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Good communication is lacking – is it ignorance or dishonesty? - II

Good communication is lacking – is it ignorance or dishonesty? – II

April 21, 2017

Last week we began noting, not for the first time that good communication is lacking and asked whether this was because ignorance or dishonesty!

Surprised, we were to find that while there was no disagreement on the matter, but that we were probably too general as sometimes we are likely to be, finding no need to point directly as indeed there is enough to go around the circle.

The problem is that far too many, really many people do not understand that learning how to effectively communicate with others while choosing the right words can literally make or break growth. The question does remain however, who is interested in growth? A politician, a would-be politician, a priest, a teacher, student, parent, a manager… and everyone and anyone.

A business owner, having the ability to communicate is a vital key for long-term success. If An employee, knowing how to become a more skilled communicator will increase your value to the company and marketplace. Just being a good communicator, makes a good listener, knows when the politician is well intended or just crooked, or just as bad, in between.

So, when one side fails to exercise the skills of providing good communication, isn’t it time for the other to sharpen their skills?

One thing is sure that when truth guides the communicator, communication is easier. It is poor communication when the Human Resources (HR) department does not know or understand that they first must know how to communicate a vacancy, requiring firstly the need to make that vacancy information available to everyone.

One politician once said, “I cannot tell or inform everything, so it’s on ‘the’ website, not realising that the website is merely one tool one uses to communicate and that it requires someone with special expertise to make it work successfully. That’s knowing exactly how to effectively communicate the message or plan to the world.

Then the other thing, it requires knowledge about the message which you hopefully, want to truthfully share. Listen to the messages that come out on some of the talk programs around us that gets so mixed up. Their problem, is the difficulty of speaking without facts or intentionally misleading and or ignorantly choking with scarce truths; that they should know better.

Reference the fact that up to 2014 budgets for some years prior were made by March 31, but on figures that were allowed but not yet approved in some cases. See our recent editorials. Analysis that are skewed which must leave the listeners if any very misinformed. There was one case where the analysis contradicted itself, doing more damage to themselves.

Of course, knowing what, when and how to say anything especially when providing information for everyone to follow, is vitally important.  It lacks sense to misinform when the main idea should be to educate, so that as the matter gets clearer, simpler, you easily become a winner.

Two matters financial matters arose recently for the Government involving UK government’s budget approval and the cessation of funding from the Caribbean Development BNTF program. Much has been coming from those who could not show that they have anything to show that either of these are disastrous enough to put Montserrat in a worse position than it is economically.

Lack of knowledge in our view by these critics who are looking rather to bring down than provide ideas that would make a setback, if there is one, a success. Unfortunately lack of good communication by government does encourage the poverished behaviour, and when all put together, Montserrat loses.

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US cloud provider explores taking service to Trinidad


(Fibre optic cable due for so long – would Montserrat be able to contend for this…?)

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Apr, 19, CMC – The number one cloud provider in the world, Amazon Web Services (AWS), that is a subsidiary of, has expressed an interest in taking its services to the twin island republic.

This was disclosed during a recent meeting between Communications Minister Maxie Cuffie , representatives from AWS and Trade Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon.

imagesThe meeting was held to present the benefits Government stands to gain from using Amazon’s public cloud services.
“Their visit here is very timely because the Government is in the process of developing a cloud policy. The Government is also going to the market for a solution for data processing and the evolution of the Gov Net platform,” said Cuffie in a release issued following the meeting at his ministry .
According to Cuffie, with AWS having only one data centre located in the Latin America/Caribbean region, among its 16 locations, the company could consider Trinidad and Tobago as an ideal location to expand its services to the region.

The AWS team that was on a three-day visit also expressed interest in providing cloud services to various educational institutions and the establishment of reseller and partner relationships with businesses and service providers in the country.


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Latest YouGov poll suggests Tories as most popular party

Theresa May asks MPs to back snap election


12:49, UK, Tuesday 18 April 2017


Prime Minister Theresa May makes a statement in Downing Street, London, announcing a snap general election on June 8. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday April 18, 2017. See PA story POLITICS May. Photo credit should read: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

Video: Theresa May moves to hold 8 June election
 By Nick Lester, News Producer

Theresa May is seeking to hold a General Election on 8 June arguing it is the only way to secure stability ahead of Brexit.

The shock move follows speculation the Prime Minister would call a poll to shore up her parliamentary position as Britain leaves the EU and given Labour’s dire position in the polls.

:: Live: PM calls for General Election in June

Mrs May informed the Queen of her decision by phone on Monday, according to Downing Street.

Under the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act, introduced under the last coalition government, the next election was not due until 2020.

However, a poll can be called before then if backed by two thirds of MPs or if there is a no confidence vote in the Government.

The PM is to table a motion in the House of Commons on Wednesday and has called on MPs to back an election.

Jeremy Corbyn has said he welcomes the poll move, but many of his MPs are likely to have private reservations, given the party’s poor performance.

Making the dramatic announcement, following the weekly Cabinet meeting, Mrs May said she had come to the decision “reluctantly”, but argued other political parties opposed Brexit.

Speaking in Downing Street she said: “At this moment of enormous national significance, there should be unity in Westminster, but instead there is division.

“In recent weeks Labour have threatened to vote against the final agreement we reached with the European Union.

Video: Corbyn reacts to May’s election call

“The Liberal Democrats have said they want to grind the business of government to a standstill.

“The Scottish National Party say they will vote against the legislation that formerly repeals Britain’s membership of the European Union and unelected members of the House of Lords have vowed to fight us every step of the way.”

:: Why is Theresa May going to the polls now?

She added: “They underestimate our determination to get the job done And I am not prepared to let them endanger the security of millions of working people across the country.

“Because what they are doing jeopardises the work we must do to prepare for Brexit at home.

“And it weakens the Government’s negotiating position in Europe.

“If we do not hold a General Election now, their political gameplaying will continue.

“And the negotiations with the European Union will reach their most difficult stage in the run-up to the next scheduled election.

“So we need a general election and we need it now.”

Video: IDS: PM right to call for election

In a stark message to political opponents, Mrs May said: “You have criticised the Government’s vision for Brexit, you have challenged our objectives, you have threatened to block the legislation we put before Parliament.

“This is your moment to show you mean it, to show you are not opposing the Government for the sake of it, to show that you do not treat politics as a game.

“So tomorrow vote for an election, let us put forward our plans for Brexit and our alternative programmes for government and then let the people decide.”

The PM said the decision facing the country would be about leadership.

She said: “It will be a choice between strong and stable leadership in the national interest, with me as your Prime Minister, or weak and unstable coalition government led by Jeremy Corbyn, propped up by the Liberal Democrats, who want to reopen the divisions of the referendum, and Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP.”

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PM receives reports from Working Groups on the economy

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Apr 12, CMC – Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has received the reports from the two Working Groups which were set up last month to discuss the challenges to Barbados’ foreign reserves and the fiscal deficit, and to make recommendations.
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart

“The recommendations made are being studied with a view to determining which proposals can be implemented in the short term and which are more medium term,” Prime Minister Stuart said, giving the assurance that “the appropriate sense of urgency is being brought to bear on the consideration of the report”.

The two working groups were set up on March 3 by Prime Minister Stuart, as the Chairman of the Social Partnership that met to discuss the economic situation.

The working groups are made up of representatives of the government, the private sector, the trade unions and the Central Bank.

The first sets of recommendations from the two groups were received on March 22 and 23, and one of the Working Groups is scheduled to submit its final recommendations later on Wednesday, according to a brief government statement.

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Search underway for new inter-island cargo ferry

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Apr. 8, CMC – Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan says he should have some definitive word concerning the replacement vessel for the Galicia – a ferry that is used to transport cargo between Trinidad and Tobago.

MV-Super-Fast-Galicia2This follows a recent announcement from Inter-Continental Shipping Ltd, the owners of the ferry, that the vessel would end operations on the domestic sea brief on April 18.

According to the Trinidad Newsday, the Galicia will continue its sailings to and from Tobago over the Easter weekend, but Sinanan stressed that the short term period of two months between the time the Galicia ceases operations and closure of a tender to acquire a replacement vessel, is the period which must be immediately addressed .

He said no company is being “blacklisted” from participating in the tender and he hopes Inter-Continental would participate.

Pointing to concerns raised by the Tobago Chamber of Commerce about options to replace the Galicia, the Transport Minister said this was not a simple matter ,

He is quoted as saying that acquiring a vessel to operate on the sea bridge is different from acquiring a new motor vehicle from a automobile dealership because the requirements are far different.

Reiterating this was a situation, which should never have happened in the first place, Sinanan explained that “a combination” of vessels may have to be used in the short term, until a proper replacement is acquired .

Super Fast Galicia has been operating in the twin island republic since May 2014.

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social media

Government warns of fake social media pages of Prime Minister and other officials

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, Apr 10, CMC – The Haitian government has called for an “appropriate investigations” after fake social media websites naming Prime Minister Dr. Jack Guy Lafontant and the President of the Superior Council of the National Police (CSPN) have gone into circulation here.

social media“The creation of false accounts on social networks, using names and photos of people to circulate malicious messages, is a transnational crime,” according to a statement issued by the Office of the Prime Minister.

It said that the posts on social media contain the “full name, as well as photographs of the archives of the Prime Minister, Dr. Jack Guy Lafontant, also President of the Superior Council of the National Police (CSPN)”.

Prime Minister Lafontant has called on the technical and competent authorities “to carry out appropriate investigations to identify counterfeiters and to deal with them with the utmost rigor”.

He reminded users that his official account on the social media, including Facebook, “is doubly authenticated by the username “@jglafontant”, as well as by his name Jack Guy Lafontant checked-by a “V” of blue colour”.

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Dr. james Hospedales

CARPHA says CRS will help improve patient care in the Caribbean

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Apr 10, CMC – The Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) says the establishment of a Caribbean Regulatory System (CRS) will improve conditions for patients in the region to receive safe, efficacious, high quality drugs.

“Access to safe, efficacious and good quality drugs is a human right which CARPHA as the regional public health organisation is committed to facilitating,” CARPHA executive director told a Capacity-Building workshop on the Regulation of Medicines.

CARPHA, in collaboration with the Guyana-based Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat and the World Health Organization/Pan American Health Organization (WHO/PAHO), has established a CRS.

Dr. james Hospedales
Dr. James Hospedales

Hospedales explained that the CRS will focus on providing regulatory assurance to essential generic medicines for the region.

“Through the CRS, CARPHA will be able to help countries perform functions such as reviewing, approving and monitoring medicines, in a timely manner, allowing patients faster access to quality drugs,” he said, adding that it would also help to reduce cost of medicines to consumers and the health system, thereby improving accessibility and affordability.

With only five CARICOM countries currently conducting a review of safety, quality, and efficacy of drugs, PAHO Country Representative for Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Bernadette Theodore-Gandi, emphasised the need for strong regulatory systems for medicines.

She said that limited capacity in the regulation of medicines can have several negative results, including the proliferation of substandard and falsified medicines, warning this “can injure and kill people”.

The CRS is a new value added service provided by CARPHA and endorsed by the CARICOM Ministers of Health.  It is not intended to replace already established national regulatory authorities, but rather to augment and support them.  It will also coordinate reporting and analysis on medicine safety and quality issues within CARICOM.

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IMF official defends financial institution

 ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, Apr 10, CMC – A senior official of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has dismissed a suggestion by Antigua and Barbuda that the Washington-based financial institution has been pushing for the island to enter into a new agreement with it.

The IMF Chief of Mission responsible for Antigua and Barbuda, Dr. Arnold McIntyre, has nonetheless praised the Gaston Browne administration over its economic policies that has resulted in the island being among some Caribbean countries registering economic growth.

IMMMMFSpeaking on Observer Radio here Monday, McIntyre said that the last time the IMF had discussions with Prime Minister Browne on the issue was almost three years ago.

“The government has made it very clear that they feel they are in a position to pursue the strategy that they have spelt out which puts a lot of emphasis on increasing economic growth through the attraction of foreign direct investment, the establishment of the Citizenship by Investment Programme, the management of government expenditure…and elements of that we agree with…,” McIntyre said.

Last month, Prime Minister Gaston Browne pointed an accusing finger at the IMF saying that it has been pushing his administration into entering into an agreement with the Washington-based financial institution.

In 2013, the IMF said the island had successfully completed the US$121.9 million Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) despite “considerable challenges” and that the aims of the programme signed with the then Baldwin Spencer government were “largely achieved”.

Speaking on a radio station here, Prime Minister Browne said the overall fiscal health of the island remains vulnerable even though his near three-year-old government had done well economically.

He told radio listeners that 10 per cent of the country’s loan stock is diligent.

“We have a block of loans, called the Paris Club loans that are diligent up to today and in all fairness to the UPP (United Progressive Party) they inherited those loans from the former (Antigua and Barbuda) Labour Party administration.

“But the reality is the country’s economy is still very vulnerable, the country’s finances are still inadequate to meet its commitment,” he added.

He said that many people here “may not be aware…that the former administration had given the IMF that it would have gone back into another IMF programme, and you will recall when we had…the breakfast meeting with the IMF, I said to them under no circumstances that my government will go that route”.

On January 27, this year, the IMF executive board concluded the consideration of the Article IV consultation with Antigua and Barbuda.

“Under Article IV of its Articles of Agreement, the IMF has a mandate to exercise surveillance over the economic, financial and exchange rate policies of its members in order to ensure the effective operation of the international monetary system.”

The IMF said that its appraisal of such policies involves a comprehensive analysis of the general economic situation and policy strategy of each member country.

McIntyre told radio listeners that the IMF’s interaction with countries has changed over the years and it no longer tries to insist that countries experiencing economic problems come under an IMF programme.

He said the government’s initiatives have been fruitful with the local economy growing by at least 3.7 per cent last year.

“Antigua and Barbuda has been growing better than a few countries in the region,” he said, adding “we agree with them that is satisfactory. The government would like to achieve a five per cent growth, which is ambitious and laudable”.

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LIAT meeting ends with agreement on payment of salaries

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – (Adapted) – Only three days after the Leeward Islands Airline Pilots Association (LIALPA) on April 2, 2017 issued a press release in which it called for the removal of the current LIAT management, shareholder governments of the cash-strapped regional airline, LIAT, Tuesday night ended talks with regional unions representing employees with an agreement to ensure that salaries are to be paid on time and averting possible industrial action.

The Association claimed it, “unfortunately has no other choice but to call on the Shareholder Governments to remove the current LIAT management.”

The meeting discussed a move by the Antigua-based carrier to implement a late payment schedule to its employees that is likely to continue for the next five months.

But St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, who is chairman of the shareholder governments, told reporters that a settlement had been reached after the unions had threatened industrial action if the airline had proceeded with the deferrals.

“I think that instructions have gone to the bank for the payments, so depends on which bank you are in, some persons would get paid tomorrow or the next day,” he told reporters, noting however that there was no guarantee that the airline would not be late with salaries again soon.

Gonsalves Bdos
Dr. Ralph Gonsalves leaving the Hilton Barbados following the meeting

“The management is not saying that they would be in a position on each occasion over the next three months to pay precisely on time; there may be a couple of days deferral,” Gonsalves said.

Earlier this month, the airline’s chief executive officer, Julie Reifer-Jones, saying that “LIAT’s management sincerely apologises for any disruption to the travel plans of our valued passengers at this time.

“We remain committed to working with our employees to resolve the issues currently impacting the delivery of our service to the Caribbean”.

Last month, the airline sent a letter to the chair of the Standing Regional Consultative Council of Trade Unions within the LIAT System (SRCCTULS), David Massiah, indicating that the airline’s major shareholders were willing to meet with a delegation from the unions “to have a structured discussion on the current financial position of LIAT, the industrial climate and the future of the airline”.

In a March 30 email to the airline’s staff, Reifer-Jones said that LIAT “is going through a difficult financial situation and has implemented a schedule of delays for salaries for all employees over the next five months.”

She said the financial delays are affecting all airline employees, including the executive team.

Reifer-Jones said the airline was proposing a five-month period as it expects that the situation should improve by the summer months.

Gonsalves said the issue of salaries was an important one, but there were “several practical questions” that needed to be addressed, “which are of concern to the staff and the travelling public by extension, that we hope immediately to be addressed over the medium term”.

He also revealed that plans had been drafted for the establishment of a technical committee to formulate a medium term development plan for the struggling airline.

‘What we decided on the way forward is that I would liaise with the president of the Caribbean Development Bank [CDB], who would name someone to draw up terms of reference for a technical committee to study a series of issue affecting operations of LIAT.

“This would be fed into a task force appointed by the shareholders and that task force would hold consultations with all of the relevant stakeholders,” Gonsalves said.

“Hopefully we can put together these committees in the week after Easter Monday and there is an outside time of three months for all of this technical and consultative work to be done and the report to be presented to the shareholders,” he told reporters.

Gonsalves said that the LIAT management would not be resting on their laurels while the consultative work was being completed, as they have a number of issues pertaining to flight operations and the company’s day-to-day operations to address.

Last weekend, LIALPA had called on the shareholder governments to dismiss the airline’s management. But Gonsalves did not address this matter in any detail, limiting his comments to an acknowledgement that those concerns were raised “in robust language”.

The pilots complained:

♦ The aircraft fleet has decreased from 18 to 10. Lack of adequate crew.

♦ The Head of Flight Operations’ incompetence was exposed as he stood idly and did nothing to address the mass departure of 19 experienced Pilots, after the Airline just spent over 100 thousand dollars to train each pilot. Now the attention is on hiring new inexperienced pilots.

♦ Loss of 10 million dollars in hangar fire due to records not being properly backed up off site

♦ Loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars for removing a flight route from Grenada schedule

♦ Loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars in routes being taken over by competitors

“The employees raised a number of issues relating to decisions, which if the employees are correct about those matters, they would require immediate corrective action,” he told reporters.

LIAT is owned by the governments of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines

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Barbadians warned about taking unproven and unscientific cures for health problems

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Mar 22, CMC – Barbados health authorities have expressed concern about a number of advertisements appearing in the media which promote “unproven and unscientific” cures for cancer, diabetes and other chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs)

Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Joy St. John, says while the Ministry of Health supports people’s right to explore alternative medical treatments, it is important that people exercise caution and not be swayed by “untried and untested” products which promised “a quick fix” to their health issues.

medicineShe advised that persons continue to consult their medical practitioners and follow their counsel before making decisions which will impact their health.

She warned that failure to do this could result in serious medical consequences which also often proved very expensive.

Dr. St. John stated that the Paramedical Professions Council was established by the Barbados government in 1975 to provide for the registration of members of recognised professions allied to health.

“The Council regulates safe practices within the paramedical professions, and paramedical professionals are given a certificate of registration which the public may ask to see,” the Chief Medical Officer said.

The Council also handles queries related to paramedical professions and these may be addressed to the body in writing.

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