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National Commentary Continued from pg. 27 Freak storm damages Bahamasair ATR aircraft A tornado hit the Lynden Pindling International Airport early Tuesday morning causing damage to the landing gear and fuselage of a Bahamasair ATR aircraft, parking lot booth and several cars at a nearby car rental agency. Bahamasair’s Chairman expressed fears that its upcoming services for peak Easter travel period may be disrupted, after one of its 70-seater ATR planes was damaged by the early Tuesday morning tornado that struck the Lynden Pindling International Airport. The Department of Meteorology did not issue a severe weather warning yesterday morning before severe weather around Lynden Pindling International Airport led to a tornado damaging a $20m Bahamasair aircraft, because the department did not “capture anything that would point to a severe thunderstorm warning”, according to Deputy Director of
the Department of Meteorology Basil Dean. In Passing… Baha Mar on Monday held its first day of casino dealer training prior to the property’s soft opening on April 21. It said the 170 recentlyhired casino employees had been enrolled in a four-week gaming course to perfect their skills and refine their customer service expertise. Graeme Davis, President of Baha Mar and the Bahamian subsidiary of CTFE, commented that Rosewood Hotel’s 2018 delayed opening was not a construction issue, but rather, a design and programming concern. CTFE is expected to inject an additional $35 million dollars into the completion of the Rosewood Hotel. The National General Council (NGC) of the PLP unanimously endorsed Wayne Munroe over Senator Frank Smith on Monday night, ratifying the attorney for the Free Town constituency. That action completed the ratification process as all 39 of the
party’s candidates are now ratified. In his concession speech, Senator Smith said that he has not always won all of his battles in life. Party Chairman Bradley Roberts characterized the process as “free, fair, transparent, democratic and compliant with the provisions of the Party’s constitution.” In his victory speech, Munroe ridiculed the pledge made by FNM Leader Dr. Minnis over the sale of Baha Mar as dishonest and irresponsible, and accused the opposition party of pandering to the agenda of former developer Sarkis Izmirlian. Transport and Aviation Minister Glenys Hanna Martin hit back at the most recent US State Department’s advisory against jet ski operators, charging that if left unchecked, it could overshadow the “significant progress” her ministry has made to address the issues within the industry. Five hundred jobs are expected to be created when the second phase of The Pointe opens in late 2018, Deputy Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis said at the groundbreaking for the Downtown Nassau development. Phase 2 will include the development of a 150-room branded resort and spa and the development of a 100-room, eight story condominium complex. A new cruise port in East Grand Bahama will be constructed on the north shore west of Stat Oil in an area that has been determined to suffer the least devastating environmental effects. PM Christie revealed that the cruise port will take two years to build and will significantly benefit the island. Emmanuel Komolafe, chairman of The Bahamas Insurance Association has estimated that The Bahamas will benefit from a $300M foreign currency inflow from reinsurers as a result of Hurricane Matthew. He said that insurance claims incurred as a result of the hurricane stand at $176M and that the injection of foreign currency into The Bahamas through the industry could be seen as one positive from the storm. Travel Daily highlighted that Royal Caribbean International formalized a multi-year agreement with the government of The Bahamas to grow tourism, increase the cruise line’s employment of Bahamian nationals, and invest in Bahamian hospitality training to develop talent at the recent signing ceremony attended by Prime Minister Perry Christie. PM Christie said that relocating residents in Pinders Point is not something that government will consider as no such recommendation has been made to it. He said that studies were undertaken in relation to the industrial pollution in Grand Bahama many years ago and more recently by the Pan American Health Organization and World Health Organization in 2015. The Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce’s President has expressed optimism that the island’s economy can be revitalized, even though Freeport is much different from the days when it was named the “magic city”. Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival was officially launched last Friday (10th March), with the Bahamas National Festival Commission committing to its mandate to hold the annual festival with a two million dollar reduction in this year’s budget, from $7 million to $5 million. Scheduled for the 4th through 6th May 20176, the Bahamas Carnival Band Owners Association is still hoping some money in the Government’s $5 million budget has been allocated for them to market themselves. Prime Minister Christie had been ordered to pay the full legal costs incurred by Save The Bays (STB) after his recusal application was rejected by the Supreme Court. The Prime Minister, in his capacity as Minister for Crown Lands – appear with several other senior officials and developer Peter Nygard – as a respondent in three Judicial Review cases brought by STB to challenge the environmentally destructive constructions works that were allowed to take place at Nygard Cay over the past three decades. The Caribbean Journal reported that Silver Airways announced the launch of new nonstop flights between West Palm Beach and Bimini, the first flights to Bimini out of Palm Beach County. Elizabeth MP Ryan Pinder had not attended a sitting of the House of Assembly for the year, according to the at-
tendance records of the House of Assembly. According to the rules of the House of Assembly, a member of the House shall vacate his seat in the House if he is absent from sittings of the House for a period of 90 days without leave of absence from the House. The business of tourism will be on display at the Baha Mar Convention Center on April 8 as the Ministry of Tourism presents the 17th Cacique Awards. Foreign Affairs Minister the Hon. Fred Mitchell met with the President of the University of The Bahamas Dr. Rodney Smith and the university’s student union president Keyron Smith on Thursday afternoon at the Harry C. Moore Library’s conference room. The courtesy call came upon the return of a group of university students from an exchange field trip to Atlanta. Accompanying the Minister was the Bahamas’ Consul General to Atlanta HE Randy Rolle and the Director General of the country’s Foreign Service, Mrs. Sharon Brennen-Haylock. The governing Progressive Liberal Party held another joint constituency meeting on Thursday of this week. The constituencies were Garden Hills, Tall Pines and Golden Gates. Delivering the keynote address was party leader and Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie who admonished supporters to be energized and focused because of the critical importance of this election. The Prime Minister berated FNM Leader Dr. Minnis over his noticeable absence from the House of Assembly on Wednesday, telling a crowd of PLP supporters that the Killarney MP has opted to hide behind social media in the wake of yet another massive error in his leadership tenure. Marco City MP Greg Moss announced on Thursday night that he will not be seeking a re-nomination in the upcoming general elections for personal and business reasons, and has resigned as leader of the United Democratic Party. Interim Deputy Leader John Pinder said that the party will march on. As Grand Bahama builds its industrial sector, at the Grand Bahama Shipyard in Freeport from 26 March to 6 April, Princess Cruises’ Caribbean Princess is to be fitted with interconnecting staterooms, Ocean Medallion technology, and newly renovated areas for children and teenagers. Shane Gibson, Minister of Labor and National Insurance says The Bahamas only has “minor examples” of child labor, as he opened a joint two-day seminar on the issue. The Bahamas’ new mobile operator will bring a $50 million capital raising ‘Aliv’ next week, its advisers “a very successful offering”. Days after Island Luck CEO Sebas Bastian announced that he is working towards releasing an initial public offering (IPO), Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Bahamas International Securities Exchange (BISX) Holland Grant explained the procedures for any company to enter the securities market. Both the governing progressive Liberal Party and the opposition Free National Movement hosted candidate launch events on Friday night in Freeport Grand Bahama for that island’s candidates. The PLP worshipped at the Jubilee Cathedral while the FNM hosted their event at the former bowling alley. On Friday FNM Chairman Sidney Collie accused the PLP government of using public funds to finance its election campaign, specifically charging that the BAMSI print ads were paid for by the public treasury. PLP Chairman Bradley Roberts “emphatically and unequivocally” refuted those claims, branding them as “patently false.” He stated that the PLP paid for the ads.