Castries Mayor, Peterson Francis, has defended a planned meeting in Port of Spain with new Trinidad and Tobago Police Commissioner, Gary Griffith – and shot down critics of his move to seek crime-stopping tips from the new twin-island republic’s top cop.
Speaking with RCI’s Midday News Edition yesterday, Francis said the meeting, originally scheduled for Monday, had been shifted to yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon.
“I know that has caused a little uproar in Saint Lucia in the sense that they believe there have been killings in Trinidad and ‘what can I learn’,” he noted.
However, Francis explained that his intention was to learn how to prevent killings.
In September this year, the twin Island republic had recorded 400 murders.
“They (the critics) must also realise the population of Trinidad compared to Saint Lucia,” the Castries Mayor said during the telephone interview with Keba Tallium.
“I have known the police commissioner through following him from his days in the army and being National Security Minister and also now being Commissioner of Police and we must understand that he is recently- appointed to that job and it’s probably just over two months.
“I believe he will do a tremendous job,” the Castries Mayor said.
He expressed the view that there is a lot he can learn from the T&T top cop.
“You know, where Saint Lucia is concerned, we never talk about the good things – we always speak about the negative things and that is why we are not going anywhere.”
“The next thing you will hear is – I am not Foreign Minister, I am not Minister of Agriculture, I am not Minister of this and why should I be going on these trips.
“But as they could see right now, the city of Castries is changing and has been changing for the best for a while now under my leadership,” the Castries Mayor observed.
In Trinidad and Tobago, Francis also met with the Japanese Ambassador, the Mayor of Port of Spain and the Mayor of Arima.
While the Mayor was in Port of Spain, the government announced a Cabinet shuffle in which his substantial minister, Senator Fortuna Belrose, has been shifted from the position of being a Minister in the Ministry of Local Government to now being a Ministry in the Ministry of Tourism, Information and Broadcasting.
Mayor Francis did not comment on the Cabinet ministerial shuffle, but Senator Belrose says she welcomes the move.