Tuesday, April 13, 2021


Moultrie is a Case of Sour Grapes, Leaving a Bad Taste?

Since Independent House Speaker Halson Moultrie’s exit from the Free National Movement, he has created quite a stir, revealing a private conversation he’s had with Prime Minister Hubert Minnis.

Moultrie appeared on The Hit Back with Nahaja Black, disclosing the government’s intent to call an early election in 4 to 5 months, and further divulging Minnis’ plan to send him as an ambassador to London in an effort to shuffle the party and its candidates as it prepares for general election, whenever that may be.

Moultrie’s revelation comes after he resigned from the governing party, opting to become an independent member of parliament. He cited the lack of “autonomy and independence of the legislature and judiciary, accountability and transparency, freedom of information and respect for the constitution” as a reasoning for his departure from the party.

But his decision came as no surprise as Moultrie has often lambasted the government as House speaker, recently criticizing the government for the condition of his office, complaining of the mold and inoperable bathroom facility. He said he will not “sit here idly by as the presiding officer of this Parliament and accept such conditions.”

Moultrie once hit out at Minnis, while claiming there was no discord in the party, suggesting that the prime minister was acting like a “demigod – like a person who is a maximum leader, a person who could just dictate,” he told reporters in November.

Moultrie’s behavior is similar to that of former minister of Health Duane Sands, who turned on the party after his resignation from the Cabinet post. Though Sands remained with the party, he criticized his party at every term, questioning the government’s vaccine rollout plan and its emergency orders in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

One month after his resignation in May, Sand’s derision for his party went as far back as the passage of the Hurricane Dorian, accusing the government and other ministries of deleting hundreds of names from the list of missing people, without explanation, although the apparent removal of names would have occurred when he was the minister of health.

But unlike Sands, Moultrie’s gripe with the party has done nothing to help his public image. He is already known as a poor representative for the Nassau Village constituency, where area residents feel like he has neglected them, providing no meaningful change for the area. If he was ratified as a candidate for the area, it is almost guaranteed the government would lose that seat.

Sands, on the other hand, has grown as a good representative for Elizabeth Estates, often seen canvassing and cleaning the area and seemed to be well-liked by the constituents. The government has a good chance of winning this seat, though he has yet to be ratified like other members of his party.

It remains to be seen what will be Moultrie’s next move, whether he will run as an independent candidate for the Nassau Village constituency or retire from politics, which may be a better option.

Why Chester Cooper Is Against Exuma’s Strict Measures

After Prime Minister Hubert Minnis implemented restricted measures for Exuma following a rise in COVID-19 cases, area representative Chester Cooper is speaking out against one aspect of the measure that he believes will “dramatically shift the state of everyday life on Exuma”– the weekend lockdowns.

“While the rapid rise in cases on Exuma is very troubling and some restrictive measures may be warranted to slow the spread, I do not support full weekend lockdowns.

“Had anyone in Cabinet bothered to ask my advice, I would have been happy to assist,” he said.

Why it matters

  • Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said there is an exponential increase in cases on that island following the October holiday weekend and two major social events.
  • Over the past week, Exuma has recorded 30 new confirmed cases of COVID-19.
  • As of Tuesday, the 10th of November, a total of 79 positive cases of COVID-19 were recorded on the island of Exuma. Of that number, 28 cases are active, two are hospitalized, and there has been one COVID-19 related death.

Reasons why Chester Cooper says he opposes weekend lockdowns

  • They are too blunt an instrument for the situation as it stands.
  • Exuma is just now experiencing some relief on the tourism front after months of lingering in the economic doldrums.
  • Exuma has international flights now coming in from Florida and North Carolina on Saturdays.
  • And Exuma was experiencing serious interest in domestic travel from New Providence before the quarantine was reinstated.
  • Not only will this damage our brand internationally, but it will further starve Exuma’s economy of vital tourism dollars.

What PM Minnis says

Dr. Minnis acknowledged that it was short notice as the measures come into effect on Thursday, but he said the measure is a critical part of the strategy to contain and to control the spread of COVID-19 throughout the country. He said this measure is designed to stop possible spikes on other islands because of individuals who may be COVID 19 positive, quickly moving to other islands.

What’s the plan?

The strategies employed by our health officials are as follows:

  • When there is an exponential increase in new confirmed cases of COVID-19 over a short period of time, restrictive measures will be put in place to mitigate the spread in that location.
  • The number of health officials on Exuma has increased, including a team consisting of contact tracers and members of the surveillance unit will be deployed to Exuma on Friday for further assessment.

Travis Robinson Delivers HOA Speech on Facebook. He Feels Slighted. What Happened?

Bain and Grants Town Member of Parliament Travis Robinson said he is disappointed in the House of Assembly after he said he was prevented from contributing to the Bail and Jury Acts, which were passed in the House on Wednesday afternoon.

So, Robinson took to social media to express his disappointment and to read the intended speech.

Robinson said he feels, “stifled” and “hindered,” calling it “an attack on democracy.”

Members of Parliament Elsworth Johnson, Lanisha Rolle, Marvin Dames, Philip Davis, Reece Chipman all contributed to the bill.

What Travis Robinson said happened?

Robinson said he was expected to debate the Bail and Jury Acts on Wednesday afternoon at 3:30, according to an HOA speaking list.

Instead, Robinson said the HOA moved to the third reading and passage of the bill at 2 pm, not giving him notice that he will be unable to speak.

What should have happened?

Robinson said he should have been notified.

Instances like this, Robinson said the parliamentarian is called to indicate that the House will move to the afternoon session and he or she is told that they should make their way to the House in a specified period of time.

What will happen next?

Robinson said he is looking forward to what is to come since airing the issue on social media, adding that he does not know what the end result will be.

But Robinson said he will not allow anyone to disrespect his constituents, whom he represents.

Robinson admonished young people to demand respect and not allow anyone to disrespect them because of age.

“I will not lie down and play dead…If you disrespect Travis Robinson, I don’t care. But you will not disrespect Bain and Grant’s Town,” he said.

Featured Picture: Tribune

How Long Island Confirmed It’s First Case of COVID-19

Long Island has recorded its first case of the coronavirus, confirmed by its MP Adrian Gibson.
Gibson said the first case is a close relative.

What is known?

The first case is a male. It is not known how he contracted the virus as he has no recent history of travel.

The man found out his condition after attending doctors in New Providence for another matter and was then informed of the COVID-19 infection.

“We were advised of this diagnosis yesterday. We do not know how he contracted the virus. He has no recent history of travel and he is mostly home-based,” Gibson said.
The man is presently in hospital, in stable condition.

What is suspected?

Gibson suspected that the relative contracted the virus as a result of newcomers to the island. He said people unfamiliar to the islanders have frequented Long Island communities and have been seen throughout the island.

“These persons have either not lived in Long Island for years or have come to Long Island because of its now formerly COVID-free status and the lack of a curfew/lockdown,” he said.
Gibson added that recent deaths on Long Island are also subject to review by health officials.

Gibson’s advice?

The Long Island MP said he strongly advises against inter-island travel, except for medical or emergency reasons.
He urged residents to report anyone coming to Long Island without permission, without a test, and who are not in quarantine, and not to allow visitors to their homes.
“I am advised that such travel – and interaction with Long Islanders by outsiders – has resulted in potential community spread and the need for several other persons to be tested.”
The Ministry of Health confirmed on Sunday night that there are 32 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 2,167.
Three additional deaths are now under investigation, with a tally of thirteen unclassified deaths.