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Trinidad e Tobago

Princes Town police sergeant’s home firebombed

Trinidad and Tobago Newsday - Gio, 26/05/2022 - 11:30pm

A police sergeant and his family narrowly escaped with their lives after his Princes Town home was firebombed on Thursday morning. Three vehicles were destroyed, along with pet birds. Reports said around 2.30 am, Sgt Jaipersad Baran, 45, of Corial Road, Iere Village, was asleep with his family when he heard a loud explosion outside. When he looked through a door he saw his entire garage was in flames. Baran tried unsuccessfully to put out the flames with a fire extinguisher, but the fire began spreading. Princes Town police and fire services department were contacted and a team of fire officers led by FSO Haniff Majeed extinguished the blaze. However, they were not able to save cars which were in the garage – two Tiidas and a B13. The concrete house was not insured. Crime scene investigators are checking for CCTV footage as investigations continue into the suspected arson. Baran was last attached to the Central Division, but is on vacation at present.

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Categorie: Trinidad e Tobago

Moderate response to covid19 paediatric, second booster shots

Trinidad and Tobago Newsday - Gio, 26/05/2022 - 11:24pm

The North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) has recorded small but steady numbers of people bringing their children for paediatric covid19 vaccines or getting second booster shots. Chief operating officer Davlin Thomas told Newsday on Thursday in a phone interview that the NCRHA had recorded 70 children brought for vaccination on Wednesday and was awaiting Thursday's numbers. As for second booster shots, Thomas did not have the records at the time. He added the processes that were in place for adults are the same for children; each health centre under the north, east, central and south RHAs will be open from 8am-3pm, with no appointment required. Health centres run by the Tobago Regional Health Authority are open from 8am-4pm. On Monday, a shipment of 43,200 paediatric vaccines donated by Spain for children ages five-11 arrived in Trinidad and was sent to the various RHAs for distribution. Thomas added he is encouraging people to take advantage of this opportunity because, "It is the first defence against the very interesting days ahead." Newsday tried to contact the Ministry of Health's senior corporate communications officer Al Alexander but was unsuccessful.

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Categorie: Trinidad e Tobago

Fired safety officer wins in Industrial Court

Trinidad and Tobago Newsday - Gio, 26/05/2022 - 8:50pm

A SAFETY officer has been awarded compensation by the Industrial Court for his “harsh and oppressive” dismissal from the job by Junior Sammy Contractors Ltd (JSCL) in 2018. The contractor has until July 29, to pay Clint Attong the sum ordered by the court’s members Azeem Mohammed, Bindimattie Mahabir, and Jillian Bartlett-Alleyne. Attong has asked that the sum awarded by the court not be published for fear of him becoming a target for criminal elements. Attong’s complaint was referred to the court by the Ministry of Labour in September 2019, after failed attempts at conciliation between the contractor and the Amalgamated Workers Union which argued the case for him. In their ruling, the Industrial Court members said this was not a situation where a company’s procedure in disciplining or termination of a worker was flawed but was a situation where the company simply “failed to adhere to any procedure with an underlying appreciation for the care and continued well-being of the worker in its employ.” They said clear, proper protocol was not followed before dismissing him before finding that his employment was terminated summarily without any known reason or without an opportunity to be heard. They also said it was harsh, oppressive, and contrary to good industrial relations practices. The company did not make representations in court or provide evidence before judgment was delivered. Attong was employed with JSCL from mid-June 2017 and said he completed three-month probation until January when he learned he was replaced by another safety officer on a job site. He said he sought official clarification of his employment status but never received a response from the company. He then sought advice from the union and the ministry before the dispute was referred to the court. The judgment said the union invited the company to meet for discussions and that did not take place until the matter to the ministry as a trade dispute but, to date, it has not given him a letter of complaint, a termination notice, or any correspondence. The union also argued that at no point did the company say Attong’s job was temporary, fixed-term, or project-based. “Here stands a worker who presents himself to the court simply as having been abandoned by his employer. “He was displaced from his place of employment without explanation. Absolutely no reasons were given to him for his separation from the company and no responses were forthcoming dispute his many attempts to get clarity on why he was no longer employed with the company,” the court said. The members also noted that even in the face of industrial action, the company saw it fit to remain silent and allow the proverbial “chips to fall where they may.” The judgment said, “The results of this company’s action was not only foul of the Industrial Relations Act and the concept of good industrial relations practice but placed the worker in such a depressed position that not only could he not find suitable similar employment within his specialised field by was subjected, according to him, to emotional and mental anguish, a direct result of action or inaction of his employers.” Attong told the court with his employment having been severed from a company of such high stature, he found it difficult to get work after and his dismissal affected his name and reputation. The judgement noted that Attong said he felt blacklisted as a worker who, using legal means, would take up arms against an employer because he chose to take the matter to court. This is the third time in as many years that Attong has been successful in litigation. In 2020, the State was ordered to compensate him because a police officer failed to conduct proper investigations before laying charges of larceny and intent to defraud after two women alleged he stole $11,000 from them and threatened their lives. In 2019, he was also successful in an assault and battery and false imprisonment claim against the State after police kidnapped, robbed and beat him.

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Categorie: Trinidad e Tobago

Magistrates’ errors lead to retrials for two men

Trinidad and Tobago Newsday - Gio, 26/05/2022 - 8:49pm

ERRORS by three magistrates in three separate cases have led to two of them being remitted for new trials, while no new trial was ordered for a third. At a hearing of Port of Spain magisterial appeals on Thursday, Justices of Appeal Mark Mohammed and Maria Wilson allowed two appeals by the State after the magistrates hearing those cases dismissed them without reason. The third was an appeal by a man who was charged for failing to provide a breath specimen and using insulting language. The first two appeals involved charges of possession of a knife to commit an indictable offence and possession of cocaine. In the first matter, the State, represented by deputy DPP George Busby, argued that the magistrate – now a High Court judge – erred when she dismissed the case of possession of a knife against Ryan Trotman. Busby said the magistrate had given no reasons for dismissing the appeal, but what was clear from the file was that on the day the matter was dismissed, it was actually listed “for mention.” He said it would be in the public’s interest to send the matter back for determination before a new magistrate. The judges agreed, allowed the State’s appeal and ordered a retrial for Trotman. Busby also argued that in the matter of Anthony Lopez, who was before the court for possession of cocaine for trafficking, which was also dismissed by a magistrate, it appeared the case was also dismissed on a date when it was set for mention, although the prosecution was ready and the accused was present and represented. The judges also agreed with Busby’s submissions and remitted the matter to a new magistrate for trial. In Renison McPherson’s appeal of his conviction for failing to provide a breath specimen and using insulting language, Busby was forced to concede. He said as in the other cases, the magistrate failed to give reasons but at the trial, after testimony by the prosecution’s two witnesses, the magistrate was not willing to wait for McPherson’s attorney to arrive in court for cross-examination. He said in no way was McPherson afforded a fair trial. He did not ask for a new trial. In their ruling on the appeal, Mohammed and Wilson said the magistrate failed to assist McPherson when he was obligated to do so as a judicial officer. Busby was commended for his position on the appeal.

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Browne: CCJ debate to continue

Trinidad and Tobago Newsday - Gio, 26/05/2022 - 7:44pm

THE Senate debate on Independent Senator Anthony Vieira's motion for Trinidad and Tobago to replace the Privy Council with the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as its top appellate court will continue next month. In a texted reply to Newsday's query on Thursday, Senate leader Dr Amery Browne said, "The debate on that motion is scheduled to continue on the next Private Members' Day. The Parliament website, in its glossary of terms, said private members business "has precedence on the fourth Friday/Tuesday of each month," implicitly referring to the days set aside in the House of Representatives and Senate respectively. By Newsday's calculation the fourth Tuesday next month is June 28. Sophia Chote, head of the Law Association (LATT), on Thursday told Newsday she herself supported such a change, but did not state any LATT position. "I can only give you my personal view at this time, which is I support the AG’s proposal. It is long overdue. "The (LATT) membership has not been canvassed on the matter recently but I do recall that the Opposition had previously said it would support accession to the CCJ so there might be agreement on both sides." During Wednesday's Senate debate on the motion, Opposition Senators Wade Mark and Jayanti Lutchmedial advised the Government to first hold a national referendum to gauge public opinion, and then only proceed in Parliament if the survey indicated at least 75 per cent public support for the change.

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Soldiers, police hold three for robbing Arima salesmen

Trinidad and Tobago Newsday - Gio, 26/05/2022 - 7:06pm

A joint team of police and soldiers were able to detain three suspected bandits after they robbed two salesmen in Arima on Wednesday afternoon. Sources said the salesmen, both 24, went to the corner of Antigua Road and the Churchill Roosevelt Highway to sell their products at around 3.10 pm. There four men confronted them, pulled out guns and told them to lie on their stomachs at the back of their truck. The bandits stole $60,000 in cash before running into nearby bushes. The salesmen flagged down a passing Defence Force vehicle and told the soldiers what had happened. The soldiers called for assistance from Arima CID, who searched the area and found the men. The bandits, 19, two 22-year-olds and a 23-year-old, are from Laventille and east Port of Spain. They are expected to be questioned by police on Thursday.

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Keshorn captures javelin silver in Germany

Trinidad and Tobago Newsday - Gio, 26/05/2022 - 6:42pm

TRINIDAD AND Tobago’s double Olympic medallist Keshorn Walcott captured silver in the men’s javelin at the Internationales Leichtathletik Meeting at the Paul-Greifzu Stadium, Dessau, Germany on Wednesday.

Walcott, who got gold at the 2012 Olympics in London and bronze at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, launched the spear 84.69 metres, his best for the 2022 season thus far.

Winning gold on Wednesday was German Julian Weber with his 85.02m throw while Czech Republic’s Jakub Vadlejch earned bronze with an 83.39m attempt.

Prior to his silver medal performance, Walcott won gold at the Yellow Jacket Invitational in Atlanta, USA, in March. There, he threw 84.68m.

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Categorie: Trinidad e Tobago

Tobago has 503 active covid19 cases

Trinidad and Tobago Newsday - Gio, 26/05/2022 - 6:15pm

Tobago has 503 active covid19 cases after 35 new cases were confirmed overnight. The covid19 death toll remains at 268. The THA Division of Health, Wellness and Social Protection said onThursday 11 people are in hospital, five fully vaccinated and six unvaccinated. Tobago has 8, 835 recovered patients.

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Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana can help each other grow

Trinidad and Tobago Newsday - Gio, 26/05/2022 - 8:51am

The May 22 memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed between Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana comes at an opportune time for this country. This was the view expressed by the University of the West Indies (UWI) economist Dr Vaalmikki Arjoon in an interview on Tuesday. The MOU was signed after a three-day Agri Investment Forum in Guyana from May 19-21. The agreement seeks to address partnerships in areas of trade and investment including non-tariff barriers, agriculture and food security, energy, infrastructure, security, education, tourism, sports and culture; with the aim of developing strategic co-operations and partnerships for both countries. Oversight of the execution of the MOU would be under a new bilateral commission comprising both the private and public sectors. The Prime Minister said the agreement showed that Caricom could seek and find solutions to its many problems, especially in agriculture, which was left vulnerable during the pandemic. “In this covid19 period we found ourselves being denied access to our normal food supplies, which comes to us from Australia, New Zealand, Ukraine, Russia and the US. Our supply models are that we get our food from other people’s efforts in faraway lands. “During the height of the covid19 period, at the extent of our vulnerability...even when we had money in hand, we could not buy food. "That situation is not going to change, it is going to get worse. Now is the time to do what has to be done,” he said. Rowley called on the private sector to refocus its investments in the areas of food supply, production, transportation, processing and distribution. He added that Caricom urgently needed to make shifts in its investment patterns, partner with technical expertise and become insulated from external pressures. “We have to look at what Caricom can and must do within Caricom to disentangle ourselves from the tenuous world food supply, that will get more troublesome, and put our shoulder to the wheel within Caricom to our own production systems, changing our supply and business models to put ourselves in supply situations that will not be impeded, destroyed or obstructed by other people elsewhere in the world,” he explained. Guyana President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, who holds the agriculture portfolio in the Caricom Quasi Cabinet, agreed that an important aspect of the MOU was private-sector involvement and felt the discussions with TT will be positive. “We want the private sector of both countries to be fully on board, we want the investors of both countries to be fully on board, but, importantly, we want the people of both countries to be on board.” He said Guyana was well aware of the challenges that lie ahead, but was determined not to miss any opportunities for its growth and development. There has been concern from the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which publicly said Guyana should not sign any MOU with TT, citing issues over non-tariff barriers. [caption id="attachment_956683" align="alignnone" width="1024"] The Port of Spain Ferry Terminal. Shipping and ferry services between TT and Guyana should be explored, says economist Vaalmiki Arjoon. - SUREASH CHOLAI[/caption] Ali said Guyana saw the MOU as a commitment to secure the futures of both countries and it was being carried out at a political level to ensure the policies and contents were achieved within a reasonable time frame. “It gave us an opportunity to not only examine a sector, but it gave us an opportunity to take the bull by horn and to identify, in a very open and frank way, missed opportunities to help identify opportunities in the future and blocks to those opportunities. “We are not naive. We are not unaware of impediments or blocks or constraints or challenges. At the end of the day, we are not only neighbours, we are not only part of a community, we are also part of a family.” He added that transport between the two countries was critical and an experimental ferry system to transport people and goods was being explored by the two governments. Arjoon said, "The timing of the MOU between both governments couldn’t be better, especially given the global economic challenges imposed by the pandemic and the Russia/Ukraine conflict." In particular, he cited the supply-chain constraints, and the greater need for food security, given the reduced supply and high price of food internationally. "Indeed, it presents further opportunities for greater economic convergence, private-sector investment and overall trade linkages between both economies." Arjoon hoped that TT and Guyana will "take advantage of the MOU without delay to capitalise on the economic benefits which it can foster." Those benefits would primarily be increased investments by TT's private sector into Guyana and vice versa. Arjoon said other benefits included job opportunities in both countries and economies of scale stemming from these investments. "Indeed, Guyana’s economic performance has (been) bolstered in the last few years by the mining and exports of bauxite, gold, diamonds and most importantly petroleum." At the end of 2020, Guyana had a nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of over US$5.7 billion, economic growth of 43 per cent and foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows of US$1.83 billion. Arjoon said, "This presents an attractive investment environment for the TT private sector, notwithstanding some ease of doing business/bureaucracy issues and energy costs." The MOU also provides an opportunity for TT to help Guyana's efforts to reduce the regional food import bill. "Going forward and capitalising on the MOU, more of our local farmers should be encouraged to invest in Guyana and acquire arable land." This land could be used for producing crops that require large acreages, such as corn, citrus, bananas, and animal farming. Arjoon said, "Both administrations can explore the possibility of providing preference and concessions to TT farmers in acquiring lands for farming purposes and moving of agricultural equipment across to Guyana." The Agriculture Ministry can also consider extending its grants and benefits to local farmers setting up operations in Guyana. "Some of these farmers would need the capital assistance to be able to afford setting up infrastructure and access drainage etc." Arjoon observed, "Such an investment can certainly bolster agricultural output at a lower cost per unit, allowing our local farmers operating in Guyana to have more for export and, of course, supply to the local market." Another key benefit of the MOU is greater food security, reduced price volatility and reduced risks to food supplies from geopolitical risks. The proximity of the two countries, together with a cultural bond, provides a strong platform for this initiative. Arjoon also noted that Guyana is exploring a wheat-farming initiative. TT could benefit from co-operating in such an initiative. [caption id="attachment_956676" align="alignnone" width="1024"] A farmer harvests wheat on the outskirts of Jammu, India. Concerns over global wheat supplies presents an opportunity for Guyana to pursue wheat farming, not only for itself but the Caricom region. AP Photo -[/caption] "The Russia/Ukraine conflict has sent the wheat supply into a tailspin, causing the price of wheat to increase by over 60 per cent since February 16. " He added that TT currently imports wheat from the US. "If our local farmers can invest in and partner with Guyana’s economy to grow their own wheat, then they, in turn, can not only supply to our local economy, but also become exporters of wheat. "We would also be guaranteed a supply at a lower cost, especially the since the cost of production and shipping costs to TT would be lower." Another advantage to be gained from the MOU can be found through shipping and logistics. Arjoon said the Port of Spain port can be used by Guyana's private sector, especially manufacturers, as a transshipment hub. Raw materials and equipment imported by Guyana could be delivered to Port of Spain and then transported to Guyana on smaller vessels. Arjoon added, "Guyana is also regarded as Brazil’s gateway to the Caribbean. Exports from Brazil to the region via Guyana can go through our port as a transshipment venue." On Monday, Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon welcomed the signing of the MOU. “Guyana has a vast land mass and therefore countries like Guyana and Belize can produce these items (wheat). Once we get the production of these basic items going, there will be no concerns over availability. Then of course the price could be settled within the region. “If we get into growing soya bean, then that means that you are going to be able to supply soya bean oil. After that there will be the mash, which is an input in the production of animal feed. "All round it is going to benefit. These are the kind of sustainable initiatives...” But she said outside of these, there is very little that can be done on a policy level to control the prices or offset any price increases. “We have already taken off VAT and suspended the common external tariff. We are having discussions with NFM (National Flour Mills) and we are concerned about the pricing, but it is the consumer that we are most concerned about. What we are looking at it actual production. That is where we will be able to have more control over price and availability.” The TTMA also welcomed the MOU. TTMA president Tricia Coosal said, "The MOU will serve as a catalyst for the promotion of free trade within Caricom, while at the same time promote the deepening of the CSME (Caribbean Single Market and Economy) process, allowing the tenets of true integration among a group of countries to be solidified, as was envisioned by the framers of the CSME process." She added the MOU was also important in the context of resolving trade barriers between TT and Guyana, which are known to curtail the development and progress of countries. "As an organisation, TTMA shares an amicable working relationship with our counterpart, the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA). In fact, the TTMA is in the process of finalising our own MOU with the GMSA, which will seek the mutual benefit of the manufacturing sectors of both countries as it relates to trade." In 2013, TT and Guyana signed an MOU which would have allowed TT farmers to use 10,000 acres of land in Guyana for agriculture. No agreement was ever reached on the locations. In 2018, then agriculture minister Clarence Rambharat said there had been discussions about using land in Guyana for cultivating animal feed. [caption id="attachment_956681" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Farmers harvest peppers in Wallerfield. The Guyana-TT MOU can open the door to farm product exports between the countries. - FILE PHOTO/ROGER JACOB[/caption] “It was something that was discussed a long time, but of course, it was challenged by the fact that the people who consume the most amount of feed in Trinidad and in Guyana have long term supply contracts out of the US." Rambharat said TT will have to explore how competitive it can be in providing animal feed and competing with extra-regional suppliers.  

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Categorie: Trinidad e Tobago

The ownership myth and its complications

Trinidad and Tobago Newsday - Gio, 26/05/2022 - 8:51am

[caption id="attachment_956669" align="alignnone" width="839"] -[/caption] The myth that “shareholders own the company” and the one that is thought to follow from it, namely “directors have a duty to maximise financial returns for shareholders” are two key obstacles that prevent many companies from getting to the solution to our countries’ and our world’s sustainability crisis. It is in large part companies whose business models are based on stimulating wants and over-consumption, at the expense of contributing to well-being, which are destroying the natural environment and exploiting human resources. These companies have brought our country and the world to the dangerous place we are in today. The needs of many in today’s society are far from being met. Young people have realised that the business-as-usual approach is sawing off the proverbial branch which supports us. Our children and grandchildren will have to find new, innovative ways to meet their needs, because we have used up more than our fair share of resources and we are leaving the world in a very precarious state. Are we locked into this path? We require companies to be part of the solutions that we desperately need. Shareholders do not own companies Courts, legal scholars and business commentators agree on one thing: shareholders do not own companies. Nevertheless, the myth is so strongly embedded in common vocabulary that many governance codes, guidance documents for “good practice,” and even corporate-governance courses still use the ownership concept and thereby continue to lead companies down the wrong path. John Kay, writing in the Corporate Governance column of the Financial Times, provides three key references: first, the UK Court of Appeal declared in 1948 that “shareholders are not, in the eyes of the law, part owners of the company.” Second, in 2003, the House of Lords reaffirmed that ruling in unequivocal terms. And third, scholarly legal work by Tony Honoré identified 11 tests of ownership. The relationship between shareholders and the company satisfies only two conditions, three in part, and six conditions are not met at all. So, is there an alternative name to "owners"? ISO 37000, the first global standard on governance of organisations, provides the generic alternative to all those stakeholders, like shareholders, who have a legal obligation or defined right to make decisions in relation to the governing body and to whom the governing body is to account: member stakeholders. Shareholders are member stakeholders. "Members" is also the term used in most companies’ acts. I am not a lawyer, and this column does not constitute legal advice, but I will certainly follow the advice of lawyers and legal scholars such as Beate Sjåfjell or Prof Mervyn King, who point out that shareholders who act as though they own the company have found themselves in jail. So if it is so clear that shareholders are not owners of companies, that leads to two more questions: who actually owns the company? The second, more consequential question: do directors have a duty to maximise returns to shareholders, and how does this prevent them from contributing to sustainability? [caption id="attachment_956670" align="alignnone" width="977"] Source: www.1stformations.co.uk -[/caption] John Kay’s answer to the ownership question is insightfully short: “No one does, any more than anyone owns the river Thames, the National Gallery, the streets of London, or the air we breathe.” Duty of directors, act in best interest of the company The company acts of Barbados, Jamaica, St Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago all use the same expression when it comes to the duty of care of directors: “act honestly and in good faith with a view to the best interest of the company.” Company acts continue to be the same the world over, with a variety of specifications for what to consider when “determining what are the best interests of the company.” Some say directors “must;” others give more leeway and say “may” have regard to the interest of its shareholders (others say members). All also specify the interest of employees in this clause. The Company Act of Jamaica further specifies that directors “may have regard to the community in which they operate” (174.4), while St Lucia specifies that “the interests of its shareholders shall in all cases prevail” (97.2). In other jurisdictions, like the UK, the duty to promote the success of the company specified in the Companies Act (paragraph 172.1) is more elaborate: A director of a company must act in the way he considers, in good faith, would be most likely to promote the success of the company for the benefit of its members as a whole, and in doing so have regard (amongst other matters) to: a) the likely consequences of any decision in the long term, b) the interests of the company's employees, c) the need to foster the company's business relationships with suppliers, customers and others, d) the impact of the company's operations on the community and the environment, e) the desirability of the company maintaining a reputation for high standards of business conduct, and f) the need to act fairly as between members of the company. Sustainability, the smart way to succeed In order to bust the myth of the supposed need to maximise financial returns to shareholders, note three important things: first, company acts are all clear that the duty imposed on directors of a company is owed to the company alone. Secondly, shareholders are always just one of the constituents to take into account, it is never exclusive: success for the company comes first and any shareholder returns from that. Third, even though contributing to sustainability is the smart, and only, way to succeed over time, the law currently does not require directors to do so. Even though company laws in some parts of the world are significantly more elaborate about what directors should consider when determining the best interest of the company, there is an important international legislative movement under way to reform company laws in a more fundamental way: demand that the governing body of every company and organisation explicitly and bindingly defines not only its areas of activity, but the purpose of the organisation. What ultimate benefits does the organisation seek to achieve sustainably for stakeholders? So instead of creating a long list of considerations, which could still collapse into “shareholder primacy,” once companies specify their purpose, the duty and accountability of directors would be lot clearer and stronger and our chance for a sustainable future much improved. Dr Axel Kravatzky is managing partner of Syntegra-ESG Ltd vice-chair of ISO/TC309 Governance of organizations, the co-convenor and editor of ISO 37000 Governance of organizations – Guidance. He is currently the project leader for ISO 37006 Indicators of effective governance. Disclaimer: the views presented are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of any of the organizations he is associated with. Comments and feedback that further the regional dialogue are welcome at axel.kravatzky@syntegra-esg.com  

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Categorie: Trinidad e Tobago

High-income digital skills to consider learning

Trinidad and Tobago Newsday - Gio, 26/05/2022 - 8:51am

[caption id="attachment_956665" align="alignnone" width="1024"] -[/caption] It’s hard not to get depressed or upset (depending on how you view it) when you see the headlines that speak of the two per cent wage increase when the Central Bank announced that inflation for 2022 is at 4.1 per cent. That doesn’t make much of a difference for you. However, I will also tell people that these are subtle reminders for us to start looking into new ways to create the lives that we want to live. The world has changed and continues to change daily. We here in Trinidad and Tobago need to start realising that we have yet to fully embrace the Digital Age and everything it has to offer. The beautiful thing is, in the Digital Age, our incomes have no cap, and we are not limited by geography. Whilst we are still spoon-fed by all traditional forms of education to go with the traditional career choices, digital jobs and skills are now mature enough that they should no longer be seen as risky. These skills will allow you either to land work as a freelancer and participate in the gig economy or you will be able to work for a company around the world whilst you are still physically living here in TT, getting paid in another currency. Another fun fact is that these skills will also allow you to go past “work from home” and get into the realm of “work from anywhere.” Allow me to introduce you to 12 skills you can start learning that are considered high-income digital skills. Now, there are way more than 12 high-income digital skills available to learn, but I wanted to give you a starting point so then you can go down the rabbit hole in your research. 1. Web development 2. Software developer 3. Search engine optimisation specialist 4. Digital marketer 5. Content market or content creator 6. Copywriter 7. Video editor 8. Blockchain specialist 9. Sales 10. User experience (UX) 11. Project management 12. Cyber-security The absolutely beautiful thing about any of these skills is that you can learn them from online schools, take short courses, read books, join forums, get certified online and do this whilst you are still in secondary school or if you have a full-time job and are looking to make a career switch or get a supplemental income. When I started my tech blog Droid Island back in 2016, some of the first skills I learned that eventually allowed me to move from just being a tech blogger to turning it into a business were learning WordPress web development, digital marketing, e-commerce, search engine optimisation (SEO) and content marketing. Those skills allowed me to build my digital presence so that when my consumers Googled anything related to smartphones, my website would show up with articles teaching them about some of the most-Googled topics in TT relating to phones. They would then be able to click on the links to products I recommended and make purchases right on my website via credit card or online bank transfers. The reason why skills like web development and SEO are so important for business owners is because of Google and other search engines. Anytime someone has a question or a problem, they jump on a search engine to do their research, and links to a website or videos on YouTube will pop up providing the information they need. Links to products are also displayed and then once the website is e-commerce ready, purchases can be made online without having to speak to anybody. If you are looking to learn some of the skills mentioned, here are some of the top places I recommend doing the courses and certification programs. 1. HubSpot Academy 2. Skillshare 3. Coursera 4. Google Digital Garage 5. SuperHi Check out these platforms and go searching for some of the skills mentioned earlier. When you have these skills, you can now build your profile and gain clients around the world on platforms like Fiverr, Freelancer.com, Upwork or regional platforms like Workii, Checkwi.com or ilandgigs.com. If the gig economy is not for you, then this is where you need to brush up your LinkedIn profile and start looking for jobs there and connecting with recruiters. Globally, recruiters are on LinkedIn looking for remote talent to bring into their organisations, and these are the opportunities that Trinis should be looking to take full advantage of. Working for international companies will expose our local market, raise our skill sets, build our work ethic, and bring in forex and we can start to see these things making an impact on our country. I hope this article gave you a starting point to starting that new career or getting those new skills to generate additional income. To learn more about building your digital presence and monetising, visit Keronrose.com and check out the Digipreneur FM podcast on all Podcast platforms.  

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Categorie: Trinidad e Tobago

Growing momentum for agriculture

Trinidad and Tobago Newsday - Gio, 26/05/2022 - 8:50am

It's clear from the attendance alone at Guyana’s three-day Agri-Investment Forum and Expo earlier this month that regional leaders believe it’s a do-or-die scenario when it comes to boosting agricultural production amid ongoing global supply uncertainties.

Countries represented at the event included Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Jamaica, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.

Also a sign of serious intent was the convening of a series of bilateral meetings and events surrounding the forum. One such instance was the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on renewed and enhanced co-operation signed by this country's Prime Minister and Guyana’s president Dr Irfaan Ali.

The problem, however, is we’ve seen such grand events and carefully stage-managed ceremonies before.

What has changed now to inspire confidence that this time around real change is going to happen?

The entire region will be looking, in the coming months, for the details of agreements signed and evidence of such agreements being meaningfully implemented.

One place to start might be for each regional actor to secure national consensus across the political spectrum on the issues surrounding trade and agricultural production. Too often, leaders sign documents and pose for photographs, but then there is a change of administration, and the new government must do the same thing again, the same project appears in that year's budget speech, almost as a copy-and-paste, and then we repeat the cycle, while nothing gets done.

Caricom, as a key co-ordinating agency, must play a role in steering us in the right direction. Equally, leaders must supply the political will needed not only to take advantage of areas of co-operation but to also ensure continuity of policy regardless of who is in power.

We are talking about the region’s ability to feed itself, after all.

Attention should also be paid to the barriers that have hindered co-operation in the past.

In welcoming the signing of the MOU between TT and Guyana, the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association noted its belief that “the continued relationship between both governments is promising as we seek to resolve trade barriers.”

Such barriers include those which led the Georgetown Chamber of Industry and Commerce to warn the Guyanese government against signing the MOU, pending the removal of these trade obstacles.

According to the Georgetown Chamber, Guyanese businesses are hindered by non-tariff barriers that impose limitations on how a product may be manufactured, handled or advertised, and quotas of products that may be sold in a market. For example, a 1930s law seemingly limits the transport of honey within one mile of TT and this law was invoked in 2015 in one action brought by customs officials against a freight company, resulting in a US$3,000 fine.

Until such finer issues are ironed out, this month’s proceedings will be grandstanding.

And concomitant with addressing these things is the need for shifts in consumer habits.

Removing trade barriers is important, but so too is getting people to eat local, to change their diets and also to embrace small-scale food production.

With a regional food import bill in excess of US$6 billion, we have little choice.

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Categorie: Trinidad e Tobago

Gopee-Scoon: Guyana/Trinidad and Tobago MOU can help fix food security issues

Trinidad and Tobago Newsday - Gio, 26/05/2022 - 8:49am

Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon said the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana for renewed and enhanced co-operation will provide a sustainable solution to issues of food prices, security and availability.

She made the statement after the signing of another MOU between the Ministry of Tourism and the Royal Caribbean at the Trinidad Hilton, Port of Spain on Monday.

“The major concern is prices, but what is also becoming more intriguing is the issue of availability,” Gopee-Scoon said.

She described the signing of the MOU between Guyana and TT as “fortuitous” because an enhanced relationship between the two countries in the area of agriculture could provide the inputs to produce basic food items at a price that could be better controlled.

“Guyana has a vast land mass and therefore countries like Guyana and Belize can produce these items (wheat). Once we get the production of these basic items going there will be no concerns over availability. Then, of course the price could be settled within the region.”

“If we get into growing soya bean then that means that you are going to be able to supply soya bean oil. After that there will be the mash which is an input in the production of animal feed. All round, it is going to benefit. These are the kind of sustainable initiatives.”

She said outside of these initiatives, there is very little that can be done on a policy level to control the prices or offset any price increases.

“We have already taken off value-added tax (VAT) and suspended the common external tariff (CET). We are having discussions with NFM and we are concerned about the pricing, but it is the consumer that we are most concerned about. What we are looking at it actual production. That is where we will be able to have more control over price and availability.”

Last week, Agricultural Society president Darryl Rampersad told Newsday price increases in products that come out of grains like flour and feed were impending because of worldwide shocks such as India's ban on the export of wheat.

He said although TT does not buy directly from India, the country could still be affected by the lack of availability as it gets its wheat from a third-party dealer.

“When people highlighted the problems in Ukraine and people said it would not affect us because we don’t buy from Ukraine, the truth is we don’t buy directly from Ukraine. The same way, we don’t buy directly from India, but we buy from someone who is purchasing from them and every time the hands change the prices go up as well. So there is going to be a significant increase,” he said.

The World Bank said in its commodity markets outlook report in April that the war in Ukraine has sent shockwaves through worldwide markets, significantly altering global trade, production and consumption patterns that would keep prices historically high through the end of 2024.

The World Bank said agriculture and meals are expected to increase over 20 per cent in 2022.

On May 14, India, the world’s second largest wheat producer, announced a ban on its exports. The government said it chose to protect food security for its population which is about 1.4 billion. India also announced on Wednesday that it will limit its sugar exports to 10 million tonnes for the marketing season that runs through September. The Narendra Modi government said it took the decision to maintain stocks in India after a large growth in exports last year and during the current financial year, from October last year to September.

India is the largest producer of sugar in the world and the second largest exporter behind Brazil.

Sugar mills in India have signed contracts for about nine million tonnes, so far, for the current financial year. Over the last year, India shipped over seven million tonnes of sugar overseas.

After a three-day agriculture forum and expo in Guyana, both the TT and Guyana governments signed the MOU which seeks to address partnerships in trade and investment, including non-tariff barriers, agriculture and food security, energy, infrastructure, education, tourism, sports and culture.

TT and Guyana already have trade relationships with parboiled brown rice, cane sugar, wholly milled parboiled rice, husked brown rice and frozen fillets among the top products imported from Guyana.

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Categorie: Trinidad e Tobago

Unit Trust, Grace Kennedy join to serve Jamaica

Trinidad and Tobago Newsday - Gio, 26/05/2022 - 8:49am

The Unit Trust Corporation (UTC) has signed a joint venture agreement with GK Capita Management – a subsidiary of Grace Kennedy Ltd – to offer investment options to Jamaican investors.

In a release on Wednesday, UTC said the partnership will leverage each entity’s strengths to create value for individual and institutional investors.

“The Jamaican market can be characterised by a vibrant money market, a dynamic stock exchange, and close affiliations with US financial markets via money transfers. Within this environment, UTC will leverage its expertise and replicate what was accomplished in Trinidad and Tobago to provide financial hope and create wealth, but now also for Jamaican investors,” the release said.

UTC executive director Nigel Edwards said it will continue to focus on delivering value, even as uncertainty continues to affect global economies, financial markets and industries.

“This initiative is a significant milestone for the UTC and adds to our 40-year legacy of trust and significant contribution to the success of the financial services sector,” he said.

The UTC is TT’s largest mutual fund service provider with assets under management as of the end of 2021 amounting to $25.5 billion. GK, one of the Caribbean’s largest conglomerates involved in food manufacturing, distribution and financial services, is celebrating its centennial year and operates in the Caribbean, North and Central America and the UK.

Don Wehby, Grace Kennedy Group CEO, said that Jamaicans maintained their confidence in Grace Kennedy’s ability to innovate.

“These new investment options from GK Capital in partnership with UTC, will serve as another great example of our company’s commitment to delivering world class investment products to our customers,” he said.

Steven Whittingham, deputy CEO, GraceKennedy Financial Group and the head of GK’s Investment and Insurance Divisions, said, “The initial funds will diversify the sphere of investment opportunities for GK Capital’s clients and expand our product reach. While we are entering a competitive collective investment scheme market, the design of the funds and the planned novel approaches to distribution, will deliver a unique customer experience and drive client acquisition and the accumulation of assets under management.”

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Categorie: Trinidad e Tobago

Pride hold advantage after Red Force's batting meltdown

Trinidad and Tobago Newsday - Gio, 26/05/2022 - 8:49am

A DISMAL start from Trinidad and Tobago Red Force put Barbados Pride in control after day-one of the West Indies Championship fourth round, which bowled off at Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Tarouba on Wednesday.

Coming off a poor batting performance in their previous match against Leeward Islands Hurricanes, Red Force continued to struggle and were dismissed for a meagre 133 after 54.2 overs, just before tea.

At the close of play, defending champions Barbados Pride finished on 87/2 and trail by 46 runs, with Raymon Reifer (32 not out) and Jonathan Carter (19 not out) the overnight batsmen.

Having won the toss and opting to bat first, Red Force openers Keagan Simmons (duck) and Jeremy Solozano (six) perished within the first seven overs.

In the second over, Simmons was bowled by pacer Akeem Jordan after facing just two balls. Solozano followed in the first ball of the fifth over caught in second slip by Jonathan Carter off fast bowler Miguel Cummins to send TT reeling at 11/2.

The experienced pair of Darren Bravo and Jason Mohammed tried to bring some stability to the Red Force innings as they built a 19-run third-wicket partnership. Mohammed scored 12 but was sent packing after, caught by Raymon Reifer, attempting a big shot off left-arm pacer Ramon Simmonds.

At 30/3, Bravo and Yannic Cariah added 17 before the former was bowled behind his back courtesy another swinging Jordan delivery. Cariah (13) hit two fours but edged to wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich to sink TT further.

With skipper Imran Khan and his deputy Joshua Da Silva in the middle, Red Force entered the lunch break on 56-5.

At the resumption, Khan opened up on the Bajan bowlers as he flicked Greaves for a six and then edged Cummins for consecutive fours past gully and through extra cover respectively.

Khan’s theatrics with the bat forced Bajan captain Kraigg Brathwaite to introduce off-spinner Roston Chase to the attack. Although Da Silva scored slowly, he played patiently and sought to build a middle-order stance with his captain.

Khan however, tried to play an unorthodox shot off Simmonds’ pace but was caught by Cummins to send TT to 91/6. Before he was dismissed, the pair constructed the Red Force’s biggest partnership of 41 runs.

Terrance Hinds showed clear intent on his arrival to the middle as he slashed Cummins for four off his second delivery faced. Hinds went on to punish the Bajan bowlers, hitting one six and three fours in his knock of 25 from 31 deliveries to ignite a slow recovery for TT.

Hinds and Da Silva accumulated 31 more runs to the tally before the former was caught by Cummins (129/7). Bryan Charles entered, faced 17 balls and was bowled by Jordan without scoring.

Left-arm spinner Warrican cleaned up the final two wickets as he had DaSilva (23) trapped leg-before and Uthman Muhammed (duck) bowled

Topping the bowling for the Pride was Warrican (3/21) while Jordan (2/17), Ramon Simmonds (2/24) and Justin Greaves 2/26 also had good contributions.

In their turn at the crease, the Pride opened with skipper Brathwaite and Sheyne Moseley up against pacers Shannon Gabriel and Muhammad.

Gabriel bowled well in his first four overs but was replaced in the attack by brisk medium pacer Hinds. Moseley showed intent with the bat and hit Muhammad for a six and a four and another two fours off Gabriel.

In Hinds’ second over, he got the crucial scalp of Brathwaite (four), caught behind by Da Silva. Four overs later, Hinds struck again and sent Moseley (24) back to the pavilion out caught by Khan to send Barbados to 34/2 after 14.2 overs.

The left-handed pair of Reifer and Carter played smartly against a mixture of Red Force pace and spin. Reifer hit Charles for four fours while Carter smashed Khan for back-to-back boundaries in the remaining overs.

Summarised Scores: TT RED FORCE 133 - Imran Khan 29, Terrance Hinds 25, Joshua Da Silva 23; Jomel Warrican 3-21, Akeem Jordan 2-17 vs BARBADOS PRIDE 87-2 - Raymon Reifer 32 not out, Shayne Moseley 24; Terrance Hinds 2-14.

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Categorie: Trinidad e Tobago

Trade and business information portal launched

Trinidad and Tobago Newsday - Gio, 26/05/2022 - 8:49am

The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) celebrated the launch of its trade and business portal – a one-stop hub for accurate and up-to-date business and investment information – at the Trinidad Hilton, Port of Spain, on Wednesday.

Trade Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon in her feature address assured that the ministry is committed to closely coordinating with both the public and private sector as well as international organisations to ensure that the portal will be continuously updated.

“The business community and other stakeholders will now have a useful tool that would help them find information to facilitate and accelerate trade and business decisions and activities,” she said.

Gopee-Scoon said the portal will treat with issues that have resulted in Trinidad and Tobago being ranked 79th on global competitiveness out of 140 countries.

“A major requisite to improve our ranking lies in the need to enhance the effectiveness of our institutions through digital transformation,” she said. “In light of this, digital transformation is a critical pillar in our national policies.”

The minister added that the MTI is also pursuing initiatives that would improve trade and business environments which include electronic payments, which will soon be available through TTBizLink and DevelopTT; business process re-engineering, which would simplify business processes and align current major regulatory trade processes with international best practices and implementation of the WTO facilitation agreement, entered into force globally on 2017 and cites predictability and transparency as cornerstones to the agreement.

TTMA president Tricia Coosal said the portal will also give businesses and other stakeholders access to information on prerequisites for importing and exporting goods, which in the past was difficult to access.

“This opens the world of possibilities with regard to how trade data can be viewed and analysed,” she said. “It therefore enables better business decisions about what product is needed for a particular market at any given time.”

The portal, Coosal said, has the potential to help TT realise one of its long-term business and trade objectives – gaining a competitive advantage in the international arena in the area of ease of doing business.

“If the time taken to send documents and receive approvals from various agencies is reduced significantly, this allows for containers to be cleared at the port in a shorter time frame. This in turn will reduce overhead costs leading to increased competitiveness.”

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Categorie: Trinidad e Tobago

The skills challenge

Trinidad and Tobago Newsday - Gio, 26/05/2022 - 8:49am

LIZ FISHER

Building on ACCA’s 2021 report, Professional accountants at the heart of sustainable organisations – which identified the core capabilities that professional accountants will need – a new report, Developing the skills of the sustainable business and finance professional, looks at what needs to happen to ensure these capabilities are developed successfully.

The new report addresses this question from the perspective of educators, learners and employers. It talks of "the educator’s problem that we should all care about": since we have all experienced learning and development in one form or another, we should each have a view on the outcomes from learning because they can have an impact for generations to come.

One of the key questions that educators face, it points out, is how to develop the sustainable business and finance professional’s capabilities, particularly when many roles of the future are yet to be defined, and in circumstances where different roles may require different combinations of capabilities.

The report stresses that developing sustainable business and finance professionals is a collaborative exercise. Educators are having to respond to changing learning needs as the capabilities that professional accountants need become more varied.

However, the report points out that there is no single learning and development solution – and the expectation of longer working lives is increasing the lifelong learner population and the diversity of learning needs. "Learning ecosystems present a way forward to host and deliver a variety of learning and development interventions, creating flexibility for learners on when, how and what kind of learning happens," it concludes.

The human touch

The report, which draws on engagement with more than 800 learners, employers and educators around the world, argues that professional accountants need specific human capabilities in order to be effective. These include:

Capabilities needed to be effective

• collaboration – engaging effectively with stakeholders, communicating clearly, being inclusive and influencing with impact

• digital – proficiently and ethically using existing and emerging data technologies, capabilities, practices and strategies

• drive – being determined, motivating and developing oneself and others to achieve stretching goals, being curious and open to new approaches and acting with integrity

• ethics – acting in accordance with fundamental principles of professional and personal ethical behaviour; ensuring the use of appropriate ethical frameworks and compliance with laws and regulations

• expertise – drawing on knowledge and experience, applying technical expertise

• insight – how one thinks and operates at the individual level in the organisation: accurately analysing information, generating new ideas, making clear decisions, organising work, focusing on key priorities and achieving timely results

• sustainability – drawing on knowledge and experience, applying technical expertise

Research by McKinsey corroborates ACCA's own findings and suggests that employers believe that some important skills – notably resilience, the ability to manage across cultures and a global mindset – are not widely available. It is also clear that employers themselves are increasingly focused on developing social, emotional and advanced cognitive skills in their reskilling efforts.

The embedding challenge

The report highlights the difficulty of incorporating development of key capabilities into traditional learning programmes. Developing uniquely human capabilities, such as relevance and reliability, are seen as crucial to being an effective professional accountant but are complex both to teach and to measure.

The report suggests potential next steps that could be taken to encourage development of these essential capabilities. These include greater collaboration between educators, HR functions and employers to define precise development needs and implement solutions.

One educator participant pointed out: "Learning must run alongside the continuous career journey. During the qualification process, we set the expectation that qualification is only the starting point of the learning journey."

The report argues that a combination of approaches is needed to develop the right capabilities, and that work experience or simulations are essential to developing some key skills, especially expertise, collaboration and ethical behaviour.

"The 70:20:10 learning model is very much alive," it says. "Good learning and development approaches all have learners, the workplace, communities as part of a varied and integrated methodology."

70:20:10 learning

• 70 per cent learn and develop through experience

• 20 per cent learn and develop through others

• 10 per cent learn and develop through structured courses and programmes

The report acknowledges that the education sector is dramatically transforming itself in response to the drivers of new learning trends and factors changing the education business model. Data-informed learning is "paving the way for continual improvement," it says, at all stages of the education process, from design to evaluation.

Digital technology has also brought innovation to the way that learning and development is delivered. "This will become more than a learning and development hosting tool, for instance in the form of gamification, enabling learners to develop in realistic and sometimes extreme workplace simulations," it says.

The report identifies six "dimensions" that underpin quality learning and development, which will leave educators well placed to manage risk and thrive in a fast-changing environment. But this is very much a team effort. The report stresses that educators should seek to co-create and co-deliver with employers, HR specialists, learners, trade associations and professional bodies. They need to share data and develop gap analysis to understand the skills required by organisations and the supply of skills available among learners, and then define and deliver interventions that will make a difference.

Source: ACCA Accounting and Business

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Categorie: Trinidad e Tobago

200 recycling bins to be placed around PoS

Trinidad and Tobago Newsday - Gio, 26/05/2022 - 8:49am

VISHANNA PHAGOO On Thursday, 200 recycling bins, shaped like black plastic water tanks will be placed throughout Port of Spain to help "beautify" and reduce the number of plastic bottles. The project was created by a private company, Container Recycling Services Ltd. At the launch of the Every Bottle Back facility at 40 Charlotte Street, Port of Spain on Wednesday, Container Recycling Services's project leader Jose Luis Guillermety said more will be seen throughout the country soon. But in addition, individuals can take their plastics to the facility and be paid five cents for each plastic bottle they bring in. The company is also responsible for sorting and exporting the plastics to international plants to be processed into new bottles within three to four years. Its aim is to develop a processing plant in TT so it can cut costs and be done sooner. Guillermety said the next step is to hold talks with business places that use a lot of plastic bottles to get them to take them to the facility. "We think we can turn this into a business that can generate jobs, among other benefits for TT." Local Government and Rural Development Minister Faris Al-Rawi added the bottles can be reused once they are treated properly which will reduce the need to buy plastic bottles from foreign markets. He said, "We can reintegrate it, save foreign exchange and we can create an economy. You know what that means? We can stop flooding, our city looks beautiful and that TT has pride." [caption id="attachment_956649" align="alignnone" width="709"] Passersby stop to check out the Every Bottle Back redemption centre, Charlotte Street, Port of Spain. - ROGER JACOB[/caption] Port of Spain Mayor Joel Martinez said with these recycling bins and the facility, flooding can be drastically decreased or stopped entirely, as waterways will not be blocked. He said Charlotte Street was chosen because it is the "buzz of Port of Spain" and added, "We would like to see a pedestrianised street or boulevard, with stores on either side and vending in the middle." He said this can be achieved with recycling. Public Utilities Minister Marvin Gonzales said, "Ninety per cent of 481.6 billion used plastic bottles end up in our landfills, water courses and oceans every single year." He said because of this problem and bottles not being biodegradable, the recycling initiative is important to help better people's lives and achieve sustainable development goals. The initiative involves plastic containers and bottles, but executive chairman of Blue Waters Dominic Hadeed wants to expand on the plastics recycled. He said, "It is my hope, one day that industries can go beyond just plastic bottles or containers and drift into other areas such as tyres and car batteries to move the economy away from depending on gas." Al-Rawi also added that another facility will be opened in San Fernando West and he is working on strengthening the affairs of the ministry. He said this can be done by handing over the "power and authority" to the regional corporations. The legislation that will bring this to fruition is being taken to the Senate, since the Local Government Reform Bill has been passed in the House of Representatives.  

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Categorie: Trinidad e Tobago

Stepping up to the plate for domestic violence

Trinidad and Tobago Newsday - Gio, 26/05/2022 - 8:49am

On September 6, 2019, the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce launched a domestic violence workplace policy. The development of the policy was the result of collaboration between the Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CADV) and our Crime and Justice Committee. According to a finding of the Women’s Health Survey, undertaken by the UN Development Programme in 2017, one in every three women in intimate partnerships has experienced some form of violence in their relationships. In Trinidad and Tobago, both girls and boys suffer physical abuse. The costs of domestic violence are highest for those who experience it. They endure lives of terror, tension, and pain. Many do so in silence. They may not seek help because they think that what they are experiencing is not serious enough. They also fear the consequences of disclosure, including the anticipation of further shame or fear of humiliation. They fear that they would be blamed or not believed. And also they are terrified for their wellbeing because they cannot depend on others, including the police, to protect them. Silence is also the response of communities. Too many do not speak out, even when we know or suspect that someone is a perpetrator of domestic violence or is experiencing it. And in these silences, lives are constrained and distorted and in some cases, lost. A statement dated April 27, 2021 from Donna Cox, Minister of Social Development and Family Services on the – Incidence of violent crimes against women and girls notes that, “Data from the Crime and Problem Analysis branch of the TTPS (Trinidad and Tobago Police Service) extracted from an August 2020 Report of the TT Central Registry on Domestic Violence cited 7,594 reports related to domestic violence between 2014 to 2019.” She further stated that “more than 75 per cent of these reports were from women.” Most adults spend the majority of their waking hours in the workplace. These are places where they can and should benefit from empathetic listening and assisted problem-solving if they are affected by domestic violence. We know that if workplaces support those experiencing domestic violence, there is potential to achieve protection, prevention and even increased productivity. If employees know they will be supported by their employer, they are more likely to seek help to break the cycle. The policy gives information on domestic violence and guidance on how to respond when there are signs that a work colleague is experiencing abuse. In implementing the policy, human resource and workplace colleagues will be better equipped to discuss a range of practical measures that can be effected, including safety plans, time off to go to court and/or the police, and referrals to social services like counselling. With appropriate protections, workplaces and employers can enhance victims’ safety and help connect them with appropriate support services that lead them towards safer environments, thus enabling them to retain and develop their skills in the workplace. Apart from the benefits to the employer (including reductions in lost days’ work and low morale), security of employment enables those affected by domestic violence to maintain stability, in this way assisting them to find a pathway out of violence and to successfully re-build their lives. Companies are encouraged to endorse, adopt and implement the policy, which is available at https://chamber.org.tt/domestic-violence-in-the-workplace-policy, and incorporate this in their employee assistance programmes. Not only as employers, but as institutions that provide good and services, companies have unique and continuous opportunities to use their influence and channels to promote healthy and respectful relationships between women and men. The TT Chamber thanks Roberta Clarke, president of the Coalition Against Domestic Violence, for contributing this article, which was updated from the original version published in 2019.

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TT women cricketers end Barbados tour perfect

Trinidad and Tobago Newsday - Gio, 26/05/2022 - 8:47am

THE TRINIDAD and Tobago women’s cricketers ended their tour of Barbados with an unblemished record.

On Wednesday, TT won a T20 match by eight wickets at Police Sports Club in Weymouth, St Michael to end the tour with five wins in as many matches.

Prior to Wednesday’s match, TT won two T20 matches and two 50-over contests.

The tour bowled off on May 19.

Batting first in the final match, Barbados posted 123/4 in 20 overs with Knight sisters Kycia and Kyshona scoring the bulk of the runs.

Kycia struck 40 not out, Kyshona pitched in with 32 and Aaliyah Alleyne contributed 24.

Leandra Ramdeen was the chief destroyer for TT with 2/17 and Kirbyina Alexander snatched 1/11.

TT were ruthless in their run chase getting to 127/2 in 16 overs with Rachel Vincent cracking 40 not out. Captain Reniece Boyce contributed 33 and Mikaela Jodhan chipped in with 29.

NaiJanni Cumberbatch tried to contain the TT batters with 2/20.

SUMMARISED SCORES

BARBADOS 123/4 (20 overs) – Kycia Knight 40 not out, Kyshona Knight 32, Aaliyah Alleyne 24; Leandra Ramdeen 2/17, Kirbyina Alexander 1/11 vs TT 127/2 (16 overs) – Rachel Vincent 40 not out, Reniece Boyce 33, Mikaela Jodhan 29; NaiJanni Cumberbatch 2/20. TT won by eight wickets.

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