National Pride Lacking

IT is certainly not surprising that despite the Nobel Laureate Festival passing its halfway mark this week organizers continue to beg the indulgence of larger audiences. That hue and cry has been the norm for years and popularized by Governor General Dame PearletteLouisy, who chairs the Nobel Laureate Festival Committee. After years of pleading, her best appeals for support have become a hoarse voice amidst the noise.

Image: A design of the proposed Pearl of the Caribbean.

Consensus And Consultation

THERE are several aspects of governance that this newspaper has repeatedly promoted and encouraged over the years. One is the need for us as a nation to strive for consensus on critical issues especially those of national importance. Another is for consultation between government and people where matters relating to the development of the country are concerned.

In September 2013, the Castries City Council announced it was moving to restore the capital's aesthetic beauty. Two years later, the situation is much worse.

A State of Disgrace

THERE must be some level of respect for customers on the part of business entities out to make a dollar. However, with business becoming increasingly competitive, it seems that some are willing to sacrifice respect at the altar of the almighty dollar without any misgivings. The situation is so bad that even customers are turning a blind eye to some of the problem

Image of Crime pill

A Hard Pill to Swallow

IT’S a hard thing watching, reading or listening to the news these days knowing that at least one crime story might overshadow whatever positives are being achieved in this country. Quite often, the nation is left seemingly at a loss for words and comprehension as to why “good boys” and “good girls” keep raping our women, robbing our homes or killing each other through senseless violence.

Sir Dwight – The Best Legacy

SIR Dwight Venner was finally laid to rest this week, but still the tributes to this outstanding son of the sub-region continue to pour in and we are beginning to hear talk about ways in which he can be immortalized. One suggestion that is being advanced, which we heartily endorse, is having his image printed on our EC currency.

Pros, Not Cons

SAINT Lucia’s Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP) featured prominently last Sunday on CBS’s “60 Minutes” programme in an episode entitled “Passports for Sale”. In the episode, the island was listed among other nations implementing the programme as being “cash-starved” and benefitting from the US$2 billion global industry that – unfortunately – provides a safe haven for people with questionable pasts.

Image of Prime Minister Allen Chastanet

2017 – Year of Anticipation

THE year is ending on a very somber note for us in St Lucia. The level of economic activity and public spending that we witnessed during Christmas was a clear indication that this country is still struggling to find its feet after the decline of the past few years. In fact, there are lingering fears that things could get worse before they begin to get better.

Image of Mayor Peterson Francis

Commendable Move By CCC

THE recent appointment of 23 city police officers by the Office of the Castries Constituency Council (CCC) in an effort to stem criminality in the city is a commendable move that was way past due. Over the years, the lament has been that not enough security personnel were deployed in the city to ensure the safety of citizens and tourists, especially during rush hour and peak business days. That anomaly has resulted in many calling on the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force to step up its efforts at fighting crime by filling that need.

Too Little or Too Much?

THAT a framework agreement signed by the Government of Saint Lucia and an investor, DSH Caribbean Star Limited finds its way into the public domain despite clauses contained therein that speak to confidentiality is a precarious scenario. Firstly, it speaks to the government’s quality of security measures in keeping confidential records confidential. Obviously, the ostensible “leaking” of the 20-page agreement is a major concern for any investor pondering whether they should plunk down a sizeable sum of money in any project here.

A Greater Resolve

With just over a week left to go in 2016 before the new one creeps in, there seems to be some sense of optimism brooding on the horizon. However, there is still that nagging school of thought that everything will go downhill, especially among those still wishing that the government – and by extension, the country — fails.

An Outstanding Caribbean Man

A truly outstanding Caribbean personality passed away last Friday, but sadly, the majority of people in the region might not have heard of him, far less be aware of his claim to fame. In fact, so little was said at the time of his death that had it not been for the words of tribute from OECS Director General Didacus Jules, his passing might have gone largely unnoticed.

Freedom of Information

TWO of the regular contributors to the columns of this newspaper have raised the matter of a Freedom of Information Act for St Lucia, in their separate articles this week. We welcome the suggestions since they are in line with our own thinking, voiced as recently as last month, about the need for information to be made available to our citizens so as to help them enlighten themselves about issues facing the country.

Image: Street vendors in Vieux Fort

Pay The City Its Due

THE recent uproar by the membership of the Castries Vendors Arcade that the monthly rental of booths would increase from $120 to $138 this month will obviously make the Castries Constituency Council (CCC) look like a dinosaur trying to eat a housefly. However, that is not necessarily the case.

HIV/AIDS Shocker

DID St Lucia drop the ball in the fight against HIV/AIDS? Or is it that we never had the ball in hand in the first place? We are forced to ask these questions after hearing the shocking news this week about our HIV/AIDS figures. St Lucia has already chalked up some records in the field of health that are not at all flattering. Now we have gone and added “the country with the second highest number of people living with HIV/AIDS in the Eastern Caribbean” to our list of negative accolades.

Image of Fidel Castro

A Positive Sign

EVEN in the worst times, some of the best lessons in life must not find us missing them. Quite often whenever constructive criticism is given, one gets the impression that such criticism must be based solely on highlighting the negative. Sadly, the positives often go unnoticed — or worse – unrecognized…