Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 12th 2017 Contents A3
April 12 - 2017
Sinanan's barge plan upsets Chamber
Call for PM as mediator
Chairman of the Tobago Chamber of
Commerce Demi John Cruikshank is calling
for the immediate resignation of the Min-
ister of Works and Transport Rohan Sinanan
and for Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley to
step in to find a resolution to the sea bridge
He made the call following a statutory
committee meeting with his members yes-
terday, after they received word that Sinanan
was insisting that a barge would be used to
transport goods to Tobago.
This came despite the fact that during
Sinanan's visit to Tobago last Wednesday to
meet with various stakeholders on the cargo
ferry issue, the idea of the barge was total-
During the meeting, Sinanan had accept-
ed the stakeholders' decision, but seeming-
ly back tracked on this yesterday and sub-
mitted the same idea as a solution. The
chamber was instead told a barge with an
eight foot wall is expected to be used to ship
goods to Tobago, after the Super Fast Gali-
cia leaves Trinidad and Tobago on April 21.
Speaking to the media at the chamber's
Scarborough head office after their meeting,
Cruikshank said, the minister's decision was
disrespectful to the people of Tobago.
"The chamber totally, totally disregards
that proposal by the minister. The minister
was told by us and the other associations
on Wednesday last week that at no point in
time we are going to accept a barge situation
coming to Tobago," he said.
"You now cut down the transportation of
the cargo to Tobago from three and a half
hours to four hours, to 12 hours. A barge
will take approximately ten to 12 hours to
get to Tobago with goods and we are saying
it is a disrespect to the people of Tobago to
even consider, because we told him and we
made it clear to him, that a barge is not
acceptable at this point in time... The bot-
tom line, in the meeting, we made it clear
to the minister, motorised barge, tug barge,
any type of barge system, we are not willing
Cruikshank also called for the immediate
resignation of Sinanan and for Rowley to visit
Tobago urgently to meet with stakeholders to
find a resolution to the issue, which has been
described as an "impending crisis."
"At this point in time, the Tobago Cham-
ber and the other stakeholders are calling
for the resignation of the Minister of Trans-
portation and asking the Honourable Prime
Minister to come to Tobago and meet
urgently with the stakeholders before April
21, before that vessel leaves Tobago...as
important as the highway from San Fer-
nando to Point Fortin is important to the
people in Trinidad, the inter-island cargo
situation is the lifeline between Trinidad
and Tobago and we are not willing to accept
as the business community in Tobago any-
thing less," Cruikshank said.
He added: "It is a number of things, the
air bridge is not working, the hotels are at
20 per cent, the lowest occupancy in years,
the Easter is not looking good for us, we
have no fast ferry working, we have problems
with the air bridge working, there's a water
crisis looming in Tobago, so I am saying that
the Prime Minster as the head of Trinidad
and Tobago, needs to come Tobago sit with
us and work out a way forward, because at
this point in time people's businesses are up
for grabs because they can't make their nor-
mal monthly instalment and even pay their
salaries on time."
Cruiskshank said it was also proposed that
the two fast ferries will also be utilised to
carry up to approximately 7000 kilograms
in cargo, but it is still inadequate to meet
the needs of Tobagonians.
He said Tobago stakeholders are also keep-
ing their legal options opened as far as this
issue is concerned.
Minister of Works and Transportation Rohan Sinanan, second from left, listens as businessman Claude Benoit, right, makes a point during an
informal discussion last week. Also in photo are president of the Tobago Division of the T&T Chamber of Industry and Commerce Demi-John
Cruickshank, left, and president of the Tobago Hoteliers and Tourism Association (THTA) Chris James.
Vendor shot to death in Hope apartment
The Tobago Homicide Bureau is
continuing investigations into the
island's fifth murder for 2017.
The dead man has been identified
as Richard Daniel, 57, of Thompson
According to reports, Daniel was
discovered shot in the head in the
bedroom of an apartment at Hope
Trace, Hope, shortly after 1am on
Police believe that Daniel, a con-
struction worker who also owned a
vegetable stall at Carnbee, was asleep
when he was killed.
A co-occupant at the house told
police he heard an explosion but did
not check on Daniel. He instead ran
to a nearby house for assistance and
on checking they found Daniel dead
on his bed with a wound to his head.
A family friend told Tobago Today
Daniel would travel to Tobago every
weekend to ply his trade. Relatives are
also shocked over the incident, as they
said he was a law abiding citizen and
were unaware of anyone who wanted
to do him harm. Neighbours also con-
firmed they did not hear anything
related to the incident.
Up to yesterday, a police source told
Tobago Today that they were working
on several theories, but had no sus-
pects in custody. They were also tight-
lipped about the motive for the killing.
An autopsy is scheduled to be con-
ducted on the body soon.
Members of the Tobago Homicide
Bureau are continuing investigations.
Tobago has already surpassed the
2016 murder toll by one. Four out of
the five murders were gun-related.
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