March 22nd 2019


PRIME MINISTER WELCOMES THE RULING HANDED DOWN BY JUSTICE STANLEY JOH


Prime Minister Dr Hon Ralph Gonsalves has welcomed the ruling handed down by Justice Stanley John in the election petition cases filed by the opposition New Democratic Party NDP following the 2015 general elections.


The petition cases filed by the NDP were brought against Sir Louis Straker and Montgomery Daniel who won the Central Leeward and North Windward constituencies respectively in the elections of 2015. The petitioners claimed that both Straker and Daniel were unduly elected in their respective constituencies, however yesterday’s judgment confirmed that both Straker and Daniel were duly elected and validly returned.


Speaking on Star Radio yesterday afternoon Dr Gonsalves reiterated that the 2015 elections were free and fair and the petitioners were plain wrong with their claims.   PM Gonsalves noted that the judgment also vindicated former Supervisor of Elections Mrs. Sylvia Findlay Scrubb as he praised her for her excellent work and service to St Vincent and the Grenadines.


MCMH REPORTS A CASE OF BACTERIAL MENINGITIS


The Milton Cato Memorial Hospital has reported a Diagnosis of Bacterial Meningitis at the hospital.

The Ministry of Health issued an advisory to inform the public that a male patient who was recently admitted to the Pediatric Ward of the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital was diagnosed with a rare form of bacterial meningitis. 


The ministry says that in response to this diagnosis, it has commenced public health actions geared at preventing the spread of the condition. It says that the relevant stakeholders have been contacted and advised on requirements and protocols. The patient is being treated, recovering well and has a prognosis which remains good.


NY BASED CARDIOLOGIST DONATES EKG MACHINE TO THE MODERN MEDICAL AND DIAGNOSTIC CENTRE


The SVG Retired Nurses Association (SVGRNA), on behalf of New York-based cardiologist Dr. Abdul Malik, donated an Electrocardiography (EKG) machine to the Modern Medical and Diagnostic Centre in Georgetown earlier this month. 


The Association also expressed an interest in working closely with the Centre by organizing further donations and providing voluntary services. Deputy Hospital Administrator Idinger Miller was on hand for the handover and expressed gratitude to the Retired Nurses Association on behalf of the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment. Ms. Miller also assured the group that the EKG machine would be put to good use and help to enhance the provision of healthcare services for Vincentians. She was full of praise for the charity and generosity of the retired nurses and encouraged them to keep doing good. 

The SVGRNA has both local membership and membership in the Diaspora. The Association’s President, Mrs. Advira Providence, expressed pleasure at the range and quality of services being offered at the Modern Medical and Diagnostic Centre. 


SVG OBSERVES WORLD WATER DAY


St Vincent and the Grenadines today joins the rest of the world in observing ‘World Water Day.

The day dedicated to the promotion of the importance of fresh water around the world.   This year is no exception as the theme for World Water day is "Leaving No One Behind." In a message to mark the day Chairperson of the Central Water and Sewerage Authority CWSA Mrs. Girlyn Miguel reiterated what the theme speaks to.


Mrs. Miguel added that the CWSA has ensured that no Vincentian is left behind in the advancement and benefits of water technologies.  According to Mrs. Miguel improvement at the CWSA is constant and plans are currently in place for the continued improvement of all water systems and tanks.


The National Environmental Day Commemoration Committee (NEDCC) is observing World Water Day with two activities today. They are Water Quality Monitoring Exercise at the Peter’s Hope Beach with students from Central Leeward Secondary School and “Drink Water Only!” Challenge – Capture the moment by snapping a photo and sharing it on Instagram and Facebook with the hashtag #waterforall. The NEDCC encourages Vincentians to recognize the vital role water has on our lives and reflect on the importance of managing, protecting and conserving our freshwater resources.


REGIONAL 


PRIME MINISTER MOTTLEY OF BARBADOS EXPECTS RESTRUCTURING OF LIAT TO DRAMATICALLY CUT COST TO THE TAXPAYERS


Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley Wednesday said that the core elements of a new, sustainable model for the regional airline, LIAT, are already clear and that the restructuring is expected to dramatically cut the airline’s cost to the Barbados taxpayer.

Speaking in the Barbados Parliament as she delivered the 2019-2020 budget, Mottley said that significant progress had been made on restructuring the cash-strapped regional airline of which Barbados is a major shareholder.


Year after year, Barbados has coughed up capital subsidies for the airline without requiring burden sharing. And year after year, losses and debts have piled up, pilots work less and less, and ticket prices rise and keep on rising, to the point that it is now cheaper to fly to Miami and even New York than to Antigua or Trinidad,” she told legislators. She acknowledged that LIAT is a tough issue to crack and that there are “more government shareholders in LIAT than in any airline in the world.


Apart from Barbados, the other shareholders of the airline are Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines and last week, St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said that Caribbean countries were being asked to contribute a total of US$5.4 million in emergency funding need to keep the airline in the sky. At the same time, 11 destinations had been given until March 15, to respond to the airline’s minimal revenue guarantee (MRG) proposals.


Under and MRG model, it is likely that a few flights may be cut if the government is not prepared to fund them with a guarantee, Gonsalves said, adding that theoretically, several countries have no quarrel with the MRG. Mottley told legislators that the open secret is, if a loss-making route gets cut, calls are made, pressure is put on management, and the route reappears.