Barbados Thompson’s Cabinet’s Reshuffle – Again
March 10, 2010 1 Comment
Team Barbados took on a completely different political look last night, after Prime Minister David Thompson tinkered with his Cabinet, making a number of changes he expects will allow Government to properly move the country out of the current economic crisis.
In a nationally televised nine-minute statement from the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation, Thompson announced the changes, highlighted by the choice of three new ministers and three new senators.
Noting that the day-to-day functioning of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital remained a major concern, the Prime Minister announced that Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner would now be parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of Health, with specific responsibility for the island’s state-owned hospital. Her mandate will be to oversee the health institution’s operations and its enhancement project.
In addition, Government will sell its shares in the majority Trinidad and Tobago-owned Barbados National Bank and commit a “substantial amount” from that sale to assist in development of the enhancement project.
Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo, previously the Minister of Family, Youth and Sports, will now take over as Minister of Labour. In her place will come first-time parliamentarian Stephen Lashley, Member of Parliament for Christ Church West Central. The Prime Minister added he would retain responsibility for Immigration and the Social Partnership, but Government would continue to utilise the country’s talent pool by recruiting specialised services from outside Parliament. To that end, former trade unionist and executive director of the Barbados Employers Confederation, Harry Husbands, will become a senator and parliamentary secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, with responsibility for Immigration and Social Partnership issues.
“Senator Husbands brings a considerable wealth of knowledge and understanding to this assignment,” Thompson said. “I’m sure he will be helpful in this period, and process.”
To assist in the management of administrative challenges, Senator Jepter Ince will become a parliamentary secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office.
“Those appointments will enable me to assume a greater oversight and coordinating role of other ministries, whose work is crucial to the overall success of our programme,” Thompson told the country.
Revealing that he had completed individual interviews with all members of his Cabinet, the Prime Minister said changes were needed in the country, and Government would lead from the front. Patrick Todd, the former Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, also has a new job assisting Minister of Economic Affairs Dr David Estwick. Todd will deal with the issues of economic empowerment, entrepreneurship and small business development, as Dr Estwick tackles the cost of living.
Minister of Education Ronald Jones will get to place more emphasis on the priority issue of discipline in the country’s schools, as Thompson chose to make Minister of Social Care Chris Sinckler Leader of Government Business in the House of Assembly. Reverend Dr David Durant and human resource management consultant André Worrell will join Husbands as the three new senators, with Damien Griffith and Patricia Inniss being replaced in the Upper House.
“The process of review and restructuring of the operations of Government will continue. There will be more, I’m sure,” Thompson promised.
“Barbadians are determined to make Barbados work. There is a general understanding of the changes we need to make,” Thompson had said before announcing the changes. “I am encouraged by the positive attitude shown as you have all reported for duty,” he added.
The Prime Minister had shuffled his Cabinet for the first time after his win at the January 8, 2008 poll on November 22 when it was just ten months old, claiming the moves were made to deal with the changing times.
A fortnight ago, Thompson appointed former Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office with reponsibility for Labour and Immigration, Senator Arni Walters as the new executive chairman of the Barbados Water Authority.