Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 13th 2013 Contents A5
Friday, September 13, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Media professional and comedian Errol
Fabien has thrown his hat into the ring
as an independent candidate to contest
any upcoming by-election in the St Joseph
Fabien, who owns local television station
Gayelle, and is an announcer on a morning
radio programme on Vibe CT 105 fm,
announced his intention to contest the seat
via a post on his Facebook page on Wednes-
"There is very likely to have a by-election
for St Joseph. When that election bell rings
I will be at the starting line. I want to rep-
resent the people of St Joseph. I sit and
knock the people in politics every day."
"I will take a walk in the shoes and talk
from the inside. See you all there."
Fabien added another announcement
yesterday morning, saying his mind was
"finally and fully" made up.
"Thank you for the voluminous feedback
yesterday. My mind is finally and fully
made up. I am running as a candidate for
the by-election for St Joseph."
Fabien gave a short bio on his page,
describing himself as a resident of St Joseph
and a father of seven.
"I am a recovering drug addict. I love
the Caribbean and Caribbean people. I
grew up in Guapo. I owe on my home. I
owe on my car."
He stated that he did not intend to do
the job for free, nor did he need fame.
difference. I want to help. I want to rep-
"I am Errol Fabien and I intend to seize
this opportunity to serve the people of
T&T in whatever way I can," Fabien said.
...wants to fight by-election as an independent
Minister of the Environment and Water
Resources Ganga Singh will return to St
Joseph, not in his former role as CEO of
the Water and Sewerage Authority, but
as a "caretaker" of the community in the
absence of an elected parliamentary rep-
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar
said so yesterday after distributing laptops
to students at St James Secondary School.
She said St Joseph would remain a UNC
constituency until otherwise decided by
the electorate in a by-election. "We will
put a caretaker person in the constituency
to service the constituents, we will take
up their issues in the Parliament," she said.
"I have asked Minister Ganga Singh to be
the caretaker, not the MP, but the caretaker
of the St Joseph constituency."
The seat, recently held by former justice
minister Herbert Volney, was declared
vacant on Monday by Speaker Wade Mark
with immediate effect, in keeping with the
provisions of the Crossing of the Floor Act.
Asked about comments by Volney, who
joined the Independent Liberal Party, that
he had been voted in by the people, Per-
sad-Bissessar said she considered it an
"It s a bit of an oxymoron," she said.
"If you say you are representing the peo-
ple, go back and face the people. Go back
to an election. You were elected on a ticket
by the people and if the people do not
want a UNC representative, let them choose
whichever representative they want. I have
no fear of the people."
"How can you on one hand say you are
a representative of the people but you are
afraid to face the people to determine if
it s you they want or if it was the party
ticket they voted for?"
Persad-Bissessar said it was deceptive
to go up on one party ticket and then
become "totally different, like a chameleon
changing its colours."
She said: "If that is so, that is your dem-
ocratic right, it is the democratic right of
the electorate to then say yes, I want you,
I want you, I want green, I want yellow,
or I want red."
On the local government elections,
scheduled to take place on October 21, Per-
sad-Bissessar said she was still negotiating
with other members of the People s Part-
nership on prospective candidates for the
"My team is meeting with the COP
(Congress of the People) again this after-
noon and I have advised them that the
most prudent thing is for us to compete
on one ticket per corporation, so the nego-
tiations now would be which corporations
will be contested by, whether the COP, the
NJAC (National Joint Action Committee)
or the UNC," she said. (KC)
Ganga to assume role of
Multimedia projectors, 55-inch
Smart TVs and radios with CD
players will be distributed to
schools in six weeks in a bid to
make T&T s primary school pupils
as tech-savvy as their secondary
The Ministry of Education yes-
terday announced its intention to
distribute 500 of each of the equip-
ment to primary schools throughout
T&T at a cost of $12 million.
The announcement was made by
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-
Bissessar while she distributed
Lenovo Thinkpad laptops to stu-
dents at St James Secondary School
Persad-Bissessar also announced
that 428 students who sat CAPE
examinations this year would receive
Education Minister Tim
Gopeesingh said after the function
that the Government had saved
$400 per unit this year on its pur-
chase of laptops to students entering
Form One at secondary schools.
Government purchased 21,000
laptops at a cost of $58 million---
18,000 of the laptops will be dis-
tributed in T&T while 3,000 will
memorandum of understanding
(MOU) with that country.
Gopeesingh said St Lucia would
be paying the Government for the
laptops shipped to them.
He said ministry had also sent
out a tender for a provider of wifi
Internet services to schools.
"We have broadband connectivity
increasing to 25 megabytes for pri-
mary schools and 50 megabytes for
Gopeesingh said the ministry did
its part to ensure the use of the lap-
tops for educational purposes.
"You will always find some aber-
rant dysfunctional use (of the lap-
tops) but in the mainstream the
positives that have emanated by the
giving of the computer have thrown
the education process miles ahead
of those who do not have it," he
"If you do not have IT (informa-
tion technology) in education you
will be left behind."
"We gave them the laptops for
them to be educated in information,
communication technology, to relate
to teachers and peers on home-
Gopeesingh said the ministry did
not mandate how the laptops were
integrated into the school curricu-
"The principals and teachers are
the ones who manage the use of
the laptops. As far as the informa-
tion we are getting, the children
bring the laptops to school," the
Govt to spend $12m on electronics for primary schools
Fabien sets sight
on St Joseph seat
has allocated lots at
Picton Phase One to
44 squatters affected
by the extension of
the Solomon Hochoy
Highway to Point
Fortin, Works Min-
ister Suruj Ram-
bachan said yester-
He also said work
on the highway might
resume from the
Point Fortin end by
November once all oil
lines along the way
Rambachan spoke on the issue at yesterday s weekly
post-Cabinet media briefing at the Office of the Prime
Minister (OPM) in St Clair.
It was the first hosted by new Communication Min-
ister Gerald Hadeed, who succeeded Jamal Mohammed.
While Rambachan spoke about the allocation of
the land for the squatters at Point Fortin, Highway
Re-route Movement leader Wayne Kublalsingh and a
couple of others were camped on the pavement oppo-
site the OPM, continuing their protest against the
Debe/Mondesir segment of the highway.
Asked if that segment would be the last to be worked
on, Rambachan said this was not necessarily so, since
it was a design-build item and the designs were being
Rambachan said Cabinet had approved the offer of
lots for the squatters at Cedar Hill, but because of
delays in preparing the sites, they were offered lots
at Picton which were available.
Rather than holding back the process, Rambachan
said, it was agreed to make the land available to the
He said they were offered the Picton lots under the
same conditions as the Cedar Hill lots. Each would
receive a residential lot of 5,000 square feet of land
with a 30-year lease at an annual rate to be determined
by the Commissioner of State Lands
Asked about the Debe to Mondesir stretch, Ram-
bachan said work would continue on "several seg-
ments" of the highway. (See Page A7)
Dr Surj Rambachan
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