HURST REPORTS ON CABINET of Wednesday 9 November 2022
The Cabinet commenced its meeting following prayers at about 10:45 am. Absent from the meeting was the Prime Minister who is currently in Egypt to attend the COP 27 Meeting, receiving significant international press attention for his outstanding role as the Spokesperson/Chairman of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS). Two other members were absent from Cabinet, away on official business. The Cabinet was chaired by the Acting Prime Minister.
- The Cabinet held a discussion about the unlawful action taken by the Barbuda Council that has been published, and which publication invites the residents of Barbuda to disobey the law and the ruling of the Privy Council. The Attorney General was empowered by the Cabinet to take those actions that will enable the decision of the Privy Council to become effective, to include seeking a High Court injunction.
- 2. The Cabinet addressed the recent events and circumstances that surround the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP). The Judicial and Legal Services Commission, based in St. Lucia, is the institution under the Antigua and Barbuda Constitution Order –Section 87—to determine the actions which are to follow.
- The Cabinet asked the Minister of Tourism about the success of the inaugural Antigua Airways flight which brought 114 passengers from Lagos, Nigeria, across the Atlantic Ocean on 1 November 2022, to Antigua. The flight departed Antigua for Lagos on 6 November, arriving safely a little after 5:00 am. Regular flights of Antigua Airways are to begin next month.
- The Cabinet received assurances from the Attorney General that the Minimum Wage Committee will submit its recommendation in a few short weeks. The Committee has been mandated to consult with stakeholders, for several months, before sharing its recommendation with the policy-making body. When the Cabinet receives the Report and Recommendation, the Cabinet will make a decision before taking the matter to the Parliament for it to become law. It is anticipated that by 1 January 2023, a new minimum wage will take effect.
- The Minister of Tourism reported that the OECS Ministers of Tourism will gather in Antigua from 1st to 3rd December 2022, in order to plan for joint strategies that will benefit the peoples of the sub-region. The likelihood is that an opening ceremony for the 5th Berth is likely to take place then, celebrating the enormous effort to ensure that Antigua can accommodate the Oasis Class Ships.
A European vessel, capable of accommodating 5,000 passengers and 1,500 crew, will home-port in Antigua. Many passengers will therefore arrive Antigua by aircraft and will travel to the port to join the vessel which will return them to Antigua after a week at sea.
- The Prime Minister’s Christmas/New Year Home and Business Lighting Competition is scheduled to get started in a few weeks. Homes and businesses are encouraged to register. Those homeowners who register will receive forgiveness of their December APUA Electricity bill; the businesses that choose to register and to participate in the competition will receive a 50% reduction on their December electricity bill.
- The 2nd annual Antigua and Barbuda – United Kingdom Business Forum is currently taking place in London and Leicester from 7th to 11th November. The Forum identifies trade and investment opportunities for Antiguan and Barbudan businesses in the UK market. Nine businesses are participating in the Forum: Grannie Annie Pepper Sauce, Neem Avenue, Crispa Chips, Shell Beach Sea Food Company, Sarafina Savoury Caribbean Pudding, 2SIX8 Craft Brewery, Antigua Distillery Ltd., Miss Ellie’s Stuffed Dumplings and BWC Enterprises. This is a trade initiative supported by the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the law firm Georgiev, Todorov & Co., the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council, the UK Department for International Trade, Caribbean Export, the Antigua and Barbuda Investment Authority, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Immigration and Trade, and the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority.
- The Official Funeral for Ambassador Josette Michael will be held on Thursday, 10 November 2022 beginning at 1:00 pm at the Holy Family Cathedral. All flags are to be flown at half-mast tomorrow.