It is rather unfortunate that any administration is forced to work with non-team players at a time when there are so many issues facing the nation. The Prime Minister requires the full support and understanding of every Member of Parliament as an administration is not a contest. That part of the administration was dealt with at the polls and the Prime Minister is Phillip J Pierre, full stop.
It is now left for the Prime Minister to lay down the law or else what transpired under the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) Administration before will be a repetition. The SLP allowed itself to be sucked into an untenable situation which requires an early response to avoid the nation becoming a laughing stock. The dealmakers who plotted the whole affair should have factored in the response then in order that they won’t be caught off guard.
Exactly what the Prime Minister wanted to avoid was victimization and we do believe he was sincere but wrong and strong influences surrounding him tend to drown his promises. The burning issues today remain the famous four million dollars handout – debt relief to persons living in the CDCs, the unwarranted dismissals at the City Council, the dismissal of the Deputy Chair at the Housing Authority, the unprofessional behaviour at the last Parliamentary sitting and the list goes on. The Prime Minister is either biding his time before acting or chooses to remain impotent for now is playing with fire.
With the Covid problem heading downwards, all hands should be on deck prioritizing various areas to spur the economy and not playing hide and seek with teammates. The current administration reiterated several times while in opposition that five years comes around rather quickly and the new variant Omicron already in the air needs to be put in perspective as there will be surprises.
The economies the world over have been battered by Covid and a strong economic base has to be laid to avoid further hardship. The most unfortunate incident of a former news reporter now a prominent figure within a Government Ministry does not augur well for the image of any administration and should not be allowed to fester, as the wrong message is transmitted to other employees. Examples have to be set to maintain the perception of a responsible administration as promised by the current Prime Minister when in opposition.
We have been reliably informed that a particular Call Centre has recently delayed their expansion based on certain concessions agreed upon by the former administration are no longer recognized. If such is the case, how is the current administration hoping to deal with the loss of some five hundred new jobs when talk of youth development is supposed to be on the front burner. Talk is cheap but action is reality. Job creation will always remain an issue but once a formula has been found, perseverance remains key as indolence remains a greater burden on the state versus an investment.
This is the major difference between the two parties, one of vision and the other apprehension. While the SLP still have their concerns about the HIA terminal, Dominica by comparison with a limited tourism product has now signed an agreement for the construction of a new airport to the tune of EC one billion dollars. St Vincent and the Grenadines only slightly better than Dominica has completed the new Argile Airport in the vicinity of five to six hundred million dollars for the terminal and creation of the airstrip in the hope of enhancing the nations revenue stream.
The groundwork for a new cruise line terminal was formulated by the former administration but we have heard nothing more on the way forward which is a great pity. Tourism is the major industry in the world and more and more nations are realizing the importance. Here at home we have a booming product which needs to be properly tweaked while some of us fail to understand the level of foreign exchange brought into the country. Currently there are approximately six to twelve jets arriving at Hewanorra daily with an average of six hundred to nine hundred passengers during a Covid atmosphere.
How many businesses on island can match that kind of expansion? Tourism is not an industry in name only, it is a saviour and we need to accept the reality. The cruise line industry in Miami employs 150,000 persons and remains one of the most vibrant industries and these are the statistics we need to keep in mind to grow our economy. Creating half a dozen jobs here and there is not the answer, we must think outside the box or we shall be left behind. Unfortunately daydreaming within any administration is a disservice to the nation and should be shelved.