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Stop the debate. Six plus six equals twelve

The Tobago House of Assembly is currently under lockdown but not for the coronavirus. Its because resolving the 6-6 (tie) election result of Monday 25th January seems beyond the capacity of the two parties involved. This is beyond unfortunate given the urgency of the times.

We at Environment Tobago ask the principals to meet once more in a special sitting for no other reason except resolution. The first attempt at Magdalena Grand served (we think) to establish understanding. And it woud have been nice indeed had the Progressives Democratic Patriots and the Peoples National Movement pursued the sitting to a runoff, even to the drawing of lots, as reliable a method as any in our history of selecting good representation.

While this NGO is not mandated to guide the process of the House of Assembly we do feel it is in our remit to remind, even strongly demand, that local government step up to its responsibilities no matter how sharded the democracy gets every four years. Why?

We can mention the Climate Change impacts already at Tobago’s shores or affecting its fishers, farmers, builders. Everyone in fact. But we will not. Instead ET chooses at this time to advise that the window of opportunity to successfully adopt and adapt to Climate Change is shrinking for everyone. Should the THA actors not fix their problems (which are trivial by comparison to what is in store for us) It may very well become a closed door to Tobo for all intents and purposes.

How so? Money for sorting ourselves out for one thing. The pool of money the civilised world depends on for the ‘adaptation’ offered here in the broadest of senses, comes from contributions pledged to the Global Environment Fund and others. The pandemic has put paid to many (country) ambitions there but we need to remember the global economic outlook was already driving those ambitions under the pledge table in a manner of speaking.

In that type of future a small island fealty or fiefdom, as Tobago is projecting itself, simply will not be able to convince the GEF Council or others of that ilk that they have the wherewithal (savvy?) to dispense funds as well as obtain results from that class of funds. In all probability, the money for delaing with environment issues will go elsewhere. Probably to places where politicians understand their place in the bigger scheme of things.

To repeat our call therefore. Will the Six and the Six please stop the dilly-dallying. Time is not on anyone’s side.

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