COULD the members of the opposition, Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) be suffering from a case of sour grapes? According to Prime Minister Allen Chastanet, their opposition for the sake of opposing suggests that they are.
Chastanet sat down with talk show hosts Francheska “Franny” Solomon and Kendell “Scady” Eugene for a candid interview on Blazin FM’s Morning Heat yesterday morning for a no-holds-barred discussion.
Chastanet spoke on a number of topics, including the controversial ‘Pearl of the Caribbean’ project and responded to calls from the public, causing the programme which usually ends at 10:00 a.m. to run overtime by 35 minutes.
Early in the interview, Chastanet addressed the SLP’s decision to organise protests and rallies in opposition to the conditions of some of the Government’s planned ventures.
Chastanet said he has always been open and willing to dialogue with anyone who is objectively opposed to the government’s plans and projects, that is, of course, after they have taken due diligence to do the proper research and have the facts about what they are opposing. However, he said in the case of the SLP, they are opposing simply out of spite because his administration is doing the job that the opposition failed to do while in power.
He said: “Unfortunately, a lot of the opposition we are hearing is actually the opposition. It is actually the Labour Party that for whatever reason wants to try to stop the developments from taking place. The sad reality is that the Labour Party had every opportunity to deliver to the people of St. Lucia, particularly when we look at the south.
He continued: “In Dr. Anthony’s tenure as Prime Minister for 15 years and District Representative for 20 years, there isn’t one project that he brought to the south. In fact, one can go to the extreme and show that in fact when he was in government, he did everything to stop things from happening.”
The PM went on to give examples, saying: “So when we left government, we’d introduced the $35 (airport) tax which had already been introduced…85-90% of the people paying the tax were tourists. There was almost $50 million already in the kitty and he took off the tax, and after five years, didn’t do the airport. You then have St. Jude, that according to their own report, was almost 85% completed. Yet, they decided to make it a bigger hospital, spent $118 million. Meanwhile, the hospital is still not opened in the south, and we’re still using the centre. The list goes on and on.”
With reference to the Desert Star Holdings Project, Chastanet said that while the opposition was crying out that the project is offering too much land and that they are giving away too many concessions, they are failing to mention that they were in the process of securing a deal with a British billionaire where they were prepared to offer over 1,000 acres of land.
As for the Citizenship by Investment Programme, Chastanet said: “I didn’t invent the rules for the CIP! We inherited the CIP. As much as the Labour Party does not want to admit it now, they’re the ones who introduced the CIP. They’re the ones who wrote the laws, and they’re the ones who passed the regulations. The regulations were amended, but the only thing that was amended in the regulations was the price, but all the other things in the regulations have remained the same.”
The current rate for St. Lucian citizenship via investment in the CIP is US$100,000 per single applicant, US$165,000 per main applicant with spouse, US$190,000 per family with up to 3 dependents (spouse + 2 children), and US$25,000 per each additional dependent.
That’s all the proverbial fat lady sang???
A lullaby about the Marshmallow calling the vanilla cake frosting /icing WHITE!
Emperor Chas, the problem is that porous Framework Agreement cum White Paoper presentation that now stands as a BINDING LEGAL CONTRACT.
From what you have LEAKED to us …..or is that flambeauyantly PISSED (albeit YELLOW urine) upon our heads …..calling it blessed rain that heralds the proverbial “Manna from Heaven”.
Your mastery of the inherent decepticon antics embedded within the reflective arcades of the Palace of Versailles…….You are a scholar of DeGaulles’ Quebec. The most notorious SEPARATIST province…oui?
As a fan of the sport , you can appreciate the inroads made by the the players’ union of the National Basketball Association. Over the decades they, like their NFL peers, have won PROFIT SHARING INCENTIVES IN NEGOTIATING LABOUR CONTRACTS .
Today, you offer an economically DOWN trodden populace a lopsided contract, in which the investor/speculator GETS ALL of the Golden GOOSE and then some.
Trickle down REAGANOMICS has never and will never flow for our 3rd world malaway.
Have us mercy please send Percy!
Prime Minister Chastanet is too afraid to foster robust and healthy discussion and debate so he resorts to rumors, innuendos and vile accusations. He has taken a slapdash approach to issues like the DSH project, CIP and other economic problems. His flagrant and frequent flip-flops and cavalier choice of words on the DSH project are highly disturbing. We can see how he quite clearly lapses into false equivalence by comparing his DSH project with his unsubstantiated claim that Dr. Anthony was trying to secure a deal with a British billionaire over 1,000 acres of land.
Mr. Chastanet, those who govern well think tactically and strategically. They know how to negotiate and compromise, when to dig in and when to relent, and how to adjust to unanticipated consequences. What we are asking is to renegotiate the DSH agreement. Currently, it is a deal made in hell. It is not in the best interest of St. Lucia. You are at the helm of the leadership of St. Lucia. Accusing Dr. Anthony right now is not a solution to our outstanding economic problems. Prove to us that you have actual convictions and knowledge. All you are demonstrating right now is that you are a political pond skater – one of those creatures that flit across the surface , sort of fascinating to watch, but have little effect as they go.
Senor Jacque Boucle
Your writing was well rounded, most satisfying read. I t is heartening to recognize your esteemed caliber of eloquence, civility, and progressive nation building acumen. You are like a buttress of TRUTH – supporting the BEST INTERESTS of our beloved St. Lucia. I can certainly learn from your patience and poise in your rational analysis.
Thanks again, for articulating this necessary perspective, so accurately and succinctly.