Letters & Opinion

SLHTA, The Chamber and reality must work in tandem

By Adrien Stanislaus

Revisiting The Voice Newspaper of February 16th, 2022 there are two articles of vital interest to many St Lucians.  The first article deals with the advice of the SLHTA to address the current protocols while simultaneously stressing the need to act appropriately.  Incidentally, this was the direction the former PM and former Minister of Tourism laid out. This plan was so effective that in the first half of July 2021 in one day some 2,100 persons entered St Lucia and another 2,000 visitors departed.  Additionally, the figures showed that between November 2020 to July 2021 St Lucia outperformed Barbados four to one.  The reason being that the UWP administration diluted the protocols to increase economic activity and today this is what the SLHTA is recommending. 

The second article on The Voice addresses the patrimony of the nation by the current Tourism Minister.  Patrimony is one thing, economy is another and unfortunately the consensus of the SLP has yet to understand that the two must work in harmony.  The recent decision by government to rescind a Cabinet conclusion regarding the Cabot development is unfortunate based on the fact that Cabot fulfilled several obligations including the relocation of Marjorie’s restaurant and addressed the Amerindian site as required by the former consultants.  Putting people first comes in different forms and in our humble opinion if we can provide employment for two hundred persons within a development versus implementing an action for an individual who was satisfied with what the developer promised and implemented is beyond our comprehension.  This is where common sense must prevail at a time when the world is under economic pressure.

To date, our new minister of housing has successfully completed a step in the Bois Patat area and has also successfully closed down three major housing projects in the vicinity of several million dollars.  Good people!  Is that the type of change we voted for?  It is now seven months since this administration has been in office but apart from the successful approach of shutting down projects, we have no indication what projects are on the horizon as far as development is concerned.  I remain heart broken and despondent when I drive around and witness the number of completed projects and ongoing projects put in place by the former administration in comparison to the current administration.  As a gentle reminder to the nation, the untouched and ongoing projects are as follows.  The Union Roundabout, the Cul de Sac Development, the Grace Treatment Plant in the south. The HIA terminal, the reconstruction of the Daher Mall and the three Call Centres in the south.  The shut down operations of three major housing projects employing over nine hundred persons directly and three hundred indirectly.  The Rodney Bay roundabout and road expansion 500 persons directly and 220 indirectly.  The closure of St Jude’s Hospital where 300 persons were laid off, the DSH Project with 150 employees appears at a standstill.  No follow up on the Cruise Line Terminal in the South.  No movement on the Police Headquarters, agriculture remains at a standstill despite all the good intentions displayed prior to the elections.  The great youth economy also remains in the pipeline.

On the other hand, the criminal activities on island which reached the highest numbers in 2021 are doing extremely well as some twelve homicides have been registered for 2022 thus far.   Going out of the way to reverse solid ongoing projects to politically undermine the former leader is childish and nonproductive and the current PM must develop the courage to deal with the Ministers harbouring petty jealousies.

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