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Deputy Prime Minister Philip Davis obviously takes issue with statements that were made by Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) member of Parliament for Tall Pines and Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC ) Chairman Leslie Miller regarding the controversial New Providence Road Improvement Project (NPRIP).
Miller told a Nassau-based radio talk show host that he would not support any further funding to the Argentinean firm Jose Cartellone Contrucciones Civiles (JCCC). Prime Minister Perry G. Christie has stated on numerous occasions that his new government would have to borrow an additional $63 million from a foreign bank in order to complete the road project.
The original price tag of $119.9 million has mushroomed to nearly $200 million because of a number of difficulties that were encountered by the foreign road building company. Undoubtedly, the costly road project was the Ingraham administration's Waterloo. According to a Nassau Guardian article, Miller said that JCCC should bear any additional costs. However, it is very unlikely that JCCC would dig into its own pocket to finish the job. In fact, that Miller would even suggest such a thing is breathtakingly unreasonable. Granted, Miller was right when he said that JCCC could have carried out the project more effectively. No sane person would deny this. But I think we have already reached beyond that point.
The people of Nassau have already chastised the previous administration at the polls for the way in which the road project has been managed. Now they are expecting the new PLP government to get the project done. To continue griping over the way in which the project has been managed will not accomplish anything. That is now water under the bridge. How long does one beat a dead horse? Davis told a Nassau Guardian reporter that Miller did not follow protocol by expressing his position on the matter in public. Miller was adamant that he would oppose any move to borrow additional funding for JCCC. From what I have read, he seems determine to even vote no on this issue in the House of Assembly, notwithstanding the official position of his government. That puts him in direct conflict with the leadership of the governing PLP, particularly Christie. It now remains to be seen how this latest political soap opera will play out in the PLP. Will the prime minister exert his authority by disciplining his political underling? Or will he allow a maverick, as The Nassau Guardian called the Tall Pines member of Parliament, to openly defy the official position of the PLP government? Time will tell. One thing is for certain, though, the prime minister knew exactly what Miller's position was on this issue before he was nominated to run in Tall Pines. With Miller, what you see is what you get. At least he is consistent with his position on JCCC and the road project.
The current position of the Christie administration on the road project, however, is somewhat different from what was preached on the platforms of the 'Gold Rush' rallies. I recall hearing several PLP candidates promising to get rid of JCCC and hold a commission of inquiry into the management of the road project. Now, it appears as if the PLP government has backpedaled from that campaign promise. In fact, the PLP government has backpedaled on several major campaign promises. Reality has set in. Still, I think it would have been foolish and counterproductive to run JCCC out of the country without them completing the road works.
For what it's worth, this interesting story concerning Miller will give the FNM plenty political fodder to chew on. If Miller keeps his word and votes no in the House, then we will have a political civil war between the Tall Pines representative and the governing PLP.
Such a development could spell disaster for Christie. A Miller revolt may expose a chink in the armor of Christie's fledgling government. He must deal with this issue quickly before it causes his other members of Parliament to lose respect for him as their leader. As Christie should remember, that was his undoing in his first administration. I don't think he would want that to happen again.
- Kevin Evans
Copper Thieves Interrupt Phone Service - Further Appeal to Help Stop Copper Thieves
The Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) is appealing to the general public to do their part in maintaining their land and cell phone service by helping stop the copper thefts at BTC sites.
BTC’s Grand Bahama Manager, Michael Laing said that thieves are targeting the BTC outdoor sites and stealing grounding and power cables for their copper content. Eight Mile Rock is the latest BTC service station to be hit leading to local area interruptions in telephone service.
On Friday, Mr. Laing addressed the media and appealed to the public for help in stopping the thefts by coming forward with information that could lead to the apprehension of the criminals.
Funeral Service for Coral Johnson, 78, of Chippingham will be held on Saturday August 20, 2011 at 10am at Southland Cathedral Church of God, Soldier Road, West. Officiating will be Bishop John N. Humes assisted by other ministers of the gospel. Cremation will follow.
Left to cherish her memories is her: Children: Gladstone Stuart, Leslie Norville, Osmond Johnson and Joan Johnson-Sweeting; Adopted Son: Milton Newbold; Adopted Daughter: Latoya Skippings-Simpson; Grandchildren: VanTheo, Vanessa and Demisha Stuart, Ashley Wilkinson, Krishaun, Alexandria, Dontae, Jared and Dominique Johnson, Ambry Hall and Ebony Jules; Brothers: Allan, Willard, Luther (Miami, Florida), and Earnal Cleare; Sisters: Hazel Col ...
I was deeply moved last week when I read the news that Dr. Sandra Dean-Patterson and the Crisis Centre refused a donation from Leslie Miller, who had recently made remarks in the House of Assembly regarding beating his former girlfriend...
Funeral Service for Cossette Marion Gwenillian Styles-Bethel, 84 of Prince Charles Drive who died at her residence on Saturday June 18th, 2011, will be held on Saturday 25th June, 2011 at St. Bede’s Roman Catholic Church, Sutton Street off Kemp Road at 1:00pm. Officiating will be Fr. Noel Clarke and Fr. Allaine Laverne. Interment will follow in Woodlawn Gardens.
Her love will forever linger in the hearts of her: Seven Daughters: Lillian Weech, Linda Ezeugo, Sharon & Theresa Bethel, Rebecca Inez Penn, Cossette Alice Kemp & Mary Wright; Five Sons: Andrew, Robert, Michael, Rudolph & Oswald Bethel; Nine Adopted children : Geneva Ferguson, Sarah Saunders, Leslieann Burrow ...
A judge on Wednesday granted bail to two men accused of a triple murder in 2011. Senior Justice Jon Isaacs set bail at $30,000 each for Shawn Knowles and Timothy Saunders after the Crown did not object to their release.
The film, Crazy Love, secured a place in Bahamian cinematic history as the first all-Bahamian movie to screen for an extended run on a Galleria screen.
Although many Bahamian movies have enjoyed one-time screenings or screenings as part of a film festival, Galleria has dedicated a screen to Crazy Love for a one-week run. It is a move that director Clarence Rolle sees as a major advancement for Bahamian films.
“An age-old problem for filmmakers is figuring out how to get their films seen. This is an even greater challenge in the Bahamas, where suitable venues are limited,” he said. “We see this as recognition by Galleria that there is
Bahamas Crisis Centre Director Dr. Sandra Dean-Patterson said yesterday she welcomes Tall Pines MP Leslie Miller's "transformation and voice" after he pledged to be a spokesperson for the organization on Thursday.
However, Dean-Patterson said only time will tell whether Miller will follow through on his pledge, and whether his convictions are sincere.
"I am not so naive to believe just because you say something your attitude and your belief system have changed," she said.
"The proof will be in Mr. Miller's commitments, words and actions around this issue to come."
Dean-Patterson said it has been the center's strategy this year to engage men to become advocates in the fight against gender-based violence.
She said international organizations have recognized the importance of getting men to lend their voices to the issue.
"We are all in this and men and woman have to speak out against it, and share the responsibility of getting the message out," Dean-Patterson said.
"The elimination and prevention of domestic and sexual violence will only come when this happens.
"I think that is why it has not been regarded with the attention or the gravity that it should, because men have been silent generally."
Miller came under fire last week after a Nassau Guardian story highlighted his comments in the House on February 20.
Miller, while comparing the opposition's love of Bahamian fishermen to that of an abusive relationship, said he too "had a girlfriend like that".
While laughing, he said, "When I didn't beat her she used to tell me I ain't love her no more 'cause I don't hit her."
He later said those comments were made in jest and denied that he ever beat a woman.
In the House of Assembly on Thursday, Miller apologized for his statements.
He said when he made them he did not realize the enormity of the problem of domestic violence in the country.
He said he came to appreciate the severity of the problem after speaking with volunteers at the center.
He also made a $1,000 donation to the center and pledged to champion its cause.
Asked to respond to Miller's claim that he has a long history of fighting for the rights and protection of women, Dean-Patterson said Miller has been the only male MP to join the center on its annual walkathon in the last two years.
The walkathon aims to raise awareness on a variety of social issues, including domestic violence.
Dean-Patterson commended Miller for his push to get the government to assist the center in securing a safe house for abuse victims.
Bahamas Crisis Centre Director Dr. Sandra Dean-Patterson said yesterday she made it clear to Tall Pines MP Leslie Miller on Sunday that the center was not accepting his check.
Dean-Patterson, who called into the Gems radio talk show 'Reaction' with host Deborah Bartlett, said she specifically asked Miller to meet her at the Crisis Centre headquarters to share that information with him.
Miller offered the donation amid controversy surrounding comments he made in the House of Assembly about abusing an ex-girlfriend.
Dean-Patterson said she was confused to read that Miller said he was shocked to learn that his check was rejected.
"I was quite surprised to [read] in the paper that he said he didn't understand, because he left with his check," she said.
"That's why I didn't quite understand that."
She added, "I thought that we were on the same wave length."
In the statement issued on Sunday, the Crisis Centre said the acceptance of Miller's check would be "contrary to the principles that guide our work on behalf of victims of domestic violence".
Miller met with Dean-Patterson around 4 p.m. on Sunday and the center released the statement at 3 p.m.
"I didn't realize that it was going out so early, but it went out at 3 p.m. and I think after the meeting apparently he got a call and it seemed to really upset him," she said.
"I still don't understand because we had said it in the meeting. I remember specifically saying, 'I wanted to give you the respect of sitting down and meeting with you so you could understand why it was that we were not accepting the check'.
"I told him we were releasing a statement and I said I know when the statement is released the press will come after you and I wanted you to be able to say that we had talked and you had decided on the direction of giving the check to the agencies that provide housing (for abused women and children)."
On Monday, Miller said he was shocked that the center had rejected his donation of $1,000.
"She never said to Leslie Miller that she could not accept the check," he said.
"We had a very productive meeting, which surprised me. I mean I was on board with her and she was on board with me."
Miller said the press statement from the center would not affect his pledge to assist abused women in the country.
"Either you will be serious in assisting women, or you will have your organization where you have these highfalutin women who believe they have the answers to everything and want to try and make someone look bad," he said.
"It doesn't hurt me because I can give my money to anybody, as I always do."