Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 8th 2014 Contents GAIL ALEXANDER
Opposition leader Dr Keith Rowley
invoked the ire of Speaker Wade Mark yes-
terday after Rowley clashed with Govern-
ment MPs and also with the Speaker him-
self during debate on the Procurement Bill
as Parliament resumed after a vacation
Rowley asked whether Mark was entering
the debate after Mark sought to rebut a
People s National Movement (PNM) claim
that the Government alone had adjourned
Parliament in July and the bill had lapsed.
In a stormy resumption of Parliament,
Mark also repeatedly warned about MPs
behaviour, particularly the PNM s.
Disagreements arose during Planning
Minister Bhoe Tewarie s piloting of the bill,
designed to promote accountability, trans-
parency and efficiency and reform the pro-
It was passed unanimously in the Senate
and was returned to the House for the pas-
sage of amendments made in the Senate.
Saying the bill had been delayed too long
and MPs had missed an opportunity to pass
it last term, Tewarie drew PNM protest
when he said he was sceptical of the PNM s
position on procurement reform because of
the PNM s conduct in the Joint Select Com-
mittee (JSC) stage, the PNM s absention
from the JSC report and silence on other
In reply, PNM MP Colm Imbert said the
Government had adjourned Parliament last
July and the bill had lapsed but as it had
26 seats, it could have passed the bill without
PNM votes, since Government had enough
for a special majority vote.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar
attempted to object when Imbert spoke
about the adjournment. That drew loud
protest from Rowley and PNMites.
Speaker Mark said: "Member for Diego
Martin West, cool it. You don t have to be
shouting across the floor. Listen, next year
before September is election, but right now
let s conduct ourselves in a dignified fashion.
This kind of rangutang behaviour, I don t
like it. I m telling you, I don t like it."
Mark added: "I want honourable members
to conduct themselves as honourable. I don t
think it was fair to say what you just said.
"I made it very clear and the records
would show I made a statement some time
ago, (that) when the Leader of Government
Business moved for the adjournment of the
House then, not a single member of the
"If a member of the Opposition had
objected, the Speaker would have had to
reflect and take a decision in the matter.
"So I don t think it s fair to say the Gov-
ernment abused its authority. It was a deci-
sion of the entire House to adjourn. The
House took a decision of which the Speaker
carried out that mandate."
But Rowley took up Mark s statements,
asking if the Speaker was entering the
Mark said: "No I m not in the debate,
PNM MPs continued to protest repeatedly.
Rowley, who had previously accused Per-
sad-Bissessar of trying to mislead the public
on the issue of the vacation period for the
House, angrily protested that what Imbert
had said was what had happened and it was
Mark told Rowley: "Don t argue while
I m on my legs. I m on my legs, don t speak
like that while I m on my legs... I m saying,
do not speak while I m on my legs. If you
have problems with the Speaker, file a sub-
Imbert, continuing his contribution, noted
criticism of Government by the Joint Con-
sultative Council (JCC) on the Invader s Bay
He claimed the bill did not properly deal
with land disposal. Noting the State was
T&T s biggest land owner and owned over
50,000 acres, he said the situation might
lead him to conclude the Government was
trying to dispose of State land to friends
and family. He did not identify anyone
Imbert also earned a rebuke from Mark
when he loudly told a Government MP to
Mark said: "You can t tell an MP to shut
up, only the Speaker can."
Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
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Cabinet is giving consideration to the remu-
neration of health care workers who may have to
treat Ebola cases, Health Minister Fuad Khan says.
He said so in Parliament yesterday as he addressed
the current worldwide concerns and T&T s readiness
for the deadly virus.
Public Services Association president Watson
Duke had called for extra remuneration and an
insurance of at least $10 million for health care
workers who will be asked to work in the special
Ebola unit Government proposes to set up to deal
with any suspected cases of the virus.
Yesterday, Khan said while some may have
attempted to profit from the matter and peddle fear
and hysteria, he was presenting the facts on it.
"Significant progress has been made in making
T&T ready to control any possible outbreak of Ebola
through good preparation, proactive public education,
early detection and rapid response, isolation and
treatment, contact tracing, co-ordination between
agencies and investment in emergency response,"
Recounting Government s action in the issue so
far, including spearheading a Caricom meeting on
this, Khan said the training of staff at health facilities
and ports of entry to detect and isolate suspected
cases was ongoing
Cabinet had also approved importation of an
Odulair Unit two-bed Ebola treatment unit.
Upgrades to allow for handling of any Ebola cases
have begun at the Caura Ebola Treatment Centre
and Piarco International Airport, he said.
Khan said 20 hand-held thermal scanners for
ports of entry have been ordered and are expected
in two weeks.
Thirty Hazmat (Hazardous Material) Level A suits
are also expected in four weeks. Specifications for
two mass screening thermal scanners are being
evaluated and are expected to be ordered within
the next week, with delivery in three weeks.
Personal protective equipment has been pur-
chased, including category three coveralls (Hazmat
suit type), N95 masks, overhoods, overboots, rubber
boots and face shields. Standard protective equip-
ment was distributed to all health facilities between
October 3 and 19 and Category 3 coveralls will be
delivered by November 19, he added. (GA)
Saturday, November 8, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Fresh furore over PM's House 'vacation' claim
An article published on September 4, "City cops
get $3.5m new-look station," reported Mayor
Raymond Tim Kee's statement that the Port-of-
Spain City Police were given a $3.5 million
Independence Day gift in the form of a new-look
House of Marketing was reported to have been
awarded the contract to undertake the renovations.
The T&T Guardian has since confirmed that the
contract awarded to House of Marketing was in fact
Any confusion or inconvenience caused by the
publication of the inaccurate contract sum is
Cabinet weighs $$
for Ebola medics
Fresh furore over PM's
House 'vacation' claim
House Speaker Wade Mark cautions
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley and
Diego Martin North/East MP Colm Imbert
after they became agitated by comments
from Government MPs during yesterday's
sitting of Parliament at Tower D,
International Waterfront, Port-of-Spain.
PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
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