Trinidad and Tobago cabinet approved Thursday the sum of $5 million to help Dominica recover from the damage inflicted on that island by Tropical Storm Erika. Communications Minister Maxie Cuffie made this announcement at the post-Cabinet news conference at the Office of the Prime Minister in St Clair.
Saying Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skeritt have discussed the issue of help for Dominica, Cuffie said Skeritt is pleased with the assistance which Trinidad and Tobago has provided to his country.
He explained the $5 million will be used to purchase construction material here and have it transported to Dominica.
Shortly after assuming office, Rowley sent former West Indies cricket captain Brian Lara to Dominica as a special envoy to ascertain the damage in that island caused by the storm and how this country could help.
On the end of the contract of former special advisor Lisa Ghany at the Office of the Prime Minister, Cuffie said, “ As far as I know, Miss Ghany was appointed by the former prime minister (Kamla Persad-Bissessar) as her advisor. I haven’t been informed on her current status. The matter did not come up at Cabinet, so I cannot tell you more on it.” Asked about former press secretary Francis Joseph who went on social media to indicate he was leaving his post, Cuffie said, “ Maybe I should have asked but in Cabinet, I don’t ask, people about their communication arrangements and their staffing. It did not form any part of the discussions this morning.” On the new format of the post-Cabinet press briefing since the People’s National Movement (PNM) won last month’s general election, Cuffie explained, “We have different ways of communicating.
The previous format you became accustomed to and we’re trying a new format.” Previous PNM, United National Congress (UNC) and People’s Partnership administrations have held post-Cabinet news conferences which featured several Government ministers making presentations and taking questions from reporters.
Since the PNM assumed office last month, Cuffie is the only Government minister to have addressed the media at these briefings.
“Certainly it has worked well thus far. You have gotten straight answers to all your questions and I have been happy with what you have reported. So I think it’s working well, so why change it?” he stated Explaining that his role at these briefings is to “to report on what transpired at Cabinet,” Cuffie said, “ I also indulge questions on other matters, but really it’s a post-Cabinet press conference and I answer anything that transpires at Cabinet because I am briefed on that.” However he told the assembled reporters, “it does not stop you from inquiring from other Ministers in the routine course of your work on any matter that is in the news.’’ He added, “You can still do that. That does not affect in any way the post-Cabinet press conference.”
Source/Trinidad and Tobago News Day