Former works and transport minister Fitzgerald Hinds yesterday defended former Port Authority chairman Christine Sahadeo against people who questioned her conduct in that post. Hinds defended Sahadeo when he appeared before the Land and Physical Infrastructure Joint Select Committee (JSC) at Tower D of the Port-of-Spain International Waterfront Centre. As he confirmed receipt of a letter of former acting Port CEO Leon Grant complaining about Sahadeo's conduct, Hinds disclosed, "I received complaints from her about other persons."
Hinds said it became clear to him from these various pieces of correspondence that "bacchanal and confusion and egos" were causing "friction between the board and the management." The minister said is was also clear to him that Sahadeo did nothing irregular in pursuance of her responsibilities of her duties as chairman. He said his focus was to encourage al stakeholders to work in the country's best interest.
Hinds supported Sahadeo's view that the Super Fast Galicia was unsuitable to provide cargo services on the seabridge. He said almost an entire level on the Galicia could not have been used to transport cargo. Hinds also said when he was leaving Tower D one evening after a parliamentary sitting, he felt the building, "started to shake earthquake style." The minister said he was told by police officers on duty this event was a regular occurrence caused by the Galicia's departure. Responding to a question from Opposition Senator Wade Mark, Hinds said he did not know of an Cabinet note to extend the Galicia's contract by 18 months.
Asked by Mayaro MP Rushton Paray if he agreed with Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley there was something crooked in the procurement of the Ocean Flower 2, Hinds replied, "I agree with you that his yes means a lot" He reminded Paray that the JSC is but one avenue of investigation being taken regarding this matter. Hinds told Paray that he and the rest of the population would know the truth about this issue, once all of these investigations are completed.