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News Article

September 15, 2011
Bishop Edward Nathaniel Missick Sr. JP., 76

Last Rites & Memorial Tributes for the Late Bishop Edward Nathaniel Missick Sr. JP. Aged 76 years a resident of #18 First Holiness Way, Bamboo Town, Nassau, Bahamas, who passed away on 3rd September, 2011, will be held at First Holiness Church of God, First Holiness Way, Bamboo Town, on Sunday at 1:00 p.m.  Officiating will be Bishop Albert Hepburn, Rev. Dr. J. Carl Rahming, Bishop Ros Davis & Rev. Gregory A. Collie.  Interment follows in Lakeview Memorial Gardens & Mausoleum, J.F. K. Drive, Nassau, Bahamas.

Left to cherish his memories are his:
Faithful and devoted wife of 53 years, Roslyn Louise Missick

CHILDREN: Carl Missick Sr, Edward Missick Jr., Andrew  Missick Sr., Shon Missick & Patrick Johnson,  Karen Missick, Stephanie Collie, Monique Missick- Munroe, Michelle Lewis, Andrea Houston, Deborah Moxey-Rolle, Gloria,Moultrie, Vonita Cleare & Portia Johnson

Renishka, Karlyndria, Ashnell, Crystal, Laranda, Edvania, Abrille, Amba, Ariana, Kathryn-Ann, and Shawniqua  Missick, Evernique, Evaughnya, & Evante Munroe, Danielle  Walkine, Glodeika Moultrie, Michealla Lewis, Alicia Houston, Anthonette Cossio,

Tavaree, Abiah, Carl Jr.,  & Andrew Jr. Missick, Robert, Darrington, Glenvino & Dovar Moultrie, Kirklyn Saunders Jr., Nakita Higgins, Pheron Collie, Frank Jr. & DeAundre Houston, Ricardo Rolle, Lathario Missick, Micheal Lewis Jr., Everone Munroe, Anthony Cossio, Alfred and Anthony Johnson, Aaron & Antonio

Tariq Forbes, Travon Palmer, Deyje Brown, Tyler Missick, Rashard Brown, Romel Johnson, Elijah, Damarius, & Glenvino Jr. Moutlrie, Manoah Walkine, Ty Poyotte, Claynique McDonald, Marvinette Davis & ReShea Brown, Darriana & Clarissa Moultrie,

DAUGHTERS-IN-LAW: Marsha, Sonia, Denise, & Nicole Missick

SONS-IN-LAWS: Rev. Gregory Collie, Frank Houston Sr., Everette Munroe, & Michael Lewis Sr.

BROTHER-IN-LAWS: Evang. Samuel Simmons, Freeport, Grand Bahama, Henry Williams, Provodenciales Turks & Caicos, & Garnet Duncombe

SISTERS-IN-LAWS: Anita Missick, Mazilee Forbes, and Majorie Simmons of Freeport, Grand Bahama. Louise Williams of Provodenciales, Turks & Caicos &  Enith Duncombe,

Monica Delancey, Shirley[Errol] Holmes, Cassandra Gardiner, Adel Gibson, Ethelee[Everette]Hart, Edna Swan, Armeta Saunders, Evamae[Allan] Moxey, Brenda[Ashley] Cooper, Carol, Usilla, Lydia, Youlette, Barbara Missick, Vonita[Burton] Cleare, Mary Brown, Geneva[Oneal] Hall, Nancy[Nathan] Parker, Antione Hall, Linda[Henry] Romer, Raffletha Smith, Annie[Cleverson] Lightbourne, Helen Smith, Princess[Charlton] Gibson, Angela[Jerome] Francis, Katiemae[Wenzel]Deveaux, Edith Missick, Naomi  Hamilton, Sylvia Campbell, Hazel[Evanis] Alfonzo, Beatrice Pierre, Shirlymae Pitter, Sheryl Bastian, Melanie Darren]Haston, Selma[Stephen] Moore, Sheena Missick, Judy Missick, Dorinda[Buster] Been, Janet Duncombe, Daphane Duncombe, Emily Forbes, Geraldine Nawvaroo, Pamela Forbes, Beulah[Derek] Hamilton, Blossom Simon.
John, Walter[Janice], Joel[Constance], Joshua, Charles, Jerome[Queenie], Wesley[Erma], Leroy[Cecilia], McDonald[Essie], Tony[Alice], Kevin[Millie], Calvin Jr[Joyce], Matthew[Valarie], Ervin[Verona], Eustace[Patrina], George[Viola], Felix, Dino, Mario, Daniel, Jason, Linville, Randy & Bert[Louana] Missick, Llwellyn Simmons, Elikindro[Yohanny] Fleurisma, Novelle Smith, Leon[Vivilent] Campbell, Terrance Hamilton, Adrian Gibson, Kevin Morris, Arthur Morris, Gordon, Welly, Derek, Delroy and Albert Williams of Provodenciales Turks & Caicos Island,, Benjamin[Cecilia], Arthur, Bradley, and Ian Forbes, Perry, Nelson[Christine], Bradford, Craig and Trevor Duncombe.
143  Great Grand nieces including, Lemelle Kemp, Tia Holmes, Lacrissa Swan, Sheronne Brown,  Esther Hall, Della Rolle, Brenda Hall,
Rogette Swan, Erin Swan, Stacia Holmes

115 Great Grand Nephews, including, Barron Missick, Errol Missick, Tchychoisky Saunders, Valdez, Valrico, Valderon Cleare, Ron Lewis, Jerome Francis, Errol Holmes,

GOD-CHIILDREN: Ethelee Hart, Shenderlene Greene-Evans, Modesto Colebrooke, Wilfred Bastian, Everette & Judith

THE FIRST HOLINESS CHURCH OF GOD FAMILY: Rev. Lucille Woodside, Rev. Gordon Cooper, Rev. Maxine Darville, Min. Clarice Moss, Min. Eleanor Austin, Min. Thelma Bowleg, Rev. Ezekiel & Sis. Judy Thompson, Elder Rudolph Hanna, Min, Aaron Feaster, Min. Minera Riley, Min. Helen Smith, Deacon & Deaconess Gray, Deaconess Joyce Conliffe, Brenda Rolle & Family, Alfreda Sears & Family, Kendal & Keisha Lewis & Family, Bridgette Miller & Family, Kreva Taylor & Family, Coralee Deveaux & Family, Sabbie Poitier & Family, Tangie Bethel & Family,  Veronica Burnett & Family, Emmaline Jones & Family, Nicole Balfour & Family, Evans, Paul Family, Smith Family, Stubbs Family, Thompson Family, Russell Family, Blanche Turner & Family, Jennie Pinder & Family, Missick Family

SPECIAL FRIENDS: Mr. & Mrs Arthur Brown, Mr. Edwin Ingraham, Mrs. Myrtis Deveaux and Family, Rev. Dr. LeRodney  & Mrs. Rolle, Mr. Randolph Hanna and Family, , Bishop Wilbert & Mother Rolle, Bishop Shervin  & Mother Dorothy Smith, Prophet & Mrs. Keith Rolle, Bishop Gregory & Sis. Minnis, Rev. Dr. J. Carl & Sis. Evangeline Rahming, Bishop Albert & Mother Karen Hepburn, Bishop Joseph & Mother Swan, Rev. Shelton & Mrs. Higgs, Rev. Steadman & Mrs, Knight, Bishop C. N. & Evangelist B. Williams, Mrs. Mary Dawkins & Family, Mrs. Helen Saunders & Family, Mrs. Pinder & Family, Rt. Hon, Hubert A. Ingraham, Prime Minister Commonwealth of the Bahamas, Bishop Hosea & Mother Cox, Bishop Simeon & Mrs. Hall, Rev. Dr. Ranford Patterson, President, Bahamas Christian Council, Rev. William & Sis. Pennerman, Rev. Dr. Perry & Mrs. Newton, Bishop Michael & Sis Ferguson, Apostle Quebell & Sis. Martin, Bishop Ross & Sis. Davis, Rev. Dr. Ornan & Mrs. Johnson, , Bishop Wilfred & Pastor Adderley, Bishop R.J & Mother Deleveaux, Bishop Salatiel & Mother Rolle, Rev. Richard & Sis Cynthia Gibbs, Rev. Rex & Sis Major, Rev. Shirley Smith & Family, Rev. & Min. McPhee, Rev. Charles & Mrs. Lewis, Rev. & Mrs. Kendal Capron, Mother Mary Wells & Family, Mother Marilyn Wallace & Family, Dr. Gloria Ageeb, Mr. & Mrs. Bowe[Bowes Pumping], Mrs. Helen Smith & Family, Mr. & Mrs Cornielius Gardiner, The Be Healed Revival Time Family, Mr. Sherman Smith, Hon. Sidney Collie & Family, Mr. & Mrs. Henry Thurston, Mr. & Mrs. Leland Lightbourne, Carlos Mackey

Rev. Eustace & Sis. Clarke, of Miami, Florida, Rev. Emmanuel & Sis. Dean, Provodenciales, Turks & Caicos Islands, Rev. Wille Lee Wrisper Jr. South Bay, Florida, Mr & Mrs, Hodge, St. Croix, USA, Pastor Emmanuel & Sis Saint Gerard, of Haiti, Sis. Ethlyn Cox, of Freeport, Grand Bahama, Sis. Daphane Romer, of Indianna, Bishop Clifford & Mother Henfield of Dundas Town, Abaco, Miss Sherry of Missouri City, Texas, Essie Arthur & Family[Turks & Caicos Island], Louise Raymond of Atlanta, Georgia, Management & Staff of St. Lukes Hospital, & Jacobs Engineering/NASA JSC, Houston, Texas.

The Bodie Family, Stockdale Family, Johnson Family, Thurston Family, Cambridge Family, Poitier Family, Williams Family, Bowe Family, Godfrey Family, Armbrister Family, Ferguson Family, Major Family, Mackey Family, Adderley Family, Taylor Family, King Family, Ferguson Family, Coakley Family, Henfield Family, Wells Family, Newbold Family, Ethelyn Johnson & Family, Higgs Family, Mitchell Family,  Hopeful Hanna & Family, Beatrice Dievieull & Family, Moxey Family, Greene Family, Ms.Leen Brice & Family, Cedric Rolle & Family of Freeport, Grand Bahama, Walkine Family of Freeport, Grand Bahama, Austin Family, Sandee Ferguson & Family, McKenzie Family,  Sean & Nadine Minns,  Mr. & Mrs. Emizarene Charlot, LaFrance Gustave, Joseph Pierre-Louis, Wilfrid Flurinord, Ceus Enguere, Schella Jean-Louis, Ticette Jean-Louis, Theresa Brown, Lovely Forbes, Geneva Morley, Janet Brown, Mrs. Regina Saunders & Family, Mr. & Mrs. Battiata & Family, Greg Sherman, FNM Bamboo Town Branch, Staff Oncology Clinic PMH, Staff Male Medical II, Management Team/  Human Resources Department, RBPF & HMP, ScotiaTrust Family, The National Insurance Board, Kentucky Fried Chicken, One and Only Ocean Club, Missick Bus Service, R & M Trucking, The Bamboo Town Community, The Engeleston Community, & others too numerous to mention.

Friends may pay their last respects at First Holiness Church of God, #18 First Holiness Way, Bamboo Town, on Friday from 3:30 p.m. until Saturday at 6:00 p.m. & on Sunday at the church from 10:00 a.m. until service time.
A memorial service for Bishop Edward Missick, will be held at First Holiness Church, Bamboo Town on Friday 16th September, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.  Officiating will be Rev. Ranford Patterson, President of The Bahamas Christian Council.

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News Article

February 14, 2012
The Bahamian role in the Haitian immigration issue

Dear Editor,
Michel Martelly is Haiti's current president.  He has been on a worldwide tour to improve Haitian interests at home and abroad.  We all know the dire circumstance that Haiti is now in and has been in for as long as we can remember.  His statement advising Bahamians of Haitian descent to form an alliance and vote for the political party that has their best interests has once again fueled massive debate about our illegal immigration problem.
Back in the 1980s, the minister of immigration was Loftus Roker.  He had a no-nonsense policy when it came to illegal immigration.  Once you were found to be an illegal immigrant, the minister made sure through policy that you were repatriated immediately.  He authorized raids at any time during the day and night.  There was a certain fear among the illegal Haitian immigrants back then who referred to Roker as "Daddy".  Illegal immigrants back then were fearful in the hospital, on the way to work and even for their children at school because of Roker's many impromptu raids.
Fast track to 2012.  That fear is gone as illegal immigrants know that their chances of being caught are next to none due to our lax immigration laws that have not been adequately updated and that are horrendously unenforced.  Roker subsequently resigned from Lynden Pindling's Cabinet and ever since then, our immigration policy to our detriment has remained the same and its mandate not been carried out.
From the mid-1980s to now, tens of thousands of illegal Haitian immigrants have illegally entered our shores.  Tens of thousands of them I am sure have been repatriated, but tens of thousands of them have fallen through the cracks and have remained in The Bahamas illegally.  We have also had the naturalization of thousands of Haitians who were born in The Bahamas despite the fact that their parents were illegal.  Many of these illegal immigrants are also in limbo because their requests have gone unanswered.  The law does permit that children born to illegal immigrants can apply for Bahamian citizenship at age 18.
It is now 2012 and our national policy to halt illegal immigration is still repatriation.  How sad and ineffective.  We are in dire need of a more scientific and engaging approach where The Bahamas and Haiti can sit down and try to solve this problem together.  It is in The Bahamas' best interest to do all it can to ensure that Haiti's economy becomes viable.  And who may I ask is the current Bahamian ambassador to Haiti?
No right-thinking Bahamian can doubt that Bahamians of Haitian descent form a very important fabric of our society.  We have Bahamians of Haitian descent on the police and defence forces, the immigration and customs departments, in education and there is speculation that some are even in Parliament.  Stephen Dillet was the first black person elected to the House of Assembly and he was of Haitian descent.
Successive governments have failed miserably on the illegal immigration issue and now many of the Bahamians who idly sat by and raised their 'pom-poms' at political rallies while this problem festered now want the government to wave a magic wand and fix this problem overnight.  Bahamians need to think again because it is not going to happen.  The Haitian-Bahamians are here to stay.  Bahamians also need to be equally as concerned with the economic plight of the Chinese who are chipping away at owning our land and whose business interests and acquisitions have spiked tremendously over the last few years.
Martelly's statement is one that can be expected of any leader to his people.  We must remember that he was not granted access to visit The Bahamas by himself and maybe the timing of his visit is questionable.  Would Bahamians rather he advised Bahamians of Haitian descent to vote for a government that does not have their interests at heart, given the historically bad economic situation in Haiti?  Of course not.
All and sundry are saying that Martelly's visit, though by Brent Symonette's admission was abrupt, is an election ploy by the governing party.  They are saying that the visit should have been planned and should have been entertained any time other than now, especially since elections are imminent. These arguments are futile now because Martelly's visit has come and gone.  The damage, if any, has been done.
The hidden meaning behind Martelly's statement that a lot of Bahamians are missing is the fact that he could not have come to this conclusion if he did not feel that a particular party favors the interests of Haitian-Bahamians more than the other party.
Where are the government agencies who allow illegal immigrant activity to continue unabated?  The ministers of national security, labour and foreign affairs need to be equally at the heart of this discussion because they have responsibility for many of the agencies that either don't perform, or underperform, in their duties.  These are some of the major issue that Bahamians need to be concerned about and they should demand answers from the government and not Martelly.
No government past or present has effectively dealt with our vexing immigration problem and no government has been able to stem the flow of illegal immigrants coming to The Bahamas.  From attorneys general who hired illegal immigrants, to big and small companies who can be seen daily transporting hundreds of cheap illegal immigrant labor to and from work, I think that Bahamians want to have their cake and eat it too.
An identity card system for all Bahamians, residents and temporary workers alike, should have been implemented since the 1980s where this card must be in your possession at all times.  Shantytown issues that were allowed to blossom under successive governments should have been tackled decades ago.
Haitian mothers with no status were allowed to have babies after babies in the public hospital without a whimper of dissatisfaction from Bahamians or legislators and now these children are 18 and ready to apply for citizenship.  Haitian children who were allowed to attend public school and be educated free of charge are now looking for jobs in The Bahamas.  And now Bahamians want to act like there is a quick fix to this problem.  No way.  We are all culpable in this national fiasco and this issue will not be solved overnight.
Three ways that I believe can stem the tide of illegal immigration are to implement effective ways to properly police our borders, properly document illegal immigrants presently residing in our country and vigorously enforcing our immigration laws.
More long-range defence force patrol vessels and more defence force bases strategically placed in Inagua, Ragged Island and other selected islands would be a first step.  Jack Thompson, director of immigration, can't even produce a report on how many illegal immigrants are living in Fox Hill, let alone New Providence or the entire Bahamas.  This tells you that we don't even possess some of the tools to begin to tackle this issue.  We haven't even reached the 'starting block' yet.  The problem collectively rests on our shoulders and we have done a very poor job with regards to implementing effective immigration policies.
Don't blame the Haitian president for wanting what is best for 'his people'.  He knows as well as any other novice that Bahamian-Haitians contribute vastly to the economy of The Bahamas.  He knows that despite his best efforts, even if Haiti was able to turn its economy around, many Bahamians of Haitian descent will never return to Haiti.  They are apparently here to stay.  We can only blame ourselves.
- Dehavilland Moss

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News Article

May 30, 2012
Advice for the prime Minister

In our reading we came across a letter to then President-elect Ronald Reagan from his Coordinating Committee on Economic Policy which we thought sheds some light on where we are as a country today some 30-plus years later.
We have up-dated the letter to reflect the issues and challenges facing The Bahamas and made some specific recommendations to our prime minister. The quotations herein include our modifications to that letter in our context.
Today The Bahamas faces many challenges. To some, the task seems daunting. But if we review history around the world, we would be surprised as to how similar the problems are, and as such the solutions can also be similar.
The late 1970s were also a time of great economic anxiety fed by a runaway government, spending out of control, taxes that were too high, regulations that were too burdensome, high unemployment, increasing healthcare costs and increasing energy costs.
As we have time and time again reiterated in these pages, what we need to do is develop a consistent long-term focus that does not change with the temperature of the electorate or the latest fad. The need for a long-term point of view is essential to allow for the time, the coherence, and the predictability so necessary for success.
As they wrote to Reagan: "The need for a long-term point of view is essential to allow for the time, the coherence, and the predictability so necessary for success."
We believe this is appropriate advice to our prime minister today.
We would recommend that the prime minister assembles his advisors and focuses on implementing his reforms in his first year, and then they ride out the various storms confident that the policies would work in the long run. Similar policies in other developed nations have resulted in a boom for their economies.
We believe a 180-degree change in the present economic policy is an absolute necessity. The problems of increasing government spending and debt, low national savings, declining government revenue, increasing inflation and slow growth, falling standards of living, declining productivity, declining education and increasing healthcare costs, are severe but they are not intractable. Having been produced by
government policy, they can be addressed by a change in policy.
Prime minister, you articulated an impressive array of promises during the election. They will take time. But more importantly, to be achieved you must think long-term. We invite you to have your Council of Economic Advisors (as you suggested you would) study, develop and recommend guiding principles, on priorities and linkages among policy areas, and on the problems of getting action.
You have identified in the campaign a list of key issues and policies during your first 100 days (which we would not list here) necessary to restore hope and confidence in a better economic future. This requires fundamental policy changes that may take more than five years, but should result in a sound and growing economy.
The advisors to Reagan suggested some "guiding principles" which we have amended for our prime minister:
"The essence of good policy is good strategy. Some strategic principles can guide your new administration as it charts its course."
"Timing and preparation are critical aspects of strategy. The fertile moment may come suddenly and evaporate as quickly. The administration that is well prepared is ready to act when the time is ripe. The transition period and the early months of the new administration are a particularly fertile period. The opportunity to set the tone for your administration must be seized by putting the fundamental policies into place immediately and decisively."
"The need for a long-term point of view is essential to allow for the time, the coherence, and the predictability so necessary for success. This long-term view is as important for day-to-day problem solving as for the making of large policy decisions. Most decisions in government are made in the process of responding to problems of the moment. The danger is that this daily firefighting can lead the policymaker farther and farther from his goals. A clear sense of guiding strategy makes it possible to move in the desired direction in the unending process of contending with issues of the day. Many failures of government can be traced to an attempt to solve problems piecemeal. The resulting patchwork of ad hoc solutions often makes such fundamental goals as price stability, economic growth, affordable healthcare and housing more difficult to achieve."
"Challenges that your government must face are linked by their substance and their root causes."
As we have written on many occasions, measures adopted to deal with one problem will inevitably have effects on others. It is as important to recognize these interrelationships, as it is to recognize the individual problems themselves.
"Consistency in policy is critical to effectiveness. Individuals and business enterprises plan on a long-range basis. They need to have an environment in which they can conduct their affairs with confidence."
You have announced your goals and policies during the election. Your administration should commit itself to their achievement, and should seek Parliament's commitment to them as well. Then the public as well as the government would know what to expect.
"The administration should be candid with the public. It should not over-promise, especially with respect to the speed with which the policies adopted can achieve the desired results."

Seizing the initiative
"The fundamental areas of economic strategy concern the budget, taxation, regulation, and monetary policy. Prompt action in each of these areas is essential to establish both your resolve and your capacity to achieve your goals."

For the most part, you have inherited a budget which perhaps was near completion, hence allowing you little room to make substantive policy changes save for some tweaking given the late stage of the process.
"You must convince the financial markets and the public at large that your economic policy is more than rhetoric. The public and especially the financial community are skeptical and need a startling demonstration of resolve".
You have made key Cabinet appointments but this won't be enough. The business community will be watching to see whether you are serious about decreasing the budget deficit and how you propose to grow the revenue base without any increase in taxes given the current fiscal structure.
Everyone will be watching to see where cuts are made and revenue measures are address. Our interest payment as a percent of government revenue continues to grow at an alarming rate. Prompt and strong action is necessary if these budgets are to be brought under control, as they must be. The nation can no longer afford governmental business as usual.
"The formal budget alone is far from the whole story, though it is visible and important. Off-budget financing and government guarantees mount and expand programs through the use of the government's borrowing capacity, draining the nation's resources without being adequately recorded in the formal spending totals. In addition, the mandating of private expenditures for government purposes should be limited. Efforts to control spending should be comprehensive; otherwise, good work in one area will be negated in another. And these efforts should be part of the administration's development of a long-term strategy."
Hopefully once the Council of Economic Advisors is appointed, one of its first mandates will be to identify an extensive list of areas for potential savings, but it will be up to your administration to implement the recommendations.
To borrow from the United States, we should consider the appointment of a budget director along with an Office of Management and Budget, whose responsibility will be to assist you in developing and executing your policies and programs.
The OMB will evaluate the effectiveness of agency programs, policies and procedures, assesses competing funding demands among agencies and set funding priorities. The OMB will ensure that agencies or departments operate in conformity to your budget and administrative policies.

Tax policy
Tax policy is properly the province of the Ministry of Finance. You have assumed responsibility along with your junior minister. Given the overall economic health and our continued reliance on an antiquated system, which has serve us well, we believe one of your first orders should be a task force which takes a comprehensive review of our system of taxation with specific mandates and a time frame to report to you in with actionable recommendations. We cannot as a country continue to rely on the old system which is repressive.
Other key proposals are tax incentives for the establishment of economic zones that are consistent with your charter of governance.

The Bahamas lives in a global village with ever increasing regulatory changes that have and will continue to drive the way we conduct business. While we must adhere to international regulatory reforms, we must be mindful of their impact on The Bahamas. We must ensure that regulators' mandates are consistent with preserving our financial sector while working with industry to grow the sector.
The current regulatory overburden must be removed from the economy. We believe the appointment of a ministry for the financial sector is a step in the right direction and should better coordinate the various agencies towards a common purpose.
We have recommended in these pages before that we should move towards a consolidated regulator.

We are aware that steps have been taken in this direction. We urge your administration to complete the process. A consolidated regulator will enable your ministry to have consistent and clear understanding of the issues and challenges involved as we move our financial sector forward. The person heading up this effort will require your continued, wholehearted support.

Unprofitable corporations
Many of our economic problems today stem from the large and increasing proportion of economic decisions being made through the political process rather than the market process.
A comprehensive program needs to be developed with specific mandates and time lines to address the continued drain on the public treasury by the likes of ZNS, Bahamasair, the Bahamas Electricity Corporation, Water and Sewerage, the Bahamas Development Bank, etc.
We have numerous examples of successful public-private partnerships, such as Bank of Bahamas, with no government support. The new boards should be given specific mandates to achieve specific economic targets with minimal social fall-out. The country cannot continue to support nearly $75 million per annum indefinitely.
We recommend, also, that the price control departments become more active to ensure the consuming public is not disadvantaged.

Monetary policy
A steady and moderate rate of monetary growth is an essential to provide a healthy environment for economic growth. We must be careful, however, not to interfere and to ensure that all work toward a common goal.
The Central Bank is an independent agency. However, independence should not mean lack of accountability for what it does. The challenge is how to assume accountability while preserving independence. As we indicated before, monetary policy must be mindful of the full impact on the economy and not just one sector. Monetary policies have implications for budgetary and other economic policies.
The activities of a wide variety of departments, agencies, and other units of government affect economic policy.

As President-elect Ronald Reagan's Coordinating Committee on Economic Policy said many years ago: "The flow of economic events does not recognize organizational lines. The economy itself operates as a system in which constituent parts are linked, sometimes tightly. The combination of interwoven problems and disparate organizations means that, in the process of policy formulation and implementation, some people high in your administration must identify the central ideas and problems and devise a strategy and tactics for dealing with them. Your leadership is essential to this effort".
We support this position.
They went on to say: "Our final point is our most important one. The success of your economic policy will be a direct reflection of your ability to maintain a steady course over your full first term. Rough times will come and crises of one kind or another, some small, some of great moment, will arise. Sustained effort through these testing times means that public understanding and support are essential. Of equal and related importance is the understanding and support of the Congress."
Today, we can echo these same words and say that gaining public and parliamentary support are critical as you make some tough choices for the betterment of the country.
Sir today, much like the advice given back then to Reagan: "You have emphasized in your successful campaign precisely the strategy set forth in this document. In moving to implement it, you will be doing what the people voted for. Every effort must be made to maintain and broaden your base of support by improving public understanding, and close cooperation with the Parliament, Cabinet and others in your administration can help in these tasks. Their ability to do so should be one important criterion in their selection."
"At the end of the day, however, the burden of leadership falls on you: Leadership to chart the course ahead; leadership to persuade that your course is the one to take; leadership to stay on course, whatever way political winds may blow. Through effective advocacy of the sharp changes so sorely needed, your leadership has brought us to this long-hoped-for opportunity at a critical moment for the nation. Your leadership can maintain this advocacy in the convincing manner necessary for a successful outcome."
We wish you much success over the next five years as we address some serious pressing economic and social issues.

o CFAL is a sister company of The Nassau Guardian under the AF Holdings Ltd. umbrella. CFAL provides investment management, research, brokerage and pension services. For comments, please contact CFAL at:

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News Article
Miss Universe 2009 Fashion Showcase
August 13, 2009
Miss Universe 2009 Fashion Showcase

Miss Universe 2009 Fashion Showcase - Live at the Sheraton Hotel, Nassau Bahamas.

6:10pm - People are starting to queue up at the entrance of the Sheraton Hotel which is hosting this years Miss Universe 2009 Fashion Show.
The press are starting to arrive and set up to record and report on this fabulous event. The catwalk and lighting both look absolutely fabulous. The press area, where we're sitting, is located right at the end of the catwalk, and I'm positionedright at the front.

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News Article

November 18, 2013
VAT How we got here

Amid what appears to be a growing public tide against the July 1, 2014 implementation of value-added tax (VAT), Free National Movement (FNM) Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis has finally released a position on this contentious issue.
It came as pressure grew within his party for the official opposition to make a clear statement on what would be the most dramatic shift in tax policy in decades.
The statement Minnis came up with is stunningly shallow. It lacks intellectual rigor and shows a startling lack of vision and leadership, all of which we desperately need at this stage of our development.
That is surprising in the sense that he should have access to the facts and to sound advice from qualified and knowledgeable people within his own party.
Given how long it took him to release a statement, he should have had adequate time to formulate a more reasoned position that could be taken seriously and add value to the ongoing discussion on tax reform.
But given his record on matters of serious import (for example, multiple positions on gambling), no one should be surprised that his sole approach is to attack the government on its plans without presenting a well thought out contribution to this growing debate with accompanying proposed policy alternatives.
It seems once again that the opposition leader has gauged the direction of the wind and formulated his position based on the mood of the country. But be mindful that his position could shift again with any sudden temperature change or change to the national tone.
Minnis, who 18 months ago sat as a minister of government, called on the current administration to immediately "come clean to the people, and to explain, precisely and clearly what the circumstances are which have prompted this sudden lurch towards the imposition of VAT".
It is worrying that the official opposition leader does not know the answer to this question.
Minnis is operating as someone who only entered the political arena in May 2012, distancing himself from the actions of the former administration.
He pretends instead to be blind to the fiscal circumstances of the day, but more importantly to the fiscal realities that existed while he was a minister of government, and the decisions taken to address those realities.
While no one should excoriate the FNM leader for setting along his own path and defining his own leadership style, he and his party are saddled with their record in office.
They cannot run from the decisions taken by the FNM administration -- the good and the bad ones.
If as opposition leader Minnis does not know what the circumstances are that have prompted this "sudden lurch towards the imposition of VAT", he might be ignoring easily available facts.
Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Chairman Bradley Roberts has gone as far as saying Minnis might be suffering a case of memory loss.
"How else [do you] explain his scolding for a debt crisis created by his own party?" Roberts asked.
"Or was Dr. Minnis asleep at the Cabinet table when his government approved, borrowed and spent over $2 billion in five years, running up the national debt and pushing the country into this current fiscal dilemma?"
If Minnis is not sure how we got to where we are, he might find it useful to do a bit of research and examine the facts of the country's debt levels.
This might jog his memory.
In August 2011 when the international credit rating agency Moody's downgraded its outlook for the Bahamian economy from stable to negative, it pointed to the significant run up in government debt levels in recent years and the country's limited growth prospects.
Moody's noted that debt rose steadily between 2000 and 2008, but over 40 percent of the increase occurred between 2009 and 2011.
Government debt at the end of June 2011 was estimated at $3.5 billion. It has continued to grow. It is projected to be $4.9 billion when the government implements VAT next July.
This is unsustainable. We are in crisis.
Had the Free National Movement been re-elected to office last year, we would have been facing the same urgent need to tackle our debt, and reform our narrow and inefficient tax system.

Before Minnis twists himself into an impossible situation and puts his credibility on the line, perhaps he ought to have a discussion with former Minister of State for Finance Zhivargo Laing, his former Cabinet colleague, who helped engineer fiscal policies under the Ingraham administration.
Laing has not hidden the fact that the FNM had planned to implement VAT within "two to three years" if it had won the election last year.
The PLP administration is seeking to do it at the start of its third year in office.
Laing said more recently, "In office, we certainly looked at implementing it and if returned to office would have given it early consideration. However, we would have also given it broad consideration in the context of the wider reforms to our tax system that we were already undertaking."
So Minnis' own party was eyeing what he now calls a "regressive" taxation system. He may wish to examine why his party also thought this regressive tax was the best option.
He now warns that VAT would "seriously impair the already weak, uncompetitive and struggling Bahamian economy and harm and diminish the quality of life of every Bahamian".
Unlike Minnis, Laing does not run away from the fact that the Ingraham administration piled on the debt.
The pace was dizzying.
Laing noted in a speech to the Rotary Club of Freeport in August that, "A country can borrow to cover its deficits for a long time, for decades and decades.
"It can even do so increasing its debt to GDP ratio to extraordinary levels, above 100 percent, but the price to pay for this is reduced ability to afford products and services (education, infrastructure, technology, etc.) that could lend to a more prosperous, efficient and peaceful state.
"Minimizing deficit spending is good government policy, especially in times of economic growth."
The former government has been sure to provide a clear explanation that the high level of borrowing was needed in the face of a dramatic downturn in the global economy.
That explanation has been arguable, as the PLP accused the Ingraham administration of taking actions to worsen an already bad situation.
While prime minister, Hubert Ingraham had said often in his last term that without borrowing the government would not have been able to do simple things, like pay the salaries of civil servants.
Minnis ought to know that we are now suffering the fallout of sky-high deficits and annual borrowing.
To be clear, the vast majority of the resolutions to borrow were approved in Parliament by the then opposition led by Perry Christie.
Nobody likes to hear of new taxes, and so VAT and tax reform was not a prominent theme of the 2012 general election campaigns.
Upon coming to office, the PLP itself feigned surprise at the state of public finances. With that excuse in hand, it continued to borrow, saying it needed to do so to deal with the problems it inherited from the Ingraham administration.
"The fiscal accounts are in much worse shape than we had expected as we came into office," Prime Minister Christie told the House not long after the May 2012 general election.
"In our very short time in office, it has become clear to us that the previous administration has, through its actions and fiscal policies, constrained our room to maneuver."
In May 2013, the Christie administration brought a resolution to the House of Assembly to borrow $465 million to finance the projected revenue shortfall in the 2013/2014 fiscal year.
This added to the $650 million the new government borrowed in its first year.
Government debt as a percentage of GDP is projected at 56.4 percent at the end of 2013/2014.
Christie advised that much of the money the government borrowed last year was required to cover unpaid financial commitments incurred during the Ingraham administration.
"The legacy of high public deficits and spiraling debt burden that we inherited is brutally onerous: almost one out of every $4 in revenue collected by the government must be allocated to pay the interest charges on the public debt and cover the debt repayment," he said.
"Had we chosen to ignore the grave structural imbalance in the public finances, the debt would have continued to spin out of control."
This year, the government will spend an estimated $230 million on debt servicing alone.
While it is true that the PLP claimed to have immediate but unrealistic answers to attack our fiscal and economic woes while on the campaign trail, it is not on its own responsible for the current state of affairs.
It matters not at this juncture who is to blame, however. What is required now is reform to arrest the growing unsustainable debt levels.
As stated by Laing in his address to Rotary, "If you want to punish those who drive up cost through waste or bad decisions, then do that at election time, but know that the cost still has to be paid by the citizens."
Minnis may wish to read and carefully consider that useful and informative address delivered by Laing.
In the speech titled "VAT and its implications for The Bahamas and the Bahamian economy", Laing pointed out that the government needs cash and it needs it badly.
"We are in discussions about VAT implementation because there is a glaring reality confronting The Bahamas, which is that its income cannot pay for its operations," Laing explained.
"It has not done so from The Bahamas became an independent nation. We have run deficits and financed those deficits with borrowings since 1974, when we ran a deficit of some $33 million. Incidentally, we had a surplus of about $3 million the year before that, the last such surplus seen on total budget performance."
Laing continued, "In the wake of the crippling effects of the global recession of 2008 and the strain it put on the revenue of the government, our deficit spending has reached extraordinary levels, which is unsustainable, especially in light of the modest growth seen both in terms of the world's economy and our domestic economy so dependent on it.
"The government needs money to pay for its expenses, and it needs money badly. That is why VAT is being discussed with the sense of urgency that it is being discussed today. In 1995 when the issue first arose, it was being discussed as a planning function; today it is a practical issue of money."

The Nassau Guardian last week reported on the government's proposed VAT bill and regulations. It is not clear when these will be brought to Parliament.
The debate cannot be vibrant and well informed without the official release of what is being proposed.
Minnis has said the PLP should immediately disclose to the Bahamian people the details of any economic studies and analyses either by domestic or international advisors or agencies that have led the government to this proposed course of action.
Many people are indeed awaiting the release of an economic impact study to show specific projections resulting from the VAT implementation, including the projected cost of living impact.
Financial Secretary John Rolle said last week that the cost of living is expected to rise between five and six percent in the first year. There were no details to show how these figures were arrived at, and there were no projections provided for cost of living increases in subsequent years.
This year is almost ended, and the government will have six months to clearly make its case, to seek to calm frayed public nerves, and cause for a smooth implementation of the new tax system.
That is ambitious.
Anecdotal evidence suggests the government is losing, not gaining support from the public on its push toward the implementation of VAT.
Its marketing of the initiative is on shaky ground, and it is only now just starting its public education campaign.
While there is an urgent imperative to act, it appears that on its current track, the new tax system could be off to a chaotic and undesirable start -- a difficult birth, as we opined here previously.
What the government needs now is a more community based VAT campaign and a bit more time to get the message out.
It might be in the interest of everyone to push off the implementation date by a few months. It would allow the business community and consumers to better digest the details of VAT.
And perhaps it would give the opposition leader a bit more time to better understand how we got to where we are.
We hope it would also give the government a little more time to present a tax reform package that has buy-in from the opposition.
On a matter this grave, such a buy-in could only be in the national interest.

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News Article
Midyear Budget Contribution March 2013
March 04, 2013
Midyear Budget Contribution March 2013

I know that with everything I say today, Mr. Speaker, the members opposite will try and divert attention away from their inadequacies and failings and the inadequacies and failings in their proposed mid-term budget by seeking to blame all of our present national woes on the past Free National Movement administration.

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News Article

June 02, 2013
2013/2014 Bahamas Budget Communication

Honourable Members will be aware that Mr. Ehurd Cunningham, former Acting Financial Secretary, passed away last weekend. I want to take this opportunity to express my personal gratitude and that of the Nation for the many years of dedicated and tireless service that he so warmly provided to his dearly beloved country. Mr. Cunningham was instrumental in initiating, and indeed championed, many of the fundamental and much-needed reforms to Government on which we are presently embarked. His memory will live on in the enhanced economy and society that will emerge from our efforts.

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News Article

May 29, 2012
National Culinary Team on display tonight at Blu

Members of the National Culinary Team have been selected and practicing for several weeks for the Taste of the Caribbean regional competition later in June in Miami. Meanwhile, the team will display their culinary skills at two upcoming public events starting with 'Sunset Tapas on the Bay' set for Tuesday, May 29 at Blu Restaurant and Lounge on Elizabeth and Bay.
According to team manager Executive Chef Devin Johnson, the team will showcase an assortment of tapas menu items at the reception which will be a blend of locally infused international works of culinary art.
"I believe the public will delight in both the creativity and taste of what the team is putting together," states Chef Johnson. "Mixing indigenous foods with traditional appetizers helps to hone our chef's skills. At the Taste of the Caribbean competition the judges will look for an infusion of international and local flair."
Tuesday's event will run from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. "With the backdrop of cruise ships berthed in Nassau Harbour, against the sounds of live Bahamian music, and the team's unique tapas selection and beverage offerings, this is a great opportunity for people to unwind from a busy day while showing their support for our up-and-coming young chefs," according to Bahamas Hotel Association President Stuart Bowe.
The tapas selection will include: cracked conch sushi; jerk chicken tartlets with guava BBQ sauce; Bahamian crawfish spring rolls with Asian dipping sauce; vegetable spring rolls; homemade combined veal, pork and beef meatballs with fresh sage and a tomato basil fondue; an asparagus, wild mushroom and roasted pepper pinwheel; and watermelon, papaya, cucumber and goat pepper gelee.
"The team has been practicing for six weeks and every week we see improvement," states Chef Johnson. "They've been working on techniques, beginning to gel more, and everyone knows their role. In the coming weeks it will come down to execution. That's why the tapas event at Blu and an upcoming team dinner at Atlantis on June 12 are so important."
The competition is sponsored by the Bahamas Hotel Association, the Ministry of Tourism and the Bahamas Culinary Association with support from team member hotels and restaurants and corporate sponsors Bahamas Food Services and Bristol Wines and Spirits. Blu and Atlantis are also assisting with hosting the team's two showcase events.
This year's team is comprised of: Team Manager Chef Devin Johnson from the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort; Team Captain Chef Jamal Small from Blu Restaurant; Chef Mychal Harris from Atlantis; Junior Chef Kevyn Pratt from One&Only Ocean Club; Chef Charron McKenzie and Pastry Chef Wenzil Rolle from the Lyford Cay Club; Chef Shanique Bodie from the Old Fort Bay Club; Bartender Gerard Knowles from the British Colonial Hilton; and Dwayne Sinclair, the National Young Chef from Temple Christian High School.
Over 14 Caribbean culinary teams will be vying for the culinary honors next month.
For additional information or tickets contact the BHA at 322-8381 or the Ministry of Tourism at 328-7810. Tickets will be available that evening at the door.

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News Article

September 18, 2013
Miller: BEC workers should contribute to benefits

The Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) could turn a profit in 18 months if the unions would work "sensibly" with the corporation, its Executive Chairman Leslie Miller said yesterday...

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News Article

August 22, 2014
Swimmers break national records at Youth Olympics

Despite not coming up with a medal on Friday, Joanna Evans and Laura Morley were still able to set new national records with their performances at the second Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China.
Evans managed to finish just fifth in the women's 400-meter (m) freestyle final, but her time of 4:12.14 topped the old record of 4:13.74 that she set just hours earlier in her qualification heat. Prior to yesterday the old record time in the 400m was 4:17.29, and was also set by Evans back in march at the Swift Swimming Championships in Nassau.
Hannah Moore of the United States finished first in the 400m final and scored her second gold medal of the championships. She won the race in a time of 4:11.05, followed by Sarisa Suwannachet, who finished in a close second with a time of 4:11.23 and Kathrin Demler out of Germany finished third with a time of 4:11.2.
Laura Morley competed in the women's 200m breaststroke but could only muster an eighth place finish in her preliminary race. Despite failing to advance, her time of 2:36.42 trumped the old national record of 2:37.97 set by McKayla Lightbourn at the 2008 CARIFTA swimming championships in Aruba.
The swimmers can now unwind in China, because yesterday marked the final day of swimming competition at the Youth Olympics.
In tennis, Rasheed Carey and his mixed doubles partner, Simona Heinova, of the Czech Republic, lost 2-0 in their quarterfinal match on court number two. They were defeated in straight sets by Stanislaw Zielinski, of Poland, and Jil Teichmann of Switzerland. The total time of the match was one hour and five minutes.
On the track, Drashanae Rolle finished fifth in heat number two of the women's 400m hurdles, with a time of 1:02.01 at the Nanjing OSC Stadium.
She finished 12th overall and although she failed to make it to the finals, she will be competing in the "B" finals on Monday at 7:05 p.m.
Paul De Souza was once again denied the chance to get out and sail on the Jinniu Lake. Yesterday was the second day that all sailing races were canceled due to inclement weather. The country's sole sailor is competing in the Byte CII Class - Men's One Person Dinghy, and will hopefully get a chance to get in the water at some point today. De Souza has yet to compete in race eight, nine or 10 of the 11 race course due to the weather. Officials are working on a new schedule for the sailors, and will release it at some point today.
The Bahamas will be looking forward to some good performances in athletics today at the Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre Stadium.
Tyler Bowe will compete in the men's 100m finals out of lane eight, and that race is set for 9:20 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST).
Jenea Ambrose will look to make noise in the women's 100m final. She will be runnning out of lane two in the final that is set for 9 a.m. EST.
Henry Delauze was the first Bahamian athlete to make it into the final round, and will be competing in the men's 400m final that will begin at 10:06 a.m.
Almost 4,000 athletes from 204 countries are competing in 28 disciplines at this year's Youth Olympics.

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