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The Pointe construction firm should be disciplined, says Grant

An artist's impression of The Pointe development. The Pointe is owned by China Construction America, a subsidiary of China State Construction and Engineering Company.

An artist's impression of The Pointe development. The Pointe is owned by China Construction America, a subsidiary of China State Construction and Engineering Company.

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

FORMER Minister of Works Neko Grant said yesterday that China Construction America should be disciplined for undertaking work at its downtown development, The Pointe, beyond the scope for which it had received the necessary permits and approvals.

He was contacted to respond to The Tribune’s report that developers of the $250m resort had overstepped approved works and were issued a stop order from the Ministry of Works.

Mr Grant said Minister of Works Philip “Brave” Davis must account for CCA’s activity.

Long Island MP Loretta Butler-Turner also raised concerns about the matter, saying in a press

statement that there are “serious questions as to whether” the Christie administration is following and protecting laws, regulations, and safety standards of the country.

In addition, Free National Movement Chairman Michael Pintard said it would be reasonable for Bahamians to assume that the Christie administration is so close to CCA and Chinese officials that it would be lax in its oversight in such matters.

“The concerns that have been raised about the most recent development says more about the governing style of the PLP than anything else,” Mr Pintard said.

“Investors are going to attempt to complete their projects in a way that makes sense for them and if any jurisdiction they are operating in does not have strict oversight of projects or insist on investors complying with regulations then they will do what’s in their interest. The burden of compliance, of providing approvals is on the government and its respective bodies. The latest stop order fits in with a pattern of governance and negligence and inattention to details that has been characteristic of this PLP government.”

Mr Pintard said the matter is particularly concerning because it comes at a delicate time – as CCA is embroiled in a messy dispute with Baha Mar, a dispute that has brought the Cable Beach project to a stand-still.

Baha Mar filed for bankruptcy in a US court on June 29, blaming CCA, its general contractor for opening delays and accused CCA of sub-par work.

Mr Pintard said: “In light of the fact that the government has been accused of being partial, of choosing sides in the Baha Mar debacle, the government should’ve gone out of its way to send a clear message that its engagement with this Chinese company is based on a solid foundation of abiding by rules and due processes.”

Meanwhile, Mrs Butler-Turner said the revelations raised questions about the government’s actions.

“The stop order issued last week by the Ministry of Works on construction at The Pointe development on Bay Street raises serious questions about the PLP government’s troubling actions related to the project,” Mrs Butler-Turner said.

“Why did the developers feel that they could proceed as far as they have without the requisite permits? Why did they feel that they could flaunt Bahamian legal and regulatory requirements?

“The Bahamas has a high unemployment rate that is tremendously worsened by the termination last week of over 2,000 employees from Baha Mar. Despite this, there are a significant number of foreign construction workers at The Pointe.

“During negotiations over Baha Mar, the PLP raised the issue of bringing in foreign workers at the mega project. Now, on a much smaller project, they have agreed to foreign workers. This is hypocrisy in the extreme.”

She added that in light of the Baha Mar controversy, “there is a need for extraordinary diligence and oversight at The Pointe.”

On Wednesday, The Tribune reported that the Ministry of Works’ Buildings Control Division issued a stop order last week after a site visit at The Pointe revealed that construction had progressed further than the permits issued for ground preparation allowed.

“We have requested them to issue a stop order,” said Buildings Control Officer Craig Delancy on Tuesday. “The (permit application) process hasn’t been completed so we requested that they stop and make sure to get all the approvals in place. The applications are in, but they haven’t gotten all the approvals. There will always be modifications and changes, the ground preparation was done but they appeared to have gone a little further.”

Mr Delancy added: “We’ve looked at some of their initial foundation works and drawings and piles. We had no objections to the piles drawing but we’re still asking them to get all the approvals in place.”

“It’s all pending,” he added, “there are other agencies involved so hopefully they will get things sorted out within the week or so.”

CCA, The Pointe’s developer, broke ground on the Bay Street development in August.

Attempts to get comment from a representative of The Pointe were unsuccessful yesterday.

Comments

asiseeit 8 years, 5 months ago

Boy if a Bahamian did this on a project there would be hell to pay. It the Chinese so hey, no big deal. We know who this PLP government believes in, and it sure is not Bahamians!

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sealice 8 years, 5 months ago

this is simple, the chingrets have given PGC and the PLP so much money they just assume dey runnin tings!! Nothing will happen here, just like fred and his human right's abuses, VAG and his island administrator's, BAMSI and so on and so on and so on.....

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ohdrap4 8 years, 5 months ago

well, they read the newspaper and saw that nygard was not disciplined.

it is called precedent.

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TheMadHatter 8 years, 5 months ago

As soon as we have 500 acres of productive farmland, and 5 thousands milk producing cows, and lots of other cows and pigs and chickens that are produced as food on the regular - have Bahamian judges in our supreme & appeals courts, Bahamian specialists at central bank, Bahamian pharmacists, and our school average rises from D+ to a B - then we will be able to "discipline" people.

Otherwise we are simply beggars, and we all know that beggars cannot be choosers.

TheMadHatter

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proudloudandfnm 8 years, 5 months ago

Resort World all over again. The Chinese obviously own Perry and feel they can do whatever they want....

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TalRussell 8 years, 5 months ago

Comrades had they only disciplinary spanked members former red regime's cabinet, they's backsides would've been more red than the party's official colour. To hear them talkin nowadays, you'd think Mother Teresa had have served as their party's Chaplin for 15 years in power. Or, maybe they prays Saint Teresa, for the natives forgets their times in power? That is so unlikely come the 2017 General.

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Sickened 8 years, 5 months ago

We'll be saying the same thing about the former yellows some day (and I don't mean the Chinese). That is the biggest problem with our government, each party is corrupt (PLP more so) and neither party even goes after the former once they get into power. The reason? Because they are all corrupt together, all of the time. Christian nation my ass! How such a beautiful country can be the breeding ground of Satan's spawn is beyond me!

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SP 8 years, 5 months ago

............................... STFU Neko Grant, BLT and Michael Pintard .....................................

Lets not allow politicking around the real question here, and realize that the ongoing games played by these ignorant politicians are simply intended to confuse issues to keep the weak minded among us wearing yellow and red shirts!

Why did the Ministry of Works fail to stay abreast with the construction and the necessary permits and approvals?

Undoubtably plans were submitted, and approved months in advance of starting construction.

So why weren't the required permits and approvals WAY AHEAD of the construction?

The PLP and FNM are equally guilty in this regard. After 43 years of asinine political stupidity they are totally responsible for maintaining the untenable, lousy, dysfunctional MInistry of works that daily frustrates even regular construction projects!

China Construction America is an international professional construction firm committed to timetables, goals and benchmarks. Allowing them to schedule and be ready to move on to future planned projects.

Being forced to work at "PLP and FNM speed" will destroy China Construction America just as it has destroyed our once vibrant country.

The buck stops with the Ministry of works and decades of incompetent leadership rendering Department of Works unable to even keep pace with setting concrete!

We the people are not too dumb to recognize politicking when we see it.

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TruePeople 8 years, 5 months ago

Smoke and mirrors. Bahamian political GOLD. Works everytime

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birdiestrachan 8 years, 5 months ago

Never mind Butler, Pintard or Grant. Watch them; God forbid they should have a chance they will be right in bed with China Construction. They can not wait. They know that the Ministry of works is responsible for this building.. The three of them can not wait to be kissing up. it is all about the politics.

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TalRussell 8 years, 5 months ago

I remind Comrades Brent and Neko as the saying goes. When two well known former members red regime's cabinet, does starts walking by your fence protected The Point construction site - picking up your own rocks to throw at you, if you is a good red Chinese. you reach down and grab them rocks and start tossing back in direction they is coming from.
You whack 'em and whack em good, is how we in Bahamaland, does change your enemies agenda.

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MonkeeDoo 8 years, 5 months ago

Reposted from Letters to Editor re Chinese not knowing the rules in the Bahamas: Thisisours: My friend to the contrary, the Chinese have studied, and learned, everything there is to know about the Bahamas and have acted accordingly. YOU PAY FOR WHAT YOU WANT AND YOU PAY THE APPROPRIATE PEOPLE WHO WILL GET IT FOR YOU. Steffan Perry Christie handled all of these mundane tasks for the Chinese Construction America ( Bahamas ) Limited and he simply has not had a chance to advise the MOW as to what the situation is. Some brave fool in the MOW has had the temerity of spirit to call into question the fact that all of this construction is going on without any approval whatsoever. If this man catches even the slightest amount of flack for this, then that must be the signal for Bahamians, of every colour and party affiliation, to go to their House of Assembly and let the chips fall where they may.

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MonkeeDoo 8 years, 5 months ago

Another question that might be asked at this time of Minister Shame Gibson is "IS CCA COMPLYING WITH BAHAMIAN LAW WITH RESPECT TO THE MINIMUM WAGE LAW" ? And if not then why not. ?

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