CABINET NOTES of Thursday, October 5, 2023

HURST REPORTS ON CABINET of Thursday, October 5, 2023

Prayers were offered by a Minister of Religion who graduated from the Princess Margaret School and was a classmate of two Cabinet Ministers.


1. The Cabinet took note of the scaling-up of Caribbean Airlines (CAL), including the purchase of several ATR Aircraft with the expectation of placing them on routes serviced by LIAT 1974 ltd.

The statement about CAL’s expansion came from a Trinidad and Tobago parliamentarian who spoke in their parliament recently; it is evident, the Cabinet concluded, that reviving LIAT is not an objective of Trinidad whose leaders are determined to capture the aviation services that Antigua and Barbuda once exported.

Cabinet is determined to have LIAT resume its role, providing hundreds of jobs to residents and Citizens of Antigua and Barbuda. Air Peace has agreed to purchase a significant share in LIAT (2020) and to provide the capital necessary to return LIAT to its former glory.

2. The Cabinet held discussions about the effects of Tropical Storm Phillipe on Antigua and Barbuda. First, it dumped more than 8 inches of rain in Antigua and caused many dams and reservoirs to fill up. Potworks Dam, capable of holding 1.2 billion gallons of water, is about one-third (1/3) full; with daily extractions, the stored water will last more than 3 months.

The Minister of Public Utilities noted that the Fort James R/O plant, The Crabbs R/O plant, The Ivan Rodriguez R/O plant, The Ffryes R/O plant, Pigeon Point R/O plant and Camp Blizzard R/O plant, Big Creek and Potworks Dam will be capable of producing nearly 9 million Gallons daily.

It is estimated that demand for APUA water will fall below 8 Million gallon daily. APUA will not be rationing water after the soil in the run-off settles. More rain is expected from another tropical storm which is forming in the open Atlantic.

2.i. The Cabinet invited Carlo Falcone to its meeting; he is the owner of the Antigua Yacht Club that was burnt to the ground on Tuesday morning, following a lighting strike during the passage of tropical storm Philippe.

The estimate of the destruction has not yet been calculated but will run in the millions; his insurance company dispatched an investigator there to examine the damage and to make an assessment. The work of the Fire Department received strong applause from both the Cabinet and the private property owner.

The Fire Department saved other neighbouring properties which were in danger of catching fire from the heat.

The Cabinet expressed its thankfulness to the firefighters who were always in danger because of lightning strikes, high wind gusts and the waves which tried to knock them into the sea.

2.ii. In its review of the harm and damage caused by tropical storm Philippe, the Cabinet applauds the National Office of Disaster Services (NODS), and the Antigua Public Utility Authorities (APUA), especially its Department of Electricity, its linesmen and those other APUA staff who ventured out into the rain and wind to repair lines and to restore electricity to homes and businesses on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Praises were also heaped on the heads of the Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force (ABDF), and the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda (RPFAB), the Public Works Department (PWD), National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), the Central Board of Health (CBH), The Sir Lester Bird Medical Center (SLBMC), and the managers of the Shelters that were opened on Monday to accommodate those who live in flood-prone neighborhoods.

The Cabinet also thanked the men and women from the Ministry of Agriculture who went out to assess the damage to farmers’ fields and to determine the loss which they suffered from excessive rainfall and wind. “While the average loss for an individual producer has been estimated to be minimal– owing to the nascent land preparation stage of farm operation– wet conditions, since the rains, could lead to crop decay and may also set the stage for disease-development in wounded plants. “ (AED Report)


3.  The Cabinet invited the Commissioner of the Inland Revenue Department and an expert at IRD—who focuses upon compliance with international regulations; the European Union (EU) renders assessments of all countries and their compliance with rules governing anti-money laundering and terrorism financing (AML/CFT).

The Antigua and Barbuda Parliament recently amended the laws governing firms, compelling them to identify their beneficial owners. Although EU officials provided guidance on the legislative amendments, the EU found Antigua and Barbuda to be only “partially compliant”.

The explanation offered is that the officials participating in framing the laws differ from the body making the judgments; the latter group found that there was not enough time between passage of the law and the finding made to determine enforcement of the law. At any rate, a supplementary review in a year will provide the time, Antigua and Barbuda officials were told.

4. The Cabinet has begun to focus on the May 2024 Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Conference scheduled to take place in Antigua. An estimated 5,000 delegates are likely to attend, including approximately 50 Heads of State.

The planning has already commenced to house the visitors, and for security for the visiting Heads. The venue of the meetings will likely be the AUA, and the Heads are likely to be housed in hotels on the northern shore of Antigua.

The Police and the Military and more than 200 volunteers are expected to make the five-day Conference incident free. Several governments will be provide funding; one state has already pledged 500,000 dollars XCD.

5. i) The Cabinet extends an invitation to attend its meeting to the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Hon. Jamale Pringle, and two of his parliamentary colleagues three Wednesdays from today, or on October 25th.

The Honourable member offered to join a bi-partisan group to address the challenge of providing potable water by APUA. The Cabinet also encourages the Leader of the Opposition to submit questions to the Minister of APUA in Parliament and to the managers of the APUA Water Department.

ii) The International Airport in Barbuda is almost ready to receive air traffic; test flights will likely land there early in November 2023.

iii) The Minister of Works reported that work is continuing on the fence and roadways of the new Tomlinson’s Cemetery; the Ministry of Legal Affairs will draft some regulations governing its operation. Headstones, for example, will be uniform and all graves will be surveyed and mapped like regular parcels of land.

iv) The Cabinet applauded the bodybuilders who recently participated in competition in Europe and emerged winners: Ambassador Kimberly Percival, Ambassador Melissa Seaforth and Miss Michelle Seaforth. The cultural ambassadors continue to shine and to bring attention to their country’s talented.






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