Moments after President David Granger’s address to Parliament on Friday, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo held an impromptu press conference where he dismissed many of the assertions and remarks that were made by the Head of State.While the Opposition Leader is maintaining that it was not a policy speech, he also sought to point out that no transparent policy guidance was specified for the future.“First of all, this was not a policy speech. This was the President speaking about his work programme for the past year and what they have done and grading and appraising himself and his Government,” the former President pointed out.In highlighting that Granger failed to disclose the impact of these governmental policies, some of the matters addressed by Granger were carefully examined and he formulated a synopsis of the actual scenario.According to Jagdeo, the 2051 new businesses that were created in the 215Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeohinterland communities through the Village Improvement Plans, were made through provisions that were set up under the tenure of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Administration and monies were left to fund these projects.“The Village Improvement Plans were there long before 2016 in each village and we left money to fund those plans. The presidential grant he talks about now was started under the PPP.”Adding to that, Jagdeo is of the belief that the training of youths did not lower the unemployment rate since thousands of persons would have lost their jobs over the past three years. Granger had mentioned in his address that the 40 per cent unemployment rate in 2015 would have been remedied by the implementation of minor training programmes for youths.“He did not say what youth unemployment is today because we know that many people have lost their jobs. In fact, 30,000 people have lost their jobs under his tenure in office and many of them are young people and many can’t find a job now so him enumerating how many people they’ve trained through small programmes doesn’t answer the fundamental question.”The Opposition Leader lamented that the reality of livelihood in Guyana demonstrates differently than what was said during the Head of State’ discourse, while alluding to the meager pension increase that is accompanied by cutbacks on subsidies for utility services.“They have now removed the water subsidy, electricity subsidy, put the VAT (Value Added Tax) on drugs that old people use more. The transport cost has gone up because they had a fare increase recently. That adds hardship to old people. He didn’t say a single word on how he will improve the lot of old people.”With respect to the President’s remark on the improvement in the quality of electricity that is being supplied to Guyanese, the former President urged the Government to take a closer look into this affair, adding that the situation has “deteriorated” with no long-term solutions.“The reality of Guyana is that it has deteriorated. You ask the people in Bartica or the Essequibo Coast or on the East Coast or Georgetown…and they have absolutely no plans for addressing it.”He also gestured at the 250 housing units that was mentioned by Granger is incomparable to the thousands of property lots that were distributed under the PPP Administration, while noting that the mortgage rate was lowered significantly from 38 per cent to a minimum of five per cent for persons who are borrowing up to $8 million.“So far, three and a half years in Government, they have decided to build 250 housing units. That’s their achievement. In the years PPP had been in office, over 100,000 house lots have been issued, many tens of thousands of houses built.”The Opposition Leader further went on to state the important issues that should have been mentioned by the President, which includes the fraudulent names on the Local Government Elections lists and the frequent security breaches at the penitentiary.“He talks about the prisons and that they inherit past failures. Twenty-three years in management of the country, we did not have yearly crises at the prison. The first one led to a massive escape and a fire, the second one led to a fire that burn down the whole prison [Camp Street Prison] and many people were killed. Then we had a breakout at Lusignan and now we have another breakout.”The “big revelation” to Parliament was to launch a Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the piracy attack. A Mining Act will also be crafted where there will new regulations to control mercury and in the Jagdeo’s views, this will create a “huge impact” on small-scale miners.
January 12, 2020
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John Curling Club will be postponing the Open-spiel that was scheduled for November 2 & 3.Trudy Mitchell, General Manager of the FSJ Curling Club says registration numbers are low.“It doesn’t look very promising for our opening-speil, we don’t have any teams signed up”, said Mitchell.- Advertisement -Mitchell feels the delay in the season may have something to do with the low registration numbers for the open-speil.“Because we had got started late, and people have just put out their fees for the leagues, I can see them not wanting to go and spending more money on a bonspiel as it is still very early in the season”, said Mitchell.The Fort St. John Open Bonspiel was slated to start November 2 as the club did not receive enough entries to have this type of spiel. The club is thinking about having a fun spiel instead on Saturday Only November 3, with dinner and dance to follow.Advertisement Mitchell says the Tour-spiel is happening on November 9, 10 & 11 at the Fort St. John Curling Club, as part of the North-East Curling Tour.For more information about events happening at the curling club, you can visit http://www.fsjcurling.com/