By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
PICEWELL Forbes, the PLP spokesman on sports and culture, has accused the government of being hypocritical after “jaunting” off to see the IAAF track and field relays in Japan despite cancelling The Bahamas’ hosting of the event.
“This government of hypocrites, who unceremoniously cancelled the IAAF track and field relays because they claim it was too expensive, led a huge delegation on a jaunt to Japan to watch the same relays they cancelled in 2017,” Mr Forbes noted yesterday.
He said the delegation reportedly includes Mrs Rolle, her husband, Deputy Permanent Secretary Darren Turnquest, Pauline Davis Thompson, and Lisa Russell, the minister’s personal assistant.
“In the absence of a clear and cogent development plan for sports and cultural development for the benefit of our youth and young athletes, the government’s actions come across as selfish, hypocritical and exploitative of the country’s athletes and a waste of scarce public financial resources, especially the VAT money.
“What is the purpose of this trip other than a free jaunt at tax payers’ expense? To show government support for the same Bahamian athletes the Minnis administration disrespected and turned their backs on? That is hypocrisy in its worst form.
“Instead of exploiting athletes and wasting tax payers’ money, the government should articulate a comprehensive plan for the development of sports and culture for our youth and athletes where Bahamians can own and operate this new industry as a significant pillar of the Bahamian economy.
“A good start would be for the government to complete the sporting facility and sports academy on Moore’s Island in addition to refurbishing all existing sporting facilities throughout the Family Islands started by the PLP government. That would demonstrate some semblance of a commitment to our athletes and their athletic development.
“In stark contrast to the FNM, the PLP remains committed to transforming sports and culture into a significant pillar of the national economy, owned and operated by Bahamians,” he said.