SPORTS Minister Kenson Casimir is stressing the need for the financing of sporting activities to be taken seriously.
In his maiden parliamentary speech on Tuesday the Member of Parliament for Gros Islet said that one of his first undertakings in the ministry was “to correct the careless and irresponsible way” that the former government handled Australia cricket team’s tour of the Caribbean, earlier this year.
He lamented that the tour left scores of St Lucian workers unpaid for their services.
“Not only were these people left unpaid, but they were left with no explanation for the position that they found themselves in,” the Sports Minister said.
According to Casimir, the Ministry was left with “no line items” to manage the St Lucia leg of the West Indies – Australia tour as their finances were depleted
“There was no MOU signed between St Lucia and the relevant stakeholders for this event,” he said.
He also noted that the organisers provided no estimates of expenditure for hosting these matches.
“There was also no approval from Cabinet to host that match …yet with the snap of a finger someone decided in the most ad hoc manner that St Lucia was hosting the series,” reported Casimir , a former employee in the Youth and Sports Ministry . He said no money was allocated to pay the hundreds of workers employed for the series that included, law officers, fire officers, security officers, nurses, plumbers and other ancillary workers.
Casimir says that since assuming office, he has hastened to try and address the reckless and callous way that this series was managed.
The Sports Minister explained that he wrote a memo to Cabinet, pleading for remuneration on behalf of the workers and to obtain the monies to pay them in these tough economic times.
“We are going to source almost $140,000 to pay these workers,” he disclosed.
“Under my watch as minister of youth development and sports, I will ensure that when we engage our young people, the requisite financing to pay them for their skills and services are actually available,” he added.