Dillon – Remy: Autonomy Bill debate for Tobago still a possibility

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Dillon – Remy: Autonomy Bill debate for Tobago still a possibility

The discussions surrounding autonomy for the island of Tobago has increased by more than a few decibels as there are calls once again for it to be considered.

Yesterday Chief Secretary Farley Augustine expressed disappointment that President Christine Kangaloo did not address the issue of autonomy for Tobago in her maiden address to members of the Lower and Upper Houses of Parliament on Monday.

Augustine said the topic has been tossed around by several chief secretaries before his time and he hoped the Government would bring legislation to finally address this years-long request.

Commenting on attempts to address autonomy via the Draft Constitution Amendment Bill (Tobago Self Government Bill) for the sister isle back in 2021 Senator Dr Maria Dillon-Remy gave some insight on what occurred when a JSC report was presented.

She said the Joint Select Committee which she sat on presented its report to the House on the Bill in July 2021, following which a walk out by the UNC occurred for reasons that are still unclear to her.

She said since then the Bill did not return to the House, however it has been rolled over so for the fourth session of this Parliament it is possible to have the Bill debated and then Tobago will have the opportunity to put in amendments they would like to see included.

She said that Tobago has to court both sides to ensure that they get what they’re asking for.