What the leaders said on:
Saturday, January 12 2013
Tobago Bill 2013
Hochoy Charles: I donít think anybody in Tobago knows what is in the Tobago Bill. Tobago must know what the proposals contain. I donít know what they contain. Tobagonians must know what their powers are. This is not the time, in the midst of an election, to carry such an issue to Parliament. It is ridiculous and absurd.
Orville London: I think the process is fatally flawed. You cannot have the very people you intend to give autonomy not included in the discussion. I want to appeal to the PM to consider the views of all citizens. But I can tell you this, under no circumstances will the people of Tobago accept an 11-mile radius.
Ashworth Jack: It is interesting that the issue of the timing of the bill is coming up. As far as I know, there is no timing for historic justice. Orville London himself has said in the past that the most important time in a country's life is election. The bill has been laid and has become a public document and it is unfortunate that some have not apprised themselves of what is in it. In 1996, Mr London signed-on to Tobago having less powers than powers to make laws.
Orville London: Unemployment is one of the challenges that face most developing countries. Development is not a destination, it is a journey. We are stimulating business development through things such as the Cove Industrial Park.
Ashworth Jack: The state of unemployment in Tobago is an indictment on the Orville London administration since he has had enough time to address that.
Hochoy Charles: Mr Londonís position is not different from ours because most of what he has mentioned has come from my administration, including Cove.
Hochoy Charles: Tobagoís GDP is $17.02 billion. That information is not given to the public. We can deal with inflation because we have the wherewithal to deal with that.
Orville London: We need to become self-sufficient in food production and our transportation costs need to be much less.
Ashwork Jack: The question of direct imports needs to be addressed. Tobago still relies on a middleman somewhere in Trinidad.
Orville London: This is a very complex situation and involves several judicial issues. We have to have the collaboration of a central government that is not politicising the issue.
Ashworth Jack: It is not fair for Mr London to blame somebody else. In fact bills on this issue will be laid in Parliament next week.
Hochoy Charles: Bad title to land is a problem that has been around from one party to another.