Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 29th 2017 Contents tobagotoday.co.tt June 28 - 2017
The Tobago House of Assembly
Fiscal 2018 budget debate ended
abruptly after contributions from
only four Assembly members con-
tributed to the debate.
The 6th sitting of the 2017-2021
Session of the Tobago House of
Assembly, which was fully engag-
ing from start to finish, tested the
Sitting's Standing Orders and the
Presiding Officer's patience as
members constantly engaged in
After contributions by Minori-
ty Leader- Watson Duke, Chief
Secretary- Kelvin Charles, Minori-
ty Councillor Dr Faith B Yisral and
Secretary in the Division of Health
Wellness and Family Development
Dr Agatha Carrington, the pro-
This after Presiding Officer, Dr
Densie Tsoiatfatt-Angus' request
for the next member contributing
to the debate to begin their con-
Members on the ruling and
opposition sides of the Assembly
After about a five-minute lull,
the Presiding Officers invited the
Secretary of Finance and the Econ-
omy -Joel Jack- to end the debate
and sitting at this juncture meant
that six members, present in the
Chamber, did not contribute to the
Later that evening, Member for
L'Anse Fourmi/ Speyside, Farley
Augustine, vented his feelings via
a live Facebook video. Farley was
one of the Assembly members who
was not allowed to make his con-
tribution in the Assembly Cham-
ber.He said the abrupt end of the
sitting was caused because mem-
bers of the ruling administration
"wanted to change the tradition
of the order of presentation"
Based on tradition, the members
on the majority side made their
contribution and allowed those on
the opposition team to rebut their
He said members of the Minori-
ty Council stood their ground as
they felt "the tradition should be
Augustine described the ruling
administration's stand as "petty"
"childish" and added that they
were "afraid to hear him (Farley)
PDP hurls allegations
against Assembly member
The Progressive Democratic
Patriots(PDP) says Tobago's
"democracy is under threat"
because Secretary of the Division
of Infrastructure, Quarries and
the Environment and Leader of
Assembly Business -- Councillor
Kwesi Des Vignes, did not allow
six members of the leading admin-
istration to make their contribu-
tion to the Assembly's Fiscal 2018
In a news release, the PDP said
the debate did not continue
because Des Vignes "was insistent
that there should be no member
of the minority left to rebut and
to constructively critique the plans
of six Divisions of the Tobago
House of Assembly."
Calling the Leader of Assembly
Business actions, "incredulous,
juvenile and petty," the release
noted that the Secretaries who
were not allowed to contribute,
control "the Divisions that are
expected to spend the bulk of the
monies ... were refused to provide
the House with a breakdown of
It went on to say that the "the
leader of Government Business in
his arrogance ...preferred to silence
six Divisions to satisfy his hunger
for a dictatorship."
"Evidently, the Tobago PNM
has not grown unaccustomed to
having an Opposition in the House
and so they are tardy in transi-
tioning into this new dispensation,"
the release added.
Prior to the January 2017 THA
elections, the PNM won in all 12
electoral districts and served unop-
posed in the Assembly.
The PDD release indicated that
Secretary of Finance and the Econ-
omy Joel Jack has been asked to
return to the Assembly Chamber
to "present an actual budget based
on actual allocations from the Cen-
New PCA deputy coming soon---PM
Investigations of police corruption and malpractice
are set to resume soon.
This after Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and
Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar submitted
recommendations to the Office of the President last
Friday to fill the post of deputy director of the Police
Since May 8, all investigations on police corruption
and malpractice have been put on hold pending the
appointment of a new PCA deputy director. The post
became vacant following the resignation of former
deputy Andrew Stroude, who took up a post as a
judge of the Industrial Court.
Communicating via a text message yesterday, Row-
ley confirmed that both the Opposition and the OPM
had responded to an urgent request from President's
House on the appointment.
Asked whether he was concerned that the PCA's
investigations were being impeded and whether his
office had responded to a request by the Office of
the President to fill the post, Rowley replied, "Yes,
after consultation and agreement with the Leader of
the Opposition, we have..."
He did not respond to further questions about who
was being considered for the post.
Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bis-
sessar also did not respond to emails and text mes-
sages about when the post will be filled.
Last month, PCA director David West said the
non-appointment had been delaying the PCA's work.
At least five recent incidents involving police shoot-
ings of mentally ill people cannot be investigated
because there is no deputy, West said. These include
the fatal shooting of Paul Marchan, Raymond Joseph,
Daniel Paul and Edison Thompson.
Marchan, 30, was shot dead by officers of the West-
ern Division Task Force on March 16, after he report-
edly attacked a family member and tried to stab two
police officers at Richplain, Diego Martin. Joseph, a
retired soldier, was shot dead on April 1, while Dan-
iel Paul, 23, was also killed for throwing stones on
June 5. Thompson, 45, was shot dead for attacking a
soldier with a hammer.
Following the incidents, the TTPS was criticised
for the way in which the police responded and West
noted that it was up to the Office of the President to
fill the post.
Boodan said on the day Stroude resigned, Carmo-
na dispatched a letter to both the PM and Opposition
leader informing them of the resignation. Deeming
the matter one of urgency, Carmona advised both
leaders that filling the post would redound to the
benefit of the PCA and the people.
Boodan confirmed yesterday that recommendations
were submitted by both parties on Friday, but could
not divulge any more details.
"Once the appointment is confirmed the media will
be invited to the swearing in of the new deputy direc-
tor," Boodan added.
Secretary of Finance and the Economy, Joel Jack, delivering the Tobago House of Assembly's Budget Presentation
for fiscal 2018 at Assembly Legislature on Thursday June 22.
Links Archive June 28th 2017 June 30th 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page