Saturday, September 24, 2016

"Old Habits and Old Arguments” are Irrelevant to the Challenges of Today"- Prime Minister of St Lucia

Below is a statement summary delivered by the Hon ALLEN MICHAEL CHASTANET, Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Economic Growth, Job Creation, External Affairs and the Public Service of Saint Lucia, at the 71st United Nations General Assembly on September 24, 2016:

Hon Allen Chastanet - PM of St Lucia
He said “old habits and old arguments” were irrelevant to the challenges of today, and called upon the United States to lift its embargo against Cuba.  Most of the world’s challenges stemmed from the denial of access to basic human rights, such as education, health care, justice and security.  The very format of engaging in a “general debate” was a contradiction because, while many spoke, few “stayed around to listen” and far fewer responded, he pointed out.  “We wonder how and why this entity is so negatively perceived by the persons we are elected to serve?”

As a small island State, Saint Lucia’s voice was meant to be equal, but realpolitik had proven the contrary, he continued.  Instead of being invited to participate in a solution to the world’s challenges, small islands had been forced to adopt programmes created by more advanced States, only to be criticized by the very same countries and branded as tax havens.  “We are left to dance between the raindrops,” he said, noting that, while deeply affected by the 2008 financial crisis, they had not participated in the solutions.

The Group of 20 had a legitimacy problem because it was unofficial and non-inclusive, he said, adding that many of its members championed the very financial and economic systems that had created the crisis, he said, emphasizing that there was no need to perpetuate a world order that elevated one group of nations over others.  Recalling that the United Nations had been founded on the belief that nations could solve problems collectively, and rooted in the hard lessons of war, he said the time had come to move in a new direction.  With the advent of the technological revolution, there was a need to embrace a new era of engagement based on common needs, innovative ideas and mutual respect, he stressed.  “We must decide whether the United Nations can continue to be a place where we lament our outdated grievances or a place where we begin to forge common ground.”

Friday, September 23, 2016

Three Blind Mice Who Took Choiseul/Saltibus on a Visionless Trip?

No access towards Sab Wisha
I make no apologies for the statement that Ferguson John, Rufus Bousquet and Lorne Theophilus are all one of the same breed of politicians, period. They were there for their self-aggrandizement - three visionless, mindless and incompetent mercenaries who embarked on a mission, to my mind, with no purpose and interest of the Choiseul/Saltibus constituency at heart. Prove me otherwise if you can.

However, if we stretch it along party lines, that may not be the cry you will hear. For the Flambeaus you will hear the Rufus has been the best thing Choiseul has ever seen since JMD Bousquet. The Etoiles shouted that Fergy did more for Choiseul than Rufus ever did. On both sides you will hear that Lorne was the worst Rep this Constituency has ever seen - pas mwen kee de e! His margin of defeat at the last general elections by a newbie attests to this.

Present state of the Pond
My inspiration for writing this piece, though I had decided to take a break (work piling on my a… like an avalanche) came from a discussion I had with a “potential entrepreneur” whom I have time for. When he uttered, “Boy I can solve the Choiseul Fisheries’ Pond problem.”  This sent my mind into overdrive. After we had discussed numerous political issues (I am rather cold these days) which he considers of paramount importance,  he went on to mention that the sand mining which is done under the guise of unblocking the Fisheries’ Pond is doing more harm than good to Choiseul. Just as soon as the cleaning is done, it’s back to square one AGAIN. A recurring decimal? Hmmmm! He got my attention here for sure!!!!

The state of the Fisheries Complex Pond is an outcry. Sand mining is dangerous. The mining of the pond sand is a direct cause of erosion along the western shorelines of Choiseul.  It is very damaging to the beach fauna and flora, ruinous to beach aesthetics, and frequently causes environmental damage to other coastal ecosystems associated with the beach.

Have you ever considered walking from the village beach to Sab Wisha along the beach - An impossible task! Where has all the sand gone? Ask the Fisheries Complex Management. People, we are losing our beaches day by day, bit by bit, to this indiscriminate sand mining at the complex. 

Excerpts from reads, “Most reports of sand mining activities are found at the very local scale (if the mining is ever documented at all). Yet, sand mining in many localities has resulted in the complete destruction of beach (and related) ecosystems along with severe impacts to coastal protection and tourism.

More distress for fishers
Problems caused by beach sand mining include: destruction of natural beaches and the ecosystems they protect (e.g. dunes, wetlands), habitat loss for globally important species (e.g. turtles, shorebirds), destruction of nearshore marine ecosystems, increased shoreline erosion rates, reduced protection from storms, tsunamis, and wave events, and economic losses through tourist abandonment and loss of coastal aesthetics.

The threats posed by sand mining are made even more critical given the prospect of a significant rise in global sea level over the coming decades…….. In many cases, addressing the issue of sand mining requires addressing the local issues that allow it to persist. This includes poverty, corruption, and unregulated development…….”

We are in serious dodo if this sand mining of the pond continues and the contractor going away with the sand instead of redistribution it along the shoreline. Generations to come will have no beach.

Discussions were still going on among the locals as how best to build this complex when Fergy in his haste to win votes allowed to the project to go ahead. Rufus another blind mouse, instead of finding a solution to the problem invested in an excavator and truck to get rid of the sand in the pond. During that time the beaches were already getting lost. Lorne, in spite of his  so called love for tourism watched the beaches further deteriorate  while all he did was encourage more frequent sand mining in the pond.

So my good friend says he can solve the problem. He says what is needed is dredging. He believes that whatever equipment is used it must be able to enter deep into the sea. However I forgot to ask him what guarantee he has that this will work? And what is he doing to ensure that he gets the contract?  Choiseulians, Fishers, there may be hope.

We of the Choiseul/Saltibus Constituency and more specifically the fishers have been taken for a ride for too long with Fergy, Rufus and Lorne who never had the vision to  solve this perennial problem at the fisheries' pond - Three Blind Mice.

The ball is now in Bradley’s Court. I look forward to see this "potential enterpreneur's" ideas taken seriously to remedy this situation in the village. But it still remains of great concern to me - what theory/proof that his method will work?

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

UWP Choiseul Constituency Branch Registered Voters Retain Tucker's Crew

Section of the registered voters
"New brooms sweep clean but old brooms know all the corners." This was the closing quote Gilbert Isaac, the guy who willingly stepped down from the chairmanship of the Constituency Branch last year to make way for Rufus Bousquet, used to encourage the registered voters of the Uwp Choiseul Constituency Branch to vote for his team -whatever he meant by that is for another show. The  voters were preparing to cast their votes for the open positions of Chairman, Pro, Treasurer and Welfare Officer at the Annual General Meeting part two. Two Sundays ago certain members were already elected unopposed - this was the last stage.

For the Chairman's position the nominees were Tassa Jean and Gilbert Isaac, Welfare Officer - Peter Phillip and Veronica James, Pro - Anison Hunte  and Christopher Gustave while Ellen Francois and Ignatius Jean  were the nominees for the post of Treaurer. 

The election process was conducted and supervised by one Mr Clery who was ably assisted by two ladies - the voting process was by secret ballot. All the positions were listed on the ballot paper where the voters simple had to put in their choice candidate next to each position.

The Constituency Branch Executive
Of the 111 registered voters 53 persons or 47.7%  cast their votes. The executive now comprises:-
Gilbert Isaac                -       Chairman
Brian Charles              -       Vice Chairman
Lucilla Anatole           -        Secretary
Ellen Francois             -        Tresurer
Melanie Mitchel           -        Women's Officer
Peter Phillip                -        Welfare Officer
Christopher Gustave   -        Public Relations Officer
The floor representatives being Theodora Joseph, Loretta St Croix, Jacob Langillia and Herbert Monrose. NB. The Youth Officer who was elected prior to  this meeting has since resigned. I would hope it makes room for Darrion to fit in.

Clearly a construct of Rufus' executive. Should Bradley be happy with an executive that did their utmost to keep him out of the candidacy for Choiseul/Saltitbus? That's for him to reflect on in his quiet moments. Are you seeing a pattern revealed here matching Labour's old heads still in office?

Darrion Andre Jr Louis having a moment
One could clearly identify with the frustration Darrion Jr Louis expressed in his comments when the floor was opened for suggestions /comments. He expressed his utter disgust at the comments which the present chairman whom I referred to in my opening paragraph made. "New brooms sweep clean but old brooms know all the corners?" Is he implying that there is no room for youth on this executive or is he making mention of a hidden agenda? Darrion went on to mention that he is of the opinion that his application to be a member of the party is being hijacked and in spite of it being over  three to four weeks his application cannot be located. - cocomackery at its highest. The young man is furious and speaks to the constant bombardment of calls,texts and emails to him from the young people whom he convinced to vote. (NB. Darrion spearheaded the campaign during the last elections)

My question. Is there a move afoot to sabotage this young and brilliant scholar? Is the Bruce Tucker click raising up its ugly head AGAIN? - you don't have far to go. With the exception of the secretary it is the Bruce tucker team still in charge in spite of the new dispensation. The more things change the more they remain the same.

After stepping down as Chairman last year to make way for Rufus who's intent was based purely on mischief, one would have thought that the most descent thing Gilbert Isaac would have done was to decline his nomination. He didn't because 90% of the registered voters were done by him during the fiasco period when they wanted Rufus as Chairman. And so he keeps flip flopping from head to vice and vice versa. What a comedy! 

Voting process in progress
To make things worse, Mr Clery allowed Isaac to do his bit of campaigning openly before the elections process began and that's not all, Strips of paper were being circulated during the voting process with the following names: Gilbert Isaac, Ellen Francois, Peter Phillip and Christopher Gustave - that's Isaac's team, The same team Rufus chaired. No wonder Darrion emphatically stated that the election process is flawed.

Another issue of concern which popped its head was Pastor Wallee's concern over the distribution of "the pie." He accused the Chairman of the Constituency Council of not including Saltibus in the last stimulus package. Being very passionate about his support for the people of Saltibus he went on to say, "Saltibus is part of the Constituency and we must always get a share in the cake regardless how small." The Chairman of the Constituency Council, Brian Charles, who is also the Vice Chairman of the Constituency Branch replied to Pastor Wallee explaining that the stimulus package was a meager fund and that he was instructed to use it for the cleaning of school compounds for the opening of the new school year. He went on to say that other areas (may be Saltibus) that were aired marked for the package were also tied up with the caretaker program which was to come on stream soon. Pator Wallee remained adamant and reinforced his point, "Share the pie."

All in all the meeting ended on a good note with persons being refreshed with beer, malt etc, while numerous pockets of supporters of the party were on the compound discussing the political trends of the day and still others, who had no voice at the meeting were grumbling at what transpired - the same old khaki pants!

NB: Interested in reading up on the UWP Constitution? Click on this link