Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 17th 2016 Contents SHALIZA HASSANALI
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley last
night assured the nation that if Housing
Minister Mc Donald is found guilty of any
wrong doing he will take action, saying
he would not ignore new information
which has come to light.
Rowley said after fresh evidence surfaced
in the media yesterday, involving Mc Don-
ald s husband Michael Carew and his broth-
er Lennox Carew, he had a discussion with
her and would make a pronouncement on
the matter "shortly".
"This morning I saw what appears to be
new information and I spent the day looking
at it. And I just want to give the assurance
to the national community that if the facts
bear out, if I have to take action, then I
The PM was responding to a question
on the matter from CNC3 news anchor
Golda Lee-Bruce last night, as she had a
studio interview with him on his Govern-
ment s first six months in office.
Yesterday, a report surfaced that Fixin
T&T head Kirk Waithe had received infor-
mation from the Parliament which showed
that Mc Donald s husband Michael Carew
and a director of the Calabar Foundation
was employed at her Port-of-Spain South
constituency office for five years, while
Michael s brother, Lennox Carew, still
worked at the MP s office.
Michael Carew, who worked at the office
from June 1, 2010 to September 7, 2015,
earned the second highest salary of $13,400
on the constituency payroll for the full par-
liamentary term. Lennox began working in
the office on March 1, 2011 and has been
in receipt of the highest salary of $14,000
out of 13 people working in the office.
The Parliament pays the salaries of all
employees in the 41 constituency offices.
Citing Parliament rules governing the
hiring of constituency staff, Waithe ques-
tioned whether McDonald was not in
breach. He also noted a connection between
McDonald, Michael Carew and the Calabar
Foundation, which is currently being inves-
tigated by the Integrity Commission over
grants it received before it officially became
a duly registered non-governmental organ-
Waite forwarded the information to the
Commissioner of Police and the Director
of Public Prosecution.
During the hour and a half interview last
night, the PM said there were a series of
allegations that were made against McDon-
ald, which was investigated by the Integrity
Commission and a pronouncement was
made, which did not support the allegations,
adding the commission looks at the conduct
of public officials.
"That commission looked at some alle-
gation and made a ruling which did not
warrant any action on the part of the polit-
ical leader of the PNM. I have to act on
facts. As I just said, I saw this morning
something that was frightening and I did
not ignore it." Asked if he took a risk by
selecting McDonald as a candidate to contest
the September 7, 2015 general election given
that the allegations against her were already
in the public domain, Rowley said allegations
were levied against him as well and were
taken before Commission of Enquiries to
"Allegations in themselves are not the
basis for acting. In fact, they are supported
by information, which indicate that there
is something to deal with. So the fact that
an allegation was made it means that you
look at it and accept it as a case-by-case
The PM said "maybe if the Integrity
Commission had not been given the oppor-
tunity to investigate the Calabar Foundation
in 2010, the PNM s screening committee
may have taken a different version. Sub-
sequent to that, other allegations are being
made. And those allegations have to be
Rowley said, however, that his Cabinet
members are responsible for their conduct.
Asked how much time he needed before
he acts and if McDonald was likely to remain
a Government minister in his Cabinet, Row-
ley said every issue has to be dealt with
"as a case in point and a case-by-case
Asked by Lee-Bruce why he made a deci-
sion to appoint McDonald as a Cabinet
member although the issue involving the
Calabar Foundation was before the Integrity
Commission, Rowley replied,"You hear
what I am saying, one cannot act on alle-
gations. Allegations have to be supported
by some element. Miss McDonald was a
Thursday, March 17, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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Yesterday The Guardian wrongly reported that
the young man who faced down his teacher over
anti-gay remarks was himself gay. We would like
to correct the record, and to state in fact that he
is not. He and his mother have had to field questions
based on this erroneous report, and it s for this
reason that the T&T Guardian apologies to them.
The young man in question, considered an aca-
demically gifted student by his peers and teachers,
having achieved nine distinctions at the CSEC Level
and who hopes to win an island scholarship, has
since gone from being on the "A" list to blacklist.
However, the young man, who wants to pursue
a career in law so he can continue to help the dis-
enfranchised, has sworn not to let this incident shift
his focus from his ultimate goals.
He told the T&T Guardian when he made the
pronouncement in opposition to anti-gay sentiments
uttered by a teacher as he spoke at the school s
morning assembly the day before, it was not intended
to bring the prestigious institution into disrepute.
He said he did not envisage the teacher would
have been so affected by his comment that she would
have vented before Form Five classes on that and
other issues, she having been chastised by her col-
leagues for her initial remarks.
One of the sessions, in which the teacher erro-
neously dubbed him as being gay, his parents as
"screw ups" and "atheists" and threatened to take
them and their offsprings out if she had a gun, was
recorded (audio) by a student and posted to social
The post quickly went viral and has been picked
up by mainstream media, putting the institution and
the teacher under a microscope.
Issues of drug use by students, some of whom
are before the court and whom she identified by
name and the mode of dress of female and male
teachers have also been brought to the fore.
Some have called for the teacher s removal and
evaluation while support has come from various
However, some students have also created an
online petition hoping to garner at least 1,000 sig-
natures in support of the teacher.
The student said his peers smashing his phone
and labelling him gay was shocking but not unex-
"A lot of them think I cause the situation Miss
is in. They are saying she is a good teacher and she
should not have to face the repercussion for what
she did but all I did was say in my very unorthodox
style what a lot of people (students and staff) were
thinking but were afraid to voice," he told the T&T
Asked why he did it, the young man, the first of
four boys for his parents, said he and his siblings
had been brought up by their parents to be inde-
pendent thinkers, to stand up for what they believed
in and to be respectful.
"She was disenfranchising and discriminating
against a large group of students, many of which I
know are in the school. I don t think that is right.
"If she had gone up there and said the same thing
about people of African descent the backlash would
have been way greater than it was," he said.
On Tuesday, the teacher, instructed by the principal,
apologised at the morning assembly but said she
stood by her words, which were misconstrued and
misunderstood. She also "apologised" to the young
man later in the day, even though she was advised
not to interact with him.
Because he condemned bigotry...
Rowley on new allegation against McDonald
launch of the
Council at the
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