Finance Minister Colm Imbert

Finance Minister Colm Imbert arrives for yesterday's opening of the Second Session of Parliament at the Red House on Abercromby Street, where he announced October 4th as the date for the reading of the National Budget.


Budget day is Monday, October 4.

Finance Minister Colm Imbert made the announcement yesterday at the first sitting of the Second Session of Parliament.

The national budget, the second to be presented during the Covid-19 pandemic, will be delivered at 1.30 p.m.

This budget has come at a time when the Government’s finances are stretched, as it has had to finance vaccination of the population against Covid-19 as well as relief for thousands impacted by job loss due to health regulations.

Also at yesterday’s opening of the Parliament, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley tabled the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) Tobago Order, which helps to clear the way for the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) election.

A Government motion asking the House to approve the Order will be debated at the next sitting of the House on Wednesday.

The Order proposes the creation of 15 electoral districts:

• Bagatelle/Bacolet

• Belle Garden/Glamorgan

• Bethel/New Grange

• Bethesda/Les Coteaux

• Bon Accord/Crown Point

• Buccoo/Mount Pleasant

• Darrel Spring/Whim

• Lambeau/Lowlands

• Mason Hall/Moriah

• Mount St George/Goodwood

• Parlatuvier/L’Anse Fourmi/Speyside

• Plymouth/Black Rock

• Roxborough/Argyle

• Scarborough/Mount Grace

• Signal Hill/Patience Hill

Two districts


The review of the boundaries to increase the number from 12 to 15 has been done, in keeping with amendments to the THA Act.

Ten of the current 12 districts have been renamed in the process.

The names of two electoral districts—Buccoo/Mount Pleasant and Parlatuvier/L’Anse Fourmi/Speyside—have remained unchanged.

The three new districts are:

• Mount St George/Goodwood

• Darrel Spring/Whim

• Lambeau/Lowlands

“Guiding this process was the aim to delimit boundaries, which will result in the development of districts with an electorate reasonably close to the 15-district average of 3,414 electors—854 less per district in comparison to a 12-district average,” the report said.

The report stated that the creation of additional electoral districts was achieved by delimiting one district at a time, with subsequent re-analysis of electorate distribution following the creation of each new district.

It said the delimitation was further verified to ensure the communities were not unnecessarily divided, through conducting field reconnaissance surveys—carried out along the boundaries of each of the proposed delimited 15 electoral districts.

It said following the adjustments, it was found that the district with the highest electorate is Mason Hall/Moriah with an electorate of 3,869; while the district with the lowest electorate is Roxborough/Argyle, with an electorate of 3,131.

It added that the electorate range between the districts with the highest and lowest numbers of electors is 738.

It said the electoral district with the highest number of electors is 24 per cent above the lowest, with the lowest being 19 per cent below the ­highest.

Pepper spray order

At yesterday’s sitting, National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds also laid the Use of Pepper Spray Order. The Order stipulates the type and strength of pepper spray and the volumetric content permitted in a canister.

Meanwhile, the Repre­sentation of the People Act, which provides for campaign finance reform and the registration of political parties, has been referred to a Joint Select Committee (JSC) which has been mandated to adopt the work of the JSC in the last session and to report by Friday, December 31, 2021.

Yesterday’s sitting lasted a few minutes.


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