Sunday, January 21, 2018

Late start to Tobago talks

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and his entourage arrive at the Magdalena, Tobago on Monday afternoon.

The Prime Minister's meeting with stakeholders in Tobago started about 45 minutes late on Monday afternoon.

Prime Minister Minister Dr Keith Rowley arrived at the ballroom at the Magdalena Grand hotel, Lowlands, Tobago at around 2.44 p.m.

Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan arrived five minutes later.

Scores of stakeholders turned up for the meeting scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.

The Prime Minister's press secretary Arlene George when questioned told the Express that the Prime Minister was "delayed".

She said Sinanan's flight from Trinidad was delayed.

The talks kicked off in the hotel's ballroom with over 70 persons in attendance.

A news conference following the meeting was scheduled for 4 p.m. but is expected to start later.

On August 12 Rowley called a meeting with Tobago stakeholders to discuss the Government's failure to secure a suitable passenger ferry to service the inter-island seabridge.

Those in attendance at the meeting include the Tobago Chamber of Commerce, the Tobago Hoteliers and Tourism Association, the Tobago Truckers Association and the Tobago Unique Bread and Breakfast and Self-Catering Association, a statement from the Office of the Prime Minister advised.

Tobago West MP Shamfa Cudjoe and Tobago East MP Ayanna Webster-Roy are also in attendance.

The meeting follows the Port Authority's decision to cancel the contract with Vancouver-based Bridgemans Services Group LP (BSG) to lease the Ocean Flower II vessel which suffered several delays on its way to Port of Spain.

The Ocean Flower II has also been described as unfit in a report by chief engineer Brendon Powder who carried out a sea trial of the vessel in Panama and identified a number of mechanical defects.

The report was received by the Port Authority two days before the cancellation of the contract.