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Gov’t Working to Meet Needs Of Disabled Persons

first_imgJonathon Rowe is among the estimated 400,000 Jamaicans, representing 15 per cent of the population, living with some form of disability.  The 28-year old St. Catherine resident has cerebral palsy, and a severe speech impediment, which he struggles to cope with daily.  Cerebral palsy is a disorder that affects muscle tone, movement, and motor skills, and is usually caused by brain damage that occurs before or during birth, or during the first three to five years of a child’s life. Mr. Rowe, who is supported by family and friends, notes that “sometimes it is hard to get by. When you want to go somewhere, or do something and you are unable to move on your own, it can be difficult. It is also really difficult when you are trying to say something, and persons do not understand what you are trying to say.” Mr. Rowe’s mother, Dionne Thompson, admits that the situation is challenging at times, but notes that no matter how hard things get, she always gets through with God’s help, and that of relatives and friends. While commending the work of the Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities (JCPD), she says that perhaps, more could be done to reach people, especially those in remote areas. She mentions the need for a special bus service, specially equipped schools in all parishes, at different levels, counselling for parents to deal with children, who have special needs, and access to information in all modes of communication. “I just want to see persons with disabilities being an integral part of society, without being discriminated against, and playing their role so that they can be considered equal to the able-bodied,” she points out. Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier, says the Government understands the growing concerns of parents of children with disabilities, and is working along with other state bodies to meet their needs. “We are working to ensure that persons with disabilities, or special needs, are included in the economic, civil and political processes of our country, because the aim is to have a more inclusive society, where all persons, including the disabled, can play a part,” he says. “I am happy to say that the world is changing – and so, too, are views and modalities relating to persons with disabilities. Over the last few decades, a shift in thinking has taken place, and it is no longer correct to view persons with disabilities as objects of charity. They are citizens with equal rights and full power, playing an active role in society,” he adds. While acknowledging that there are gaps, he says that there has been a lot of progress. He informs that the Government has stepped up its efforts to implement a number of policies and programmes, to secure the well-being of the disabled community and there are ongoing efforts to adequately facilitate disabled persons in Jamaica. “We are working to have all new schools constructed with the necessary facilities to meet the needs of children with disabilities, while older schools are being encouraged to make arrangements or modifications, where necessary,” he tells JIS News. Mr. Kellier further notes that several specially designed buses have been added to the public transportation system to allow for access by wheelchair-bound persons and those with other forms of mobility challenges. The Minister indicates that he will be working to provide more education and training opportunities for the disabled and to ensure that the National Disability Act is passed in Parliament during the 2012/2013 legislative year. This legislation, he says, will seek to provide the regulatory framework to protect and support the rights of persons with disabilities in all spheres, including education and training, health services, employment, access to the built environment and participation in public life. Minister Kellier tells JIS News that the Ministry is also in the process of creating an electronic database of persons with disabilities, with assistance from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The aim is to establish a reliable register to enable more effective planning by the Government to meet the needs of the disabled community. The Minister says that efforts must be made at the family and community levels to eliminate stigma and discrimination. “We must strive to promote awareness of disability issues, rehabilitation and the participation of persons with disabilities in national development,” he notes. Importantly, he underlines that this can only be achieved with direct participation from lobby groups, and persons with disabilities. Meanwhile, Ms. Thompson urges parents with disabled children to “love them, care for them, and nurture them, because they did not ask to be born or be given their conditions. We, as parents, brought them into this world to become a part of society, so we should cater to their every need.”last_img read more

Tourism Ministry Seeks ‘Creative City’ Designation for Kingston

first_imgThe Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment is seeking to have Kingston designated a ‘Creative City’ by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).State Minister in the Ministry, Hon. Damion Crawford, made the announcement on Tuesday, July 2, during his contribution to the 2013/2014 Sectoral debate in the House of Representatives.He said the Ministry is examining the criteria for application to UNESCO to achieve the designation.“Indeed, I find the concept of Kingston being designated a ‘Creative City’, in which cultural activities are integral to the city’s economic and social functioning, to be both fascinating and eminently achievable,” Mr. Crawford said.“UNESCO designated ‘Creative Cities’ point to their people as the critical resource. In addition, we can also boast a spectacular natural setting, perfect location and market access. It is well recognised that positioning Kingston to maximize its cultural appeal will have the advantage, not just of wealth creation but an easing of social tensions in inner city communities, and a strengthening of efforts to redevelop neglected areas,” he stated.Mr. Crawford noted that the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) has long sought to market Kingston as the “cultural capital” based on a tradition of world-class musical output; the universal appeal of Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff and many others, as well as the relative concentration of night life, museums, attractions, galleries and theatres.The JTB currently endorses and supports some 15 events throughout the island with the majority being activities in Kingston. In addition, the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) supports the Dennis Brown Concert and Trench Town Festival as part of the Downtown Kingston Restoration effort.Contact: Latonya Lintonlast_img read more

Appeal Court to rule on Saskatchewans court challenge of federal carbon tax

first_imgREGINA — Saskatchewan’s Court of Appeal is to make the first ruling in Canada on whether a federally imposed carbon tax is constitutional.The Saskatchewan Party government filed a legal challenge of Ottawa’s levy that came into effect April 1 in provinces without a carbon price of their own.Over a two-day hearing in February, Saskatchewan argued that the question isn’t one of climate change, but rather the division of power.It argued a carbon tax is unconstitutional because it’s not applied evenly across the country and erodes the sovereignty of provincial jurisdiction.The federal government said it has the power to put a price on pollution, because greenhouse gas emissions are a national concern.Premier Scott Moe believes a carbon tax hurts his province economically and has said he plans to appeal if the court upholds the validity of the tax.“It’s the first word, it’s not necessarily the last word,” Dwight Newman, a University of Saskatchewan law professor, said of Friday’s ruling.He said the decision will serve as “persuasive authority” that will be closely examined by other provinces waging their own legal battles against the federal tax.Manitoba, New Brunswick and Ontario all became subject to a carbon price last month.Manitoba recently filed papers in Federal Court for its challenge, while Ontario was in court last month to argue its case and is waiting for the outcome.“If they (Saskatchewan Appeal Court justices) write a persuasive judgment it could impact on how other courts decide the matter,” suggested Newman.“Of course, both sides could learn from the arguments made in this one — and how they fared — and even make adjustments in the other cases.”New Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has promised he will scrap the carbon tax the former NDP government brought in and also fight in court if Ottawa tries to impose a national tax on his province.Newman notes that given the complexity of the case, Saskatchewan’s Appeal Court arrived at a decision “surprisingly quick.”Sixteen groups — including the attorney generals of British Columbia, Ontario and New Brunswick — intervened in the court case on both sides of the debate.The federal government’s carbon price starts at a minimum of $20 a tonne and is to rise $10 each year until 2022.Stephanie Taylor, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Premier cites Financial Policy as biggest feat so far says major spending

first_img Related Items:#magneticmedianews Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, TCI, February 20, 2017 – Now over the halfway mark of the ‘first 100 days’, the PDM Administration is counting its work on the budget their biggest achievement so far since taking office.In a one on one with Magnetic Media on Saturday during the Middle Caicos Valentine’s Day Cup, Premier and Finance Minister, Sharlene Robinson revealed that work had stopped on the country’s budget due to General Elections but that on Friday, the Fiscal Strategic Policy Statement (FSPS) was sent to London and that the new budget year will have a late start.“We had a very little time to actually put our fullprint on it, but we made sure that with our capital projects, people will feel a PDM government.  And also in the recurring expenditure that’s what I had said earlier that we will be looking at National Security.  So we had a very short time to prepare the budget, because we have to be time sensitive it’s going be late, we intend to bring it to the house May, we have to bring it before July.”A cry of the public had been that they were not feeling the spending.  Magnetic Media asked the Premier if the budget will live up to the change her party touted; she says it will:  “So you can look forward to feeling it, you can feel us in this first budget.  What you’re going to see is a lot of projects still continuing, and we want to continue those projects that we thought are in the best interest of the people.”Bigger ticket items in the allocation of funds will support national security said the Premier.  “Our priorities will certainly be in National Security, anything to do with National Security we’re going to be responding as much as we can in this budget.  What they’re also going to see from us is a controlling of expenditure in terms of putting it in the right place.  And that’s what we have to do, we have to use our resources smartly.”#MagneticMediaNews The Luxury of Grace Bay in Down Town Provo Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Electricity Cost of Service Study among the big agenda items at September 11 Cabinet meeting Recommended for you ALERT # 2 ON POTENTIAL TROPICAL CYCLONE NINE ISSUED BY THE BAHAMAS DEPARTMENT OF METEOROLOGY THURSDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER, 2019 AT 9 PM EDTlast_img read more