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Glenys Renews Attack On Oban

Englerston MP Glenys Hanna Martin.

Englerston MP Glenys Hanna Martin.

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Deputy Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

ENGLERSTON MP Glenys Hanna Martin has questioned whether the government is truly committed to transparency as it prepares for new negotiations with Oban Energies next month with a new environmental impact assessment not yet made public.

The former Cabinet minister also raised concern over a $25,000 donation from Oban to a Grand Bahama Junkanoo group suggesting it appeared to be an effort to influence the outcome of the project and shape public perception.

Her rejection of the Minnis administration’s handling of the $5.5bn oil refinery and storage facility proposed for Grand Bahama this time around came after Labour Minister Dion Foulkes told The Tribune on Wednesday the project’s EIA would likely not be made public until a new Heads of Agreement is signed.

The government’s negotiating team and Oban representatives are set to meet on January 7, but in the meantime Mr Foulkes stressed the government was committed to being accountable and transparent throughout the entire process.

However, Mrs Hanna Martin said this process is shaping up to be anything but transparent.

“I think it is a complete about-face of the FNM’s pre-election stance on transparency and all of the associated claims they made in this regard to influence voters,” she told The Tribune yesterday.

“It is yet another cloudy aspect of this whole deal.”

Regarding the donation to the Superstar Rockers Junkanoo group on Saturday, Mrs Hanna Martin also said: “I am very leery and wary of foreign investors who through Heads of Agreements or in anticipation of a Heads of Agreement, as in the case of Oban, dish out trinkets to our people while they gobble up a lion’s share of our patrimony.

“It is a very old trick going deep into our history now becoming more and more transparent. It is both annoying and insulting at the same time.

“Frankly this government is bankrupt of ideas and has nothing on offer. Their best foot forward is putting an oil refinery in one of the most eco-sensitive areas of our country when the enlightened world is advocating for more green energy,” she continued.

“When you consider the scientific research which demonstrates the negative effect this type of activity has on climate change, our peculiar vulnerability in this regard as a small island developing state, the disturbing controversies surrounding this company and its key players, why would this government insist on binding our beautiful geography, our superb geology in this narrow and destructive way with questionable economic impact including and limited job creation?

“While I do not object to corporate sponsorship and I am hopeful we will develop sustainable measures to fuel cultural development in general and Junkanoo in particular, I do have a problem, however, with what appears to be efforts to influence outcomes or shape perceptions by these types of interventions especially at the local level.”

Earlier this week Mr Foulkes confirmed the completion of the EIA and that technical officials were looking at the document. However, he said the review of the document was a very complicated process involving several government agencies that would also have to weigh in on the matter.

“We’re going to be transparent about the whole process,” said Mr Foulkes. “Oban will be accountable at every stage of the way. The prime minister has asked me as the chairman of the committee to keep the public informed every step of the way.

“So there is nothing that’s going to happen unless we have full disclosure. The EIA has already been presented to us, the review of it is a very complicated process, several government agencies, including Town Planning (Committee) and the BEST Commission, certain regulations and laws that have to be complied with.”

When pressed further, Mr Foulkes said: “But that’s all I am prepared to say at this time. Cabinet has to make decisions every step of the way. I don’t want to preempt or presume what Cabinet will say, but the prime minister wants it to be done thoroughly.

The government’s initial agreement with Oban sparked intense criticism, including points of opposition from several environmental organisations that took issue with the lack of an environmental impact assessment, given the project’s risk factors.

The fallout prompted an admission from Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis that there were gross missteps in the government’s process.

Comments

licks2 1 year, 11 months ago

Did this project come out of the blue when the FNM became the government or was this a project rejected by HAI government. . .looked into by the PGC government and singed by the HAM government? And further more. . .THE PLP MAKING ANY KIND OF NOISE ABOUT TRANSPARENCY? The party who WENT AGAINST A NATIONAL REFERENDUM TO SUPPORT THEIR WEB SHOP FRIENDS? Her party has always been a party of "covering up" everything since the LOP days. . . NOBODY IN THAT LAST GOVERNMENT CAN SAY A DAMN THING ABOUT ANYTHING THAT REMOTELY RESEMBLANCE GOOD AND TRANSPARENT GOVERNMENT!!

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birdiestrachan 1 year, 11 months ago

5.5 million dollar investment and they paid $25,000 thousand for a Kodak.moment They spoke to doc and they believe all Bahamians are just as smart as doc.

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DDK 1 year, 11 months ago

Million or billion, if it walks like a scam and talks like a scam, it probably IS a scam.

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birdiestrachan 1 year, 11 months ago

It is a 5.5 billion investment. imagine that. The donation is 25 thousand. May the Good Lord help us all it is wrong to sell ones birth right for a bowl of porridge.. East End is a beautiful place.. The people of Pinders Point Lament day and night. what fool would turn around and make a worse deal for East End??

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hj 1 year, 11 months ago

Mrs.Hanna and the PLP talk about transparency and accountability? Is this for real? Maybe she should explain how much her party received from the "number boys" as political donations Is this why they went against the will of the people in the gambling referendum? The PLP has a lot of "house cleaning" to do,and i am sorry i don't see this happening while the same people are at the helm.

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concerned799 1 year, 11 months ago

If we move ahead with OBAN and LNG will the government pull out of the Paris Climate Accord? (as clearly we can never reduce our emissions enough to meet our obligations then)

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proudloudandfnm 1 year, 11 months ago

This from a cabinet member of perhaps the most non transparent administration of the 21st century?!?! This woman is just full of it. Please retire, and take the rest of your clueless, corrupt comrades with you. Hope to never see any of you in politics ever again. With ya stupid street signs....

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proudloudandfnm 1 year, 11 months ago

Oban will never put to hammer to nail. All they want is a package they can go out and sell. Problem is the oil industry is so depressed the last 5 years they aint ga sell anything to anyone. Just let it die already....

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