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Chastanet promised that his gov’t will “put an end to business as usual—or die trying”

By SNO Staff

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Prime Minster Allen Chastanetst

Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has once again vowed to go after a number of “suspicious undertakings” by the previous government.

Chastanet made the announcement on Tuesday, April 3, 2018, several minutes into his Budget Address for the financial year 2018-2019.

The prime minister said one of the promises he made during the last general elections was to introduce “real transparency and accountability” to government affairs, and this is a promise he intends to honour.

He said previous administrations may have made similar promises, but after 15 years it became quite clear that their promises were “just words, words, words, empty words”.

Chastanet said “business as usual” was killing the country.

“Mr. Speaker, shortly after the June 6 general elections, I promised Saint Lucians that governance under my stewardship would no longer be business as usual; that our country was sick and dying from business as usual. That we would put an end to business as usual—or die trying,” he said.

The prime minister added: “It is also true that you cannot get a broken vehicle moving again until you have discovered precisely why it stalled in the first place. A doctor cannot usefully prescribe for a sick patient until he has thoroughly examined that patient. Random remedies, like random government policies, are doomed to deliver unpredictable consequences—from which, often, there is no return.”

At the previous sitting of the House, Chastanet had reminded his Opposition colleagues that investigations are ongoing into the Juffali, St. Jude’s Hospital project, and the “Minister’s Account” matters.

“As I say, Mr. Speaker, at the conclusion of our last sitting, I repeated my party’s election pledge to get to the bottom of a number of suspicious undertakings by our predecessors; undertakings that were neither transparent nor accounted for,” said.

Chastanet said it appeared in some cases that “deliberate attempts were made to cover tracks and make investigation pointless”. But he said his government “blocked an escape route in April 2017” by amending the Crown Proceedings Act on the recommendation of the 2009 Ramsahoye Commission.

He said: “The amendment now allows for the recovery of public funds, unencumbered by a statute of limitations. Perhaps coincidentally, Mr. Speaker, at the time of the amendment members on the other side chose to absent themselves from the House.”

But the amendment to the Crown Proceedings Act was only the beginning, Chastanet said in his Budget Address.

“There is still a lot of blinding smoke to be cleared from around a number of public concerns, including how we became embroiled in the marital affairs of a Saudi billionaire, and what induced a former prime minister to partner with American oil speculator notorious for his business practices. We must clear the suffocating smoke that conceals the truth about Messrs Walid Juffali, Jack Grynberg, Robert Lindquist, St. Jude Hospital and the infamous ‘Minister’s Account’.”

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14 comments

  1. Where are the financial statements to show that this government did good business, we want to see the actuals, sick and tired or Budgets and Estimates, let us see the government's balance sheet.

    Business as usual also means hiring Price Waterhouse to do the budget or tax or financial audits when we have civil servants were already paid a salary to do this. What the hell is going on in this country

    (0)(0)
  2. Publish the IMPACS report.

    (3)(0)
  3. Allan 2020 mega

    (1)(2)
  4. I agree with you on several fronts. One is to investigate suspicious undertakings by the previous administration . Two, is to maintain transparency and accountability in the affairs of government and third is to stop doing business as usual which is killing the country. There are improprieties and rumors thereof, committed by both political parties . You are already taking care of past improprieties, but what about the current crop. What about the award of contracts ? What was the reason for the resignation of your cabinet minister ? What are the fine prints in your DHS deal ? How much money has been collected from CIP. What are the investments ? How many more applicants are being processed ? How many will they employ ? What lands will they occupy ? What is the quota on CIP applicants ? How do you intend to spend the money collected ? How much has been spent ? Do you intend to continue pursuing the dolphin park at Pigeon Point or the causeway on Maria Islet ? Let's be transparent as promised and you have my vote. Begin with a clean slate . I suggest you stop selling our passports which will have dire consequences for the future generation. I also suggest that all members of government should publicly declare their assets before and after assuming office. The numbers will not lie.

    (10)(0)
  5. Transparency to you must not include releasing the St. Jude’s audit that taxpayers paid for and also releasing the contents of the DHS deal that will be affecting people’s lives for years to come.
    I’m not against looking into any shenanigans that might have taken place with the previous group. But you cannot be doing that by doing the same things you are decrying. You can put purfume on a pig all you want, it will still stinks . Giving people contracts without a bidding process does make it business as usual.
    We keep putting all the eggs in the tourism basket with little else to help in case the basket drops, history will tell you that the basket will drop at some point. Hope we are reacdy for what’s to follow.!

    (20)(1)
  6. The chairs in Parliament have a way if making Hilaire sound like an idiot. Please change his.

    (2)(9)
  7. Good put Kenny, Jufalli, Ray Charles, Sean "bobol" Edward in Jail along with all their enablers. They misappropriated millions of our hard earned tax dollars.

    (11)(19)
  8. Put an end to business as usual,hahahahahaha, why not start with Minister Guy Joseph.? LOOK NO FURTHER. I smell jail time, and it will happen soon. No black man was suppose to be president of the united states and yet it happened. Government ministers will go to prison and this is a fact or St Lucia is doomed.

    (20)(3)
  9. Refreshing good news. Lets see if you actually do it. We know your bread is buttered so you have no reason to take. Now action against anybody in red or yellow that has been taking or involved in bobol.

    (9)(4)
  10. WORST PM IN OUR HISTORY

    (21)(16)
    • If PM is serious he will first tell Guy that it cannot be business as usual. The question is: will Guy be very interested in a FRESH START? Fresh Start?! Then the PM can die trying but for Guy it will be business as usual with Fresh Start.

      (14)(4)
  11. Unbelievable. Mr PM you no if u were practicing yourself I would not utter a word but u have ministers right there in your government doing the same shit. Whow what a hypocrite you are. So much corruption with your indian puddle not to say the least. Contracts there were on bidding such as CO Williams who won and bidded lower your minister shoft it on a side and directly handed it to his contractor friend. Fuck shit man. Its time for elections.

    (15)(10)
  12. Hmmm... more promises lets some results for a change

    (8)(7)

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