An allocation of $5 million has been made to the Golden Grove Buccoo Company for fiscal 2018. This was told to Members of Parliament by Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) Stuart Young on Friday as the Standing Finance Committee of the House of Representatives examined expenditure for the OPM in the 2017/2018 budget. Young explained the company was the vehicle being used to effect the establishment of a Sandals Resort in Tobago.
Speaking in the budget debate in the House on October 12, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said a memorandum of understanding between the Government and Sandals to establish the resort has been signed.
Young also said restoration of the Red House is proceeding apace under the supervision of the Urban Development Corporation. He said the restoration is on target for completion in November 2018.
Later during the meeting, Sports Minister Daryl Smith said a national youth policy will be launched in January.
He rejected statements from Princes Town MP Barry Padarath about Tobago qualifying as overseas travel. Finance Minister Colm Imbert reminded Padarath that as an aide to former prime minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and someone who regularly travelled overseas with her, Tobago is not a foreign destination.
Speaker Bridgid Annisette-George cautioned Couva South MP Rudranath Indarsingh when he accused Smith of being “rude and arrogant” when Smith replied to his question about the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.
Indarsingh repeated his question. Smith said there was an ongoing security review of the stadium and it will be opened “as soon as possible.” Prior to a sum of $372,450,800 being approved for her ministry, Labour Minister Jennifer Baptiste-Primus said her ministry has been doing more with less.
Asked for an update on an initiative for TT nationals to drive trucks in Canada, Baptiste-Primus said, “Our investigations indicate that the person with whom we were engaging, we did not want to finalise such arrangements with.”
The committee will complete its examination of the budget on Monday when it sits at Tower D from 1.30 pm.
The Senate begins its budget debate at the same venue on Tuesday from 10 am. Minister in the Ministry of Finance Allyson West is expected to start that debate.