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Elusive seabridge promise

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s admission that the Galleons Passage will be a slow ride between the islands is, belatedly, a concession that the issues plaguing the interisland service will not be resolved anytime soon.

In fact, it seems any tangible resolution to the seabridge woes may only come by the end of 2020 when Government hopes to have completed the acquisition of two new ferries through collaboration with the Australian government.

Until then, passengers will have to use the ageing T&T Spirit, Cabo Star, and the US$17 million Galleons Passage, advanced as a seabridge saving grace but now being significantly downgraded, whenever it joins the rotation of vessels currently being used, since the other ferry used on the route—the T&T Express—is to be sold.

In fact, by the time Nidco completes the tendering process started this week to lease a faster vessel for the seabridge, Tobago businesses, in particular, will be counting significant losses having lost the bulk of profitable opportunities for this year.

In this regard, it therefore remains that Minister of Works and Transport Rohan Sinanan and the Port Authority of T&T have, over more than a year since the Super Fast Galicia left the seabridge, failed to devise a proper plan to alleviate the travelling woes between the islands and relief remains an elusive dream.

Cudjoe missing in action

Where is Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Shamfa Cudjoe? As we speak, members of the women’s national volleyball team are preparing to head to the FIVB World Championships in Japan. However, at best, the team will be underprepared and psychologically unready for what will be the biggest stage of their careers. Why? Because they have been hit hard by funding difficulties.

Not that they haven’t tried their best. Realising the difficult economic times the country is in, the team has even tried its own fund-raising drives. But clearly, they have not been able to raise the type of funds they need and the promised support from Government has been slow in coming.

Added to this, they seem to have no support from the ministry and Sports Company of T&T (SporTT) in terms of the use of facilities in which to train, despite an abundance of indoor facilities suitable for such activity across the country.

In any other country, the Government and by extension corporate T&T would have already rallied around this women’s team, which has already created history by becoming the first ever T&T team to qualify for a world tournament.

Kudos to Diatonic Pan Institute

The Diatonic Pan Institute must be congratulated for hosting a clinic over the vacation period for the youths who had extra time on their hands. The work of this NGO and other steel bands who did the same during the period will go a long way to helping these youth achieve their full potential.


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