Tag Archives: Barbados Offshore Investment

Harlequin’s H Hotel: Latest photos of an eyesore that spoils Barbados

Harlequin Barbados Disaster 39

Harlequin Barbados Disaster 500

by St George’s Dragon

As promised I went to take a few photos of the Harlequin H Hotel today.

The site has obviously suffered less than Merricks, presumably because it is in a more populated area. It looks as though it was secure until fairly recently, although when I went it was possible to walk straight in from the boardwalk side of the site as someone has ripped the site hoarding door off its hinges.

There are still a few items of plant and materials on site, although nothing of any great value.

Such a shame. So many people have lost money just to create an eyesore that spoils Barbados.

A lovely view for the tourists from the beach boardwalk!

A lovely view for the tourists from the beach and boardwalk! Click photo for larger view.

Editor’s Note: The exposed rebar is salt-drenched and rusted, with salt-laden water dripping down into the concrete. How long before no self-respecting structural engineer would approve further work? Has that time already arrived? Do we have an architects or engineers out there to comment?

More Photos… 
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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Disaster, Economy, Environment, Offshore Investments

Pure Beach Resort pledges $1 million to Queen Elizabeth Hospital – refuses to say when the money will arrive!

Illustration of the Pure Beach Resort promise of $1 million to hospital

Gather round children… for the smell of cow manure is closing in and we have to get a grip on reality.

A few days ago Barbados Free Press published our first post about the upcoming Pure Beach Resort. In Another half-billion dollar Barbados resort announced with standard fanfare, concept paintings etc. we said we hoped that the project wouldn’t end up like so many others as concrete bones bleaching in the sun. We also prayed to the Lord that the project would be successful AND that we wanted public parking and access to the beach.

“I call ‘Bullshit!’ unless Pure Beach Resort and Spa writes the promised $1 million Queen Elizabeth Hospital cheque immediately.”

Then a source sent us the very disturbing article Barbados Foul Bay developer Ecoterra International Corporation failed to file financials for last three years indicating that not only had Ecoterra failed the basic corporate governance standards, but that two of the company faces had unfortunately been associated with some rather unsavory characters in the past. This was not to say that these folks were themselves unsavory, but that investors might want to perform their due diligence.

Ecoterra ignored our inquiry

In fairness, we sent an email to Ecoterra to ask for comments about our article and also for their guarantee that the Bajan public would have proper access to the beach and adequate public parking. Because without the parking, any beach access is a cruel joke.

We print Ecoterra’s answer right here: >>>>>   nada   <<<<<

Instead of engaging a Bajan public asking reasonable questions, Pure Beach decided to host a public extravaganza with lots of hype and no questions. Smoke, dancing girls and champagne for the reporters. It will be interesting to see how many full page ads follow the press coverage at Barbados Today.

Pure Beach Chairman Mark Purai says that the project will provide 1,000 new jobs – whether permanent or temporary isn’t stated – and that it will be the largest tourism project in Barbados history.

Fabulous! Let’s have the million bucks now, please.

Out of all the benefits to the island as promised by Mr. Purai, we’d like to see the cheque for $1 million dollars written RIGHT NOW to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, thank you.

You see, Mr. Purai, we Bajans are more than a little jaded by dog and pony shows. We’d also like your assurance that your company will NOT contribute to any political party and that Pure Beach will NOT hire any sub-contractor or “consultant” that is in any way associated with a Barbados politician, government official or their close family members.

But first… Where is that cheque for $1 million to the hospital?

I call bullshit unless Pure Beach Resort and Spa writes the cheque immediately.

Bajans been there, Mr. Purai. Done that. Seen that.

The promised cheque please, sir. We’re waiting.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Offshore Investments

Canada probing Barbados Offshore Investment tax losses

Largest Canadian Labour Union calls Barbados “Tax Haven” a “problem”

An article at the Toronto Sun news agency says that a Canadian House of Commons committee recently began probing offshore accounts and tax evasion. Some Canadians are concerned that Canada’s government is “missing out on billions in potential revenue” because of low tax countries. The article names Barbados, Bahamas and the Cayman Islands.

“I was really struck to the extent to which this trend seems to be increasing when we were assured it was less of a problem… This money is not going into investing in real activities and in growing the (Canadian) economy.”

…Toby Sanger, Canadian Union of Public Employees CUPE senior economist. CUPE has almost 600,000 members and is Canada’s largest workers’ union.

This is serious business for Barbados because our national economy and well being are highly dependent upon that offshore investment from Canada. Not only that, our tourism industry is also closely linked with the offshore banking and investment sector. Many Canadians and other tourists who head for Barbados in the winter are coming for their “annual shareholders meeting” that just happens to be scheduled every year in the middle of the coldest winter months.

And don’t kid yourself that it’s about all offshore jurisdictions: Barbados is a big big player in Canadians’ offshore tax strategies. I once heard it said that Barbados is the #1 Caribbean country for Canadian offshore banking and companies. I don’t know if that is still true, but Barbados is big enough that we are squarely in the sights of those who want to curtail the ability of Canadians to pay lower tax rates.

All Hands on Deck!

The Toronto Sun article seems to be a balanced piece that gives both sides of the Canadian debate. There is a side that says offshore banking and corporate centres like Barbados actually benefit the Canadian economy by allowing Canadian companies to be competitive in the world markets.

The danger for Barbados is that in bad times governments can get focused only upon revenues and lose sight of the big picture.

As we’ve seen occasionally in Barbados, governments can raise taxes too much and ‘kill the goose’. Some Canadians want their government to restrict access to offshore banking centres like Barbados, and don’t realize this would harm Canadian industry in the long run.

Let’s hope that our government acts decisively and swiftly to convince the Canadian Government, tax authorities and Canadians in general that both countries greatly benefit from our long standing relationship and the agreements that allow both Canada and Barbados to prosper in the world economy. We are both lesser without each other.

Further Reading

Please read the article at the Toronto Sun, but we’ll reprint it here because sometimes articles go missing in cyberspace and then we have nothing to support our fair commentary. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Canada, Economy, Offshore Investments