News Archives

You're invited to the Grand Bahama Sailing Club Sunday brunch

You're invited to the Grand Bahama Sailing Club Sunday brunch

Sat, Mar 31st 2012, 09:02 PM


and every Sunday , The Grand Bahama Sailing Club invites you to join
them for their succulent Sunday Brunch on the water at the Sir Charles
Hayward Yacht marina. 

Waffle station with strawberries, blueberries and freshly made whipped cream - Fresh seasonalfruit salad - Omelet station with onions, peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, ham and cheese - Eggs Benedict with creamy hollandaise sauce - Asian Slaw - Mixed Greens Salad - Asian Orange Chicken - Mongolian Beef...

Adults $21.00 - Children 13 yrs and under $11.00 - Children 3 8. Under FREE

From 11.30 am -

Davis encouraged by Guardian poll results

Davis encouraged by Guardian poll results

Sat, Mar 31st 2012, 03:07 PM

Responding to poll results published in The Nassau Guardian that showed the two major political parties are in a statistical dead heat, Deputy Leader of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Philip Brave Davis said yesterday the PLP will continue to surge as the campaign heats up. "It is encouraging for us as PLPs and to note from all accounts that the trend is in favor of the PLP," Davis said in an interview via telephone.

The poll was conducted for The Nassau Guardian by market research and public polling company Public Domain. Public Domain President M'wale Rahming said recently, "What we've seen over the last month or so has been the FNM holding strong and PLP rise as the DNA's vote goes down." Davis said yesterday that it is important for the PLP to stay on message as the campaign trail heats up ahead of the 2012 general election. "The message is to ensure that the plans that we have, and the initiatives we intend to put in place to arrest the issues that affect our nation are disseminated to the electorate," he said. "We think we are doing a good job at it now and I am satisfied that the vehicle that we are going to be using to carry those messages to the people will be effective."

Davis said the PLP has been conducting its own polls and he has been pleased with the results. The results of the Public Domain poll were revealed in Thursday's edition of The Nassau Guardian. Asked who they would vote for if an election was held today, 30.5 percent said they would vote for the FNM; 23.7 percent said PLP; 16.5 percent said Democratic National Alliance (DNA); 1.6 percent said they would vote for other parties or candidates and 12.2 percent said they were undecided. Another 3.7 percent were classified as FNM leaners; another 6.6 percent as PLP leaners and another 5.2 percent as DNA leaners. The FNM therefore got 34.2 percent of the total support; the PLP got 30.3 percent of total support and the DNA got 21.7 percent of total support.

Public Domain contacted 501 respondents in a telephone survey between March 5 and March 12, 2012. Such a sample size has a maximal margin of error of 4.4 percent, researchers said. At an FNM rally on Thursday night, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham dismissed the conclusion that the two main parties are in a statistical dead heat. He claimed that while The Guardian headline said the FNM and PLP are in a statistical dead heat, the story says something else. "They could slice and dice all they want, the numbers show Colour Red is ahead," he said.

"The newspapers [have] their numbers. We [have] our numbers, and we [have] the PLP number. All the numbers say the same thing: Red, red, red." Ingraham declared, "We are ahead in votes, ahead in enthusiasm and ahead in support, support coming from FNMs and support from many who have never supported us in the past." In a statement released on Thursday, the DNA said the poll results show it is now within "striking range" of the two political forces in the country after only 10 months of existence.

Where are businesses in Caribbean business

Where are businesses in Caribbean business

Sat, Mar 31st 2012, 02:40 PM

The countries of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), with the exception of Guyana and Suriname, are each experiencing severe decline in their economies. The small Leeward and Windward Islands are worst affected, and so too is Barbados. Governments are struggling to find ways in which to spur economic activity that could produce growth.

Meanwhile, unemployment and poverty are growing. Unemployment is highest amongst the youth, making for an alarming situation. Presenting a lecture to students of the University of the West Indies recently, I received the greatest applause and nods of approval, when I lamented the fact that there were now many graduates of the university who were unable to find jobs that correspond to their level of qualifications, if they could find any jobs at all.

i this regard, many Caribbean countries are like pressure cookers, waiting to explode. Only migration and remittances from family abroad are easing the pressure. But, even these valves are not sufficient to relieve discontent completely. In many cases, this has led to borrowing from local statutory bodies, such as national insurance and social security schemes, to fund capital projects and even to pay wages and salaries. Governments have also borrowed from local banks causing them to carry the greatest risk if there is a default.

A few governments have also borrowed from the government of the People's Republic of China and while many of these loan agreements have not been made public but are said to be concessionary, they have added to the burden of national debt and will have to be repaid in the future. Where is the Caribbean business community in all this? They appear not to be involved at all. Indeed, in some CARICOM countries, the only involvement of the business community in the present difficulties is that some of them are seeking greater concessions from governments. The recent Landell Mills report to CARICOM heads of government on the restructuring of the CARICOM Secretariat points out that the regional private sector is "fragmented and divided" and many "key private sector players do not even bother to get involved". This situation is not good for the region or for the private sector. It is not governments that trade; it is business.

Therefore, the business community throughout the region should have a keen interest in the meetings of CARICOM trade ministers and meetings of heads of government. The decisions they reach have a major impact on business and on the capacity of businesses to contribute to economic growth and development. Yet, there are no regular and structured meetings between Caribbean governments and the Caribbean private sector.

In other words, governments reach decisions with little or no input from the private sector, which they all proclaim is "the engine of growth". It is telling that the member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the European Union Commission regularly consult the private sector of their countries recognizing fully that the rules to which they agree, or set, are meant to facilitate businesses on which their economies depend for growth, employment and prosperity. The Landell Mills report states what should be obvious to all: "The private sector's views on what works and what does not and on where priorities lie would be invaluable". For some reason, it does not appear obvious to many CARICOM governments. They treat the private sector with suspicion.

Only Barbados has a system of consultations with the private sector in joint meetings with trade unions, but even these meetings are not attended by the "key private sector players". As the report says, the officials who attend these meetings "are often not business people themselves". The latter point suggests that serious business people see little point in engaging governments which fail to act on the proposals they put forward. The report recommends "regular small and informal meetings, possibly over dinner. In our experience an informal arrangement is the best way of building up relationships and getting busy executives to open up on a freewheeling basis".

There is merit in this idea provided it is done in an open and transparent manner. If not, it will lead to allegations of favoritism, discrimination and marginalization from others who are not invited. The report dismisses the notion of structured meetings, including a council of representatives of governments and the private sector. But such a council is necessary and it would be well attended if it comprised heads of government and leading business figures from across the region. Both groups would want to be sure they are dealing with persons who can make and implement decisions. Of course, businessmen will cease to attend meetings, whether it be small working dinners or a council, as soon as they get the first inkling that nothing is done as a result of the discussions.

How to achieve a higher level of confidence between governments and the private sector is a challenge. Each group needs the other if the economies in which they operate and indeed the Caribbean Single Market are to be advanced so as to create jobs, reduce poverty and to grow. In 2009, as head of the Jamaican-based company, Grace Kennedy, Douglas Orane, told a regional private sector body: "The CARICOM region needs to go through a process of self transformation." Nothing has changed since then. The vibrant Jamaican private sector is well placed to propose a basic plan for the regional business community's involvement in, and contribution to, the region's economic progress.

With the help of the new Jamaica government, such a plan could be a basis for wider regional discussion, refinement and adoption. Businesses cannot be left out of business. o Sir Ronald Sanders is a business executive and former Caribbean diplomat who publishes widely on small states in the global community. Printed with the permission of

Full support for the DNA
Full support for the DNA

Sat, Mar 31st 2012, 02:37 PM

No foreign police
No foreign police

Sat, Mar 31st 2012, 02:36 PM

Where are the party manifestos

Where are the party manifestos

Sat, Mar 31st 2012, 08:03 AM

We are nearing the end of this parliamentary term and are in "pre-election" campaign mode. The prime minister has until May to dissolve Parliament and call the election. We are now heading into April and none of the three main political parties has published its manifesto. Where are they?And when will they be brought forward?

Manifestos are important. They set out a party's agenda for the next five-year period if elected government. In well-written manifestos, citizens are given the details of the policy initiatives parties plan to focus on. When these documents are published well ahead of a general election, the electorate and media have more time to scrutinize what the party wants to do, or not do. In these challenging times, when crime and the economy are major concerns to many Bahamians, we should take time to examine the plans presented by the three main parties.

If a party fills its document with vague bullet points with no details as to how the promises will be achieved, you should know that promise is unlikely to materialize to reality if that party is elected. Thus far from the mini-rally podia, via news conferences and through party websites, some promises have been made. But, the full agendas of our political parties are missing. We would hope that by the time Parliament is dissolved and the official campaign begins, the manifestos will be in the public domain. Eastern Road upgrades The major roadwork on New Providence the New Providence Road Improvement Project (NPRIP) has been controversial.

While many think the island's road network needs an upgrade, the management of the project has been lacking. Road closures have led to gridlock on the streets at times and businesses in the construction zones have suffered some have gone out of business. A less controversial and smaller road project is progressing well on Eastern Road. The government is creating three turning lanes on the well-traveled route. One is at the entrance to Blair Estates, one is at Johnson Road and the other is at Fox Hill Road. The Fox Hill Road turning lane is finished.

The purpose of the lanes, essentially, is to reduce traffic flowing into the east in the evenings. The people doing the work appear to be Bahamians and there is consistent traffic management. When tractors enter the roads, workers direct flow on the one lane that is available. Traffic management at the NPRIP has been sporadic. When the three new lanes are finished, there should be significant improvement to the traffic flow in the east in the evenings. This work demonstrates that smaller coordinated roadwork projects work too. Trying to do too much at once can cause excessive disruption especially on a small island.