“Madness and St. Anns” - those are the things that come to mind when mental health is mentioned says Dr. Yansie Rolston. But she says mental health actually exists on a spectrum from mental well-being/wellness to mental illness.
Dr. Rolston, a disability and mental health specialist, says there’s been a long standing stigma and prejudice attached to mental illness and that a lot of it has been borne out of superstition and religious beliefs.
An outreach programme has been launched in Laventille that targets the young black male. Pastor Clive Dottin says the programme has a lifespan of two years and will focus on health and family life in the area. Pastor Dottin called on citizens of T&T to accept where they are as a nation for failure to inform the young black male of his history.
The illicit trade (of tobacco) is not a victim-less crime because government loses millions of dollars of legitimate taxes which in turn affects the provision of schools and social support etc. That's the view of Sir Ronnie Flanagan, the Crime Stoppers Conference featured speaker.
Sir Flanagan says government ought to pass legislation that takes the illicit trade seriously; implement laws with serious punishments.
There appears to be a disconnect between the presentation of the budget and what the man on the street thinks it means to him. So says Hanif Benjamin, Executive Director at the Centre for Human Development. Speaking on the 2016/2017 budget Mr. Benjamin says the budget conversation seems to be “pegged on economics.”
Agri-Economist Omardath Maharaj isn’t surprised by the incentives offered by the Ministry of Finance in the 2016/2017 fiscal package. However he says the budget should’ve included how to preserve food and nutrition security at a household level.
President of the Tableland Farmers Association also had his say on what the 2017 budget means for farmers. Ramash Ramsumair says the increase in diesel will affect farmers. Also that he is sympathetic towards the Agriculture Minster but that more needs to be done at the public service level. He is calling for increased productivity.
Former Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine says the impression gotten from the 2017 budget presentation is that the Finance Ministry is preparing for winter but says the ministry should be preparing for an ice age. Ramnarine says that T&T is in a new economic environment where citizens now have to live with less and the country has to find new foreign exchange earning avenues.
"Workers are at their lowest". That's the response of ArcelorMittal Steel Workers Union President Christopher Henry, when asked how workers are after being retrenched about nine months ago. Mr. Henry said approximately 10% of the workers have secured employed.
He also stated that they are expecting a share in Friday's budget but is unsure of whether they'll actually receive it given the government's "continued hook line that there's no money."
With Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley and President Anthony Carmona having different stances on the National Security Meeting that was held at the request of the President, one political analyst says "nobody will know who to believe."
Dr. Bishnu Ragoonath says that type of difference of opinions may not provoke a constitutional challenge but may undermine the confidence in both offices.
Political Commentator Indera Sagewan-Ali says the President is the "one that should lead the charge when it comes to transparency and accountability". Sagewan-Ali says the outcry over monies and the President's Office was justified as it was not a small amount in question. She says that there's a responsibility to account to the people.
Non-compliance with the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act will have profound effect on the man in the street. These are the words of Nigel Baptiste, Managing Director at Republic Bank Limited.
Mr. Baptiste says the non-passage of the FATCA legislation will potentially exclude Trinidad and Tobago's foreign financial institutions from the US payment system which affect everyday transactions such as wire transfers and payment of good and services etc .