Ashworth Jack assures, THA’s authority will not be undermined

In presenting the THA’s $3.5 billion budget package for the 2010-2011 financial year at a special sitting of the House on Monday, the Finance Secretary had strongly warned that the PNM-led Assembly would resist with all its might, and by any and every means necessary, any attempt by anyone to subvert the rights and powers of the THA as laid out in the THA Act No 40 of 1996.

In leading off the budget debate yesterday, however, Jack assured that the leadership of the TOP — which forms part of the People’s Partnership, will do everything to ensure that the authority of the THA was not undermined.

He noted there seemed to be a misconception by the Tobago PNM that the Minority (opposition) TOP membership in the Assembly would somehow support the People’s Partnership Government in any attempt to undermine the THA. “This will not, and cannot happen!” Jack reassured. He asserted that he and his colleagues on the minority benches were Tobagonians first, members of the TOP second, and part of the People’s Partnership third. “We will do everything to move this island forward; we will do everything to ensure that Tobago is treated equally with Trinidad”, he told the House.

That apart, the Minority Leader said it was clear the Orville London-led PNM Assembly administration had not yet come to terms with the hard reality. He reminded the House that on May 24 (General Election) the people of the country had rejected the policies and plans of the PNM, and voted overwhelmingly for “a new approach. David brought Goliath to his knees,” Jack quipped. He said while the PNM in Trinidad was now thankfully in opposition and therefore had the luxury of time to lick their wounds, the Tobago arm of the PNM, “as they remind us every day, are still in charge of Tobago, and therefore should be busy fixing the business of Tobagonians”.

Instead, what have we seen everyday? he asked. “Sleeping dragons have now awaken from ten years of slumber; temper tantrums; turf wars; canine-like marking of territory, ironically territory that was open season to anyone before May 24”, Jack asserted. He recalled there were only smiles and more empty promises with another false date for completion of the new Scarborough Hospital, when former Health Minister Jerry Narace visited the project site at Signal Hill in April, just prior to the election.

He noted, also, that former works and transport minister, Colm Imbert, had announced a countrywide road-paving exercise and “actually controlled all the recent paving in Tobago. There were no tears, no tantrums; they thought paved roads equalled PNM votes”, Jack observed. He added: “Project Manager Patrick Manning signed away our marine resources to Grenada. No turf wars, no war cry; not a damn dog barked! And I can go on and on.


"Ashworth Jack assures, THA’s authority will not be undermined"

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