Joint Select Committee announced to look at Tobago's Autonomy

A Joint Select Committee has been announced by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.

Speaking at a preliminary session of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA), Dr Rowley said it was established to look at Tobago’s internal self-governance.

The Prime Minister said he will take the matter to parliament to be addressed expeditiously. Dr Rowley said that by the end of the first session of parliament, he expects the JSC to have completed its exercise and report what is available, and he said he hopes it will be to the satisfaction of the country.

He said work can quickly begin on legislating the change thereafter.

“And put this business behind us once and for all,” he said.

However, he warned Tobago that with self-governance will come the need to strengthen the island’s economy. He laid out what he says are the necessities regarding the island’s development, adding that these ultimately would lead to less persons looking to the Assembly.

Meanwhile THA Chief Secretary Orville London detailed talks held between the Prime Minister and himself, saying they were very successful. London said the two spoke of the timetable toward Tobago’s self-governance.

London said there was agreement to have frequent discussions, aimed at working out some of the greater challenges that come with autonomy. He said he acknowledges that they cannot foresee all challenges but that talks will at least help them be better prepared.

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