ST. PATRICK - SITE OF MAJOR DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS
PM. Mitchell, M.P Anthony Boatswain, Sen. Pamela Moses along with investors at the recent sod turning ceremony at Levera
Residents of the “Historical Parish”, St. Patrick, who once felt left on the backburner, in terms of national development, now feel optimistic and are singing praises to government, as the parish is receiving its fair share of projects that are already bearing fruits, although the main harvest is yet to come. Two significant projects are currently underway, in St. Patrick. The Sauteurs Breakwater and the Levera Beach Resort projects, which from all indications are expected to improve and protect the parish’s coastline, create development opportunities in the north of the island, and generate jobs. Although the interventions and investments by Government and investors in the Northern Parish will result in improvements in their quality of life, economic stimulation and is likely to have a lasting impact on their community, residents are also optimistic about many more developmental prospects both projects can create in the North. As part of the Disaster Vulnerability Programme, Government is putting a stop to the coastal degradation caused by the rough Atlantic waters, to ensure the safety of citizens and property. At a cost of 4.8 million dollars, the Breakwater Project will lay a 1500 foot stone core structure in the water, stretching from the shore just under the Sauteurs Catholic Church or Leapers Hill, moving out to sea and on to the old Sauteurs jetty.
An Artistic Impression of the Levera Beach Resort in the North of the island where construction has started
The structure will be 50 feet wide at the bottom and 25 feet wide at the top. This is expected to calm the rough Atlantic waters heading onto shore, thereby lessening the damage to the sand and seashore. Hon. Anthony Boatswain, Parliamentary Representative for St. Patrick West, spoke on the genesis of the project and government’s mitigation actions, during the 2017 budget presentation. “I want to commend our Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, notwithstanding the difficult financial situation, he went to Sauteurs and saw what was happening and he said,... We have to do something about that project, Mr. Speaker, and now that project is on stream,” he said. Arnold Frederick, a restaurant employee, from Madeys, St. Patrick, told The GIS Review, “Is not today we was looking forward for that, is years now…. the wait is finally over and the benefits of the Breakwater project is already visible”, a sentiment expressed by many community members. The expectation is that boats like the Osprey and others will soon be able to safely anchor at Sauteurs; that the fishermen can both moor their boats and face calmer waters when heading out to sea and the storekeepers and those residing on the coastline can feel secure that their property is no longer at risk.
“It’s one of the best projects that have been done for a long, long time. Everybody was looking forward for that and today we get it and praise the Government – the NNP Government - for doing such a project like that,” Dennis Phillip, also known popularly as Comsie, a retired citizen of Sauteurs, shared. Prime Minister, Dr. the Rt. Hon. Keith Mitchell, during his 2016 budget presentation told the nation, “This ongoing Sauteurs Breakwater Project has created between 15 to 20 jobs, to the benefit of the local community, with an estimated completion date of June, 2017.” The breakwater structure is expected to transform Grenada into a gateway to the Grenadines. In fact, it is expected to encourage investment in a marina project at Sauteurs, which would build a yachting center and attract significant commercial activity, thereby increasing employment in the north. Like many other residents from St. Patrick’s, Annie Clift, Co-owner of the Petite Anse Hotel which by all means is the first major hotel establishment in the North of the island, says she thinks the project is well managed and they’re already seeing the differences to the water. However, with respect to the possibility of a marina, Robert Martin, Managing Director of NTL Trust, an investor in the Levera Beach Resort, said during his company’s groundbreaking ceremony, that some of his equity investors are very interested. Con’t on page 14
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Minister’s Welcome Welcome to this special edition of The GIS Review in which we showcase massive progress made in just four years by the Keith Mitchell led New National Party Government. We invite you to leaf through the pages of this special edition and read the stories and review Sen. The Hon. Dr. Winston Garraway the many pictures, empirical Minister of Information evidence of the gains made by this administration. Additionally, tune in to all television stations and social media as a special television feature, Signed, Sealed, Delivered, highlighting the progress after four years, premiers. As Minister of State with responsibility for Information, I have been happy to preside over and work with enthusiastic employees who have defied varying challenges but have gone to great lengths to provide rich and vibrant tri-media content to educate the nation on the work of the Government. GIS is a (24 hour), Government owned TV channel, generating over 85% of the content that we broadcast. As an entity in late stage transition from the analog to digital era, we have made significant strides by modernizing the way we do things. One of the first big changes is the distribution of audio materials using free cloud services on-line. This meant a major cutback on the purchase and use of CDs and an increase use of emails and other free services to communicate. Most of our cameras now use flash media instead of tapes that allows for retaining higher quality video and a faster transfer of materials, making distribution and processing less time consuming. One of the most impacting upgrades we have had, to date, was the acquiring of a Mass Storage Device (RAID), accompanied by a Server Unit. This led to setting up a closed network between the department’s computers and the Mass Storage Device. Our network of computers also reduced the need for printing documents and increased collaboration on projects. As such, we have been able to significantly cut costs in the purchase of recording media, which includes DVD’s, CD’s, and DV tapes. Our transformation at GIS also includes an increased presence on social media especially through Facebook and YouTube, where our material can be viewed. There is also a reduction in the use of manpower during weekends due to semi-automation of our GIS channel operation. We are now more flexible in scheduling our programming content and disseminating more information using less resources, with the use of computerized playback system for on-air programmes. One of our flagship programmes, the “National Report”, is also aired on other national television stations, while the audio version is carried by several radio stations. The National Report, which is also uploaded to social media daily, focuses mainly on the work of the government, although
from time to time, it includes other stories of ‘human interest. State of Affairs (SOA) which is also aired on all national television stations is our flagship television news magazine capturing government policy issues and public interest activities. In the two years since its inception, SOA, has developed a following as the best feature programme on Grenadian television and is the only one of its kind. Many of our employees, including a number of Imani trainees, have benefitted from various in-house and overseas training programmes and the evidence of their growth is constantly being manifested in their quality of work. The GIS team is eagerly looking forward to relocating from their current cramped quarters on the fifth floor of the Ministerial Complex. A building, already identified, will soon be renovated to accommodate the staff. Finally, I take this moment to commend the Director Mr. Rawle Titus and his team of highly motivated and dedicated staff for making this Fourth Anniversary publication possible.
Grand Bacolet Up and Running
The Newly constructed Filtered Water Tank at Mt. Agnes. PM. Mitchell and Social Development Minister Hon. Delma Thomas Cuts the Ribbon at Grand Bacolet Youth Rehab Centre
Sen. the Hon. Dr. Winston Garraway Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, Home Affairs, Disaster Management, Department of Public Affairs, Information and Implementation with responsibility for Disaster Management and Information. THE GIS REVIEW PRODUCTION TEAM Publisher - Government Information Service (GIS) - Grenada Mnging Editor: Sen. the Hon. Dr. Winston Garraway Minister with responsibility for Information Snr. Mnging Editor: Mr. Rawle Titus - Director of Information Jr. Editors: Mrs. Janelle Grant-Hamlet Mr. Keville Frederick Staff Writers/Contributors: Ms. Abigeil Mc Intyre Ms. Annette Moore Ms. Christlina John Mrs. Janelle Grant-Hamlet Ms. Rickisha St. Louis Mr. Keville Frederick Mr. Rawle Titus Photographers/Pictures: Ms. Annette Moore Mr. Carlyle “Pie” Noel Mr. Keville Frederick Ms. Linda Straker Art Direction/Graphic Design by: Mr. Keville Frederick. Special thanks to all other contributors of photographs/ images, for their technical guidance and support towards this publication. Printed by: Government Printery Botanical Gardens, St. George’s, Grenada.
The Grand Bacolet Juvenile Justice Centre has begun to make significant strides in reforming young offenders who get in trouble with the Law. The center officially opened up its doors in March 2016, after being put on hold by the previously led Tillman Thomas administration. However, since its launch, a number of strides have been made, one of which is the accommodation provided for 17 young residents who have been spared the harsh reality at the adult penal institution, Her Majesty’s Prison The facility now provides an avenue for these youth to totally transform their lives in a more meaningful way. Leon Cornwall, Counsellor at the facility said, having a centre which is more like a home, is sending a message to these young people - that they are loved. The GIS Review gathered that trained professionals are on hand twenty four hours working with the residents providing them with the necessary skills and counseling needed to equip them to face life’s challenges and to make meaningful contributions to society. “I and the staff have been working hard to change behaviours and attitudes and so its difficult because you are trying to retrain them and of course for young people who have never had any structure in their lives, its difficult for them to adjust within this environment,” added Melisse Ogilvie, Manager of the Grand Bacolet Rehabilition Centre. “So they will push the boundaries and they will test and they will be oppositional because this is not what they are used to”. The rehab center also makes special provisions for parental involvement but not all of the parents jump at this opportunity. However in preparation for residents to be reintegrated into their family, Social workers work along with the families in the communities. They are further monitored after serving time at the centre to ensure they stay on track. “We do work along with the probation officer to prepare them as much as possible, to exit and we continue the support and follow-up for a period” Ogilvie explained. The Grand Bacolet Juvenile Justice Centre falls within the ambits of the Ministry of Social Development Government of Grenada.
The pictures, articles and figures contained in this special edition of The GIS Review outline the volume of work done by the Keith Mitchell led Government in just four years. From quick action to rebuild the Hubble Bridge in Gouyave, to resurrecting a long list of projects left dead, to installing new measures to restore the local economy, the government has been unyielding in its effort to do the right thing. In just four years, an economy in deficit has been turned into surplus with growth rate averaging 5 percent, the best performing economy in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU). Rawle Titus Unemployment has plummeted from more than GIS Director 40 percent to 28.6 percent with net jobs created amounting to more than 3000. In the last year, the Inland Revenue Division and Customs have been consistently exceeding their targets while the country’s debt stock has been reduced by more than 200 million dollars. In fact, at the conclusion of the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) Grenada’s debt stock is expected to be further reduced by 158.3 million dollars. In four years, the government has made a clear and deliberate effort to assist the most vulnerable in our society through its many programmes. To this effect, there has been a complete revamp of the SEED programme with 5000 beneficiary households. A record number of scholarships have been handed out with 231 new ones. 119 families have benefitted from the soft loan programme, 1,265 families have gained from the material assistance programme and 353 housing units have been distributed with 647 families to benefit from the second phase of the housing programme. Close to 50 million dollars in retroactive payments have been made to public servants and pensioners, while income tax on pension has been removed. The Keith Mitchell led Government has also announced a commitment to solving the lingering pension problem. The landscape is littered with evidence of a busy administration seeking to bring benefits to the nation. Much of the spotlight has fallen on the major projects generating jobs such as Silver Sands, Levera, St. Patrick’s Breakwater, Clarke’s Court Bay Marina, Tyrel Bay Marina, Mt. Cinnamon and more. But the superfluous amount of smaller projects throughout the 15 constituencies has gone unnoticed, to some extent. These include roads, bridges, drains, health centers and assistance in housing and education. Our GIS teams crisscrossing the country to report on government work in the constituencies reported so many abandoned projects which were resurrected.They include, MAREP, BNTF, Grand Bacolet Rehab Center, Mamma Cannes Community Centre and several road projects. In the year ahead, Grenada’s economic prospects look bright with major hotels set to open, an international track and field event set to take place here and an anticipated surge in the tourism sector. Our real estate sector is also facing a healthy prognosis having experienced record surges within the past two years. While other countries have retrenched workers the Keith Mitchell led administration has averted this IMF request by introducing measures to boost revenue and reduce spending. Specific legislation has been passed to ensure this as well. Grenada has entered an era of open government and higher level of transparency with the Integrity Commission functioning and Social Partners sitting with Government monthly to discuss the latest state of affairs in the country. While this special edition of The GIS Review offers many details about the work of Government in the past four years, a special documentary is now airing on national television that does the same. “Signed, Sealed and Delivered”, takes viewers into the community to report on the work done and hear from many of the beneficiaries themselves. We know you will be better informed.
GOV’T UNDERTAKES MAJOR INVESTMENT AT HOSPITAL (ICU) Major Development In
A model of the new Ventilator
Filed photo: One of the bed units at the ICU- General Hospital
Being able to effectively manage and administer critical care to patients classified as “critical” is perhaps one of the most important functions of any hospital and its staff, not just in developing States but Worldwide. And one senior healthcare manager categorized such a process as “Bringing back the dead to life”. It was for that reason the Grenada Government took the bold step to invest heavily in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the General Hospital, upgrading the unit with a set of new modern life-saving equipment. In September - 2016 the Ministry of Health spent over USD 82,000.00 on new equipment and accessories in response to the onset of the GUILLAIN-BARRE SYNDROME (GBS), which at the time was one of the most feared disorders in Grenada, given its crippling effect on humans and the burdens it left on families not to mention the toll it took on healthcare providers. Ventilators and monitors along with accessories were recently bought and installed at the (ICU) to address the surge of (GBS) recorded on the island. According to official health-data Grenada had recorded nine cases, of which two succumbed to (GBS) related side effects. Permanent Secretary with responsibility for Hospital Services Aaron Francois told The GIS Review, that the decision to undertake the investment is justified. “The ICU is one of the most critical units apart from the emergency department, it’s like where you bring back the dead to life and given the incidences we thought it was very important because human life is the most important thing for us”, Francois explained. The truth is a number of specialized and non-specialized medical procedures; medicines and services are required to
successfully treat Guillain Barre. The cost of care per patient can easily surpass EC $180,000.00 in a matter of weeks. From the onset of Guillain Barre almost six months ago, the MOH and by extension Government felt it was necessary to tap into their network of public health organizations to make available and provide Immunoglobulins free of charge to most vulnerable patients although the medicine comes with a price tag of USD23,000.00 per vial. During that same period, Health officials ensured that no efforts were spared in having systems in place, necessary for the location of the OGBYN and Male Medical Wards. However, while government had invested hundreds of thousands in medicines and other support services for (GBS) affected patients, the leading medical consultant on Guillain Barre at the General Hospital Dr. Dolland Noel did not only describe the upgrading of the ICU as important but saw it as an investment that was timely, meaningful and one that can help prolong life. Dr. Noel told The GIS Review that the investments had a morale-boosting effect on staff and that having the right equipment, technical staff and medicines meant a lot in the delivery of care to patients at the (ICU) Guillain Barre is a paralyzing disorder of the nervous system as a result of a viral or bacterial infection. The treatment utilized in Grenada is Immunoglobulin, which is a Y-shaped protein produced mainly by plasma cells that are used by the immune system to identify and neutralize pathogens such as bacteria and viruses. Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG) is a proven effective treatment for GBS which is administered to patients in the form of a drip.
Cont’d from Back page In an The other critical project for the economic revival of St. Patrick, is the Levera Beach Resort - a 375-acre, $150 million dollar, eco-friendly, Grenada Citizenship by Investment (CBI) approved project. The first phase of development will include the construction of the Turtle Beach Resort, which will encompass an 80 unit Boutique hotel, 40 hotel cottages, 20 Casitas and Villas and much more. Another hopeful St. Patrick resident Akell John, expressed confidence in the projects saying, “It would mean a huge opening for jobs and that’s something because unemployment levels in Sauteurs are quite high. I think it would bring a lot of notice to Sauteurs,” he told The GIS Review. He further stated, “A lot of young people - they’re already looking forward to it and me, myself, I’m looking forward to it coming.” Prime Minister Mitchell thanked the people of Sauteurs for their patience. The GIS Review learnt that the developers had brought in two experts, one of whom is Brent H Ostler, the head of production at Endura Wall System, to train local workmen in the process of installing the Endura Wall. The GIS Review also learnt that as it relates to the Levera Beach Resort, construction of cottages currently underway and excavation for additional lots will take place simultaneously. Expectations are that six cottages, with the exception of roofs and finishings, will be completed by March. The beach club along with fourteen cottages is expected to be operational in time for the 2017/2018 tourist season. Sen. Pamela Moses, in addressing the gathering cited the importance of the resort as a means of combatting the need for residents to travel to St. George’s, in search employment. Additionally, farmers from St. Patricks and surrounding areas are confident that once the project is completed and opened for business as planned, they will be ready to capitalize on the demands for fresh agricultural produce. One such person is Dennis Pascall, a Morne Fendue farmer, who told The GIS Review, “It would increase my demand for produce, because if the hotel is on stream, the cottages and things on stream, that means I would sell my produce to the hotels.”
GRENADA’S TOURISM FORECAST FOR 2017
Visitors enjoying the view of the Capital from Fort Frederick
From where we stand, the tourism forecast for 2017 seems pretty sunny. A number of high-profile events are already lined up for the year, indicating that 2017 may just be another bumper tourism year for Grenada. Read on to find out more about these exciting activities. THE GRENADA INVITATIONAL - APRIL 8, 2017 Most of us remember August 6, 2012 as if it was
yesterday - the day our very own “Jaguar” Kirani James earned Grenada’s first-ever Olympic Gold Medal, putting the island on athletic map for the world to see. Well, all that excitement and more is expected in April 2017, when Grenada hosts its first ever international athletics invitational at our world class Athletic and Football Stadium in St. George’s. The likes of Veronica Campbell Brown, Kim Collins, Justin Gatlin, LaShawn Merritt
The breathtaking view of Port Louis Marina in St. George’s
and Athletic Ambassador Kirani James, are among track and field stars already confirmed for the games. The event’s organizer, Mr. Michael Bascombe says an aggressive promotion campaign “has ensured that the Grenada Invitational is a trending topic among track and field athletes and fans, here in Grenada and among the region.” Prime Minister Dr. the Rt. Hon Keith Mitchell believes this athletic extravaganza will not only be red hot on the tourism
meter, but will have positive rippling effects throughout the economy. “The Invitational is not only about showcasing the talent of the athletes; it is also about the economic possibilities that will result in the spin-off of opportunities from all our people – from the taxi driver to the hotel owner and worker, to the vendor and businessman and woman,” Dr. Mitchell said. Cont’d on page 11
Silver Sands Rises From The Dust
More than a year ago, the area where one of the country’s newest hotels is being built was just bush and dust as investors crafted a vision of a world class property. Today, the Silver Sands Hotel project nearing completion, is a multi-million dollar investment from Egyptian Business Mogul Naguib Sawiris; a beneficiary of the Citizenship By Investment (CBI) programme. Structures are emerging from the dust to embrace a 70 room facility being prepared to compete with any top class resort on the globe. Five seafront villas are nearing completion; the hillside villas are under construction as well as the prime feature of the property, its 100 meter pool. “We had our owner here about a month or so ago to see the progress,” said Nigel Renwick, architect TVA consultants. “He was very impressed with the rate of progress but also with the quality of work that the Grenadian worker is actually producing”. Three contractors are on site; Kurt Engineering, Creative Design and Building construction and Quinn Company; all adding up to a total of 435 men currently employed with the project. “
“We always anticipated that we would peak around 450-500 workers on site at any one time,” said Renwick. “I think right now we are heading to that peak because we have multiple things happening. It may peak at around 500 it may actually go up beyond that”. Projects like Silver Sands, apart from creating local jobs; also boost the skill set of local workers. “You have to keep to the standards so when you got some new guys you have to bring them up to the standards that are
expected”, said Lincoln Duncan, of Quinn Company. A major part of the Silver Sands Hotel is its 100 meter (or 328 foot long, 25 foot wide) swimming pool, a feature that’s unrivalled in this hemisphere. “It is impressive,” declared former Tourism Minister Alexandra Otway-Noel. “You drive past there and you see the buildings coming out of the ground . You see the swimming pool which is just amazing. As a former Tourism Minister I am very excited about that project”.
The US Multi-million Dollar Silver Sands Hotel Under Construction in Grand Anse
WORLD CLASS MARINA IN PURE GRENADA
The US$ 30Mil. Clarkes Court Bay Marina tucked away Woburn, St George’s
Neatly tucked away in the Clarkes Court Bay, on the South-West of the island, is an establishment that is not only the talk of the town locally, but in other parts of the world - The Clarkes Court Boatyard and Marina one of the biggest marinas and boatyards the Caribbean has ever seen. The US$ 30 Million dollar investment, undertaken by New Zealand developer Kelly Glass, is a ‘game changer’ project that is already creating new avenues of employment and training for the nation’s youth.
“There is a huge amount of opportunity here for young people with good work ethics. We will need youth, apprentices and trainees to start thinking about making a career in the marine industry”, Glass said at the commissioning of the boatyard and marina’s 242 ton travel lift. Now, a little over two and a half years since the inception of the project, the facility is just about to pull down the curtains on phase one, which includes the completion of a 250 vessel capacity boatyard, installation of water, electricity,
internet, washrooms and showering facilities; plus the building and outfitting of four self-contained luxury apartments. Other developments include the onsite North Yacht Shop chandlery, and the much anticipated restaurant, the ADRIFT. The revolutionary project, while set out to change the face of Grenada’s yachting sector, is also transforming lives in the process; close to 100 Grenadians have found direct and indirect employment on the site. Many of them are receiving hands-on technical training in the areas of rigging, fiber glass, mechanical and electrical work, to name a few. But more employment opportunities are expected, once the project is completed. The Clarkes Boatyard and Marina, which has been attracting clients from as far as Australia, France and Germany and as near as Barbados and St. Vincent, also has an environmentally-friendly focus as it puts efforts into safeguarding the mangroves and dove sanctuary nearby. The GIS Review has learnt that to date, the facility has hauled more than 500 vessels, including ferries, super yachts, monohulls, catamarans and small vessels. With a growing demand for Caribbean marinas, industry players are optimistic that the advantages of safety, security, attractions and a new state of the art marina, will attract bigger boats and bigger bucks to Grenada.
MILLION DOLLAR BUDGET SETS THE TONE FOR MORE GROWTH Widespread consensus abounds following the one million dollar budget for 2017 announced by Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell. “We are quite excited about this budget,” declared Ruel Edwards, President of the Grenada Chamber of Industry and Commerce. “We are seeing that the small man is able to benefit but people who want to go into business have an opportunity to go into business”. Separate from the projects and initiatives to be rolled out under the various ministries, the 2017 Budget made announcements of several fiscal relief measures or tax cuts and incentives for Public Officers. These include the tax registration amnesty for the period January to March; reduction in the price of the 20 pound LPG Cooking gas; reduction in personal income tax rate from 15% to 10%; and the removal of all income tax on pension income among others. “I think it was a very good budget. I think the plans for the future look really green and the government has done a great job. If they continue, Grenada would
be a better place” said Roma Watts who attend the budget presentation. “It shows that the austerity programme has succeeded and there are benefits to the programme in terms of wage increases and things like that” added well-known Grenadian Economist Carlisle Noel. The 2017 budget presentation was punctuated with success stories including Government’s ability to achieve a primary surplus of 5.1% as against its target of 3.5% of GDP. This, the Prime Minister admits, is largely due to a robust revenue performance driven by increased economic growth and improvements in the administration and collection of taxes. Government was also able to knock down the country’s unemployment rate. “Unemployment has fallen from over 40 percent when we assumed office to 32.2 percent at the end of 2013 and 28.6 percent now in 2016 with over 3203 net jobs created”, said the Prime Minister during his 2017 Budget presentation in St. George’s. Cont’d on page 10
EDF AGREEMENT SIGNED - GOUYAVE HEALTH CENTER GETS GREENLIGHT
PM. Mitchell signs the agreement with EU Rep for Barbados and the OECS, Her Excellency Daniela Tramacere in the presence of Health Minister Hon. Nickolas Steele and other officials
3.5 Million EUR has been given in grant funding to Grenada for the enhancement of Primary Health Care. A signing ceremony between Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell and Ambassador
of the EU Delegation to Barbados and the OECS, Her Excellency Daniela Tramacere, was held in St. George’s last month, demonstrating Grenada’s readiness to revitalize its efforts in the delivery
of primary health care services. “This programme will focus on preventative care, addressing the needs of the most vulnerable in rural communities. So, this is very important in a country that has been going through very harsh measures,
13 to foster the access of those in need of basic services for the well being of everybody in the country,” Ambassador Tramacere said. A major part of the funds will be used to construct the Gouyave Health Center, which will serve as the centre of health care services for St. John and St. Mark. Prime Minister Mitchell said he is particularly pleased with that project since dealing with the health sector in Grenada can be challenging. “Having the European Union support on this is so important to us,” Dr. Mitchell said. “Having the resources to implement and to do this project at this particular time, to me, is something that makes me extremely happy.” The GIS Review has since learnt that the Ministry of Health, Social Security and International Business is eager to get things in motion given the fact that systems including drawings were already prepared and approved by the relevant authorities.
MORE GRENADIANS HEADED FOR CANADA’S FARM LABOUR PROGRAMME The Grenada Government has held talks with a Canadian entrepreneur to expand its enrollment in the Canadian Farm Labour programme. Dean Thomson, owner of a 500 - acre apple orchard, employed 35 Grenadians last year and wants to increase the numbers to sixty this year. “I came down here because I’ve been working with Grenadians for ten years on my farm and really enjoy working with them”. “I got some really good quality people that have come up to Canada and I really think we can expand the workforce coming out of Grenada,” said Thomson, who met with Economic Development and Labour Minister, Hon. Oliver Joseph. “We’re very optimistic that part of our expansion process will include many more Grenadians to help us move forward our operations”. Thomson was accompanied on his recent visit to Grenada by Theodore Blaize, Grenada’s Honourary Deputy Consul in Montreal; and by Ambassador Derrick James, Toronto-based Consul General to Canada.
The GIS Review, has learnt, that the programme which is also known as the Caribbean / Commonwealth Seasonal Agricultural Workers Programme (CCSAWP) recruits several workers from other countries in the Caribbean including St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Jamaica and Trinidada and Tobago. Filed photo: Two Caribbean Apple Pickers on a Farm Canada
“It is not only Quebec that we are looking at for farm workers, but we also have interest and we have some workers in Ontario. We are also hoping to look at expanding the number of workers we have there,” said Ambassador James. “The Government of Grenada has placed a lot of emphasis on the farm programme by the appointment of the Deputy Consul in Montreal. His main emphasis is on the farm workers programme”. A total of sixty-eight Grenadians are currently employed under the farm labour programme in Canada, which dates back to almost 50 years.
HUBBLE BRIDGE DELIVERED IN RECORD TIME
DID YOU KNOW?
TREATED WATER FOR ST. DAVID RESIDENTS
Figures tell a vibrant story on the Fourth Anniversary of the Keith Mitchell led Government... * Growth rate average: Over 5%. * Unemployment: 40% to 28.6%. * Net jobs created: 3,203. Newly constructed Bridge which is the only one of its kind in St. John is said to be stronger and wider with pedestrian footpath and a disabled access ramp
The day after the Hubble Bridge in Gouyave collapsed, the area was declared a disaster. Alvin Dabreo, Parliamentary Representative for St. John was on the scene, with engineers from the Ministry of Works and private contractors to assess the situation for a quick response. Within a short period, boots were on the ground. Construction had started on a temporary walkover while the foundation was laid for the construction of the new bridge. Months later, the EC$ 1.1m, Government of Grenada /World Bank financed bridge was completed and the Chinese national who was overseeing the construction says it’s wider, and much stronger. The construction of the bridge created employment for a number of people. The GIS Review, had a quick chat with Chester Andall from River Sallee St. Mark’s, one of the workers who said, “I was very happy to be working on this project.” “We worked very good and very fast because we had to take seven months and we took less.” Already, construction of the new bridge has placed the spotlight on the St. John M.P who has been making good on much of his promises. “I feel very gratified to see that the bridge is ready for use, because I know the inconvenience the people were going through when the bridge fell,” said DaBreo. “Even before it fell it was in bad shape, so today is a very happy day for me to see in such a short space of time we could be walking across it today”. Others in Gouyave, including school children, teachers and bus-drivers expressed delight.
* Primary balance: from deficit 3.9% of GDP to surplus 5.1% * Growth rate 2017: 3.0%. * Primary surplus: 5.1% of GDP, against a target of 3.5% of GDP. * IRD and Customs: consistently exceeded their targets. * Debt stock reduction: more than 200 million. * Debt stock reduction after SAP:158.3 million.
Hubble Bridge During Construction Phase
“We have a new bridge and its stronger. The old one was rotten and the iron bent,” boasted Primary School student Aden Griffith ‘‘It is a pleasure and great effort by the persons who did the work. We are all excited to go across the bridge,” said school teacher Anthony Antoine. “We are all glad the work has being done and we want to praise the persons who were in charge of getting things done”. Bus driver Clifton George, “I feel very happy to see the progress. That is very good and I like that, that was a nice Christmas gift”, he told The GIS Review. Immediately after the disaster, Dabreo pulled together a team of engineers to assess the scope of work, the possibility of a newer, wider and stronger bridge, and how best the immediate and possible future challenges would be minimized. Meanwhile, during a recent visit to the once disaster area he thanked all who contributed to the rebuilding effort thus far. “I alone cannot take the credit because this would not happen with me alone,” he said. “They are a lot of other people who came to make it happen. I want to say thanks to all of them because we will be doing this together again in the very near future”.
* Cost savings in terms of debt service payments: 481.3 million. * Amount Grenada does not have to pay back because of SAP:More than 839.9 million. * New scholarships awareded: 231. * Families who benefited from soft loan programme:119. * Families who benefited from material assistance programme:1,265. * Housing unit distributed:353. * SEED programme:5,000 beneficiary households. * Second phase of housing programme:647 families. * Real Estates sales in 2016: 20% increase over 71% surge from 2015. * 20 pound cylinder:reduced from $42.00 to $40.00. * Personal income tax: reduced from 15% to 10%. * Income tax on pension income: REMOVED. * Public servants and pensioners: close to $50 million in retroactive payments.
The Newly constructed Water Holding Tank at Mt. Agnes, St. David
Residents of Pomme Rose, La Tante, Belle Vue, Requin and surrounding communities in St. David are receiving treated and a more reliable supply of water for the very first time. The taps were turned on, on January 12, with the commissioning of the 1.8 million-dollar Water Treatment Facility, built by the National Water and Sewerage Authority’s (NAWASA), at Mt. Agnes, St. David. The facility, which features a pump
house, filtered tanks, an operator’s quarters and a 250,000 gallon capacity holding (or dissemination) tank, was completed in one year and six months. Speaking at the commissioning of the facility, General Manager of NAWASA, Christopher Husbands said, ‘’The project will mark a first for over a hundred persons in this Mt. Agnes area, who up to this point have never had access to treated water”. He explained, that the residents were always receiving raw water from the dam, because they have resided
used to be the old treatment plant. Husbands said the initiative is phase 1 of 2, and that within the next six months approximately another 30 to 35 households will be supplied with pipe-borne water, for the first time and more than 300 residents in the surrounding area will have access to a safe supply of portable water. Present at the event and reinforcing government’s commitment to the venture was Parliamentary Representative for St. David, Hon. Oliver Joseph. “We are committed to ensuring that water supply improves – the quality improves - to our people, and today is a manifestation of that,” he assured. Residents were more than eager to express their delight at the development. “It gives me great privilege to be here this afternoon, just to say, I’m very thankful to NAWASA,” said Pomme Rose resident, Debbiann Lumpriss. “I think the opening of this facility here is really a historic achievement,” said retired farmer and resident of La Tante, Samuel Joseph. The project played its part in providing shortterm employment, as approximately 40 workers were hired at the peak of construction. Several of them are residents from the immediate area who engaged in extensive excavation, steel bending and concrete work, among other tasks. Various communities in St. David were affected by both the quality of the water and its inadequate supply over the years.
USD 7MIL IN SCHOLARSHIPS AWARDED TO 53 GRENADIANS Fifty three scholarships, totaling more than $7 million U.S., approximately 90 percent of which are for study at the St. George’s University (SGU), were awarded to Grenadian students, during a ceremony at the Public Workers Union building in St. George, on February 3, 2017. The Ministry of Education, Human Resource Development and The Environment hosted the ceremony, during which one Masters student in International Business; five island scholars and 24 other Undergraduates pursuing degrees in the Arts and Sciences received 30 of the 53 awards. Undergraduate areas of study include two Nursing (Associate Degree) scholarships; scholarships in Accounting and Finance; Psychology; Marine Biology, Sociology; Information Technology; Computers & Technology; Management; Biology; International Business and Business Management. Johanson Felix, one of five Island Scholars in the area of Information Technology, said, “I’m elated that I won the scholarship. School is expensive and I’m sure the award is going to help in a big way.” Felix said he will study Computer
Science and has set the future goal of being a software engineer. One of his targets is to work for Google. His advice to other students is to remain focused and work hard. Joseph Felix, father of Johanson Felix, said the scholarship will definitely assist his son in the pursuit of excellence. “I’m very elated. Myself and his mother and I’m sure his younger brother, who is just five, is also elated for him to win a scholarship of this nature,” he said. A further 23 awards were presented to medical students, including three Masters in Public Health; three pre-med, one in
Veterinary Science and sixteen medical scholarship awards. Leshaé Cenac is continuing her medical studies at the Masters level. Her aim is to study Oncology and be able to provide specialized health services to persons with cancer in the near future. She would like to open the first Oncology Center in Grenada. “From the ceremony you may have realized that the total tuition is about $200, 000 USD and, honestly, I cannot afford that, so I am really grateful for the opportunity to receive this... Cont’d on page 6
Min. Boatswain and SGU’s Colin Dowe present Scholarship awards at the ceremony
NEW DIAGNOSTIC MACHINES AT PRINCESS ALICE HOSPITAL
and neighboring St. Patrick’s and St. David’s. The project was born out of goodwill, perseverance, trust, strong commitment and solid partnership between government, the Ronald and Nadia Benjamin Foundation, GRENLEC, St. George’s University, the Grenada Hospitals Assistance Fund and Dr. Barbara Gordon. At the ceremonial commissioning last December The GIS Review recalled Dr. Windwald Fleary describing the two new services as facilities that will strengthen the delivery of healthcare while at the same time reducing the stress levels of patients. Fleary told the gathering that persons travelling all the way to the General The new State-of-the-art X-ray System hospital in St. George’s for basic radiology After twenty years since the last X-ray was and ultrasound services would no longer performed at the Princess Alice Hospital in St. be required to do so, as the services are Andrew, the service is finally restored. And available at their doorsteps at Princess Grenadians including those in the Diaspora are heaping praises on the Mitchell Government and its partners, for restoring and upgrading the medical services at the Mirabeau based hospital. Diagnostic services (X-ray and Ultrasound) were commissioned at Princess Alice on December 2, 2016 at a formal ceremony that marked the historic achievement for healthcare in Grenada. Valued in excess of a million Eastern Caribbean Dollars, the two new additional medical services are receiving positive ratings from staff, clients and residents from St. Andrew The newly built X-ray Department at Princess Alice
Alice. The GIS Review learnt that the X-ray services had required international certification and according the Dr. Fleary who heads the hospital’s Radiology Services Unit, Grenada passed with flying colours as the facility met all required international standards. The rebirth and restoration of the diagnostic services was part of a bigger mission and dream of Mrs. Nadia Benjamin, a well respected St. Andrew’s businesswoman and former parliamentarian. “It took me six years to get where we are today. Today is a very historic day”, she said to applause from government officials and invited guests. “I feel blessed in knowing that at least together we have provided a means of early detection and hopefully early treatments thereby avoiding untimely deaths”. Mrs. Benjamin who is one of the benefactors of the project added, that while the Ronald and Nadia Benjamin Foundation had contributed EC $100,000.00 to the project Government had budgeted EC $200,000.00. However the project itself took some six years before fruition, and as indicated by GRENLEC’s Chief Engineer Clive Hosten, they saw the benefits and immediately got on board. “We were able to visualize how the project could work and provided benefits to the community ..... Cont’d on page 7
GRENADIAN SCHOLARS OFF TO STUDY from page 5
this scholarship,” she said. Permanent Secretary, with responsibility for Human Resource Development, Kevin Andall, presented an analogy to demonstrate the significant value of a medical scholarship. “If you calculate the award for medicine, I shouldn’t even go further. You can build 2 houses and still buy a car,” he said. Addressing the scholarship recipients, Sen. Simon Stiell, Minister of State, with responsibility for Human Resource Development, said, “We’ve identified those areas of study and as a Government, we seek to invest in terms of developing (You) – that human capital - that will directly feed back into our national development.” Hon. Stiell also commended SGU for continually increasing numbers of scholarships. Speaking to the awardees, Colin Dowe, Assistant Dean of Enrollment and Planning said, “We look forward to great things from you. Grenada needs you. The university needs you to be beacons of the excellent education that we provide on that True Blue peninsula.” Additionally, Dowe encouraged parents and relatives to continue to support students, as they work towards the successful
completion of their degrees. Hon. Anthony Boatswain, Mininister for Education, Human Resource Development and The Environment said, “I want to commend St. George’s University, for taking on this noble task of being the partner with Government, in building our human resource capacity.” Both Ministers also thanked the scholarship selection Committee, who work solely on a voluntary basis, and the staff of the Scholarship Desk, in the Ministry of Education,
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OECS TRACK AND FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS - JULY 1 & 2, 2017 Regionally, the athletic world is also abuzz with excitement about the OECS Track and Field Championships. The event, which was debuted in 1986 was held at Queen’s Park, St. George’s. The second was also held in Grenada and thereafter was hoasted in various ialsnds around the Eastern Caribbean. However, in 2017 it comes full circle back home and brings along with it loads of excitement. “We expect athletes coming from all over the Eastern Caribbean. It will be a big meet and we know when it comes to athletics, people will come out. We expect this one to create an impact,” says Raphael Croney, Assistant Sports Coordinator in the Ministry of Sports. PURE GRENADA MUSIC FESTIVAL – MAY 5 - 7, 2017 Another event that promises to attract many is the Pure
Grenadian Athletes at the National Stadium in St. George’s
Grenada Music Festival - a jam-packed weekend, that is expected to get everyone in a musical frenzy. Organizers say 2017 promises to be bigger and better; in many ways. “There will be a lot of music going. The main artist will play on the main stage and after, a local artiste will play on the small stage. There will be no breaks between artistes.. So, really, its going to be lots of music and action going on,” says Chairman of the Festival, Dieter Burkhalter. Music has a way of drawing people in, so we could only imagine what three days of live acts from international, regional and local artistes would do for the island in the month of May. SPICE MAS – AUGUST 2017 It’s no doubt that Grenada’s Carnival - “SpiceMas” is one of the island’s grandest attractions.
FACE LIFT FOR ST. PATRICK’S ANGLICAN SCHOOL Cont’d from page 7
Scholarship recipients and Officials
Sen. Simon Stiell, Minister of State, w.r.f H Resource Development presenting one of the scholarships
Athletics in the Mix for 2017 Tourism Forecast
Human Resource Development and the Environment, for their contribution to the process. The ceremony marked another significant milestone of the ruling Keith Mitchell led Government, that continues to deliver on its promise of more educational opportunities and scholarships for Grenadians. The GIS Review, has leanrt that the present government has awarded/ added a total of 231 new scholarships since taking office in February 2013.
According to Mr. Lydon Lewis, President of the Grenada Union of Teachers, “We believe that it’s an impressive school as it stands now, and the fact that government has delivered on a commitment to the students of the St. Patrick’s Anglican, to us, signals a good start, or rebirth of such a wonderful institution.” Prior to this refurbishment, the school faced many infrastructural issues such as extensive leaks, missing windows, inadequate toilet facilities and insufficient space to accommodate students. These have all been resolved, thanks to the successful completion of the project. Jennifer Smith, a teacher, expressed her gratitude, “I must say thank you to the Ministry of Education and the Government of Grenada for providing us with such a wonderful facility. I am looking forward to many things, one of which is the holistic development of the students.” To the tune of EC $3,902,544.11, the Government of Grenada/World Bankfinanced project included the complete refurbishment of the main building, construction of two annex buildings and fencing of the entire school compound.
St. Patrick’s Anglican School Under Reconstruction
New facilities include a library, staff room, multi-purpose room, an auditorium, science and computer labs, kitchen, tuck shop, lunch room, a special needs education area and bathrooms with facilities for physically challenged students. Melonie Andall of Grade 4, said, “I like everything. I like all the classes, the color of the paint, how it’s structured. I like inside of it - how it’s made and it has space so everyone can move around perfect.” Her sentiments were also echoed by Mekhi
Fans from near and far flock the island by the thousands, to partake in the unique festive events. By no estimation is this year expected to be any different. “Everybody wants to be involved in Carnival, and as such we in Grenada want to stand tall,” says Jocelyn Sylvester-Gairy, Chairman of SpiceMas Corporation. “We want to stand among the best in the region, so that people can say, Yes, indeed I enjoyed Grenada’s Carnival”. As we end this highlight, we would like our readers to know that there are many other events that will be playing their part in showcasing Grenada, as they provide fantastic entertainment for visitors and locals alike. We encourage you to keep your eyes on Grenada for 2017.
Phillip of Grade 5 who told The GIS Review, “It’s upgraded, I like it, because the board is bigger, and there is more space for the chairs”. Jennifer Charles, a parent and past student said, “The toilet facilities, I see, are much better than when I was there. They have advanced subject areas like the science and computer labs. In my time we didn’t have these things, so the school is much better now.” Nigel Ellis, a Grade 3 teacher, said he is very happy about the inclusion of additional facilities such as the new library, which he expects to positively impact students love for reading. “I also personally like the science room, because we’re looking to establish a science club and a math club, so that will also aid in that regard.” The St. Patrick’s Anglican Primary School was constructed by Desmond John of Sonrise Construction Ltd, who also provided temporary employment for close to 70 people from St. Patrick during the construction process. Ms. Alexander thanked the Principal, staff and students of the neighbouring St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Primary School for accommodating her school during the refurbishment period. She added that the time there was well spent.
MAC DONALD COLLEGE WELCOMES NEW TECH. BLOCK Hon. Anthony Boatswain, Minister for
Education and Human Resource Development, said, “We at the Ministry of Education, however, look forward to greater enrollment in technical subjects at the CXC level, and by extension, improved performances.” The new block comprises of seven laboratories with the required built-in furniture - one for all technical subjects offered; a classroom; an administration department and male and female washrooms. Safety features include fire detection and alarm systems and fire extinguishers in strategic locations, such as the laboratories. The contractor on this project was Jiangsu Geology and Construction Ltd., with the consultants being VIKAB Engineering Consultants Ltd., headed by Dave Doekaran.
Inside the New Technical and Vocational Block at MDC in St. Patrick
Four years ago, prior to coming into office, the New National Party Administration led by Prime Minister Dr. the Rt. Hon. Keith Mitchell promised to invest in the young people and education as one of his government top priorities. Staff, students and well-wishers of Mac Donald’s College were thrilled by the handover of the new technical wing, on November 19, 2015, which was financed by the OPEC Fund for International Development, at a cost of just under 9.1 million EC Dollars. Lorraine De Allie, Principal, said “No longer will it be necessary for students, within the parish, to journey to neighbouring parishes to get state of the art technical secondary tuition, we can now provide it homegrown,....“Hats off to the Ministry of Education.” She told the gathering that her staff and students were looking forward to similar support, in the provision of seats and equipment, for this magnificent structure. Work commenced on the construction of a three-storey laboratory block in September 2014 and was completed in August 2015. This addition was highly anticipated, for the past 20 years. The upgrade, which is part of the School Rehabilitation Project - Phase I, amplifies the school’s ability to deliver skills training. The inclusion of TVET [Technical and Vocational Education & Training] has been widely promoted across the region, given its potential to enhance youth employability skills.
GRENADA’S MILLION DOLLAR BUDGET Cont’d from page 4
Education Minister and MP for St. Patrick’s West Anthony Boatswain Cuts the Ribbon
Maria Viechweg, Chief Education Officer- Curriculum, said, “With the focus being on CVQ [Caribbean Vocational Qualification], many people can look forward with hope for the future.” Apart from the previously offered technical subjects, being Food & Nutrition, Technical Drawing and Building Technology, the school can now offer Visual Arts, Clothing and Textiles, Home Management and Electronics.
Apart from providing direct employment opportunities, government also moved to enhance an environment that encourages investments and business start-ups leading to job creation, estimated to be at least 800. This is something that was achieved under the Small Business Development Fund administered through the Grenada Development Bank. The Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programme, established in 2014 is now seeing a roll out of 13 approved projects in key sectors of the economy including agriculture and tourism. “We have been happy to see the progress that the CBI programme has been making because much of the approved projects are entirely within the private sector,” said Edwards. “It was a really good budget we are really proud of what was presented”. Now as the Keith Mitchell led administration faces another bumper year, many plans, programmes and initiatives are in store to ensure the country continues on a path of growth and development.
ST. PATRICK’S ANGLICAN PRIMARY - BIGGER AND BETTER!
Edu. Minister Anthony Boatswain and Principal Wilma Alexander Symbolically Cut the Ribbon to New the School
St. Patrick buzzed with excitement on February 08, as Government handed over the newly refurbished St. Patrick’s Anglican Primary School to the school’s administration. The ceremony was held at the St. Patrick’s Anglican Church and was attended by Education Minister - Hon. Anthony Boatswain, other members of government; former Prime Minister - Tillman Thomas; staff, students and community members. Minister Boatswain, in addressing the gathering commended the staff and students for maintaining a high performance level, notwithstanding inconveniences experienced by relocation
due to reconstruction. “Despite these challenges, the school continued to do well in all areas, which reminds us that adversity can bring out the best in us,” the M.P for the area said to applause. The School’s Principal Ms. Wilma Alexander expressed delight with the finished product and is relieved to have her staff and students back at the school’s much-improved premises. “This new facility is indeed a spectacular product, state-of-theart, I must add, and currently it’s receiving enormous attention from the public,” she said. Con’t on page 11
DIAGNOSTIC SERVICES AT PRINCESS ALICE HOSPITAL Cont’d from page 6 ..to the community and from there on went on board as the project evolved and changed from a simple and ordinary machine to a complete diagnostic center. He boasted that GRENLEC’s contribution to the project stood at EC$600,000.00; and represented the brand new X-ray machine with a Packs system that can transmit the digital X-rays images to a doctor/consultant anywhere in the world, protective lead doors, training and maintenance backed by a five year warranty. The GIS Review notes that the commissioning of the new facility would not have been completed without the blessing of the Grenadian Health Minister the Hon. Nickolas Steel, who spared no time in commending Mrs. Benjamin and all of the other contributors and stakeholders for their invaluable contribution towards the success of the project. The Health Minister in putting the commissioning into context, referenced his Ministry’s Mission, Vision and Core Values which speakers to “Putting People First”. “I believe that we should all maintain the
philosophy that is, “Health is and should be people centered and about the users of the system, the actual patients, and how best to improve their experience”, the Minister explained. Meanwhile the Grenadian Health Minister while celebrating the historic return of diagnostic services to Princess Alice, took the opportunity to highlight some of his Ministry’s most recent accomplishments. The Hon. Delma Thomas also addressed the occasion; and hailed the
project as timely and significant. The ceremony was attended by; the Hon. Yolande Bain-Horsford, the Hon. Emmalin Pierre and the Hon. Roland Bhola, who are Members of Parliament from St. Andrew. Speaker of the House of Representatives the Hon. Michael Pierre, former Prime Minister Tillman Thomas and former Health Minister Mrs. Ann DavidAntoine were among the specially invited guests.
Inside the New Ultrasound Unit at Princess Alice Hospital In St. Andrew
ITS TRUE PICTURES TELL MILLIONS OF WORDS - “..PROJECT GRENADA!..”
PM. Mitchell Spends Time With the Elderly
Grenadians Take “Selfie” with PM. Mitchell - Xmas 2016
A Warm Embrace for Dr. Mitchell in St. George’s - Xmas 2016
Sen. the Hon. Peter David Enjoys the Company of the Elderly
The Silver Sands Hotel Rises in the South
The Newly Built Hubble Bridge in Gouyave
PM Mitchell and Social Development Minister Delma Thomas Cutting the Ribbon at Grand Bacolet Youth Rehab Centre
Mt. Cinnamon Hotel Expansion Project Rolls in the South
The new Wing of St. George’s General Hospital
The World Class Sandals Resort Grenada
A Birds-eye view of another massive project currently underway in St. George’s
The newly opened St. Mark’s Resource and Day Care Center
PM Mitchell and Sports Minister Roland Bhola One of the Newly Constructed Filtered Water Tank Grenada’s New Nat’l Athletics & Football Stadium at the Launch of the Grenada Invitational-2017 at Mt. Agnes in St. David
Sod turning for Mt. Cinnamon Hotel Expansion project in the South of the Island
The newly built Child Development and Day Care Center at Gouyave
New State-of-the-art Equipment unveiled at the General Hospital
Dr. Clarice Modeste Cuts Ribbon of St. Mark’s Resource & Day Care Center
PM. Mitchell, MPs and Residents Celebrate the Opening of the Beasejour to Willis By-road