Speaking Notes of Political Leader MNF St Augustine

Good night, my UNC family, and thank you for coming out tonight, I know you are eager to hear more about the party’s views on the 2019 Budget.

Petrotrin Injunction

But before I speak to that, I want to congratulate the Petrotrin workers and their union.

The Industrial Court, today, granted an injunction in favour of the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) on behalf of employees of Petrotrin is a historic victory for the workers and for the rule of law in Trinidad and Tobago.

The Court’s ruling further exposes the repressive, exploitative and anti-worker stance of the Rowley regime and its disdain for proper industrial relations practice, including appropriate grievance procedures.

I applaud the victorious Petrotrin workers and their representative trade union, OWTU, on their courage and determination to challenge this oppressive PNM Government.

The Industrial Court’s judgment also corroborates my statements in my response to the 2018-19 national Budget last Friday. I stressed then that the issuance of termination letters to employees of Petrotrin while the injunction matter was being heard before the court was contemptuous. It really shows a government in contempt of the rule of law and the court processes.

The Rowley regime’s flagrant breach of the standing Memorandum of Agreement with the OWTU is typical of its arrogance and high-handedness.

The Opposition calls on the Government to honour the MOA and to engage in discussions with the representative union in good faith and in the best interest of all stakeholders.

Further, the Opposition calls on the Government to immediately stop any private negotiations with workers in an attempt to undermine the court’s ruling.

The Opposition trusts that this victory for workers of Petrotrin will lead to fruitful stakeholder dialogue, aimed at ensuring that the energy company is kept functioning and made viable and sustainable in the interests of all citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.

Highlights of the Feature Address of Political Leader at UNC MNF Chaguanas East

Kamla: The future is bright. We will move forward and not repeat the mistakes of the past. We must learn, be humble, reach out, build bridges, listen to others who are on the fence and welcome the genuine ones into the party. This clueless, incompetent, uncaring Rowley Govt cannot govern Trinidad and Tobago. But there is always hope. I have promised you, and I intend to keep that promise, I will ensure that your party returns good governance to our beloved nation.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE POLITICAL LEADER’S ADDRESS

Many members have worked tirelessly to prepare the party for the next local and general elections. We have done a tremendous amount of work behind the scenes and I would like to thank the hundreds of people who have worked with us over the past three years.

Their work was reflected in the last local government elections where we got more votes than the PNM and in the recent Barataria and Belmont elections. Let us all thank Liana and Sharon and everyone associated.

We accept we made mistakes, we can improve. Your opinions may differ, come speak with us, join with us, let’s work together to improve, no matter which party you are from we welcome you. Our doors are open and now is the time; the time is now

BOND ISSUE BY NIF HOLDING COMPANY LIMITED

I told you the Government had lied about the NIF.
In May 10th 2018 Imbert announced that he was going to sell 49.9 percent of the SHARES of newly incorporated company which he announced as The National Investment Fund Holding Company.

On 22nd March 2018 at a PNM meeting in Diego Martin Imbert said :

“All of these assets which total over 10 billion, will be the security for the National Investment Fund. We are going to sell units in that fund to the general public, so you can now own part of Republic Bank, WICO, OCM and MHI and so on. So we are giving back all of these assets owned by the CL group to you the people”
THAT IS LIE… Let us make something clear, this is not a gift to the nation.

Your taxpayer dollars already paid for these assets.

How much of it was taken up by state enterprises. Is the Government using state funds to create the perception that the bonds were oversubscribed?
Tell us how much of this was taken up by insurance companies? Credit unions and other licensed financial institutions.

Last month, again in his desperate rush to tax, tax, tax he rushed and implemented a tax on Playwhe winnings ILLEGALLY and was forced to repay millions to people.
And yet, hundreds, maybe thousands of smaller gamblers, who were paid at the lotto machine will never be repaid because having given up their tickets, they have no proof to claim a refund.

THIS BOND ISSUE?

I want to remind citizens – DO NOT TRUST a single word or action that this Government says or does. As I have shown you again and again, and just now, they cannot be trusted.

Not Imbert, Not Rowley, Not Sinanan, NOT ONE OF THEM. They simply cannot be trusted to do the right thing.

CLAIMING PP PROJECTS – SHAMELESS

You know what they are trying to do – so shameless – trying to take credit for projects done under the People’s Partnership Government which I led.
Health Minister Terrance Deyalsingh and the Arima and Point hospitals, and the Couva Children’s hospital as well, which they want to rename.
I saw the previous Minister of Sport speaking as if the aquatic, cycling and tennis centres were his accomplishments.

BROKEN HEALTH CARE – TERRIBLE TERRENCE

Some may call him the most wicked Minister of Health – Terrible Terrance – perhaps the most incompetent Minister in the history of Trinidad and Tobago.

A most evil man who arrogantly takes pleasure in rejecting children in need from the life fund and not opening the Couva hospital. I promise you we will amend the law when we return to office so that sick children will not suffer.

He now wants people to pay to use the hospital at Couva. What madness is this?

Tax payer’s money paid for that and now they want to charge you. Have a heart. We had a plan for that hospital to earn money through medical tourism
Tonight I want to ask Deyalsingh about a company called Unicom.

This company has the contract for several Government projects which includes the Mt Hope School of Dentistry and the Red House Restoration project. It is our understanding that the company is also handling the Port of Spain General Hospital reconstruction project.

I call tonight on the Minister of Health and the Prime Minister to say which PNM Minister’s wife works at this company. It’s also alleged that the Minister and his wife are friends of the owner of the company.

SOCIAL SERVICES – A NEXT WICKED MINISTER

Another heartless Minister Crichlow Cockburn who told people after the flooding that if you build your house in a lagoon you look for that.

This Minister mounted a platform and proudly announced that her greatest achievement was to take away food cards from people.

She says that over 13,000 people didn’t show up for recertification. We have people who can’t travel, disabled people, people in wheelchairs, single mothers, people who are afraid that when they go to the offices they may get embarrassed.

They frighten people and embarrasses them because they want a food card.

Compare this heartless government with our Direct Impact programme.

What are her achievements? She took away cerebral palsy grants and employment for single mothers.
They refuse to open building for disabled persons in Carlsen Field.

They refuse to give people flood relief grants.

This Minister is a total failure, incompetent, lazy and is a puppet of the1%.
Between the tag team of Crichlow-Cockburn and Terrible Terrance, and others, poor people in this country don’t have a chance.

CONCLUSION

My friends, our country is suffering because of this incompetent, uncaring Rowley-led PNM Government.

But there is always hope. I have promised you, and I intend to keep that promise, I will ensure that your party returns good governance to our beloved nation.
Again, I call on all right-thinking citizens to join with us as we work to make T&T a better place.

Already, we are seeing a surge in young people, professionals, interested in joining our party and are proving that they are up to the task of rescuing or country from this hapless Rowley Government.

The UNC has strengthened, renewed, reorganized, and our councillors are showing Increased vigour and commitment.
The UNC is the best hope to return prosperity and growth to our nation.

The UNC has prepared a vision and a plan to return stability to our nation and take us on a progressive path.
We will work towards building a society that is just, that is based on merit.

We believe in strengthening the family and promoting independence by engendering a home owning democracy.

We will continue to empower citizens through education and skill development, promoting economic independence.

The UNC believes in providing opportunities for the development of new businesses, new industries and the development of sustainable self-sufficiency, while creating a culture of being globally competitive.

I remain committed to our party’s original vision, which has always been to create a better future for all citizens.

And I am ready, I am willing and I am able to work with all of you, to take on once again the mantle of leadership necessary to move our country forward.
If you believe in that vision, I ask you to join us. Stand with the United National Congress.

Let us come together, all citizens; one people, to work to make our country safer, for ourselves and our children.

Together, we can make a difference, and bring about positive change.

We did it once, we can do it again! Are you ready to move with us?

Are you ready to return the party with a plan to rescue Trinidad and Tobago from this uncaring, incompetent Rowley-led Government?
Let us work together to return our beloved nation to greatness.

Remember always, half of me is yours, and the other half I give to you.
God bless and thank you all.

For the full text of the Political Leader’s Speaking Notes, visit MNF Speaking Notes KPB Monday Night Forum in Chaguanas East Aug 20, 2018

Highlights of the Political Leader’s Address MNF – Fyzabad

PNM Deception – National Investment Fund

Let me show you, why we can never trust this Government. 

The National Investment Fund is like a Ponzi scheme.

On October 2nd 2017, in his presentation of the 2018 budget Finance Minister Imbert announced that as the assets of the CL Financial Group became available from the liquidators, these assets  would be divested either as public offerings on the TT stock exchange or through placement on a new national mutual fund. Do you know that at the date of this announcement there was no such company in existence?

A company search reveals that the NAME “The National Investment Fund Holding Company” was only approved by the Companies Registry one whole week after, on May 17th 2018.

The Minister of Finance boasts that his Government is making provision for the man who has untouched savings of $100,000 and $250,000 that he has lying around in a bank, that can be withdrawn and placed in this facility.

Given the current state of the country, many do not have that luxury of hundreds of thousands lying around waiting for Minister Imbert. Some people don’t even have enough to get by, to put food on the table, to pay bills…

Unemployment

It has been more than one year since we have had unemployment statistics in Trinidad and Tobago.

The last set of unemployment statistics is since June 2017. Why are they hiding the crisis of unemployment? And without knowing the true state of workers in this country, how can the policy decisions of the Minister of Finance ever be informed. He will always be wrong.

The fact the Minister prefers to ignore is the level of hardship being experienced by the average citizen, the level of frustration by people who cannot get jobs or by people who have to dip into their savings to make ends meet.

This is fact… even with the highly questionable information Minister Imbert uses, the GDP now is lower than in 2015 under the PP Government. How is that growth?

PNM Deception – Property Tax

Imbert indicated during the mid-year review that the economy is turning around.

According to him, the non-oil sector is growing, the energy sector is booming and they have collected millions more in revenue than they had estimated.

Yet there is no relief for citizens.

He continues borrowing, running up massive debts that you and I, our children and their children will have to pay.  

More pressure coming as they are considering increases in utility rates and he remains adamant on imposing the dreaded property tax on the population.

Proper assessments of Property

There is a level of uncertainty with regards to the implementation of the taxes.

I am aware of persons who have indicated that valuators are coming to their homes and valuing their property. I am not aware whether these persons have been trained or qualified to conduct valuations.

Imbert said Pensioners will not have to pay property tax:

The Board may upon the application of the owner of land authorise the deferral of the payment of the assessed tax on the land on the grounds of the impoverished condition of the owner and his inability to improve his financial position significantly by reason of age, impaired health or other special circumstances, that undue hardship to that owner would otherwise ensue. The relief granted under this section shall be valid for two years and may be renewed if the conditions of the applicant as evidenced under subsection (2) remains unchanged.

All pensioners will have to pay property tax.

They will get a deferral but that tax attaches to land, so on inheritance their children will have to pay the deferred tax.

The tax is deferred on a 2-year basis, every 2 years they will have to go to the office and seek a deferral.

They will have old people, disabled people lining up.

They promised a form will be generated for the exemption, up until now no form has been drafted.

Squatters to pay Property tax:

Every person who squats on land will have to pay the tax as an owner has been defined as an occupier. The liability to tax of the owner of any chattel fixed or affixed to land does not create a legal entitlement to the land upon which the chattel is located where the owner of the chattel is not the legal owner of the land.

They want you pay the tax for the land but it does not give you an entitlement to own the land.

They are making this up as they go. It is poorly thought out.

That is why I said that when we get into government, this property tax this government holding like an axe over your heads, will be removed.

PNM Deception – Galleons Passage

This PNM Government seems to think they can say and do anything and get away with it.

They have driven up the country’s debt, going around buying boats without proper procurement processes, and giving the people some “Nansi” story every week.

The Opposition has been holding them to account, but they are so deceptive, we have to scrutinize every word they say and every document they bring to Parliament.

Remember that ghost ship? The one that is forever coming to Trinidad and Tobago but still cannot reach?

  • The first valuation was from Oceanic Design and Survey, a company that is affiliated to the owner of the vessel Sea Lease Pty Limited, which valued it at US$19M.
  • The second valuation was done by Schulte Marine Concepts (SMC) valued the vessel at $US35- US$38M.
  • The builder of the vessel has never constructed a vessel of this size. The GP is 74m long, the longest vessel Sea Transport ever designed was 68m long. 
  • There is no track record of the yard, Nansha Shipyard in Guangzhou, Guandong, China, that constructed the vessel.
  • The vessel was completed in the year 2016 which is when the International Tonnage Certificate was issued – February 2016.  The documents provided suggest (see page 10 of the Oceanic Design and Survey Report) that only her “internal fitting out” remained unfinished.  This is normal where the last “bells and whistles” will be left to the very end.  It is inarguable the vessel was fully functional when she was damaged in her sea trials.
  • The provisional certificate of registry from Vanuatu indicated the vessel was built in 2015. (I think it meant construction started in 2015). 3 years ago!

Interference by high government official

Tonight I ask the question – whether a high-ranking government official from Trinidad and Tobago attended a conference sometime in October 2017 where that official met with a high-ranking Venezuelan government official?

We must understand that the Government was looking for a boat to purchase in 2017. So it is my question whether these two high-ranking officials struck a deal, with Trinidad and Tobago agreeing to bail out its Venezuelan counter-part. 

All of this should be of grave concern, but this Government continues to try to make them out to be trivial.

PNM Deception – Anti-Terrorism Bill

Now the Government came to Parliament to adopt a report by the Joint Select Committee on the Anti-Terrorism Bill, and it was clear that the Attorney General wished to simply pass the legislation with amendments coming out of the JSC. 

The most important is that the Bill, in its current form, gives too much power to the Attorney General.

Specific clauses in the Bill give the Attorney General powers that are not possible under the Constitution, and they must be amended. One of these was the AG would have access to financial information under the FIU.  We fought against that.

We in the Opposition have proposed that where the legislation confers powers onto the Attorney General that those powers would be more appropriately housed in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for local matters and the Central Authority for international matters.

We submitted amendments to the Bill which do not change the material impact of the law, but would ensure that we have the appropriate checks and balances on any attempted or perceived political interference. 

The AG proposed to give himself extra powers under the legislation so that he can get your financial information or refer matters to the Commissioner of Police and then the Commissioner would be obliged to give him a police investigation on any person.

I stood strongly against the AG having these powers. The government needs the Opposition’s support to pass this Bill and I have signalled that the Opposition will support this Bill only if those powers have been removed.

The UNC will ensure that the rights of every single citizen are protected and continue to be protected.

I have always been a strong advocate against discrimination and persecution.

I will always fight for you and stand up for what is right even at times when it is not the most popular decision. 

And I have said, we will support good law, and we will support this legislation, however the changes must be made to protect each and every citizen of this country.

Runaway crime –

A vote for the PNM tells them it’s okay to have rampant crime become the norm in this country; with women working in office getting their throats slit to young boys being shot in the yards of their homes and NOTHING being done by THREE Ministers of National Security.

Jobs

It is saying that it’s okay that not a single new job has been created, while more are being sent home, driving citizens more and more into abject poverty.

CUTS

The Rowley Government stopped food cards for the needy and vulnerable,

they slashed disability grants, they took away the laptops, they keep imposing more and more taxes.

How can we work to save T&T?

That is why we are here. I am tasked, and the Opposition takes its role very seriously – to act as guardians of our democracy, and guardians of our constitutional rights.

This why I ask you tonight, will you join with me, will you ensure that on election day, you make certain that the PNM knows that we, as a people, are saying no more.

Hope For A Brighter Tomorrow

My brothers and sisters, as bad as things may seem, we must remain hopeful.

We can and will overcome our challenges, together.

What is it we all work so hard for? What matters most to us is our children.

Our children offer us hope, every day that we are pummeled and pained by this Rowley government, we bear it for the sake of the children, because we know that with hope, dreams and wishes can be fulfilled, life can be better and a better future guaranteed.

What we dare to hope for is a day, a morning when we can wake up knowing that we had a restful night, free from worries, free from crime, knowing that no crime has affected our home, or that in our community, we want to wake up when we don’t see the screaming headlines announcing the deaths of mothers and children, sons, daughters, fathers in our land.

We want to wake up to a day when the food that we get up to prepare, that that day will be a healthy day, a wholesome day, it will be a day when we are not faced with panic about illness, about one of our members, our loved ones falling ill.

Together We will all make this day happen.

How Do We Get There?

We have a long way to go to achieve this future that I envision.  So how do we get to where we want to be, that bright future?

First of all, we must believe that such a day is possible.

Everything is possible, once you believe, and this something that each of us can do every single day.

We can make that day a reality, when we stop thinking that the changes required are impossible and beyond us. When we believe that they are within our grasp, that we can do it and we will do it!

So let nothing divide us except our vision, our goal, our aim, to take Trinidad and Tobago forward into the future.

Let us Unite, let us unite with that vision and when we have that same vison, together, united, we make that our life works mission to achieve it…. That is what we must do now.

We will do this united under the banner of the rising sun!

We are committed to getting ourselves ready for that day, a day of equity, a day of equality, a day when hopes are realized, a day of emancipation from this cruel and wicked Rowley government. 

Are you ready to move with us? Are you ready to return the party with a plan to rescue Trinidad and Tobago from this uncaring, incompetent Rowley-led Government?

Let us work together to return our beloved nation to greatness.

God bless and thank you all.

Attached is a full copy of the Political Leader’s Speaking Notes

Speaking Notes MNF Fyzabad 02-07-18

Kamla: The Choice – A Failing PNM Government or A Brighter Future under the UNC

The Hon Kamla Persad Bissessar, MP, SC
Leader of the Opposition of Trinidad and Tobago and
Political Leader of the United National Congress

The Choice –A Failing PNM Government or A Brighter Future under the UNC.

Good night, my UNC family, I’m happy to be back in Barataria to hear your concerns and to speak with you about the UNC’s plans to move this community, and T&T forward.

Thank you for welcoming me and the UNC team.

I know several members of our team including our local government candidates have been walking the streets and meeting with you, and listening to what you have to say.

They are both excellent candidates – they have been working in the community and shown their commitment to continue working on your behalf, and I am happy to invite them to speak with you tonight.

  • Sharon Maraj-Dharam – Barataria
  • Lianna Babb-Gonsalves – Belmont East

I want to also acknowledge and thank all the persons who put themselves forward as nominees for these two seats.

On July 16th it is important and I urge you to go out and vote for your UNC candidates.

NATION IN CRISIS

My friends, tonight, we come to you at a time when our nation is in crisis under this Keith Rowley-led Government.  We are facing serious problems in almost every sphere of human endeavour.

We’re at about the halfway point of this PNM Government, in fact close to three years and I don’t know about you, but I worry whether our country can survive a full term of this PNM Government.

Our beloved nation is in crisis, and the Rowley-led PNM has no clue how to take us out of this crisis and return us to growth and prosperity.

In fact, in 2015 when they were “red and ready” they had a 10-point crime plan.  Today not one of those points has been implemented.  The Minister of Labour – she too came with a 10-point plan for labour and jobs and today not one single plan has been implemented.  I see they’re moving away from the 10 points now – the Minister of Agriculture said he had a nine-point plan for Agriculture.

Tonight let us say zero points equal zero votes!

They are sleeping on the job.

Prime Minister Rowley WAKE UP and DO YOUR JOB!!!  Our country is in crisis!

CRUMBLING ECONOMY UNDER THE PNM

They’ve been desperately trying to give the impression that things are getting better.

I ask you – do you think you are better off today than you were in 2015?

Do you feel safer today under this Rowley PNM?

But, that is the way they operate.  The PNM is about living for today – they have no concept of plans or preparing for the future; of ensuring sustainability.

It’s all about taking care of their friends, their families and the 1%.

They do not care that people who have lost their jobs can’t put food on the table; that they can’t send their children to school; who cannot afford to buy books.  They do not care about those who are living in the depths of despair.

For the Finance Minister all he cares about is taxing people into poverty.

PROPERTY TAX LIE 

Tonight I want to remind you how this Government lies to the people of this country.

At a PNM meeting Imbert claimed that pensioners, disability grant recipients and low income earners do not have to pay property tax under the 2009 Act.

You hear lie? That is another lie.

I don’t know what law Mr. Imbert is reading, but I have the law and I will share it with you.

He clearly said that the 2009 law states that if you are a pensioner, if you are on disability – what did he say? “You are not liable to pay taxes.”

This is how they continue to misinform and lie to the people of Trinidad and Tobago.  Under Mr. Manning in 2009 they passed the Property Tax Act, which is now contained in Chapter 76:04 of the Laws of Trinidad and Tobago.

In Section 16 of the Act all the exemptions are listed – exemptions meaning that you are not liable to pay.

If you are not listed in those exemptions it means you are liable to pay.  The law says charitable organizations, religious bodies, State enterprises etc are exempt – not pensioners, persons with disabilities.  What the law said is that you can apply for a deferral of the tax.

An application under subsection (1) shall be made in writing in the prescribed form and shall be accompanied by evidence that the applicant—

(a) is in receipt of—

(i) a public assistance grant;

(ii) a disability grant;

(iii) a senior citizen’s grant; or

(iv) a Trinidad and Tobago conditional cash transfer card, from the State; or

(b) does not receive an annual income exceeding the maximum amount specified in section 3 of the Senior Citizen’s Grant Act.

You can apply for a deferral on the grounds of the impoverished position of the owner and his inability to improve his position by reason of age, health, or other special circumstances.

That is not an exemption – you are liable.

Under the 2009 law, when you apply Section 23 tells us

A certificate under subsection (2) shall be conclusive of the owner’s inability to pay tax assessed under this Act.

Now look at what these wicked people did.  When they brought the amendment to the Parliament in 2018, they amended Section 23.  You can apply for the deferral but look what happens now – they are saying they would give you the deferral for two years.

In the Property Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2018,

“Section 23 of the Act is amended by repealing subsection (3), and substituting the following subsection: “ (3) The relief granted under this section shall be valid for two years and may be renewed if the conditions of the applicant as evidenced under subsection (2) remains unchanged.”

Now you tell me – a pensioner’s condition would change in two years? A person on disability grant?

And if that pensioner dies you know what’s going to happen? They are coming for your child or your grandchild, and if they cannot pay it, they will seize the property.

Mr. Imbert, we do not believe your lies.

They amended the law to include every structure on a property to be included in the assessment – the dog house, the chicken coop, the latrine – you know some people are calling it a toilet tax but it is far more serious.

I want to quote a little from Michael Harris writing in the Express Monday 18th June, 2018 “My Last Hurrah on the Property Tax”:

“The fact that the Government has eschewed the simplicity and transparency of the area-based assessment for the contentious and complicated ARV might well be telling. For, as one commentator has pointed out, the ARV will be ‘impossible to administer in an equitable and efficient manner’ and precisely because of that it opens the way for corruption and political victimisation. And maybe, that is exactly as the Government wants it to be.”

I am saying to the Government that this Property Tax in the way you have formulated it to be, we voted against it, you went with your simple majority – I am saying tonight – the day we form the Government again we will repeal the Property Tax.

Labour

There is more that is happening in Trinidad and Tobago’s economy.

Tomorrow we celebrate Labour Day but what is there to celebrate?

Yes, we celebrate the 81st anniversary of the modern trade union movement, but we do that in a scenario where there are over 50,000 people without jobs.

Jobs that have been lost under this wicked Rowley-led Government.

Now when you look at what was done under the Government which I led, you will see that we had a plan that was working, and we had a vision for our country’s future.  We created more than 57,000 jobs.

Today, what is disturbing is that you cannot find statistics to have a clear understanding of how many jobs have been lost under the PNM Government.

In one of our meetings I rolled out our plan to create jobs.

I have many innovative plans as we move forward, and I will be sharing little by little with you on how we will transform our nation together.

This Government has produced not one shred of a plan, or any idea of how they will create jobs.

Rowley-led Government’s Alarming Apathy towards crime

My UNC family, I know that each of you, and each and every citizen of this country is feeling the negative effects of the spiraling crime rate.  Everyone lives in fear in this country – that you will become the next victim, the next statistic.

As usual, the Prime Minister offers no solutions – other than sending out his waste of time Ministers of National Security to walk aimlessly in so-called crime hot spots.

And I am shocked to learn of an issue which I will share with you, and it has to do with unmarked contracts.

Unmarked Contracts

In the last quarter of 2017 the Ministry of National Security delivered expressions of interest packages to specific companies.  Existing contractors were included in the EoI to supply unmarked vehicles to the Ministry.

The due date for submitting the expressions of interest was a public holiday and persons were notified that the deadline was extended.  The evaluation process took several months, and at the end of March several long-standing contractors who had been in the business for over 10 years were notified in writing that the contracts were terminated effective April 30, 2018, and they were to make arrangements to collect their vehicles at the IATF – the Inter-Agency Task Force compound in El Socorro.

So these companies with a track record of supplying vehicles for more than 10 years were told to take back their vehicles.

In April, the contractors who were terminated were contacted by the Ministry and asked if they were willing to work with them bearing in mind the current economic climate, all the contractors said yes, and collected a document which provided a suggested rental rate, which had to be submitted by the end of the day, which they met, however, to date they never heard from the Ministry again.

I understand that a person identifying himself as a police officer indicated that the owner of one of the selected companies Alison Holder Clement received the contract to provide vehicles to the Ministry while the others were terminated.

To date that company has not been able to supply vehicles to the Ministry.  How could a company with no track record, indeed they owned no vehicles whatsoever be given the contract?

The question is – is there some connection between the owner and director of this company and a high government official?

I am asking Minister Dillon to tell the country whether there is any truth to the allegation that this came about because of the involvement of a high government official.

We have three Ministers of National Security and each of them and the entire Rowley Government have failed to deal with the crime scourge.

I promise you on Friday in the Parliament we will hold the Minister of National Security to account, as we move a motion of no confidence in Minister of National Security Edmund Dillon.

The time has come where we say enough is enough, this Government has failed, they cannot do their job effectively and they must get out of office.

So many allegations, and no action taken by this Government.  But they are quick to attack.

The PNM dirty tricks campaign – they are fast at work.

We’ve seen what they’ve done with the man who was nominated to be Commissioner of Police.   It was the Prime Minister is the one who pulled the race card on this issue but there is no race in crime.  It affects every man, woman and child, every citizen of this country.

So Prime Minister, nobody is taking your race baiting.  Let us vote for performance.  Let us vote for those who will deliver and can work for you, and who care about you.

I have been disheartened by the number of funerals I’ve been invited to attend – young people.  Our sons and daughters being killed and what is the response of the Government?

None.  Rowley is not serious about dealing with crime.

Now remember when the Government was clamouring for the Anti-gang legislation, which they said would bring an end to gang violence?  They said they had all the information and just needed the legislation to come into effect?

They said that the blood was on the UNC’s hands – remember that? Because we were pressing for important amendments to ensure the rights of citizens were protected.

Now the legislation has been in place for weeks, but what have we seen?  Has it had the effect the Government claimed it would?

But they have no solutions.  They remain focused on legislative fixes but that alone will not make a dent in crime.

And now they are attempting once again to rush the passage of another Bill – the Anti-terrorism Bill.

But we do not trust them and we will ensure that this piece of legislation is properly scrutinized.

UNC best option to move TT forward

I want to share with you what I recommit to, and what our great party stands for.

The United National Congress is committed to working to improve the lives of all citizens of Trinidad and Tobago, to ensure good governance and protect the rights of people.

Our values are integrity, excellence, partnership, participation and responsiveness.

We stand for:

The safety and security of all citizens.  This is of paramount importance to the UNC, and we will ensure that mechanisms are put in place to restore a safe and secure environment for our people.

The UNC believes in opportunity for all citizens, ensuring that citizens have the chance to become employed in sustainable, well-paying jobs.

We believe in empowering citizens through education and skills development, promoting economic independence.

We stand for progress and positive development of Trinidad and Tobago, through economic diversification, and the development of the innovative and creative potential of our people to engage in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The Prime Minister right here in Barataria, expressed annoyance at the word “diversification.”  His annoyance is probably as a result of his confusion of what diversification entails.  Prime Minister if we do not diversify we will die – our economy will die.

We stand for integrity and good governance and believe the Government must be transparent and accountable to the people.

We believe in building a society based on merit.  That is how our democracy should run, that is how we should be governed based on merit, not based on friends and family and financiers.

We believe in strengthening the family and promoting independence by engendering a home owning democracy.

We believe in creating a shareholding democracy, in which citizens can own a piece of the country’s assets.

We also believe in a land owning democracy.

We believe in fostering entrepreneurship and facilitating the creation of new businesses and new industries, as an efficient and productive private sector is a major source of employment and wealth generation.

We believe in restoring Trinidad and Tobago’s image as a leader in the region, and in creating a globally competitive economy.

The UNC is of the view that the Government must listen to and be responsive to the needs of citizens.

We believe our diversity is our strength and when we are united we can move Trinidad and Tobago forward.

Your party has prepared a vision and a plan to return stability to our nation and take us on a progressive path.

If you believe in that vision, I ask you to join us.  Stand with the United National Congress.

I ask that we come together, all citizens; one people, to work to make our country safer, for ourselves and our children.

Are you ready to move with us? Are you ready to return the party with a plan to rescue Trinidad and Tobago from this uncaring, incompetent Rowley-led Government?

Remember on July 16th, send a clear message to the PNM that enough is enough.  Vote for your UNC candidates Lianna and Sharon.

Let us work together to return our beloved nation to greatness.

God bless and thank you all.

See Full Speech Here: UNC Political Leaders Speaking Notes MNF Barataria

Highlights of the Political Leader’s Address at UNC MNF – Tunapuna

 

MURDERS

Just this weekend the newspaper headlines painted a grim picture – 8 murders in the space of 24 hours.

For the year so far about 187 people have been killed.  187 people murdered in just 124 days in the year so far.

Now, the Prime Minister, who really should be stepping up and taking charge of this situation complains bitterly that the media, the Opposition, travel advisories are all to blame for bringing too much attention to the crime situation.

The first duty of a Government is to protect its people. The reality is people are scared for their lives.

 

UNC LED GOVT

There was a steady decline in serious crime under my watch because of the initiatives we implemented. The country saw real results from our crime fighting plans. We were able to bring serious crime down to the lowest in 33 years.  The UNC has a track record in fighting crime.

The Government which I led made reducing crime and ensuring the safety of citizens its number one priority. When we return to office, we will do this again.

 

MOTION OF NO CONFIDENCE IN DILLON

In the meantime, we must hold the Minister of National Security to account. We have prepared and will file  a motion of no confidence in Minister of National Security Dillon at the earliest opportunity.

We have prepared and will file  a motion of no confidence in Minister of National Security Dillon at the earliest opportunity

 

CRUMBLING ECONOMY UNDER THE PNM

For the past few months, they’ve been trying to give the impression that things are looking up.   

This government is about living for today only, therefore they are in glee when the hydrocarbon sector is picking up as oil and gas prices are up.

When we look at the revenue generated for the last quarter, oil and gas prices have gone up.

 

IMBERT OH HAPPY DAY

Mr. Minister I would love to hear from you how those who are unemployed and underemployed will benefit from us turning this corner that only you can see.

Let the patrimony of our country flow down to those who have labored with blood, sweat and tears let every man, woman and child of this country be relieved from the burden that you have made them carry for the past two and a half years.

Let the people loosen their belts that have been strangling them and bring them to a place where they can breathe and survive.

 

ROWLEY PNM’S FAKE NARRATIVE

Having concocted the narrative that Kamla and the previous Government spent out all the money, that we drained the treasury, that the country was running on fumes when the PNM came into office; Imbert lied and created a crisis that he had no idea would grow legs and would eventually expose his leader’s and his own party’s incompetence.

Imbert’s strategy of political deception is as transparent as the Prime Minister’s concern for the people of this country The Government I led was one that worked for you. We were a government that delivered.

Today you can see, you can feel, you can touch the schools, the police stations, the laptops, the roads, the bridges, the hospitals, and the health centres.

The people are now fed up of this PNM Government.

People are tired, and they are angry.

The PNM’s strategy has backfired.

 

VANITY PROJECTS

They spent more in three years than we ever did with nothing to show for it.

Today they tell you that they have no money to build schools, that there is no money to fix roads and clear watercourses. But we must continue to expose their plan. Imbert’s and Rowley’s days are numbered.

 

JOBS

The PNM has a history of promising the sun, the moon and the stars before the election but when it is time to deliver they just disappear. The Rowley PNM has abandoned the people of this constituency of Tunapuna.

The feedback on the ground has been one of despair, of hopelessness.  People are worried about the high crime levels, no jobs, and poor amenities.

When I was your Prime Minister, on this corridor, which includes Tunapuna, under my watch thousands of jobs were created and thousands of spaces in institutions were provided for persons to better their skills and qualifications.

 

JOBS PLAN – LET’S GET T&T WORKING AGAIN

Lack of jobs is a major problem on the East – West Corridor.

Post 1995 the east west corridor and Port of Spain became the manufacturing and industrial center of Trinidad.

A UNC Government will back financing for local companies wishing to establish these manufacturing industries on the east – west corridor.

I plan to incentivize companies, I don’t plan to subsidize them.  When you subsidize they don’t care to perform.  If you incentivize them they know they have to perform to get the incentive.  The next UNC government is going to work for and work with our manufacturers.

I have many innovative plans as we move forward, and I will be sharing little by little with you on how we will transform our nation together. These are the new ideas that we are speaking to you about that I intend to marry with solid experience.

 

PNM DESPERATION

We’ve been seeing it over the past year, and maybe longer – the growing desperation within the PNM.

They will do anything to distract from the fact that their leader is lacking the ability to govern effectively, and they are becoming frantic.  And that will lead to their other fallback position – intimidation tactics.

 

HOPE OF DELIVERANCE

My brothers and sisters, we must however never lose faith and hope that we can and will overcome.

Our children offer us hope, every day that we are pummeled and pained by this PNM government, we bear it for the sake of the children, because we know that with hope, dreams and wishes can be fulfilled, life can be better and a better future guaranteed.

 

HOW DO WE GET THERE?

So the question is then, how do we get to that day that I am visualizing for you, how do we get to that day from where we are? How do we get from where we are to where we want to be, that bright future?

First of all, I say we start by deciding that beyond our doubts and differences, first of all we must believe that such a day is possible.

Everything is possible, once you believe, and this something that each of us can do every single day.

 

UNC BEST OPTION TO MOVE TT FORWARD

My friends, our country is suffering because of this incompetent, uncaring Rowley-led PNM Government. 

We in the UNC, we have to prepare the way, we have to step up, stand up and be heard.

You are important, your voice matters.

Again, I call on all right-thinking citizens to join with us

as we work to make T&T a better place.

The UNC is the best hope to return prosperity and growth to our nation.

The UNC has prepared a vision and a plan to return stability to our nation and take us on a progressive path.

I am committed to our party’s original vision, which has always been to create a better future for all citizens.  

If you believe in that vision, I ask you to join us.  Stand with the United National Congress.