Ministry will Adapt to New Environment, says Minister Rolle
Ministry will Adapt to New Environment, says Minister Rolle The Bahamas – While making her Contribution to the Budget Debate for the 2020/2021 Fiscal Period, in the House of Assembly, on June 11, 2020, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture the Hon. Lanisha Rolle said that her Ministry understands that its role and mandate is to lead in shaping the nation’s youth ideology, sporting methodology and cultural philosophy. “Significantly, we recognize that we must do this with a great degree of adaptability in these ever changing times,” Minister Rolle said as she addressed the speaking point of the new environment post COVID-19. “‘Adaptation’ or the ability to change in response to one’s environment is one of the greatest characteristics of a human being. “How we come out of these experiences or whether we allow them to propel us forward or hold us back I believe, will be determined by the extent of our ability to ‘adapt’.” Minister Rolle said that what she termed the “Budget for the People” is designed to ensure that The Bahamas Government adapts to the new conditions in which it must operate, while maintaining a stable national outlook and preserving the nation’s competitive advantage in the banking and tourism sectors, two main pillars of sovereignty and national identity. She pointed out that her Ministry is budgeted at $18,938,186. That figure, she noted, represented a reduction of some $5,143,194, a 21-percent budget cut in line with “the agreed fiscal austerity measures.”
“This simply means, given the changing circumstances and limited financial resources, a portion of the Ministry’s funds had to be reallocated,” Minister Rolle said. “This cut ensures that, in the given circumstances, there are adequate provisions to help with public health expenses, social safety net programs, job creation and sustenance, food security initiatives and tourism rejuvenation. “What we cannot forget is that we are all in this together, and all food comes from one pot, and every man, woman, boy and girl, rich and poor have to eat.” As she noted that “lots of work” goes into budget preparation, management and application, Minister Rolle briefly paused to acknowledge the “hardworking Management and Staff of the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture who work diligently to facilitate programs, services and initiatives that support the youth, sports and cultural sector”. “I also say thank you to our partners for appreciating the fact that these challenging economic times brought on by challenging events require all hands on deck in the management of our fiscal affairs,” she said. Minister Rolle said that, where possible, most budgeted items – with the exception of Personal Emoluments – suffered a reduction to bring her Ministry in compliance with the required overall 20% cut. “What this means, was that our aim was to ensure all persons who had jobs and benefits prior to COVID-19, maintained that status, they kept their jobs and benefits,” she said. “Maintaining the livelihood of Bahamians was and remains the priority of this Government.” With personal emoluments not being included in the budget cut, she added, some items in accordance with actual expenditure carried a greater deduction than others. “But, it is to be noted that no critical area went empty, Minister Rolle said. “The Ministry has dedicated itself to ‘adapting’ while maintaining the quality of services, programs and facilitation our Ministry offers. And we are thankful to the Ministry of Finance for their cooperation in this regard.” Minister Lanisha Rolle stated that, from the onset of the COVID-19 lock-down response in The Bahamas, her Ministry has been in adaptation mode. “We launched our Online Activity Platform on the 23rd March, 2020 – one week after the shut-down,” she pointed out. “This platform provided weekly motivational online ‘Stay at Home, Stay Active and Stay Engaged’ challenges with Youth, Sports and Cultural components.” “These videos and messages inspired hundreds of other postings of challenges and online engagement by other civic organizations, families and friends,” she added. “We also used the available electronic medium to stay connected with our Ministry partners, while monitoring a daily COVID-19 Hotline to the benefit of the general public. “Today, in accordance with public service policy the Ministry’s staff has returned to work albeit on a rotation basis with our office opening only for those urgent matters between the hours of 9am and 1pm Monday to Friday having commenced on 13th May, 2020,” Minister Rolle said. While highlighting the major areas of the budget, Minister Rolle said it reflected an estimated breakdown of the Draft Budget allocation per Departments/Sections/Offices within the Ministry. “One important fact that is to be noted,” she said, “is that though the Ministry has suffered necessary deductions, the differences are not below actual expenditure. In other words expenses are in accordance with or below the approved budget estimates for last budget cycle. “This means for example, athlete subvention was approved at $1,346,150 last budget period,” she continued. “The actual expenditure under that item for the budget period was $1,007,588 as per the date of the 2020-2021 budget publication. A difference of $338,562 was not spent based on the date of this record. This position would inform any reasonable adjustment or rationale for new budgetary spending.” “I hasten to add for the benefit of our athletes of whom we continue to be immensely proud, that in accordance with the existing sports policy no active athlete approved for subvention would be affected by the item adjustments,” Minister Rolle said. “However, where an athlete is not performing in accordance with standard policy, the usual adjustments will be applied as recommended by the Department of Sports and our standard consultation with the respective federation sporting bodies.” She continued: “This budget while taking into account the unprecedented times in which we all find ourselves has chartered a course that will allow us to work together to overcome the challenges of Hurricane Dorian and COVID-19. Towards this end, this FNM Government is leaving no one behind.” “We have made the provisions for our youth programs to continue albeit under new conditions, and for our athletes to continue receiving assistance for their training and development,” she added. “We have secured the subsidy for the benefit of our cultural community in anticipation of among other events the end of year our beloved Junkanoo celebrations. “We have maintained provisions for our partners to receive their annual financing albeit at a 20 percent deduction as mandated: And we have done this while leaving room to facilitate initiatives designed to invest in, and strengthen the youth industry, our sports sector and the orange economy.” Minister Rolle said that, in an unprecedented time, the Government finds itself in an unusual environment, applying extraordinary measures, but all for the benefit and betterment of the Bahamian people.
She added: “When all is said and done, Bahamians will see beyond the noise and rhetoric and know as I know, as you know, as every member in this honorable House knows and agree that with this Government ‘it is not’ and ‘cannot’ be business as usual: These are extraordinary times that require extra-ordinary measures: And while the budget is unprecedented, it is a Budget for the people.” “Budgeting is how the numbers work to benefit people.”
Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture the Hon. Lanisha Rolle makes her Contribution to the Budget Debate for the 2020/2021 Fiscal Period, in the House of Assembly, on June 11, 2020. (BIS Photo/Eric Rose)
A Young Man's View: The Undignified Saga Of Senator Lanisha Rolle
Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture the Hon. Lanisha Rolle makes her Contribution to the Budget Debate for the 2020/2021 Fiscal Period, in the House of Assembly, on June 11, 2020. (BIS Photo/Eric Rose) A Young Man's View: The Undignified Saga Of Senator Lanisha Rolle LAST week, former senator Lanisha Rolle resigned from the Senate after the publication of the content of recordings made by fellow Free National Movement (FNM) political hopeful Lincoln Bain. #In recent times, the FNM has been subjected to too much sufferance. This is yet another occasion. #In the recording of her conversation with Mr Bain, Mrs Rolle reportedly spoke at length about the political future of several members of the party with whom she was dissatisfied. #The audio revealed disparaging comments made by Mrs Rolle about several FNM members of Parliament. During the meeting, Mrs Rolle informed Mr Bain that the party would not offer him the nomination for the Pinewood Gardens constituency and further claimed that the ratification of incumbent FNM MPs had been purposely delayed. #Regarding the content of his meeting with Mrs Rolle, Mr Bain said his constituency executives were angered by her assertion that he would not get the nomination and these views were expressed to FNM executives. #He said: “There was this thing that people were pushing that was a total blatant lie that I didn’t receive the nomination and that I recorded this to set up Lanisha Rolle and took it to persons so that I could get the nomination. That is a lie from the pits of hell. #“At the meeting certain things were said. Basically she was saying that she was getting the nomination and not me and that I must support her and back her and manage it and that I must get the association on her side and basically if I didn’t then … #“So I spoke to my Pinewood executives and only them. I didn’t speak to party leadership. I spoke to Pinewood executives and let them know ‘well, I have been told by Lanisha that she is going to get the nomination’. They were up in arms. They were distraught (and) they were extremely upset that it came from her and that it came at all because they are behind me 100 per cent,” Mr Bain stated. #This carnivorous affair is mindboggling, head-scratching stuff! It is appalling the sense of entitlement that Mr Bain and Mrs Rolle appear to have about receiving FNM nominations. How could this be? #On Monday, Mr Bain was adamant in telling The Tribune that he did nothing wrong as he admitted to secretly recording the former senator during a private meeting, saying his actions were a bid to “protect myself” from possible “sabotage”. Mr Bain claimed the audio recording only “came into play” to prove to party executives that the private meeting had taken place. #I am very curious about the author of the FNM’s lame, amateurish and mistake-laden press releases. Who could possibly be writing such grammatically incorrect babble, where words are misspelt throughout? Have they not heard of spell check? Do they not proof read the material before widely disseminating it to the press and social media groups? #And, why is the writer of the FNM’s press releases quoting the leader or chairman or whoever is giving the statement? Why can’t they simply write a statement, attribute it to someone and leave the quoting to members of the press? Why are they pretending to write a news story? They clearly do not understand how to write press releases and I urge the powers that be - within the FNM - to train them or get someone who can. It is embarrassing and it’s certainly not rocket science. #Both of the statements released in the wake of Mrs Rolle’s resignation - the one announcing her resignation and the other announcing the appointment of Dr Duane Sands to the Senate - were poorly written. My six-year-old son could produce better sentence structure. #The statement on Mrs Rolle’s behalf was insincere, claiming that “at this current time in my life I need to focus on a few personal matters and do not feel that I will be able to devote the time needed to best serve the Bahamian people” and asserting that she “cannot in good conscience allow myself to continue to serve while not being able to focus all of my attention to the work of the people”. Hmmm. Is that really the reason? Talk about political sleight of hand. #Mrs Rolle was embroiled in controversy earlier this year after she called a radio show in January and criticised Loretta Butler-Turner and other FNM members of Parliament. She accused sitting FNM MPs of being “jealous” of the party leader and said Mrs Butler-Turner, Dr Minnis’ former rival for leadership, would not have the support of voters over Prime Minister Perry Christie. #After she was criticised by members of her party, in March Mrs Rolle finally publicly apologised for her remarks. #Quite honestly, the former senator can only be likened to an unripened sapodilla or sugar apple picked way before its time … and those folks who grew up on the Family Island know exactly what I’m saying. Mrs Rolle sashayed into the public domain via a talk show and in little time was thrust onto the political scene in a key senatorial post. Unfortunately, rather than capturing the imagination of the country, she spent much of her time being a political bomb thrower, committing political suicide at other times and, on her down time, engaging in backroom wrangling for seats and having verbal slugfests with her fellow members. #Mrs Rolle often acted like a political suicide bomber. She had a meteoric rise in FNM/Bahamian politics and has since had a cataclysmic fall. Given the last two controversies involving Mrs Rolle, and a senatorial tenure mired in mediocrity, she can hardly be considered a politically shrewd navigator. #She was hoping to become a political cat burglar and swipe the nomination for Pinewood from right under Mr Bain’s fingertips. Alas, we have yet again seen the spillage of political blood within the FNM. The Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) must be laughing hysterically, joyous watching the fragmentation within the FNM with less than one year before a general election. Lincoln Bain has effectively neutralised and politically emasculated the ex-senator and, in the process, cast doubt upon himself and likely dashed his own political hopes. What’s more, there are many who will have reservations about speaking to Mr Bain on telephones or in person for fear that he will record their conversations. In a party where there are already issues of trust, this affair deepens the sense of mistrust among FNMs. I find that so unfortunate. #Like many curious Bahamians, I wanted to hear the recordings that Mr Bain had made. I listened to them and thought that Mrs Rolle spoke candidly because she thought that she was speaking in confidence to a political ally. Mr Bain’s recording of Mrs Rolle without her knowledge was unethical or deceitful. There is no excuse for it. #Mr Bain has seemingly prevaricated. Whilst he stated that he did not leak the tape, one wonders who leaked it if he was the person who recorded the audio. He may not be the proximate cause of the tape leaking to the press, but it is possible that he allowed persons to listen to it or sent snippets to persons whom he may have trusted and they in turned leaked it.
#The audio recording of Bain and Rolle is representative of a Beavis and Butthead moment that should cause the FNM to be ashamed of the image it wants to project to the public and ought to leave them concerned about the deleterious optics now being projected. #Yes, Lanisha Rolle perhaps deserved a comeuppance but she should not have been destroyed or torn down in such a degrading and disgraceful manner – not by PLPs but by members of her own party. Yes, perhaps no one is mourning her political death but she was dealt a most unkind cut and, frankly, she has a right to be bitter that her end was not noble but rather one of gutter politics. She is a Bain Town woman and she certainly took a Bain Town “lickin’”. #The beneficiary of all of this, politically, is one young senator named Heather Hunt who now glows radiantly in comparison to her erstwhile successor. Mrs Rolle replaced her pursuant to FNM leader Dr Hubert Minnis’ rotational scheme that would see senators serving for two and a half years and demitting office to give another a chance. Strangely, that has involuntarily occurred given the number of FNM senators we have seen over the last five years. What’s more, Senator Kwasi Thompson survives yet another cut. He has now served four years. #How did either Mrs Rolle or Mr Bain come to the conclusion that they had the authority to be negotiating FNM seats and placements therein? Surely, both of them have gotten too big for their political breeches. Unfortunately, neither individual elevated themselves to the level of decorum and carriage befitting the role of modern day statespersons. Rather than inclusivity, this is yet another example of the dumbing down of local politics. #The Bahamas is no better off because of the Lanisha Rolle experience and chapter one of Lincoln Bain’s foray onto the political frontlines is not an Oscar winning performance. We are left thinking that Mr Bain is ethically challenged and that he sold out his colleague to save himself. #There is a legal side to this as well. Given that Mr Bain recorded a private conversation between himself and Mrs Rolle, seemingly without her knowledge and/or authorisation, the Listening Devices Act may have been contravened. If so, it is possible that an offence was committed. #The entire Bain-Rolle affair should be a wakeup call for the FNM. What’s more, the vision of the FNM must be identified and seized upon. The FNM must carefully vet its future standard bearers and ensure that it projects itself as the people’s party. Anything less could see the party go down in flames. #On another note, congratulations to my good friend Dr Duane Sands on his appointment to the senate. His appointment was long overdue and is well deserved. He brings much substance and a commitment to the Bahamian people. I think that the FNM is lucky to have him in their midst.
Urban Renewal Centres strengthened to meet the needs of the people
The Bahamas – The empowerment needs and challenges of people living in rural and urban spaces in major islands will be addressed through the establishment of urban community centres by the government. Social Services and Urban Development Minister, the Hon. Lanisha Rolle said throughout the past year the Urban Renewal Commission has been focused on the Urban Renewal progamme including acquiring and training staff, refining the operational system and strengthening its structure. A re-launch and re-branding ceremony for Urban Community Centres was held Monday, June 11, 2018 at the Urban Renewal Centre in Pinewood Gardens. Members of Parliament, senators, representatives of Urban Renewal and the Urban Renewal Commission, senior government officials, and members of the disabled community attended the event. Music was provided by the Urban Renewal Band. Minister Rolle told those gathered that around the world countries have determined that sustainable development goals are dependent upon effective urban development approaches and the government believes that Urban Renewal programmes, social services and other social empowerment programmes ensure that the goals are met, that people have equal opportunities and no person or community is left behind. She said the programme is intended to ensure those who are marginalized or disadvantaged have equal opportunities and access to essential services, and are able to work, play and function in a clean and peaceful environment. “The Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development through the Urban Renewal Commission has put into action its commitment to transforming the socio-economic landscape of our communities and people through urban empowerment programmes,” said Minister Rolle. Urban Renewal centres have been renovated to provide wheelchair access to disabled clients. The programmes are operated by centre managers with experience and academic qualifications along with a staff including a programme officer, special projects officer, auxiliary team and inter-agency unit including Royal Bahamas Defence Force support, Police Community relations and Social Services community unit. Members of the team are undergoing training to ensure their ability to respond to urgent needs of clients who participate in the programmes. A volunteer unit, headed by the manager, is also in operation at each Urban Community Centre. Volunteers are processed, vetted, approved and certified.
Lanisha Rolle Urges Peers To ‘Condemn Unethical Behaviour’
IN HER first public statement since resigning as a Free National Movement Senator 10 days ago, Lanisha Rolle yesterday urged her peers to condemn “unethical and factually unlawful” behaviour in the pursuit of political leadership. #Mrs Rolle stressed the need for conduct with a high level of integrity and maturity in her appeal for disenfranchised colleagues and leaders to embrace change and accept that it is a transitional process. #She said she was still committed in her quest to serve the country. #“Our leaders must not resist change or merely demonstrate an appearance of change, but it is incumbent upon them to embrace change wholeheartedly to obtain the confidence of the masses,” her statement said. “Significantly, however, while many among my generation and those after me, may feel disenfranchised by the political system of yesteryear, all must recognise that change involves a transitional process. #“Therefore, we must at all times conduct ourselves with a high level of integrity and maturity in pursuit of our endeavour to lead others. Conduct that is considered unethical and factually unlawful is by no means the answer to true political success, and such behaviour should never be tolerated or accepted as the norm in a civil society.” #Mrs Rolle’s statement, entitled “The Need for Political Maturity rather than Political Mischief”, comes on the heels of her unceremonious departure from the Upper House amid controversy over leaked secret recordings of a conversation she had with political hopeful Lincoln Bain. #Mr Bain admitted to secretly recording the former Senator; however, he maintained that his actions were solely to protect himself from possible sabotage. #He said the recordings only “came into play” to prove to party executives that the private meeting had taken place, and denied leaking the audio. He said he did not regard recording Mrs Rolle without her knowledge as unethical or deceitful in any way. #In the recording, Mrs Rolle reportedly spoke at length and disparagingly about the political future of several members of the FNM party with whom she was dissatisfied. #During the conversation, she allegedly informed Mr Bain that the party would not nominate him to run as MP in the Pinewood Gardens constituency in next year’s general elections. She further claimed that the ratification of incumbent FNM MPs had been purposely delayed. #In her resignation on May 13, Mrs Rolle cited a “need to focus on a few personal matters”. #Yesterday, Mrs Rolle explained that she had “girded” herself with political maturity, and as such, she was fully aware that her appointed post had a “high probability of a shorter shelf life” than that of MPs. She thanked the Bahamian people and party members for entrusting her with the “noble task”; particularly FNM Leader Dr Hubert Minnis, whom she said demonstrated the “political will and fortitude representative of 21st century leaders”. #Mrs Rolle further emphasised that the global political directorate is faced with a fervent demand for change, adding that the Bahamas was no different. She forecast that the country was at a pivotal crossroad, and based on its needs would vote for a party that represented a united collective and exhibited true potential to meet individual needs. #“There is no doubt that the Bahamian people are discontented with the present state of affairs,” the statement continued, “but Bahamians must recognise that only they have the power to bring the needed change to Parliament. #“I have served within the public service, the judicial sector and most recently, the legislature. For the experiences I have gained, I am indeed grateful. #“My entry to the political arena was influenced by a biblical proverb translated by one Edmund Burke, who said, “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing”. #“My name is Lanisha Rolle, and I am here to do something, for the good of the Bahamian people.
IT’S JUST POLITICS: Rolle defends integrity as she awaits nomination process
ASSAU, BAHAMAS — Seabreeze MP Lanisha Rolle yesterday defended her integrity and public record as she remained tight-lipped on whether she was seeking another party nomination. Rolle told reporters at Parliament that she was “being patient” and “trusting the process” in her first public comments to media since her shocking resignation from Cabinet last week. The former minister of youth, sports and culture did not comment further on the circumstances that led to her decision or personal motivations for demitting office and furthered that she was not aware of any specific audit being conducted at that ministry. She maintained that her integrity as a public servant remained intact, as she underscored that audits were routinely carried out in every ministry and expressed confidence in the Office of the Auditor-General. Rolle also sidestepped questions about social media speculation over her sudden departure and the Cabinet Office’s notice of an internal investigation. “Absolutely not, I don’t entertain social media claims; they are what they are,” she said. “You deal with facts, you deal with issues and you deal with truths. I don’t have time for those things.” At Parliament yesterday, Rolle was asked to describe her proudest achievement as a minister. She said: “There are a lot of things; I won’t speak to anything in particular. I think the record speaks for itself in terms of all that I have done. I think people themselves would speak to the work that I’ve done from social services and urban development to youth, sports and culture. “It’s a great sacrifice. It’s hard work on a constant basis. “It’s basically a 24-hour job and I know that I would’ve given my very best and as long as I’m serving in the public domain, I will continue to do just that. “I’ve served from a police cadet to a police officer, to an officer of the court, and I will continue to serve.” She added: “This is just simply a different arena. There are different rules for this arena, so I must continue to learn, continue to adjust and continue to serve.” The Free National Movement (FNM) has ratified 30 candidates for the next general election. Rolle would not confirm whether she was seeking re-nomination from the party. “We will see what will happens, but my life is guided by the Lord and whatever he permits is well done with me,” she said. “It’s up to the party when it comes to nominations, and so I would have to respect the party’s process and certainly the outcome at the end of the day.” She added: “It is what it is; it’s just politics. Decisions are made, things are done and you make the best of it and that’s what you must do. “You must be patriotic, you must be respectful at all times and you have to trust the process and that’s all I’m doing — being patient.” Rolle was pressed by reporters to comment on her expectations for the audit currently underway at her former ministry. She said: “I expect that the auditor general will do what he or she does in all ministries on a constant or yearly basis and that is to ensure that proper financial accounting procedures are followed and things are done according to the rules and procedures. “I expect no less from that office and I think he would’ve indicated that it is their ordinary process. “I met auditing going on at Youth, Sports and Culture; I met auditing going on at the Ministry of Social Services. Auditing continues at every ministry of the government, every year and any time. It is nothing new, not as I am aware.” Rolle said: “The process is the process and the results are the results and I think, according to my tenure, they will always find that what I do, to the best of my knowledge and ability, is with the information that I have, is to follow those rules. “I believe that is what will be found.” Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said last week that Rolle is not directly involved in investigations underway at the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, nor is she being investigated. NASSAU, The Bahamas -- Under the theme, "Challenges and Opportunities in Achieving Gender Equality and Empowerment of Rural Women and Girls," the Women's Forum was held at the Harry C. Moore auditorium at University of The Bahamas in honour of the 44th Annual International Women's Day. Women of different nationalities and backgrounds from parliamentarians to students, teachers, farmers, straw vendors gathered Thursday morning, March 8, 2018 to -- according to Chairperson of the National Women's Advisory Council Carolie Adderley -- "recognize all women regardless of race, nationality, political status." Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Lanisha T. Rolle, MP welcomed everyone and urged them to “make the best of this moment.” She thanked the following speakers: Winisha Saunders, who represented the Junior Parliamentarians, Diamond Pearson of the Debutante Foundation and Kendira Rahming, an independent speaker from Cat Island. She recognized the remarkableness of several women including the Hon. Janet Bostwick, Condoleezza Rice, Cynthia "Mother Pratt", Hillary Clinton, and Her Excellency Dame Marguerite Pindling. Minister Rolle challenged women and girls to be positive, optimistic and to see that silver lining. She also brought focus to the admirable resilience of women on the Family Islands who face adversities such as natural disasters, limited health care, limited mobility on the islands, and limited flights to and from the islands. Minister Rolle asked all women over 60 years old to stand so that she could salute them on behalf of all Bahamian women for being the matriarchs who set a strong foundation for other women to build upon. She recognized the presence of the wife of Leader of the Official Opposition Philip "Brave" Davis – Mrs. Ann Marie Davis. She also thanked the few men present for their strides in history. In closing, Minister Rolle wished everyone a happy International Women's Day and requested that we "build upon the foundation that has already been made." The audience was able to hear from panelists including: Dr. Nicola Virgill Rolle of the Economic Development Planning Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister; M. Kenrica Hepburn, a farmer and office manager at the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources in Cat Island; India Wells, a talented student at NGM Major High School in Long Island; and Charles Moss, a Family Island Administrator at the Department of Local Government. Each panelist highlighted the many great accomplishments of women throughout The Bahamas.