talking about it: Acting Prime Minister Errol McLeod, right, speaks to Petrotrin chairman Lindsay Gillette, centre, and Petrotrin president Khalid Hassanali during yesterday’s news conference at The Office of the Prime Minister, St Clair. —Photo: JERMAINE CRUICKSHANK


Part-time jobs, homes for victims

McLeod gives update on oil spills:

By Anna Ramdass

Interim housing will be provided for those in need and temporary employment will also be made available to those affected by the oil spills in La Brea, acting Prime Minister Errol McLeod said yesterday at a news conference at the Office of the Prime Minister, St Clair, Port of Spain. 

He said help was being given to those who are affected. 

A medical counselling centre will be established at the La Brea community centre, 100 meals a day, three times a day for 20 households at Coffee Beach was ongoing and there will be full compensation to affected fishermen.

McLeod held a meeting which was attended by Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine, acting National Security Minister Clifton DeCoteau, Petrotrin’s president Khalid Hassanali, Petrotrin’s chairman Lindsey Gillette, acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams and Chief of Defence Staff Kenrick Maharaj.

He added that despite Government’s best efforts in cleaning up the oil spill there were no guarantees that some “crazy person” would not make attempts to ensure another.

McLeod’s statements came on the heels of numerous reports that the oil spills were acts of sabotage.

“We can’t guarantee that somebody with some crazy idea or intent will not after we have cleaned up this thing, effect some spill again. I mean. with all of the best efforts that we will have by the police and the military and so on none of us can guarantee that some crazy man, some affected individual will not commit another murder tomorrow,” 

McLeod said there will be no stone unturned in finding what caused the oil spill. 

“This is not going to leave any stone unturned. Trinidad and Tobago must not be threatened by negligence or by serious acts of commission against its best interest,”  McLeod said. 

There has been no definite statement as to what caused the oil spills except that in the case of Rancho Quemado a case of sabotage was being investigated as a special wrench was used to open the valves.

The Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA) conducted a preliminary report which stated the spills at La Brea were sea bunker fuel that emanated from Petrotrin’s storage facilities in Pointe-a-Pierre.

Yesterday, Hassanali said in at least two cases there was “very compelling evidence” that there were acts of commission.

McLeod said the inter-ministerial committee will continue its investigation into the matter as he noted the oil spills affect not only Petrotrin’s operations but the economy of this country.     See Page 16

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