MP for Laventille West, Fitzgerald Hinds was moved to the Office of the Prime Minister in the last Cabinet reshuffle so he could focus on getting the Tobago Autonomy bill to Parliament.
So said Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, speaking at the Annual Convention of the People’s National Movement’s Tobago Council last Sunday.
“During the last Cabinet reshuffle, I moved Fitzgerald Hinds into the Office of the Prime Minister mainly for one particular reason, and it was to sit down there and ensure the document that Tobago put forward to the Cabinet will be heading to the Parliament very soon, that that document offering Tobago further internal self -government finds its way to Parliament and have the Parliamentarians adjudicate on it for once and for all.
“I could tell you he has been meeting in Tobago regularly to conclude the discussions and we have a document in hand. The Cabinet will soon adjudicate on it and take it to Parliament.
“I met with the Leader of the Opposition not too long ago and one of the things we agreed upon is that that document will go forward to the Joint Select Committee of Parliament,” he said.
Rowley also said:
“We cannot make the changes that will be required with 23 seats, other members of Parliament will have to vote in support of it and if they choose not to vote for it, that is as far as we can go.
“It is my hope that my colleagues in the Parliament will see how important it is to put this matter to rest once and for all and allow Tobago to develop and flourish without fetter without hindrance,” he said.
Rowley also addressed the issue of land tittles in Tobago.
“I have been advised by the Attorney General that we are on the verge of bringing to the Parliament a body of laws, not just one law, it is a whole box of laws to deal with putting land tittles in Tobago into the past. Where we will be able to identify every parcel of land in the country for what it is, and Tobago will be
where we probably will start and the whole question about land titles in Tobago, which is a very burning issue, under the new legislation that we are going to take to the parliament we expect that land titles in Tobago will be once and for all dealt with and we are very close in getting it to the Parliament.”
Rowley also told PNMites that attention will be paid to utilities in Tobago, that “we have already given clearance to WASA to proceed to take steps to move towards a desalination plant for western Tobago and …we have already cleared T&TEC to expand Tobago’s power supply to 19 megawatts of power.”