HON. Guy Joseph and Hon. Sarah Flood Beaubrun, talking to reporter before the sitting of the House on Tuesday, both used the word ‘sensational’ to describe media coverage of a number of news items.
One of those news items was on the La Clery housing situation and the evictions that occurred there. It came to the fore once again this week, as news broke of the ouster of the Charlemagne family on Tuesday.
When asked about this, Economic Development Minister Guy Joseph highlighted the media focus on persons who have been evicted and juxtaposed this against the lack of coverage of other residents in the whole affair — and classified this as a case of media sensationalism.
“It appears to me that every time a Government moves to address multiple problems, that the media is overly focused on what is sensational in the political aspect and not dealing with the story in its entirety,” Joseph quipped before the Parliament building on Tuesday.
He continued: “You seem to be focusing on just the moving of the people. You are not focusing on all the complaints of the residents of La Clery. You are not focusing on the complaints of schools in the area.”
The Castries South MP then challenged the media to actually go to La Clery and get the other side of the story — the side of other residents, of the schools and the Police Department.
“You should go out there and carry out interviews with the people in the general area and how their lives were affected by the activities taking place there.
“Do you know the number of complaints that had been lodged at the Ministry of Education about students from the Vide Bouteille Secondary School and all of the other issues?
“So, we were not just dealing with an issue of housing. We were dealing with a social problem that existed in the community. So, go and find out from the schools how many complaints they had lodged. Go and find out from the Police Department, the problems that they were having.”
Joseph then recalled the electrocution of a person in that area, due to the unsafe nature of the residential arrangements there.
“All of a sudden, people have forgotten that somebody was electrocuted in that same area with that same kind of makeshift arrangement.
“So, we’ve forgotten all of the things that existed and we want to [pretend] as if the government has taken a decision to make people homeless. That’s not the decision of the government!”
The person electrocuted was a member of the Charlemagne family, which was evicted on Tuesday.
The Ubaldus Raymond affair was also brought up on Tuesday.
Foreign Affairs Minister, Sarah Flood Beaubrun was asked why no female Member of Parliament had spoken out about the issue.
To that charge she challenged members of the media to get the tapes of her statements on the issue, as a female Member of Parliament.
After stating that as Castries Central MP she has a myriad of equally important issues to deal with, and thus cannot simply focus on the Ubaldus Raymond Affair, she added:
“It is really important that we don’t just focus on sensationalism, but that we focus on things that really make a difference. So.it is important that we continue to do that.”