How could Duane Sands – backed by Ingraham – lose to Turnquest who entered the race only 24 hours before election? Dr. Hubert Minnis - Leader of the Opposition Minnis is ya PAPA NAH!!! The bad candidate in the Elizabeth by-election, Duane Sands, backed by Ingraham last week could not win... Nassau, Bahamas — The talk this weekend – and we know for all this coming week – is the FNM Convention last Friday where FNMs removed its Chairman and Deputy Leader from power and replaced both with a team complimentary to Dr. Hubert Minnis. Minnis appeared unmoved by the mounting editorial attacks which came from the Nassau Guardian in the Simon “Front Porch” column and material with the by-line of Candia Dames, but which we know is written by PAPA DEM! Nikki Kelly was also hoping Butler-Turner would be elected – but that, too, didn’t help. If the election proved anything, it confirmed that print media in the Bahamas has little, if any, sway in politics in the Bahamas. It proved that the old “Dying Dinos” that went against Christie leading up to the 2012 general elections and against Dr. Minnis in these recent Party Elections do not have any influence when it comes to tilting the political conversation in the Bahamas. They failed against Mr. Christie and the PLP and now they have again failed against Dr. Hubert Minnis and the new direction within the FNM. The saying is true as penned by Dr. Minnis following the by-election in North Abaco: “the era of Ingraham is over!” And if you don’t believe it, just watch what transpired at the Trinity Activity Centre on Friday. Duane Sands, the bad candidate in the Lizzy by election in 2010, was Hubert Ingraham’s hand-picked candidate for Deputy Leader of the FNM. Ingraham not only backed Sands, but he coached FNMs to support him as the #2. But it was not to be, especially after Sands went on national radio and committed that he would support the massacre of unwanted children [unborn] and believed that such an exercise should be “Supported and Financed by the State”. FNM women cuss Loretta Butler-Turner silly at the convention for creating trouble in the party. There was no joke here in Sands’ comments; it offended Catholics and the 60% single parents who have had children out of marriage. From the looks of things, the only prize Sands will ever get when it comes to elections is the one found in the Cracker Jack box. He has inherited the honour bestowed on Dion as being a ‘Most Seasoned Loser’ in politics. He has much to learn. And then, further proof that the FNM is moving with its new captain was best displayed in the leader race. Butler-Turner [BIG SEXY] didn’t have a chance in hell. She allowed former dream team duo Tommy Turnquest and Dion Foulkes to jack up her campaign and throw it over the cliff, delivering a sure and certain defeat in the Friday poll. She was beaten 3 to 1! FNMs not only delivered a PISS SLAP to BIG SEXY – but extended that slap to the sore losers [Tommy and Dion] on the convention floor. What a Party the victors had. Now, come Monday morning, the people who write the National Review for Candia Dames and place her name on it will discover that what they say about the new leadership of the FNM does not mean one hill of beans to the general public nor FNMs, if you ask us. What is clear is that once again the old guard within the Party was defeated and a new crop is rising up to control and manage the FNM – and they are resolved that they are forming a NEW DAY within the FNM with Dr. Hubert Minnis. And while they keep changing – we at BP and the public will be watching. We report yinner decide!  Read More →
GRAND LAUNCH The Bahamas National Festival Commission will launch Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival in Grand Bahama on Friday, November 28, which will culminate with the unveiling of The Grand Bahama Cultural Carnival Company’s 'The Grand Life' Costume in the Count Basie Square of the Port Lucaya Marketplace. Freeport, Grand Bahama Island — The countdown to Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival is on and with the event now just six months away, Grand Bahama is gearing up to roll out its costume line with an official launch party on Friday, November 28. The Right Honourable Prime Minister Perry G. Christie will travel to the nation’s second city for ‘The Grand Life’ Costume Unveiling by The Grand Bahama Cultural Carnival Company in the Count Basie Square of the Port Lucaya Marketplace beginning at 8:00 p.m. Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival is a three-day event set for May 7-9, 2015 and is expected to rival the 200-plus other carnivals around the world. It is also anticipated to help to rebrand the country as a viable entertainment destination. Prime Minister Christie visited Grand Bahama in August and delivered an impassioned speech to corporate Grand Bahama at a special luncheon on his vision of Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival and how necessary it was to have their support, “This is going to be an extraordinary event in the calendar of The Bahamas.” Since then, there was the formation of the Grand Bahama Cultural Carnival Company (GBCCC) by local Junkanoo groups and authentic Bahamian product providers on island in an effort to become a premier Carnival Company in The Bahamas. Its objective is to foster community development while, at the same time, utilizing culture to create entrepreneurs. Grand Bahama businessman Peter Hunt was the first to provide funding to each of the Junkanoo groups for the creation of prototypes for the carnival costumes which will be sold by the GBCCC under ‘The Grand Life’ theme. His gesture was followed by businessman Mario Donato, who sponsored a prime shop space location in the Regent Centre in Downtown, Freeport, for the business operations of the GBCCC and sale of costumes and authentically Grand-Bahamian products. ParrisWhittaker Counsel and Attorneys at Law has also come on board to provide pro bono work for the GBCCC. Come Friday, November 28th, The Bahamas National Festival Commission, in conjunction with the GBCCC, will be celebrating the launch of Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival Grand Bahama Island. The GBCCC will be pulling out all of the stops and showcasing its signature costumes for the grand Carnival party in May, which is anticipated to position The Bahamas’ rich culture at a new level on the world stage with an economic boost to the island of Grand Bahama. The two-hour event on November 28th will transform the Count Basie Square into a magical, carnival tribal wonderland with the pulsating sounds of authentically Junkanoo rhythm and the energetic performance from Stileet. Grand Bahama will jumpstart the Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival festivities with “The Grand Life” experience during a two-day celebration on April 17 and 18, inclusive of live concerts, a midnight rush and beach party.  Read More →
Prime Minister Addresses Prayer Breakfast Deputy Director at BIS Elcott Coleby. Party leader and Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie told those gathered at the prayer breakfast not to forget from whence The Bahamas had come in twenty-eight short months. He said his government did not shy away from the challenges confronting the country but “boldly and confidently” addressed them while others ducked, double-talked, back tracked and jeered the government in the face of the difficult, tough but necessary decisions the PLP government made during its first twenty-eight months in office. The Prime Minister listed fiscal reform, social reform, recreational reform, constitutional reform and financial services reform as some examples of the tough decisions his government has made and in support of his claim that the last legislative session was arguably “the most reform driven legislative session in an independent Bahamas.” He assured those gathered of his commitment to implementing Natinal Health Insurance. Commenting on the emotive topic of immigration, the Prime Minister stated that it was is not the policy of the government of The Bahamas to detain children, but reiterated that the immigration laws of The Bahamas must and will be enforced and all wards of the state will be treated humanely. He blasted those who were responsible for spreading misinformation about the policy’s implementation and about the government and people of The Bahamas, describing calls for a boycott of The Bahamas “foolishness.” Arianna Strikes Gold, Gold, Gold, Gold Bahamian swim sensation and Olympian Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace struck gold four times for The Bahamas during the XXII Central American and Caribbean Games (CAC) swim competition in Veracruz, Mexico. The events were the 50 meters butterfly in 26.46 seconds, the 100 meters freestyle in a record time of 54.87 seconds, the 100 meters butterfly in a time of 1:00.17 and the 50 meters freestyle in a time of 25.24 seconds. An emerging star, Grand Bahamian Joanna Evans took silver medals in the 400m freestyle in a time of 4:16.82 and set a new Bahamian national record of 8:39.61 in the 800 meters freestyle. The CAC Games are the oldest continuing multi-sport regional championships event in the world. The games are held every four years and the first games were hosted in Mexico City in 1926. The current games will run from November 14 – 30. Prime Minister Christie Launches “National Development Plan” “We must take ownership of the plan and essential to that is The College of The Bahamas,” said Prime Minister Christie as he officially launched the consultative of public phase of the country’s National Development Plan: VISION 2040 at the Harry C. Moore Library at the College of The Bahamas. Highlighting the critical role the country’s premier tertiary institution of higher learning must play in crafting this plan, the Prime Minister said he was happy to come to The College of the Bahamas, soon to be University of The Bahamas, “which is the most appropriate place to launch this process.” This collaborative policy initiative with the IDB, which injected an initial $450,000 into the project, has commenced the process of the development of a long-term National Development Plan – Vision 2040. The three-phased plan calls for a comprehensive economic strategy to be integrated into the operational policies of the Government and also guide the budgeting process. It is likely that the government would have to provide an additional $500,000 to complete all three phases of this comprehensive plan. OAS Wants More Bahamian Scholarship Applicants Representatives from the Human Development, Education and Employment Department (DHDEE) of the Organization of American States (OAS) met with Bahamian stakeholders to apprise them of increased education and training opportunities for Bahamians through the expanded scholarship programs offered by the OAS. The meeting was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday November 17. Of particular interest was the partnership program for higher education and training. Created in 2000, the OAS Consortium of Universities currently comprises over one-hundred higher education institutions and has significantly increased the number of scholarships recipients over the years. Over 3,000 scholarships were granted since 2010 and 1,800 alone in 2013 but notwithstanding this, the level of Bahamian participation remains relatively low. Mrs. Philip bemoaned the fact that even though the partnership with the University of Brussels made available some sixty scholarships in 2013, no Bahamians applied. Under this partnership program and on an annual basis, China offers more than 100 scholarships; Belgium makes available 60; Macedonia awards 15; several hundred can be secured through Mexico and Brazil has approved some 500 scholarships for 2015, up from the 450 scholarships the cluster of 46 universities awarded in 2014. Applications are to be filed online at the OAS portal. Cacique Award Finalists Announced The 16th annual Cacique award scheduled for January 2015 will be very special because it comes on the heels of the fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of the Ministry of Tourism in the year of culture. At a press conference on Monday of this week, the finalists for this prestigious award in the various categories were named as follow: The finalists for Transportation are Paul Levarity of Bimini, Cheryl Fox Cambridge of Nassau, Albury’s Ferry Service Ltd. of Abaco. For Human Resources Development, the finalists are Kevin Tomlinson of Grand Bahama and Sonia Cox-Hamilton of Nassau. Local Airlines and Tour Operators finalists are Juan Moss of Nassau, Cherokee Aviation of Abaco and Majestic Holidays of Nassau. For Sports and Leisure, the finalists are Andra “Andy” Smith of Andros, Ebenezer “Bonefish Ebbie” David – Bimini and Thomas “Bonefish Tommy” Sewell – Bimini. For Special Events, the finalists are Mark Knowles Celebrity Invitational of Nassau, the National Family Island Regatta Committee of Exuma and Victorine Bannister-Collie of Nassau. In Creative Arts, the finalists are James Pinder of Bimini, Jessica Colebrooke of Nassau and Kevin Tomlinson of Grand Bahama. For Handicraft, the finalists are Roganna Wilchcombe & Vernetta Frith of Grand Bahama, Ellamae Brennen of Berry Islands, James Pinder of Bimini. For Sustainable Tourism, the finalists are Charles and Theresa Knowles of Long Island, Bimini Sands Activities Center of Bimini and Candace Key of Abaco. This year’s Clement T. Maynard Lifetime Achievement Award recipient is music legend Nathaniel “Piccolo Pete” Saunders, age 100 of Bimini. He is known for the legendary local hit, “Never get a licking (‘till you go down to Bimini’). Mitchell Answers Smith and Amnesty International Responding to Attorney Fred Smith, president of a Grand Bahama based human rights organization, characterized the country’s immigration policies as “institutional terrorism” and charged that the constitutional rights of some were being violated, Mitchell had this to say: “The Ministry is again concerned by certain actors in the population that appear to be intent on chasing headlines, seeking to create public hysteria and resorting to misinformation in order to do so. Their language is intemperate, inflammatory and the claims regarding the immigration policy are inaccurate. “There has been no breach of the law and no violation of anyone’s constitutional rights, sanctioned by the Bahamas Government in the enforcement of the country’s immigration laws.” Amnesty International joined the fray a day later, stating that they were concerned about human rights abuses, the “arbitrary” application of the policy and that Haitian nationals were being disproportionately Targeted. The Foreign Affairs Minister quickly shot back, asserting that Amnesty International was “badly mistaken” and counter-charged that human rights organization risked its international reputation and credibility by pursuing their line of argument. “The immigration policy is humane in nature and generic in its application as no particular national grouping is being targeted” said Minister Mitchell. “Further, it is not the policy of the Bahamas Government to violate the civil or human rights of any citizen or resident and there have not been any reported cases of abuse in connection with these routine checks and interdiction exercises. “Amnesty International is dead wrong on their account of events and risks its international reputation and credibility by pursuing this line of argument.” Parliament Reconvened this Week A cursory wrap up of House proceedings on Wednesday, Nov 19 after a short recess is as follows: Dr. Nottage reported on the 4 constitutional bills currently before the House, assuring all that the government fully supported the bills and bipartisan support was necessary of its absolute success. He also said that the issue was as simple as eliminating discrimination based on gender and that men and women should be treated equally – nothing more, nothing less. Social Services Minister Hon. Melanie Griffin advised the House of the multiple sections of the Persons with Disability Act that became law on the 3rd November 2014. Tourism Minister Hon. Obie Wilchombe updated the House on the commencement date of the new gaming laws. The commencement date is Monday, November 24 and the new bill is expected to transform gaming in The Bahamas, placing it on equal footing with premier gaming destinations in the world such as Las Vegas while regularizing domestic webshop gaming. Deputy Prime Minister Philip Davis reported what he called the “good news” of a measureable reduction in the levels of non-revenue water in light of the $81 million contract to the Israeli firm Miya to tackle that national vexing problem. The Deputy Prime Minister reported that water losses were reduced from 6.9 million imperial gallons per day to 4.9 million imperial gallons per day in just eighteen months of the Miya project, beating the 2014 project target of 5.5 million imperial gallons. Hon. Fred Mitchell reported to the House on the new Immigration policy that took effect on Saturday November 1. He insisted that immigration is a “blunt instrument,” it is policing and not “social services” and that the government “won’t flinch” in its sustained effort to tackle this “national security problem” called illegal immigration. He also led with the first reading of the amended Foreign Affairs Act, paving the way for the establishment of the ,foreign service alongside the existing public service. Hon. Alfred Gray, Agriculture Minister provided a somewhat enthusiastic update on Andros-based BAMSI, pointing out that Papaya, Bananas, Pineapples, Avocados, Limes and Coconuts are either under cultivation, ready for harvest or in some of the supermarkets. He told House members that the vast majority of the produce from the commercial farm have been sold. Hon. Glenys Hanna- Martin updated the House on the fatal plane crash in Grand Bahama on 9th November that claimed the life of Dr. Myles Munroe, his wife and seven others. The Minister said that a thorough analysis of the flight’s black box could take months. Health Minister Dr. Perry Gomez updated the House on the country’s level of preparedness to fight this menace. He outlined the safety protocols that are now in place to protect The Bahamas against the potential health risks associated with this virus. State Minister for Legal Affairs Hon. Damian Gomez advised the House that the purpose retrofit of the old magistrate courts in the Ansbarcher building was completed on the November 15. Currently there 9 judges appointed and available hear criminal cases. This is up from 6 judges. The State Minister advised that objective of the government is to have 10 judges hearing criminal cases simultaneously to effectively address the backlog of cases clogging the judicial system. Investment Statement Minister Hon. Khaalis Rolle reported on the launch of the National Development Plan (NDP). Calling the plan a “landmark” instrument of governance with the capacity to create “a cultural shift,” Rolle said that the NDP will allow the government to plan and govern in a consolidated fashion while simultaneously measuring performance results. In Passing… The bodies of the victims of that horrific plane crash that took place in Freeport, Grand Bahama on Sunday, November 9 were flown to Nassau early this week for burial. The board of directors of Bahamas Faith Ministries International (BFMI) selected Pastor Dave Burrows as Senior Pastor of that church. With only 900 businesses registered with just over one month before Value Added Tax become law, the VAT Private Sector Education Taskforce held a press conference on Monday to urge businesses not to wait until the last minute before registering. There are an estimated 5,000 businesses left to be registered for this tax. Mitchell was the guest speaker at the luncheon meeting of Toastmasters at Lucianos on Wednesday. Of course the Minister addressed the gathering on Immigration, the current hot button topic of the day. He entertained a few questions after the presentation. This followed a meeting with the International Organization on Migration (IOM) on Monday. Mitchell is scheduled to meet with the Bahamian community at the St. Anges Parish tomorrow evening (Saturday) in Miami before traveling to Washington to meet with the Secretary General of the OAS and to participate in a meeting of the CARICOM Ambassador Caucus on Wednesday of next week. In a state recognized funeral at Christ Church Cathedral on Thursday, the late Warren James Levarity, former Parliamentarian and Cabinet Minister was laid to rest. He was 82. The food assistance program administered by the Ministry of Social Services just got easier, more efficient, more transparent, more fraud resistant and accountable when the Ministry unveiled the visa card that can now be used to assist some 6,000 persons currently on the government’s food assistance program. The card can only be used in The Bahamas to purchase food at participating grocery stores. Well comments appearing in the Jamaica Gleaner indirectly attributed to OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Inzulza did not sit well with Foreign Affairs Minister Mitchell. He called a press conference on Friday in Grand Bahama to refute claims that immigration officers were “rounding up” Haitian nationals. He also blasted Fred Smith, calling on him to retract inflammatory comments about the immigration policy. Smith referred to the policy as “ethnic cleansing,” and “institutional terrorism.” The Fox Hill Festival Committee got a helping hand on Friday when the Chinese Embassy made a donation to assist in defraying the cost of committee projects. Making the presentation was Ambassador Yuan Guisen and accepting on behalf of the committee was deputy chair Benjamin Rahming. Today, Friday 21st November the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Aviation Security Risk Management Workshop was concluded after four days of training in which participants acquired the knowledge, skills and capacity necessary to evaluate risks, threats and vulnerabilities of the nation’s aviation security system so that informed decisions can be made as to the level of security measures needed to safeguard civil aviation against acts of unlawful interference. The Junkanoo Rollover for ‘A’ Category groups, scheduled for Thursday was canceled due to inclement weather and rescheduled for Saturday at 7pm in Rawson Square. The order of performance for the six ‘A’ groups will be One Family, Roots, Valley Boys, Music Makers, Saxons and rounding out this practice session will be the Prodigal Sons. The route will begin at Frederick Street and terminate at East Street.  Read More →
New Upgrade at BTC! NASSAU, New Providence – BTC has installed five new mobile towers in New Providence, increasing quality of service for mobile phone users in key traffic areas. The five mobile towers have been erected at R.M. Bailey Park, Quarry Mission Park, the Defense Force Base, Farrington Road and The Carmichael Road Police Station. The installations are a part of the recently announced $65m ‘Upgrade Bahamas’ budget to enhance and improve BTC’s networks. $26m of the ‘Upgrade Bahamas’ budget is being spent on the mobile network to address coverage and capacity issues and dropped calls. An additional twenty four mobile cell sites throughout the country are currently underway. Imminent targets include Westridge – which will address dropped calls along the route to the airport, East Street South, Bay Street near the Hilton Hotel, Palmdale and Collins Avenue. Also, four mobile sites will be erected in the Freeport metro area to soothe the congested areas near the city centre. Eldri Mackey, Vice President of Marketing said, “Our customers have spoken, and we are making the necessary improvements to address the concerns. These five key areas are now experiencing better call quality and a reduction in dropped calls. The Quarry Mission mobile site has brought improved coverage in the Chippingham and Meeting Street areas, and improvements are now being felt on East-West Highway, and the surrounding areas of the Mall at Marathon with the R.M. Bailey site. Carmichael Road continues to evolve and the sites at the Carmichael Road Police Station and the Defense Force Base are providing an upgraded mobile experience for the thousands of people who live and do business in the area. Lastly, the new mobile tower on Farrington Road is helping to offload traffic from our JFK and Poinciana mobile towers.” In addition to the 4G mobile network expansion project, BTC is also upgrading the LTE network. By March, 2015 an additional one hundred and seven mobile sites across the country will have LTE coverage. BTC delivers the broadest coverage, and the most advanced fixed and mobile communications services. The company BTC currently operates a sophisticated mobile network offering 2G, 4G, and 4GLTE services.]  Read More →
Bahamas Foreign Affairs Minister Hon. Fred Mitchell is pictured with Ambassador Laura Thompson, Deputy Director of the International Organization on Migration (IOM) on the steps of the Foreign Ministry in Nassau, Bahamas on 17th November 2014. The Ambassador was accompanied by Ms. Aqueda Marin, Regional Technical Specialist of Counter-trafficking and the Minister was joined by Mrs. Cleola Hamilton, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration and the Senior Officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration and the Dept. of Immigration. The Courtesy Call provided an opportunity for both the Minister and Ambassador to have a frank conversation on irregular Migration in The Bahamas pursuant to the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Bahamas and the International Organization for Migration in September during the 69th United Nations General Assembly on Climate Change. Addressed during the Meeting by the Ambassador were: ·The Support of the Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas for the initiative titled “Regional Cooperation and Law Enforcement Integration to Combat Irregular migration and Smuggling between Haiti, The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands”. This initiative is aimed to support the Government of Haiti in addressing irregular migration, smuggling and trafficking originating or transiting from Haiti towards The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands. ·Voluntary Repatriations and reintegration programmes in Haiti for migrants who are returned to Haiti to be integrated into society. ·The need to establish a Regional Consultancy Process, to discuss best practices and the exchange of information on migration in the region. The Minister in responding to the matters raised, stated that there were misconceptions in the media regarding the Immigration Policy of The Bahamas and a public education was required concerning this process. The Minister acknowledged and expressed appreciation regarding the productive relationship with the IOM. He further emphasized the desire of The Bahamas to cause the strengthening of this association through further cooperation in areas of capacity building, prosecutions of persons involved in human trafficking and the promotion of a sub-regional program between The Bahamas, Turks and Caicos and Haiti.  Read More →
Slow March to Christ Church Cathedral as Warren J. Laverity is laid to rest on Thursday. Over 300 persons gathered to pay their last respects – shown are the family; and also the Governor General and the Prime Minister and Mrs. Christie. NASSAU, The Bahamas – Former Cabinet Minister and Parliamentarian, Mr. Warren J. Levarity was laid to rest on Thursday, November 21. A state funeral was held at Christ Church Cathedral, where over three hundred persons gathered to pay their last respects. In attendance at the funeral were, Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie, accompanied by the majority of his cabinet, along with leader of the Opposition, Dr. Hubert Minnis and several members of the Free National Movement. While paying tribute to Mr. Levarity, Prime Minister Christie called him, ‘one of the heroes of the Peaceful Revolution.’ He said that not only was the deceased a ‘good man’ but he was also a ‘great Bahamian.’ “He was man of great courage who, at the age of 28, went up against the power and might of one of the great bastions of the Old Guard, the Bethell family – that’s Bethell with two L’s. It was the 1960 bye-election in Grand Bahama and in the end, like David of old, the man we lay to rest today triumphed against enormous odds,” said Mr. Christie. He said that Mr. Levarity played an ‘influential role in the National Committee for Positive Action – the NCPA – the group that radicalized the Struggle for Majority Rule.’ “And it was this same man, this same Warren J. Levarity, who would go on to serve in the very first cabinet of the Majority Rule era as the Minister responsible for the Family Islands, or “Out Islands” as we used to call them back then,” said Mr. Christie. He also pointed out that with Warren Levarity’s passing, the Hon. A.D. Hanna has now become the ‘Last Man Standing,’ that is, the last surviving member of the first cabinet of the Majority Rule era. He said that Mr. Levarity’s contributions were not limited to the attainment of Majority Rule, his service as a minister of government in the first Majority Rule, or with his representation in Parliament as the member for West End & Bimini. “In what must be reckoned as another contribution of major significance to national development, Warren Levarity also became one of the Founding Fathers of the Free National Movement. In doing so, he helped ensure the survival of the two-party system that lies at the very heart of our constitutional democracy,” he said. In his tribute to Mr. Levarity, Former Governor-General, Sir Arthur Foulkes reminisced about their time together in the political arena. He said that he considered Mr. Levarity to be a friend who really and truly loved his country and his family. Leader of the Opposition, the Hon. Dr. Hubert A. Minnis said that Mr. Levarity was ‘a man not ahead of his time but a man on time’ who was also a visionary. Dr. Minnis said that Mr. Levarity paved the way not only for fellow FNM leaders but also leaders of all political ‘persuasions.’ The Reverend Canon Norman Lightbourne, Rector of Holy Cross Anglican Church, served as celebrant of the service. He was assisted by Rev. Fr. Richard Wood, Rev. Fr. Mark Lindsay and Rev. Fr. John Kabiga. Interment followed at Lakeview Cemetery on John F. Kennedy Drive. Over 300 persons gathered to pay their last respects – shown are the family; and also the Governor General and the Prime Minister and Mrs. Christie. Slow procession of the body of Mr. Levarity from the House of Assembly for final burial rites at Christ Church Cathedral. Officers of the Royal Bahamas Police Force and the Royal Bahamas Defence Force perform 21-Gun Salute at the gravesite prior to interment. Slow procession of the body of Mr. Levarity from the House of Assembly for final burial rites at Christ Church Cathedral.  Read More →
Decisive Victory proves that Dr. Minnis has full backing of FNMs… Dr. Hubert Minnis - Leader of The Opposition Nassau, Bahamas – Breaking News coming into Bahamas Press now confirms that Dr. Hubert Minnis the new gladiator inside the FNM has defeated former Deputy Leader of the Party Loretta Butler –Turner. BP sat on the convention floor watching the delegate cast their ballots and by 4pm even before voting had closed concluded that Dr. Minnis was the winner. Sources tell us even Hubert Ingraham – who told FNMs he is not coming back – threw his support behind Dr. Minnis. The unofficial count showed the Killarney MP with 298 votes to Butler-Turner with 106 a 3 to 1 victory. Bahamas Press congratulates Dr. Minnis on his victory. The Party Leader is about to address the convention tonight. Meanwhile, Butler-Turner issued this statement congratulating the Party Leader on his decisive win and pledge her support. —STATEMENT BY THE PARTY…. Nassau, Bahamas – The following are results from the Free National Movement Convention held today, November 21st. Dr. Hubert Minnis wins for Party Leader who wrote on his Facebook page at the start of the day, ” I look forward to the support and peaceful collaboration of the delegates at today’s convention. IN UNITY THERE IS STRENGTH! Stay focused on the goal! VICTORY 2017!!” Peter Turnquest, MP, East Grand Bahama is the party’s Deputy Leader. Michael Pintard is the elected Party Chairman. Statement from Loretta Butler-Turner: “I congratulate Dr Hubert Minnis on his election as Party Leader, and Peter Turnquest on his election as Deputy Leader of the Free National Movement. I pledge to them my support as we work together to mount an effective Opposition and prepare to defeat the PLP at the next general election. “I also extend congratulations to all who have been elected to office at our National Convention, including Chairman, Michael Pintard. “The contest for the leadership is over, having demonstrated once again the solid democratic principles upon which our movement was founded and nurtured. Our shared task now is unity. As the Official Opposition the FNM has an essential constitutional role to play and a challenge to prepare for the responsibility of governing. I pledge my full support in these efforts in a spirit of unity and collegiality. “I wish to thank the many delegates who voted for me as well as the many FNMs who supported my candidacy. I thank also those who worked so diligently and enthusiastically on my behalf, including my campaign team, benefactors and all those who lent their support, best wishes and prayers. “I am grateful for the support of so many constituents from Long Island, whom I am privileged to serve as their Member of Parliament. “And of course, I am enormously grateful to my husband, Ed, to my daughter and son, and to my wider family and dear friends for their support, love and encouragement. “I close my campaign with a sense of enormous gratitude. I will continue to vigorously lend my voice and support as a member of the FNM’s parliamentary team and to offer to my party and the Bahamian people ideas for a better Bahamas.”  Read More →
Attorney General Allyson Maynard Nassau, Bahamas – Remarks by Senator, The Hon Z.C. Allyson Maynard Gibson, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs at The Bahamas Financial Services Board Excellence Annual Gala Awards Dinner British Colonial Hilton Hotel Governors Ballroom Friday 14th November, 2014: Good evening nominees, and ladies and gentlemen.  I am pleased to be here tonight at your Annual Gala Awards Dinner to bring remarks on behalf of the government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.  The government of The Bahamas recognizes that the success of The Bahamas is linked to the success of the second pillar of our economy. The Bahamas’ greatest asset is its people. People (human capital) are vital to the success of financial services. We are in an environment where competence is assumed and even taken for granted.   Expertise, efficiency and excellence will distinguish us in the new competitive normal. Tonight BFSB recognizes the expertise, efficiency and excellence of the stars of our industry. I am filled with national pride as I congratulate all nominees and their families tonight. As I look at the stars being recognized tonight [all nominees are stars] I think that we can affirm that The Bahamas is the best little country in the world. We have Academy Award winners, Grammy Award winners; Olympic Gold Medalists; Rhodes Scholars and Financial Services Stars. When people look at The Bahamas as financial services destination they see you. Your professional and academic lives match your colleagues all over the world. You showcase The Bahamas – where we plan to go from strength to strength. Our world standing is good and we are constantly exploring ways for improvement. Recently, after extensive consultations with the industry led by BFSB; AIBT and the Ministry of Financial Services, the government of The Bahamas announced our commitment to implementing global standards on the automatic exchange of information by 2018.  Next year, The Bahamas will undergo the CFATF Fourth Round Review. In order to sustain and expand the sector, especially in an era of transparency, The Bahamas must stand out as a centre of expertise, efficiency and excellence. While we celebrate expertise, efficiency and excellence I want to thank members of the sector for the spirit of volunteerism and dedication manifested by your active engagement and involvement in industry associations like BFSB. The Prime Minister has set the tone for public private sector collaboration and cooperation. The fruit of this collaboration is the development of new product legislation, like the ICON.  This collaboration was also critically important in developing at the Registrar General’s Department the new automated system to incorporate IBCs and Companies Act companies entirely online – from name registration to obtaining the certificate of incorporation. I repeat, entirely online. The target date for the IBC Pilot Project is December 1st and for the Companies Act Pilot Project is December 8th. We expect that voluntary dissolutions will be available online within the first quarter of 2015. In the meantime the manual process for such dissolutions has been streamlined and we expect that you will see a marked improvement in delivery times. Again, we thank BFSB for its collaboration on these Projects. Also this year we expect that Notary Public licenses will be applied for and issued online. This week the Prime Minister announced the launch of the cellular liberalization process. Like financial services the success of ICTs requires intellectual capital. Look around the room. I am satisfied that The Bahamas is ready to compete and excel. As I end I note that the person receiving this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award is the person to whom I presented the Minister’s Award when I was the Minister of Financial Services and Investment in 2002 – Mr. Ian Fair. In congratulating him I too acknowledge his tremendous contributions to financial services. Aristotle said, “we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” That wisdom holds true for this industry and indeed for the country.  To the extent that we exemplify excellence, we do so not by a single act but by consistent acts.  Those consistent acts will transform financial services into the number one pillar of the economy in your lifetime. Look around the room at your colleagues. Look at yourselves. You are the frontline for effecting this transformation. As I take my seat I invite you to continue to mentor and expose and inspire young people to the myriad of vistas and opportunities afforded by financial services. I also encourage you to remember that consistency in expertise; efficiency and excellence are the yardsticks that will propel financial services to the number one spot in The Bahamas and to world preeminence.  Read More →
Deputy Chief of Missions and Alternate OAS Representative, The Bahamas Embassy in Washington DC; Juliete E. Mallet Phillip, Partnership Program Coordinator in the DHDEE of the OAS; and Nicole Duncan, Education Specialist in the DHDEE of the OAS. Standing from left are Monique Hinsey, Consultant in the Ministry of Education; Maurene French, Managing Director of the Lyford Cay Foundation; Timyka Davis, Director of Student Leadership and International Relations at the College of The Bahamas; Mikhail Bullard, Third Secretary at the Permanent Mission to the OAS in Washington DC; Nikki Bethell, Communications Director in the Ministry of Education; and Sharmine McKenzie of the Technical Assistance Division in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Development, Education and Employment Department (DHDEE) of the Organization of American States (OAS) met with Bahamian stakeholders to apprise them of increased education and training opportunities for Bahamians through the expanded scholarship programs offered by the OAS. The meeting was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday November 17. Led by DHDEE coordinator for the partnership program, Juliete Mallet Phillip, the group also discussed ways to improve on the relatively low level of Bahamian participation in the myriad of scholarship opportunities provided by the OAS. In attendance were representatives from the College of The Bahamas, the Ministry of Education, Bahamas Information Services, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Lyford Cay Foundation. Of particular interest was the partnership program for higher education and training. Created in 2000, the OAS Consortium of Universities currently comprises over one-hundred higher education institutions and has significantly increased the number of scholarships recipients over the years. Over 3,000 scholarships were granted since 2010 and 1,800 alone in 2013 but notwithstanding this, the level of Bahamian participation remains relatively low. Mrs. Philip bemoaned the fact that even though the partnership with the University of Brussels made available some sixty scholarships in 2013, no Bahamians applied. It was agreed that more public education was needed to raise the level of awareness among the student population and the public at large of these scholarship opportunities. Distinct advantages of the partnership program over traditional OAS scholarships are that these scholarships include language training; they cover about 90% of education expenses and the academic disciplines of medicine and law are included. Under this partnership program and on an annual basis, China offers more than 100 scholarships; Belgium makes available 60; Macedonia awards 15; several hundred can be secured through Mexico and Brazil has approved some 500 scholarships for 2015, up from the 450 scholarships the cluster of 46 universities awarded in 2014. Applications are to be filed online at the OAS portal. According to the OAS, the Department of Human Development, Education and Employment (DHDEE) through its OAS Scholarship and Training Programs continues to provide diverse scholarship opportunities for academic and professional development studies to citizens or permanent residents of OAS member countries to study in recognized educational institutions of the OAS member and observer states, with the goal of strengthening human and institutional capacity and thus, foster integral development throughout the Hemisphere. All interested persons can access additional information at www.oas.org/en/scholarships/ or contact the Student Affairs Department at the College of The Bahamas; the Communications Division at the Ministry of Education; the Technical Support Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the Bahamas Information Services Department or the Lyford Cay Foundation. Bahamian students living and studying abroad can also contact the nearest Bahamas embassy or General Consular for additional information and assistance.  Read More →
Bahamas China Friendship Association Calls on Youth Minister‏. The Bahamas China Friendship Association (BCFA) paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture at the Ministry’s offices, November 17. They discussed their respective relationship and goals in promoting cultural diversity and education through partnerships that benefit both countries. Pictured are from left: Gena Gibbs, BCFA Public Relations Director; Lloyd Wong, BCFA Trustee and Photographer; Dr. Linda Moxey Brown, Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture (MYSC) Director of Culture; Anthony Capron, BCFA President; the Hon. Dr. Daniel Johnson, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture; Kay Kay Lok, BCFA Member; Louise Simmons, MYSC Senior Technical Officer; and Timothy Munnings, MYSC Director of Sports.  Read More →
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