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Fnm Mp Asks: Will Refugees Go Back Home?

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PINERIDGE MP Rev Frederick McAlpine.

By RASHAD ROLLE

and DENISE MAYCOCK

Tribune Staff Reporters

PINERIDGE MP Rev Fredrick McAlpine criticised his own party’s plan to accommodate Dominicans following the destruction Hurricane Maria wrought on Dominica, recommending that wealthy Cabinet ministers take money from their own pockets to contribute to the island’s restoration efforts rather than give Dominican people safe haven here.

Also attacking his party’s policy for Grand Bahama’s development, his statement marked the first time this term the Free National Movement has received pointed criticism from one of its own in a public forum.

And in what appeared to be a swipe at Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis, who wiped tears from his eyes earlier in the day as he spoke of the destruction in Dominica and the harsh reactions some have had to his plans to help citizens there, Mr McAlpine said he is crying for his own people.

Pinewood MP Reuben Rahming, the speaker who followed Mr McAlpine during the afternoon sitting of the House of Assembly, rebuked his colleague’s comments. Other FNM parliamentarians beat their desk in support of Mr Rahming’s remarks at times while Mr McAlpine sat silently.

“Before you question my (Christianity), let me remind everyone and those watching by television, nobody in this country got a heaven to put me in or a hell to keep me out of,” Mr McAlpine said appearing agitated.

“I don’t want you to think that I don’t think we should assist the people of Dominica, but the route we are taking may cost us more in the long run. I understand emphatically well that during our dilemma, during Hurricane Matthew, (Dominica) contributed $100,000 to assist us.

“We’re grateful. Well, my view is, the time has come that we should assist them. But my view, how? They gave us $100,000 maybe we should give them $200,000. Now I hear the story bout ain’ no money, but I know the Cabinet and since we talking about (Christianity) there’s something called seed time and (sow time), and there’s enough folks in the Cabinet who could underwrite that and not miss it. So, if we can’t afford it, do it on our behalf.”

Mr McAlpine suggested that once Dominicans experience a “better standard of living” in the Bahamas once they get here, they may not be inclined to return to their country.

“And let me also bring to your attention another reality; we could have our problem but here is the harsh reality, when we have our problem Bahamians don’t run to the south, they run to the north because of our standard of living.

“So when you bring folks from south up here to another standard of living, let’s see if they will be in a hurry to go back from whence they came,” the MP said.

“Children are coming, are they all immunised?” he asked. “Do we know their conditions? They may be coming from (the) south but which one of you in this House would send your minor child to another country not accompanied by you? Who is coming with these children? How long are they are going to be here? Assist, but don’t put us in a deeper quandary. It may cost us more going the route we’re going.”

During his blistering attack on his party’s plans, he also said progress for Grand Bahama has been moving “painfully slow.” And although he is chairman of the Hotel Corporation of the Bahamas, he said he has “no dealings in the negotiations of what takes place on the Lucayan strip” – referring to negotiations over the sale of the Grand Lucayan resort – because he has not been involved in the process despite wanting to be.

“There seems to be a lack of cohesiveness as to what direction the island is going in or the harsh reality that it’s just not going,” he said, adding that economic conditions had left some Grand Bahamians homeless and sleeping in cars.

Mr Rahming responded to Mr McAlpine by re-reading parts of Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis’ speech from earlier yesterday in which he explained how Dominicans will be helped.

“Pinewood sees no way this interferes with the government’s ability to love, care, support, defend, return this country back on its good foot in any way - character matters,” he said of the administration’s plan. “One of the hallmarks of leadership is listening. I am grateful that we can still stand here and fight the issues of Bahamian culture and still extend the hand abroad and help somebody else.

“Whatever it takes, I have a duty to leave my ego at the door and when my opinion conflicts with the national good I check that at the door,” Mr Rahming added.

“If you have a question as it relates to those who down south as being our family members, just go back a few hundred years. The same way the mail boat dropped off cargo along the way to our southern islands, the same way our family, brothers and sisters were dropped off down the same Caribbean chain and I challenge any Bahamian person who’s kicking up and getting beside themselves, go check your DNA and I guarantee you four out of five Bahamian people have blood linkages all throughout the Caribbean chain so we must check ourselves before we wreck ourselves. “We’re not high because we’re better, we’re high because of the grace of God and our location...,” Mr Rahming said.

Comments

Well_mudda_take_sic 2 years ago

PINERIDGE MP Rev Fredrick McAlpine is to be applauded for the valid points of concern he raised on behalf of his constituents and all Bahamians. We see too few politicians today with the courage to express their carefully considered views on a sensitive and contentious matter.

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jackbnimble 2 years ago

“So when you bring folks from south up here to another standard of living, let’s see if they will be in a hurry to go back from whence they came.”

And so we have the first voice of dissention. I'm impressed. Clearly everyone does not follow blindly.

I think this comment just about sums it up. I really don't think our Government realizes the Pandora's box it creates with these situations. Not saying it will happen with the Dominicans but it has happened and continues to happen with foreigners in our country and in a country that's already plagued with immigration issues, do we want to add to the possibility of it happening by inviting more? Just a thought.

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spoitier 2 years ago

What if someone from down south come here an excel in education and come up with ideas to better the economy. Would you want him go back home?

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TalRussell 2 years ago

Comrades! I'm pretty sure if a poll were conducted on religion in our local politics, I'd say 68.78 percent of the respondents, want say that they don't want to see any religion on display in our politicians. It hasn't exactly served the people well since the introduction party politics back in the 1950's. The Bahamland is carrying BILLIONS in debt, which acts as a burden to what the public treasury can and cannot afford.....nothing do with being good Christian people. There is only so much money we can spare to remit to others as a helping hand up.

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CatIslandBoy 2 years ago

Who would have thought the good Reverend could be so insensitive, callous, and ignorant, all at the same time. I am ashamed to know that he wasted the first opportunity he got in Parliament to really introduce himself. What a condescending, low-life! What makes him, or any of you, think for a minute that Dominicans are just dying to get into our borders? Let me tell you, in case you haven't heard. No one wants to really come here, other than the Haitians,and most of them come because we are geographically one step away from the United States. Even the Cruise-passengers stay on-board the ship when in Nassau Harbor.

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yari 2 years ago

You took the words out of my mouth but please add xenophobic to describe the good reverend who says he is being a nationalist. Remember Hitler was a nationalist too.

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realfreethinker 2 years ago

I really belived in Freddy Mac but this shows him to be an trifling asshole. To put the status of grand bahama in this convo is stupid. He nothing more than condescending nationalist clown.

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licks2 2 years ago

It sounds like that MP is mad about something else. . .is this one first "shot" across the bow of the good doc's ship? I wonder if we ger see one "bitch blow" gern back at that MP? I read his statement and I don't get his "drift". Heen making much sense. . .talking low trash racist like talk that show that them down South peoples dem een "decent folks" like we Bahamians dem is! Chile I een know fer sure. . .but this look like one of them "bouy you tink you ger use me then lee me aye". . .rows. . .this man een making much sens e. . .so my money is there is a "lovers" fight and it een gat nuttin ta do with dem Dominicans them. Check this. . . according to the government plan fer them peoples dem. . .all government is "allowing" them poor people them to come here. . . with government not using none of they monies! Chile he run on all over the earth talking his tail off. . .running all through the proverbial mental bush. . .sound like one mad woman who letting out business. . .sheen care who business come out. . .she just want to hit one person. . .all the while letting out some of her own business too!!! Lol!

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DDK 2 years ago

Hilariously eloquent!

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avidreader 2 years ago

Cat Island Boy: It's that last "step" as you say that seems to keep so many of them in The Bahamas. The Reverend is stating his position which is perhaps reflected in the concerns of his constituents whom he was elected to represent. Don't shoot the messenger. In the modern world the mere mention of "immigrants" or "migrants" is sufficient to cause whispers and sometimes howls of concern. Mrs. Merkel in Germany lost many seats to the AfD party as a result of growing concern relative to her invitation to millions of migrants from Syria and a number of other countries. Of course, our problems are on a smaller scale but they have a right to be expressed openly whether you or anyone else agrees with them or not.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 years ago

Thank you for more eloquently making this important point. We need MPs who are willing to voice the concerns of their constituents and not simply tow the party line. I would lay odds that CatIslandBoy is a die-hard Minnis supporter who has probably already been given a seat on board the new government's payroll train in one way or another.

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licks2 2 years ago

That's why you can't read the people dem too well. . .thinking like a typical DNA. . .sometimes the party line may be the sensible place to be. . .something the DNA leader could not learn. . .now he has killed any chance of election he had. . . he is now seen as a power hungry person who can't move away from old style politicking. . .

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licks2 2 years ago

That's just the problem. . .what about the plan required him to run on all of that "we better than them" thing! But how your reasoning get "mixed" with what is going on here. . .een nobody asking them people dem to migrate here. . .we just giving them a lil rest time. . .before they go back home!! How that parallels what Merkel did? That MP is immature as a politician. . .just think. . .where he can go if the next go around. . . CAT 5 HIT US AND BREAK DOWN WE WHOLE ECONOMIC INFRASTRUCTURE. . . .his dumb antics will see us "dissed" by our Caribbean brother countries!

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EasternGate 2 years ago

Mac plain ass angry that he did not get a plum position making money. His is not sincere and his contribution was nasty!

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realfreethinker 2 years ago

EasternGate I agree with you. Does he think the few dollars the gov will spend to help the Dominicans will do anything for GB? Just another attention grabber

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SP 2 years ago

PINERIDGE MP Rev Fredrick McAlpine proved himself a totally useless ass the last time he sat as a minister and true to form continues to be an ass.

PM Sheriff Minnis made two major mistakes among a few others in selecting candidates, Fredrick McAlpine and Brent Symonette. These two "old hat" cretins are an albatross PM Minnis better be ready to deal with in the immediate future.

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sheeprunner12 2 years ago

Will Minnis act like the PLP and lash out against a back-bencher (like Doc Rollins) ...... or did Rahming act as the PMs flogger of Mac??????? ........ He spoke TRUTH to power

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 years ago

Rahming's eagerness and zeal in beating up on a fellow MP for simply voicing the concerns of his constituents and many other Bahamians was most disappointing. It seems Rahming does not know the difference between respecting and idolizing Minnis. We had too many MPs who idolized Christie for many years, and look where that got our country. Yep, Rahming has a lot of growing up to do to become a mature MP. Minnis would be wise to have a quick word with Rahming to remind him what our parliamentary democracy is suppose to be all about.

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pablojay 2 years ago

I was very disappointed when i heard that McAlpine got a nomination to run for the FNM , as i felt that there were many who were better qualified and paid their dues to the party.He ran unsuccessfully for the PLP,when he was not renominated he ran as an independent candidate and lost, then he resurfaced next as an FNM and somehow became the standard bearer for Pine Ridge. For what i have seen of him over the years , i have told all and sundry that as a supporter of the FNM,it would have been extremely difficult for me to vote for him. He is in the league of Fred Mitchell and Branville , when it comes to ego and is clearly upset that especially being a M of G (Minister of the Gospel) that he is not a M of G (Minister of the Government).

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DDK 2 years ago

I think you hit the nail on the head!

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CatIslandBoy 2 years ago

Yes, I agree with you. The FNM could have done better than choosing this pathetic, "washed-up has been" sorry excuse for a Minister of the Gospel. I'm sure there was more to his rant than simply the issue of lending assistance to the Dominicans. Unfortunately, I am just hearing today that some Bahamians, who have been very vocal in their opposition to Minnis' proposals of assistance, did not know that there is a difference between the Dominicans from Dominica and those from the Dominican Republic. Apparently their hostility were driven in large part by their confusion between the two countries. Talk about a "D" grade education!

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DDK 2 years ago

Lol! You may be right. That might explain the unexpectedly high degree of lack of charity.

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TalRussell 2 years ago

Comrades! Easy spot the finger prints Papa Hubert so will be interesting see where this goes?

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sheeprunner12 2 years ago

Climate refugees will be the next wave that will ultimately swamp the North American continent ........ In the next twenty years, a combination of sea-level rise and Cat5 hurricane may decimate the Caribbean to the point that 50-60% of its population may be forced to emigrate to the USA and Canada ......... Bahamians included ...... Remember 25% of our population left between 1890 and 1920 to build Miami ........ The Bahamian rural to urban migration reality is already a critical national security issue ..................... So, this may become our national experience again.

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