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Gail Alexander

If 2021 is remembered with f…aulty language, 2022 presents further challenges for political sides and spin-off effects for the public.

Main challenge, COVID-19, two years in March, brings continued watch and planning.

This includes for Omicron spread, monitoring of reinfections and breakthrough infection among vaccinated, whether new strategies including early (monoclonal) treatments will figure—and if safe zoning expands.

Tobago’s 5,716 cases and 192 deaths since 2020 may test the PDP House of Assembly’s action plan. With 667,723 fully vaccinated in T&T (at Thursday) herd immunity may still be approximately 250/300,000 off.

Whether that gap closes with public sector vaccinations remains ahead, with legal challenges expected after the vaccination mandate is added to the Public Health Order in Parliament. It’s among the first order of business when business resumes mid-January.

Looking to growth, Government’s ‘second year—Local Government elections ahead—is challenged by unpopularity with a COVID-fatigued public and rumbling labour, heading to traditionally low midterm plateau. This, with increasing UNC play, other forces on the ground, “opposition” PDP controlling Tobago and aiming for Local Government polls.

Trends and trajectories should make the Year of the Tiger further “interesting” times.

JANUARY

1—Eleven 2022 Budget measures begin (tax concessions for public, business.

3—Forms 4 to 6 at school physically. Also, post-secondary/tertiary students. Forms 1 to 3 continue remote systems.

UNC Forum—expected announcements on PS vaccination plan, People’s Revolution actions. Ahead no-confidence motions against the House Speaker, Attorney General. Legal action on Penal by-election. Mobilization in key east, south seats for Local Government polls.

Legislative agenda including Procurement Regulations. Where’s the pepper spray? Will non-vaxxed Parliamentarians have to stay home minus pay—or be changed?

10—Last affidavits in Government versus THA deputy Chief Secretary Watson Duke’s case.

Police Service Commission receives legal advice on former PolSC merit list for CoP. Advertisement expected for CoP.

National Security expectation for TT Police Service focus in 2022 on gun retrieval, training/specialist niches, greater use of technology.

Ahead evaluation of three bidders for Guaracara refinery. Shallow water/ onshore bid rounds, completion of deepwater bid rounds. Completion of negotiations concerning Atlantic’s future Carbon emissions reduction on. Decisions regarding hydrogen projects, construction start of the 112.2MW solar project.

T&TEC, WASA rate hike review completed by year-end. T&TEC’s expected first. Initiatives to improve water supply throughout 2022.

Congress of the People’s executive to plan National Council meeting to mandate COP internal elections later in 2022.

FEBRUARY

Forms 1-3 return to classes on rotational basis. Standard 5 pupils attend classes physically.

Depending on COVID, Carnival activities—small scale pan, fetes, boat rides with safe zones and vaxxed patrons. But no parade February 28 —March 1

Transformation of WASA. Commissioning of San Fernando, Trincity wastewater treatment plants

28—High court alleged “kickback” case begins for Anand Ramlogan Gerald Ramdeen.

28/March 1—Caricom Intersessional COVID and vaccine updates, Haiti’s situation, private sector report on agriculture thrust among expected agenda.

MARCH

Deadline for TTPS firearms registry audit showing who got what, when (and possibly why). Third arm of a National Security “exercise” (says PM) apart from the security brief done by former security heads and Justice Stanley John. These come to conclusion at “the appropriate time.”

31—Secondary schools Assessment exam

APRIL

What progress on TTPS probes re: three PNM people, three UNC people?

ECC; Standards 1-4 classes on rotational basis.

MAY

Mid-year review—word on property tax amid slow property roll numbers; TT Revenue Authority.

JUNE

After $23B in taxpayers’ money for Clico’s bailout, June’s six years since the Colman Commission of enquiry report on CLICO and HCU went to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

JULY

Parliament recess

AUGUST

10—PNM Government’s second-year anniversary

17—A Police Commissioner yet a year after Gary Griffith’s contract ended?

SEPTEMBER

Third session of 12th Parliament rolls.

OCTOBER

2023 Budget

NOVEMBER

Draft Local Government order on boundaries.

DECEMBER

Local Government elections due.