Caribbean RoundUp

Bishop Michael Maxwell (R) stands with Dean Jeffrey Gibson during his entronement ceremony.
Photo by George Alleyne

Barbados

Head of the Anglican Church in Barbados, Rev. Michael Maxwell says the church is not supportive of the idea by the Mia Mottley administration to recognize same-sex marriage.

Rev Mitchell told the Barbados Online publication, Barbados Today that the Anglican Church in Barbados and the rest of the Province of the West Indies remained fortified in its position, stemming from a decision of the 1998 Lambeth Conference of Anglican Bishops in England, that marriage is a life-long union of a man and a woman.

He said the Anglican Church continues to stand against what it considers to be same-sex marriages, and it will continue to follow what is the ruling of the Lambeth Conference, which is a conference that is held by all of the bishops of the world coming together.

Rev Mitchell said the church is not condoning the whole thing in relation to same-sex union, but the civil union which is something that is not blessed by the church or condoned by the church.

The Anglican Bishop hinted that the church would not perform rites for gay couples of same-sex marriages were to be legalized in Barbados.

He said the government’s recognition of same-sex civil unions would have an impact on the thinking of persons going forward.

Caribbean

The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) has started a series of online roundtable discussions as part of its wider efforts to help speed up the rebuilding of the Caribbean tourism sector.

The association is also seeking to ensure the region emerges from covid-19 stronger that it was before the pandemic that brought the lifeblood industry to a virtual standstill.

CHTA roundtables will he held each Friday for the next five weeks, gathering peer groups on Zoom meetings to receive brief industry updates, hear from leaders in the region and share in candid dialogue on challenges, successes and best practices.

CHTA President, Patricia Affonso-Dass, at the inaugural meeting, described the sessions as proactive efforts “to embrace and provide a valuable service to hospitality and tourism stakeholders in the region”.

Hotel owners, managing directors, general managers and human resources leaders, hospitality and tourism allied members and suppliers, tourism business leaders affiliated to restaurants and other tourism stakeholders are being invited to participate in various virtual m discussions.

The CHTA president said she is keen to bring together members, non-members and all those invested in the industry’s future to chart a way forward.

She said that he rebuilding and re-imagining of the sector depends on everyone.

Grenada

A 28-year-old Grenadian man was fined EC$50,000 for violating the privacy of a woman — his former intimate partner.

Jamar Griffith was charged under Section 10 of the Electronic Crimes Act. He recently pleaded guilty to the charge of violation of privacy at the St. George’s Magistrate Court and was given 30 months to pay the fine. He was placed on a one-year suspended sentence.

As part of his sentence he must attend an anger management and Man to Man program, failing which, he will be in breach of the sentence, and would serve 12 months in jail, according to a release from the community relations department of the Grenada Police Force.

The court was told that Griffith publicly published photos of his former intimate partner without her consent using various electronic platforms, which are in violation of the section of law which covers violation privacy.

Anyone who commits such an offence is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding EC$200,000 or three years imprisonment.

Guyana

The Guyana Sugar Corporation (Guysuco) said it intends to re-hire more than 400 dismissed workers by December as it prepares to re-open several sugar estates.

Acting Chief Executive Office, Sasenarine Singh said some of the workers who were laid off in 2017 have already been rehired and that former sugar workers will be given priority consideration going forward.

He said the work plan is to have 442 people re-hired by Christmas of this year. They have already hired about 200 of those already but as the work expands, they will continue to hire.

Singh said that taking this into consideration, the plan for reopening will employ a holistic approach the company looks to modernize and re-employ workers.

The former David Granger government said it had closed down the factories after careful thought noting then “sugar cannot be sold on the world market at the cost that it is being produced”.

Last month Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha said the government intends to open three sugar estates closed by the former Granger administration, but is waiting a report on a survey being done by the ministry.

Jamaica
Miss World 1993, Lisa Hanna, a four-term Jamaican MP has thrown her hat in the ring to be the leader of Jamaica’s Opposition party, the People’s National Party (PNP).

Hanna is the Opposition spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and is a seasoned parliamentary debater.

The Caribbean has already had women prime ministers in the persons of Barbados PM Mia Mottley, and past leaders namely Jamaica’s Portia Simpson-Miller, T&T’s Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Dominica’s Eugenia Charles (now deceased) and Guyana’s Janet Jagan, who is also deceased.

With the PNP badly beaten 49-14 by the Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) in the September general election, PNP leader Dr. Peter Phillips has stepped down, leaving open the post known formally as the PNP President. Election Day was Sept. 7, 2020.

Hanna had her own problems having initially been deemed to have won her South East Ann’s seat by a mere 14 votes, which on recount rose to 32 votes.

However, since then, an opinion poll by Bill Johnson commissioned by the Jamaica Observer has put Hanna well ahead of other contenders for the leadership of the PNP, being favored by 20 percent of respondents, twice the number as favored by her nearest rival Mark Gooding.

Trinidad

Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Rowley said small island nations such as Trinidad & Tobago, continue to bear the brunt of the COVID-19 crisis.

Rowley made the comment during a virtual United Nations high-level event on financing for development in the era of COVID-19 and beyond in which Jamaican Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau and UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres also participated.

Rowley observed that the COVID-19 pandemic has “landed heavily on the developing world, with small island developing states (SIDS), such as Trinidad and Tobago and other Caribbean islands, facing the harshest socioeconomic fallout from disruptions and plummeting demand in the tourism and energy sectors.”

He said while Trinidad and Tobago has limited the pervasive effects of the pandemic on its economy, SIDS “are on the edge of the economic precipice.”

Rowley said Trinidad and Tobago was heartened by “the developments and decisions on the suspension of debt service payments and the support provided by our international partners to some countries.”

He said many Caribbean countries are ineligible to access recovery support and development assistance because of “antiquated income-based criteria.”

— Compiled by Azad Ali

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