Bonden fel tegen ‘onbehoorlijke’ hervormingen belastingdienst

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: De Ware Tijd Online

door Wilfred Leeuwin PARAMARIBO — Ambtenarenbonden bij de Belastingdienst van het ministerie van Financiën en Planning zijn fel gekant tegen

Minister: Many blackout report recommendations fulfilled

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday


Public Utilities Minister Marvin Gonzales – Photo by Angelo Marcelle

MINISTER of Public Utilities Marvin Gonzales said several of the recommendations from the report on the February island-wide blackout have been “acted upon and completed.”

On February 16, all of Trinidad was without power for 12.5 hours. Tobago was unaffected.

A Cabinet-appointed expert committee was assigned to investigate the cause of the blackout and submit a report.

The report revealed the cause was a large, falling, fungus-infected palmiste tree. The tree fell on a single-phase Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC)12 KV distribution line near Grants Trace Extension Road and the National Gas Company (NGC) private road in Rousillac.

Speaking in Parliament on Friday afternoon, Gonzales said it had been a “challenging year” for his ministry, which “plays an integral role in the development of our nation.”

He said some of the recommendations of the report were still under way, but several had been completed.

He said one of its observations was that the country’s electricity supply is “a robust one with reasonable redundancy and generally well-operated.”

He said the 220 KV Union Gandhi line, for which the contract was issued in 2021, is set to be complete by February 2023.

“Construction is in progress and the towers have all been installed.”

He said other recommendations included creating an emergency response plan for power-system failure, identifying system vulnerabilities that could lead to “catastrophic failures,” developing power-system restoration procedures and a “proper communication protocol” between T&TEC and the independent power producers’ (IPPs’) control centres, checking the capabilities for DC batteries at various sub-stations, and meeting with the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management to “work out mechanisms for a response to island-wide blackouts” have been completed.

In addition, he said a survey was done of the cost of constructing a double-circuit line from BC sub-station to gateway sub-station and the cost was estimated as $500 million.

As for what is still under way, he said the development of islanding schemes for the power system and meetings with the IPPs to develop a load-rejection scheme.

Rajaee Ali complains of unfair trial for stealing electricity

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday


Rajaee Ali

ALLEGED gang leader Rajaee Ali has complained about the fairness of his trial on a 2013 charge of having an illegal electricity connection and the three-month custodial sentence a magistrate imposed in 2018.

Ali, who was committed in 2020 to stand trial for the May 2014 murder of former independent senator Dana Seetahal, SC, was sentenced to a three-month custodial sentence for the illegal electricity connection, which was quantified as his illegally receiving $600 worth of electricity.

Magistrate Gillian Scotland found Ali, of Carapo, guilty on May 14, 2018, by in the Arima Court for the offence on May 24, 2013. Ali appealed his conviction and sentence, alleging he did not receive a fair trial.

On Friday, Justices of Appeal Prakash Moosai and Gillian Lucky reserved their decision after more than three hours of submissions.

His attorney, Roshan Tota-Maharaj, argued the fairness of his trial was compromised because he did not receive equality of treatment and protection of the law.

Tota-Maharaj argued the magistrate should have told him he could get another lawyer when his attorney of choice was absent on several occasions, although at least five lawyers came to hold for this attorney on these days. He said the magistrate should have intervened to ensure due process was followed.

Tota-Maharaj also argued Ali did not get to call a witness in his defence, for his new attorney to properly cross-examine crucial witnesses or make a proper closing address. He also submitted the magistrate had the discretion to impose a fine, make him do community service and put him on a bond.

As she took the judges through the chronology of the case, deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Tricia Hudlin-Cooper maintained that throughout the matter, Ali was “extended the arm of mercy” by the magistrate.

She also pointed to instances when the magistrate assisted Ali.

“The magistrate intervened when the appellant had problems asking questions (of witnesses)…And when he asked for time, he got it.”

Hudlin-Cooper maintained that throughout the duration of the matter, he had the opportunity to prepare his defence and was always represented by his own attorney, so the magistrate could not intervene as she could have if he had had legal aid..

Years into the matter, Hudlin-Cooper asked how the court could countenance what was taking place and insisted the magistrate was correct when she said the matter would go on.

At the end of Friday’s hearing, attorneys for both sides were asked to provide additional authorities and submissions on key questions raised by the judges.

Appeal Court reinstates 3 magisterial cases

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday


File photo

TWO appeals were reinstated on Friday because of errors by the presiding magistrate, and a third because the appellant failed to turn up for it.

In one of the matters, Leslie Joseph will face another trial for using annoying language to provoke others to commit a breach of the peace, after Appeal Court judges Allan Mendonca and Gillian Lucky reinstated the State’s appeal in the name of the arresting officer, Insp Arlet Groome, who charged Joseph.

Presiding over the appeal virtually, Mendonca said it appeared the “magistrate got it awfully wrong” in throwing out the charge against Joseph, because “his recollection was that it was not a charge known in law.”

Mendonca said it appeared the magistrate “misunderstood what the charge was all about” and didn’t take the time to look at the relevant section of law.

“If he did, he would have seen it covered…It comes across as if magistrates are not provided with lawbooks as well and have to recall from memory.”

Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Tricia Hudlin-Cooper prosecuted the appeal, which was allowed. Since the matter was reinstated, it will return to the magistrates’ court for prosecution.

The other appeal to be reinstated involved a matter at the Arima magistrates’ court in which charges against Kevon Baptiste were dismissed because of the absence of the officer who charged him.

However, assistant DPP Sabrina Dougdeen-Jaglal, who prosecuted the appeal, said at the time the magistrate had been told the charging officer (or complainant) was at the Tunapuna court, and the matter could have been stood down to allow him to get to the Arima court.

“The police prosecutor was in communication with him.”

She also said the magistrate did not make further inquiries about the availability of witnesses or whether the matter could have progressed on that day, but simply dismissed it because PC Sean Bidessie was not there.

Mendonca said while delays did compromise the administration of justice, there was no record of whether on that day, the matter had been set aside for a trial.

Both he and Lucky agreed to allow the State’s appeal and have the matter sent back to the Arima court.

Also reinstated was a charge against an Arima woman, Marilyn Layne, who was fined $15,000 for being in possession of 13.65 grammes of cocaine.

Layne appealed the magistrate’s sentence and conviction, but did not show up on Friday to prosecute her appeal.

Mendonca said an appellant had a responsibility to follow through with an appeal. Layne’s appeal was dismissed and her conviction and sentence were affirmed. Mendonca said if she learned of their order, and was still interested, she could apply to have her appeal reinstated.

“Once you file an appeal, you have to pursue it,” was the court’s message.

Another matter was challenged by a man convicted of being in possession of seven grammes of marijuana back in 2017. Acknowledging that the law has since been amended, Mendonca said there was no argument the offence at the time was in breach of the law.

He said with Parliament’s intervention, societal norms now see nothing wrong with someone having 30 grammes for personal use.

“So where do we stand?” he asked.

“I am looking at his record, and the note that this appellant was a candidate for drug treatment court,” Dougdeen-Jaglal said as the judges questioned whether they should not reprimand and discharge Daniel Ramgoolam.

Dougdeen-Jaglal was given an opportunity by the court to find out whether Ramgoolam had been granted bail when he appealed his conviction or had already served the sentence imposed on him.

At Friday’s hearing of magisterial appeals, some were withdrawn and others adjourned to a date in November.

Also presiding over some of the appeals was Justice of Appeal Charmaine Pemberton.

Gonzales denies Kamla’s claim 2,500 WASA workers will lose jobs

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday


File photo: The Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) compound at St Joseph. – Photo by Sureash Cholai

PUBLIC Utilities Minister Marvin Gonzales has denied claims by Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar that 2,500 workers from the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) will lose their jobs owing to its restructuring. He said WASA has “nothing to hide.”

During her response to the 2023 budget on Friday, Persad-Bissessar said she had a document including a strategic plan for WASA. On page 53, she said, “is the government’s commitment to the RIC (Regulated Industries Commission) to send home, fire and put on the breadline, sack, axe – however you want to put it – 2,500 employees of WASA.

“The joblessness is already so high and the government is hell-bent on creating more joblessness, more unemployment in this country – that is the bottom line of that document.”

Responding directly to these claims in his contribution, Gonzales reminded Persad-Bissessar that two years ago, the report of the findings of a Cabinet sub-committee on the operations of WASA was laid.

“The report was laid before this Parliament for every single member to read and for every single citizen who might be interested in the operations of WASA…So when I heard the leader of the Opposition talking about some secret strategic plan to reduce staffing in WASA by 2,000, I was astounded.

“The views of the government on the operations of WASA are all contained in a report that was laid before the House and therefore, we have nothing to hide.”

He said there is no action plan approved by the government to fire 2,500 WASA workers.

“I’m not aware of it. There is one action plan approved by the government of TT with respect to WASA, and that action plan speaks to the improvement of water for all the people of TT, and it has been a public document.

“But I was hoping that the leader of the Opposition would provide us with more details of what she was referring to.”

He said, “In their usual style, it is all geared towards riling up the people of TT without levelling with them, without any scintilla of truth and decency.”

SLTU Outraged Over New Viral Classroom Video – St. Lucia Times News

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

– Advertisement –

The Saint Lucia Teachers Union (SLTU) has expressed outrage at the circulation of a viral video recording in a secondary school classroom featuring a male student at the blackboard with a female teacher, accusing her of not teaching correctly.

“You see that – that wrong. One thirty – that wrong,” the student, protractor in hand at the blackboard, declares in the nine-second video.

The student then switches to Kweyol, uttering words to the effect that the teacher cannot even take a measurement, but wants to teach.

He then turns away from the blackboard, puts down the protractor, and slaps what seemed to be a piece of chalk down on a desk nearby while the teacher stands, practically motionless.

– Advertisement –

SLTU President Don Howell told reporters Friday that the union got wind of the video late the previous day, sought to determine its authenticity, and reach out to the teacher involved.

“In those things, we also have to be empathetic before we start circulating and spreading or even making statements. We have to be empathetic to the individuals involved,” Howell observed.

He explained that after speaking to and empathising with the teacher, the SLTU contacted the principal and provided advice regarding the next step for the school administration.

But the SLTU President asserted that the incident highlights the matter of student discipline.

In this regard, he declared that a teacher should not have to endure such disrespect in a classroom.

“The teacher is at work. Their conditions of work are supposed to be conducive to allow them to carry out their duties and it is not right that they must endure such levels of indiscipline, such levels of disrespect,” the SLTU President stated.

And he said the SLTU is aware that the Ministry of Education plans to deal with student loitering.

However, Howell disclosed that the union wants the Ministry of Education to make “firm pronouncements” on how it will address student discipline in school to support educators and the work they do.

He explained it was not a fight involving parents, teachers, and the education system.

“We want the entire community to come together and play their part to help us build this next generation of citizens,” Howell said.

He called on all stakeholders, including parents, to work with the schools, teachers, and principals to help deal with the problem of student discipline.

“We are also calling on the Ministry of Education to stand with teachers, to stand with educators in this country, and to make those firm pronouncements as to how they are going to deal with student discipline,” the SLTU President said.

In addition, he said it was unfortunate that the classroom incident occurred on the eve of teachers’ week which runs from October 2 to 9.

“Teachers have gone through a lot over the last few years and to continue going through what they are going through right now, teachers do not deserve that. Teachers are hardworking people and they deserve respect at all levels,” Howell noted.

“We cannot stand and allow our teachers to endure such disrespect,” he stated.

As a result, Howell indicated that the SLTU would continue exploring all its options.

Headline photo: Internet stock image

– Advertisement –

Incidente cibernético afecta operaciones del municipio de Vega Alta

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Radio Isla TV

La alcaldesa de Vega Alta, María Vega Pagán informó este viernes que se registró un incidente cibernético contra las operaciones electrónicas municipales.

“Ya que el asunto está siendo atendido por las autoridades responsables en este tipo de situaciones, no se emitirán mayores comentarios hasta culminado el proceso de evaluación y recuperación”, dijo la alcaldesa Vega Pagán en declaraciones escritas.

Vega Pagán dio cuenta de que el mismo fue notificado a las autoridades estatales y federales pertinentes, quienes ya están trabajando con el evento.

Aunque la situación reportada afecta el curso diario de las operaciones municipales, al momento, no se ha comprometido información sensitiva de los ciudadanos que reciben servicios de la ciudad.

Vivienda firma acuerdo con seis municipios del sur para reparación de propiedades afectadas por terremotos

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Radio Isla TV

El secretario de Vivienda, William Rodríguez, firmó el viernes, un acuerdo con los alcaldes de seis municipios del sur de Puerto Rico que resultaron afectados tras los terremotos del 2019.

“Mediante este acuerdo, buscamos implementar eficazmente los fondos disponibles para la recuperación del sur, al integrar a los municipios más afectados en su administración y manejo. Esta es una oportunidad única y crucial para los propios municipios y las familias de ingresos bajos que aún necesitan vivir bajo un techo seguro”, sostuvo el secretario en comunicación escrita.

El acuerdo , que incluyó los municipios de Guánica, Guayanilla, Lajas, Peñuelas, Ponce y Yauco, dará paso al uso de $36.4 millones en fondos CDBG-DR para ayudar a largo plazo en la recuperación de los desastres.

El monto que financiará el nuevo programa para la Rehabilitación y Reconstrucción de Hogares por Sismos (SR2), surgió tras una asignación especial de fondos CDBG-DR definida por el Registro Federal 86 FR 569, que emitió el gobierno de los Estados Unidos el 6 de enero de 2021, con el fin de cubrir las necesidades de los hogares afectados por los sismos de 2019 y 2020. El Registro también identifica los municipios de Guánica, Yauco, Guayanilla y Ponce como las áreas más impactadas y afectadas (MID, por sus siglas en inglés).

Con la administración de un nuevo consorcio compuesto por los seis municipios bajo el nombre ConSur, el programa SR2 proveerá asistencia a dueños de hogares para reparar residencias con daños o reconstruir residencias sustancialmente afectadas en la misma localización.

El Departamento de la Vivienda será el administrador estatal de estos fondos y como requisito federal desarrolló un plan de acción enfocado en el uso de los $36,424,000 y el programa SR2, disponible en la pestaña “Plan de Acción” del portal (

Ahora, ConSur iniciará el proceso de ejecución del plan, comenzando con la identificación de un gerente de proyectos.

Por su parte, la subsecretaria de Recuperación de Desastres del Departamento de Vivienda, Maretzie Díaz, declaró que “después de Irma y María, nos hemos visto afectados por la actividad sísmica, la pandemia del covid-19 y recientemente el huracán Fiona. Lo que hemos aprendido de estos eventos y la capacidad que hemos adquirido mediante la ejecución de los programas de recuperación en curso, nos permitirá mantener una supervisión directa sobre el uso apropiado de los fondos, al tiempo en que ayudamos al consorcio a manejar el programa SR2”.

Durante la firma del acuerdo que se llevó a cabo en el Antiguo Casino en Ponce, estuvieron presentes el alcalde de Ponce, Luis Irizarry Pabón; alcalde de Guánica, Ismael Rodríguez Ramos; alcalde de Guayanilla, Raúl Rivera Rodríguez; alcalde de Lajas, Jayson Martínez Maldonado; alcalde de Yauco, Ángel Luis Torres; y el alcalde de Peñuelas Gregory Gonsález Souchet.

Initiative : An Balan pour fè’ y, un forum dédié aux porteurs de projets

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Martinique FranceAntilles

Une initiative est lancée par la Mission locale du Sud, elle est destinée aux jeunes porteurs de projets au centre commercial Genipa.

La Mission locale du Sud organise le mercredi 5 octobre le 1er forum An Balan pour fè’ y, destiné aux jeunes porteurs de projets. La manifestation se déroulera de 9 heures à 12 heures au centre commercial Genipa. À travers cette initiative, la Milsud souhaite mobiliser les jeunes porteurs de projets qui souvent n’osent pas parler de ce qu’ils souhaitent faire, mais aussi créer un espace d’échanges où ils pourront s’entretenir avec des acteurs de l’accompagnement. L’objectif est aussi de…

France-Antilles Martinique

236 mots – 30.09.2022

35 fishers graduate from safety-at-sea training programme Loop Jamaica

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Thirty-five fishers across the island have benefitted from a safety-at-sea training programme that was undertaken by the National Fisheries Authority (NFA) in partnership with the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU).

The programme stems from a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that was signed earlier this year between the entities with the support of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, to train local fishers in navigation and seamanship.

The sessions took place in Montego Bay, where nine fishers were trained; Black River, 11; and Kingston, where 15 fishers benefited from training.

At a graduation ceremony held at the CMU’s campus on Palisadoes Road in Kingston on Thursday (September 29), the participants were presented with life jackets and communication devices for use at sea.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Franklin Witter, commended the graduates and noted the importance of the training in ensuring their safety at sea.

He said the fisheries sector is crucial to the country achieving food security and in providing the protein needed in the diets of Jamaicans.

“As the ministry supports and promotes further growth in the fisheries sector, occupational safety and health is also of paramount importance to us,” he stated.

Principal Director of the Marine Branch at the NFA, Stephen Smikle, lamented that “too often we have reports of fishers losing their lives at sea… sometimes due to mistakes on the part of the (boat) captain and the fishers on board”.

He said the NFA, as the licensing authority for the fisheries sector, intends to eventually reach all boat captains with the training, to ensure that they have a “basic level of competence” before a licence is issued.

For his part, CMU President, Andrew Spencer, pointed out that the training adds “value and credence” to the fisheries industry, and helps to position the CMU as a driver of community development.

“We want to be a university that transforms communities in Jamaica, and one of the best ways to do that is to (uplift) our people in industries that enable them to put bread on their families’ table. Every time a fisher goes out and doesn’t come back, that’s a loss to a family,” said Spencer.

Under the MOU, a minimum of 35 fishers are targeted for safety-at-sea training annually over a five-year period through funding from the Agriculture Ministry’s Production Incentive Programme.

Another MOU has been signed with the University of the West Indies (UWI) to provide training in open-water scuba diving and dive certification at the institution’s Discovery Bay Marine Laboratory, starting in October.