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Secretaries Answers to Questions


37. The Minority   Leader asked the Chief Secretary -

“As it relates to   the response given by the Secretary of Tourism that no assistance was given   to TOMAC by her Division, can the Secretary of Finance indicate if the Tobago   House of Assembly or any of its agencies provided any support, be it   financial or otherwise, to TOMAC?”

     Thank you, Madam Presiding Officer. The question is, what   support was given to TOMAC? That is for the hosting of ‘Burna Boy’. The   Secretary of Tourism, Culture, Antiquities and Transportation responded to an   identical question in the House, indicating that no financial support was   given.

     I asked for another check to be done across all divisions   and the agencies of the THA to see if there were any spend from any division,   department or agencies of the THA to TOMAC, and there was none.

11:10 A.M.

However, the only   additional bit of information is that the Department of Sport allowed TOMAC   to use the Plymouth play ground to which they signed a contractual   obligation, that if the ground got damaged, that the company will have to   repair to it.

     Let me also go on public record, (because I have not   spoken about TOMAC or ‘Burna Boy’ publicly to this point) as saying that I   have asked the Secretary and Assistant Secretary in the Division of Tourism,   Culture, Antiquities and Transportation to see if support is still needed,   given that the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) provided some support to all   local promoters in the space.

     The directive is that it will be unfair to not provide   similar support to those that hosted the festival.

     Finally, I can indicate that while the THA did not provide   direct support to TOMAC financially, that Secretaries and Assistant   Secretaries and members of the team all took tickets from TOMAC to which   Members paid individually.

Just for clarity, did Members pay individually personally, or Members paid as per their Division?

As is personally, and not from the Division but I have   asked the Division of Tourism, Culture, Antiquities and Transportation -   because I think it is only fair - yes, the support that was given to all the   local promoters were minimal, but none was given to TOMAC. I indicated to the   Secretaries in that Division, that they should go back, look at it, speak to   the promoters and see what sort of minimal support can be given because there   should be equity in treatment across the board for everyone.

Is it a situation where TOMAC approached or planned on   approaching the Division for support, or is it just you, as Chief Secretary,   making an undertaking to that effect?

TOMAC did approach the THA for support. Before they even   announced their festival, they reached out through the Office of the Chief   Secretary with a proposal. They were not very clear in their initial proposal   as to what sort of support they would like to get. Eventually they brought   some clarity, but none has been given to them to date, and owing to the fact that we gave support to all the other local   promoters, I have asked the Division to find a way to square it off   equitably.

Madam Presiding Officer, a final follow-up.

Is the Chief Secretary prepared to share with this   honourable House, the quantum of support that was requested by TOMAC?

     I do not want to try to recall the figure to memory, but   ballpark, they asked if we could give support for fencing, as in providing   the cost for fencing, for staging and for the lighting, in addition to the   use of the playing field. They also asked if they could have gotten the   playing field up at Black Rock to use for parking.

     The request for the playing field for parking was not   granted because we felt that that would render the field irreparable in the   middle of the football season. We did not accede to any of the other requests   to date, and in the same vein that we gave minimal assistance to all the   promoters, I have asked them to look to do the same.

Thank you.

Minority Leader.

I asked for the quantum in terms of qualified dollar   value, because I am sure all would have...

Madam Presiding Officer, what I could do, is forward their proposal as is, to the Member, so that he could take a look at it.

Minority Councillor.

12th Plenary Sitting Tobago House of Assembly 2021 - 2025 Session


22 December 2022
Supplemental question to the main question :
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