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PEOPLE'S PROGRESSIVE PARTY [PPA] In The News

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PPA
Source: Today SXM
17 Feb 2015 12:09 AM

Government Launches Official Facebook Page

GREATBAY—The Government of St. Maarten has embraced social media by launching its Official Facebook page– “Government of Sint Maarten”– to the local populace and the rest of the world.

A government information service press release yesterday announced “The goal of the Government’s Facebook page is to gain wider exposure to a new demographic in the world of social media with information such as press releases, public notices, pictures and or videos of government related events Read more


Candidates in this article:
PPA
Source: SMN-News
16 Feb 2015 06:22 AM
>PHILIPSBURG (DCOMM):--- The Government has launched its Official Facebook page, entitled: "Government of Sint Maarten" to the public and the rest of the world.

The goal of the Government's Facebook page is to gain wider exposure to a new demographic in the world of social media with information such as press releases, public notices, pictures and or videos of government related events. This social media tool will make it easier for persons to have access to updated information from the Government of Sint Maarten which includes highlights of specific departments and their services

Through the Department of Communication (DCOMM) in its capacity as Emergency Support Function 8 (ESF 8) the Government aims to expand its reach to the public during times of emergencies and in preparation of any possible disasters Read more


Candidates in this article:
PPA
Source: SXMIslandTime
15 Feb 2015 09:41 PM

Government Of Sint Maarten Launches Its Official Facebook Page

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten (DCOMM)- The Government has launched its Official Facebook page, entitled: "Government of Sint Maarten" to the public and the rest of the world.

The goal of the Government's Facebook page is to gain wider exposure to a new demographic in the world of social media with information such as press releases, public notices, pictures and or videos of government related events.

This social media tool will make it easier for persons to have access to updated information from the Government of Sint Maarten which includes highlights of specific departments and their services

Through the Department of Communication (DCOMM) in its capacity as Emergency Support Function 8 (ESF 8) the Government aims to expand its reach to the public during times of emergencies and in preparation of any possible disasters.

Reaching the general public in a timely fashion as part of the emergency communication response is critical to avoid the possible loss of lives or unnecessary damage to property throughout the island.

"Having an official social media source for the country is important in this day and age Read more


Candidates in this article:
PPA
Source: The Daily Herald
13 Feb 2015 06:24 AM

Lawyer: ‘Patrick Illidge used influence to get things done’

PHILIPSBURG--Former Member of Parliament (MP) Patrick Illidge is not guilty of bribery but has only done his duty as an MP in “assisting citizens in their attempts and efforts to persuade ministers and civil servants to do what they are supposed to do,” lawyer Ralph Richardson said Thursday.

Together with Bada Bing night club owner Jaap van den Heuvel (49) Illidge (49) is the main suspect in a case of bribery in which Illidge allegedly accepted bribes for the total amount of US $150,000 between March 2011 and October 2012.

In exchange for the money, Illidge was to use his power and influence to favour the Bada Bing owner in ensuring the Ministry of Economic Affairs or other government agencies would grant an operational licence to the nightclub and seek a change in its official registered address from Maho Shopping Centre to Sr Read more


Candidates in this article:
PPA
Source: The Daily Herald
12 Feb 2015 06:26 AM

Illidge and Van den Heuvel face prison time in Bada Bing trial

PHILIPSBURG--The Prosecutor's Office on Wednesday requested 48 months against Bada Bing night club owner Jaap van den Heuvel and thirty months, ten of which are to be suspended, with two years' probation, for former independent Member of Parliament (MP) Patrick Illidge during the first day of hearings in the so-called "Orca" trial.

Van den Heuvel (49) and Illidge (49) are the main suspects in a case of bribery in which Illidge accepted bribes from Bada Bing and Lunteren NV's owner for the total amount of US $150,000 between March 2011 and October 2012.

In exchange for the money, Illidge was to use his power and influence to favour the Bada Bing owner in ensuring the Ministry of Economic Affairs would grant adapted permits to the nightclub and seek a change in its official registered address from Maho Shopping Centre to Sr Read more


Candidates in this article:
PPA
Source: The Daily Herald
11 Feb 2015 06:24 AM

‘Bada Bing’ trial kicks off today

PHILIPSBURG--The court hearings in the so-called "Orca" or "Bada Bing" case will be kicking off in the Court of First Instance today, Wednesday, at 9:00am. The case involves a number of alleged illegal practices in and concerning Bada Bing nightclub in Simpson Bay.

In the trial, former Member of Parliament Patrick Illidge (49) will be facing charges of accepting bribes from Bada Bing and Lunteren N.V Read more


Candidates in this article:
DP
PPA
UPP
Source: The Daily Herald
06 Feb 2015 06:25 AM

D66, PvdA opposed on St Maarten intervention

THE HAGUE--The Dutch Labour Party PvdA and the democratic party D66 have contradicting views when it comes to the proposed intervention by the Kingdom Council of Ministers to tackle integrity violations in St. Maarten.

The PvdA is of the opinion that intervention by the Kingdom Government in the case of St. Maarten is merited because the country has offered insufficient redress to effectively deal with integrity violations in government.

PvdA Member of the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament Roelof van Laar made this clear during a public debate in The Hague on Thursday evening, organised by the Committee Kingdom Relations and the Kingdom Youth Parliament.

Member of the Second Chamber Wassila Hachchi of D66 condemned the extreme measure of the Kingdom Council of Ministers to start the procedure to impose a General Measure of the Kingdom Government ("Algemene Maatregel van Rijksbestuur AMvRB") to establish an Integrity Chamber for St Read more


Candidates in this article:
PPA
HOPE
Source: The Daily Herald
31 Jan 2015 06:26 AM

Editorial - Risk of delay

That the Kingdom Council of Ministers took the first step for a general measure of governance to impose an Integrity Chamber on St. Maarten should not come as a complete surprise, taking into account recent statements in this newspaper by Justice Minister Dennis Richardson on the issue. An attempt had been made by Prime Minister Marcel Gumbs to smooth things over a bit during the subsequent visit of Kingdom Relations Minister Ronald Plasterk to the island, but apparently this "bad cop, good cop" routine did not lead to a compromise.

According to Plasterk, the intended general measure does not require the consent of the country in question Read more


Candidates in this article:
PPA
USP
HOPE
Source: The Daily Herald
30 Jan 2015 06:24 AM

Editorial - Not too much

Judging by his statements in Parliament, the cabinet headed by Prime Minister Marcel Gumbs will be diligent about tackling misspending within the public sector. In answering questions during the 2015 budget debate on, for example, the use by officials of credit cards, cell phones and rental cars, he did not hide his disapproval of the apparently excessive cost involved, nor his intention to do something about it.

That must have sounded like music to the ears of many who have grown wary of watching obvious waste of taxpayers' hard-earned money year after year, while essential collective needs cannot be addressed properly due to lack of funds Read more


Candidates in this article:
DP
PPA
HOPE
Source: The Daily Herald
29 Jan 2015 06:26 AM

SMTA calls for summit, decisive action on Timeshare Ordinance

SIMPSON BAY--"The time for decisive action is now," says St. Maarten Timeshare Association (SMTA) chairman Marcel Javois in relation to the Advisory Council's remarks on the Timeshare Ordinance brought to SMTA's attention recently. The SMTA is calling for a summit on the matter to discuss the best way forward.

"The SMTA has taken keen note of the recent comments and statements surrounding the Timeshare Ordinance. We believe that it is now time for urgent action, with this matter having been on the table for over 18 years," Javois was quoted as saying in an SMTA press statement released January 28.

SMTA said it had "just learned that the Advisory Council is unhappy with the Timeshare Ordinance Civil Code amendments and the Timeshare Authority Ordinance that will assist government and consumers in regulating the timeshare industry being drafted in the English language.

"At the time the laws were drafted for Member of Parliament [MP – Ed.] Leroy de Weever, the initiator of the laws, then-Minister of Justice Roland Duncan, and the supervising expert of the legislation, Judge Professor Jan de Boer, believed that there was ample justification for the laws to be drafted in English as it is one of our two official languages.

"In April of last year, the SMTA met with Minister of Justice Dennis Richardson, who said that many timeshare concepts were so English-specific and given that Holland has only one small timeshare property, that English should be used, but the law should be as a separate national law rather than part of the Civil Code, which needs to be as uniform as possible throughout the Kingdom.

"We understand that the Advisory Council is also not satisfied with using that as a solution.

"Given the late hour and the urgency of the issue as a national priority now that two large timeshare properties are having serious trouble and government has no tools to help, the SMTA hereby calls for an immediate summit to be convened."

SMTA called for the summit to include players that might have input, including current parliamentary initiator of the law Democratic Party (DP) through its leader MP Sarah Wescot-Williams, Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT) Claret Connor, Minister of Justice Dennis Richardson, the Advisory Council, the Ombudsman, Department of Legal Affairs and the SMTA, "in order to make a plan to get this legislation corrected and, if necessary, translated accurately to Dutch, and passed in the shortest time possible."

As reported in Tuesday's edition of The Daily Herald, the hold-up in the processing of the draft initiative laws to regulate the timeshare sector has come down to a matter of language Read more


Candidates in this article:
DP
PPA
Source: The Daily Herald
28 Jan 2015 06:24 AM

Leona: Stop first class travel for MPs and ministers, cut salaries

PHILIPSBURG--A five per cent salary cut and an end to all first class air travel for Members of Parliament (MPs) and ministers were proposed to Parliament by independent MP Leona Marlin-Romeo during the Plenary Session of Parliament dealing with the draft 2015 budget on Tuesday.

Marlin-Romeo, a member of the governing coalition, said if civil servants could do without the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) this year, MPs and ministers should be prepared to take a salary cut.

She intends to formalise her proposals in a motion slated for tabling today, Wednesday, when the plenary session continues in Parliament House at 2:00pm.

Then Democratic Party MP Roy Marlin lobbied for a similar salary cut just over a year ago, but it was withdrawn after he failed to persuade any of his coalition partners to sign on Read more


Candidates in this article:
PPA
Source: The Daily Herald
27 Jan 2015 06:24 AM

More on the Counterpart Policy

Dear Editor,

According to information received, MP Cornelius de Weever and the acting Labour Minister seem to want to push the Counterpart Law to a ridiculous extreme in time for the policy introduction in the third quarter of this year, as announced in the media on Saturday, January 24.

As I understand it, effective October 1, the Counterpart Law may also be applied to requests for Employment Permits, as required by the numerous Houses of Pleasure on the island Read more


Candidates in this article:
PPA
Source: The Daily Herald
27 Jan 2015 06:24 AM

Sea rescue service to receive replacement lifeboat in July

MARIGOT--French-side sea rescue service SNSM will take possession of a lifeboat this coming July to replace the extensively damaged SNSM 129, it was disclosed at a press conference Saturday with Vice-Admiral Jacques de Solms, Inspector General for the national SNSM.

The Vice-Admiral was here in May 2014 and on this occasion made a special visit to announce the good news as well as have meetings with Préfet Philippe Chopin and President Aline Hanson to solicit financial support.

The replacement SNSM 121 "Patron JM Camenen" comes from Brittany and is a reconditioned vessel of 14 metres in length with similar characteristics to SNSM 129 which was driven onto the rocks attempting rescues during Hurricane Gonzalo.

At the same time SNSM 121 is delivered SNSM 129 will be shipped back to France for specialised repairs with a view to putting it back in service in France Read more


Candidates in this article:
DP
PPA
HOPE
Source: The Daily Herald
27 Jan 2015 06:24 AM

Advisory Council wants timeshare law in Dutch

PHILIPSBURG--The hold up in the processing of the draft initiative laws to regulate the timeshare sector has come down to a matter of language. The two draft laws are written in English, one of the official languages of the country, but the Advisory Council has requested the law to be re-submitted by the Democratic Party (DP), the initiator, in Dutch.

All of the country's laws are in Dutch and the judicial system, which executes the laws, is almost entirely in Dutch.

DP Leader Member of Parliament Sarah Wescot-Williams said at a press conference held in Parliament House on Monday, she intends to take up the law with Tourism and Economic Affairs Minister Claret Connor, when they meet on February 5 Read more


Candidates in this article:
PPA
Source: The Daily Herald
27 Jan 2015 06:24 AM

RCI and Sapphire Beach relationship ‘suspended’

CUPECOY--Timeshare owners at Sapphire Beach Club and Resort have been informed unexpectedly by popular timeshare exchange network RCI that the property "has been placed on suspension status and we must suspend your privileges in both the RCI Weeks and RCI Points Programs" effective immediately.

The suspension apparently is tied to the property's multiple maintenance issues, although no reason was specified in the letter.

According to a confidential source, RCI suspended the working relationship with Sapphire as a result of numerous complaints concerning maintenance issues, allowing for three months to rectify the situation Read more


Candidates in this article:
PPA
Source: The Daily Herald
24 Jan 2015 06:30 AM

Editorial - Collective responsibility

With all the current talk about a so-called counterpart policy, Friday's report that the St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association (SHTA) will be holding discussions with University of St. Martin (USM) and other educational institutions should not go unnoticed. Exploring synergies between the local tourism industry and education on the island certainly seems a worthwhile endeavour, as UP fraction member Maurice Lake also noted during yesterday's second round of questions on the 2015 budget in the Central Committee of Parliament.

The complaint that too few jobs become available for inhabitants is nothing new and sparked the initiative to restrict the hiring of foreigners even further than is already the case, by requiring a local counterpart when a permit for such is granted Read more


Candidates in this article:
DP
PPA
Source: Today SXM
22 Jan 2015 11:12 PM

Demand For Report About Bureau Telecommunication And Post: Btp-Statement Exasperates Mp Sarah Wescot-Williams

St. Maarten – Democratic Party MP Sarah Wescot-Williams has reacted rather exasperated at the press release the Bureau Telecommunication and Post (BTP) sent to the media just before the weekend. In the release, the BTP-board denies fraud-allegations and claims that the responsible minister (the now departed Ted Richardson) has failed to provide integrity-researchers with the appropriate information, even though this information is available.

“Events in rapid succession are demanding Parliament’s attention,” Wescot-Williams writes in a press release, “and government is called to respond with equal urgency.”

The DP-MP notes that the BTP has been created by law to execute a public task and that it is considered an independent organization Read more


Candidates in this article:
PPA
Source: Today SXM
22 Jan 2015 11:02 PM

Gumbs To Wescott-Williams: Screening Happened Under Your Tenure

St. Maarten —Current Prime Minister Marcel Gumbs has pointed out to former Prime Minister that the screening of candidate ministers was done under her tenure and that since taking office he has not made any statements regarding the role of the Dutch Secret Service in the screening process.

The Prime Minister responded, via official letter, to the questions by former Prime Minister and Member of Parliament Sarah Wescot-Williams as submitted to the Chairman of Parliament via letter dated January 13.

“It should be noted that I am not accountable for statements of Minister Plasterk or for publications of the media Read more


Candidates in this article:
PPA
Source: The Daily Herald
22 Jan 2015 06:37 AM

Gumbs: No long-lease granted to Rainforest

PHILIPSBURG--No long-lease has been granted to Rainforest Adventures for Plantation Industry and Golden Rock (commonly called Emilio Wilson Estate). This was confirmed by Prime Minister Marcel Gumbs via the Press Secretariat.

Gumbs has "not signed anything for or granted anything" to Rainforest Adventures, according the statement issued on Wednesday morning Read more


Candidates in this article:
PPA
HOPE
Source: The Daily Herald
19 Jan 2015 06:24 AM

Editorial - Louder than words

It appears St. Maarten and the Dutch Government are heading for a showdown again, judging from statements by Justice Minister Dennis Richardson in today's paper. This time it regards what he called a "draconic" proposal for an Integrity Chamber.

The Hague apparently is not satisfied with the current local plans that call for one representative of the Netherlands in the three-member chamber as well as one in the Progress Committee that is to monitor the integrity improvement course. Instead, the intention is reportedly for Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte to appoint the Integrity Chamber's chairperson and his cabinet a second member, leaving St Read more


Candidates in this article:
PPA
Source: The Daily Herald
19 Jan 2015 06:24 AM

Connected and interdependent

Dear Editor,

This community is wrought with issues that need addressing in a no-nonsense manner to truly give relief to our people and stop the continuous slide of large parts of the society to sub poverty line. This government has got to come to grips with a crazy and ill-advised adherence to a policy adapted from the Dutch that simply makes no sense, and if it makes no sense it can't be right.

I am of course referring to the so-called arms length policy with government-owned companies or NVs Read more


Candidates in this article:
PPA
Source: SMN-News
19 Jan 2015 06:22 AM

PM Gumbs responds to Wescot-Williams on Dutch Secret Service.

>PHILIPSBURG:--- Prime Minister the Hon. Marcel Gumbs has responded, via official letter, to the questions by Member of Parliament Sarah Wescot-Williams as submitted to the Chairman of Parliament via letter dated January 13, 2015 Read more

Candidates in this article:
PPA
Source: Today SXM
15 Jan 2015 02:23 PM

St. Maarten Parliament Keeps Silent On Integrity-Assessment

St. Maarten – It is easy to lose sight of a 250-page integrity report, but this is exactly what seems to be happening at this moment. Reason for Today to revisit the PricewaterhouseCoopers integrity-probe and to refresh the memory about the areas the researchers recommended for future analysis.

The issue that stands out, and has gained momentum due to recent developments concerning politicians, is the Parliament. The inquiry team has proposed as a major priority to conduct “a targeted integrity assessment of St Read more


Candidates in this article:
PPA
Source: The Daily Herald
15 Jan 2015 06:24 AM

Bada Bing trial set for February 11-12

PHILIPSBURG--The court hearings in the so-called "Orca" case will be taking place on February 11 and 12, the Court of First Instance decided Wednesday during a brief session.

In the trial, former Member of Parliament Patrick Illidge (49) will be facing charges of accepting bribes from Bada Bing and Lunteren N.V.'s owner Jaap van den Heuvel (49) for the total amount of US $150,000 between October 2010 and September 2012.

In exchange for the money, Illidge allegedly was to use his power and influence to favour the Bada Bing owner in ensuring the Ministry of Economic Affairs would grant adapted permits to the nightclub and seek a change in its official registered address.

Illidge allegedly also was to promote extended opening hours for Bada Bing and seek the extension of work permits for several female employees.

Illidge was also charged with possession of an illegal firearm.

The indictment against Van den Heuvel consists of eight charges, including the alleged bribery of Illidge, money laundering and membership in a criminal organisation involved in forgery, tax evasion, trafficking of women and the employment of women without a work permit.

Lunteren N.V Read more


Candidates in this article:
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