|Choiseul District Rep|
The press release went like this:
CASTRIES, Saint Lucia – Monday, 11 November 2013 – The Choiseul/Saltibus Constituency Branch is calling on Parliamentary Representative, Hon. Lorne Theophilus and Minister of Infrastructure, Port Services and Transport, Hon. Phillip J. Pierre to come to the relief of the elderly, sick, school children and residents of Darban, Saltibus and Balca by effecting urgent and much needed remedial works on the Darban, Saltibus and Balca road network.
The Government of St. Lucia Ambulance Service has stated categorically that they will not drive into these communities to transport sick persons to Hospital as the road is too deplorable for the Ambulance to traverse.
Delivery trucks from the Windward and Leeward Brewery and other wholesalers have also refused to service these communities because of the terrible road conditions. Bus drivers and other motorists have complained that their vehicle’s suspension cannot withstand the condition of the roads any longer.
The residents of Darban, Saltibus and Balca want to remind Hon. Lorne Theophilus and his local surrogate Mr. Kevin Thomas of their responsibility to the constituents, as this situation has become a matter of life and death for the sick and others who may fall gravely ill and will be needing the services of the Ambulance. The livelihoods of persons living within these communities are also being impacted negatively by deplorable condition of the road network.
We the residents are expecting urgent action by all responsible parties. (Photographs of the deplorable roads are attached for reference).
|Minister of Infrastructure|
Pierre, swinging from left to right in his cushioned chair continued, ".......as we speak a contractor is costing the roads, so that the cost of the contractor can be compared to the estimates of the Ministry. His big bloodshot eyes starring through his glasses as if to imply uncertainty, he continued. "When that happens, when the process is completed,we will endeavour to fix the roads for the people in the area." (this reminds me of Lacobs statement where he said an investigator came into the country, did his work and flew back out - and not one Lucian knew about this?)
But Pierre had to shift the blame. This has always been the modus operandi of the SLP. he contends that these roads has always been bad even during the time of reign of the last administration. is Pierre suffering from amnesia? Can't he remember, the works done on both the Daban and Balca roads? can't he remember it was smooth sailing from Piaye to Saltibus?
Lorne, devoid of all the posturing and aggressiveness he has known to display in the House, was rather sombre and had a look synonymous with Kenny sometimes, when he needs sympathy from the public, frown-less this time around, he went on, ".....I understand and feel the plight of the Constituents, because these roads affect them in a material way. We have instances where the people are cut off in times of bad weather and in instances where people cannot have access to ambulance services. We have instances where people cannot even get buses to take them to their homes. These are not conditions anyone would like to live under, and I as District Representative of Choiseul-Saltibus, I take this matter very seriously."
It is not surprising, like Pierre, Lorne had to find fault with someone or something. He claims, " It is unfortunate that during this time when people know the process is on the way they decide to make a political football of it. He went on, " But that is the nature of the game. It's just that we'll do what is necessary...."
During his last Budget contribution in the House, he vowed to be consistently present in the constituency. This has not materialized, and there should be no reason to blame the Constituency Branch for calling upon him to live to his reputation as District Rep.
Pierre says that the rehabilitation of the roads will cost approximately $10m and should begin in the next two months.
The Saltibus, Daban and Balca residents await this project with bated breath. The bus drivers have threatened strike action if the officials do not keep to their word. The Rep's popularity in his constituency is way down low, and it would be to his advantage if he could see this project commencing before the festive season, at least to put bread on the table of many in the constituency.