Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 30th 2014 Contents What about unemployment?
Yeah. That is an issue which is
across the board. So what we have
done, we sent about 300 young
people to the different training
programmes and what I have
found surprising is that people
are not fully aware of the oppor-
tunities that exist. I see myself
now as a virtual broker matching
opportunity with labour
And consequently, we have
been able to positively impact
about 300 people finding them
jobs, getting them trained or
retrained, that of course does not
mean I have solved the unem-
ployment problem in St Joseph.
Does that mean the Govern-
ment messages are not reaching
these people in an effective man-
ner because Government has not
been publicising these pro-
I think what has happened is
this, those people do not get their
information from the same tra-
ditional avenue and they are now
turning to social media. Once you
do not advertise or promote goods
on the media they use, that to
me is the biggest gap between
matching opportunity with labour
supply. Mass media is not doing
it again and we have to come to
grips with that, and that is why
you have Guardian Media services
and their online facilities.
Very well, let s turn to some
hard politics now...
(Bursts out laughing) I was
wondering when you would get
there, Clevon. Come on, hit me.
The PNM has somewhat
stolen a march on the PP admin-
istration in the context of select-
ing candidates for the 2015 gen-
That s right. And you may very
well ask what we are seeking to
get out of this move at this
time...simple, the positives are
we are now placing candidates
who have been screened by arms
of the PNM who have the nec-
essary skills and qualifications.
So we are being very proactive
and setting the agenda for the
national community, and it has
responded quite favourable to that
How is this manifested?
In the way these candidates are
now interacting in their respective
communities, and constituents
are happy to see a potential MP
understanding the issues long
before the general election is
called and in doing so, bringing
a certain amount of relief. For
example, Clarence Rambharat is
doing a lot of good work in
Mayaro with the recent flooding
on the ground and not only for
political gains, but for bringing
relief as I have just mentioned.
So you do admit there is an
element of political oppor-
We are in politics and we are
making every opportunity to
serve, to position ourselves as the
next government, and what he is
doing in Mayaro is to be lauded.
Ok. What are the negatives of
jumping out the starting box
before the race has officially
(Finger on lips, glancing at the
ceiling pondering the question) I
don t see any negative because
we know that election must be
held in a certain time frame, so
we re going to set the pace.
There is some disagreement
with your political leader and
the Government over the exact
period to call the election and
on this matter, the Attorney
General has sternly criticised Dr
Rowley for his stand on this
I will agree with my political
leader on his analysis of the
issue---any election date past May
25 will be viewed by the popu-
lation very negatively. I don t
expect the AG to support Dr
Rowley, and the People s National
Movement will fight election any
date that it is constitutionally
due, and we are going to contest
all 41 seats, regardless. You know
that, Mr Raphael.
The PNM, Mr Deyalsingh, lost
the last general election for a
number of reasons, the main one
being alleged corruption. How
much of an issue will corruption
be in the upcoming polls?
The corruption charges for next
year s general election as part of
the campaign will have very little
to do with the PNM as that was
decided in 2010.
Now you have allegations
between 2010 and 2015 involving
junior minister Stacy Roopnarine
and Minister Dr Suruj Ram-
bachan; claims and counter
claims have been made, she
You had Section 34 and Min-
ister Volney has taken the fall for
it, etc. (He rattled off several more
corruption allegations). And the
contract for the San Fernando to
Point Fortin Highway, where was
that negotiated, Mr Raphael?
Wasn t this signed when the
PNM was in office up to 2010?
No. No. No. (Energetically ges-
ticulating) The contract with the
OAS, where and when was it
done? Has anything been nego-
tiated in South Africa, Mr
Raphael, with that highway? You
investigate that, Mr Raphael.
Oh, so you are now sending
me to do some homework?
Yes. You investigate the South
African connection with the Point
Fortin Highway. So yes, corrup-
tion is going to be a big issue,
but it is going to be corruption
involving the incumbent Govern-
ment and individual ministers.
This Government has had four
years so far to prosecute anybody
on the issue of corruption with
supporting evidence to back their
action, but how many, Mr
Raphael, has been brought before
November 30, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
PNM setting the pace
...in selecting candidates, campaigning
for the 2015 general election
The corruption charges for next year's
general election as part of the
campaign will have very little to do with
the PNM as that was decided in 2010.
Now you have allegations between
2010 and 2015 involving junior minister
Stacy Roopnarine and Minister Dr Suruj
Rambachan; claims and counter claims
have been made, she retracted.
You had Section 34 and Minister
Volney has taken the fall for it, etc.
From Page A12
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