Residents of Sligoville Receive Piped Water


first_imgApproximately 300 residents of Sligoville and surrounding communities in St. Catherine now have water flowing into their homes, after living without the facility for up to six years.This has resulted from the rehabilitation of the Sligoville Water Supply System at a cost of $50 million, by the Government of the People’s Republic of China.The system, situated at the Sligoville Park, was officially commissioned into service on Tuesday, May 21, during a handing over ceremony.The project, which commenced on November 15 last year, was completed on April 15 this year. It involved the replacement of all eight water pumps used on the four-stage pumping system. Connecting pipelines were also installed between each water pump and existing valves. The electric cabinet in the number 4 pumping station was also rehabilitated.Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, said the Sligoville water system is one of the most challenging water supply systems in the country, primarily because of its elevation, electricity demand and its number of pumping stations.“As such, it has been beset by a number of challenges over the years,” he explained.“The main source of water for the Sligoville community is the Rio Cobre system which, although relatively close by, is at a much lower elevation. This not only makes it difficult and costly to get the water to this community, but also makes the system vulnerable to the risk of breaking down,” the Minister said.He noted that the rehabilitation work that was carried out will provide the National Water Commission (NWC) with a new set of reliable electrical pumps at all the pumping stations.“This in turn will improve the dependability of the pumping operations and deliver improved service to the communities they serve,” he said.Meanwhile, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Jamaica, His Excellency Zheng Qingdian, described the occasion as an “exciting, historic moment”, which signified another fruitful co-operation between Jamaica and China.He said the lives of residents will be improved greatly and the economy in the community will be more prosperous.“All the families of the community (can) enjoy fresh water at home and neighbouring communities can have access to the water due to this project as well,” the Ambassador said.For her part, Minister with responsibility for Sports and Member of Parliament for the area, Hon. Natalie Neita Headley, thanked China for the gift of water that “was long overdue” for the residents.She encouraged residents to ensure they fix the pipes in their homes that are leaking, so they can reap the maximum benefit from the system. She also urged residents to ensure they pay for the water.“It’s going to be critical that while I hold the NWC responsible for providing the water, I hold the citizens responsible for paying for the water,” the Minister said.Contact: Alecia Smith-Edwardslast_img read more

Cabinet shuffle coming on Monday after Brison quits Trudeau says


first_imgOTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he will shuffle his cabinet Monday to deal with the resignation of Treasury Board President Scott Brison.The longtime Nova Scotia MP announced Thursday morning that he won’t seek re-election this fall because he wants to spend more time with his family.He’ll said he’ll quit the cabinet before then because the government is best served by ministers who are running again.Brison has been the face of the Liberal government in Nova Scotia, where the party won every seat in 2015.But he’s also been close to the story of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, who’s facing a trial for breach of trust related to allegations he leaked secrets to promote a navy shipbuilding contract.Norman’s case is to go to trial late this summer, just as the campaign for the Oct. 21 election is getting underway.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Eugene Levy on keeping Schitts Creek edgy heartfelt and weird


first_imgIn the third season, Johnny realizes that getting the motel on its feet could help make the town more attractive to buyers, while faded soap star/matriarch Moira, played by Catherine O’Hara, struggles to connect with average folks as she begins her tenure on town council. It would seem that the bonkers clan at the heart of “Schitt’s Creek” is inching towards accepting their riches-to-rags reality. Advertisement Login/Register With: “I firmly believe, and certainly personally in all the work that I’ve done, that you pour your comedy through the character,” says Levy, a film and TV veteran, who turned 70 in December. They’ve forged friendships, dabbled in community politics, applied their questionable skills to local businesses, and found a fair bit of romance. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Advertisement “They are never going to dress down, for instance. They definitely hang on to the life they had through what they’re wearing. They don’t want to change and yet they’re starting to heavily assimilate into the town.” The comedy veteran, who co-created the show with son Dan Levy, notes each character ended last season with deeper ties to the unfortunately named town they once treated as a joke. “This show, despite the fact that it’s on at 9 o’clock, was always kind of designed to be a cable-oriented show,” says Levy, steering clear of spoiling too much of the storyline. Levy notes the spoiled Rose children have their own challenges: daughter Alexis, played by Annie Murphy, decides it’s time to complete her high school education, while David embarks on another business venture after some success with the Blouse Barn.center_img “If you have a very believable character that rides the line of comedy and drama then you give the audience something to hang on to. And if they can hang onto that and get emotionally involved in your show, in your story through the characters, then you really have an investment with your audience.”Cassandra Szklarski – The Canadian Press But these are slow learners, Levy reminds us. Meanwhile, a possible romance seems to be brewing between Dan Levy’s self-obsessed David and a hunky woodworker, who may or may not also have a thing for David’s flannel-loving gal pal, Stevie, played by Emily Hampshire. It’s yet another complication for the pansexual David, whose past sexual hookups with Stevie made things confusing enough. With a third person in the mix, things can only get weirder. “The funniest thing about the family is they are who they are. And we don’t want to lose that because it is funny,” he says of the once-wealthy Rose family, who are forced to live in a small town after suddenly losing their fortune. “And that’s certainly something that CBC was interested in when they picked us up, the idea that their direction in comedy was going more kind of cable-sensitive. So we are always trying to kind of push the envelope in certain directions without necessarily going over the line.” There’s also the consideration that “Schitt’s Creek” is thought of as more of a specialty series in other markets where it’s developing a global following: Vanity Fair recently featured the show’s return to the U.S. specialty channel Pop, and newspaper reviews in the U.K. and Australia have welcomed its addition to Netflix. The second season ended with Levy’s pragmatic patriarch Johnny finding more kinship with crude potbellied-mayor Roland Schitt, played by Chris Elliott, than a snooty couple he used to call his friends. Shenanigans abound, but it’s all rooted in heartfelt relationships. But rest assured, they will never fully shed their special brand of crazy, star Eugene Levy says as a third season of the hit CBC-TV series debuts Tuesday. Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Nunavut senator calls out nonprofits on foreign funding


first_imgAPTN National NewsSenator Dennis Patterson, Nunavut’s representative in the upper house of Parliament, is calling out non-profit groups operating in the North.In a statement on the Senate floor, the Conservative senator says that non-profits have too much influence on events in Nunavut, and questions their commitment to Canada when they may have numerous foreign backers.APTN National News reporter Kent Driscoll takes a close look at Patterson’s statement, and asks the question: if we’re going to talk about influence in the North, shouldn’t we be talking about energy companies as well?last_img

Govt unwilling to lose control over land police in hill districts


first_img.The law stipulates that the land administration and the police department of the three hill districts will be in the hands of the respective district councils. It is clearly stated in the three separate yet almost similar amended laws for the hill districts.The three laws – Rangamati Hill District Council Act 1989, Bandarban Hill District Council Act 1989 and Khagrachhari Hill District Council Act 1989 – were enacted after the signing of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord 1997.But, for all practical purposes, these two very important departments of the administration are still under the control of the government. As a result, the three district councils cannot play any role in containing the law and order situation, nor in solving land disputes in the hill districts.Leaders of the hill people said police from others areas do not know the local languages, culture and topography. According to the district council act, members of the local tribal communities will be given priority in the appointment of district police. If this provision had been followed, it would have been easier to uphold law and order. The local residents would be able to rely on the police more.Bandarban Hill District Council chairman Kyaw Shwe Hla Marma told Prothom Alo that intruders are grabbing thousands of acres of land in his district. Hill dwellers along with many Bengalis are becoming landless. If the council was assigned to look after the land, according to the hill tract accord, the situation would be different.Beside this, important departments for the hill areas like forest, local government engineering, roads and highways, are not yet transferred, he added.State minister for Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bir Bahadur, claimed that the authority of the district councils had been considerably increased.Talking to Prothom Alo, he said, “Several inter-ministerial meetings were held to solve the procedural flaws in transferring departments to the council. Police and land administration transfer is a lengthy process and this will be done gradually. A few problems that surfaced during the task are being solved.”Bir Bahadur held a meeting with the finance ministry to enable the hill district councils to receive their development budget allocation directly from the ministry of Chittagong Hill Tracts affairs.According to Section B of the district council act, 23 departments of the government (stated as institution and working council) are to be transferred to the district council. About 33 functions of the district council (including improving the law and order situation, solving social problems in keeping with local customs, expanding education, agriculture development, forest preservation, social services, etc.) are defined in the act. But the section does not include anything on the number of transferring government departments.According to section 62 of the council law, sub-inspectors and below of the police at Rangamati, Khagrachhari and Bandarban districts, shall be appointed by the councils in a manner laid down by regulations and the respective council may transfer and take action against them. In these functions, police regulations must be followed. In addition, officials and members of the district police will account for their functions to the district police. According to the section 63, any crime committed in the district must be reported to the council chairman. According to sections 64-65, management of land administration is vested with the council.Nirupa Dewan, former member of the National Human Rights Commission, points to a lack of government’s will, opposition of certain quarters and bureaucratic complications, as the reasons behind the failure to transfer land and police to the district council.She told Prothom Alo, “Several meetings were held at Rangamati to transfer police department. Certain quarters then call for strikes as soon as any discussion begins. These are instigated by influential persons.”She added that the district council is rendered institutionally powerless due to several reasons including elections not being held.The Rangamati hill district council has a chairman and 33 members. Of them, 20 are indigenous, 10 are non-indigenous and 3 are women members of the reserved seats. The council term is 5 years. Khagrachari and Bandarban district councils have the same tenure and number of members including reserved seats for women. But the ratio of the number of indigenous to non-indigenous members is different from Rangamati district council.Debasish Roy, the king of the Chakma Circle, said the district council was run by unelected persons who were failing to operate the transferred departments and offices properly. He said the council could meet not more than 40 percent of the residents’ demands. He demanded separate voter lists for these three districts and setting an election date soon.Brisaketu Chakma, the chairman of Rangamati Hill District Council said, there were systematic errors in transferring the departments and because of that they were facing difficulties while working in different sectors. The council pays the officers and staffs’ salary and allowances. The council also has the authority to recruit or control the grade-3 and grade-4 staffs of the transferred departments. But they don’t have authority over grade-1 and grade-2 government officers. “These officers get their remuneration from the district council but work for the ministry,” said Brisaketu Chakma. Different ministries implemented their district annual development programmes through these officers and thus they were not accountable to the district council for their job, he added.Brisaketu Chakma said, with lump sum allocations from the ministry of Chittagong Hill Tracts affairs, the district council undertook some small development initiatives as per the transferred departments’ needs. But the concerned ministry does not provide any support for project-based initiatives. Although the district council was formed to ensure equal development for the ethnic people, it did not achieve that target yet.The ministry of Chittagong Hill Tracts affairs allocates an average of 450 to 460 million for development assistance every year. But the ministry neither provided the annual development allocations through the council nor informed them about the total amount of allocations.Thanjama Lusai, former chairman of Bandarban district council said, there was an imbalance between the capacity of council and ministry including the officers of transferred departments. The council failed to coordinate with the ministry during policy-making and planning of development programs.Khagrachari district council member Abdul Jabbar thinks the marginalised ethnic people are being benefited by the district council gradually. He said the council has worked to expand classrooms in primary education sector and developed some small roads. But due to lack of coordination of the transferred departments with the concerned ministry, the council could not undertake any big projects.On the other hand, Goutam Dewan, the president of Chittagong Hill Tracts Citizen’s Committee thinks not having specific rules and regulations is the main reason the council is facing difficulties.He said, no election was held in three district councils for the last 20 years.The members and activists of ruling parties were selected for the council’s different positions which, in the long run, hampered the efficiency and capacity of the council, further said Goutam Dewan.Retired brigadier general M Sakhawat Hossain, the brigade commander of Bandarban in 1989 during the formation of district council, told Prothom Alo yesterday, “As far I can remember, land sector, local administration and security forces were among the 20 to 22 sectors that were to be handed over to the council at that time. It was said that the district council would not be able to work freely and properly without the control over these sectors. It was also promised that the election would be held every five years. It is sad that the council is yet to be given the responsibilities.”The former election commissioner feels that the district council should be given all responsibilities as soon as possible, otherwise the councils of three hill districts will not be able to function properly. *This report, originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Farjana Liakat and Nusrat Nowrin.last_img read more

Dhaka court for freezing Tarique Zubaidas UK bank accounts


first_imgTarique Rahman and his wife Zubaida RahmanA Dhaka court on Thursday ordered freezing three bank accounts of BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman and his wife Zubaida Rahman with a UK bank, reports UNB.Judge of the Dhaka Metropolitan Senior Special Sessions KM Imrul Kayes passed the order following a permission case filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), said ACC prosecutor Mahmud Hossain Jahangir.All the three accounts are with Standard Bank UK.According to the permission case, the ACC had formed an inquiry committee while investigating Tarique’s investment aboard after siphoning off money.The transfer of 59341.93 pounds from White and Blue Consultant Limited to three accounts of Tarique and Zubaida remained halted at the order of FIU, UK, it said.If any step is not taken immediately, this amount can be shifted elsewhere, the case statement said, urging the court to order freezing the accounts.Jahangir said the court order will be sent to the British attorney general office through the home ministry. “The British attorney general office will make the order effective sending it to the bank concerned.”last_img read more