HURST REPORTS ON CABINET OF WEDNESDAY 30TH NOVEMBER 2022
CABINET COMMENCED ITS MEETING AT 10:30 am, and CONCLUDED AT 5pm. ALL MEMBERS WERE PRESENT.
- The Cabinet invited several groups to appear before it, in order to set policies and to gain a greater understanding of complex issues:
- The Solicitor General, the Deputy Solicitor General, a Crown Counsel, the Head of the FSRC, and other officials were invited to address the issues of FTX. Questions arose about the immediate and long-term impacts of the bankruptcy of this parent company, registered but not licensed, in Antigua. Though incorporated in Antigua and Barbuda, FTX was not granted a license to operate locally; the license was under review. Nevertheless, the Company was deemed by its principals to be the parent company of several other firms that were established to carry on the Crypto currency business in several other states. Following vigorous discussions with the lawyers, the Attorney General and the FSRC Officials, the Cabinet concluded that no liability attaches to the State of Antigua and Barbuda.
- The leaders of the Drag Racing Association were invited to Cabinet to address possibilities for expanding the popular reach of drag racing in Antigua. Jason Marsh, who is the principal creator of Marsh-Built Motors, has been a winner at the Drag Racing “Olympics” that are held in Maryland USA. He is seeking a patent on a turbo booster that he has designed to make racing cars run even faster; the product is in demand and the designer is doing his very best to ensure that Antigua and Barbuda is recognized as a place from which inventions can come. Jason Marsh is also a race car driver; he has won several races in Maryland and elsewhere, demonstrating his capability on the race track as well. His victories have resulted in inquiries about Antigua, and the Cabinet determined that the Ministry of Tourism will work with Mr. Marsh to bring cars and drivers, and car-racing enthusiasts, to Antigua in large numbers for special events. It was agreed that more concrete barriers are required for the safety of everyone, and that more viewing stands will be needed in order to attract more visitors. It was also agreed that the Ministry of Health and the Sir Lester Bird Mount St. John’s Medical Centre (SLBMSJMC) are to be in a state of readiness in the event of any accidents. The Cabinet agreed to appoint Mr. Marsh as a Sports Ambassador with no monetary compensation.
- Last Wednesday, the Cabinet received a report on violence among youth in several schools, related to gangs; it ordered the Ministry of Social Transformation to have its experts provide the Cabinet with guidance. Although the Director of Education, the Commissioner of Police and the Chief of Defense Staff were in consultation today, the Ministry of Social Transformation provided a short paper to the Cabinet in which six proposals were put forward:
- To develop appropriate legislation that will make joining and functioning with a gang illegal.
- To monitor closely the abuse of substances—such as alcohol, marijuana and non- prescription drugs—by students. There was no evidence presented to show an increase use of marijuana, as some have speculated.
iii. To strengthen community groups through training that would include officials from schools, churches, civil society, public health services and criminal justice agencies.
- To provide support for children in conflict with the law which would include the Boys Training School and a similar home for troubled girls.
- To increase the number of probation officers and truancy officers.
- To commence a national public relations program to encourage good behaviour among youth.
The Cabinet also agreed to consult with a former solider of the ABDF who has consistently run a boys training program that has transformed the lives and direction of boys who were going astray.
- The Cabinet received a report on Andre Simon from the Minister of Health. The cost of his care may rise and contributions from citizens of Antigua and Barbuda continue to be justly solicited.
- The Minister of Works was applauded for the repaving of several highways that has made travel by motor vehicle thereon more comfortable. The representative of St. Mary’s South applauded the Minister of Works for the completion of the Clinic in Bolans and noted that $100,000.00 are required to add the dental component to the Clinic.
- The Minister of Sports reported that the drawings of the Olympic practice swimming pool have been completed and that the work on its construction will shortly begin. The resources for its construction have already been secured.
- Parliament will convene on Thursday 1st December beginning at 9:30 am when several bills and statutory instruments will be tabled and resolutions adopted.
- Cabinet reminds the people of Antigua and Barbuda that Friday 9th December 2022 is V.C. Bird Day, a public holiday that will see the celebration of the legacy of the Father of the Nation. The celebration will take place at the V.C. Bird Bust.
- Christmas Day, December 25th falls on a Sunday; under the law, Monday 26th and Tuesday 27th 2022 will be holidays, instead. January 1st falls on a Sunday therefore January 2nd, 2023, will be a holiday.
- 9. Salaries, Pensions and Social Security payments have been paid to all the Banks such that every public servant should have received what is his or her due, from the Government of Antigua and Barbuda. The next pay day will likely be on December 16th A date for ABST-waiver will be announced next month.
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