Commerce Minister on Ubaldus Story byWinston Springer
Commerce Minister, Emma Hippolyte is applauding Dr. Ubaldus Raymond on his appointment as the Chief Economist in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The former Howard University Professor resigned from the senate and as the Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Commerce to take up the post.
Minister Hippolyte says Raymond’s new appointment is indicative of the cadre of well qualified people within the ranks of the ruling Saint Lucia Labor Party.
But Dr. Raymond’s departure from the Dr. Kenny Anthony Administration was not without intrigue.
The unsuccessful SLP Castries North Candidate claims he was “under-utilized” and “stifled” in his capacity as parliamentary secretary in the commerce ministry.
Hippolyte who is not discomfited by these remarks counters Dr Raymond’s expertise was put to use at the branch of government.
Dr. Ubaldus Raymond has stated he sought public office to make a contribution to the development of the nation.
While the Commerce Minister does not dispute this – she believes fundamentally there are underlying issues which warrant national debate such as compensation for ministers and the immense sacrifices associated with political life.
She believes despite the idealism of service to country Dr Raymond made a tough personal choice to move on.
The Commerce Minister argues she entered the political fray at a time when professional advancement and personal commitments had a negligible impact on her decision to serve.
She says the Ministry will undergo some restructuring and personnel will be reassigned in the aftermath of Dr. Raymond’s resignation but the work of the people continues.
Monrose on negotiations Story byLovely St.Aime Joseph
The President of Sant Lucia Teachers Union (SLTU) says any suggestions public servants, in particular teachers, were over compensated under the King administration, do not reflect the truth since teachers remain an underpaid group of workers.
Public servants were said to have been overcompensated based on the criteria of economic growth and inflation in the last triennium.
According to him teachers by the very nature of their job are stretched to financial limits to ensure the welfare and success of their classes.
Whether it's buying lunches or purchasing materials, Monrose says noble teachers are always going above and beyond the call of duty while not being adequately compensated for their efforts.
The Teacher's Union along with other public sector unions is locked in wage negotiations with the government negotiating team.
All parties have made it clear while a number of scenarios are being explored; no formal proposal has been put forward by the government negotiating team.
This as a financial analyst from the Ministry of Finance clearly states government cannot afford any significant if any salary increases.
The unions are expected to present their first wage proposal to government by mid September.
Monrose says both the government negotiating team and public sector unions have resolved to conclude the conditions of work portion of negotiations by that time.
Bursary program starts Story byWinston Springer
The passage of Tropical Storm Ernesto postponed by a few days the disbursement of the one-off bursary cheques which began last week.
Education Minister Dr. Robert Lewis speaking to parents and guardians at the Gros Islet Primary School on Tuesday discouraged the misuse of the funds.
Dr. Robert Lewis reiterated the criteria for eligibility involves applying for assistance after successfully writing the Common Entrance exam and attaining a place at a secondary school.
He says the administration which espoused the idea of universal secondary education has placed a strong emphasis on academics with 1.4 million dollars allocated this year for the bursary program.
But Dr. Lewis, an educator by profession believes there must be an element of striving for personal development.
Gros-Islet MP Emma Hippolyte also urges parents to invest more heavily in their children’s education and not just rely on formal institutions and the state.
The Commerce Minister says parents must view themselves as the first teachers and play a hands on role in the instruction of their children.
Officials say the application process is open to all irrespective of political affiliation. The distribution of the bursary cheques continues on Friday in District six.
They explain the application process for prospective candidates is necessary for accounting and auditing purposes.
The distribution of cheques commenced in District 8 at the Soufriere Primary School.
Commerce on bread Story bySarah Peter
Acting Director of Consumer Affairs, Mary Isaac has advised consumers make the right choice when it comes to their purchase of certain items.
The call follows a reported increase in the price of certain bread at local bakeries. Consumers have expressed outrage over what they say is a strike ahead of VAT implementation here; action they also argue is illegal.
Not so says the Ministry of Commerce. Isaac says government only price controls the pan loaf and Creole bread. Isaac further encouraged members of the public to buy the controlled items.
The price of a small packet of pan loaf is $3.60 while Creole loaves are 35 cents for one. Several bakeries around the island have increased the cost of other packaged bread like sausage rolls by at least 50 cents.
NYC biennial convention Story byLovely St.Aime Joseph
The Saint Lucia National youth council will host its 14th biennial general assembly from august 17th-19th, at the Gros Islet secondary school.
The assembly is held every two years and draws participation from various youth leaders and delegates.
The NYC says all clubs and councils are expected to register and submit nominations for elections by Friday 10th august.
NYC administrative officer, Nadge Augustin, says the three day event will be open to the public.
The many activities during the three day assembly will lead up to the election of a new executive for the term 2012/2014.
Augustin credited the current executive has covered a lot of ground work in rebuilding the public profile of the NYC and improving its general image among the nation’s youth.
Registration for the NYC’s 14th biennial assembly can be done on the NYC website by clicking on the event registration tab on the homepage.
WIPO meeting Story byWinston Springer
The Chairman of the Eastern Caribbean Collective Organization, consulting with the World Intellectual Property Organization is imparting his knowledge on nuances of intellectual property regulations.
He says the purpose of the seminar is to help the island set up a system in accordance with World trade Organization rules in support of its national interest.
Program Officer at the World Intellectual Property Organization, Sonia Cruickashank says the two day seminar dealt specifically with copyright and collective management.
These are issues that focus on music artistes, photographers and broadcasters. She says the technical aspects of the subject matter are overshadowed by the imperative to change the mindset towards protecting intellectual property.
The WIPO officer says this is important to avoid exploitation and ensure proper compensation.
Notwithstanding a shift in culture, the rise in piracy and lack of enforcement remain major concerns for the creative industry.
Apart from traditional forms of piracy such as bootlegs DVDs and CD’s Officials admit the advent of the internet has made the task of policing the unfair practice even more daunting.
Customs and Law Enforcement officials are also working with industry insiders to curtail the scourge
The WIPO seminar was conducted at the behest of the government of Saint Lucia.
The Two Day training program was held at the Bay Gardens hotel.
Watermelon tasting Story byWinston Springer
Scholarship presentation Story byLovely St.Aime Joseph
On Tuesday - the Saint Lucia Teachers’ Credit Cooperative in a joint effort with the Saint Lucia Teacher’s Union gave away bursaries and one five year scholarship to children of teachers.
Secretary on the board of the Teachers’ Cooperative, Chrisentia Innocent, says the organization’s bursary program has a sixteen year history.
And that every member’s child who is attending school will receive a three hundred dollar bursary. The initiative – she says - has been of tremendous assistance to members of the teacher’s cooperative, particularly in light of the challenging economic times.
The Saint Lucia Teachers’ Union also awarded the top performing student of its members with a full five year scholarship.
Both organizations say they will also provide support to the students by way of academic counseling and status reports to ensure they have a successful educational career.
Bethel youth convention Story byLovely St.Aime Joseph
The Bethel Tabernacle’s 9th annual National Youth Prophetic Convention got underway on Monday August 6th.
On Tuesday the event continued at the Bethel Tabernacle Pentecostal Church with day sessions specifically targeting youth but open to the entire public.
The National Youth Prophetic Convention is held every year to impact and influence the lives of youth.
Bethel Tabernacle Youth Pastor, Delvin Forde, says the convention hopes to spark a positive movement among Saint Lucian Youth.
The Convention is being held under the theme is: “Youth Pursuing, Overtaking and Recovering all in 2012.”
Morning Sessions begin at 11AM at the Bethel Tabernacle located in Sans Souci. Registration is $25.00.
The free evening Sessions will be hosted at 7PM at the National Cultural Center with Keynote Speakers Dr. Kervin Smith, Pastor Delvin Forde, Rev. Natasha Sifflet and Prophet Shorn Jules.
Forde says all mediums are being used to ensure youth participate in the activity.
The convention will culminate on Friday August 10th with a youth praise night featuring various praise and worship musicians, singers and dancers.
Accident in Talven Story byCarmy Joseph
On Monday 6th August 2012, Officers attached to the Traffic Department responded to a report of a serious accident which occurred at Talvan, Babonneau.
Information received that motor car registration number PG 8140 was travelling along the said road in the direction of Castries. The said vehicle was driven by a male individual whose identity is yet to be ascertained; owing to the fact that he fled the scene.
The driver allegedly lost control of his vehicle and veered off the right side of the road into a drain before colliding into some pedestrians.
As a result if the impact, 3 year old Gael Francis of Talvan, Babonneau and 31 year old Oliviere Flereau of Gradeloupe but resides at Talvan, Babonneau both sustained serious injuries and was transported to Victoria Hospital via ambulance. They were treated and admitted.
Commerce Minister on Ubaldus
Monrose on negotiations
Bursary program starts
Commerce on bread
NYC biennial convention
Bethel youth convention
Accident in Talven
Subventions from government are paid to all aspects of Saint Lucia Carnival. That means taxpayers subsidize everything from bands, to shows and community events. The cash injection is in addition to the bulk funding provided by government to the entity that manages the festival – for the past two years that has been the Stakeholder Committee and before them it was the CDF. Three Carnival bands including the reigning Band of the Year have dropped out of competition due in part to funding constraints. Other associations like the National Carnival Queen Committee and tent leaders have lamented dwindling sponsorship dollars and the need for government funding.
But is it fair to expect Saint Lucians to pay for a product they ultimately have to purchase in the way of costumes, tent shows and events?
Is it realistic for Carnival stakeholders to expect government to subsidize their contribution to the festival?