Deputy Chief Secretary and Secretary for Tourism and Transportation, Assemblyman Tracy Davidson-Celestine, has made a special appeal to Ministers of Government to ensure that genuine dialogue is a significant aspect of policy implementation for Tobago.
She made the call for improved relations between both islands during her contribution at the 36th Sitting of the 2013-2017 Session of the Tobago House of Assembly on Thursday September 17, 2015.
“Tobago yearns for better relationship with Trinidad and Tobago. Tobago yearns for more equitable treatment as Tobago makes a significant contribution to the National Economy,” She said.
Secretary Davidson-Celestine made specific reference to the strained relationship between the Tobago House of Assembly and the People’s Partnership government – including the two former Members of Parliament for Tobago – which she said was a clear breech of the THA Act 40 of 1996.
She said that Act 40 of 1996, which replaced the 1980 legislation and clearly promotes the principle of consultation between the THA and Central Government, raised the expectation of Tobagonians for improved relationships between Trinidad and Tobago and provided the impetus for improved delivery of services.
She recalled, “Evidence shows that this did not happen. In fact, the consequence of that (PP/TOP) alliance we know resulted in disrespect for the elected Assembly, meaningless consultation and services being delivered to Tobago without the knowledge and concurrence of the Tobago House of Assembly.”
The Deputy Chief Secretary said that based on the clear policies for Tobago articulated in the People’s National Movement’s manifesto, Tobago expects to continue constructive dialogue with Central Government Ministers and Ministries on approaches to the solution of Tobago’s issues.
Some key areas highlighted included property upgrade support, revision of the Tourism Investment Act and greater internal self government for the island.
Secretary Davidson-Celestine also congratulated Dr. Keith Christopher Rowley on his elevation as Prime Minister of the Twin Island State of Trinidad and Tobago as well as the representatives for Tobago East and West, Ms. Shamfa Cudjoe and Ms. Ayana Webster – Roy on their victory at the recently concluded general elections.