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Tourism Minister Dominic Fedee Finally Answers

Image of Tourism Minister Dominic Fedee

TOURISM Minister Dominic Fedee on Tuesday answered a question he had the day before dismissed concerning vehicle concessions given to the Sandals hotel chain in St. Lucia.

Image of Tourism Minister Dominic Fedee
Tourism Minister Dominic Fedee [PHOTO: PhotoMike]
Fedee, who was thoroughly condemned by the public for not answering HTS News4orce reporter Miguel Fevrier’s question on whether he had taken to Cabinet a request from Sandals seeking concessions on 97 vehicles, finally decided to answer the question at an emergency news conference.

What motivated Fedee to answer the question he had previously decided not to answer is unclear. However, his response to the question is as follows:

“The fact of the matter is that the government gave concessions to Sandals for four vehicles. It is quite normal. The issue here, I thought, was very malicious. I did not add my voice to it. I dismissed it as pure propaganda, pure political mischief and I did not want to deal with it. I’m not here to tell the press how to do its job but I maintain I will not add my voice to rumours and I think that we have a responsibility to ensure that fair and balanced and factual information goes to the people of St. Lucia.”

Fedee said his exchange with Fevrier was not a personal attack, adding in a democracy, investigative and factual journalism is needed.

“I don’t think it does any of us any good, or make us more informed as a country, when we report on hearsay and on rumours. I think it is dangerous,” Fedee said, adding that he had done very little for Sandals since becoming Tourism Minister.

However, Leader of the Opposition, Philip J. Pierre, at a press conference on Tuesday accused the government of suppressing free speech, which Fedee has since denied.

Image of Leader of the Opposition, Philip J. Pierre
Leader of the Opposition, Philip J. Pierre [PHOTO: PhotoMike]

According to Pierre, Fedee should have recused himself from any issue involving the hotel chain as a former employee for the very reason that perception of bias would be clear.

“Dominic Fedee’s last job before he became a Minister was as an employee of Sandals. Therefore, the Prime Minister should have exercised the necessary judgment and advise Dominic Fedee to not only recuse himself but try as far as possible not to make statements that seem to favour Sandals,” Pierre said.

“There is a disposition of the government towards vindictiveness and suppression of free speech and this is very worrisome,” Pierre added.

Pierre said he was concerned about the government’s lack of transparency, its seemingly tendency to engage in conflict of interest, taking deliberate steps — some of them publicly — to suppress free speech.

The battle of words all started with Fevrier asking whether duty free concessions for a reported 97 vehicles fell under the Tourism Incentive Act, and in what category. (Fedee has since confirmed that concessions were granted for only four vehicles).

Fedee did not take kindly to the question and called on Fevrier to provide proof of what he was questioning. Fevrier also asked of the Minister whether it was true that duty free concessions for a large amount of vehicles were being considered by Cabinet.

The exchange got heated to the point where both men were talking at the same time with neither willing to give in. Fedee, however, remained adamant that he would not answer Fevrier’s question while Fevrier insisted that the question required a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

Micah George is an established name in the journalism landscape in St. Lucia. He started his journalism tutelage under the critical eye of the Star Newspaper Publisher and well known journalist, Rick Wayne, as a freelancer. A few months later he moved to the Voice Newspaper under the guidance of the paper’s recognized editor, Guy Ellis in 1988.

Since then he has remained with the Voice Newspaper, progressing from a cub reporter covering court cases and the police to a senior journalist with a focus on parliamentary issues, government and politics. Read full bio...

2 Comments

  1. Do you not feel sorry for tourists to pay good money to come here and see the misery and deep poverty?
    When is the Caribbean rip off going to stop?

  2. I honestly don’t expect any better from this idiot. All during the campaign he displayed a very bullying and arrogant attitude speaking out of turn and not giving opposing contributors a chance to speak and interrupting them. My last straw with him is when he said being able to understand and speak kweole is not necessary it is not needed when he attends meetings abroad. This idiot have to know interaction with locals is a vital part of his role. A great deal of the population are much comfortable conversing in kweole. Yes Mr Fedee they too are to be counted. Once upon a time you wanted their votes.

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