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Soualiga News II (1796)

Permanent Committee of Kingdom Affairs and Inter-parliamentary Relations to Meet on Thursday

PHILIPSBURG – ThePermanent Committee of Kingdom Affairs and Inter-parliamentary Relations (CKAIR) of Parliament will meet in session on May 21 with a member(s) of the Council of Ministers.  The House session will be carried live via Soualiga Newsday video stream.

The Permanent Committee of Kingdom Affairs and Inter-parliamentary Relations meeting is set for Thursday at 2.00pm in the General Assembly Chamber of the House at Wilhelmina Straat #1 in Philipsburg.

The agenda point is a discussion with relevant ministers regarding the Inter-parliamentary Kingdom Consultation (IPKO) Agreement list of January 2015, which would allow Members of Parliament traveling to the Netherlands to make the necessary preparations to discuss in the Tripartite and IPKO meetings scheduled between May 25-29 in The Hague, the Netherlands.

Members of the public are invited to the House of Parliament to attend parliamentary deliberations.

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Permanent Committee of Expenditures to Meet on Wednesday with the General Audit Chamber

PHILIPSBURG – ThePermanent Committee of Expenditures of Parliament will meet in a closed door session on 20th of May with the General Audit Chamber.

The permanent committee meeting which is not open to the public, is set for Wednesday at 2.00pm in the General Assembly Chamber of the House at Wilhelmina Straat #1 in Philipsburg.

Members of the committee will receive a presentation from the General Audit Chamber regarding the report, ‘Compliance Audit’ of the 2012 Financial Statements.

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Permanent Committee on Education and Youth scheduled to meet Wednesday with USM

PHILIPSBURG – ThePermanent Committee of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Affairs (CECYSA) of Parliament, will meet in public session on May 20. The House session will be carried live on Soualiga Newsday.

The Permanent Committee meeting is set for Wednesday at 10.00am in the General Assembly Chamber of the House at Wilhelmina Straat #1 in Philipsburg.

The two agenda points are: approval of the decision list CECYSA Parliamentary Year 2014-2015; and a discussion with the Supervisory Board and Management of the University of St. Martin (USM) and the Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports, on government’s recognition of USM; strengthening the Hospitality Program at the university as well as revisiting the subsidy agreement between Government and USM.

Members of the public are invited to the House of Parliament to attend parliamentary deliberations. 

The House of Parliament is located across from the Court House in Philipsburg.

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Permanent Committee of Justice to Meet on Tuesday with Minister of Justice regarding Foster Homes

PHILIPSBURG – ThePermanent Committee of Justice of Parliament will meet in a public session on 19th May with the Minister of Justice Hon. Dennis Richardson.

The permanent committee meeting is set for Tuesday at 2.00pm in the General Assembly Chamber of the House at Wilhelmina Straat #1 in Philipsburg.

The meeting with the Minister of Justice regards a presentation and compliance with articles 2, 3, 4, 7, 24 and 27 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child with respect to Foster Homes on Sint Maarten.

Members of the public are invited to the House of Parliament to attend parliamentary deliberations.  

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Less than a week left to apply for Hurricane Emergency Pass

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – There is less than a week left to apply for the annual Hurricane Emergency Pass for the 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season. 

This is only applicable for the business sector and vital organizations.  Applications should be submitted before Friday, May 22.

The Simpson Bay Public Service Center (PSC) near the Simpson Bay Bridge is also an additional customer service point where the application form can be submitted.  The PSC will also be a pick-up location for the approved pass.   

The pass allows the aforementioned to assess their property in the event that a hurricane has caused damage to parts of the country.

For the 2015 season Atlantic Hurricane Season that starts June 1 until November 30, the application form as well as information sheet can be downloaded from the Fire Department’s website www.brandweersxm.net/hurricane-information/hurricane-passes/

The application form has to be completed and submitted to the offices of the Fire Department & Disaster Management, to the attention of the secretary located at Jackal Road 5 (Office hours Monday-Friday 9.00AM to 4.00PM), Cay Hill or at the Simpson Bay Public Service Center, (Monday-Friday 8.30AM to 12.00PM and 1.00PM to 3.30PM) Airport Road 6, before May 22, 2015, with all necessary documents attached.

Applicants will be informed by email or telephone when to pick up the pass at the aforementioned addresses.

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Permanent Committee of Kingdom Affairs and Inter-parliamentary Relations to Meet on Monday

PHILIPSBURG – ThePermanent Committee of Kingdom Affairs and Inter-parliamentary Relations (CKAIR) of Parliament will meet in session on May 18.

The Permanent Committee of Kingdom Affairs and Inter-parliamentary Relations meeting is set for Monday at 10.00am in the General Assembly Chamber of the House at Wilhelmina Straat #1 in Philipsburg.

The two point agenda for the meeting is approval of the decision list regarding committee parliamentary business for the 2014-2015 period; and preparations for the Tripartite and Inter-parliamentary Kingdom Consultation (IPKO) that is scheduled between May 25-29 in The Hague, the Netherlands.

Members of the public are invited to the House of Parliament to attend parliamentary deliberations.

The House of Parliament is located across from the Court House in Philipsburg.

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Reminder to Parents/Guardians about Vaccination Open House May 16th

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – Section Youth Health Care, within the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, would like to remind parents and guardians about its annual Vaccination Open House which will take place on Saturday, May 16.

Immunization is considered a public health “best buy,” according to a new series of studies published by the scientific journal Vaccine.

The Vaccination Open House will be at Youth Health Care by the Ministry of Public Health at the Vineyard Office Park in Philipsburg at W.G. Buncamper Road #33. 

The Open House will be held from 10.00am to 4.00pm. Parents and guardians are requested to bring along their child’s vaccination record/book in order to update the child’s vaccination status.  The open house is for children from two months to 17-years of age.

It is very important to get children vaccination so they can grow up healthy and strong.

Immunization averts an estimated two-three million deaths every year, protecting children from diphtheria, measles, pertussis (better known as whooping cough), pneumonia, polio, rotavirus diarrhea, rubella, tetanus and others.

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Traffic accident leaves two seriously wounded. One driver has to be flown off island for medical care

PHILIPSBURG - On Tuesday May 12th at approximately 09.00 p.m. police patrols, police traffic department and Paramedics were sent to the crossing of Walter Nisbett road and Cornelius M. Vlaun Street, to investigate a serious traffic accident in which two persons were injured.

On the scene the investigating officers found a traffic accident between a silver colored Kia Rio with license plate P-5474  which was driving on the Walter Nisbett road and a blue Honda Odyssey with license plate TAXI-406 driving on the Cornelius Vlaun Street.

The impact was severe leaving both drivers injured. The driver of the Kia suffered cuts to his forehead and several bruises to his face. He also complained of pain in his neck and chest.

The driver of the Honda complained of severe pain in his body however could not move on his own. Both victims were treated on the scene by paramedics and then transported to the Sint Maarten Medical Center.

Both victims remain in hospital for further treatment. The driver of the Honda will be flown abroad for medical attention because of the severity of his injuries.

The traffic department will soon finalize this investigation. (Police Force Sint Maarten)

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OSPP Leader Priest: Parliament must do its’ job

PHILIPSBURG – “Never have I witnessed such a degrading meeting of the people business in parliament as that meeting held last week regarding the Checkmate Security contract at the St. Maarten Harbour. This meeting was called by the opposition because the people of St. Maarten wanted to know how such a contract could have been approved by the management and the supervisory board of directors of the Harbour Holding Group of Companies,” Leader of the One St. Maarten People Party (OSPP) Lenny Priest said in a press release on Tuesday evening.

“Those members of parliament supporting the government want the people to believe that because it is a local that owns Checkmate Security it is alright to pay them any amount of money and no questions should be asked. One of the roles of parliament is to supervise the government and by extension the government owned companies. Comparison was also made to some of the private companies that are carrying out large government projects and how come nobody is questioning how much these projects cost etc. etc.

“Once again I am calling on the leadership of parliament to establish a crash course on the role of parliament and the functioning of government for the members of parliament. In this crash course they should be taught why a project should go on bid to avoid them making those types of foolish statements over and over. You got to give them some credit for trying to spin this entire Checkmate affair into some members of parliament bashing the locals. If this was their private company they would never have accepted such an increase in a contract without requesting a proposal from another company.    

“They even went so far as to mention how the harbour project was financed and that 30% of the shares were sold to the Dutch government.  At least for once and for all they have confirmed that on September 1, 1998 the harbour project was started under the leadership of my person. They have also conquered with the fact that unlike what was said in 1997 no financing was in place for the harbour until we negotiated it. The pile driving for those that remember was only a ploy to fool the people that the harbour project was going to begin without the financing being in place.

“Who would have thought that it would have taken them 17 years to finally tell the truth as to who really started the harbour project and how it was financed. Imagine that the image of St. Maarten was in the dirt because of the 1990 airport scandal caused by the then leadership of St. Maarten. During that period of time we saw several members of the government and the airport convicted and sent to prison. Thereafter, we were seeking funding on the international market to finance the harbour project but it was not an easy task. We still had to overcome that Italian export loan for the airport and the whole legal issue with it.

“We had several options available to us at that time, scaled down the project based on the financing that was available to us or enter into an agreement with the Dutch government to acquire 30% of the shares of the harbour and raise the balance of the funds. We choose the latter and it may not have been the most popular decision at that time but today we are riding in the cockpit of opportunity based on the cash flow that the same harbour produces. Some members in the government have used it and are still using it as their own personal piggy bank. Let us look at the Checkmate Security contract increase and that would confirm what I am saying. Some years ago the same funding that was derived from the shares buy-back program was used to finance some projects here in St. Maarten and guess who got credit for those projects.         

“But I was very happy that none of the long serving members of the Island Council/Parliament of St. Maarten went down memory lane to remind those supporting the government which leader went to prison and was under house arrest in the 1990’s for perjury and it is alleged that millions of dollars for the airport project disappear and not even a bag of cement was received. If my memory serves me right that same Member of Parliament was one of the drivers of the heavy equipment during the 1990 demonstration that resulted in some citizens and the leader of St. Maarten going to prison for the airport project.        

“Honestly, I was also elated that nobody brought up when Higher Supervision was placed on St. Maarten under that same leader rule and today we are experiencing the same type of governing that may result in us as a country being placed under higher supervision once again.     

“Just imagine that one of the younger members of parliament brought up the 250 million dollars pelicans at the airport round-a-bout or that we have had three integrity investigations in our first term as a country within the kingdom. Then another member would have brought up the Vorst case; the proposed 200 million dollars justice park and last but not the least the vote buying. They could have also mentioned the fact that the UP leader withdrew his candidacy for Prime Minister knowing that he would not have passed the screening and didn’t have the guts to confront the Dutch government.      

“It is no wonder that one of the integrity investigations concluded that we need an Integrity Chamber. So much attention is being placed on this integrity chamber that the members of parliament forgot why they were elected, namely to improve the quality of life of the ordinary people and not that of the big five alone.

“In conclusion I expected the opposition to have tabled a motion of non-confidence during last week meeting of parliament against the Minister responsible for the harbor and if needs be to go to court to acquire all the documentation regarding the Checkmate contract. Secondly, in that same motion they would have instructed the shareholder representative of the harbour to have an operational audit done at the St. Maarten Harbour Group of Companies. At the end of the day none of this puts food on the table of the many persons who can’t make ends meet on a daily basis and that’s a shame,” OSPP Leader Lenny Priest said in a press statement on Tuesday. 

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STHC next hike is on May 17

POINT BLANCHE – Welcome to the St. Martin Trails Hiking Club (STHC). STHC goes hiking every Sunday in different places around the island of Saint Martin/Sint Maarten, as well as trips to nearby islands and other activities.

STHC’s next hike is planned for Sunday, May 17 in Point Blanche.  The hike starts at 5.30am and is a level 2 hike.  Hikers should wear long pants and long sleeve shirts and a pair of good shoes.

Visit STHC website for more informationwww.stmartintrails.com 

The Saint Martin Trails Association is a hiking club open to all residents and visitors of Saint Martin. The club goes on weekly hikes, starting at 6:00am between October and April starting at 5:30am from May through September. The club also makes quarterly trips to nearby islands like Saba, St. Barths and Anguilla. Non-members are encouraged to join the club on its hikes, and hikers who enjoy the club are encouraged to become members.

The association currently has over 50 members, with an average of 35 or more participating in each hike.Thehikes take place at various locations on the island. The hikes vary in difficulty. While some are more challenging,the membersregularly take easier hikes so as many people as possible can participate.(STHC)

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