The Gleaner, North America Dec 08, 2022 - Jan 05, 2023

8 ZOSOs extended for 60 days THE HOUSE of Representatives has approved a 60-day extension of seven zones of special operations (ZOSOs) across Jamaica. THE AREAS are Denham Town, west Kingston; Norwood and Mount Salem, St James; Greenwich Town, Parade Gardens and August Town in St Andrew; and Savanna-la-Mar inWestmoreland. The current ZOSOs will expire on December 22. Resolutions for the extensions were moved by Minister of National Security Dr Horace Chang during Tuesday’s sitting. Mount Salem and Denham Town will continue into the build phase, while Greenwich Town, August Town, Norwood, Parade Gardens, and Savanna-la-Mar will remain at the hold stage. Chang said areas under the ZOSO continue to record reductions in all major crimes. The national security minister said 86 residents in Savanna-laMar are set to receive new birth certificates. Clean-up activities have been conducted. “The Norwood ZOSO is earmarked for significant buildout of much-needed infrastructure, including supporting the rehabilitation of roads and water supplies. In the interim, several short-term initiatives are being executed,” Chang told lawmakers. “Currently, there are approximately $300 million in approved projects to be implemented in the community. These investments are projected to be implemented over the next 12 to 24 months.” PM Dispels Notion of Indefinite Detentions Under SOE PRIME MINISTER, Andrew Holness, says there is no truth to the notion that persons can be detained indefinitely under the State of Public Emergency (SOE). “Nothing could be further from the truth. Under the emergency powers regulations now in place, the Emergency Powers Review Tribunal – chaired by members appointed by the Chief Justice of Jamaica from among persons qualified to be appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court – must review the cases brought before them in order for any person to be detained for more than seven days,” he pointed out. “So, this notion that… the SOEs allow the security forces to scrape up or net fish and detain persons arbitrarily, without charge indefinitely, is absolutely not true,” he said. Holness, who was addressing a press conference at Jamaica House on Tuesday, December 6 , to declare SOEs across the island, said that the Emergency Powers Regulations that will govern the measures are different from those with which the court recently took issue. He noted that the Government has taken “a lot of care and diligence” to go through the various issues raised by the court and has made the relevant changes. “In the Roshaine Clarke case, the judgement of the Constitutional Court made it clear that the purpose for which the SOE had been imposed was a legitimate purpose, that is, the SOEs can be used for the purpose for which the Government is using them. “However, the court took issue with the emergency powers regulations under which Mr. Clarke had been detained; those regulations were made in 2018. The emergency powers regulations that will be in effect for this new declaration of the SOEs are different,” he explained. The Prime Minister noted that the SOEs will not cripple business or commerce. “In this iteration of the SOEs, bearing in mind that we are approaching the Christmas season, the powers that will be deployed in the SOEs will be mindful of commerce, entertainment and of persons’movement,” he noted. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister said that an upgrading of the Constitution is needed ,so that the security measure can be easily and effectively utilised to deal with modern threats. “Emergency powers have always been an executive tool because it is the executive that always has to respond and react. We need to, I think, upgrade and recraft how the emergency powers are used,” he said. The Prime Minister announced limited SOEs in Clarendon, St. Catherine, specified areas in Kingston and St. Andrew, St. James, Westmoreland and Hanover. The security measure, which has also been declared in the parish of St. Ann and the police division of St. Andrew Central, will last for an initial 14 days. - JIS Whistle Blower Act needs strengthening – Robinson MUCH MORE needs to be done to embolden persons working in the public sector to call out corruption whenever they come up on it during the course of their employment, according to Opposition Spokesman on Finance Julian Robinson. In addressing the recent Public Bodies Corporate Governance Awards at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, Robinson delivered this charge to the public servants in attendance. “I ask you, as you continue to do your work, to be guardians of integrity in the public sector. We need to domore to ensure that the issues of good governance become the de facto standard throughout the public sector. There is clearly more that has to be done. There are pieces of legislation that need amendment ... that make it easier for persons who see incidents of corruption and report it. “For example, the Protective Disclosures Act, which is known as the ‘Whistle Blower Act’, is a piece of legislation that is severely underused. In the past five to 10 years, I don’t think we have had five or 10 disclosures using that piece of legislation. We have to make amendments so that you can do it unanimously, so that people feel protected. I believe this grouping represents the best of what we have in the public sector and can transform Jamaica into a society that we need.” News You May Have Missed Robinson Prime Minister Andrew Holness addresses journalists Tuesday during a JamaicaHouse press conference called toannounce the declaration of states of emergency. Also in photo areMinister of National Security Dr Horace Chang (centre) and Commissioner of Police Major General Antony Anderson. RICARDO MAKYN/CHIEF PHOTO EDITOR NEW YORK: AN ADDITIONAL eight asylum seeker resource navigation sites will be opened across New York’s (NY) five boroughs, to continue support for newly arrived individuals and families seeking asylum. Eight community-based organisations have been chosen and granted $2.1 million to run these sites that will build on the ongoing work of the city’s first Asylum Seeker Resource Navigation Center, operated by Catholic Charities of New York. The development was announced by New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) Commissioner Manuel Castro. “The city’s first Asylum Seeker Resource Navigation Center has served nearly 7,000 individuals since opening a few short months ago, and I’m proud to expand the footprint of this important work across all five boroughs to support the asylum seekers arriving in our city every day,” said Mayor Adams. “In partnership with these eight community-based organisations, these additional centres will help support the more than 26,000 asylum seekers who have arrived here in New York City with a range of services, including legal assistance, medical care, and school enrolment. NewYork City will continue to do all we can to meet our moral and legal mandates and welcome and support asylum seekers arriving here, and these sites will play an important role delivering critical services directly to families and individuals who need them.” MOIA Commissioner Castro said,“New York City has led the nation’s response to the influx of asylum seekers, launching the first Asylum Seeker Navigation Center. Today, we take another stride forward by announcing several community organisations that will serve as satellite sites across the five boroughs to support our new neighbours. Through this effort, our administration will continue to lead with care and compassion and empower our newest NewYorkers with resources and services.” The selected organisations will provide individuals and families with in-person support — in Spanish and in other languages — including a variety of supplemental services, comprehensive case management, and immigrant rights workshops: Aid for Aids International African Communities Together (ACT) Catholic Charities Community Services, Archdiocese of New York Catholic Charities Neighbourhood Services Brooklyn & Queens Coalicion Mexicana La Colmena Mercy Center Mixteca Organization New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE) More resource sites opened for asylum seekers in NY NEW YORK: JAMAICA’S CONSUL General to New York, AlsionWilson, is applauding the strengthening of relationship between the health ministry and the Hartford Healthcare Corporation (HHC), which last week saw the signing of a memornadum of understanding to support healthcare delivery on the island. True to its obectives, which include the“facilitation of academic and professional exchanges between the parties to enable skill and knowledge transfer”, Hartford will host a team from The University of theWest Indies, (UWI) Mona campus’Faculty of Medical Sciences from December 6-7. The UWI teamwill tour the institution’s Center for Education, Simulation, and Innovation (CESI), an advanced medical training facility that provides remote access and in-person capacity-building for medical students and faculty. The centre also facilitates continuing education for doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals. As a special part of the visit, HHC will stream a session to Jamaica, where UWI medical students and faculty will be able to participate in a demonstration. “This is certainly a major step in the right direction, and I am exceedingly pleased with the immediate response from my dear friends and partners at Hartford Healthcare, including the CEO, Mr Jeffery Flaks, and his vice-president of operations, Mr Keith Grant, which started with our call for action in support of our Jamaican medical students,”said Consul General Wilson. She commended HHC for its continued support and commitment to the partnership. The institution contributed to the acquisition of 26 oxygen concentrators that were shipped to Jamaica last month. Ja’s health ministry to partner with NY’s Hartford Healthcare for skill, knowledge transfer THE MONTHLY GLEANER | DECEMBER 8, 2022 - JANUARY 5, 2023 | | NEWS