The New Today

Commentary

Elections 2022: Questions for the retiring executive

As E-day approaches, there are a number of questions of which we the people wish to remind the retiring Executive whose tenure ends with the commencement of special voting on June 20th for members of law enforcement, followed on June 23rd, when the general electorate will make a definitive decision.

We the people are already aware that two members of the current Executive. Hon. Nicholas Steele and Hon. Anthony Boatswain have indicated that they will not be offering themselves for office. Hon. Steele has served for two terms, 2013-2018 and 2018-2022, while Hon. Boatswain entered the political arena in the clean sweep of January 1999, a political career spanning 1999 to 2022. During that period, he served for 3 terms as a Member of Parliament and Minister and as an opposition senator during the period 2008-2013.

As a citizen and shareholder of Grenada PLC, the following are my questions and observations to the departing Executive.

1. Rt. Hon. Prime Minister
1.1. Project Grenada

  • What is/was Project Grenada? What is the status of Project Grenada? What was it intended to deliver? What has it delivered?
  • Who is/was involved in realization of Project Grenada?

2. Hon Boatswain:

2.1. Original Deed of Release of October 6th, 2006:
The following questions are for Hon. Boatswain, a former Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for St. Patrick’s West constituency:-

  • The Deed of Release was made between Poole Capital S.A. of Road Town in Tortola, BVI, Poole Capital S.A. Limited, a Grenadian company with its registered office at Lucas Street, St. George’s and the Government of Grenada. The document was made by solicitors in London.
  • It was executed/signed by Minister Boatswain on behalf of the Government of Grenada and the local directors and secretary of both the BVI and the Grenadian company, on behalf of those companies.
  • The Deed released the Government of Grenada and Poole from the terms and conditions of an agreement of 20th September 2002, amended by addendum of 16th September, 2005, signed by “Poole” and the government. We the people were/are not privy to those agreements.
  • The Original Deed of Release is not recorded in Grenada’s Deeds and Lands Registry because “it could not be found.”
  • Hon, Boatswain owes we the people some explanations re the transfer of the people’s property for $1.00 to Port Louis Land; reference Indenture of Conveyance. Why is the Original Deed of Release not recorded in Grenada’s Deeds and Lands Registry? Which are the solicitors in London who prepared this deed? We want transparency and accountability in respect of that Original Deed of Release.

2.2. St. Patrick’s Breakwater
We the people recall that, in 2018, Hon Boatswain asked for another chance to represent St. Patrick’s West. He advised that he wanted to finish what “he had started” and seemed to be referring to the St. Patrick’s Port Project(?). Work began on the St. Patrick’s Breakwater in 2016. An Environmental Impact Assessment was not undertaken. Within a year of the construction of the breakwater, significant beach and coastal area was eroded and people’s homes put at risk. An entire election cycle has passed and to the best of our knowledge, there has not been any action taken to remedy the loss of coastal area it seems reasonable to ask Hon. Boatswain:-

  • Delivered What? During this last cycle, what did he deliver? Did he complete the task he had stayed on to do? What was this task? What did he deliver and to whom?
  • St. Patrick’s Breakwater: Was the St. Patrick’s Breakwater a strategy to “flood out” the residents, some of them, his very loyal supporters, who lived in that area in order to make way for the marina/port?
  • Source of Funds: What was the source of funds to facilitate that disastrous initiative?

3. Hon. Gregory Bowen, Member of Parliament for South-East St. George/Minister of Finance and Hon. Oliver Joseph, Min. for CARICOM Affairs

3.1. Purchase of WRB Shares in GRENLEC

  • Source of Funds re Repurchase of Shares: What was the source of funds to facilitate the repurchase of the WRB shares in GRENLEC following the decision of the ICSID Tribunal in March 2020?
  • Regional Securities Market: GRENLEC shares are/were registered on the Regional Securities Market and therefore had to be bought via this mechanism. Via what mechanism were these shares transferred and to what/whom?
  • Individual Shareholders: What is the status of the shares of the individual shareholders?

3.2. Grenada Postal Corporation

  • Ownership: What is the current status of the Grenada Postal Corporation? Is it still a state owned entity
  • Interests of H.E.: Does Grenada’s Ambassador to the Russian Federation, H.E. Oleg Firer, or any of his businesses have any interests in the GPC? Did he or his business provide any services to the GPC?
  • Eastern Caribbean Block Chain Association: Via the website of ECBA, one notes that the Grenada Postal Corporation is a member of the ECBA. On whose recommendations and approval did GPC become a member of the GPC? What does membership of the ECBA offer the GPC and by extension the Grenadian people to whom it provides services?
  • 3.3. Oil and Gas

What is the status of Grenada’s oil and gas exploration? What is the status in respect of the blocks that were allocated to Global Petroleum Group re exploration rights?

  • 3.4. GPG Agreement with National Gas Company Trinidad and Tobago

What is the status in respect of GPG – NGCTT Agreement, endorsed by the Government of Grenada? How will Grenada benefit?

4. Min. DaBreo

4.2. Electronic Government Regional Integration Project (EGRIP)
During his tenure as Minister with responsibility for ICT, Min. DaBreo was the responsible Minister for this project which was underway sometime in October 2013 (around the time that the services of then Supervisor of Elections, Ms. Judy Benoit, was terminated; she had raised some queries and concerns in respect of a directive of the Cabinet re access to the Parliamentary Electoral offices to facilitate the implementation of EGRIP).

  • Who/which consultants provided services to the Government in respect of the implementation of this project?
  • What services and support did the Parliamentary Elections Offices provide to facilitate the implementation of EGRIP?
  • Does the Hon. DaBreo know whether or not the implementation of the EGRIP impacted the Voter Registration System that was in place?
Related:  Elections 2022: The campaign

4.3. CBI Projects and the Fisheries Sector
At a recent meeting/rally in Gouyave, Min. DaBreo, Member of Parliament for St. John’s advised of Citizenship by Investment Projects for St. John’s and St. Mark’s in the fisheries sector.

  • Expansion of MPAs: Are these projects linked to an expansion of Marine Protected Areas in the offshore areas of St. John’s and St. Mark’s?
  • Livelihoods: How will the expansion of the MPA affect the livelihoods of the seine fishermen and others who depend on this method?
  • Blue Growth Coastal Master Plan: Is the Member of Parliament DaBreo referring to the implementation of the plans for St. Mark’s and St. John’s as set out by the Grenada’s Blue Growth Coastal Master Plan, pp. 122 and 123 respectively? Have these plans been presented to/discussed with the fishermen and the people of St. John’s?

5. Minister Steele: Minister of Foreign Affairs; Minister of Health and Social Security; Minister for International Business.

Given the Cabinet reshuffle which transferred the Min. of Health to the Hon. Steele, it is notable that upon his re-election in the 2018 elections, the Ministry of Health was again assigned to him, while he also kept the portfolio of International Business (linked to the CBI programme). Sometime in 2021, the portfolio of International Business was transferred to Hon. Oliver Joseph.

5.2. Jan Marselek’s Attempt to Purchase Spyware

Sometime in mid-2020, a story broke that a wire card fraudster, one Jan Marselek, had attempted to purchase spyware/hacking equipment/malware using a Government of Grenada letterhead, and correspondence purportedly signed by then Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Business, Min. Steele There were also allegations that Marselek may have had a Grenadian passport. Given the criminal nature of this action by the fraudster:-

  • Investigation: Has the Government of Grenada conducted any investigation/requested the support of any international agency to conduct an investigation as to how this international fugitive and fraudster, Jan Marselek, may have come by a Grenada letter head, purportedly bearing Min. Steele’s signature?
  • Grenadian Passport: Did Marselek have a Grenadian passport? If yes, who issued this passport and where was it issued?
  • Any Relationship with Missions: Did Marsalek have any links/contacts/relationship/encounters with any of Grenada’s missions – those of which we the people are aware or those of which we the people are unaware?

5.3. National Health Insurance

  • Status: What is the status of the National Health Insurance initiative?
  • Transparency: Why were reports on the studies in respect of national health insurance not made available to the public? Or was the report selectively available to particular individuals, groups/organisation?

5.4. Appletree Medical Group:

  • Did this group provide any services to the Ministry of Health re its primary health care services or any other initiative? And if so, what type of services did this entity provide to the Ministry of Health?
  • Role of Former Consul-General, Warren Newfield: Did Mr. Newfield play any role/ facilitate any arrangements with Appletree Medical Group or any other entity?

5.5. Telemedicine

  • Were telemedicine services introduced into Grenada’s health care system?
  • If yes, what arrangements were in place and with which entity/entities?

5.6. Co-operation Agreements re Min. of Health Grenada – Russian Federation
Can Min. Steele inform we the people of co-operation agreements in respect of health with state/non-state entities of the Russian Federation? To which areas of health service delivery do these agreements pertain?

5.6.1. Sputnik Vaccine

  • What is the status of this agreement re provision of Sputnik vaccines and with whom did the Ministry of Health sign this agreement?
  • Who signed the agreement on behalf of the Government of Grenada?

5.7. Free Trade & Processing Zone Act, Act 25 of 2015

  • This act was passed in July 2015, an act to facilitate the establishment of a free trade and free zone area operated by Urbaniza Incorpoiacoes Participacoes Ltda., as per Free Zone Agreement of November 17th, 2011, between the Government of Grenada and Urbaniza.
  • Urbaniza Grenada shall be the sole manager and controller of any free zone designated under this Act for a period of 60 years It has the sole option to renew for an additional 60 years under the SAME terms and conditions set out in the Free Zone Agreement.
  • Budget Statement, 2016, ref. pg. 52:- Urbaniza Grenada has engaged one of the world’s top master planners to commission a master plan for the Carenage. The company will complete all studies including the EIA’s for the freezone and finalize negotiations with the existing port to start operations of the free zone at the existing port.

Can Min. Steele, Min. Bowen and Min. Joseph advise the nation what is the status of arrangements with Urbaniza and the freeport arrangements? Has Urbaniza transferred these interests to other principals?

6. An Observation:

Hon. Yolande Bain-Horsford: Ministry of Sports, Culture & the Arts, Fisheries and Cooperatives

  • Portfolio Combination: The Hon. Minister has a somewhat unusual combination in her portfolio. What is the rationale for that combination of portfolios?
  • Interests: Are these sectors/interests targetted by a particular group of potential CBI investors/developers?

Sandra Ferguson