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Soualiga Newsday Latest News (1605)

Information Session for Political Parties and the Public Monday Afternoon by the Ombudsman

POND ISLAND – The Ombudsman (OBM) as a contribution to the democratic process has organized an Information Session for Monday, August 11th 2013 for the candidates and board members of all Political Parties in the upcoming election of August 29.

All parties have been invited. As a reminder, the session will be held from 2:00-4:00 p.m. at the University of St Martin under the theme:  “The Constitution and the Role of the Ombudsman.”

The agenda is: Welcome & Introduction; The History of the Institution; Complaint Handling: Ministerial Responsibility and the role of Parliament; Q & A; Break; The Role of the OBM further outlined; Q & A; Presentation documents to Representative of the Political Parties; and Closing Remarks.

All political parties have confirmed their attendance.

A Public Information Session with a similar agenda is planned for Tuesday August 19th 2014 at the University of St Maarten from 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.  In keeping with the awareness campaign of the Ombudsman, persons of all districts are invited to this session. In light of the upcoming elections the presentation will deal with the Constitution, the role of the Ombudsman in relation to Parliament and the Ministers.

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Minister Patricia Lourens-Philip Back to School Message 2014-2015 School Year

GREAT BAY – Minister of Education & Culture Hon. Patricia Lourens-Philip says the 2014-2015 school year kicks off Monday, August 11 with energy and enthusiasm for what is sure to be a great year for all school-going youth.

“Education of our youth is the greatest opportunity for building a better Sint Maarten.  Our children, our youth will become young professionals in various areas who will one day take over from where we left off.

“They will be our Police officers, Doctors, Social workers, Ambulance drivers, Nurses, Hotel and Restaurant managers, Business owners and operators, Bakers, Bank tellers, Secretaries, Politicians, Lawyers, Pilots, Airport and Port workers and many more.

“To the teachers, school staff, parents/guardians, and pupils, I wish you all much success. This is a new beginning, a new school year with new opportunities and new challenges to overcome.

“This stage, the opening of the new school year, marks the building blocks of your journey through education.  This takes places every new school year, but at a different level as you have gone over to the next grade.  Use this time, this one year period very wisely, because you will want to move on to the next level.

“Parents/guardians, you have a responsibility to support your child’s education during the new school year.  Your involvement is key to your child’s success. You have to help with your child’s homework and guide them along the way whenever they request help.  Be there for them in their education journey it will make the difference to whether they will succeed or not.

“Teachers invest in our children every day at school. An educated person will be able to achieve his or her goals in life and become productive young citizens of our developing country.

“I recognize the hard work and dedication of our teachers, because this mission is a very important one with great responsibility.  In your hands, you are moulding the future generations of professionals that will guide and continue to develop our country in the 21st century.  I encourage you to continue giving it your best as you have done in the past.  

“Let this new school year be one of the most rewarding experiences for our children, our teachers and our country.  Let us raise the standards of excellence,” Minister Patricia Lourens-Philip said on Sunday.

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Prime Minister Wescot-Williams Urges Population to Review Draft European Union Projects on Government Website

PHILIPSBURG - The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams is urging the community to review draft European Trans-Border Cooperation projects on the Government information Website (www.sintmaartengov.org). The Prime Minister also gave an update on the district upgrading of Dutch Quarter which will occur through the tenth European Development Fund.

“The project that is pending for Dutch Quarter is a project that is funded by the European Union. As an overseas country and territory of the European Union we are entitled to make use of the EDF, a funding mechanism of the European Union. Under the EDF St. Maarten has been making use of EDF funding from even before Country Status. Dutch Quarter will receive the upgrading as part of the tenth EDF. We have chosen the upgrading of the districts as the basis for receiving European Development Fund Monies. Now as country St. Maarten we are now responsible for the administrating and execution of these projects. We have therefore chosen that Dutch Quarter be the beneficiary of the 10th EDF as part of our district improvement program. Because of this project for Dutch Quarter the Government of St. Maarten will also invest in the district to compliment the European Funding for this area.

“Also, we are working on the European Trans-border Cooperation (ETC) where we will be working with St. Martin North on working on projects that can fit with the requirements of ETC funding. We have developed an operational program so that we can keep up with accountability to the European Union. For many months our technical departments have been looking at draft Operational Programs and have outlines projects, which in our opinion has fit the scope, and we can submit for funding. One of the requirements that we have is that we put the draft operational program available and we have made this public which is now accessible on the Governments website www.sintmaartengov.org. The French Authorities have also made sure to do the same.

We have identified projects concerning a wastewater treatment facility benefitting both sides of the islands; the quality and biodiversity protection; rehabilitation and sustainable development of the Simpson Bay Lagoon; and the risk management of the flooding in the French Quarter, Dutch Quarter, and Belle Plaine Area.

With all of these actions we are having positive developments with regards to structurally getting it right in terms of upgrading the communities through using the funding made available to use by the European Union.  On August 18th we will be signing together with the authorities on French St. Maarten the Letter of Intent of Cooperation for the OP-ETC, which is a commitment to the program. (From the Cabinet of the Prime Minister)

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UP MP Leonard Writes Prime Minister Seeking Answers about Winair Possibly Owing US$1.4 million to a Guadeloupe Company

PHILIPSBURG – Via the President of Parliament, United People’s (UP) Party Member of Parliament (MP) Hon. Janchie Leonard has written a letter to the Prime Minister Hon. Sarah Wescot-Williams in her capacity as shareholder representative with respect to Windward Islands Airways (Winair).

“According to Article 69 of the Rules of Order of the House of Parliament, I am using my write as MP to seek answers regarding a number of issues at Winair.  I read in the media where Winair executed some new routes using a larger aircraft in one case, an ATR type in a wet lease format including crew from a French company in Guadeloupe.

“The new route which was from Sint Maarten to the Dominican Republic then on to Curacao and returning to Sint Maarten via the Dominican Republic.  This route has been cancelled according to media reports due to one can assume that it was not profitable for the airline.

“I would like to know if a feasibility study was carried out before it was decided to open such a route.  If so, what were the findings of this study?  And I am requesting that Parliament be provided with a copy of that report.  If no feasibility plan was in place for this route, what was then the basis used by Winair to invest in such?

MP Leonard is also seeking information if Winair owes a Guadeloupe company for the wet leasing of the ATR aircraft an amount of US$1.4 million.  “I have a responsibility as an MP to protect the interests of Winair, the employees and the tax payer.  If Winair owes this amount, Parliament needs to know how Winair will pay this.

“One of my questions related to this is if the Guadeloupe Company has threatened to place a lien on the assets of Winair. This is a very serious situation and the Prime Minister has been mum on the matter.    

“Has the shareholders approved any strategy plan with respect to how the company, Winair, will move forward for the short and long term?  If such a plan exists, Parliament would like to receive a copy, and if none exist, what plan is Winair using with respect to its long term operations? I am looking forward to the Prime Minister’s response in a timely manner,” MP Janchie Leonard said on Thursday.

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UP invites public North and South to second public meeting on Thursday in Dutch Quarter

DUTCH QUARTER – The United People’s party (UP) will kick off its second out of six scheduled public meetings on Thursday, August 7 in Dutch Quarter at the Plantz property near the Mc. Donald’s establishment at 7:00pm.

Party leader Theo Heyliger as well as the candidates of the UP Party, the number three slate is inviting the residents of Dutch Quarter to come out and hear about the issues that will move the country forward and upward.

“Residents of Belvedere, Middle Region, Madame Estate, French Quarter, Grandcase are all invited to come out.  Those persons living in the other districts North and South are also more than welcome to come and join UP in Dutch Quarter on Thursday.

“Our mission is straight forward: the United People’s party will continue to be the visionary party, placing special emphasis on the social and economic development of country.

“The objective is to ensure that all people in our society will feel a part of our community where there are ample opportunities to sustain our families and live comfortably and happily as we take this country UP to the next level,” Leader of the UP Party Theodore Heyliger said on Wednesday.

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DP Reminds Community to Attend First Public Meeting This Friday at the de Weever Property in Dutch Quarter

DUTCH QUARTER - The Democratic Party of St. Maarten is reminding the communities of Dutch Quarter, Belvedere, Middle Region, Defiance, Oyster Pond, Dawn Beach, Sucker Garden, Guana Bay, Madame Estate and French Quarter to come out to the Party’s first public meeting this Friday, August 8th starting at seven pm at the de Weever property in Dutch Quarter. The Board, membership and candidates invite the public to come out to listen to the red thread and hear what the DP plans for its vision bringing St. Maarten forward. Candidates will also have the opportunity to interact with the candidates, board members and DP membership and exchange ideas and information.

DP Leader and Prime Minister the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams will also be giving an update on the neighborhood development program already underway for the Dutch Quarter District, particularly the improvement of the Dutch Quarter District, which will greatly enhance the infrastructure and social upgrading of the area.

The Ebony Steel Orchestra will provide entertainment for the evening and residents will have the opportunity to interact and discuss the issues with the candidates. (Contributed by the DP Party)

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Democratic Party Platform on Safety and Security

PHILIPSBURG - The Democratic Party of St. Maarten outlined its Party Platform on Safety and Security on Tuesday, highlighting the DP’s vision with regards to the safety and security of the St. Maarten Population. The platform reads that Safety and Security remains a concern for DP and that the party is committed to improving the internal security of St. Maarten; “For every resident and visitor to St. Maarten a feeling of security and protection is vital.  In fact, it is critical to our very economic survivability.  The issue of safety and security remains a concern for the DP and we are committed to improving the internal security of the nation.

“We believe the critical difference in fighting crime is one of manpower.  We need our communities to work together, and we will continue to support Neighborhood Watch programs.  We believe in working with the private sector as a partner in implementing programs that will serve the needs of all subsets of our nation.  We also believe in partnership with the police force,” read the Democratic Party Platform on Safety and Security.

The Democratic Party also mentioned its accomplishments regarding the upgrading of safety and security during the last governing term; “Three noteworthy accomplishments by the DP administration were the Community Police Program, the Justice Academy Training Institution and the Juvenile Detention Center in Cape Bay.

The DP will implement alternative punishment for light crimes, and work towards reducing imprisonment- using the Netherlands as a study example to understand the possibilities, rather than attempting to re-invent the justice system. 

“In order to achieve the goal of a safe nation, we also need to focus on the programs and support systems including education, foster care, youth facilities, and work training to stop the cycle of crime before it starts,” concluded the Democratic Party Platform on Safety and Security. (Contributed by the DP Party)

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WINAIR now offers Door to Door Courier Service

SIMPSON BAY - WINAIR is pleased to announce another value-added service for its clients, door-to-door courier service. WINAIR currently provides Cargo Express services and Speedmail and now has enhanced this service by adding pick-up and delivery anywhere in St. Maarten. Customers can have packages or speed-mail picked up for shipping or delivered to their home or business by Caribbean Vis/Pass Consultancy, 40 Cannegieter Street, Philipsburg. Phone: 542-1139 and Cell: 527-1163.

WINAIR can ship to and from St. Maarten to the islands of Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Barth, St. Kitts, Nevis, Tortola, Dominica and Guadeloupe, any of WINAIR’s destinations. “Our customers will be very pleased with this enhanced service offered at very affordable rates. This service is available only in St. Maarten, we hope to expand this service to all destinations in the future” says Michael Cleaver, President and CEO of WINAIR. For more information please contact our courier office at 542-1139.

About Windward Island Airways International (Winair):

Windward Islands Airways International N.V. better known as WINAIR is a Government owned regional airline and was founded in 1961. The airline operates 5 de Havilland Twin-Otter aircraft and 1 ATR-42 500/ 600 series aircraft. WINAIR has provided safe and efficient air transportation in the Caribbean for more than 53 years. WINAIR offers connections from its main gateway, Princess Juliana International Airport in St. Maarten to the islands of Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Barth, Nevis and St. Kitts, Tortola, Dominica and Guadeloupe. It has interline partners with 12 airlines from North America, South America, Europe and the Caribbean, giving WINAIR greater depth and reach, as well as giving the passengers greater access to the destinations with value added services such as checked through baggage. WINAIR also provides charter services to most Islands in the North Eastern Caribbean and offers Cargo and Speedmail service to all its destinations.

The WINAIR team of 130 employees is continuously involved in training to ensure the highest level of safety and proficiency is delivered. With hundreds of years of combined experience in aviation, our entire WINAIR team is committed to your comfort and safety every step of the way.

Website: www.fly-winair.sx

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Democratic Party Leader says “Ready or No…An October Parliament means a hurricane season campaign and election period”

PHILIPSBURG - In response to recent media articles disseminated by the United People’s Party regarding that party’s wish to have elections before the Hurricane Season, Prime Minister of St. Maarten and the leader of the Democratic Party the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams clearly stated that due to the Heyliger/ National Alliance Coalition Government in 2009-2010 deciding that the date for the transition of St. Maarten from a part of the Netherlands Antilles to its own Country would be the tenth of October 2010, elections are required to happen during the hurricane season.

“Someone of the NA/Heyliger government from 2009-2010 must have been asleep at the wheel when in 2010 that government decided and agreed to the October 10th date for country status. In addition, when that NA/Heyliger government approved the then draft of the Electoral Ordinance which is law today, certain dates, such as those of election and postulation became fixed.

“To claim today that the UP has been clamoring since June 2014 for an early election date is admitting that the UP leader was unaware of what was happening under his watch in 2010, when he was in government with the National Alliance.

“Heyliger and the NA gave their approval to the date of October 10, 2010 and a simple calculation would have shown that: With the new parliamentary term starting on October 10, postulation will always be between July 10th and July 20th; therefore elections will ALWAYS be between August 28 and September 8.  (Unless of course, it is the UP’s intention to dissolve Parliament prematurely every election year); If the UP acknowledged its mistake, the place to correct such and establish other dates for postulation, election etc. would have been in the Parliament of St. Maarten, where the UP faction has been sitting for approximately 4 years’

“In addition, the UP has been part of the country’s government, along with the DP for roughly 3 of the 4 years of this governing term, 2010-2014, to be exact:  from 10/10 – 4/12 and 6/13 to present. As hard as some would try to throw sand into people’s eyes with this type of statements, more and more people are awakening to the fact that political propaganda is exactly that, propaganda and by the way, the records will show what the DP leader’s position on the October 2010 date was at the time,” commented Party Leader and Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams. (Contributed by the DP Party)

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High Schools invited to nominate for Annual President of Parliament Award

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – President of Parliament Hon. Gracita Arrindell has asked high schools to consider nominating somebody for the Annual President of Parliament Award.  The public and organizations still have an opportunity to do so.  

The application documents are on the parliament’s website.  Persons have until August 15, 2014 to submit their nominations. 

The website address is:www.sxmparliament.organd can be found under the documents section on the right side of the site.  Select the link and you will be able to download the application form. 

The purpose of the award is to honour young persons on Sint Maarten that are a great example to the youth and who have contributed positively to the community and the country. 

Nominations can be submitted by any citizen of Sint Maarten who believes that the individual that he/she is nominating meets the criteria. 

The eligibility criteria are: the candidate must have the Dutch nationality and/or has been legally residing in Sint Maarten for 10-years or more consecutively, and has been registered in the Civil Registry for that period of time; must be between the ages of 15-24 years; has made a worthwhile contribution to the development of the community and the country; these contributions/achievements must have taken place within the last three years; contributions/achievements must have been made while the individual was acting as a private citizen, not as an appointed or elected government official; and must have demonstrated capacity for leadership and ability to motivate. 

Nominations for the Annual President of Parliament may be submitted to The Parliament of Sint Maarten, attention, Annual President of Parliament Award Committee, Wilhelminastraat 1, Philipsburg.

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