SLP prepares for protest march next week

By SNO Staff

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Construction site of the new St Jude Hospital.

The main opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) has said it will demonstrate against the United Workers Party (UWP) government’s handling of the St. Jude Hospital project by staging a protest march in the streets later this month.

In September this year, Health Minister Senator Mary Isaac revealed that Cabinet members were weighing the option of demolishing the over eight-year-old $80-million St. Jude Hospital’s unfinished structure in Vieux Fort. That suggestion was subsequently opposed by government officials including Prime Minister Allen Chastanet.

The SLP, at a press conference last week, said that government has failed to provide a clear picture as to its plans for the St. Jude Hospital and is only confusing St. Lucians with “mixed” messages regarding the project. The opposition party has demanded that the UWP government immediately re-open and complete the long-standing project.

SLP First Deputy Leader Alva Baptiste accused the Allen Chastanet administration of being uncaring and insensitive to consider the demolition of the hospital.

“In view of the foregoing, the proposed demolition of the St. Jude Hospital by this current government is symptomatic of its uncaring and insensitive nature. Every effort by the St. Lucia Labour Party when in government to equalise opportunity, to destroy privilege and to give to every citizen the opportunity to progress and to improve their lives is being undermined by this Allen Chastanet-led administration,” he said.

Baptiste said that by opting to destroy the St. Jude Hospital, the UWP administration would be trivialising the aid of foreign partners and organisations.

“The laptop programme has been destroyed. The NICE programme has been destroyed and the government is hell-bent on demolishing the St Jude Hospital – a hospital which has been providing an invaluable service to the people of St. Lucia in general and the people of the south in particular. Hence it is with a deep sense of duty that we respond to the calls of the people of St. Lucia to provide the leadership required to stop this government from setting the St. Jude’s hospital on fire,” Baptiste said.

“Given our vulnerabilities, official development assistance is extremely useful in addressing our social and economic challenges. Every gift from a foreign government to benefit the development of St. Lucia is being trivialised by this current administration in favour of the UWP’s narrow and selfish agendas which have called into question the morality and integrity of this government. In unhesitating obedience to what we deem our patriotic duty we are leading the opposition to the demolition of alternative use of the St. Jude Hospital. We are demanding that works begin with immediacy at the St. Jude Hospital towards completion in the shortest possible space of time,” he added.

Meanwhile, MP for Roseau North, Moses Jn Baptiste, echoed Baptiste’s sentiments by demanding answers from government on a number of questions he said are still unanswered regarding the St. Jude Hospital project.

“So for us, some fundamental questions remain: why did the government of St. Lucia accept in such glowing terms the gift of the Mexicans when it is now obvious that discussions were being held on the possible demolition of the almost completed St. Jude Hospital? Number two: what was the rationale, and what were the reasons for handing over the completed section of the hospital to the newly appointed Board if the intentions, based on recent statements, were to possibly discontinue the use of the reconstructed hospital for its original purpose? It is clear to the St. Lucia Labour Party and St Lucians that mixed messages are being developed and disseminated to deliberately confuse the people about the real intentions about the UWP government where St. Jude is concerned,” he said.

“…The UWP came into office in June of 2016, and stopped work on the hospital in July of 2016. The explanations have been confusing and their statements change with every passing week. We read from the ministers of repurposing the hospital with no clear indication of the intentions of the government… We will therefore as a party continue to join with all St. Lucians to press the government to continue to work on completing the St. Jude Hospital and to commission the facility as soon as practicable,” he said.

Jn Baptiste also called on the government to reveal whether it intends on privatising parts of the public health sector.

“The prime minister and minister for health need to state clearly the intentions of the government in relation to private interests in the management of our hospitals. Recent statements coming after trips made by the prime minister reveal that the government is indeed considering the entry of private interests in the management of our public health facilities,” he said.

He further stated: “After 17 months or 68 weeks of dialysis treatment for many St. Lucians, the UWP and the prime minister have not delivered to St. Lucians the many dialysis machines which the prime minister, then leader of the United Workers Party before the elections, claimed was stored away and deliberately not being used by the St. Lucia Labour Party.”

The SLP will hold its protest march on November 27, 2017.

(6)(21)
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17 comments

  1. Sing for you all pockets, you all missing the money especially Alva, that slp government waisted so much money now you all want country back, day ban problem finders.Remember UWP people giving TCROIX we don't talk to much.

    (0)(0)
  2. Are the marchers all on the borbol list? Those lazy people are not in a position to syphon any more money into their pockets, so they are going to get busy and do some exercise by marching? SLP, the party of, for, and by, big belly social and political parasites.

    (7)(3)
  3. This is the So Low Party. SLP ought to be ashamed of themselves. they stayed in power for so long and never delivered the hospital. they ought to be ashamed; Such Low People man!

    (12)(7)
  4. SLP never ceases to amaze me! Come on guys, Stop making yourselves look stupid. Now you fellas are going to march against yourselves because you guys are responsible for this whole St. Jude's fiasco. Lol! Please stop taking us for fools.

    (12)(7)
  5. Its your fault the hospital is at that stage...and now you want to march against it? LOL

    (12)(6)
  6. Tens of millions wasted under the SLP and they could not finish St. Judes in the then Prime Minister's constitutiency. He was too busy staying at home in Castries playing politics instead of going out of St. Lucia to drum up business like the present Prime Minister. These clowns had only less than 1% growth annually for fourteen years in office. Already the UWP had dropped unemployment by thousands.
    Philip Pierre was like a lele under Kenny. Useless and just holding down positions and collection big salaries as a Minister.

    All they want is power and the perks of being in government.

    (14)(6)
  7. Them losers have nothing better to do with their time? What are they going to peddle ? The same BS the shoe is on the other foot so you all stay in you all section we not are listening,you all are irrelevant.

    (13)(11)
    • You'll blind fools are looking to bring the country down bit by bit no vision demolishing and distroying everything carma will not be kind to you

      (3)(5)
  8. The protesters should get Mandi Singh and the others that were running from untold stories too give them more justification for the protest. But I guess that will never happen.

    (13)(5)
  9. People who have nothing better to do will do those marches, people used by both parties for their own selfish benefit. Open your eyes St lucians, quit being used by those parties in their pappyshow marches.

    (16)(8)
  10. I hope this sheepish march is in VF and no Castries to cause traffic jams

    (11)(9)
  11. This is a call for patriotic Lucians , forget red or yellow, I am non political and will be on the march supporting StLucia.
    So Lucians support the march forget colours and partake as patriotic Lucians

    (8)(20)
  12. Tway Chou zort la!!! Ask Alvina she said she would open it few years back.

    All of youll are the same, just wait you’ll too will need this hospital for the first few hours of youll unpredictable Emergency UWPs and SLPs.

    (15)(6)
    • No Demolition ban Voleh

      lol, zoet peh. When you all marched for high gas, in the Orange March, you all were justified, we were not producing gas. Today the same people who made you march, make you all looking like foolsby putting a price hike on that same gas. Shame on you all. Like it or not we will put our very bodies before that hospital and not thief minister will be allowed to break it down. Try the SLP, try us

      (1)(4)
  13. St. Lucians should take to the streets to demand the return of all the MONEY embezzled from this project. Furthermore make space in the prison to put you guys where you belong.

    (22)(3)
  14. Some nerve of those political mistakes. After two terms in office no one cared about how the so call gift money was being raped but now you want to protest for the completion of St. Jude.
    What a shame and waste.

    (20)(8)

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