11th Sitting of the Senate
5th Session - 11th Republican Parliament
The Vice-President advised that the President of the Senate, Sen. the Hon. Christine Kangaloo, is currently out of the country. Leave of absence was granted to Sen. the Hon. Franklin Khan and Sen. Saddam Hosein, who are ill. Mr. Ndale Young, Mr. Augustus Thomas and Mr. Rishi Tripathi were appointed temporary Senators in their absence.
The Vice-President of the Senate shared correspondence received from the Speaker of the House of Representatives informing of the establishment of a Joint Select Committee on the Cannabis Control Bill, 2019.
The Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was brought from the House of Representatives in the name of the Attorney General. Hon. Faris Al-Rawi, MP, moved that the next stage of the Bill be taken later in the proceedings. The motion was carried.
Four papers were laid. See Order Paper for details.
Two reports were presented.
Three urgent questions were posed.
Three questions qualified for oral answer. All questions were answered.
Temporary Senators, Mr. Ndale Young, Mr. Augustus Thomas and Mr. Rishi Tripathi took the oath of allegiance.
Sen. Wade Mark made a request for leave to move the adjournment of the House on a definite matter of urgent public importance namely the failure of the Government to render adequate aid to citizens affected by severe flooding which occurred between December 11-12, 2019. The Vice-President of the Senate was not satisfied that this matter qualified under this Standing Order.
Sen. Mark made a second request for leave to discuss the matter of the extreme inconvenience currently being endured by the national community as a result of the demonetization of $100 currency note and replacement with other tender. The Vice-President of the Senate was not satisfied that this matter as presented qualified under this Standing Order.
The Acting Leader of Government Business moved a motion that the Senate concur with the House of Representatives in the establishment of the Joint Select Committee on The Cannabis Control Bill, 2019. The motion was approved.
The Acting Leader of Government Business, Sen. the Hon. Clarence Rambharat, moved two motions that the JSC on the National Statistical Institute of Trinidad and Tobago Bill, 2018 and the JSC on the Cybercrime Bill, 2019 be granted extensions in order for the Committees to complete their work and provide a final report by March 31, 2020. The motions were approved.
The Attorney General, Hon. Faris Al-Rawi, MP moved the second reading of The Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Bill, 2019. (This bill was passed in the House of Representatives on Wednesday December 11, 2019.) Debate began on the Bill. Following the debate, the Bill was committed to a Committee of the Whole for consideration clause by clause. Amendments were made and approved. With 27 votes for, 0 votes against and 1 abstention, the Bill was read a third time and passed.
Sen. Wade Mark raised a matter on the adjournment namely the unsatisfactory working conditions experienced by employees of the Port of Spain City Corporation. The Minister of Rural Development and Local Government, Sen. the Hon. Kazim Hosein, responded.
Sen. Mark raised a second matter regarding the need for the Government to provide the Senate with some explanation on the decision to engage ScotiaBank to conduct an auction of several non-operational assets of Petrotrin. The Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Sen. the Hon. Allyson West, responded.
The Sitting concluded at 11:00 p.m. The Senate adjourned to Wednesday December 18, 2019 at 10:00 a.m.