Opposition leader reports on Barbados meeting

Hermisha Rolle, SNO reporter

Dr. Rigobert spoke to the media on Wednesday (Mar. 19) about her recent Barbados trip.

Opposition Leader Dr. Gale Rigobert has rated a recent trip to Barbados to discuss matters relating to the current economic situation in Saint Lucia as a success.

Dr. Rigobert and Leader of the United Workers Party (UWP) Allen Chastanet left the island on March 10, 2014 for three days, to participate in these talks.

Speaking to media on Wednesday, March 19, Dr. Rigobert said discussions were convened with several missions, embassies, governmental partners and donor agencies on various topics.

“The trip to Barbados was very productive. We were able to consult with members of the diplomatic corps, various development agencies, persons in academia, and we had conversations with both in government and opposition. I think we left Barbados with a very balanced view of not only what is transpiring in Barbados but also what is going on in St. Lucia. I’m sure you can appreciate that the information is not always forthcoming in St. Lucia and so we are better able in some regard to source the information from the outside,” she said told reporters.

The opposition leader indicated that out of the “frank” discussions held in Barbados, a common sentiment expressed was that St. Lucia is “in serious economic problems.”

“The topic of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) came up over and over again. We know all too well anytime a country is forced to consider engaging the IMF that we have really, really arrived at a very bleak position in our economic development,” she said.

She drew attention to what she described as a significant economic contraction in the St. Lucian economy, which now has an unemployment rate of 25 percent.

“We cannot sit idly by as an opposition party and not give due consideration to potential policies that can reverse that trend.

She said that last week’s trip was part of efforts by the UWP to continue to ready itself for the next polls. A core mandate of the party is to provide effective representation to citizens, she stated.

“The opposition is very clear about its mandate we represent a fair percentage of the voters in this country and even those persons who would have elected the Labour Party into government rely on us to pose the right questions,[and] to highlight the shortcomings of government policy and to a certain extent also offer policy prescriptions as to how the current economic ills can be addressed and resolved,” she stated, adding that the opposition should be seen as a feasible alternative to the current government.

The meetings this week, she said, was not only about exposing the deficiencies of the current administration but also was an opportunity to engage stakeholders as to the party’s own readiness to assume the reigns of government at the next election.

Additionally, Dr. Rigobert said it is important to get acquainted with the economic situations in sister Caribbean islands as it allows locals to be in a position to not only follow suit on effective measures, but take precautionary steps to prevent potential economic problems.

“It makes good sense therefore to engage with those persons so as to garner for ourselves not only what is the state of the St. Lucian economy, but also the regional economy,” she said.

“We have come to appreciate, that when a sister island suffers from a particular economic malady, we had better begin to take in the necessary medicine to avert any potential economic onslaught.”

Last week’s meetings were also held as part of preparations for the upcoming National Budget.

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26 comments

  1. Barbados joining the almost bankrupt OECS is a waste of time. That would drag down its economy its better Barbados economy return to strength so it can help OECS by buying its products. 3000 civil servants were sent home because at 28,000 persons the public sector was too large that's nearly the population of St. Kitts. You cant spend 65 cents of every dollar in salaries its not sustainable. Barbados will rebound. The OECS countries are in worst shape than Barbados. Even with 3000 added to unemployment ranks its unemployment rate will not exceed 14 or 15 %. There is a raft of massive projects coming on stream in fiscal 2014/2015 to employ people.

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  2. Politicians exaggerate everything they come with. They paint their opponents performance in the most distasteful manner and it happens on every side. Remember that St. Lucians! Now for the real case here. If the government is not being honest then since they have their people inside there getting information they might as well give Saint Lucians the acutal figures. Why hasn't the UWP spoken of their reckless spending of government/Taiwanese funds? Why haven't they taken blame for the increase in the deficit by granting a 14% increase to particular workers, these are recurrent expenditure and if no new revenue streams are being indulged in then it can only get worst. No government wants to tell the people that they are at fault for their stewardship of government funds but yet still they come and brag over the media pretending to care of the situation when they were part and particle of it...The more things change the more they remain the same. This country's leaders have failed the people and continue to fail the people.

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  3. Barbados is under water? What can Gail learn from Barbados? Barbados refuse to devalue their currency so they can get their house in other. But they prefer to send 3000+ workers home! Come on Gale, you need some Economic LESSIONS.

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    • They should join the OECS and take up the EC dollar, that way, they won't have to devaluate their ugly currency. The OECS is a bigger force than Barbados.

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  4. Well Kuland and daughter of Helen last time I checked Barbados had a US$5 billion economy versus Saint Lucia's $1 billion economy. Don't be fooled Barbados still is the top ranked developing country in the world and once it keeps its foreign reserves at the current relatively high level it will continue to hold its own until the recession passes. Barbados recently retrenched 3000+ civil servants but the millions of dollars those fired workers will get in severance and unemployment benefits are never mentioned. They will be on easy street for at least 6 months. Barbados needs to diversify its economy away from the 'monocrop' tourism that's where the real problem to be resolved lays.

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  5. Good Job Dr. Rigobert!! Keep up the good work.

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  6. Uwp is just a bunch of disgraced group of individuals with nothing to offer, other than putting out stupid and useless press releases.

    But now, Uwp should be telling us (if they are serious about this country and have our best interest at heart,) what is/are their plan(s) if for some Divine intervention (and i don't see this happening,) to make our-lives and children's lives better.
    But they have no clue.

    They are simply looking for every stupid thing to talk about just to gain political mileage, which then turns back and shoot themselves in the foot.

    I have never seen such a disgraced and inept bunch of morons like this before who behaves like politicians in their INFANCY.

    Uwp, tell us your plans for our Future and Prosperity.

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  7. Gale And Allen Press on, The SLP hacks know that things are bad here, Kenny feeding them with tax payers money for doing nothing.

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  8. The blind leading the blind, Bimshire is in worse shape than us, you know. Wonder why we've been going round and round like a dog trying to catch it's tail?

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  9. Barbados economic model is similar to that of St.Lucia and it is a more developed country. They are now going through an economic crisis much bigger than that of ours, so i see nothing wrong with talking and understanding where did they go wrong and that we don't make the same mistakes that they did.

    if your neighbor house is on fire start wetting yours

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  10. Gale you need a force wind to blow both you and Chastanet (nonsense) to thy kingdom come

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  11. You Labourites have heart to call people stupid. Look at the mess yall have the country. If we didn't know the Bajans almost own almost if not more than 25% Saint Lucia through businesses. It makes complete sense to go to Barbados and discuss with one of our most influential neighbors. If yall lack this basic common sense then now I understand why our country is in this mess!

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    • A vicious Society

      Well dear, we sometimes are our very own demands. Quick to point fingers without doing the proper research to find the truth. If that is the claim that Barbados own if not more that 25% in busniesses here in St Lucia according to you, then the first question should be
      1. Why?
      2. How Long have it been this way?
      3. Who Authorized it?
      4. What is the benefits of it and how does it serves the people and the country by extension?
      and last but not least, why am I quick to politicize things or every and any development relating to the country then claiming that other persons are doing the very same?

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    • You need to be more credible than this.
      Don't just pull out fake and made up stupid junk out of your butt to make a point and make your party (Uwp,) look justified and good.

      You hardcore party and colour hacks wants nothing good for this island apart from, but constant degrading and abusing the soil that is so native to you.

      You no better than a donkey!

      I need you to prove to us the 25% og businesses that they own here.

      Or are you just emotionally posting crap.

      Grow the f**k up.

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      • You hardcore party and colour hacks want nothing good for this island apart from your constant degrading and abusing the soil that is so native to you and your home.

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    • More nonsense......"If we didn’t know the Bajans almost own almost if not more than 25% Saint Lucia through businesses."

      "Almost own almost" more nonsense. What wrong with 758Patriot or should rename you 758Patat.

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  12. Only in St. Lucian politicians (who are suppose to motivate and show true leadership,) do you see always uplift another island in the Caribbean, even though they are just as bad.

    I'm i to believe that the Uwp "leaders," cannot make their own decisions based on just "Common Sense?"
    This is the recipe for disaster and tells us they have no clue what to do.

    We are not an exporting country, and there is no Caribbean island that can compete in Trade or Commerce around the world. We do not control our economy, since it is just a begging bowl vessel from dominated Economies around the world. If those Economies do not perform well, do not expect ours will.

    And i feel really bad for Dale Rigobert, to be made a fool of (once again,) by none other than Chastanet.

    I guess Chastanet is realizing now that you cannot "run" a country's economy like that of a business.

    SMFH.

    And those are the types of useless brainless people, we want to lead us into PROSPERITY.

    What a .... Joke!

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  13. I wonder what accent or should that be accident she used in Bim???

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  14. As egually as a mouth off at SLP and other parties when they talk junk, Gale, you it's junk you talking there!!!!

    Who uses Barbardos or for the matter any other Caribbean island as a understudy? They are all failed states. If you were really serious, you would get out of the region and head to the far east to see how small countries become prosperous. Give me a break here Gale before I make hair grow on your bald head!!! Choops!!!!!

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