Letters & Opinion

Chickens Coming Home to Roost

By James Edwin

It is quite obvious that the SLP are unable to differentiate between a UWP Opposition Leader and one of their own.  Subsequent to the SLP loss in 2016, what we all witnessed was outright war against the current government.  This is not the type of democracy known to civilized nations, but unfortunately, that is what it is here at home.  The former Prime Minister lay low for the honeymoon period of one hundred days, but unfortunately, that period was squandered by the Pierre administration all because of immaturity.  Presently, the former Prime Minister is back home attending Parliament and ready to do what it takes to ensure the current administration gets their act together in running the country.  For those who suffer from amnesia, we are today presenting the areas addressed during the five year term in office by the former government. 

1. Completion of Soufriere Square

2. Completion of the Hummingbird Beach Park comprising of restaurants and gift shops for locals plus a beach facility with 150 lounge chairs for the tourism industry.

3. Completed the first phase of the DSH Horse Racing Track at a cost of US $31 million financed directly by the owners

4. The complete redesigning of Derek Walcott Square

5. Fifty-eight miles of roads and sidewalks constructed over the entire island

6. Completion of the Dennery North bridge

7. Seventy percent completion of a major roundabout at Union

8. Seventy percent completion of two roundabouts and 1.5 miles of a four-lane highway at Rodney Bay

9. Twenty percent completion of a $600 million dollar airport terminal

10. Completion of a four million gallons water storage plant at Beausejour, Vieux Fort

11. Fifty percent completion of the largest bridge ever constructed in St Lucia being undertaken by the Japanese and St Lucia Government to the tune of EC $180 million.

12. Completed all necessary works at OKEU to facilitate the opening of the hospital after five years of promises by the SLP.

13. Retrofitted the entire Victoria Hospital to the level of a Respiratory Clinic for Covid-19.

14. Negotiated with the Cuban Government for 120 medical staff to assist our medical team in managing the pandemic.  With this foresight the UWP administration were able to contain the loss of life to just 80 persons in 18 months versus the SLP who witnessed 180 deaths in two months

15. The UWP administration opened the country’s doors to maintain the economy by weighing the importance of lives and livelihoods.

16. Completed a top-class vendor’s market and dedicated bus terminal in Soufriere Town which is nonexistent within the OECS.

17. The reconstruction of the dilapidated Daher Mall which remained an eyesore for years.

18. The Cabot Development which is today recognized as a beacon of development by the entire nation despite all the political criticism.

19. The major extension of the Pointe Serephine docks to accommodate super cruise lines at a cost of EC $45 million

What is so very sad is the fact that over one thousand construction workers and some one hundred and ten equipment owners have been made redundant.  Any forward-thinking nation would grasp the opportunity to address their infrastructure while Covid placed a damper on most of the well performing businesses.  This senseless decision has now placed the nation in a difficult economic situation where desperation by the working man has created a type of criminal activity.  The daily and nightly break-ins at homes and business places are now at the highest level in the history of St Lucia.  One leading business entity has recently experienced two of the most sophisticated robberies encompassing a team of well-coordinated burglaries.  The dollar value of these sophisticated raids have been in excess of half a million dollars.  The staff of these organizations remain dumbfounded at the method of coordination of those robberies.

The former Prime Minister understood the gravity of unemployment and in his wisdom created a major infrastructural development to offset what is happening today but the opposition never understood the rationale of those projects.  Instead, the opposition twisted the concept and sold their concoction under the guise of corruption.  Today, the chickens have come home to roost as the one thousand displaced workers and the one hundred and ten equipment owners have not been able to obtain alternative employment.  The owners of small, medium and large businesses are today under pressure based on the presence of organized crime which now represents the number one challenge.  We patiently await the next move by government to both address and rectify this calamity.

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