UNC questions Massy training, Dragon deal

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

UNC Senator Wade Mark. –

Opposition Senator Wade Mark said on Friday that the public was under relentless assault by the PNM, accusing the government of not caring about the well-being of its citizens.

Mark criticised the government for “brutalising” citizens through higher prices, rising unemployment, underemployment and growing income inequality. He voiced concerns about what he claimed was a misuse of “scarce” foreign exchange by Massy, and he criticised the Prime Minister for allegedly making light of that issue.

Speaking at a media briefing, Mark referred to former Central Bank governor Jwala Rambarran, who had previously advised on the mishandling of foreign exchange and was subsequently dismissed by then acting president Christine Kangaloo (now the President).

Mark condemned the administrative leave of Massy vice president and general counsel Angelique Parisot-Potter, claiming Massy took unilateral action.

On Monday at the company’s AGM, Parisot-Potter alleged necromancy and white-light self-healing were part of Florida-based training on which Massy had spent scarce foreign exchange.

Massy, in a statement on Tuesday, denied the claims by Parisot-Potter.

“The company categorically denies using the (Florida) programme to train people to communicate with the dead or heal them with ‘white light.’ as alleged by Ms Parisot-Potter.”

Massy described her remarks as “patently untrue and scandalous.”

It said the Massy board of directors had begun a disciplinary process to review her conduct at the AGM against her duties as general counsel and would follow due process to determine how it should be handled “responsibly yet decisively.”

Mark said the state had shares in Massy as he expressed concern about the impact on financial shareholders, including the National Insurance Board (NIB) with 20 per cent shares and the Unit Trust Corporation with substantial shares.

Mark questioned the significant spending by Massy on leadership training programmes over the last ten years, raising concerns about the use of foreign exchange.

The UNC, according to Mark, is calling for the immediate resignation of Massy CEO Gervase Warner and chairman Robert Riley.

Mark added that former chairman Robert Bermudez must provide answers about his role in the matter during his ten-year tenure.

Mark stressed the financial pressure on NIB, pointing out a deficit and questioning the sale of Prestcon for $17 million when he estimated its value at over $100 million.

Turning his attention to TT’s signing of the Dragon gas deal in Caracas, Mark said the government could not be trusted as he demanded full disclosure, transparency and accountability on the production licence and related agreements.

Mark was referring to the government’s announcement on Thursday that, at around 9 pm in Caracas, Energy Minister Stuart Young signed the final documents that gave the green light for natural gas from Dragon to flow to TT.

Young broke the news around 11 pm on Thursday via a Facebook post.

On Friday, Mark also called on the government to ensure small business owners receive their packages before Christmas, emphasising the impact on their income.