BVI News

CTL boss speaks unity, food sustainability and worker security

Below is a statement from the Managing Director of CTL Home Center, Michael Thomas on COVID-19

I take this opportunity on behalf of the CTL’s family to encourage all of our customers, families and friends to adhere to all of the directives given by our Government for our protection and safety during this time of crisis.

Our success with overcoming this crisis totally depends on us working together. Needless to say, I fully support the twenty-four-hour six-day curfew because I am convinced it will help to stop or at least slowdown the spread of the Coronavirus.

We are a very sociable people and our socializing is the easiest and quickest way to spread this virus. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to continue to practice social distancing; frequently washing our hands; and sanitizing our surroundings, while strengthening our immune system.

I also take this opportunity to express my sincerest gratitude to our Doctors, Nurses and all of our other healthcare and essential services providers for their service and the sacrifices they continue to make to maintain our wellness, to keep us safe and to make us comfortable.

We may not always see you or hear you, however, we know that you are on the frontline of this pandemic and we feel your presence through the comfort you bring to our lives during this crisis. My family and I continue to pray for your guidance, safety, strength and courage during the trying times to come.

The CTL family has already initiated measures to keep our customers and employees safe, which, we will continue. We are committed to continue to assist in any way we can. There are quite a few lessons to be learned from our recent crises – Hurricane Irma and now this pandemic.

Self-sufficiency is one of the first that comes to mind. I am pleased to take note of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries drive toward the development of food production in our territory. The Minister’s plans for the creation of financial and infrastructural support for our farmers and fishers are most welcomed.

I believe these plans will go a long way toward the beginning of our much-needed food self-sustainability and security. Those of us who are old enough will recall that as a people we evolved from a foundation of farming and fishing, and perhaps these crises are God’s way of reminding us from whence we came and prodding us to take a look back and bring forward those vocations and behaviours that have served us so well in the past.

And with the new available technologies and with improved infrastructure we can certainly feed ourselves and perhaps even bring additional revenue into our treasury. A second lesson is our need to return to some of our traditional values. It seems to me that we have lost our appreciation for the beauty God has surrounded us with.

We have lost the values and traditions that created the strong bond we had with our families, our friends and our communities that made us what we were as a people and as a country.

Our success has divided us instead of making us stronger. It is time for us to get back to the basics. The time when locals and expatriates supported each other and were united in the goal of building a better Virgin Islands for all, must return if our success is to continue.

A Third lesson to be learned in my opinion is for us to ensure the security of our workers. This crisis more than any other has made it clear that a national unemployment insurance fund is needed, not only as a safety net and for the security of our workers but also for our economic continuity. While I am not clear on how such a plan would be implemented, it is obvious to me that immediate discussions are needed that will facilitate the development of such a program.

Now is the time for us to put political partisanship aside, unite in prayer for our leaders that they will continue to be rightly guided through this crisis and for us to come together as one people of the Virgin Islands to overcome this and all of our challenges and crises for the continued growth and development of our beautiful Virgin Islands May God continue to bless and protect us all.


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1 Comment

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  1. humph says:

    We have lost respect for employees too.

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