THE National Workers Union and the Seamen, Waterfront and General Workers Trade Union are in a recognition battle over employees of the Castries Constituency Council (CCC). The battle, which started with the filing of a petition by the workers to the Labour Department for a secret poll to determine which trade union will be their bargaining agent, ended last Friday on the ground floor of the Castries City Hall when workers voted by secret ballot.
PERMANENT Secretary in the Ministry of Social Justice, Donovan Williams has come out in support of the Human Services Department of his Ministry, which has been hammered repeatedly by the almost four year-old non- government organization ‘Raise Your Voice’ for alleged slackness in dealing with issues relating to women and children.
THE multi-billion dollar project earmarked for Vieux Fort, which was signed in July of last year by the Government of St. Lucia and Desert Star Holdings Limited (DSH) is still on course despite growing opposition to it in that part of the country.
PRIME Minister Allen Chastatent says he refuses to believe that poverty is behind the upsurge in criminal activities in St. Lucia and urged citizens, particularly parents, to re-think their priorities. “I refuse to accept that poverty is the cause for the kind of crime that we are seeing in St. Lucia today. Too many St. Lucians have been poor and have never resorted to this level of crime,” Chastanet said at a vigil and march for peace in the communities of Bois d’Inde and Jacmel on Sunday.
MINISTER in the Ministry of Finance, Ubaldus Raymond says his trust is in the Almighty God and the court system of the country following allegations of his involvement with a young woman in a matter that has gone viral over social media.
TED King, the police corporal in charge of the northern section of the Community Relations Branch is calling for crime prevention programmes targeting secondary school students following an astounding amount of weapons and illegal drugs seized from them last year and the year before. Warning that offenders and victims of crime are getting younger at an alarming rate, which should be a cause for concern to the nation, he promised that his department will continue its pro-active approach in educating the youth through school presentations, organizing crime prevention programmes and conducting professional random school searches and interventions.
JUST 10 days into the new year and already the country has been rocked by an unprecedented level of violence, resulting in six fatalities in a single day (Sunday) and several incidents of gunplay. The homicide count to date is eight, the latest incident occurring yesterday in the Morne Du Don area where it was reported that one man succumbed to gunshots to the head and back.
At least six people were killed in various incidents here over the weekend less than four days after Prime Minister …
PRIME Minister Allen Chastanet held his first press conference of the year on Thursday evening, addressing a wide range of issues. During the 90-minute briefing held at GIS Studios and carried live on NTN, Chastanet fielded questions from the media, including many related to the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP) and the Desert Star Holdings Ltd. (DSH) project…
IT is now cheaper to acquire St Lucia citizenship by way of investment. This follows changes to the regulations governing the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP) just announced by the government. The qualifying contribution for an applicant for St. Lucia citizenship is now US$100,000 or half what it was when the programme was announced at the beginning of last year.
A Saint Lucian couple who left the island for Cuba in October to pursue medical treatment there now find themselves stranded and at their wits end. Valence Emmanuel and Joanna Joseph’s saga began sometime last year after Emmanuel began experiencing a tingling sensation in his toes which eventually made its way up his legs. Soon after that, he became paralyzed.
DESPITE promises by both the former and current government to open the doors to the newly-refurbished main courthouse on Peynier Street in Castries in the quickest time possible, the building remains closed. Since undergoing a lengthy period of refurbishment after the court went into recess in July last year, the courthouse has been a hot discussion topic among members of the legal fraternity who were promised that the building would have been opened for the commencement of the new law year by mid-September last year.
WITH crime being one of the major factors making the headlines this year, much more is being expected of the police than is currently being done to reassure citizens that things can change for the better next year as far as their safety is concerned. Homicides, burglaries, rapes and drug offences are just some of the issues law enforcement have seemingly failed to keep under control, prompting many to suggest that a real paradigm shift needs to be implemented rather than just being promised.
THE House of Assembly met on Tuesday to debate bills and move motions, including seeking permission for government to borrow funds to finance its operations. However, a public protest over the Desert Star Holdings Ltd. (DSH) project overshadowed the day’s proceedings.
THE event known as ‘St. Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival’ will no longer carry that name, however the primary activities staged under that banner have not been abolished, contrary to reports that may have given the impression this was the case. The misunderstanding lies in a move by government to group all national festivals under one banner which is loosely being called the Summer Music Festival to be managed by a Festival Commission. This Commission is expected to be established hopefully within the first week of next month, according to Donovan Williams, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Culture.
THE Royal St. Lucia Police Force has unleashed its strategy for combating criminal acts this festive season with a major component focusing on community assistance. Police Commissioner Severin Moncherry is appealing to the public to get involved in the fight against crime by reporting suspicious characters to the police and acts of criminality they have witnessed or are witnessing, whatever the case maybe.
NEW concerns about the impact of the Zika virus in St Lucia were raised yesterday in a statement from the Ministry of Health which announced “heightened surveillance” of pregnant women confirmed with the disease.
The Ministry said presently, it is monitoring 50 pregnant women who have tested positive for the Zika Virus Disease. All of the pregnant women confirmed so far have recovered from the illness. However, given the concerns regarding pregnancy outcomes in Zika positive pregnant women, they are being monitored closely through antenatal care services.
WITH Human Rights Day being observed today, attorney and human rights advocate, Mary Francis, is renewing her call for citizens’ rights to be respected. As such, she is urging the political directorate and citizens to ensure that measures are in place to aid in facilitating that objective. Francis, who also serves as Coordinator of the National Centre for Legal Aid and Human Rights Inc., a non-governmental organization established in 1998 to promote and advance the importance of human rights through education and legal representation, is concerned that people’s rights are not being treated as a priority.
THE National Housing Corporation (NHC) is bankrupt, broke and unable to honour its debts. Chairman Timothy Mangal made the announcement Tuesday at a press conference. He puts the Corporation’s insolvency squarely on the shoulders of the previous administration and the house and land deals it made with foreign companies such as Bau Panel Systems, the Levity Group and other contractors.
ARCADE vendors in Castries are asking on the Castries Constituency Council (CCC) not to introduce the value added tax to their monthly rental fee which is $120. 00 as this would be going against an exemption they say was given to them by the previous government. The Council recently informed vendors that the monthly rental of booths at the arcade would be moved to $138 as a result of a sales tax effective this month. This was the first time vendors were being billed by the Council hence the introduction of the sales tax.