June 27, 2020
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Hon. K. Peter Turnquest, reiterated the Government of The Bahamas’ commitment that: “no Bahamian throughout the length and breadth of this country will be left hungry or without shelter.”
“When I gave my Communication to Parliament during the 2020/2021 National Budget Debate, one of the statements I made was that no Bahamian throughout the length and breadth of this country, would be left hungry or without shelter,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“That is a commitment that has the sanction of the Prime Minister (Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert A. Minnis) as well as the Government of The Bahamas. Through Social Services, we will ensure that mandate is lived up to and it is a commitment that we make to the Bahamian people with the full knowledge of the challenges that we face as a country, (and) of the challenges that are being faced globally by this crisis (COVID-19 Pandemic) that we find ourselves in.
“These are not easy times. There are not likely to be easy times for the next couple of months, but together we can get through this. Together, with neighbour helping neighbour, the government providing its support, we will all come through this stronger and better, more resilient than we went into it,” Mr. Turnquest added.
The Deputy Prime Minister’s reassurance came during a press briefing held in the aftermath of a meeting between Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell, the senior Parliamentary Caucus on Grand Bahama who were on-island during Minister Campbell’s two-day Official Visit to Grand Bahama June 18-19, and senior officials of the Department of Social Services, Grand Bahama.
Hosted at the Department’s Headquarters in Freeport, the meeting was designed to, among other things, officially introduce Mrs. Charlamae Fernander as the Head of the Department of Social Services in Grand Bahama and the Northern Bahamas; to provide senior managers with the opportunity to share – with the Parliamentary Caucus - some of their challenges and concerns, in addition to some of the impediments that might be resulting in the frustration that external clients are facing; for the Caucus to share their own concerns, and finally to see how those concerns can be “married” to ensure that the Department’s internal customers (staff) are facilitated, accommodated and placed in a position where: “they are in an environment that will facilitate the kind of productivity that is necessary for the external customer to get the service that they rightly deserve with the minimum amount of frustration.”
The Deputy Prime Minister, who serves as the Member of Parliament for East, Grand Bahama, assured DOSS staff that the Grand Bahama Caucus will do its best to ensure they get all of the tools they need.
“Want to thank all of you professionals for the sacrifices, and thank your families for the sacrifices that you make on behalf of all of us. Certainly we will do our best to ensure that you have all of the tools that you need in order to deliver the professional services that you deliver in comfort and with confidence and respect of your clients and all that you serve,” Mr. Turnquest said.
Friday’s Meeting concluded a two-day Official Visit to Grand Bahama that began on Thursday (June 18) with a site visit and tour of the renovations to the Grand Bahama Children’s Home, which was severely damaged by the monster storm, Hurricane Dorian, in September 2019. The Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development provides an annual subvention to the Home through the Department of Social Services.
Minister Campbell was accompanied to the Children’s Home by: Ms. Lilian Quant-Forbes, Acting Director, Department of Social Services; Ms. Charlamae Fernander, Assistant Director, Grand Bahama and Northern Bahamas (Abaco and Bimini), and Ms. Dorothea Gomez, Chief Welfare Officer. The Official Visit also included an address to the 2020 Graduating Class of the Grand Bahama Academy of Seventh Day Adventists by ZOOM. (BIS Photo/Lisa Davis)
By Matt Maura