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Moruga/Tableland MP Michelle Benjamin

What are you doing for our cultural icons?

The question raised by Moruga/Tableland MP Michelle Benjamin following the recent eviction scare for comedian and Gayelle Channel founder Errol Fabien.

Fabien was put out from his St Joseph home, where he currently operates the channel which focuses on local culture and programming, on October 1.

He was allowed to return to the property last Friday after a Gofundme campaign raised US$60,000 to aid his payments to the bank.

“Even during a pandemic the cultural sector is being neglected. Case in point the recent eviction of Uncle Errol and Gayelle the channel could not even prompt a basic support from the government. If not for citizens who helped there would be no Gayelle today,” said the opposition MP Benjamin in her maiden contribution in the Lower House yesterday.

“Over the last five years the PNM government failed to generate meaningful creative industry development initiatives,” she said.

“Cultural spending was focus more on castles, but not on the people and institutions that drive our cultural creative industries,” said Benjamin, who also questioned the lack of plans put forward to properly host a virtual Carnival due the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Therefore. It is not enough to announce that there is no Carnival without meeting with stakeholders to see what viable alternatives are available,” she said, stressing that the Government could at very least take the suggestion put forward by Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar to have a virtual Carnival.