gallons of raw sewage into the closed Graeme Hall wetland without notification to the Sanctuary or the public. This was in direct violation of international health and environmental protocols, treaties and international lending requirements to which Barbados has signed.  This occurred as a result of a system failure in July 2005, and was authorized by the Barbados Water Authority.  The volume of raw sewage was enough to significantly contaminate all water bodies within the 35-acre Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary, as well as the Sanctuary’s main spring.  The wetland no longer flushes naturally, so the contaminants accumulate on Sanctuary property and in the wetland.”

3. Despite formal Sanctuary offers to government to help with Worthing Beach sluice gate operations over the years, almost nothing has been done, resulting in significant environmental degradation at the Sanctuary.

“We experience massive fluctuations of water levels because the sluice gate is not operating.  This has contributed to increasingly unhealthy wetland waterbodies, including fish kills and mosquito infestations.  After nearly 15 years, mismanagement of the sluice gate and the elimination of traditional tidal flows into the wetland continues. Since August 2006, due to the inoperative sluice gate, the Ministry of Public Works controls water levels in Graeme Hall Swamp using a backhoe to add or remove sand fill in the sluice gate channel.”

4. Despite being the largest and most significant private conservation stakeholder on the South Coast , the Sanctuary has been pointedly excluded from the majority of discussions, meetings and activities that directly impact environmental management of the Graeme Hall wetland.  In addition, the Sanctuary has never been formally notified of any pending land use applications at Graeme Hall which may adversely affect the health of the wetland.

“One example occurred in 2004.  Rumours of a potential Water Park in the 1988 PDP green space area began circulating.  The fact that the apparent application for the Water Park was being considered was in itself surprising, since the 2003 PDP which advocated urban corridor use of Graeme Hall lands was still in draft form and had not actually been ratified by Parliament.”

“The issue became more confusing when then Prime Minister Owen Arthur advised us that he knew nothing of the Water Park application to Town and Country Planning and described such a development as “madness”.  But then it was discovered that an application had in fact been made to Town and Country Planning, and that it was to occupy high profile and sensitive green area at Graeme Hall formerly designated as open/natural space in the 1988 PDP.

“When citizens became aware of the Water Park development application they immediately rallied in the thousands and signed a petition for preservation of the area and the creation of a National Park at Graeme Hall.  The initiative was defeated, but the problem of potential development remains because land use policy at Graeme Hall still advocates Predominantly Residential.”

5. “The Sanctuary has invested heavily in environmental education and capacity-building for the government of Barbados , but because there has been no proactive participation from government, there appears to be no tangible benefit to the environment or the Graeme Hall wetland as a result of this investment.

“There have been no tangible responses to our significant offers of philanthropic or partner support for government-led environmental, scientific, public health, recreational and educational initiatives.

“But government disinterest was particularly evident several years ago after the Sanctuary funded an all-expense paid trip for government environmental engineers to learn about wetland management technologies at the South Florida Water Management District agency in Florida .  This was a technical capacity-building opportunity for the Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Public Works, however when the trip was over there was no change in environmental intentions or services by government, the sluice gate continued to be inoperative, and no additional civil works studies were initiated within the wetland or the upland buffers.”

“Furthermore, to my knowledge, neither the current or previous Prime Minister has visited the Sanctuary or otherwise shown an interest in these offers of support.”

“Proactive government participation, control of pollution source points and land use policy in the environmental buffers outside the Sanctuary are not controlled by us,” said Allard.  “These shortfalls cannot be offset by more money invested at the Sanctuary.  It is a no-win situation.”

“The new government came to power as a result of a number of promises, one of which was the protection of Graeme Hall, but soon after being elected they passed the 2003 amended PDP.  Although no applications to our knowledge have as yet been filed to develop the upper lands, it became clear to us very quickly that growing environmental pollution plus the new plans to develop most of the Graeme Hall lands would kill the already fragile wetland and migratory bird site at Graeme Hall,” said Allard.

“In 2007 we had been assured by both BLP and DLP members who were active in Parliament that the 2003 PDP could be passed with a rider that would reinstate the 1988 PDP recommendation to preserve the 240-acre Graeme Hall green space.  They told us this could be done prior to the final ratification vote, especially since there was so much public support for the national park at Graeme Hall.”

The assurances turned out to be empty.

As of today, March 9, 2009, Sanctuary officials confirmed that there was still no word from Government on any new intentions regarding the Sanctuary.

Will future generations of Barbadian children and families and visitors be denied this magic of green space and biodiversity on the South Coast ?

More information can be found at:
http://www.graemehall.com
http://www.graemehall.com/reference.htm
http://www.graemehallnationalpark.org

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How The Barbados Government Is Stealing Graeme Hall National Park From Our Children – With The Help Of The News Media – Part 1

barbados-map-graeme-hall

The only difference with the DLP government passing this “urban corridor” instead of the BLP government is that now the DLP friends will profit from the move instead of the BLP friends.

CLICO Will Develop On The Natural Heritage Conservation Area – With Prime Minister Thompson’s Blessing

One of the first actions taken by the Thompson DLP Government in the weeks after they won the January 2008 election was to reclassify a huge section of land at Graeme Hall from “Open space, Agricultural, Recreational Buffer” to “Residential & Urban Corridor” – a term that was invented to sound non-threatening to the government-owned open space and recreational lands at Graeme Hall.

Corridor? Have a look at the map above. See the huge area outlined in red that is north of the “OS2 Natural Heritage Area”… THAT is the area that Prime Minister David Thompson and his DLP government changed so they can sell it off to their friends for development – contrary to the National Physical Development Plan that was ratified by Parliament in 1988.

The BLP Arthur/Mottley government wanted to do that too, but they never had the political capital to change the official land use designation. The BLP tried to lease some of the north area out for the Caribbean Splash Waterpark, but a rebellion of voters made them stop. Thompson and the DLP went right ahead though as just about the first thing they did after being elected. They still haven’t fulfilled their integrity legislation promises, but by God they sure acted quickly when they saw the chance to turn a profit from public lands!

Over 25 years ago that open space was set aside for the recreational pleasure of future generations as a plan to protect the last remaining green space between the airport and the city. Land use planners in the Barbados Town and Country Development Planning Office collaborated with professional land use planners from the United Nations to recommend a large green space buffer between the two urban areas of Greater Bridgetown and Oistins.

This recommendation was ratified by Parliament as part of the 1988 National Physical Development Plan and it was clear and unambiguous:

“The Graeme Hall agricultural area is proposed to be preserved as an open space break separating the urban zones of Oistins and Greater Bridgetown.”

“….The Graeme Hall area is proposed to be maintained as an agricultural area and as an urban open space in order to create an environmental break between the two urban areas.  Parts of the open spaces are proposed to be used for sports and recreational purposes.”

Powerful Entities Want To Possess And Profit From This Public Land!

Prime Minister Thompson and the DLP are pulling a fast one on the people of Barbados. The area they have just changed to allow development at Graeme Hall is currently owned by the people of Barbados. Thompson and the DLP will be selling the land to their developer friends. Heck, maybe they will sell it to themselves or to companies owned by their wives and relatives – after all, there is no law against such unethical insider trading in Barbados!

CLICO In The Mix

Look at the lower left corner of the map and you’ll see a chunk of land right next to the Nature Sanctuary and the RAMSAR wetlands. That land is owned by CLICO, but for some reason it wasn’t included in the area designated as protected under the RAMSAR wetlands treaty. Prime Minister David Thompson just gave ten million to his good friend and CLICO CEO Leroy Parris, but I guess it never occurred to Thompson to get a little something in return for the people of Barbados… like land for the Graeme Hall National Park.

Graeme Hall Wetlands To Be Developed By DLP Campaign Funder CLICO & Leroy Paris

Graeme Hall Wetlands To Be Developed By DLP Campaign Funder CLICO & Leroy Parris

Why That Open Space & Recreation Buffer Matters

The area that Prime Minister Thompson and his developer friends want to build on is part of the Graeme Hall watershed. Without that area, the RAMSAR protected wetlands at Graeme Hall will die. It is the DLP Government’s plan to end up with a small bit of green space surrounded by housing and condos. CLICO will develop their current land and friends of government will develop that huge valuable piece of prime Barbados real estate that Thompson has chopped off the proposed Graeme Hall National Park.

Declaring the Graeme Hall National Park would legally protect the last mangrove forest, the last major wetland, the largest inland lake, and the most concentrated biodiversity in Barbados. It would provide an easily accessible park area for the enjoyment of all and would be a lasting legacy to future generations – a refuge from the tightly-packed urban living that is crawling across this small island with a speed never before seen.

The great cities of the world are great in part because they are not mile after mile of urban development and nothing else. The leaders and visionaries of New York City set aside Central Park over a hundred years ago. Think what a concrete jungle that city would be without Central Park.

Think of what Barbados will be in 100 years – or 30 years – or even 10 – if everything is done for profit and nothing is done for quality of life and the future.

NEXT In This Series: How the Barbados News Media Pushes The Government’s Agenda To Develop The Graeme Hall Public Lands

Further Reading

Graeme Hall National Park Land Use Conflicts Q&A (pdf here)

Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary Press Centre (link here)

land-conflict-map-graeme-hallClick on thumbnail for larger, clearer map of Graeme Hall National Park

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Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary – 85 Employees To Be Terminated, Barbados Government’s Double Standard Against Canadian Philanthropist

Sanctuary officials confirmed that there was still no word from Government on their intentions regarding the future of the Sanctuary…

…Saying that that the future of the Sanctuary and Graeme Hall National Park is in the hands of the Government 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.  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 environmental legacies for the nation.”

… from a press release by Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary covered at Bajan Reporter

The Double Standard From Prime Minister Thompson

It seems that David Thompson and other Ministers of the Barbados Government have been everywhere lately trying to save jobs and convince businesses and investors not to cut back on employment in these hard times. Whether talking with LIME about keeping a hundred jobs at the call center open, addressing business people at the Chamber of Commerce, giving away tens of millions to rich horse owners and Thompson’s close friend and legal client Leroy Parris, or making secret deals and guarantees to keep the Four Seasons project abuilding, the Barbados Government has been in frenzied efforts to save jobs everywhere.

Everywhere that is, except for the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary where the Government of Barbados has not even bothered to send a letter or make a phone call to the management.

Why the Double Standard?

On Wednesday, Barbados Free Press will present a compelling argument (complete with visual evidence) that the Government of Barbados is carrying out a strategy designed to allow certain friends of government to make huge profits from Graeme Hall: the last natural green space between the airport and the city. This profit will come at the expense of the citizens of Barbados who will be denied their Graeme Hall National Park. To effectively carry out the plan, the Barbados government would like to seize land from Peter Allard – the Canadian philanthropist who offered to GIVE the land to people of Barbados as part of a National Park.

The Barbados government is happy to have the gift of the land of course – but government officials want no strings so they can later sell or lease the land to friends and family members in their quest for personal wealth.

Don’t forget to visit BFP on Friday for part 2 of this article, with details that should interest every foreign investor and foreign landowner in Barbados. If it can happen to Canadian Allard (and a few others we’ll talk about) it could happen to you!

Meanwhile, head over to Bajan Reporter for the story of the layoffs and the full press release…

Bajan Reporter: BREAKING NEWS – Final Employee Termination Schedule At Sanctuary, Let’s Try And Stop This Please

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Government, Corruption, Environment, Nature, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption, Real Estate, Wildlife

Two Barbados Godfathers Look After Each Other First, All Else Is Second…

“It was a very good feeling to be here to celebrate with a very good friend of mine.

A lot of people do not know this but David is the godfather of my son and I am the godfather of his last daughter so there is not only a political relationship, but a personal relationship as well. Also, David is my attorney-at-law.

As you know, over the last 15 years I have been battered in the media for my relationship with him, but I have continued to stand by his side because a friend is a friend and friendship means a whole lot to me, not just as a political friend but a real friend…”

… Recipient of Government money & CLICO boss Leroy Parris speaks of his friend and business partner Prime Minister David Thompson at Keltruth Blog

No Wonder David Thompson Refuses To Implement Conflict of Interest Rules!

Prime Minister David Thompson and his government are directing public funds to his friend’s company, CLICO. Thompson appointed Leroy Parris to head Barbados’ public broadcasting company.

What other business dealings have they had over the years? What else do the two Barbados Godfathers have going now?

Keltruth Blog has been doing some research – and the results should outrage every thinking Barbadian. How can such things be permitted? How can they continue without the news media having the courage to do some basic commentary on the inappropriate and unethical behaviour of our Prime Minister?

David Thompson promised the people of Barbados integrity, transparency and accountability.

What he is currently delivering is something else…

Keltruth Blog: What is the Nature of the Relationship between Leroy Parris of CLICO and Barbados Prime Minister David Thompson?

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

GB&LOL Blog’s Analysis Of Thompson’s Interview: “I wanted to reach through the television and slap him.”

UPDATED: She is a He

Ok, Ok… we admit it. We looked at the photo on the GBL blog and thought that good-looking woman was the author. No chance. It turns out that The Good, The Bad & The LOL (or “GBL” as they prefer) is written by a guy.

Cliverton, our resident womaniser, is crushed.

And yes, we’ve added GBL to our blogroll pretty early because we think he will have something worthwhile to say.

Marcus

Original story…

A New Barbados Blog: The Good, The Bad & The LOL

Maybe Barbados Free Press will get around to writing an analysis of Prime Minister Thompson’s little television extravaganza, but probably not. When he actually accomplishes something or keeps any one of his integrity promises we might write about it. Otherwise, we’re not really interested in what Thompson says. Words are cheap and far too many Bajans mistake words for action. Thompson primarily says rather than does, just like the last government but DLP supporters give him a pass.. He knows he can get away with it for a couple of years because people want to believe him. They don’t want to have to admit that they were taken for a ride once again.

Our newest Barbados blogging friend over at The Good, The Bad & The LOL has no inhibitions about saying what she thinks. Like us, she hoped that David Thompson was telling the truth during his election campaign, and like us she has come to the sad realisation that Thompson has absolutely no intentions of keeping any of his integrity promises. It was all a big show.

Here’s some excerpts from LOL’s article David Thompson Press Conference

His ‘hands off’ comments about prosecuting those who -because of his campaign to “stop the rot”- have been relieved of their positions or had their projects halted are disheartening. It’s more of the same. Status Quo preserved, nothing to see here. Yes, he is not the commissioner of Police, but the commissioner answers to him. If he wanted us to believe he was serious about stopping the rot, he would issue the commissioner with a directive. I know of x or y, “the evidence has been presented” (directly quoting him here) investigate and take the necessary steps to have this person brought before the law courts to answer the relevant charges.

He absolves himself from making enemies by pointing at the thief but whispering for help…

… read the entire article at the Good, The Bad & The LOL Blog (link here)

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption