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Saturday 21 October 2017
Local

Govt brings Irma victim home

Government is making every effort to bring home the body of Melan June Salvary Doyle, who drowned in St Martin last week during Hurricane Irma.

Addressing the post-Cabinet news conference at the Diplomatic Centre in St Ann’s, Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Stuart Young said, “Today we would like to announce that the Government of TT has heard the plea for help in bringing the body back home.”

Young said communication would be made with the Antigua and Barbuda government to assist in transporting Salvary Doyle’s body from St Martin to Antigua and then to TT. He said that efforts to bring home other TT nationals stranded in islands affected by the passage of Irma were ongoing.

Young said a Caribbean Airlines (CAL) ATR plane was able to fly to Tortola in the British Virgin Islands and evacuate 35 TT nationals there.

He said that was made possible through collaboration with the British government as only military and humanitarian aid flights were being allowed in. Reminding reporters that a National Helicopter Services Limited helicopter was made available to the Antigua and Barbuda government to assist in relief efforts in Barbuda, Young said the local private sector had approached Government about providing relief to islands affected by Irma’s passage.

While no decision had, yet, been made, Young said there was a possibility of a Coast Guard vessel delivering relief supplies.

He said more TT nationals were due to return home last night.

Later in the briefing, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley indicated that whistleblower legislation would be laid in Parliament when its new session began. The current session is due to end on September 21.

Rowley was hopeful campaign finance legislation would be laid in Parliament soon. He also disclosed that Cabinet yesterday advised Finance Minister Colm Imbert to review the way in which contracts were evaluated.

Rowley said that would help create a level playing field for small contractors and shift away from dominance by large contractors.

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