Recent developments appear to point to a trend on the part of the Government of the St Lucia Labour Party of stealing praise from work carried out by the former UWP Administration without acknowledging and giving credit appropriately.
This practice by the current Government is rather unfortunate and smacks of deceit in some cases. After ten (10) months in office and having fallen woefully short of the promises which they served up to the St Lucian electorate, the SLP Government is now resorting to claiming credit for a number of major projects inherited from the United Workers Party Government and which were in advanced stage of completion.
Three examples among many are highlighted as evidence of this trend. These are: Preparation work for Construction of the Dennery Hospital, Establishment of the Inland Reception and Buying Depot in Odsan and the Construction of Homes in Mocha, Fond St Jacques for victims of Hurricane Tomas. When the SLP assumed office in December, 2011 the projects cited above were all in an advanced stage of development in terms of planning and actual physical works.
In the absence of due recognition, the United Workers Party therefore wishes to state for public record that the projects noted above which the Labour Party Government is attempting to take full credit for were conceptualized and to a large extent developed by the last UWP Administration.
We note recent statements by Minister Phillip J Pierre at a political activity of the Labour Party in Dennery when he gloatingly promised residents of Dennery that the current Government will construct a new Hospital for Dennery. In his attempt to steal credit for work carried out by the UWP Government Mr. Pierre disingenuously failed to acknowledge the fact that the new Hospital which he was promising was in fact conceptualized and funding secured for its construction by the UWP Government under a funding facility from the World Bank. Based on the timelines established for this project the process of tendering for was to have commenced in January of this year, with an estimated period of one year for completion of construction work.
In the case of the establishment of the Inland Reception and Buying Depot in Odsan this project was conceptualised out of the recognition that the existing facility (which was originally constructed for local trading activities in the banana crop) was being grossly underutilized for banana reception only two days a week. It was felt then that the Government should invest in the refurbishment of the facility to create an Inland Reception Facility for farmers engaged in general crop production in a more conducive setting. This was done by installing refrigeration facilities, creation of an office block and location of WINFRESH operations.
The Mocha housing project in Fond St Jacques, Soufriere was conceptualized by the UWP Government soon after the ravages of Hurricane Tomas in that part of the island. In formulating this project the then UWP Government was mindful of the displacement of many families and he need to create housing settlement within a dignified and safe environment. The project at Mocha was developed with an input of EC $1.2 Million from the Government of St Lucia with the remaining EC $1.8 Million secured through external sources. These houses which were each constructed on 3000 sq feet of land were made available to residents at significantly subsidized cost. Arrangements were also made with two credit unions to facilitate financing arrangements for the affected residents.
The UWP finds very unreasonable that the SLP which vehemently criticised the last Administration for achieving very little whilst in office would seek to steal credit from projects initiated and developed by the UWP Government without giving credit. The UWP is of the view that the SLP Government should have the courtesy of according recognition to the last Government for projects which it inherited. The three projects highlighted above a just a few of many which the current Government has launched since assuming office.
The Labour Party Government must now begin to show slate with respect to implementation of the long list of projects which it promised the people of St Lucia. Instead the Government is guilty of stealing credit from the work of the last UWP Administration without providing acknowledgment and credit.