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There will be an early start to today’s sitting of the House of Representatives. Legislators will meet from 10 am to discuss at least three matters. It is expected that the first report of the Standing Orders Committee will be adopted. The report recommends changes to the existing Standing Orders. It is expected that there would be a debate on the report which was tabled in Parliament last December. One recommendations said the speaking time of MPs in debates should be reduced. Under existing arrangements a MP has an original speaking time of 45 minutes with a 30-minutes extension, given by the House. Debate is also expected to resume on the Nurses and Midwives (Amendment) Bill which was presented by Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan. Two motions are also expected to be brought for debate on the adjournment of the House by Chaguanas West MP Jack Warner.
The first relates to the alleged “poor functioning of the motor vessel Warrior Spirit which services the domestic sea bridge and the adverse effects this is having on the travelling public and business in Tobago." Transport Minister Stephen Cadiz will be given 15 minutes to respond to Warner’s motion. Warner will have 15 minutes to present it. His second motion calls on the People’s Partnership Government to “make a clear and definite statement with respect to the investigation into the 732 kilogram (US$100 million) cocaine seizure in Norfolk, Virginia, last year. Warner’s motion further said that was necessary “as inaccurate media reports are currently impacting negatively on public confidence in the administration of law and order and on this country's international image and reputation."
Warner will also have 15 minutes to present his motion, after which National Security Minister Gary Griffith will have equal time to respond. There are no questions for oral answer on the order paper but two for written responses from Arouca/Maloney MP Alicia Hospedales. In her first question she wants Local Government Minister Marlene Coudray to give the names of the contractors hired by the Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporation to repair roads during the period June 2010 to August last year and the amount that was paid to each contractor. She also wants Coudray to indicate whether any buildings are being rented by her ministry but remain unutilised. The Opposition MP said if there were any such building or buildings the minister should say.