The parliamentary Opposition, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), on Friday said 2017 was characterised by job loss and poor leadership.According to Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, the year 2017 was an unprecedented year. Zeroing in on the economy, Jagdeo said Government has missed its economic growth target. “2017 has been an interesting year, with thingOpposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo (centre) along with Chief Whip Gail Teixeira, and parliamentarians Priya Manickchand, Juan Edghill, Odinga Lumumba, Pauline Sukhai, Clement Rohee, and Dr Vindhya Persaudhappening that were unprecedented. If you look at the economy, we have missed our growth target twice in the year… even a lower than budgeted growth target was not met. The Government in 2017 failed to unveil an economic plan for the country… a plan that was promised since 2015,” the Opposition Leader said.He added that Guyanese are given new promises for the future but without any proper economic policy, those promises are empty.“All we have is new promises that they will continue to work on a green state strategy for the future… which will be the economic plan for Guyana. So at this point in time, we are adrift once again. No leadership from the Government in the economic sphere. No coherent economic policy. We saw the Budget 2017 sand its draconian measures devastate the business sector and people’s lives.”Jagdeo pointed to the job losses in the year. He gave the experiences in the sugar sector as an example. The former President also noted the various scandals that rocked the country during the year. He referred to the US$18 million sitting in an unaccounted for bank account; the new Demerara Bridge crossing.“So you can characterise it as the year of significant loss of jobs. In the sugar sector, people were devastated. Nearly 5000 sugar workers were sent home. In almost all the other sectors people have lost jobs. And their promise that they will create thousands of new jobs has not been kept. In fact, our country has gone backwards.”“Thirdly, we have seen several scandals emerging. From procurement of drugs, single sourcing, to the infamous bridge contract, to the US$18 million that still remains in an account not provided for by our Constitution or our laws.”Jagdeo did not forget the unilateral appointment of a Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Chairman. He pointed out that this act threw away decades of practise in which the two political sides worked together to fill the post.In summing up the year, Jagdeo said these occurrences combine to put Guyana’s democracy on a more tenuous footing than before.Parliamentary affairsAlso attending the press conference was party Chief Whip Gail Teixeira, parliamentarians Priya Manickchand, Juan Edghill, Odinga Lumumba, Pauline Sukhai, Clement Rohee, and Dr Vindhya Persaud.Zeroing in on parliamentary affairs, Teixeira slammed the parliamentary excesses and described the National Assembly as a rubber stamp. She also questioned the haste to appoint a Chancellor of the Judiciary, querying whether this may be to secure a more amenable decision in the cases before the courts, including the case of the GECOM Chairman.PatheticSumming up the country’s rate of implementing its major projects and the work of certain agencies, shadow Public Infrastructure Minister Juan Edghill described the Government’s performance as “pathetic”.He pointed out that in 2017, the country started the year with the establishment of Power Producers and Distributors Inc (PPDI) and a promise that Guyana Power and Light (GPL) would do better. However, he noted that the fact that blackouts continued into Christmas Day tells volumes. According to Edghill, there remains no comprehensive plan for energy.Pointing to the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), he noted that despite declarations that 81 per cent has been expended, there are more works to be done.According to Edghill, pipe dreams are being sold. He recalled the promise for a waterfront development project and the road link between the East Coast and the East Bank. Instead, he noted that all the Ministry’s implementation projects were routine works.
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – After losing a close game against the Sexsmith Vipers in their season opener last weekend, the Fort St. John Huskies are looking to bounce back with a pair of wins in Peace River and Fairview this weekend.Huskies GM Jeremy Clothier says that with a roster as young as they have, many players were playing in the first game at the Junior level last weekend, and says that nerves played a role in the Vipers gaining a quick 2-0 lead after 20 minutes. Despite this, Clothier says that the team began to settle down and execute their game plan much better in the second and third period, controlling the play for most of the final 30 minutes of the game. Sadly, the Huskies were only able to put one goal on the board, a powerplay tally from Drew Fudger. Clothier added that the arenas in both Sexsmith and Beaverlodge are narrower than others in the NWJHL, which means that the Huskies needed to adjust their playstyle to the more confined space.This week, the Huskies will be returning to Alberta, and to normal-sized rinks to take on the North Peace Navigators tonight, before facing off against the Fairview Flyers on Saturday. Clothier says that the Flyers, who lost the NWJHL finals to the Navs last year, are in a similar situation to the Huskies this year. Having lost many players from last year, the Flyers are also one of the youngers teams in the league this year, although their top line comprised three 21 year-olds has been effective so far, contributing to all three of the Flyers’ goals in their win over the JDA County Kings last Saturday.- Advertisement -Clothier says that the Huskies will be focusing on puck control this weekend, especially against the Navs, who frequently capitalise on turnovers and sloppy plays. The Huskies will also be looking to build on offence, Clothier adding that they hope to score more than one goal per game this weekend.Puck drop for the Huskies tonight is at 7:00 p.m. Fort St. John time in Peace River, and at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday in Fairview.