PM: Remarks Are Regrettable

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Prime Minister Freundel Stuart??

The Prime Minister’s Office has expressed regret at the tone of recent remarks attributed to the outgoing President of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA), Colin Jordan.

These comments come in the wake of statement in the media attributed to Mr. Jordan, which implied that no acknowledgement had been received from the Prime Minister to a request for an urgent meeting from Mr. Jordan and past BHTA Presidents.

The Prime Minister’s Office pointed out that on April 10, 2012, Mr. Stuart received a letter from Mr. Jordan dated March 30, 2012, requesting a meeting with himself and BHTA past presidents in the context of discussions on budgetary proposals. PM Stuart wrote to Mr. Jordan on April 20, 2012, pointing out that he would be in touch with him later, to indicate a date and time for the said meeting.

PM Stuart immediately sent the information received from the BHTA on to the Ministers of Finance and Tourism for their comments.

Following the submission of the letter from the BHTA to the Minister of Finance , the latter had a meeting on May 30 with Mr. Jordan and the BHTA to address some of the concerns raised in his correspondence to the Prime Minister, as well as some ???possible budgetary concessions’.?? That meeting with Mr. Sinckler and Ministry of Finance officials was not a substitute for the one requested with the PM. The Minister of Finance had in fact pointed that out to Mr. Jordan. This meeting was an indication of the Government’s interest in following up the matter.

"On June 6, 2012, Mr. Jordan sent a letter to the Prime Minister acknowledging receipt of his April 20 letter.

"The Prime Minister, therefore, regrets that the public was made to believe that there was no communication from the Prime Minister vis-??-vis Mr. Jordan’s request; that there was no follow up action; and that no priority was given to dealing with this important sector. Nothing could be further from the truth.

"The Prime Minister wishes to assure the BHTA that, despite the fact that Mr. Jordan’s term of office as BHTA President has ended, the Government is very mindful of the matters raised in the correspondence which he sent.?? The Government is not oblivious to developments in the industry. It will speak to some of those issues in the Budgetary Proposals of June 26, and will seek wherever feasible to address most of the concerns raised.??

"The Prime Minister offers congratulations to the new President of the BHTA , Mrs. Patricia Affonso Dass of the Oceans Group of Hotels, and is preparing to meet with the new President and her team ( including the past Presidents of the BHTA) shortly.

"The public is reminded that the Prime Minister is the Minister responsible for Immigration.?? The Garcia matter is a unique immigration issue which has attracted national attention and international comment, which touches on the international image of Barbados. In that context, the Prime Minister was justified in making the visit to Mr. Garcia at the time when it was made."

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