IDA: Government has ‘handicapped’ Tobago during pandemic

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

FILE PHOTO: Innovative Democratic Alliance political leader Dr Denise Tsoiafatt-Angus. –

The Innovative Democratic Alliance (IDA) believes the Government and Tobago House of Assembly (THA) have not been providing the type of leadership required “to steer our nation through the uncharted waters of the covid19 pandemic.”

In a statement issued on Wednesday through its PRO Kaye Trotman, the party said, “Both the Government and the Tobago House of Assembly have displayed their inability to rise to the occasion.”

The IDA believes the Government’s covid19 response guidelines, to date, have not just pitted the vaccinated against the unvaccinated but continues to widen that divide.

It said the Prime Minister’s declaration that beaches must continue to remain closed is one such instance.

“With a crippled tourism sector in Tobago, to continue to deny access to one of the island’s significant tourist attractions is to literally handicap the industry’s ability to rebound,” the party said.

“When national policies impact negatively on the Tobago economy, it should be the duty of the Tobago House of Assembly to indicate such and put forward viable alternatives.”

It added, “The merits of options that consider group restrictions to limit gatherings, no music, specified opening and closing hours, coupled with the encouragement of behaviour modification by the citizenry, is the public-private partnership needed to ease the stress of the prevailing social prison. It is worth renewed efforts of engagement.”

The IDA said while the reopening of the economy presents challenges that may not always get the support of all the people they are meant to benefit, “it requires an all-of-society approach to meet and surmount these challenges.

“Our leaders have failed to demonstrate they can engage the public in any meaningful way to solicit its buy-in to move ahead in the best interest of the nation. When our leaders find themselves at such a place, we must admit we are in crisis.”