Hunt ‘apologises’ for $2m flag fiasco

$2M flag at the Hasely Crawford Stadium
$2M flag at the Hasely Crawford Stadium

Hunt: $2m flag a misstep
Sport and Youth Affairs Minister Gary Hunt says the erection of a $2 million flag last year at the Hasely Crawford Stadium off Wrightson Road in Port of Spain was a misstep.

It was an error
BURIED in the middle of an address to the nation last night, in which the Government praised itself for all it was doing for the development of sports and young people in the country, came the admission by Sports Minister Gary Hunt that the controversial $2 million flag erected at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, was an “error”.

We got it wrong
Hunt apologises for $2m stadium flag fiasco

20 thoughts on “Hunt ‘apologises’ for $2m flag fiasco”

  1. It is very insulting for our leaders to treat with our concerns in the manner they do, they are quick to imply that we are obstructionists and having political motives when we raise issues.

    The following is an exchange between the Minister and myself via face book – this was before he realised that he mistepped. Yo come now and say the he has mistepped is just insulting.

    Marlon RadioPolice 05 November 2009 at 09:23
    Sir, could you do us a favour and not insult the citizens of this country please. We deserve better, after all you people depend on us to vote for you so you can have all that you have at our expense. I am trying to be very polite to you, well not you your office, but its difficult, so I would end by asking that you find it in your hart, if you have one, to not insult us.

    Gary Hunt 05 November 2009 at 20:56 Report
    I think it was honest to lay all the facts on the table.

    Marlon RadioPolice 06 November 2009 at 09:03
    but Sir, the facts came in trances, listen, no one in this country rases these issues just to make others look bad or that we hate them and want to bring them down, But please sir, you must understand, if you were on the outside of this matter looking in as we are, I am sure that you would understand that from the outset it did not and cannot make sense. You first indicated that you were not too sure of the cost, but also indcated that Cabinet approved it, how could cabinet approve it without a cost. You then stated that it (the flag) cost 18,500, then eventuallly you indicated that the cost was approximately 2 million. How does this look to you sir, honestly? People in this country does have alot of national pride, but we do not need a flag to tell us that we are a proud people, we need water, good roads, safe communities with recreational facilities, to name a few. Again sir we rasie these matters for one purpose, and that is to force a change in the priorities. I do hope you can understand.

    Thanks for your reply anyways

    Gary Hunt 06 November 2009 at 19:54 Report
    There are many notes that come before cabinet. This year so far over 3000 notes have come before cabinet for approval!!! Last year when that was approved it was part of a larger work programme for the HCS and JPC. Difficult to remember numeric details of each note. The flag cost $15,600 + VAT. The structures required to fly the flag is what we clarified. Open and honest. SPORTT even took out and Ad in the paper and gave exact figures. Water, good roads, and safe communities and recreational facilities are constantly being worked on. Remember each dept. of Government is given an budget to operate. This year MSYA operated with very high efficiency. A lot more was done for a lot less. Millions was given back to the Minister of Finance by MSYA. National development is being implemented on many fronts.

    Marlon RadioPolice 10 November 2009 at 12:47
    For the past few days I have been trying to come up with a reply to this, but I cannot seem to come up with one, except to say, please sir – lets rethink how we spend D people money nah.

  2. I would describe this incompetence by the Minister as “wajang’ behavior. The Minister should be fired by his boss.

  3. PM on $2m flag: Error was made
    One day after Sport Minister Gary Hunt admitted to making an error in the construction of a $2 million national flag, his boss, Prime Minister Patrick Manning, says the Government “will try to do better in the future.”

    ‘It matters not’
    PRIME MINISTER Patrick Manning yesterday said, “it matters not”, what the error was which caused the State, through the Ministry of Sport, to spend TT$2 million on the flag at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port-of-Spain.

    Warner tells Hunt to quit
    UNC chairman and FIFA vice-president Jack Warner yesterday called on Sports Minister Gary Hunt to resign as minister in the face of his (Hunt) belated admission to errors in the controversial $2 million heritage flag at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.

    Hunt Must Go! $2 million flag scandal
    PRIME MINISTER Patrick Manning has thrown his full support behind Sport Minister, Gary Hunt, in the wake of his admittance that mistakes were made during the process for the erection of the $2 million flag at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.

    Go, Mr Hunt, go
    With his national address on Sunday, Mr Hunt obviously hoped to close an especially unsavoury chapter nearly four months after it opened, to the continuing discredit of the Manning administration. He wagered that he could confess his sin, call it a collective ‘misstep” of the Sports Company, and move on.

    …’No plans to resign’
    Fresh from his address to the nation, embattled Sport Minister Gary Hunt visited a school in Moruga yesterday, but brushed off calls for him to resign over the $2 million flag he commissioned at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.

    Opposition forces calling for minister’s head
    SPORT Minister Gary Hunt must go.

  4. It was Thomas Tusser , a 16th century English farmer and writer who said, “a fool and his money shall soon parted.”This is the case for all people, leaders ,and even nations if not careful, but particularly an encroaching trap for ‘nuvo rich,’Africans across the Diaspora, be they in sports entertainment , politics and business.
    Take the sporting world , what does OJ, Mike Tyson,Steve Mc Nair ,Tiger Woods , and now our own Brian Lara have in common? You guess it , an uncanny obsession to surround themselves with questionable types of women , who initially allowed themselves to be used , then likewise would turn around and suck them dry,before deciding to destroy within the watchful eyes of the jeering , once adoring public.
    I am certainly surprise that our former party hustling WI Captain did not hire any of the working class cousins of ‘one of dem’ Irish ,or Italian, and English gals he loved to be seen jumping up with during past carnivals ,while rehabilitating from another of the multitudes of convenient , professed injuries.
    As for politics, care to tell me what does countries such as Trinidad and Tobago, Nigeria, Sudan, Liberia, Serra Leone, Angola, and one time Apartheid South Africa have in common? You guess it, arrogant black elite leaders, as well as an abundant reserve of natural and human resources, that they choose instead to respectively mismanage, and neglect for all sorts of nihilistic reasons.
    No need to tell you again what the end result would be for the fools and their money.
    I stand corrected , however!

  5. PM Caught
    WASA orders staff at Manning’s residence to stop watering lawn immediately.

    PM: Govt plans to borrow
    Prime Minister Patrick Manning has said Government planned to borrow to fund its priority areas and this could impact on the country’s debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rating. He said such a move could attract the attention of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

    PM owes apology too
    Kamla responds to $2m flag scandal:

    It does matter
    Prime Minister Patrick Manning has not helped his beleaguered Minister of Sport by telling the media that “it matters not” what the error was in the flag flap. In our view, the Prime Minister’s offhand and dismissive answer to a pertinent question on an issue which has generated considerable public interest indicates that Mr Manning does not even know what was the error which Mr Hunt had admitted making or he does know but considers it safer for his Government to keep it a secret.

  6. I think you might be missing the point TMan. If the minister was fired for this, there would be no justification for the PNM to continue in governing this country. The minister has apologised and we move on.

  7. TMan, this is a point I made elsewhere, for the minister to be fired, like the contractor at the emperors mansion would be to admit the that the PNM is in fact very corrupt, so lets move on.

  8. Come on guys you should recognize by now that ‘you wasting your time,’with neo- tribal characters like T-Man, as he has absolutely no concern about accountable governmental stewardship, or absent leadership integrity, that might lead to resignation of any noteworthy Trini.
    Do you ever hear him demand that his one time PM in waiting Mr. Bas resign as a result of the ugly cloud that hovered over his head due to blatant acts of corruption, and improprieties committed while at the political helm?
    Of course , both him and the other self hating , ungrateful Literature Nobel Laureate, enjoys pontificating about the greatness of Europe , ‘Norte Americana,’ , and even surprisingly Asia , but deep down inside believes that the 1.3 million or more of his fellow nationals in Sweet T&T could all suffer and eventually die from some unknown plague -like malady, at the hands of a weird experiment of the Venezuelan military nut and Simi dictator ,Hugo Chavez.
    His only concern as far as this country of ours ,is to ensure that the 400 or more acres of stolen barren lands he acquired in Erin , and Los Bajos remains intact ,for his pending return,once he decides that the Canadian cold is too much for his aching bones , and or inflation has drastically affected the prices of nursing homes lodgings in the Land of the Maple leaf.
    I stand corrected.

  9. 2million for a flag…poverty, crime, RUM, etc., are overshadowing Trinidad and Tobago, but all this is just the norm of the trini society, thats why we spending $2million for a flag. is patriotism more important than the well being of the citizens of the so called “New York of the Caribbean?” Trinidad and Tobago is nothing close to being ‘almost developed!’

  10. I sense that Neal is trying to draw me out of hiding. I want to assure him that my lands are still in tact and I am keeping a sharp eye on my lands and property especially since his favorite PM is going to assault us with his increased property taxes.Fortunately, I can afford to pay: however, I sympathise with some of my fellow Trinis who are less fortunate.Even though the cold is getting to me in Maple Leaf land, I have no desire to return to a country which is governed by a bunch of clowns who try to copy every foreign idea they can get their hands on, primarily using Canadian ideas and laws without realising that you cannot transplant First world laws to a struggling copycat little island run by total dimwits.They do not realize that the concept of property tax is based on providing services first and collecting taxes later.They have it ass-backwards.Tax first and then struggle to provide services in a country without proper infrastructure to facilitate those services like running water and electricty.
    Being the closet PNM Manning admirer that you are Neal, you pontificate frequently about leadership and good governance, drifting back and forth, sometimes negatively, sometimes positively, about the pros and cons of all the political parties. You might be a piccong specialist but your comments are beginning to confuse and irritate, mainly because you do not know yourself….”nosce te ipsum” (get back to me if you need a translation)
    And yes, I love Tobago just the way it is…just returned..enjoyed every minute since I was provided with the greatest hospitality possible.

  11. Welcome back my good friend T- Man , and glad to here that you had a splendid holiday in Tobago. In addition, I am with you 100% in ensuring that what is rightfully yours remains so , and as I told you before , I will be the first in line to help ensure that no put even a pinky finger to touch one iota of it. Good luck , but remember to ” beware of the man , with nothing to loose, and never refuse to give a wing to the man who gave you the chicken.”
    I certainly enjoyed this excellent, and honest commentary on the Property tax proposal , and can see merit in your arguments against it.
    Now if only I can get the Texan Queen to come out of hiding T-Man. I miss her, as irritating as she tend to sometimes be, but at the end of the day you always seem to learn something.What more can one ask for , eh? Was that her we say behind Mark Cuban in the recent NBA all stars , is she the one in the suggestive outfit that just cross the QPS with a cold Stag in her hand?
    As to your Latin ”nosce te ipsum” slight. I will respond with a quote by Anaïs Nin. It states as follows:- “Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.”
    Love country.

  12. Lord put a hand , Curtis is living 23 years in the land of the Maple leaf, and he forgets that QPS equals Queens Park Savannah , and it is located in Trinidad. To think that I was on the verge of twisting his arm so as to invite him into my ‘Globalist Pragmatic Development Initiative Organization.’ Just might have to reconsider , while I ‘examine his horns.’
    Where is my Guyanese Berbice immigration police buddy when you need him? Now that uncle Panday is about to form his new political party , and with confused voters running away faster than we can say jack rabbit , never know who else would be encouraged to wad up the dirty Demarrara river en route to good old economically tempting T&T, so as to counteract the other pro cronyism /nepotist ,caribbean limbo dancer’s spider web. Bring me your prospective voters…… Ahhhh ,me and my twisted, cynical mind, hmmmm?

    1. Guilty as charged. I admit that I scan your books that you call posts. I know that the “Texas Queen” lives in the states and jumped to a conclusion. I apologize for my error.

  13. De “Texan Queen,”huh? Apparently ‘cat cut her tongue’ these days, when it comes to crucial bread and butter issues, but thats a different story for another day. I know a few have been trying to box me into a corner , but I have been quite consistent , so let me reiterate two points .
    Firstly,it matters not , if I resided on Mars , Manitoba Canada , Alaska USA, Northumberland England,Lisbon Portugal ,or Queensland Australia for the past two decades.The only thing that matters is my commitment to playing some role in helping to advance the lives of the people of my blessed land sweet T&T, aka Rainbow country.
    Secondly, I would not hesitate to shine a light into the hidden social recesses of our country ,where complicit members of the corporate 4th estate fear to thread, or ‘conniving ,pro distortion historian elites’ holds sway.
    Lets continue to show love for country my friend, and yes, fine tune the “end game,” as the desperate , neglected masses are crying out for relief.

    1. With that being said, don’t you believe that Trinidadians living abroad should take a serious look at returning home with their skills acquired or refined abroad to help improve TNT? Isn’t this the perfect time to contribute to Home Sweet Home?
      Perhaps TNT needs some sort of “renaissance” that could help the push the country into a better or more lucrative position in the world. Perhaps Trinibagonians such as yourself living in countries where people are use to holding leaders responsible could come home and spread some of that influence here.

  14. If I am not mistaken ,it was in John 16: 12 that our Mandingo Jesus in the ‘Black SunGod,’ King James version Bible said, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.”
    Put another way, “Hurry cooks spoil the broth.” Cousin Curtis, finer words of admonishments could not be instilled in me by any other than by my then loving Grandma aka ‘The Wise One’ , or ‘Socrates baby sister.’
    Just check the details , as it’s all about timing Curtis.Pretty soon you would get a feel as to my comprehensive master plan for the Land of the Hummingbird.
    Unfortunately, the carcasses of too many of our well intentioned fellow nationals are lining the social byways , of our blatantly neo tribalistic land ,due to the fact that they naively thought that they were capable of just simply showing up with lofty , ostentatious ideas , and the desperate masses would just succumb to their magic ,due to the fact that they are in possession of impressive credentials , sport some stupid phony foreign acquired accent, and perfected the art of ingratiation.
    On the political front ,Panday, Eric Williams, and ANR Robinson are the last of that dying breed which was able to fool the people they claim to represent, and what was the result of their foolhardiness you ask?
    Eric ,our pompous ,so called ‘Father of the Nation’ was a B grade leader at best , and so died bitter, and lonely in office , leaving behind an extremely tenuous political legacy, rift with corruption, neglect, and psychological dependence by neglected kinky headed life long fans who got pittance for their support , as he needed to sell his soul to competing tribes to stay in power.
    For all his rhetoric, wasted intelligence, and promise, Aweboy Robbie aka De Castaria Kid , was a dismal failure as far as the people of Tobago , that he too choose to use and abuse with impunity all his life with imbecilic occasional secessional talks for example, as he like Rowley and similar misguided jokers tried to be El Supremo in Trinidadian selfish , divisive social tribal economic grab ,and time wasting political maneuvers.
    As a reward , he was shot in the knees, gun butted in his head , then maligned as a racist by the same idiots that used him to gain power ,away from the PNM he had a love hate lifelong relationship with.Today, Tobago is no more than a poor man’s county , way behind Chaguanas, and a shade about a backward parish in south Puerto Prince Haiti, that would never be allowed to get to the level of the 34 other l serviced constituencies that make up or Twin Republic .
    As for Panday , what more can one say about this , corrupt ,morally repulsive , diabolical creature ,that was not uttered before by those that were victim to his disgusting and evil behaviors through the decades since he turned down the Indian Commonwealth scholarship to come home allegedly “to serve his people?” Talk about a man who has used his people , and race as a crutch to advance his sole career , and gave them so little in return for all their loyalty. Hopefully there is some justice in this world , and many in our blessed land would see the day when he is taken out shackled from one of our prisons on a stretcher , and his opportunistic , ever loyal , nepotism beneficiary daughter never able to be sworn in as Prime minister in this , or future lifetime.
    We in T&T have absolutely no desire to emulate the racially skewed , politically foolishness that his close Guyanese Marxist Dentist pal, Chedi Jagan left on that unfortunate country Guyana, after his demise.
    So where does that leave us Curtis? Since politics has created such a distasteful feeling in our symbolic mouths ,I prefer to gravitate towards more socially conscious, and meaningful people oriented ventures , that if you were able to develop the reading capability , and capacity to comprehend beyond 1st grade ,would be familiar to you by now after gleaning a few of my post over the past few months, I have been traversing this here information highway.
    Perhaps you see why I encourage every one to learn the play chess -the game of kings and generals.
    Continue to love self ,and country my friend . It does not hurt to heed your own advice of trying to make a difference- outside the tribe ,of course, as it is much more palatable, and if I dare say more wholesome, in a multiethnic , calaloo mixup society like ours.
    I wish you well.

  15. $2M, too much for flag
    DARREN MILLIEN, executive director of the Sport Company of TT (SPORTT) yesterday agreed with members of the Joint Select Committee (JSC) of Parliament that the $2 million price tag for the National Flag at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, was too much.

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