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Thursday 16 August 2018
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Charles: Tobago society getting “more and more toxic”

Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles is concerned that the Tobago society is getting “more and more toxic” as he chastised critics of last week’s Saturday’s blessing of the T&T Spirit as it docked in Tobago.

Speaking at last week Tuesday’s "one on one" community meeting at the Bethesda Multi-Purpose Facility, Charles noted the problems Tobagonians endured with the deficient seabridge, especially over the last month when there was no ferry, and said it appeared that certain persons were angry that the it was back in service.

“We had a real trying time in Tobago for about a year, we had challenges on the seabridge and the seabridge virtually collapsed about a month ago. As fate would have it, eventually the T&T Spirit was able to make it back out.

“There was a small event on Saturday (April 14) when the Spirit returned to Tobago, and I understand our detractors, but more importantly, those of us who feel that Facebook represents a forum to make uninformed comments and views, felt that they can ridicule the situation or the small ceremony.

“As a matter of fact, I understand that some people were saying ‘what is the big fanfare about,’ although there was no fanfare. ‘Look how long the boat wasn’t operating’ and so on and I ask myself, if the boat had returned quietly, knowing our friends in Tobago, you know what they would have said, ‘That deh not good, allyuh see how it come back easy, easy... nobody eh know, nobody eh saying nothing’,” he said.

Charles added: “There is a particular spokesperson who somehow was on TV6 (last week) Monday morning, no person from the Tobago Chamber was there but there was a particular spokesperson castigating, assassinating... it was almost as if the person was angry that the boat was back to serve the people of Trinidad and Tobago. Could you imagine that?

“And that is what concerns those of us who have the responsibility to manage this place. The society is getting more and more toxic and I am saying that this is not good. If you are fed a diet of toxicity year after year or day after day, what will happen? That is all we would be thinking about.”

Charles also told attendees at the meeting (the first such meeting) that it was held to engage Tobagonians in conversation about issues involving them and the Tobago House of Assembly (THA).

“We have to tell our story because the media is not telling our story,” he declared, adding that the meeting was for the public

“to get a sense of what we are doing.”

“One of the challenges we have in this island is what constitutes news or what is news,” he said. noting that while he was not on Facebook, his younger colleagues were, and they were aware of all that was being said.


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