PM: I won't get involved with THA unless law breached

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley

The Prime Minister has said he will not become involved in the operations of the THA unless there is a breach of the law.

Speaking at a Breakfast with the PM event at the Trinidad Hilton and Conference Centre on Wednesday, Dr Rowley responded to a question from PNM Tobago Council general secretary Akisi London on “shenanigans” in Tobago and comments about a government of Tobago.

Addressing the issue of an audio clip in which two THA officials allegedly discussed using public funds to hire people to promote propaganda on social media, Rowley said he is always cognisant that he could be under surveillance.

“Technology has changed our world, and if some people did not realise that, they’ll get surprised. I don't say anything in the company of anybody without assuming they have a tape in their pocket and are taping what I’m saying.

“If there are people in Tobago – 14 seats or 24 seats – and they want to go and plan to use taxpayers' money to run their party or whatever they want, that’s allyuh business.

"The Prime Minister will not get involved in that until it becomes a matter of breach of the law.

"But let it not be said that as PM of TT, that I have let Tobago drift. That has not been happening and is not happening. If there are consequences to be paid, then they will be paid. If in Tobago there are officers who are prepared to break the law, they will face the law.”

He said this was occurring with the Environmental Management Authority.

“This is happening right now, where the THA publicly decides and announces it’s going to break the EMA law, and I would advise you that the EMA has intervened under law and stopped the project and the EMA will take to the courts of TT any and all people who are preparing to break the law in Tobago with respect to the EMA Act.

The Prime Minister was referring to the ex-parte injunction granted to the EMA over the 2.5-kilometre Shirvan-Store Bay Local Road Connector, after the authority complained to the court that it had not granted the required approvals for the project.

"We are a country governed by laws, and it doesn't matter how popular you are at the polls, the law will bring you to heel.”

He said his assumption when people talk about the government of Tobago is that they mean they want to be the governing authority in Tobago.

“If a bridge falls down, or a tree falls across the road, you look to the government in Tobago to do something about it.

"But if government means a different set of authority and a different set of laws, then that is where we would cross paths, because we all get into these offices under law and that gives you breadth of authority and it gives you restrictions.”

“That brings you to the point of the behaviour: if, while you’re in office, you behave in a way that attracts the attention of the electorate, in whatever you do, let us hope what you do is something worthy of public consumption.”

Rowley said as PM and a representative of the PNM, he maintained the two islands were better together than apart.

"We will do everything to ensure that citizens in Cedros and Charlotteville have the same opportunities from that ownership of the nation. People could call themselves the empire of Tobago or whatever, as long as they observe the laws that govern TT."


"PM: I won’t get involved with THA unless law breached"

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