The outcome of the Covid-19 case involving the doctor from the United States and his wife should send a clear message to the Keith Mitchell-led government about its handling of persons who violate the island’s quarantine protocols.
Acting Chief Magistrate Teddy St. Louis handed down a fine of $5000.00 each on Dr. Tim McKinney and his wife, Amy Baxter after they pleaded guilty to violating the regulations.
It should be recalled that the Americans were allowed to quarantine at their private residence at Lance Aux Epines after they applied for the Home Quarantine status to enter the country and it was felt that given their status they fit the bill.
THE NEW TODAY recalls that many locals were denied such treatment by the Mitchell government even if they had adequate facilities at home and the Covid-19 negative test results in their possession on arrival in the country.
Magistrate St Louis should not be faulted for the fines imposed since he has to work within the confines of the regulation as passed by the government at the Botanical Gardens.
Any ABC student would be able to quickly do the Maths and conclude that the fines amounted to a slap on the wrist for this American couple.
There is no way that the EC$10, 000 can cover the cost of the monies to be paid by government to the contract tracers employed to look for persons who came in contact with the doctor and his wife when they should have been in the confines of their homes and not roaming in the south of the island.
The fines cannot also cover the cost of loss income to those persons who had been exposed to the Americans and had to be restricted to their homes plus the cost of taking PCR tests to make sure that they were not infected with the deadly virus.
THE NEW TODAY has done the Maths and it shows that 38 persons who were forced into quarantine and had to undergo the PCR tests would have cost the State something like $EC15, 200.00 alone.
It is also estimated that these 38 persons would have lost in the vicinity of another EC$30, 000.00 in income for the days off from the job.
It is quite obvious that the taxpayers of the country have been called upon to subsidise the ill-conceived action of the doctor and his wife instead of making them feel it in their pockets.
THE NEW TODAY also takes careful note of the attorney-at-law who is coming forward these days to represent a number of these high profile individuals who have been charged for offences by the State.
The same lawyer who is close to the government represented the white family from the UK in the infamous beating of Evans Smith in the Fort Jeudy incident earlier in the year and is now the one who appeared in court for the American doctor and his wife.
It raises a serious question of conflict of interest by the attorney and a much deeper and closer look should be done into this kind of behaviourial conduct.
Is it conflict of interest to represent the offender against the people of Grenada in the early hours of the morning but later in the same day the same person puts on a different hat and represents the same people at the Caricom level?
It should be noted that some of these people who have now gone into the “belly of the whale of Jonah” were the most vocal when in opposition to the current Prime Minister on the issue of conflict of interest and corruption.
Is it a question that these people were never genuinely opposed to Dr. Mitchell and his controversial polices of selling passports and engaging in a massive spending spree at the expense of the taxpayers but were really jealous of the fact that he was the one and not them holding onto the Prime Ministership of the country and were merely making noise in order to get a taste and bite at the power?
These same people had even led a citizens’ arrest of a police officer when as a member of the Special Branch he was caught secretly tape-recording their meeting on Lucas Street prior to the 2008 general election.
THE NEW TODAY was also made aware of the disgusting behaviour of the police at the court on Wednesday when the Americans made their appearance to face the charge of violating the island’s quarantine protocols.
Our information is that the Police were seemingly on the side of the culprits and not representing the interest of the people.
It brings to mind once again the view advocated recently by this newspaper that there appears to be two Grenada in this little place called the Spice Isle – a certain colour and class of people are given a different type of treatment to ordinary citizens.
The police have apparently taken the cue from the leaders at the top in the seat of power who are known to get crazy and engage in all kinds of behaviour when they see foreigners with money touch down in Grenada.
This country really needs a shake-up and a new sense of direction with leaders who are prepared to adopt and implement a nationalistic agenda for growth and development.
It might not happen in the near future but history will not be kind to those who are selling out the birthright of Grenadians for a few dollars more in the name of passport selling for projects and development at all costs.