Hilaire on DSH project: “There is still a lot more to come out”

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Castries South MP Ernest Hilaire

Castries South MP Ernest Hilaire

Saint Lucians are being urged to brace themselves for more new information coming out of the signed multi-million dollar deal between government and Deserts Starts Holding Company Limited (DSH).

Member of Parliament for Castries South Ernest Hilaire told the media on Tuesday that while quite a lot have been said about the project,  government has not addressed the concerns raised.

“It probably expresses, in many ways, the crisis that they face with this project. But I think there is still a lot more to come out. Trust me….I am sure that in the next few days, a lot more will be asked of the government to explain.”

The SLP spokesperson on commerce and investment said that this is just the first set of information on the controversial deal, explaining that “the government also went ahead and signed other agreements already.”

Hilaire maintains that there is a finality in the document.

“If it is not final, how does it provide to make changes to CIP legislation by the end of December? Look, if it looks like a duck, it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, then its a duck,” he said.

The Castries South MP said it is neither a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) or a letter of intent, but a signed agreement between two parties, which clearly says what the obligations of the government are.

“The government is saying that they still have to put detail but the detail you put will not be in contradiction to what is provided there,” Hilaire declared.

Touching on claims that the project was kept a secret by the previous administration, the MP said that the government was in negotiations, and stakeholders were present during these meetings.

“We were in negotiations. But it was a bad agreement and we would not have signed it in the form in which it was signed. So, there was nothing secret about it. You are in negotiations with another party, you include stakeholders. There is nothing yet to be made public,” he asserted.

Hilaire said the negotiation team was so bad, they didn’t even send it to cabinet for consideration because at that level, it was deemed to be a bad agreement.

“What this government has done, is sign it immediately,” he added.

The Allen Chastanet government, signed an agreement with a Hong Kong company to build the $2.6 billion Pearl of the Caribbean development on a 700-acre site on the south of the island near Hewanorra International Airport.

The project will include a marina, a racetrack,  a casino, a resort and shopping mall complex, entertainment venues, waterfront villas and apartments.

DSH Caribbean Star Limited, an affiliate of Hong Kong-based Desert Star Holdings, is expected to begin construction in 2017.

(9)(11)
This article was posted in its entirety as received by stlucianewsonline.com. This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of stlucianewsonline.com, its sponsors or advertisers.

27 comments

  1. Most people would listen if it came from anyone else but Hilaire

    (0)(1)
  2. This is why the St. Lucia Labour Party does best in opposition. A party bankrupt of ideas and morality. Known famously for the disingenuous that lead and follow the ignorant. They would complain about anything including their own budget for 2016. Their refusal to pass an Anti Corruption Act may be interpreted on the basis that it restricts open season on the public purse. Hellair, a notorious failure with great academic skills told us to take loans extend on our house and built a one and a half dual carriage way to transport unsuspecting victims from Castries to Gros Islet during world cup cricket. Now hold the reputation of themost dangerous piece of road on island. Additionally he made west indies cricket a joke of the world as he never played cricket far-less for marbles. He gave a captain a contract to lead a team for a number of years not taking into consideration performance. A thing never head of in competitive sports where all aspire to be captain. So he know how to engineer a bad deal.
    On the DSH investment deal I hold firm my reservation on any Chinese deal. However after seeing the last administration of which he was a understudy of KDA which turned a leading government into the beggars of the Caribbean. I am convinced that he knows mediocrity first hand.
    St. Lucia is at a stage where the government is forced to take unpopular risk in the interest of development. We cannot sit and not try to fail. This is not the only deal we will be forced to entertain in order to bring relief to the people. After 20 years of a no show Pm and little or no investment down south this project should be welcomed and encouraged. Instead of playing the blame game why can't the opposition join and bring better ideas to the table.Oh sorry wishful thinking. Back to regular papi- show.

    (34)(15)
  3. This was suppose to take place at el per rat ta beach y all the sudden change

    (0)(0)
  4. Do you remember the days of "Damn that Dam" and "F that Tunnel?" So where are we at now St. Lucians? Now they getting all their water from the Dam and trucks stop falling on them in Tapion, you know what they saying now? Sir John should have thought of a way to dredge the Dam. So what you all there for? You all don't want to think of nothing to save or take charge your lives? However, nobody is asking why didn't our "GodWhoHasDoneNothingWrong" think of emergency vehicles and road shoulders in case of emergencies when constructing the four lane death trap!!! you have a priest who has no problem with crime and homosexuality but has a problem with a development? Its like God said to save the beach but didn't say anything about morals. I hope that you know that the whole world is reading the illogical arguments that you present.

    (6)(22)
  5. Where is the leader of the opposition? Is Hillaire the CIP marcko responsible for making all investments leave St. Lucia? I agree with the people who oppose this project. Vieux Fort should stay how it is. A freaking slum with a diminishing population, growing ghettos and wonderful beaches. They can also keep KennydonothingforVieuxFort Anthony as their representative. They should just join the two vieux fort constituencies with Labourie and leave it as the most un/underdeveloped part of St. Lucia. The catholic church can also send its priests down there since there want to live development free. Where is PJP? Hey PIP you are being usurped by Hillaire and his hench lady!

    (25)(36)
  6. People need to think ahead of today. A hundred years is more than a life time if not for life. The island is small and our population is growing. Planning incorporates saving land for farming, housing and other essentials to sustain a future enlarged population. I remember the days when our population was a little more than a hundred thousand. A good way to analyze the situation is to look at traffic congestion today. Twenty years ago, traffic was flowing at much greater ease because there were much fewer cars on the roads. Just remember : Land don't spoil . If this land would have been used to build factories, allowing our youth necessary skills plus so much more benefits to the nation at large, opposition would have been minimal. We already have so much evils on the land, and to add more (gambling), which will inevitably bring more crimes and prostitution, drugs and foreign illegal activities which we are incapable of detecting, especially after giving these foreigners a free hand to dominate in agreements that will suck our life blood. We have to continue to show our displeasure and hopefully everyone involved in this madness can withdraw.

    (47)(2)
  7. Mr Hilaire as a politician (you should know this) there are two words you should NEVER ever, NEVER ever use and they are "TRUST ME"

    (24)(17)
  8. The Project simply has not been explained properly to the citizens. I for one have read it and it is no different to the others that have been entered into before. It is just because this contract is in the public domain that it attracts attention and because its out there it is being interpreted mainly in lay men's terms. Most St. Lucians cannot read and understand plain English much less interpret a legal document. If a contract simple as a mortgage, insurance policy, bill of sale is so simple so why do you need a lawyer to interpret or go to court for that matter. Judging from an interpretation which I was following on the television by media personnel I think that this contract has attracted unnecessary criticism. It is not that I an saying that the contract is a perfect one, but in deals such as these you win some points and you loose some. Such is the nature of development and financial prosperity, something has to give.

    Just by reading the first line of the contract the media persons had already erred. They interpreted the "Developer or Master Developer" as being the Investor. So there was some concern as to how much money the Developer was spending or actually putting into the project. These are two separate entities in the contract and the Developer's job is to come up with a master plan which allows investors to buy into the project, subject to the government's approval of these investors.

    They also interpreted the lands in question as being lands of the state and not the lands of the government. While these two entities can be differentiated mainly on grounds that the State is a permanent entity and the government changes there is no significant difference between the two especially when it comes to such contracts. We always hear the Governor General referring to "my government" which means the government is really in essence the executing authority of the State and the procedures employed is only for safeguarding the interest of citizens generally.

    When it comes to the lands, most of these lands are state owned and has previously been under 99 year leases (as proposed now in the project) which have been terminated. In actual fact the land does not belong to the developer, he is the lessor. This is why there will be public areas in the development such as stadiums, palying fields, beaches and all other public amenities. Government is contacting this Master Developer to construct a development plan for Vieux Fort. If we decide to implement a system of zoning it will take a similar pattern it is just that the Government will now be the "master developer." This master developer can also sell that development plan to another as it is "intellectual property." The government or citizens can even seek to purchase this plan or shares in this idea. Because as a nation we have to be optimistic.

    Why doesn't the opposition and other prominent members in society share this outlook and propose to the Government an investment portfolio at least to acquire an interest? This is how business is facilitated in the real world and if we do not subscribe to this approach, am sorry we will remain a nation of people going to the beach, watching bushes and begging other countries for money.

    I am sorry that we have such a poor outlook on life and everything is about politics. When are we gonna "man-up" and face the realities of life. We have a duty to educate our public, I am sorry for you Mr Frederick that you convolute the issues, your personal issues with PM your education and influence. Remember people look up you (although some depend on you for spreading disinformation).

    (17)(10)
  9. Do not panic SLU with the recent Oil find in Guyana you may well see the resucutation of HESS storage facility. I hope its in good shape and well maintained. Of all the countries in the region you may be the most appropriate for buncker storage. go figure....

    (1)(0)
  10. The flambeaus not saying anything. No shanty town again. Look it e .

    (4)(8)
    • Do you need a "Shanty Town?" You need the people not a shanty town. I don't believe that people would be moaning the removal of a ghetto if it had to come to that. You mean you living in ply wood house surrounded by a swamp is all you aspire to? Look at the people in Conway, they complained for years of lack of amenities, they were relocated to prominent parts of the country. Yet they still return to the ghetto daily and complain, instead of using that newly acquired equity to transform their lives. Is that a mental condition or a compulsive disorder? I just can't believe the magnitude to which people have allowed political abuse and social deprivation to have an effect on their brains.

      (29)(3)
    • Is that such a big loss? A shanty town. Pathetic

      (0)(0)
  11. Let the work begin. Finally the south gets a piece of the pie.for all the promises over the years, it's time things start in Vieux Fort. For those that were making noise by the house on Tuesday they should have arrested. Stupid. Stop the politics. This country needs investment so the young men that's mugging and stealing, raping and pushing drugs will finally have what they are after MONEY in their pockets, in fact in all of their pants pockets including their the boxer shorts. After all we are all St.Lucians..and want to see our country progress. I does not matter to me what color red, yellow, green.....bring the investors in.

    (34)(10)
    • Lucia definitely needs investment especially the South.

      However you don't just sell out our land and people for the sake of foreign investment to provide for a short to medium term basis.

      NO Government should do that, you'll need to read through that leaked document more intimately.

      Why was/is there a SECRECY clause!

      (8)(18)
      • All such deals have secrecy clauses so as to discourage disclosure of business opportunities and protect the interest of investors. However, don't you find it strange that the document was leaked? Isn't it a possibility that the government had inadvertently allowed it to be leaked? But they cannot say if they did either. This method is one such way of circumventing the secrecy clause. If you cannot make such analysis you are definitely a novice at using your brain. After all even the PM said that he had no problem that with the document being leaked, he knew who leaked the documents and still did not recommend sanctions against the person or people. What does that suggest? If you cannot put one and one together then say caca calbas qui en tet ou.

        (2)(0)
  12. 100 years lease means, that under normal conditions the initial DSH Caribbean Star Limited, Chastanet and this Government as well as all the opposition and all of Us reading this news article will be dead. Our children's children will be left with that burden on their backs while the Government of Hong Kong will have major input as to what happens in St.Lucia with almost a 1000 acre of land.Sadly our Children's Children will be at the disadvantage all the bad choices our Governments make. They will be squeezed out of their own country not being able to afford any of St.Lucia's properties.

    (8)(7)
    • Well said "Hunter" Lucians just can't seem to grasps the implications of this deal on the future generations.

      They mere fact there's a SECREACY Clause in an agreement between a Government and Private Investors stinks of DODO.

      The Government is meant to act on the behave of its people. So why can't the Government be fully transparent about the deal which affects the people?

      Would love to shake the Minster's hand who leaked the document a truly Patriotic St Lucian - WELL DONE

      (6)(2)
    • The Americans had a 99 year lease on the same area, Are we all dead? Were we left with a burden? In fact we were left with an international airport, a four lane highway (unlike the death-trap that was constructed for us Castries to Gros Islet). So stop that peddling of doom and gloom. It is all about what you can make of the investment. You can invest in it or buy it back if you want, Panama Canal was a 99 year lease, Hong Kong was a 99 year lease. So what happened haven't both of the these countries reaped enormous economical benefit? And now we want to beg them. Always remember, most investments are for the future and not the narrow, selfish reasons of the present persons. As it is now, what do you care about your children?

      (21)(6)
    • Besides US and Hong Kong does have an input, even without 1 single acre of land in St. Lucia?

      (0)(1)
    • 100 years from now St Lucia is very well developed, we're all dead but
      Our great grand children have jobs and our government can name their price to lease our land.
      Stop being so negative and look to a promising future for Vieux- Fort and St. Lucia.
      Don't let the SLP fill your heads with stupidity. They had 3 terms in office and what did they do for Vieux-Fort.

      (0)(0)
  13. As expected. Everything Allen Chastenet touches he destroys it. He is proving that. This deal alone will completely destroy St Lucia's economy.

    (11)(10)
  14. the slp must have learned their lesson because they sure seem to be much more transparent as the opposition party than when they were in power. Of course, any change in govt would result in their same old secrecy of all things concerning the people. They are a hypocritical and jealous party. by the way, what did ole Kenny actually do for vieux fort any way? oh yeah, the hospital that would be finished by the end of 2016 and buildings for govt offices. the dsh will create jobs. something a lot of st. lucians need more than beach to bbq

    (25)(6)
  15. With his track record, this guy should be the last one talking!

    (13)(5)
  16. Oh, Hilare... Only now you talking? When people were looking for answers from you, you were MUTE MUTE MUTE!!! Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not for the DSH project because I think more needs to be shared within the public realm - BUT - I'm tired of these stupid politricks and politicians!!!! Y'all only singing when y'all on the other side!!! Choops TAN! Stop playing GAMES!!!!

    (51)(6)

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