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PM: SHANTY TOWNS WILL BE DEALT WITH – Davis says they ‘have a plan moving forward’

PRIME Minister Philip 'Brave' Davis.

PRIME Minister Philip 'Brave' Davis.

 By EARYEL BOWLEG

Tribune Staff Reporter

ebowleg@tribunemedia.net

PRIME Minister Philip “Brave” Davis said the recent shantytown court outcome allows officials to employ the process to correct those issues within those communities.

 He was responding to Friday’s event that found the demolition of shantytown properties and evictions of residents can resume after a Supreme Court Justice lifted a previous injunction when residents failed to prove such actions would be unlawful.

 Justice Cheryl Grant-­Thompson ruled on the “matter of national importance” at the conclusion of a legal battle filed in 2018, with 177 shanty town residents represented by Fred Smith, KC, in a bid to stop government intervention and demolition.

 Asked what the implications mean moving forward for the government, Mr Davis explained: “What it means is it now allows us to employ the process to correct those issues within the shantytown. There’s a process for removal of any erection of buildings we intend to engage in those and then deal with those issues that impact us in respect to that issue.”

 The Prime Minister was also pressed on the justice’s rejection of a judicial review application.

 He stated: “It means that the case is now through on that level, I don’t know whether they appeal. I know the other side can appeal. We hope that doesn’t happen and we just sit down and work out these issues.”

 The Bahamas has been recently battling with an influx of illegal migration from Haiti and Cuba. There have been calls for the government to do more on the immigration matter with the prime minister arguing again that his administration has been doing the best it can.

“First of all, we do have a plan moving forward. The issue of migration, Haitian migration, is nothing new. It ebbs and flows from pre-emancipation and the challenges with the migration has always been topical. Right, it ebbs and flows,” he said.

“Governments are engaged as best they can in dealing with it. We are dealing with as best we can. We are sending people back home by the thousands and we are intercepting attempts to get into our country and turning them back home. That’s what we need to look at. What are we doing.

 “Last year, near 3,500 migrants have returned to Haiti. This year, we all that were intercepted we have returned back to Haiti. Right now, I think we have less than 100 in our detention centre. So we are returning them home as quickly as we can.”

 He noted interceptions are continuing.

 “They are intercepting - there’s a border wall that’s been almost erected between those three agencies. And it’s very difficult to get by them and it’s been proven very successful over the last year.”

 Mr Davis has spoken on an international level about the problems in Haiti, a country facing political instability. The Prime Minister previously stated the crisis in that country poses a substantial threat to The Bahamas due to an increase in irregular migration.

 He told a summit in Argentina that with the support and leadership of Haiti, regional counterparts can help Haitians build a path out of the crisis.

 He said: “As I said, that’s very topical. Right now, I have to leave because a very important call with the prime minister from Canada who is coming. We’re looking at how we can intervene with their leadership. The Caribbean community itself don’t have the capacity to deal with issue that’s occurring in Haiti at this time, so do we need international help.

 “When I was at the OAS, I met with the French ambassador who has indicated their willingness to come and assist. So it’s just a question of crafting the plan for that assistance and getting the legal and moral authority to move in the way that we wish.”

 In June 2021, the government was banned from further demolishing shanty town structures across Abaco after a Supreme Court judge rejected its bid to have the island’s shanty towns removed as beneficiaries of a standing injunction centred on demolition of unregulated communities.

Comments

KapunkleUp 1 year, 5 months ago

This is as superficial as it gets. If government was really serious about illegal immigration, pass laws that would levy serious fines on businesses and individuals for employing illegal immigrants. No available jobs = less immigrants.

moncurcool 1 year, 5 months ago

So true.

These dudes only be talking to hear themselves talk.

Do something and then come talk after it is done, and the talk will mean something then.

stillwaters 1 year, 5 months ago

Exactly. We can all go on for hours about our 'plans' , but that means very little if nothing is actually.

stillwaters 1 year, 5 months ago

And can our PM concentrate on Bahamian problems? Deal with Haiti after we deal with our own crap.

Flyingfish 1 year, 5 months ago

They need to put names or unique symbol/seals on immigration documents, if you give out a false document you can tracked and confirmed as a perp.

hrysippus 1 year, 5 months ago

The Ringmaster of the party in power, . ... Descended from his canvas tower,,,,,,,,,Bypassing Clint who no one believes, .. . He said; " we're not just a gang of thieves, ... .. We're gonna deal wit them shany towns, .. . .Cos we're also not just a bunch of clowns," .. .. The confirmed bachelor would say the same, . 'cept he got a lioness to tame. .. .. . .. .Subsequent to a public spate, .. .When that invitation was sent out late.. ,... .. .. It almost caused a queenly war,, ,, ,, ,Publicly rebuked, battered and sore. ... .. ..As for black hats and obediah, .... ... . This poetic license will aim higher, .. . but only this time.

stillwaters 1 year, 5 months ago

Oh man....it was the queenly war for me!!

mandela 1 year, 5 months ago

Why did it take so long for the Judge to realize or conclude that the demolition of illegal structures cramped together, a fire hazard with no sanitation was of National importance, had she dealt with the situation when it was fresh we would have been ahead and not in this catch-up situation again. Why did it take so long to make a sensible factual decision, it took 5 years and in that time frame the problem has gotten 10 folds worst.

SP 1 year, 5 months ago

Justice Cheryl Grant-­Thompson needs to be seriously looked into!

Haitians, Haiti, Haitians, Haiti, Haitians, Haiti, why is solving Haitians and Haiti's problems our governments' number one priority?

The Dominican Republic is joined at the hip with Haiti, it has the biggest problem with illegal Haitian migrants, and is logistically the best choice to stage help for Haiti, so it should be the one taking the lead to help Haiti. Why the Bahamas?

Our country is in crisis on many fronts. Serious crime is off the chain, rampant and worsening unemployment, inadequate health care, runaway inflation, uncontrolled school gang violence, poor standard of education, seriously overwhelmed social services, etc.

Were these matters discussed with Mr. Trudeau, the French or the U.N.?

We need to change the focus and narrative from Haitians, Haiti, Haitians, Haiti, Haitians, Haiti, to Bahamians, Bahamas, Bahamians, Bahamas, Bahamians, Bahamas, Bahamians, Bahamas!

ExposedU2C 1 year, 5 months ago

There's only one way of fixing our problems now.....and we risk becoming no better than Haiti when we finally get around to doing the only thing that can be done.

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