Page 1

MONDAY i’m lovin’ it!

HIGH85ºF LOW77ºF

The Tribune Established 1903

24/7 BREAKING NEWS ON TRIBUNE242.COM

Biggest And Best!

VOLUME:115 No.137, JUNE 11, 2018

HO US E & 16 THE PEOPLE’S PAPER: $1

INSIGHT: WE DESPERATELY NEED ALTERNATIVE LEADERSHIP

PAGES

Three dead in just 12 hours Candles for Camron

Family in fear as brothers killed in barbershop slaying By RASHAD ROLLE Tribune Staff Reporter rrolle@tribunemedia.net THE family of two teen brothers fatally shot in a barbershop on Saturday are on edge, fearing criminals are not done with targeting their family. One of the brothers died on the scene and the other died a short time later in hospital. They were two of three people killed in a 12-hour period. Police said a father was shot dead during a robbery on Saturday night shortly after he pulled up to his home at Refuge Court. His children were in the car at the time. Malik Cartwright, 17, and Delano Cartwright, 18,

were killed a little more than a year after their father Delanzo “Lance” Cartwright Sr was murdered in Pinewood. Cartwright Sr was on bail for murder at the time of his death.  The teens were shot around 10am on Jerome Avenue off Pyfrom Road when two men wearing hoodies opened fire in Roy’s Super Cuts Barbershop.  People close to the family claimed that police were aware that the young men had received death threats. Less than two hours before his death, Delano wrote on his Facebook page: “I ain’t ga lie I really miss my dad.”

THE Prime Minister has been warned by the Caribbean’s former top financial regulator that The Bahamas faces the “considerable danger” of sanctions from the web shop gaming tax hikes. Calvin Wilson, the

$2.5BN IN VAT INCOME - YET DEBT WENT UP By DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Freeport Reporter dmaycock@tribunemedia.net 

THE government has collected some $2.5bn in value added tax revenue since 2015, according to Finance Minister Peter Turnquest who accused the former Christie administration of mismanaging the money. Mr Turnquest, who is also deputy prime minister, was in Grand Bahama on Saturday to meet with residents at a town hall about his recent budget communication and plans to increase the VAT rate from 7.5 percent to 12 percent. Financial Secretary Marlon Johnson also attended the event at the Calvary Temple Church, where tempers of concerned residents sometimes flared.  Mr Turnquest told the crowd the Minnis administration looked at various fiscal options, but felt that increasing the VAT rate was the best route. SEE PAGE FIVE

70 PERCENT AGAINST TAX RISE IN SURVEY By RASHAD ROLLE Tribune Staff Reporter rrolle@tribunemedia.net MOST Bahamians oppose the Minnis administration’s “People’s Budget”, with more than 70 percent against the impending value added tax increase, a new scientific poll from marketing and research firm Public Domain reveals. Seventy-six percent of Bahamians oppose the budget, with such large opposition consistent across demographic groups, regardless of age or income. SEE PAGE 11

SEE PAGE THREE

WEB SHOP TAX THREAT COULD MEAN SANCTIONS By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor nhartnell@tribunemedia.net

HOME

immediate past executive director for the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF), last night warned Dr Hubert Minnis that The Bahamas could face renewed anti-money laundering sanctions if the industry was driven “underground” by its new tax structure. FULL STORY - SEE BUSINESS

500 STUDENT LOANS PAID OFF AFTER INCENTIVE PLAN By NICO SCAVELLA Tribune Staff Reporter nscavella@tribunemedia.net

A YOUNGSTER holds a candle during a vigil for Camron Cooper last night.  Photo: Terrel W Carey/Tribune Staff By NICO SCAVELLA Tribune Staff Reporter nscavella@tribunemedia.net FAMILY, friends and neighbours of slain primary school student Camron Cooper yesterday marched through the streets of his Englerston community, declaring that “enough is enough”  in the aftermath of the young boy’s death by

a stray bullet last week. Armed with a large, white picket sign that had Camron’s name emblazoned across the top, a crowd of more than 100 people marched from Wilson Tract onto Wulff Road and Palm Beach Street before ending back at the boy’s Piper Lane home. The mourners honoured his young life, while protesting the

circumstances that led to his death. Moments earlier, they held a candlelight memorial in honour of the seven year old, who was the third person shot and the second to die in two separate incidents in the Englerston community in less than 12 hours last week.

Nassau & Bahama Islands’ Leading Newspaper

SEE PAGE TWO

NEARLY five hundred borrowers have paid off student loans from the Education Loan Authority through the government’s student loan repayment incentive programme, which was established in February 2016. However, MICAL MP Miriam Emmanuel, ELA chairwoman, said even though the incentive was given, many people who are capable of paying their loans are not meeting their obligations. SEE PAGE SIX


PAGE 2, Monday, June 11, 2018

THE TRIBUNE

SOME of the attendees at the candlelight vigil for Camron Cooper, who was shot dead as he left home to go to school. 

Photos: Terrel W Carey/Tribune Staff

Candles in memory of Camron from page one

According to Assistant Commissioner of Police Clayton Fernander,

on Tuesday of last week, Camron, a second-grade student at

Columbus Primary, had just left home to get into a vehicle waiting nearby to

take him to school. ACP Fernander said a short distance away, two men were allegedly involved in a drug dispute in which a firearm was produced by one of them and shots were fired. Camron’s body was hit by a stray bullet. He was taken to the Princess Margaret Hospital where he later died. A man, believed to be the intended target, was also shot during the incident. Camron’s mother, Shavonne Feaste, did not want to be interviewed by The Tribune last night, but appeared to be holding up well, sharing hugs with family and friends as they gave her their well-wishes. However, the boy’s grandmother, Proxanna Feaste, much like her relatives did shortly after the incident last week, lamented the situation that had led to her grandson’s death, and the wider crime issue in the country. “They need to do something,” she said. “Because too much lives getting taken away like that, and nothing happening. So they got to do something.” Ms Feaste said she appreciated the community’s support during this time. “I’m happy and I appreciate how they support my grandson,” she said. “I wasn’t here when that happened. I was in Orlando. But when I heard it, I just couldn’t take it. I just asked God for strength. And I felt when God strengthened me. So I’m happy how the people supporting me.” Meanwhile, Vicente Roberts, a counsellor at the University of the Bahamas, called on men in local communities to step up to the plate and be the kind of

10

$

(INCL. VAT)

• 2Pc. Thigh & Leg • Biscuit • 2 Spicy Wings • Cookie • Coleslaw • 22oz. Pepsi® • Individual Fries ®

www.dunkinbahamas.com @dunkinbahamas

father-figures the country’s youth need. “Enough is enough,” he said. “There is no room at the table for boys. And if you wish to be a man, then let’s be men. Our children are being gunned down in our communities, which we are the men of. “…So let’s not be boys, and be men. The women are tired. They are giving birth to our children. Let’s at least acknowledge the sanctity of life they are giving birth to. They are giving birth to the future of this nation, while we are around, outside clowning around, joking around, and our children are being gunned down. Enough is enough.” Last year, eight-yearold Eugene Woodside Jr was fatally shot once in the chest while practising his spelling words with his sister after a stray bullet ripped through his wooden home in the Chippingham area. The brazen daytime attack in the densely populated area came after the shooter chased his intended target, running between houses in the Rosebud Street area as he fired several shots, one of which penetrated a wooden structure and its sheetrock, striking the child. The third-grade, Albury Sayles student was rushed to hospital in a private vehicle, but died a short time after his arrival. The intended target, Dennis Moss, also died in hospital after the shooting. A man was charged with Eugene’s and Moss’ murders in October. He has since been granted $50,000 bail by a Supreme Court judge ahead of his trial over the crimes set for 2020.


THE TRIBUNE

Monday, June 11, 2018, PAGE 3

Three dead in just 12 hours

from page one In another post on June 5, he wrote: “I hate having to put RIP in front of my boys names.” His page was flooded with RIP posts over the weekend. The young men lived under constant threat of being killed, The Tribune was told. They worked in a local warehouse. Malik, a family friend said, aspired to working in the hospitality industry while Delano wanted a career in information technology. Both were once participants in the Ministry of Youth,

WILTON BROWN, who was shot dead by an armed robber outside his home on Saturday night.

Sports and Culture’s Fresh Start programme, though The Tribune was told they dropped out to support their family. The teens lived with their grandmother, May Davis. Yesterday, she declined to speak to The Tribune, saying police asked that she not speak to the press. However, another relative of the slain young men spoke anonymously to this newspaper and said the killing has greatly affected the family. “They were different boys from their dad,” the relative said. “People lumped them together but they were not their father at all. Their grammy adored them and they were very awesome and affectionate toward her. They loved their mother and she was a hard worker. They were not into anything (negative).” The relative said the boys went to live with their grandmother hoping they wouldn’t be “marked” by criminals. “They travelled together all the time because of the threats they received,” she said. “They got dropped off everywhere for the same reason.”  “If the police was made aware of the threats and I’m thinking they were, there should have been things in place to keep them safe. If we moved them to Eleuthera with our other family, would that have made a difference? I don’t

A BODY is taken from the scene of a double shooting at a barbershop on Saturday as, right, people in the community watch on. Photos: Terrel W Carey/ Tribune Staff think so. This may have happened anyhow.” The young men have an older brother whose safety the family is worried about. In addition to the gunmen who opened fire in the barbershop, police are also searching for the assailant who killed Wilton Brown around 10pm off Cowpen Road.  Police said the man had just arrived at home with his children in the Hollywood Subdivision when a Japanese vehicle pulled up behind him. He was approached by a man who demanded cash. The gunman searched his pockets then shot him before returning to his vehicle and speeding off. He was pronounced dead on the scene. People have reacted with disbelief at his death. One woman on Facebook said: “My good uncle man. . .he was not a problem person so I can’t see why they had to kill him. My God y’all already

robbing him.” The weekend murders bring the total for the year to 42; the murder rate is down 34 percent compared to last year, according to The Tribune’s records. This rate difference has been declining in recent weeks, however, there were as many murders taking place in May 2018 as in May 2017. There has been one more murder this month than during the corresponding period of June 2017.

PEOPLE at the scene of Saturday night’s shooting.

POLICE HUNTING ARMED ROBBERS AFTER WEEKEND ATTACKS By DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Freeport Reporter dmaycock@tribunemedia.net

POLICE are asking members of the public to come forward with any information they might have to assist them in solving two armed robberies that occurred in Nassau on the weekend. In the first incident, shortly after 10pm on Friday, a man was walking on Marathon Road when a dark coloured vehicle pulled up beside him. A passenger in the vehicle produced a firearm and robbed him of his wallet containing cash and other items before the vehicle sped off.

In the second incident, a woman had just arrived at a home on Holiday Drive, South Beach shortly after 1am on Saturday when she was approached by two armed men who robbed her of her handbag containing cash and other items, before getting into a burgundy coloured car and speeding away. Meanwhile, Grand Bahama police arrested three male suspects who were allegedly found in possession of stolen vehicles in Freeport over the weekend, police reported. Shortly before 1pm on Saturday, officers of the Mobile Division acting on information saw a vehicle with two male occupants

who were wanted by the Central Detective Unit for stolen vehicles. ASP Terecita Pinder said officers gave chase in the area of Grenfell Avenue where they arrested both suspects. In the second incident, shortly after 2pm Saturday officers went to Kennedy Circle where they arrested a man who was found in a vehicle that was reported stolen Saturday morning. The suspect was taken into police custody. ASP Pinder said the three suspects are expected to be charged in the court this week. In another matter, officers of the Central Detective Unit were in the area of

Frobisher Drive, Grand Bahama where they searched a derelict vehicle and discovered two plastic bags containing a quantity of suspected marijuana. The drugs were collected, but no arrest was made in the matter. Additionally, operations at the Grand Bahama Shipyard reportedly came to a halt on Friday morning when workers were sent home for the rest of the day following an alleged bomb threat. The Tribune spoke with an employee who said they were only told that the shipyard was closing for the day due to an emergency. When The Tribune

PEDESTRIAN KILLED AFTER BEING HIT BY TWO VEHICLES A PEDESTRIAN died after he was hit by two vehicles as he tried to walk across a highway on Saturday morning.  According to police, around 2am Saturday, the man was attempting to walk across the southern lane

of Tonique Williams Darling Highway, in the area of a local bar, when he was struck by an Acura TSX car and a Dodge truck. Paramedics were called to the scene and transported the victim to hospital where he later died.

Both drivers remained on the scene and are

assisting police with the investigation.

All fathers are special. Without them there would be no sons or daughters. Therefore, it is wise and appropriate to appreciate them all!!!

Happy Father’s Day ~Betty Taylor ~

Original Author

contacted police concerning the reported threat, this newspaper was told to contact shipyard officials concerning the matter. The GBSY is the largest ship care facility in the region. It employs more

than 800 workers. The disruption in operations has no doubt affected business at the shipyard, which is the largest ship care facility in the region. Officials could not be reached for comment.


PAGE 4, Monday, June 11, 2018

THE TRIBUNE

The Tribune Limited NULLIUS ADDICTUS JURARE IN VERBA MAGISTRI “Being Bound to Swear to The Dogmas of No Master”

LEON E. H. DUPUCH,

SIR ETIENNE DUPUCH,

jrolle@tribunemedia.net

Publisher/Editor 1903-1914 Kt., O.B.E., K.M., K.C.S.G., (Hon.) LL.D., D.Litt .

Publisher/Editor 1919-1972 Contributing Editor 1972-1991

EILEEN DUPUCH CARRON,

C.M.G., M.S., B.A., LL.B. Publisher/Editor 1972-

Published daily Monday to Friday

Shirley & Deveaux Streets, Nassau, Bahamas N3207 TELEPHONES

News & General Information Advertising Manager Circulation Department Nassau fax Freeport, Grand Bahama Freeport fax

(242) 322-1986 (242) 502-2394 (242) 502-2386 (242) 328-2398 (242)-352-6608 (242) 352-9348

WEBSITE, TWITTER & FACEBOOK www.tribune242.com

@tribune242

tribune news network

Better to lose an election than a country BAHAMIANS have raised their voices against Government’s decision to raise the VAT tax from seven to 12 per cent. On the other hand, there are those who see no alternative but to raise taxes to stave off the looming financial crisis. Health Minister Dr Duane Sands, made it clear that in his opinion VAT is a regressive  tax that disproportionately affects the poor. On the other hand, in his opinion, the present situation is so grave that VAT is the only palatable alternative “in the face of the fiscal circumstances of life or death” – such as the potential bankruptcy at the National Insurance Board. Dr Sands did not mention his own Ministry, which is equally threatened by poor political decisions, questionable contracts, and lack of the essentials for the operation of even a basically equipped hospital – all inherited from the PLP government. “The first step to generating more revenue without raising taxes is to improve the tax collection system, eliminate fraud and waste in the public Treasury and tackle corruption,” suggested  a regular writer to The Tribune’s letters column, who signs himself  “The Graduate”. All of this is true — it is political fraud, waste and corruption that has got us to where we are today. It is so bad that its evil head has to be crushed immediately if there is to be a future for this country. However, when told that the increase in VAT to generate sufficient revenue to rescue the sinking ship would see the FNM out of office at the next election, Prime Minister Hubert Minnis told a Cabinet Minister that it would be “better to lose an election than to lose a country”. Yes, fellow Bahamians, that is how serious the situation is.

Free medical care

For example, when the PLP were promising Bahamians that they would no longer have to organise the traditional cook-outs to raise sufficient funds for their medical care – which in future would be free  –  the politicians were so busy wasting the people’s money that the basic necessities of the Princess Margaret Hospital could not even be maintained. Their election-gimmick of free medical care was just that - an election gimmick. For example, the Princess Margaret Hospital did not have funds to repair its roof after a hurricane, yet it could spend $234m in the lead up to the 2017 election. The Christie government spent over $90m in medical related contracts – one of them for the cleaning of an Abaco clinic that had yet to be opened. Contracts were executed despite a $416m shortfall that prevented the Public Hospital’s Authority from purchasing much-needed medication, vaccines and completing critical

renovations at the Princess Margaret Hospital. In the Budget debate in the House, Dr Sands described efforts to address the “long-standing challenges in the recording, coding and analysis on clinic information for both statistical and medical billing purposes”. We understand that with only one staff member remaining in this department, the Princess Margaret Hospital’s billing is at least six year’s behind schedule. No wonder there’s no money in the till. Most of this potential revenue is probably no longer collectable. We also understand that more than $54m worth of construction purchases that were approved by the PLP Cabinet were based on either faulty information or went ahead without Cabinet approval. Remember this is all being done with the people’s money.

Civil service trimming

The civil service must be drastically trimmed. It is most unfair on the many persons unqualified for the positions in which they were posted before the election to secure their vote, who will now have to be dismissed. When making these decisions politicians have to remind themselves that they are custodians of the people’s money — not their own — but the decisions made should be made as if it were their own. For example,  what politician would put an unqualified person on his own payroll? None, unless, of course, he were foolish. Therefore, why hire an unqualified person on the People’s payroll, knowing that after the election that person will have to be dismissed. This is now what is happening. There is no money left. The ship is sinking and the new government must make hard, and unpleasant decisions to save the country. The PLP got away with its mismanagement, because the people were not vigilant. They put their politics first and listened to the “sweet talk” of their MP  before their own security. Now VAT is the price that has to be paid to survive. It is a bit late now to complain about the past. An aware people will have to be alert to make certain that  the mistakes of the past are not repeated, and that financial reports on every Ministry is not only up to date, but laid on the table of the House at the end of every financial year. The future is now in the hands of the Bahamian people. As for the FNM — tread carefully, work diligently and keep the best interests of the Bahamian people at the forefront of all of your decisions. As for Bahamians, belt tightening might be required for a period because of your failure to demand that your politicians be accountable. We agree with the prime minister — it would be better to lose an election than to lose a country.

Stranger danger EDITOR, The Tribune. A SHORT while back, a Supreme Court jury acquitted a grown man of having sex with a 15-year-old boy. The not guilty vote was a vote of six to three. As parents, we often warn our children about “Stranger Danger!” Statistics show that about 85% of children are sexually victimised by someone they know or trust. Sex abusers are inclusive of fathers, step-fathers, livein partners, male cousins, father figures, etc. In small cases the abuser may be a mother or female relative. A local psychiatrist, namely Dr David Allen, said that “the rise of child abuse might have a lot to do with the high levels of crime in our Bahamian nation. Dr David Allen noted that abuses or neglected children have an 80% chance of

committing violent crimes or murder in their teenage and/ or adult lives.” Minister of Social Services and Urban Development Lanisha Rolle recently issued a plea to report cases of child abuse to the authorities. “We should all be self-proclaimed advocates, there is no excuse to turn the blind eye to what is or appears to be abuse of a child. One child abuse is one child too many. If we see it, we ought to say it and if we hear it, we ought to tell it.” The Minister of Social Services and Urban Development Lanisha Rolle claimed that her ministry is committed to doing all within its power to ensure that the government do all in its power to eradicate “all” forms of abuse against children. Under Section 31 of the Child Protection Act (CPA) parents and guardians have a duty to maintain

their children. Children should not have to suffer in silence. Children are depending on us to ensure that they are educated under section 2007 of the Children Protection Act. Every child has a right to education. Children should not be used to pay bills and utilities or beg arms on parent’s behalf. Under Section 30 under Social Service Act. We must promote and mediate in any situation where the right of children are infringed. According to Section 80 of the Child Protection Act (CPA) the state has a right and/or duty to investigate and initiate prosecution of those who violate the rights of a child. “It shouldn’t have to hurt to be a child!!!” LOXSLEY BASTIAN Nassau, May 17, 2018.

Morality in 2018 EDITOR, The Tribune.

THE Constitution of the Bahamas’ preamble states the following: “WHEREAS four hundred and eighty-one years ago the rediscovery of this Family of Islands, Rocks and Cays heralded the rebirth of the New World; AND WHEREAS the People of this Family of Islands recognise that the preservation of their Freedom will be guaranteed by a national commitment to Self-discipline, Industry, Loyalty, Unity and an abiding respect for Christian values and the Rule of Law; NOW KNOW YE THEREFORE: We the Inheritors of and Successors to this Family of Islands, recognising the Supremacy of God and believing in the Fundamental Rights and Freedoms of the Individual, do hereby proclaim in solemn praise the Establishment of a Free and Democratic Sovereign Nation founded on Spiritual Values and in which no Man, Woman or Child shall ever be Slave or Bondsman to anyone or their Labour exploited or their Lives frustrated by deprivation, and so hereby provide by these Articles for the indivisible Unity and Creation under God of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.”  I conducted a Google search with the key words Lesbian, Tourism and Bahamas, and I was surprised to find the following article “Gay Bahamas”[1], here is a small excerpt from the article: “The Bahamas is increasingly gay-friendly. Although full protection is not yet enshrined in law, there is still a groundswell of public support for equal rights for all people. Many LGBT people visit or live here, and while the country once had strict anti-homosexuality laws, things are changing fast! There are 700 islands in The Bahamas, so make sure you leave yourself time to explore! Gaytravel.com recommends the beautiful,

LETTERS letters@tribunemedia.net secluded, Out island of South Andros. Stay at the exclusive TIAMO Resort, you will not be disappointed!” The second article that I found advertised an upcoming event and is entitled “Columbus Isle, Bahamas Resort, Oct 13 to 20, 2018[2]” it was published by a Travel Agent called “Olivia Travel”[3]. The Advertisement shows pictures of women kissing, hugging and carrying out other activities. The article stated the following: “We’re heading back to one of Club Med’s hidden gems and an all-time Olivia favourite-the ALLINCLUSIVE, oceanfront Columbus Isle resort! With a new makeover, including renovated rooms, a redesigned restaurant, the brand new La Pinta Beach Lounge, a new fitness centre, and L’OCCITANE Spa, this private oceanfront oasis is calling your name! Your accommodations, meals, beverages (including alcohol), and Olivia’s signature entertainment and programming are included in the price.” Is this a form of tourism that you and your Government supports and promotes? Mr Prime Minister, I am a Bahamian who loves God, and am trying to live my life based upon the principles found in his Bible (King James Version). Each day I struggle with sins of the flesh. I am a sinner. I am daily seeking God’s will for my life. I need to know where you and your Government stands on this issue. I remember many years ago, while you were still practising as a doctor, my mother who was a nurse and worked with you at the Princess Margaret Hospital, would often sing your praises as a successful businessman, and Leader in the Community. I am asking you to please lead, our

nation closer to God, and abiding by his principles. A few years later, I had the opportunity to meet you a few times when you visited our church, Bahamas Faith Ministries, prior to you becoming Prime Minister of The Bahamas. Pastor Myles would always celebrate your visits with us, often praying for God’s guidance and direction on your life. He stated that he knew you, and you both were two success stories that came out of “Bain “Town”, and that you were each leaving a lasting positive impression on the community of the Bahamas. Part of his legacy is that he was a “Man of God”. What do you want your legacy to say about you? I also remember meeting you at a Super Bowl Party that the Men’s Ministry had at the Diplomat Centre, where you were the guest of honour. I looked at you, and stated that this is a Successful Leader in our community, so, yes, it is possible. Activities which are offensive and are a direct contradiction to the principles in the Bible, will take place, there is no stopping it. But each of us must take a stand, and make a choice, of how these events will affect our personal lives, and those we love. I realise that only the Holy Spirit can accurately guide you, and thus give you good advice, therefore I ask that you set men and women around you that will give Biblical principled advice. I know that the world is changing, and that we can’t “Hold back the Tide”, but in our own small way we can stand for what we believe to be true, just, moral, and right.   I wish for you and your Government God’s richest blessings in the future. May He continue to bless you and keep you, and may He be on your mind always. Thank you for your time and consideration. God Bless. PAUL CUMBERBATCH II Nassau, June 7, 2018.


THE TRIBUNE

Monday, June 11, 2018, PAGE 5

TWO ARRESTS AS EXUMA DRUGS HAUL FOUND By RASHAD ROLLE Tribune Staff Reporter rrolle@tribunemedia.net

OFFICERS with the drugs haul yesterday. 

Photo: Terrel W Carey/Tribune Staff

POLICE arrested two men on Sunday after finding bags of drugs during a patrol of a cay off Exuma. The suspects are 34 and 44 years old.  Superintendent Jamuel Ferguson, commander of the Drug Enforcement Unit, told the press yesterday: “Management at Exuma Land and Sea Park were alerted that two adult males needed

some assistance after their vessel had broken down. A Defence Force marine along with a park warden went to give assistance. After doing so they made a check of the cay and discovered nine duffle bags each containing two taped packages with suspected marijuana. As a result the necessary relevant authorities were notified. “ The two Bahamians are known to police, Supt Ferguson said. He could not estimate the street value of the drugs.

$2.5bn in VAT income - yet debt went up from page one In response from questions from the crowd, Mr Turnquest said more than $2bn in VAT has come into the treasury, but added the country is “worse off” than before. “That is the obscenity that has been allowed to happen in having all this additional revenue, even though we collected that revenue we are worse off than we were, and because the cost has gone up significantly in the same period,” he explained. He pointed out that the salaries in the public service alone in the last five years went up $266m, in addition to the over $2bn in debt that was racked up in the previous five years.   He said that does not include the $1.4bn borrowed this year to cover last year, bringing debt to $3.4bn.  “You want to know where the VAT money gone? A lot of programmes, hiring, and also contracts given for questionable reasons, also wastage, and corruption,” Mr Turnquest said.   “And while we been

in office for one year we accept responsibility for that debt and the burden of the past 45 years, because governments are continuous,” he said. He also explained why the government has decided to increase the VAT rate instead of an alternative route. “When we talked about VAT, we looked at customs duties, we looked at the harbour tax, but we still got this (huge deficit), so we had to look at VAT,” he explained. He said a nine or even 10 percent VAT rate could not suffice because of a $480m hole the country was in, and continued borrowing and interest would have dug the nation deeper in debt to a point where it could not borrow any more money.  “That is reality; we looked at it and the 12 percent gives us the best chance to balance the budget and start addressing the big problem which is the debt, and get it down to manageable levels. It is a sound reason for it (12 percent VAT). No point in playing around with it,” he said.  

Some have called on the government to introduce income tax instead. On Saturday, Mr Turnquest dismissed this suggestion as being viable. He said that those persons at the bottom end of pay scale would not pay income tax, leaving those with more financial means shouldering the brunt for those who could not support themselves. “In The Bahamas, if you were to take a survey, you will find the overwhelming of majority of the workforce in under that threshold,” he explained. He noted that persons who work and earn a living above those that are exempted would consist of a small pool of individuals, resulting in higher effective tax rate because the government still needs the same revenue.  “Now you have to pay for yourself as well as those who do not have a job, and those below or at minimum wage. And so you might think you are winning, but you are not going to win. “The house always got to win and bills got to be paid,” he said.  “There is no doubt that

Career Opportunity Scotiabank (Bahamas) Limited is seeking the services of a

Client Relationship Manager, Dual Role for its Corporate & Commercial Banking Center Position Summary: The Client Relationship Manager – mid market is responsible for contributing to the profitable growth and quality of the Bank’s Commercial portfolio in the mid-market segment focusing on the marketing to new and existing clients through cross-sell, up-sell, and retention of existing commercial customers. This includes meeting financial objectives related to the profitable growth and retention of your individual assigned portfolio. He/she conducts sales planning and fulfills the execution of services for existing customer base. Incumbent has primary responsibility for analysis and completion of credit applications for diverse industry segments by using standardized products and processes.

Key Accountabilities for this role: • Ensures all aspects of assigned relationships receive ongoing attention, as required to maintain, improve, grow and retain the relationship. • Contributes to the profitable development of Commercial Credit business. • Promotes the development and profitable growth of the commercial banking portfolio according to agreed upon growth objectives. • Ensures accurate communication of the terms and conditions of an authorization effective and timely implementation of same. • Ensures ongoing quality of the assigned credit portfolio through control and administration of the specific conditions and reporting requirements as specified in individual authorizations are adhered to. • Safeguards the Bank’s assets and liabilities. • Executes the Branch Compliance responsibilities as reflected in the Branch Services and Procedures Manual.

Functional Competencies: • • • • •

Good networking and interpersonal skills Good communication skills (oral and written) Good relationship management skills Experienced credit skills Strong knowledge of Bank’s commercial lending and deposit products and services, and customer profitability model. • Strong sales/closing skills • Good level of computer skills. • Thorough knowledge of relationship building and teamwork skills

Educational Requirements: • External education and/or licensing prerequisites: Graduate Degree in Business, Finance or Economics or work experience equivalence. • Other training requirements as determined by the Bank from time to time with particular emphasis on Corporate & Commercial Banking.

Qualified candidates should submit curriculum vitae via email to: hrbahamas@scotiabank.com on or before June 18th, 2018. Note: Only persons short-listed for an interview will be contacted.

Trademark of The Bank of Nova Scotia, used under licence (where applicable).

®

a flat tax as VAT is a much simpler way because it has built-in mechanisms that work,” he said. Resident Andrea Thompson reminded Mr Turnquest of his remarks about VAT while in opposition. The FNM opposed the introduction of VAT in 2015 and frequently slammed the tax as regressive and a burden on the poor. Mr Turnquest explained why his position on the issue has changed since assuming office. “The whole idea about 2014 to 2015, the FNM at the time in opposition expressed opposition to imposing VAT; I was there. The position we took was very clear. It was in recognition of the fact that coming out of the global recession in 2008 and 2009, the then government engaged on spending money on infrastructures and hiring people because the economy was going in a negative direction and the private sector some businesses were shedding jobs. So government intervened to slow it down

and so government expense grows. “Going into 2010 and 2012, the economy started to recover, and by the time in 2014 our position then was, now that we have correction what you ought to be doing is scaling back expenditure to the normal rate, which would not require the introduction of VAT - that was our position,” he explained. The MP for East Grand Bahama said that after the election in 2017 when the FNM came to office, they met bills and all of the significant costs that the previous PLP administration did not roll back, but added to it. “So now we are faced with a situation where the cost of government has gone up. It is very difficult to roll back. We did not renew the contacts of the 52-week workers. You know what it takes to bring the public service back down to the normal rate to what it used to be in 2008? “We need to bring rationalisation to the programmes

and the public service, and that has to be a very slow process,” he said. Mr Turnquest stated that comparing the country now to back then is not realistic.  “Even when the question was put to the leader of the opposition (Philip Brave Davis), he could not answer that question about reversing VAT, we can’t answer the question because circumstance changes and it dictates the posture you take – this is the way it is.” As of August 1, breadbasket items will be exempt from VAT. However some have said the list does not include healthy items. In response, Mr Turnquest agreed the list needs adjustment, but explained that it is a slow process that requires education and getting people to acquire a new taste. “No point reducing the duty on asparagus; who is going to eat it? Wealthy people and we are concerned about the wealthy; we are trying to protect the bottom level,” he said.


PAGE 6, Monday, June 11, 2018

THE TRIBUNE

Businessman fears for future over web shops By FARRAH JOHNSON A VETERAN businessman yesterday said the Bahamian people and economy will suffer if the gambling issue is not addressed. Peter Roker, one of the first entrepreneurs to develop commerce in the Carmichael Road area, held a press conference on Friday to express his views on the direction in which he thinks the country is heading. Mr Roker told The Tribune he has a number of concerns as a citizen conducting business in the country, referring to the impact gambling poses on the collection of taxes and utilities, and how it affects the disposable

income of Bahamians. “I’m concerned (about) what type of heritage it’s creating for my children and my grandchildren, what type of heritage it’s creating for the other Bahamians… and what type of impact on a gradual basis it’s going to have in our economy,” he said. “...When the question of the referendum came up, I had the right to vote for it or against it. In having that right…I voted against gambling, (so) I was very surprised that the government decided – after the people overwhelming voted against gambling – to make gambling legal,” he continued. Mr Roker said many Bahamians on the Family Islands have started to

neglect farming to “spin,” alleging more specifically, that the practice has been an “absolute disaster” for Long Island. The businessman called for a “detailed audit” of gambling, and also encouraged people to be “mindful” and recognise the ways in which it has altered the mentality of many Bahamians. “In my opinion, a simple government lottery (should be introduced), which the monies could have gone to the hospital which we desperately need, or the education which we desperately need, or the sports what we desperately need, or other areas (where it) would suffice,” he said. He added the current

form of gambling practised presently is unacceptable, even with the proposed increase on taxes from gaming houses, as outlined in the newly revealed 2018/19 budget plan. In 2013, the Christie administration regulated “web shops” where Bahamians and residents can gamble. Bahamians and permanent residents are still not legally allowed to gamble in hotel casinos. Referring to the “trickledown affect” gambling can impose, Mr Roker said the practice has contributed to crime, calling the present situation a “travesty of justice” that has to be looked into. “What are we doing? Are we creating difficulties for ourselves and then

trying to find a cure? Who do you think are going to pay for that (gambling) rehabilitation and the loss of mentalities and the loss of direction of others?” he asked. Mr Roker also acknowledged that a significant portion of the country is “financially deprived.” Addressing the impending 12 percent VAT hike he said: “I think the core situation here is to find out why we are having the taxes, and I feel there are a number of areas, but gambling is definitely one of those areas. And how the Bahamian public will deal with these new taxes, will be that they will go another notch down… and when people come here another five

years from now, they’ll say what happened to these people?” he said. Mr Roker admitted that one of the shops in his Bargain City Plaza has had a web shop, but said people can have opinions that can be changed by experiences. He encouraged any current supporters of gambling to “look in the mirror and set an example” for future generations. “Bahamians as a whole have to aspire to being the best in the country. We as Bahamians have no excuses. As a population of maybe under 400,000 people we have gold medals, so we have Bahamians that have proven to us and the world that Bahamians are the best in the world, and can be the best in the world,” he said.

500 STUDENT LOANS PAID OFF AFTER INCENTIVE PLAN from page one

MIRIAM EMMANUEL MP

Career Opportunity Scotiabank (Bahamas) Limited is seeking the services of a

Client Relationship Manager, Dual Role for its Corporate & Commercial Banking Center Position Summary: The Client Relationship Manager – mid market is responsible for contributing to the profitable growth and quality of the Bank’s Commercial portfolio in the mid-market segment focusing on the marketing to new and existing clients through cross-sell, up-sell, and retention of existing commercial customers. This includes meeting financial objectives related to the profitable growth and retention of your individual assigned portfolio. He/she conducts sales planning and fulfills the execution of services for existing customer base. Incumbent has primary responsibility for analysis and completion of credit applications for diverse industry segments by using standardized products and processes.

Key Accountabilities for this role: • Ensures all aspects of assigned relationships receive ongoing attention, as required to maintain, improve, grow and retain the relationship. • Contributes to the profitable development of Commercial Credit business. • Promotes the development and profitable growth of the commercial banking portfolio according to agreed upon growth objectives. • Ensures accurate communication of the terms and conditions of an authorization effective and timely implementation of same. • Ensures ongoing quality of the assigned credit portfolio through control and administration of the specific conditions and reporting requirements as specified in individual authorizations are adhered to. • Safeguards the Bank’s assets and liabilities. • Executes the Branch Compliance responsibilities as reflected in the Branch Services and Procedures Manual.

Functional Competencies:

The student loan scheme has awarded over 4,000 loans to date, with 98 percent of that sum awarded to borrowers based in New Providence, Ms Emmanuel said in a recent communication in Parliament. To date, some 3,938 loans worth $42.56 million have been awarded to borrowers in New Providence. Another 669 loans worth $7.41m have been awarded in Grand Bahama, she said, while 126 loans worth $1.39m have been awarded in the Family Islands. “As of April 2018, the authority portion of the loan scheme’s portfolio stood at approximately $84,860,978, which represents 2,182 loans with default, a rate of 90 percent, and a delinquency rate of 275 days that is equivalent to $79,120,750,” Ms Emmanuel said. “Also, as of the same date more than $48,762,496 or 992 loans which represents the accumulation of interest and principal originally were paid off by the government of the Bahamas to approve lenders in accordance with article 21(3) of the repealed Education Guarantee Fund Act 2001.”

Death Notice For Theresa Ann Lee, 86

• • • • •

Good networking and interpersonal skills Good communication skills (oral and written) Good relationship management skills Experienced credit skills Strong knowledge of Bank’s commercial lending and deposit products and services, and customer profitability model. • Strong sales/closing skills • Good level of computer skills. • Thorough knowledge of relationship building and teamwork skills

of Blair Estates, died at the Princess Margaret Hospital on Tuesday, June 5, 2018. Theresa was predeceased by her husband: George Talbot Lee; and her son: Leonard Talbot Lee; siblings: Agatha Burrows, Johnnie Carroll and Beryl Darville.

Educational Requirements: • External education and/or licensing prerequisites: Graduate Degree in Business, Finance or Economics or work experience equivalence. • Other training requirements as determined by the Bank from time to time with particular emphasis on Corporate & Commercial Banking.

Qualified candidates should submit curriculum vitae via email to: hrbahamas@scotiabank.com on or before June 18th, 2018. Note: Only persons short-listed for an interview will be contacted.

Ms Emmanuel also said 498 borrowers have paid off their loans through an incentive plan. For those who are still delinquent, she said the ELA and the government by extension, will do “whatever is legally right” to secure the taxpayers’ money. The student loan programme was established in 2000 to assist persons pursuing tertiary education, either locally or abroad. However, it was suspended in August 2009 due to its high delinquency rate. Last year, Education Minister Jeffrey Lloyd said his ministry had commenced the dissemination of written requests to the more than 4,600 former loan recipients, requesting some form of repayment. Similar letters were issued during the former Christie administration. In early 2016, then Education Minister Jerome Fitzgerald said the ELA was owed $155m in outstanding loan payments for its student loan scheme. At the time, the Progressive Liberal Party Cabinet minister urged delinquent borrowers to arrange repayment methods or face court action. Mr Fitzgerald said at the

Left to cherish her memories are her children: Madeline, Eleanor, Robert, David, Carolyn and Daniel; brother: Lester; sisters: Cassandra, Rosie, Christine and Mavis; numerous grandchildren, nieces, nephews; and a host of other relatives and friends. Funeral arrangements will be announced at a

later date. Trademark of The Bank of Nova Scotia, used under licence (where applicable).

®

time that the ministry, along with ELA officials, had established a student loan repayment incentive programme to help secure the outstanding funds. The programme involved the establishment of a 12-month period of “incentives and waivers” from March 1, 2016 to assist and encourage delinquent borrowers to repay their loans. That was to be an interest-free period, during which no interest would be applied to loans, Mr Fitzgerald said. Secondly, borrowers who wished to pay off their loans during that 12-month period had the option of settling their loans by repaying the principal only, and all interest and related charges would be “forgiven”. Other features of the programme included the application of the full loan payment (interest and principal) to the principal balance only during the 12-month period and subsequent matching of that amount by the ELA by way of “debt forgiveness,” as well as the “forgiving” of 1.5 times the loan payment if persons restructure their loans during the 12-month period. In the latter instance, the loan payment on the restructured amount (principal and interest) also would be applied to the outstanding new principal balance.

To advertise in The Tribune, contact 502-2394


FULLGOESHERE

THE STORIES BEHIND THE NEWS

CHANGING leadership - with Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis and Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest next to their predecessors, Perry Christie and Philip ‘Brave’ Davis, but has the Bahamian electorate been provided with real change?  Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff

We desperately need a new leadership alternative

By MALCOLM STRACHAN

AS we brace ourselves for the impending reality of increased taxes, the government’s confirmation that it will proceed with the 4.5 percent VAT hike has left many Bahamians feeling disheartened. While the likelihood that they would have come back this week more amenable to consultation after having heard the public uproar was low, many people still had hope. However, as fate would have it, the Bahamian people would have no such luck. The minister of finance is seemingly unbending on his plan to balance the budget in three years notwithstanding the cost to the populace and his political future. He and the prime minister swear by this being the best move for The Bahamas, even if it is not the best move for Bahamians. Many see this as a crushing blow to the economic growth we experienced last year, with consumer purchasing power likely to be severely contracted in a matter of a few weeks. Bitterness pervades the archipelago. Yet, we all must recognise that we did not have to be here. The last election was one where the general feelings of anger, resentment, disappointment and exhaustion led us to vote out the Progressive Liberal Party. While the incoming government was welcomed with open arms, the Bahamian people were adamant that they did not want another dose of Perry Gladstone Christie. Former Democratic National Alliance Leader Branville McCartney, who was at times a viable consideration for the next prime minister, arguably ruined the chances of his party becoming the next government when he accepted a position in the Senate from Loretta Butler-Turner during her brief stint as Opposition Leader. As history would soon record, the DNA, for a

second straight election, did it that we hear more from No doubt, the FNM not win any seats. Although ‘Joe Public’ regarding the has greatly decreased its some of their candidates’ prime minister’s contradic- chances of being a twomessaging resonated with tory statements on taxation term government by its some voters, the chance than the man who made the decision to increase VAT for the PLP winning the assertions himself? to 12%. Even though, the election was too great to Make no mistake, we are three-year plan to balance gamble away where we are the budget a year before an votes. ‘Surely, the manner as a nation election year will arm them Now here in which we vote for much of with a victory and the funds we are a our own folly. to spend wildly in camyear later, in has lowered the Surely, the paign mode, the disdain for a situation standard of our manner in this government grows by McCartney which we vote the moment. These strong political leaders would have has lowered feelings towards the govdescribed in – flip-flopping the standard ernment captures the pain picture per- between two of our politi- and suffering the Bahamian fect fashion in cal leaders people have experienced parties every the lead-up to – flip-flopping since The Great Recession. the election: five years. between two The FNM’s 2017 elec“The PLP While having a parties every tion slogan, “the people’s and the FNM, five years. time”, was music to the ears they are two few other viable While of many that wanted to feel sides of the options would having a few hope. The forgotten in socisame coin.” other viable ety felt, for the first time in be beneficial for Ironioptions would a long time, as though the cally enough, the electorate, it be benefi- tides were about to turn where this would still not cial for the and life would be better. All government electorate, it things considered, while he be enough.’ promised would still not lacked many soft skills, the transparency, be enough. sentiments that the prime we’ve been met with more Truthfully, the citizenry has minister rose up from the secrecy. Where we were impeded its own growth in inner city endeared him to promised good governance this regard, as we have pro- the downtrodden. and accountability, we have liferated nonsensical ideals Now, people feel as continually seen the politici- like those found in staunch though they were manipusation of issues and blaming party supporters. lated by the prime minister. of the former administration. We were promised a vision, but the government continues to show us that they lack a cohesive plan. Perhaps most disappointing is that we were promised that it was the “people’s time”, yet the poor people, while gaining tax relief on some breadbasket items, will still incur taxes across the rest of the spectrum. June 17th It feels as though the Bahamian people have been bamboozled again. Though, if we give the Selected government the benefit of the doubt and accept that Stonerose they feel they are doing the shirts best thing for the people of The Bahamas, does it not show a grave disconnect between the populace and the supposed “people’s time” government? We have arrived at a point as a people where we’ve become so accepting of abuse. Preposterously, Fini Uomo citizens among us serve Rosetta Street as de facto publicists What’s App 242-636-1877 - explaining away the govStore number: 242-326-1569 ernment’s errors. How is

Remember Father’s Day

up to 30% off

The betrayal that the Bahamian people feel is so strong that it can make us dangerously emotional. Undoubtedly, it is this betrayal that the Progressive Liberal Party, who have yet to make any steps to reform its party, are banking on to recapture the government in 2022. Certainly, in their current iteration, the Bahamian people want no part of them. However, where does that leave the electorate? The DNA has not been able to remain relevant enough throughout a five-year period for the majority of Bahamians to consider them as a worthwhile option. While some personalities in the nation’s third party are greatly respected, the 2022 election will likely meet Bahamians who have some of the same fears with regard to how they vote. Whoever is the alternative to the nation’s two longest existing parties will have to engage the people as soon as possible to have a chance. They have to insert themselves into the national

conversation and share their ideas with the country – even at the cost of the government or Opposition stealing them. Without a doubt, this is necessary for the DNA, or any other political faction with aspirations of forming the next government. Likewise, we, the Bahamian people have to break our mindsets of political allegiance. We must understand that great change will require an even greater leap going forward. Surely, one thing we can be certain of is that more of the same produces just that - more of the same. Assuredly, if we continue to vote in the two schools of thought that we’ve seen over the last 40 odd years, we will continue to have the same type of leadership where we feel we’re on the outside looking in. While we wade through the rough waters that may lie ahead, let us do so with a goal in mind to create a better future for ourselves and our children in 2022. Will the nation’s next leaders please stand up?


INSIGHT

PAGE 8 MONDAY, JUNE 11, 2018

FOIA: A story of betrayal By FREDERICK SMITH, QC THREE successive administrations from 1992 have promised to give us Freedom of Information. It all started with the Delivery Boy’s promise to bring us “Government In The Sunshine” to provide us with the tools to monitor the behaviour of public officials – our employees – and determine whether their performance is good enough, whether they have been acting in the interests of the public and not for their own benefit, that of their friends, relatives or lovers.  So far, all of these governments have betrayed our trust and failed miserably to deliver on their pledge. The first two never even tried. After gaining office based on empty promises and false pretences, administrations led by Hubert Ingraham and Perry Christie simply laughed in our faces. Brazenly defying the will of the public, these administrations carried on operating in secret, behind closed doors, acting in our name and using our money however they wanted while looking with disdain upon the Bahamian people.  Ingraham’s FNM passed a Freedom of Information Act but never brought it into effect, allowing the PLP to delay and eventually scrap the law. Perry

Christie and his cohorts claimed their intention was to replace it with a better version, but quite obviously, this never happened. Instead, FOIA was made the responsibility of former Minister of Education Jerome Fitzgerald, whose mafia-style “you touch one, you touch all” attitude to protecting his associates ensured that the government would never be exposed to public scrutiny on his watch.  Having thus secured its freedom from accountability, the Christie administration proceeded to unleash upon  a startled and dismayed public such a plague of high-profile failures, laughable shams and disastrous shady deals as had never been seen before. Many of these disasters still linger in the public imagination as infamous symbols of government incompetence, waste and corruption. Take the BAMSI fiasco. A part of a multimillion dollar building funded with public money burns down. It turns out that the contractor never secured insurance, even though this was a requirement. It also turns out that he is a close friend of the PLP government – a Stalwart Councillor of the party no less. How did this individual, of all people, get that contract? Was there any bidding process at all? In

the days following the fire, the government insisted that the building was adequately covered, only for it to be later revealed that the insurance company listed on the paperwork didn’t actually exist. Did our elected officials lie to us, or were they duped by the contractor as well? We will probably never know. Meanwhile, the public had to foot the $3m bill. Also on Perry Christie’s watch, and while the FOIA was suspended indefinitely for “improvements”, the public was very nearly made to spend $600m on a waste-to-energy facility, to be run by highly questionable foreign individuals with no apparent experience in the field. The public still has no idea how the Stellar Waste to Energy scandal came about, yet the MP who signed the letter of intent on behalf of the PLP has somehow been made a cabinet minister by the FNM, without ever giving an adequate explanation.  Meanwhile as a result of continued secrecy, incompetence and shifty dealing, the New Providence Landfill ‘The Dump’ – remains to this day an environmental disaster zone and a critical health risk to everyone who lives in the surrounding area. What about the Rubis gas spill? The government of the Bahamas knew for almost

THE ANGLICAN DIOCESE OF THE BAHAMAS AND THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS (Incorporated Trustees Of The Church Of England In The Bahamas)

FINANCIAL COMPTROLLER The Diocese of The Bahamas and The Turks and Caicos Islands is seeking a suitably qualified individual to fill the position of Financial Comptroller. This officer is the chief financial functionary for the Diocesan Office. Duties include, but are not limited, to: • Managing the efficient operation of the Accounts Departments of the Diocesan Office and the four schools of the Anglican Central Education Authority (ACEA), ensuring adherence to policies and procedures. • Having control of the finances of the Diocese and the keeping of proper records of financial transactions.

• Preparing monthly reports on the financial position of the Diocese to the Bishop, The Synod, The Diocesan Council, The Diocesan Finance Committee, The Anglican Central Education Authority, The Diocesan Pension Board and The Property Committee. • Preparing all financial statements for the Diocese in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards. • Acting as a contact person and liaise with external auditors, bankers and government agencies. • Assisting with the preparation of the Diocesan budget. • Supervising the maintenance and repairs of non-parochial Diocesan buildings and grounds in New Providence, with the exception of the schools. • Traveling to Family Islands as required. • Performing other duties as requested by the Bishop, the Bishop-in- Council or Diocesan Administrator. The successful candidate should possess: • A Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting • CPA desired but not necessary • At least 10 years’ relevant experience • Up to date knowledge of accounting regulations. • A strong proficiency in Microsoft Office and Peachtree Programs. • Strong written and oral communication skills. • Excellent leadership and management skills, with hands on approach. • Good organizational skills and a commitment to timely and accurate reporting. Applications must contain a cover letter and CV and may be submitted via email to hr@bahamasanglican.org or dropped off at the Diocesan Office, Sands Road no later than Friday, June 15th, 2018 at 5p.m.

two years that a fuel station had leaked tens of thousands of gallons of gasoline into the ground, polluting the water supply, polluting the air and placing thousands of people at grave, grave risk. Many became sick, some died. The effects of gasoline poisoning can take years to show themselves. No doubt the legacy of this disaster will continue to haunt the community of Marathon for decades to come.  The decision to keep this critical danger a secret – even from the victims themselves – was made at the top levels of government, by Cabinet ministers who knew the public would never be able to hold them accountable for this complete travesty of justice. Who made the decision? Why did they put so many people’s lives at risk? Who stood to benefit? Once again, we will probably never know.  What did the PLP use their illegal spy machine, the National Intelligence Agency, to do? Who did they spy on – was it the FNM politicians? Dissident members of their own party? Was it you, or me? Why do both governments desperately want this Spy Act, that will basically allow them to intrude on the privacy of anyone they wish?  What do they know that we don’t? Again, we will probably never know. One thing we do know, is that having passed the Bill, their dream of being able to eavesdrop on our lives at will has finally become a reality; meanwhile, our desire to know what they are up to remains a distant hope. Why did the PLP try to neuter a progressive piece of legislation called the Planning and Subdivisions Act? Most Bahamians

EMAIL: insight@tribunemedia.net

don’t know that the former government sought to: • do away with public consultation on projects that would affect communities; • make environmental safeguards for development optional; • make it easier for foreign developers to steal public land; • make it possible to build low cost housing next to garbage dumps, and schools next to dangerous power plants. Why? We will never know for sure, but presumably it had something to do with the desire of politicians to reward the foreign unregulated developers and environmental abusers who fund their political campaigns. In fact, the lack of Freedom of Information is the main reason why such shady characters are able to secretly fund political parties in the first place. The reason why, after an election, you never really know who your leaders are working for. Under the last PLP, Peter Nygard was able to corrupt an entire government, able to destroy Crown Land without any response from the authorities, able to threaten and intimidate people, organise inflammatory and racist hate rallies, all with total impunity.  The only reason the public even knows that Nygard bought Christie’s government is that he told us so himself. The fashion designer turned political sugar-daddy published a video bragging that he ‘took back’ the Bahamas and showed PLP ministers being wined and

dined at his home. But how can you know that this new FNM government is not in the pocket of some other foreigner? The answer is, you can’t. Not really. Not without campaign finance transparency. This new FNM, of course, also promised us Freedom of Information. But instead we got Oban. We got a project that is so regressive and backward looking, so environmentally disastrous, so clumsy and ham-fisted, so shady and underhanded that it makes the Stellar fiasco look like a great deal.  We also got the announcement of a Liquefied Natural Gas plant at Clifton Pier, one of the most polluted and toxic sites in the Bahamas, where over the years hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil have spilled into the ground and water unchecked. Both this government and the last promised to clean up Clifton. Instead, the FNM is building yet another industrial plant on this dangerous, poisonsoaked site. We know there were alternative proposals for other locations for an LNG plant. Were these given a fair shot? Was the bidding process open and transparent? Of course not. Successive governments promised to be frugal with our money. Instead, the PLP created ‘Bahamas Resolve’, an initiative that amounted to using public funds to pay off $100 million in toxic Bank of the Bahamas loans, given to individuals who never bothered paying it back. Who were these individuals? Leaked documents pointed to several people with close ties to the Christie administration but in all likelihood, the full list will never be known and they will be off the hook forever. Now, the FNM has asked for an additional $100m to pour into the black hole that is Resolve. What I have described is not what governance is supposed to look like in a democracy. What is happening in secret – what has been happening for decades – amounts to an unofficial dictatorship of the executive branch of government, that has hijacked our democratic institutions and trampled upon our sovereignty. It amounts to a small group of individuals at the top of each party occasionally swapping power with each other, then continuing to do as they please with the country, while the public is left increasingly out of the loop.  The FNM say Freedom of Information is coming now. We shall see. But in the wake of betrayal after betrayal, I would advise my fellow Bahamians not to get their hopes up. We have been here too many times before. This government has followed its predecessors in preferring to act behind a cloak of secrecy instead of in the sunshine. It would be unwise to suddenly believe that they have been converted into ‘friends of transparency’. That is why, regardless of personal circumstances or political persuasion, we must all come together and continue to demand – as vocally and forcefully as we possibly can – that we have a right to know what is being done in our name. That we have a right to demand that our government live up to its promise and give us transparency and accountability. A right to demand that they stop pulling the wool over our eyes, stop lying to us, and give us Freedom of Information immediately.


EMAIL: insight@tribunemedia.net

INSIGHT

MONDAY, JUNE 11, 2018 PAGE 9

Caribbean democracy demands change

T

HE Leader of the Opposition is assigned important roles in the Constitutions of all Commonwealth Caribbean (CC) countries. The roles stand at the heart of the democratic values to which the peoples of CC countries adhere. That is why provision should be made in the Constitutions of all CC countries for a seat to be reserved for the position of Leader of the Opposition if one political party, or its candidates, win all the seats in the House of Representatives at General Elections. The distinction between CC countries and Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries is made here because CARICOM embraces Haiti and Suriname whose systems are very different from that of Commonwealth Caribbean countries which is rooted in the parliamentary system adopted from Britain at their independence. In the constitutions of CC countries, it is provided that the Leader of the Opposition must be consulted on many if not all of the following appointments: the Chancellor of the Judiciary; the Chief Justice; the Chairpersons of the Police Services Commission, the Public Service Appeals Board, the Judicial and Legal Services Commission and the Electoral and Boundaries Commission. The obligation of the Head of Government to consult with the Leader of the Opposition is vital to the safeguarding of political and civil rights and to upholding democratic principles on which the broad interest of any society depends. In circumstances where there is no Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, the Head of Government has no restraint on such appointments, and even the most benevolent leaders

World View

By SIR RONALD SANDERS

could be tempted to appoint persons favourable to their political party. Therefore, it is clearly important to each Caribbean nation that there should always be a Leader of the Opposition in Parliament. Beyond these crucial considerations, the Leader of the Opposition is also responsible for nominating an allocated number of members to the second parliamentary chamber, the Senate, where one exists.  And, very substantially, the Leader of the Opposition also carries out the major role of Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee that reviews government spending and holds it answerable. Before going any further, two salient facts should be mentioned.  First, the leader of an opposition political party is not the Leader of the Opposition. The latter is a post which is defined in the Constitution and to which precise obligations are assigned as described earlier in this commentary.  This is why, for instance, neither of the leaders of opposition parties in Antigua and Barbuda is the Leader of the Opposition.  The post of Leader of the Opposition fell to the one candidate of the main political party that won a seat in parliament, because the leaders of the two parties failed to win the seats they contested. Second, in Guyana, where the system of general elections is by proportional representation, there can be no time that parliament

would be bereft of a Leader of the Opposition, except in the unlikely event that only one political party contests the elections. Proportional representation is precisely that: representation in proportion to the number of votes received. So, however, small the number of votes a political party might receive, it will be assured of parliamentary representation and qualification for the post of Leader of the Opposition. The reference to proportional representation is not a recommendation for its implementation across CC countries. Having said that, it is accurate that the electorate in the region is increasingly voting for a political party and not for a candidate. Indeed, in the three most recent general elections in Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda and Barbados, it was evident that the electorate did not vote for individual candidates but for the party they felt would deliver better economic stewardship of their national affairs. This observation applies to the current Leader of the Opposition in Barbados, Bishop Joseph Atherley, who had failed to win a seat in the previous two general elections and did so, at the May 24 general elections, only because of a significant swing to the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) on whose ticket he contested the parliamentary seat that he won. On the basis that the present first-past-the-post system of constituency general elections will continue

BISHOP JOSEPH ATHERLEY, who has become Leader of the Opposition in Barbados. in the CC countries in largest number of people their constitutions to prowhich it is now operated, who voted for the Demo- vide that, in the event of constitutional measures cratic Labour Party, nor one party winning all the have to be put in place for of those who voted for seats, the political party an automatic Leader of the him. It also entrusts great that gains the second highOpposition to be appointed power to one man with no est number of votes shall from the party that secures political organisation that be entitled to one parliathe second highest number is accountable to a national mentary seat, and thereby, of votes, across the country, electorate. the post of Leader of the even though it lost in every In this defective system, Opposition. parliamentary seat. if two more disgruntled In the case of Barbados, Abandoning allegiance to persons were to follow its ballot papers at electhe party, on whose ticket Atherley’s example in with- tions will also have to be a representative is elected, drawing allegiance to the amended to link candidates after an election should also BLP but declaring to the to the political parties on be prohibited, since it leads Governor-General that the whose ticket they contest to maverick behaviour two of them, as the majority the elections.  that is not in any country’s in opposition, support one The preservation and interest. of themselves as Leader protection of democracy If constitutional change of the Opposition, Bishop is not made, the wholly Atherley’s tenure would and political rights demand inadequate development, end and one of them would constitutional amendment. • Responses and previas happened in Barbados, replace him. This is hardly ous commentaries: www. would recur.  In Barbados, a system that mirrors the Bishop Atherley, decided wishes of the total elector- sirronaldsanders.com. to withdraw allegiance to ate or serves the country The writer is the Antigua the BLP on whose ticket he well. contested, and to become To ensure against this and Barbuda Ambassador a representative in opposi- situation, and the one in to the United States and the tion. That allowed for his Grenada where because Organization of American appointment as Leader of one party won all the par- States.  He is also a Senior the Opposition in Parlia- liamentary seats there is Fellow at the Institute of ment, and while the tactic no Leader of the Opposi- Commonwealth Studies at allows for the functions tion carrying out the vital the University of London of the office to be car- functions of the post, Com- and at Massey College in the ried out, it is not reflective monwealth Caribbean University of Toronto. The of the will of the second countries should amend views expressed are his own.

REBUILDING OUR COMMUNITIES BY REACHING OUT TO THE YOUNG Police advice WHEN a child is born, they are born into a world of sin. Despite their innocence, they immediately become prisoners of their environment and the many influences around them. For some kids, these influences can lead them to a life of progress and success; however, not all kids are blessed with this type of situation. Every day, countless kids are brought into this world amidst broken homes, disrespectful adults, and neighbourhood gangs, all of which play a huge role in negatively influencing these young and very impressionable minds. These unfortunate circumstances tend to mould our youth into very disrespectful, rebellious, and possibly violent individuals. Is this a definite outcome for youth in these situations, no, however, environments such as these aren’t easy for our youth to deal with, causing many of them to fall victim to such a lifestyle. I believe that it is now time that we citizens and residents of this country reassess our approach to this country’s crime issue; we must now seriously consider addressing our crime issue at the root by taking a more active role in the lives of our nation’s children. We are all quite aware of the issues that this country

By SERGEANT NATHALIE RANGER

is experiencing as it relates to crime. My solution to this is that we continue to rehabilitate, but instead of only rehabilitating an already matured mind, we need to focus our efforts on the minds of our children starting at the primary school level; the boys and girls of our country who are lost, and need guidance from positive individuals in an effort to save their future. Children find themselves in situations that often lead to escalated conflicts with their peers. Many children act out their emotions in the form of teasing, gossiping, and physical aggression. If left unchecked, these same behavioural patterns will transfer over to the teenage years and some of these kids will pick up a weapon such as a gun because they feel as if that is the only way to solve a conflict. So it is important that we teach the children of this country how to deal with conflicts and have ongoing projects and

seminars in all schools and throughout the community. These kids are crying out for help by being rebellious, turning to gangs and violence, and also turning to negative adults for attention. In conjunction with the Ministry of Education, I propose that we as a country work along with the schools and each community in an effort to point out the troubled kids; not only the ones who may be bullies and/or known gangsters, but also kids who may seem to possibly be heading in those directions. Utilising that we can create a comfortable setting where there will be an opportunity to sit down and have real conversations with these troubled kids. Instead of threatening their actions with harsh consequences like death and imprisonment, we instead take a more passive approach by creating rapport with these youth. We

do this by listening to their stories and understanding what they may be going through, while suggesting an alternative to dealing with their unfortunate circumstances. Although the obvious consequences of death and imprisonment are a harsh reality for a lot of our troubled youth, I believe that it would help if we listen and help to encourage these children as this is what they may be lacking at home. By talking with each parent and listening to the issues that they are facing with their child, we will be better equipped to encourage them to be more present in the lives of their children.  Also provide suggestions to them on how they can help to turn the lives of their kids around for the better. There is no Government, organisation or person that can do this alone. It takes the effort of all citizens and residents to join hands in the fight against crime in order to save our future which is the children and make the Bahamas a safe place for all.  • Visit the Royal Bahamas Police Force website at www.royalbahamaspolice.org or Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ rbpforce for daily crime reports. 


PAGE 10 MONDAY, JUNE 11, 2018

INSIGHT

Grand Bahama reacts to VAT hike By RASHAD ROLLE AND DENISE MAYCOCK Tribune Staff Reporters GRAND Bahama was already struggling – then came the budget announcement that value added tax will increase to 12 percent next month. On an island where abandoned shop buildings line the landscape, residents and business owners now have a new headache to lament. Businessman Shuffel Hepburn, operator of the island’s Subway franchise, closed one of his stores when the Grand Lucayan resort shut down in 2016. He is now prepared to make similarly difficult decisions. “I will have to determine the rate of the actual impact (of VAT) on the day-to-day operation and then increase already high sandwich prices, as well as employee salaries,” he said in a recent interview. “This will not be good for business going forward. We already have a store closed in Port Lucaya with no idea when or if the hotels will ever be sold. The government’s plan is to tax The Bahamas into success and we are certain how disastrous that will be.” Like people elsewhere, Mr Hepburn is questioning what the Free National Movement’s election campaign slogan –– “It’s the People’s Time” –– is worth. “There seems to be a disconnect between the government and the theme upon which they were elected,” he said. “They have either forgotten their own slogan or they were never sincere about it in the first instance.”

ETIENNE FARQUHARSON, a senior citizen, said Grand Bahama does not need an increase in tax. Darren Cooper, pro- he said. “Instead, you giving “When we buy cars, we prietor of D’s Car Rental us a hike in police record are exempt in the sense that Ltd, knows what he will do fees, an increase in licencing whatever VAT we pay on because VAT is going up: of vehicles and the list goes those cars for the company he will reduce his business on. People just focusing on we get it back,” he added. branches to just one loca- the 12 percent for VAT but “Our utility bills, our rent tion and let go two of the not looking at these other and those kind of stuff, we company’s five employees. fees. Yeah, you giving me a get back what we pay for Unemployment on the lower rate on cars but I got VAT. But if your return is island had fallen from 12.4 to be able to afford it to get $2,000 and you haven’t colpercent to 12.1 percent in it. Yeah, you giving me an lected that in your three the most recent Labour increase in exemptions but month period by selling Force survey, with 3,735 I have to afford travelling. goods to customers the tax people there said to be I haven’t travelled as a busi- collectors don’t want you to unemployed. ness owner in two years. I have the credit. You have Now, VAT “is going to haven’t received a salary to collect VAT to get back cause a drastic loss of jobs from my business in eight the VAT you paid. How because a lot of companies months, only taking out could you do that without in our sector loans.” customers?” are going to To reduce Deputy Prime Minister cut back and ‘When some the burden, Mr Peter Turnquest has said we’re going to of us have two Cooper wants the Minnis administrastart with the maintenance the government tion wants to increase the employees,” to revisit rules VAT rate so the country said Mr Cooper, guys and two about which could plough through its president of the office clerks, businesses are fiscal consolidation period Bahamas Car we’re going mandated to as quickly as possible and Rental Owner’s register for the tax burden can later be to cut back. I Association. VAT, noting relieved off Bahamians. “When some went from 12 he now operPeople like Mr Cooper of us have two employees down ates under the are sceptical this will maintenance threshold for happen. guys and two to five last year, mandatory “Governments don’t office clerks, now I’m trying VAT registra- ever go down on taxes,” we’re going tion but has he said. “Moreover, how to go to three.’ to cut back. I not been able do you squeeze milk out went from 12 to deregister. of an empty carton? Yeah, employees down to five last Under the 2014 law, only in three years’ time we’ll year, now I’m trying to go businesses making a turno- look good but people are to three.” ver of $100,000 or more per dying and losing their D’s Car Rental was estab- year are required to become homes today. We hear stolished in 2008 at the height VAT registrants. While ries of people sleeping on of the Great Recession. this allows them to recover the beach after losing their Back then, Mr Cooper got input costs for paying VAT homes and their jobs.” a turnover of $30,000 to on goods and services Mr Turnquest, the MP for $40,000 a month. Today, needed to operate their East Grand Bahama, was despite recent statistics pro- business, it has also meant asked about the budget’s jecting the economy will customers avoid companies impact on that island during grow at a modest pace, his that are VAT registrants in a press conference two business is “barely scrap- favour of those that do not weeks ago. ing” $11,000 a month. charge the tax. One Grand His statements showed “We feel the government Bahama business recently the opening of the Grand should have considered registered for VAT and Lucayan Hotel, critical exempting Grand Bahama went from making “$2,000 a to the revival of the Port from VAT at this time until day to scraping $500 a day,” Lucaya area, remains something could happen,” Mr Cooper said. elusive.

EMAIL: insight@tribunemedia.net

CELIA MACKEY, a single mother from Grand Bahama, does not support a VAT increase. 

GRAND Bahama businessman Shuffel Hepburn believes a VAT increase will be “disastrous” for the country. “The good news,” he said, “is the West End project is really, really close.” He was referring to the $2.5bn deal to purchase the former Ginn Sur Mer property. “I’m much more comfortable saying that one will be completed in June and that is going to be a significant development on the West End of Grand Bahama and we are looking forward to the contributions that will make to employment and turning that economy around. We’re working on a number of initiatives for Grand Bahama.” Mr Turnquest has noted the decision to zero-rate VAT on bread-basket items is intended to offset the increase in the VAT rate. But Celia Mackey, a single mother on Grand Bahama, isn’t convinced it will make much of a valuable difference. “There is no VAT on

corned beef, but why don’t they exempt VAT on tuna?” she asked. Although tuna was not originally included in the exempt list, Mr Turnquest announced last week that it has been added. “We have to pay VAT on meat and vegetables and that is the bulk of what we buy in the food store,” Ms Mackey said.  She noted July will be tough because VAT will be removed off bread-basket items in August, a month after VAT is increased to 12 percent. “The government should have at least given us until January of next year,” she said. “They should give us more time to prepare for this. I thought the FNM was against VAT, now they raising it. If anything, they should have lowered it or left it at 7.5 percent for Grand Bahama.”

REV Announced as Event Title Sponsor for the 2018 Bahamas National Swimming Championships No moment will be missed with live broadcast on OURTV and REVGO Play app strength and linkages with its extensive media coverage to promote our Federation throughout its network. It’s a win/win partnership for REV and Bahamas Aquatics and we are delighted that our Championships will continue to be broadcast live on OURTV so that thousands of Bahamians can now see the hard work of our athletes as they compete for National Swimming Titles.”

R

EV is pleased to once again be a part of the Bahamas National Swimming Championships; an institution that has helped to develop and mould many Bahamian swimmers over the years. The fifteen year, live-broadcast sponsorship has connected athletes with family, friends and spectators across many islands; allowing them to share in key, life-changing moments. This year, REV is proud to deepen that relationship with the Swimming Nationals by becoming the 2018 event title sponsor. The event is set for June 16-19th at the Betty Kelly-Kenning Aquatic Center. “This year’s sponsorship goes be-

yond our historic relationship with the Federation, touching instead on a central, resounding core REV belief. We believe that as a community, we have much to learn from these athletes and that many of the attributes demonstrated are those that we strive to achieve as a company” shared Chief Operations Officer, John Gomez. According to Algernon Cargill, President of the Bahamas Aquatics Federation, “Bahamas Aquatics is excited about the extension of our relationship with REV as the Title Sponsor for the 47th National Swimming Championships. We will benefit not only from REV’s financial contribution to our Federation, but also from its brand

According to VP Marketing, David Burrows “this marks the sixteenth year that REV has sponsored this major sporting event and the first time that it will be available on our new app, REVGO Play. We know the complex will be electric with all the athletes and families but we also welcome the opportunity to share this energy with The Bahamas through our live coverage on OURTV channel 212.” Continuing, Burrows shared, “Not only will spectators have the opportunity

to watch the event live but with REVGO Play they can record the event and watch or rewatch at their leisure, all courtesy of the REV connectivity. Offered at no extra cost to REV customers, REVGO Play delivers up to 50 live TV channels, and 12 local radio stations. The app also gives customers the option to record a total of twenty hours of programming from up to 31 available network digital video recorder (nDVR). Customers can simply download the REVGO Play app from the Google Play Store or The Apple App Store and log in with your REV My Account email and password. For those customers that do not have “My account”, visit https://www.cablebahamas.com/ myaccount and follow the prompts to sign up quickly and begin using REVGO Play. Visit cablebahamas.com/revgoplay for more information about REVGO Play.


THE TRIBUNE

Monday, June 11, 2018, PAGE 11

SUPREME COURT JURY TO DECIDE IF MOTHER IS FIT TO STAND TRIAL By NICO SCAVELLA Tribune Staff Reporter nscavella@tribunemedia.net

A 40-YEAR-OLD woman accused of killing her one-year-old daughter by setting her on fire last year will have her mental fitness to stand trial tested by a Supreme Court jury next month. Justice Bernard Turner said Philipa Marshall will

return to court on July 16, at which time a jury will be empaneled to determine her mental fitness to plead in the death of Philicia Marshall. In April, Marshall was charged with manslaughter, accused of causing her infant daughter’s death by unlawful harm on February 14, 2017. The charge has since been upgraded to murder.

Prosecutors alleged that the Kemp Road resident doused her child with gasoline and set her on fire at her Faith Gardens home after hearing voices. The child died in February this year having been cared for at Princess Margaret Hospital. Prior to her initial arraignment before Magistrate Samuel McKinney, Marshall had spent the

previous 12 weeks at Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre (SRC) for mental health issues. She is now listed as an SRC outpatient and is currently on medication. Marshall’s attorney Bjorn Ferguson has submitted that the Crown, which is in possession of a psychiatrist’s report of his client stating that she was mentally unstable at the

time she allegedly committed the offence, can exercise its discretion on whether it should proceed against Marshall Referring to Section 92 of the Penal Code as well as section 155 of the Criminal Procedure Code to substantiate his submissions, Mr Ferguson claimed that his client’s case would be an appropriate one for the

issuance of a nolle prosequi (no case to answer). Last month, Acting Chief Justice Stephen Isaacs granted Marshall $15,000 bail with two sureties before her trial. As a part of her bail conditions, Marshall must live with her sister-in-law in the interim. The Kemp Road resident is to also have supervised visits with her two other children.

70 PERCENT AGAINST TAX RISE IN SURVEY

from page one

M’wale Rahming, president of Public Domain, said the results are the latest indication the Minnis administration is heading toward the “point of no return,” that moment when Bahamians’ disapproval of an administration may not be capable of reversal. “What happens,” he said yesterday, “is people start to point back to other missteps that you’ve made so new mistakes are no longer in a void. So, it’s ‘look how they did this and they ain’ talk to us’ and ‘they did that last thing and they ain’ talk to us,’ so people are no longer hearing what the government is saying, they’re now referring to your past missteps and I think the danger is it’s difficult to govern when you don’t have buy-in from the general public and I think we saw that in the last administration and the one before that. At the end of those terms, the general public (was) no longer tuned into those administrations.” Mr Rahming said the administration is reaching the danger zone quicker than he expected “and the pace is gaining”. “They started out with a high favourability that was mid-70s and then that sort of dropped to the mid-60s and now you see it’s going down and down and I think once you get into that mid30s, it’s hard to pull out of that,” he said.  The latest poll does

not ask people if they generally approve of the administration, but a poll in April by Public Domain showed fewer than 50 percent of Bahamians were generally satisfied with its performance at the time.  According to the latest poll, 62 percent of Bahamians believe the budget “is designed to benefit special interests within the FNM”; 16 percent believe the budget is just “like any other budget”; seven percent believe it is “the people’s budget” and 15 percent said they don’t know. The poll results also show 73 percent of people generally oppose the VAT increase to 12 percent from 7.5 percent, 22 percent generally support it and five percent said they don’t know. “We’re not saying the Bahamian people have studied this budget and have grasped complex relationships between deficits and the like,” Mr Rahming said. “This is public opinion about the arguments being made about this budget, that’s it.” Mr Rahming said communication remains a problem for the government, pointing to the poll’s data showing 86 percent of Bahamians believe the government should have engaged in public consultation before unveiling its plan for the new fiscal year. “I’m going to be repeating something I’ve been saying for months and months and people are going to say I have an

DEPUTY Prime Minister Peter Turnquest during the Budget debate.  agenda,” Mr Rahming said, “but the issue is communication. I don’t think the communication on this was handled very well therefore the arguments that are made on the back-end gets disbelieved because government did not communicate properly what they were trying to do. One thing governments and corporations need to understand is communication isn’t just what you say but also what you don’t say. They need to show people that they are having consultations and that they want to become partners with the public as opposed to just leaders.” Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest has defended the lack of consultation surrounding VAT’s increase, saying governments keep revenue measures close to the chest to discourage consumer behaviour that could upend government revenue projections. The scientific poll, which was conducted between June 2 and June 6, has a margin of error of 3.46 percent. Eight hundred respondents were selected by “random” telephone selection. Most Bahamians, according to the poll, believe it is unfair for the government to tax gaming houses much

more than other industries. However, Mr Rahming was careful to note the question respondents were asked on this matter likely influenced their response.  Respondents were asked: “Do you think it’s fair or unfair that locally owned Bahamian businesses, like gaming houses, under the new budget, will be taxed at upwards of 50 percent while banks and other industries are taxed less than 10 percent?”  Seventy-four percent of people said this is unfair in response to the question.  Mr Rahming said: “I can’t

Photo: Terrel W. Carey/Tribune Staff

say we got a nuanced interpretation of what people think (on this issue). When we say you’re taxing anything more than you’re taxing something else, people are going to say it’s unfair. I don’t think it’s specific to the gaming industry or reveals a lot. “We went back over this internally for about an hour because we were worried but we came back to the fact we’re not trying to understand a nuanced feeling to a complex issue like the budget; we’re really measuring people’s reaction to the different arguments that are

being made to the budget and the word fair was being used by people on one side and the word unfair was being used on the other side.”   Mr Rahming said after Public Domain had begun polling Bahamians, a private client requested and paid for a private poll about the budget.  “All clients of mine are confidential,” he said when asked to reveal the client. The questions and answers polled for that client were not included in the report released to the press yesterday.

CAREER OPPORTUNITY Managers & Supervisors Be a Team Leader!

Send résumé to:

humanresources@restaurantsbs.com

CAREER OPPORTUNITY

Drivers Wanted Join a fun, fast-paced team!

Apply at:

humanresources@restaurantsbs.com


PAGE 12, Monday, June 11, 2018

THE TRIBUNE

Husband loses bid to be given $100,000 a month and a share in ex-wife’s home By NICO SCAVELLA Tribune Staff Reporter nscavella@tribunemedia.net A SUPREME Court judge has denied a man’s attempts to secure an interest in his ex-wife’s $4m home and her 12

condominiums, while ordering his ex-wife to pay him $100,000 to “ease his transition” into living without a partner. Justice Ian Winder, in a written ruling, shot down Garth Bethel’s assertions that he had a one-half

interest in both Veronica Bethel’s Ocean West Limited-owned condominium complex and the marital home on West Bay Street. However, Justice Winder ruled that due to the “unequal financial position” of both parties brought on by the divorce, and in accordance with Section 29 of the Matrimonial Causes Act (MCA), Mrs Bethel will have to make a “lump sum payment” of $100,000 to Mr Bethel within 90 days. Mr Bethel had submitted that his right to claim half of the home in question was justified by the collective $4,520,000 worth of repairs he claimed he pumped into refurbishing Mrs Bethel’s home when he first moved in with her. Further, Mr Bethel argued that because Mrs Bethel used the home in question to secure a $2.5m loan from the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) to build the 12 condos, he could thus assert an interest in the complex. However, Justice Winder shot down the former assertion, stating that based on the evidence, Mr Bethel had failed to prove that he was a “man of means” capable of producing such a sum, and that he actually produced 1.8 percent of the $4.52m, or approximately $80,000. “This was a man, who at the time of meeting the wife, lived in a home on East Street South with his mother and his siblings,” Justice Winder said. “The lack of credible evidence makes it difficult to accept that the husband was a man

of means capable of providing the sums he alleges to have contributed to the matrimonial home.” Justice Winder’s decision stems from a Court of Appeal-ordered retrial of an application for ancillary relief borne out of the dissolution of the couple’s marriage of some eight years. According to the ruling, Mr Bethel describes himself as a businessman, while Mrs Bethel is a dentist by profession. The two first met at a basketball camp hosted by Mr Bethel, who was a former professional basketball player. At the time, Mrs Bethel was operating a dental practice with a partner. The two lived together in Mrs Bethel’s home prior to their marriage on May 15, 1999, which marked Mrs Bethel’s second marriage and Mr Bethel’s first. Throughout their marriage the former couple resided at West Bay Street in Mrs Bethel’s home. Mrs Bethel had secured the full interest in the marital home following her divorce from her first husband in 1993. The decree dated June 2, 1993 specifically stated that “the ownership rights and interest in all that lot of land situate in the Western District affectionately called ‘Crab Hill’ upon which the proposed new matrimonial home is being built shall be that of the said wife to the exclusion of the said husband.” Mrs Bethel said the transfer was made to her by her first husband on the understanding that the home would be held for the benefit of their two children. According to the ruling, Mrs Bethel had completed the home and subsequently moved into it by 1994, but there was still “considerable work” to be done on the house. However, Mrs Bethel said the work was completed by the time she got married to Mr Bethel in 1999. Immediately to the north of the property was a “large vacant section.” Mr Bethel said he agreed to move in with his former wife at her behest to assist her with her bills, claiming that she was in arrears on mortgage payments at the time. Additionally, Mr Bethel described the condition of the home as a “shell” with no landscaping when he initially moved in. His

evidence was that the only room that was completed in the home was the master bedroom. He said after three weeks of moving in, he began to “plough” money into the home’s renovation and refurbishment. According to Justice Winder’s ruling, Mr Bethel’s calculation of the contributions he made to the home, according to four affidavits filed in August 2007, April 2008, July 2008 and January 2011, were respectively as followed: $220,000; $1.8m; $300,000 and $2.2m, making for a total of $4.52m. Mr Bethel claimed those sums were attained by selling his coin collection along with two homes and his business in Washington, DC. Mrs Bethel, in response, denied the home was a shell; conversely, she maintained that the home was complete when she moved in. She accepted that there were contributions made to the home, but denied the amounts Mr Bethel claimed. Rather, she said the amount he contributed was merely $30,000. Justice Winder’s ruling said “unhappy differences” arose and the two separated in September 2005. On September 4, 2006, a petition for a divorce was filed. The divorce was granted on March 15, 2007, and was made absolute on June 19, 2007. Subsequent to the couple’s separation and the decree nisi being made absolute, Mrs Bethel and her children embarked on a business venture that transferred the property to a company, Ocean West Limited, which they owned beneficially. Ocean West constructed a condominium complex containing 12 units, made possible with the assistance of a $2.5m loan from RBC. Several of the units have since been sold by Ocean West to third parties. Ancillary proceedings were conducted before then-Chief Justice Sir Michael Barnett in early 2011. At the initial hearing, Mr Bethel asked to be granted half the value of the matrimonial and non-matrimonial assets, specifically the West Bay Street home and the 12 condos. However, according to his notice of appeal, Mr Bethel only received $75,000 from an estate that should be “grossly valued in around, or in excess of $10,000,000.” He listed among his grounds for appeal that the chief justice “erred in law and principle by causing bias or the appearance of bias to be unavoidable” – because he failed to disclose prior to the hearing that he knew the parties concerned. In the notice of appeal, it is claimed Sir Michael attended Mr Bethel’s exwife’s mother’s funeral five days before the hearing and was a guest in their home during their marriage. In January 2013, the Court of Appeal ruled that the case should go back to the Supreme Court as the

former chief justice was wrong in neglecting factors required to be considered under section 29 of the Matrimonial Causes Act. The matter eventually came before Justice Winder who said having considered the material provided by both parties, and observing the various witnesses as they gave their evidence, he had “no hesitation” in indicating his preference of Mrs Bethel’s evidence and her witnesses. Justice Winder said his own assessment is that Mr Bethel’s contribution to the household over the sevenyear marriage amounted to approximately $80,000. Additionally, Justice Winder said while there was a “considerable amount” of cheques provided by Mr Bethel in support of his claims concerning his contributions, there was “little evidence” that those cheques were referable to the marriage. Rather, Justice Winder said those cheques were more related to Mr Bethel’s “retail business affairs.” Justice Winder further stated that based on the evidence, he rejected Mr Bethel’s claims that the home was a “shell” at the time of the marriage. He said besides the “direct evidence” of Mrs Bethel and her witnesses concerning the state of the home, there was evidence that “parties and celebratory functions were hosted at the home prior to the marriage.” Justice Winder also said the marital home itself was not matrimonial property, but is in fact non-matrimonial property. This, Justice Winder said, was based on the fact that sole title to the home was acquired by Mrs Bethel as a result of the property adjustment proceedings in her first divorce. Additionally, Justice Winder said the home remained solely in Mrs Bethel’s name, notwithstanding Mr Bethel co-signing on a loan at Bank of the Bahamas (BOB) to assist with the “re-funding” of the home. That BOB loan, Justice Winder said, also settled several debts of approximately $40,000 belonging to Mr Bethel. And the mortgage that secured the loan contained a specific provision to ensure that the title of the home remained vested in Mrs Bethel. Other than the two loan payments made by Mr Bethel, Justice Winder said he was satisfied that the loan was paid by Mrs Bethel. Additionally, Justice Winder said notwithstanding the home’s value being placed at $4m in 2006, he could only find that Mr Bethel contributed some $80,000 towards maintenance, upkeep, utility expenses, etc, inclusive of the two BOB loan payments. And those contributions, the judge noted, were not related to the home’s acquisition, but rather the “nature of general living expenses of the marriage.”


THE TRIBUNE

Monday, June 11, 2018, PAGE 13

United in grief

A CANDLELIGHT vigil was held on Friday for the four women who lost their lives during the Labour Day March when a truck ran into the parade.  Photos: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff


PAGE 14, Monday, June 11, 2018

THE TRIBUNE

ATTORNEY GENERAL: If you can put time into the web shops matter.......

.....HOW ABOUT

‘tackle & deal with’ URCA who defy belief issuing Broadcast in a Licences Sector 1/10 the SIZE?

47

YET WE GOT MORE STATIONS THAN LONDON & NYC Nassau & Bahama Islands’ Leading Newspaper

06112018 news  
06112018 news  
Advertisement