The Federal Cabinet met on Monday, June 12, 2017 under the chairmanship of the Honourable Prime Minister, Dr. Timothy Harris. Cabinet discussed several salient matters during its meeting.
1.) The Honourable Prime Minister updated Cabinet on his recent visit to the Republic of China on Taiwan. Dr. Harris led a seven-member delegation on that visit, which was fully sponsored by the Government of Taiwan. Accompanying the St. Kitts and Nevis delegation was Resident Taiwanese Ambassador, His Excellency George Gow Wei Chiou. Among the key areas for which the Prime Minister would have solicited the support of Taiwan were Education, Health Care and Public Infrastructure. These matters would be pursued subsequently via the Resident Taiwanese Ambassador, and our own Ambassador in Taiwan, Her Excellency Ms. Jasmine Huggins.
2.) The Honourable Lindsay Grant informed the Cabinet that representatives from the Ministry of Tourism and various taxi associations on St. Kitts continue to meet with the aim of resolving the problems that have arisen in the past several weeks. Discussions are now at resolution stage as various suggestions and recommendations have been taken on board with the goal of improving the dispatch service being provided by taxi buses. A new dispatch system was to be implemented at Port Zante from Monday, June 19, 2017 and will be tested for up to two weeks, until consensus can be arrived on the best way forward for all concerned.
3.) Cabinet approved a submission regarding the rules governing the competition to select an official theme for our 34th Anniversary of Independence. The competition is being managed by the Ministry of Education with the focal point being Permanent Secretary Mr. William Vincent Hodge. The Ministry of Education is also well represented on the Independence Planning Committee which, once again, is being chaired by Senator Honourable Wendy Phipps, with Co-Chair support being provided by Cabinet Secretary, Mrs. Josephine Huggins; and Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Mr Osbert DeSuza.
4.) The Honourable Speaker of the House, Mr A. Michael Perkins, came to Cabinet to provide an update on plans for the staging of the 42ndConference of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association in St. Kitts and Nevis during the period June 16-23, 2017. The hosting of this conference was a major commitment to the Federal Government in terms of budgetary support and other resources. Hence, the reason Cabinet would have requested to be updated on the conference by the Speaker.
5.) The Honourable Vincent Byron led the Cabinet through a review of the Bills being tabled for 1st Reading and debate at the sitting of Parliament, which was set for Tuesday, June 13, 2017. Among these Bills were the Firearms (Amendment) Bill; the Eastern Caribbean Partial Credit Guarantee (Corporation) Agreement Bill; the Bail (Amendment) Bill and the Accreditation Bill. Also addressed in this parliamentary review by the Attorney General was the resolution on the formation of the Public Accounts Committee.
6.) The Honourable Lindsay Grant provided the Cabinet with an update on plans for the hosting of the Annual Music Festival in St. Kitts, from June 22-24, 2017, at Warner Park Cricket Stadium.
7.) Cabinet also addressed a number of socio-economic development projects, including the upgrading of our air and seaports infrastructure and related services, and concessions to various hotel projects.
8.) The Honourable Mark A.G. Brantley gave the Cabinet an update on the plans being put in place for the official opening of the St. Kitts and Nevis’ High Commission in Ottawa, Canada. On a related matter, our Prime Minister also informed Cabinet of the upcoming Town Hall meeting with St. Kitts and Nevis nationals living in Canada. This was slated for Sunday, June 19th 2017 in Toronto with the Prime Minister and Minister Brantley in attendance. It was also the Prime Minister’s intention to conduct various engagements with prospective investors in Canada.