Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 15th 2018 Contents news A7
Thursday, March 15, 2018
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on cybercrime bill
The Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago (MATT)
will be having an emergency meeting on March 24
which is open to all members of the media to discuss
the implications the proposed Cybercrime Bill 2017
can have on journalists.
The Cybercrime Bill 2017 is currently before a Joint
Select Committee ( JSC) of Parliament chaired by Attor-
ney General Faris Al-Rawi.
On Tuesday, a delegation from MATT led by vice
president Joel Julien appeared before the JSC ap-
pointed to consider and report on the Cybercrime Bill
MATT in its presentation to the JSC was adamant
that there must be exemptions for journalists in the Cy-
bercrime Bill as the proposed legislation in its current
form has the potential to criminalise permanently em-
ployed journalists working in the interest of the public.
MATT’s main bones of contention with the Bill are
Clauses 8 and 12.
According to clause 8 (2) A person who intentionally
and without lawful excuse or justification receives or
gains access to computer data knowing the same to
have been stolen or obtained pursuant to subsection
(1) commits an offence and is liable — (a) on summary
conviction to a fine of $100,00 and imprisonment for
two years; or (b) on conviction on indictment to a fine
of $500,000 and imprisonment for three years.
MATT believes if this clause is enacted as is, it will
have an adverse effect on whistle-blowers and journal-
ists and investigative journalism on a whole.
Al-Rawi called for MATT to present what it believes
an amended version of the clause to correct the per-
ceived issues should look like.
MATT is now calling an emergency meeting to get
consensus from practitioners in order to find a way
to move forward as the Government seems adamant
about the passage of the Cybercrime Bill 2017.
A location for the emergency meeting will be subse-
Chaos as ferry
at Piarco airport
Tempers flared at the Piarco Airport on
Tuesday night as two domestic flights to
transport ferry passengers who had been
waiting for hours to get home were can-
The passengers were offered a meal of
fried chicken and chips as consolation.
Among the passengers affected were busi-
nessman James Lowry.
“Imagine after all them hours I waiting on
standby and thinking I finally get through
with a flight to Tobago I was told twice the
flight delay. Then in two blinks, I find myself
sleeping at the airport. Real pressure these
people have to go through. It sad,” Lowry
“It had quite a few ferry passengers who
were now forced to overnight like me. It
must be frustrating,” he said.
At 5 am yesterday the passengers were
given their boarding passes for the first
flight out BW1500 which was expected to
depart at 5.45 am, however, another in-
cident onboard the aircraft led to further
An overhead locker broke, the passengers
“When we ready to roll and the airhostess
was closing the overhead lockers one broke
causing the overhead lockers to break down
so we were told that we had to disembark
for the maintenance crew to fix it. I must say
they did well and we were back on the plane
at 7.30am. We landed in Tobago minutes to
8am,” Lowry said.
“This is the frustration we can’t take...
what is Rowley doing for we? It is Trinidad
and Tobago...what going on in this place?”
Those were some of the remarks made
by angry, frustrated and exhausted passen-
gers who were in the Domestic Departure
Lounge at the Piarco International Airport
waiting to board a flight to Tobago on Tues-
day night. Cell phone video footage of the
incident was shared on social media.
Passengers were told that their 7.45 pm
flight BW 1540 was delayed to 9.15 pm but
they found it strange when they saw Car-
ibbean Airlines’ (CAL) crew members walk
through the door and headed out the ter-
At about 10 pm, according to Lowry, a
CAL counter attendant told the awaiting
passengers there would be no more flights
to Tobago for the rest of the night.
Already irate ferry passengers whose
names were listed on the standby list since
3 pm responded in anger.
The stranded passengers were then in-
structed to go to the airport’s KFC outlet for
a $40 complimentary meal.
Yesterday, through the collaborative ef-
forts of the Port Authority and CAL the
operation seemingly went smoother than
Tuesday. Shuttled ferry passengers were
brought to the airport and placed on
standby, however, they were quickly accom-
modated on the domestic flights.
A Port customer service desk was also
fixed opposite to the Domestic Ticketing
Counter 2 where a Port representative was
stationed to assist ferry passengers. This
system is expected to continue until March
22 when the T&T Spirit will resume the sea
run after its maintenance works would have
On Monday, the lone passenger ferry,
the T&T Express, was pulled off the route
because of maintenance issues. Since then,
CAL has been called in to transport ferry
passengers at no additional cost. Ferry
passengers pay $50 for a one way trip, one-
third the cost of a one-way airline ticket.
Pupils from Lambeau Anglican Primary School, Tobago at Piarco International Airport yesterday after performing at the 32nd Biennial
Music Festival Championships at the Naparima Bowl, San Fernando.
PICTURE ABRAHAM DIAZ
CAL’s Corporate Communications Head
Dionne Ligoure said that there was a
problem outside of the control of CAL on
Tuesday night and added that there were
no ferry passengers on that flight. She said
the last of ferry passengers were moved
before 6 pm on Tuesday.
She said yesterday morning’s flight was
delayed because “of an issue that had to be
rectified.” However, she said it departed at
In a subsequent statement, the airline
said its domestic operations have been
enhanced to support the number of
passengers affected by the disruption of
the ferry service and to reinforce its regular
schedule on the air bridge.
On Tuesday, CAL said it operated 38
flights on the domestic route which
accommodated 2,756 passengers—1,148
on stand-by flights.
It said all passengers with confirmed
ferry tickets were able to board flights. A
total of 40 flights were expected yesterday.
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