BREAKING NEWS: Minister Fedee answers Sandals concession question, defends conduct at press briefing

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BREAKING NEWS: Minister Fedee answers Sandals concession question, defends conduct at press briefing
Fedee during today's press briefing. * HTS photo
Fedee during today’s press briefing. * HTS photo

In a press briefing this afternoon (Aug. 22), Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Tourism, Information and Broadcasting, Dominic Fedee, sought to provide clarity on the question concerning concessions to Sandals resorts, which led to a well-publicised verbal standoff between him and HTS reporter Miguel Fevrier during the pre-Cabinet press briefing yesterday.

Fedee not only answered the question he initially refused to answer yesterday, but defended his conduct during the press briefing.

He said: “The fact of the matter is that the government give concessions to Sandals for four vehicles. It is quite normal. In fact, I can share with you, various Cabinet conclusions that the previous administration would have given to developers that have never developed a single room in the country.

Fedee continued: “So the issue here I thought was very malicious. I didn’t add my voice to it. I dismissed it as pure proproganda and really pure political mischief, and I didn’t want to deal with it.”

The minister reiterated that he is not here to tell the press how to do its job, he will not add his voice to rumours.

“And I think that we have a responsibility to make sure that fair and balance and factual information goes to the people of St. Lucia,” he pointed out.

The minister said his issue with Fevrier yesterday was not a personal attack on anyone.

“I think it is a standard that we must uphold for our democracy…. I think that we need investigative jorunalism, and I think we need factual journalism, and I don’t think that it does any of us any good or make us more informed in the country when we resort on hearsay and on rumours. iI think it’s dangerous,” he added.

Fedee said he conducted himself “in a manner that is professional”.

“I think I have made myself accessible to all hotels and I have treated everyone fairly. In fact, I have done very little for Sandals since I come into this job.

“I think it is absolutely ridicoulus the political leader would know that it is quite normal, the legislation which empowers Cabinet to give the concessions were in fact enacted by the previous administration, the St. Lucia Labour Party, that’s a fact. But I think yesterday I wanted to make the point that Sandals had already denied the statement so why are you askng me.

“No one has gone to the source of the information. Where was that rumour first leaked? Shouldn’t the press go ask that individual to substantiate the claim? Why are you coming to me? You need to do your job. Go to Customs, ask the Customs officials, the relevant departments whether in fact it is true, ask the dealers. It is easily verifiable if the press really wants to know the truth. And this is the frustrating thing about the issue, in that – and you can call it an attack on the media if you wish – but I think these days we have to be careful with people.

“I think that the journalist knew fully well that it’s a lie, because here on one hand you hve the Cabinet conclusion which was leaked suggesting that it was four vehicles, but yet you are asking me whether there is any truth to the rumour that I give Sandals 97 vehicles. Now those two things are a contradiction, which one do you really believe in?

“Here is a leaked Cabinet document that says four vehicles and you are asking about 97 vehicles. Do make up your mind. And this is why I thought that the qestion was ridiculous.”

(44)(15)

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42 COMMENTS

  1. Miguel thought he had a juicy tidbit and probably couldn't wait to fire that at Fedee, lol. Talking about some document that he didn't bring with him. Fedee on the other hand saw that Miguel was up to some mischief and snapped, lol. This was the wrong response. He should have remained calm, thereby nullifying Miguel's excitement and answered Miguel by letting him know how off base his numbers were and then advising him to do his research. These people don't think yet they are in charge of our country, any wonder we are in such a mess? The whole episode is kinda funny though; two dimunitive men duking it out, lol.

    (6)(3)

  2. If you found the question so ridiculous, why not put it to rest right there and then? Instead, you got defensive and put on this elaborate facade of trying to "school" the local press. By what right do you, a politician, get to tell the press how to do their job?
    Sir, first and foremost you are a public SERVANT, you are being paid to grant service to our country and every single citizen. DO YOUR JOB. When we ask you if you gave concessions to Sandals on our pocket, we expect a clear, unadulterated answer, not sophistry. If you find that your post puts too much strain on your "pride" and you are unable to lower your head to the public and its questions, then perhaps this isn't the job for you. Step down.

    (14)(1)

  3. The Minister attempted to make a point on principle- that clearly wasn't successfully executed. Know your audience and adjust your delivery! This is not to say that one should demean oneself and sacrifice one's standards in order to appease the masses. The masses, though loud, are not necessarily right.
    The journalist's line of questioning was mischievous. I don't fault him, at the end of the day he has to drive viewership of his station and his show (news) up- after all all publicity is good publicity. Saint Lucians love sensation, this way his station remains popular and he remains in his job perhaps with a bonus for his efforts. Our responsibility as tax payers is to be able to sift through the noise to arrive at the point- if there is one.
    Let us put aside the issue of possible concessions to SRI for now, and strip the situation to bare bones. At a press conference where you get to ask your burning questions and she'd light on issues, you seek authentication of documents which you haven't produced- did you really expect a reliable response? I think not. It was simply a tactic to add to the sensationalism, get the masses to make noise, and extend the hype from the talk show that debuted the documents. Yet again people are distracted by useless fluff, it is amazing how fickle we are as a society, so bamboozled by shiny objects.
    The Minister attempted to help us filter the bs by censuring one source. But of course, the Opposition Leader in his opportunism- and I fault him not, after all he knows the terrain, so he plays it well- adds to the noise. How does he benefit?- by riling up the public in an effort to discredit the sitting government. Know the game, that's all it is to these politicians. Those who accept it for what it is and are willing to play are the only ones who thrive.
    For the regular guy on the street who thinks that all this stuff should be taken at face value, he is merely a pawn. If you made it through my ramble, I challenge you to take a step back from the vitriol and high emotions and strip these noisy situations bare. Sometimes, it's really not worth our time.
    Now I shall return to my hermitage.

    (3)(2)

  4. Mr. Fedee seem to have little or no authority; so he found away to make himself feel important. I suspect he thinks very highly of himself. Perhaps the company of Chas and Butch has gone to his head.

    (7)(0)

  5. This minister is so dumb. A cabinet conclusion comes from the various ministries responsible for them after the cabinet meets and make a decision as to whether or not to grant that concession to the company or person. Customs don't grant concessions. Base on the type of concession that is wavier of duties, service charge or vat . The entry have to stamped for approval by the ministry before it can be taken to the concession officer at customs.

    (7)(1)

  6. Arrogant A---! he tried to belittle Miguel and dodged the questions because he simply could not have formulated a crappy ass lie in the spur of the moment! Fedee himself has experience in journalism should know that the media has the right to ask ANY question regardless of the sensitivity or accuracy. There is way too much misconduct and corruption in the UWP. Anwyays that's what yall lucians wanted. Take what yall get #YoPe

    (13)(0)

  7. ALL has threatened the most people for free speech I didn't hear Phillip J. Pierre standing up for them. HYPOCRITE. Now you'll plant them in places you want to defend them. LOSER

    (0)(1)

  8. Mr. Minister u need to remain humble. U are responsible to the ppl of Saint Lucia. U were not able to answer yesterday but can answer today? If u needed time, u could have just said so. Remember Sir that u will not be in this position forever.

    (8)(0)

  9. The Hon Minister's Press Conference "clarifying" the position on the issue of concessions to Sandals is bereft of an cogent reasoning, as he was given the opportunity, once before, to answer a simple question, and at which point he chose to be combative. The really wasn't anything to clarify, as he initially refused to answer the question.

    Government ministers are not extending to the Saint Lucian public an favours by being transparent, it is expected of them to do so. Therefore, when a duly sanctioned media operative withing the Saint Lucia Press Corp seeks truth, clarification, or justification on any issue relevant to the national debate, it is the duty of the government minister to respond adequately within the bounds of his area of responsibility. A simple yes or no to the question would have changed the course of the discussion and subsequent debate that followed. Today, the Minister said that the concessions were/are for four vehicles and not 97 as was being reported, which he could have articulated at the time of the questioning, but he chose no to. If he did not have the information at the time, he could have said so as well.

    To the response by the Leader of The Opposition regarding the issue, I think that it was hypocritical and political opportunism. There were lessons to be learned by both the Minister and the reporter, but for the opposition to take the issue an turn it into a political pitting-march is responsible, especially given the fact that the SLP has refused to be transparent on MANY occasions.

    Lastly, and still on the Opposition Leader's press conference, it is appalling that Mr. Pierre, whom I regard as a reasonable person, would use the reference to the "Market", as undermining the intelligence of market vendors. This is a new low! Does he recall the defense by the SLP to the Dr. Anthony's reference to the "puddle" Guy Joseph? Give me a break! I hope that Saint Lucians assess the situation in its entirety and not fall prey to the divisive nature of our politics. Mr. Fade is answerable to the people of Saint Lucia, and so is the Leader of the Opposition.

    (3)(2)

  10. We St Lucians should be careful. Yes reporters must do research but equally our politicians have the right to respond to us. And then Fedee refers to the hint as having come from by the market? SO what if the little man by the market or constitution park wants the answers? Nou pa moon? Then the Minister, the Minister rants and raves taking up more time as we St Lucians listen to the crap. This is pure BS and disrespect.

    (15)(1)

  11. lol you lucky is not chastanet that was there to make you that journalist ASHAMED like Reanni Isidore

    (2)(19)

  12. Clearly Feedee had no answer because he had to check with his boss lest he stepped out of line. We know the Minister in the Ministry of Finance has a pair of **** albeit there are rumours that they are VERY SMALLl, very small. Feedee on the other hand does not appear to have any. I can only guess that the Godfather has captured it to use as RANSOM ware.

    (13)(1)

  13. Perhaps the question which the journalist need to ask customs is whether the number is really four.

    (11)(0)

  14. Stick to the issue at hand. Cabinet Conclusions about what the previous administration did is irrelevant here. If this is the way its going to go it will be a tit for tat of cabinet conclusions for the either party for things which never materialized over donkey years ... let's not jump on this train. All St Lucians was a sensible answer to the question, lie or not, this can always be determined later.

    (12)(1)

  15. You'll can stay here and study these comments. I going to live a little, sorry alot!!!LOL!!!

    (1)(0)

  16. A simple YES or NO would of sufficed and a clarification in addition. Personally attacking the journalist's ability to ask questions didn't help. Transparency is needed and you were bullish rude and evasive and this didn't gain you any favour or respect from the people of the country of St.Lucia.

    (55)(6)

  17. Proud of you Fedee. Tell Miguel to do his research lazy bum and stop listening to rumours. Childish behaviour.

    (12)(57)

  18. Feder snapped and is now attempting to control the damage he did to himself. His explanation is feeble and will do little to control the damage done. He needs to work on his arrogance .

    (41)(4)

  19. You'll don't realize that there is only one person who seem to be the only one who knows the whole truth!!! Wow!!!

    (7)(2)

  20. Total idiot. By answering the simple question, he would have at least placed another perspective in the public domain. This kind of behavior originates from arrogance. A case of being too big for his breeches.

    (30)(6)

  21. I agree 100 percent have you seen the kind of vehicles some taxi drivers have and the condition they in. Then talk about how rude ,rough and dishonest some of them are or how bad they drive on our roads with the visitors to our island. Some even drink with the guest then drive the same guest to their destinations

    (6)(19)

  22. I agree 100 percent have you seen the kind of vehicles some taxi drivers have and the condition they in. Then talk about how rude ,rough and dishonest some of them are or how bad they drive on our roads with the visitors to our island. Some even drink with the guest then drive the same guest to their distinctions

    (1)(10)

  23. Taxi drivers must know there is competition in the game nobody want to,or have interest in riding no dirty smelling cab.All these years youll traversing people around a whole lot of youll since late seventies,eighties,until now abd youll cannot invest in a good taxi cab.What you'll been doing.Well nice clean modern up to date cabs win.Dirty smellie,run down cans lose.Youll want to put Dominic Fedee in hot water,and sandals.Flow with the time,Flow with the time,people.

    (1)(31)

    • I can see someone has not been to Saint Lucia in a loooooooooong while. Stay out of it if you don't know what you are talking about. The taxis is saw on my last visit to the island were BMWs and Audis.

      (9)(0)

  24. 4 vehicles,and the Miguel Favrier stating 97 thats a double deluxe leap.Politics again.Is the same way,they again the media.Reported that Jimmy Henry was stop at the airport,and that he wsa in possession of a huge sum of monies.That he could not account for a huge sum of monies next to find out it was $3,000.00 us in his pants pocket.They failef to reveal the source again it was Richard Federick,who said he got a call from Airport from a good source and that Jimmy Henry was stop at aAirport with huge sum of monies and they medis ran with it in the wind (FAKE NEWS again or no news so we will make up shit we will be lazy as St.lucians are well know for,and we will not research or do our home work.Whiles in the process of recking peoples lives.I dont know our media is like a merry go round,little children games.You call that the Total Eclipse of the heart.

    (12)(56)

    • Sharon, if it was fake news, why did Jimmy Henry resigned? We must learn to decipher facts from fake and call horse shit for what it is.

      (37)(0)

      • So why did he resign? You cannot answer a question with a question. If that's how you make decisions then prepare yourself for failing.

        (4)(0)