At a political meeting in his constituency, Alva Baptiste was quoted as saying “No Army, no election needed to stop DSH.” Is DSH so bad that it merits such statement from a seasoned politician I thought to myself? On the other hand,is the present government, the PM in particular, to blame for all the rhetoric being spewed about the project. What is the truth about the project?
There appears to be a lack of genuine concern on the part of government to sell the project to St Lucians. It is being widely suggested that the Prime Minister seems to be the only visible government pushing the DSH project. (We have heard certain Government Ministers agree that there are clauses which are unacceptable.) Granted he may be the only one of the lot who may have detailed information about it, however there is enough material about the project in the public domain for every government minister to trumpet its worth. Why is it not being done?
“Choiseul on the Move” believes that this is a national issue which has far reaching implications for every Saint Lucian today and in the future. There has to be more transparency on this matter. Saint Lucians must make informed decisions on such a significant project.
Over the last several weeks and months the United Workers Party has noted with increasing concern, as the Saint Lucia Labour Party, in various guises campaigned against the much needed development in the south, in particular the DSH project.
The Government must come clean on DSH and involve the people in deciding what is acceptable in the DSH project. Why? According to SLP, “Because this is not a single hotel project but a major project involving over 900 acres of mainly public lands, which will affect a national reserve and force the relocation of hundreds of citizens. It involves offering thousands of Saint Lucian passports for sale which will affect the identity and sovereignty of our people. This is a national issue with huge repercussions for generations yet to come.”
There is sufficient talk going around that speaks to Government’s claim that the project will bring economic deliverance to an economically starved Vieux Fort is being seen as a move to wrest the southern part of the island from the SLP representation in parliament.
It is also clear that there is no consistency, accountability or transparency in the way the Government deals with the people. Other examples include (CIP, and Dolphin Park) on how the Prime Minister and the Government say one thing today and another thing tomorrow.
The UWP Government has indicated that it is attempting to renegotiate parts of the Agreement. There are still some burning issues which the PM and his government needs to clarify for the citizens of this country:
1: The Framework Agreement provided for the establishment of an Escrow Account in a foreign jurisdiction, will the Government require that the Escrow account be held in Saint Lucia?
2: The Framework Account provides for the holding of CIP monies by the developer in the Escrow account to fund races and pay for the operations of the race track, will the Government reject that the sale of our passports be used for the Developer to operate the race track?
3: How much finance is the developer contributing to the Project and how much is requested as CIP financing?
It needs to be noted here that we too, in the Choiseul/Saltibus Constituency 1. Be updated and 2. have our voices be heard on the DSH project. Would TownHall meetings be too much to ask for?
In closing “ Choiseul On The Move” would like the PM and his government to lay the cards on the table and be more forthcoming about development projects.