A Happy New Year to All!

We are on the cusp of another year, however, as has been the case for many, many past years, this New Year (2024) will start off in the same vein 2023 ended for many Saint Lucians, despite their fervent hope that the New Year will bring them a better life than they presently have.

We are fully aware that 2023 has been a rewarding and challenging year for some and a disappointing and uninspiring year for others. But if there is one thing many of us should be thankful for is that we have survived 2023.

We will not delve into resolution making for the New Year, neither will we engage in political synopses as is usually the case this time of the year and as expected by political pundits. However, we can say that we are excited about 2024.

We look ahead to our government and the King’s loyal opposition working together to bring Saint Lucia economically and scientifically upward, leaning positively on the side of computerization – what with artificial intelligence poised to integrate itself in almost every facet of global development.

We are excited about 2024 because we expect big things from our government in the coming year such as the completion of St Jude Hospital, construction work (for all to see) on the refurbishment of the Hewanorra International Airport. We also expect to see the Special Prosecutor in full prosecuting mode, and our roads and other infrastructure in top notch condition, as promised by government in a statement that 2024 will be the year for infrastructural development.

Being excited about 2024 does not in anyway suggest that we are unmindful of the challenges this New Year is bound to bring, as we are fighting – all of us in our own way the vicissitudes of life, made harder for many of us who believe that compassion, love and understanding are in short supply in this land.

Make no mistake, 2023 has been a year of immense suffering for many Saint Lucians as it may very well be one of our worst years for gun crimes. We have probably recorded more homicides via a firearm than ever before. Government response to the bloodbath in Vieux Fort and other parts of the island has been partially successful, however we expect firmer handling of that situation in 2024.

But we are not losing hope as there are signs that this New Year will usher in new beginnings for many of us, especially our protective agencies, like the police force for instance, which has shown a determination to take the fight to the criminals. There are also signs that our youthful population are determined to make something for themselves as signs show a widening of the pool of businesses owned by young people.

There is nothing magical about the New Year so don’t expect things to magically change. Hard and honest work, building your own business or building that of another as a salaried employee is still the best policy.

Therefore, as we enter 2024, let us do so with a clear sense of what we want to achieve and with a confidence which matches the sense of clarity we will need to have in pursuit of our achievements.

And let us hold our government and opposition to account as we believe 2024 could very well signal the start of a new era in politics in this country, not one of divisiveness and discord, but one where schism, acrimony and dissension are but ghosts of our past.

To those of us who are in charge of Saint Lucia today, let us make this bold statement that in 2024 we will commence building Saint Lucia to be a better place for our children and grandchildren.

Let us remain optimistic as we enter 2024 remembering that as bad as things are, we, working together, can make things better.

And with this we’d like to wish all of you a Happy New Year!

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