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To market, to market

By Lara Pickford-Gordon Thursday, April 9 2009

click on pic to zoom in
Eat a dasheen, Hazel: A vendor gives Local Government Minister Hazel Manning a dasheen on her tour of Charlotte Street, Port-of-Spain yesterday. ...
Eat a dasheen, Hazel: A vendor gives Local Government Minister Hazel Manning a dasheen on her tour of Charlotte Street, Port-of-Spain yesterday. ...

The wives of hemispheric leaders are expected to get a diverse glimpse of life in Trinidad when they see the Brian Lara Promenade and Charlotte Street market in Port-of-Spain.

Chief executive officer of the Port-of-Spain City Corporation Laraine Alexander said the Brian Lara Promenade will be prepared as a village while the Charlotte Street market will be highlighted during the Summit of the Americas to show how “persons in the lower classes were facilitated in earning a decent living.”

Alexander, officials of the San Juan/Laventille Regional Corporation, Ministry of Works, Community Environmental Protection Enhancement Programme, East PoS Development Company and others toured areas which have undergone beautification. The tour included the south terminal at Piarco International Airport, Caroni Bird Sanctuary and Charlotte Street market.

It was during the stop at Tamarind Square that Alexander said Charlotte Street will be showcased as a “best practice” and there will be “obvious evidence how we facilitate that income group to earn a living in Trinidad.” The Charlotte Street market was a project under the Local Government Ministry.

Alexander said ongoing improvements in the street market began last October but many people were unaware. “This visit will hopefully afford members of the public the opportunity to see what transpires on Charlotte Street. It is the busiest Street in Port-of-Spain.”

Speaking to the media at the Caroni Bird Sanctuary, Local Government Minister Hazel Manning provided an overview of the schedule for the spouses, which includes Michelle Obama, wife of US president Barack Obama. Manning said on April 18, the spouses will visit the Wild Fowl Trust, Point-a-Pierre.

Prior to touring the facility, there will be the “Spouses Dialogue” which has as its theme “Promoting environmental sustainability as a catalyst for poverty reduction.” Manning said at this event “spouses will exchange views as to what they do in their countries to support their husbands and the government. It is a sharing experience.” She planned to focus on TT’s recognition that oil and gas will not last forever and investments which have been made in developing the human resources.

On Sunday an “entrepreneurial symposium” is scheduled featuring ten fashion houses. Manning said they will present their stories of moving from “almost nothing” to becoming internationally known.

Manning caused traffic to come to a standstill as she walked up Charlotte Street from Independence Square North to see the activities at the market. She stopped and chatted with a few vendors en route to Queen Street and one of them gave her a large dasheen.

Her visit sparked comments from the public and vendors. A provision and vegetable vendor touted his business by shouting, “Manning and them shop here.” The minister was well received but some vendors were unimpressed. A male vendor said sarcastically and in colourful language that vendors always struggled “trying to make a dollar out here.”

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