Statement by Dr. Ernest Hilaire

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Statement by Dr. Ernest Hilaire
Dr. Ernest Hilaire
Dr. Ernest Hilaire

STATEMENT BY DR. ERNEST HILAIRE, SLP SPOKESMAN ON INVESTMENT, COMMERCE, TOURISM, SCIENCE AND INNOVATION TO SLP PRESS CONFERENCE ON JULY 31, 2018.

Members of the Media, the issues facing Saint Lucia’s investment landscape and the citizenship by investment programme are getting worse. Today, I want to focus on two areas which are of grave concern and threaten to destroy even further the reputation of Saint Lucia as a jurisdiction of choice for investment.

Firstly, let us deal with investment.

The SLP repeatedly called on the Prime Minister to reconsider his approach to the use of CIP donation contributions which belong to the people of Saint Lucia and ought to be used primarily for social development. We felt and still do that donation monies should not be used to loan to investors at extremely low interest rates. We also felt that the actions of the Prime Minister were illegal. He knew and was reminded by the Opposition that he needed the approval of Parliament before monies deposited in the National Economic Fund from donations can be used. He knew his actions would be illegal if he honoured the agreement.

We have been learning through the media and talk shows a number of disturbing issues which the Government has not cleared up. What we have heard from the Prime Minister is that he accepts responsibility for the delay with the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Black Bay and that he hoped that all issues can be resolved by July 1st. No details of the delay were given. Then the Prime Minister announced that he already had other investors interested in the development giving the impression that there would be no settlement with Range Developments.

We would learn through the media, that Range Developments has requested a settlement of about EC$20m for costs incurred and that this should be settled by July 1st. Apparently, there has been no settlement even after the Prime Minister had publicly accepted responsibility for the delays in the Project. We would further learn that Range Developments has served the Attorney General notice of intent to sue. This time the claim will be for cost and aggravated damages totally over EC$100m!!!! Surely, the Government of Saint Lucia will not allow the people of Saint Lucia to be burdened with such a law suit. We cannot allow such an incompetent and inept Cabinet of Ministers to destroy the viability of the country. Why is the Government of Saint Lucia not settling this matter?

We have learnt that in pursuance of the Agreement with Range, the developer brought in about 250 CIP applicants. Given each donation is US$100,000 and less commissions, the developer expected about US$20m to be available. Why is no money available? Where is the CIP money?

The Saint Lucia Labour Party calls for the following:

1. That the Minister with responsibility for Investment, Hon. Bradley Felix, and Mr. Pinkley Francis, Chairman of Invest Saint Lucia, to make a public statement on the Ritz-Carlton Fiasco;

2. That the Prime Minister account for the CIP monies which have been earned since the launch of the Programme; and

3. The Cabinet of Ministers make every effort to settle this matter in the best interest of Saint Lucia and avoid tax payers having to be burdened with a decision of the Court which may not be favourable to Saint Lucia.

Secondly, let us deal with the CIP.

You would have learnt that two days ago in the House of Commons in England, the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee issued its Interim Report on Disinformation and ‘fake news”. The Interim Report is a damning indictment of the role of SCL, an elections advisory Group, and Henley and Partners, a CIP advisory firm.

In the Report, it is made clear that SCL has been involved in elections in Saint Lucia with the United Workers Party. It is believed that they were very involved in the 2016 Elections which was won by the United Workers Party.

But let me take you back to early 2016, just before the General Elections when Saint Lucia had just set up its CIP.

Henley and Partners was not given the exclusive rights to the Programme and issued a damning statement on the Saint Lucia CIP, a programme which was recently set up. The statement was made by Dr. Steffen, Managing Partner of Henely and Partners. The Statement by Dr. Steffen was carried in the Voice on April 23, 2016, six weeks before the elections. This helped undermine the credibility of the Dr. Kenny Anthony administration.

We are told in the Report that “behind much of SCL Elections’ campaigning work was the hidden hand of Christian Kalin, Chairman of Henley and Partners, who arranged for investors to supply the funding to pay for campaigns, and then organised SCL to write their manifesto and oversee the whole campaign process. In exchange, Alexander Nix told us, Henley and Partners would gain exclusive passport rights for that country, under a citizenship-by investment (CBI) programme. Alexander Nix and Christian Kalin have been described as having a ‘Faustian pact’. With the exclusive passport rights came a government that would be conducive to Mr. Kalin and his clients.”

The UWP won the 2016 Elections.

In February 2017, Henley and Partners issues a statement, “International citizenship and residence advisory firm, Henley & Partners, is opening a new office in St. Lucia, its fourth office in the Caribbean region. The firm will work closely with the Government of St. Lucia to promote its relatively new and very competitive citizenship-by-investment program.” The statement goes on “The St. Lucia office is led by Managing Partner Mark D. Maragh, an experienced local attorney-at-law with an extensive track record both in the law and international financial services.”
Is that co-incidence?

The Report concludes that:

“We received disturbing evidence, some of which we have published, some of which we have not, of activities undertaken by the SCL-linked companies in various political campaigns dating from around 2010, including the use of hacking, of disinformation, and of voter suppression, and the use of the services of Black Cube, an Israeli private intelligence service, whose work allegedly included illegal hacking.

We also heard of the links between SCL and Christian Kalin of Henley and Partners and their involvement in election campaigns, in which Mr Kalin already ran or subsequently launched citizenship-by-investment programmes, involving the selling of countries passports to investors. SCL’s alleged undermining of democracies in many countries, by the active manipulation of the facts and events, was happening alongside work done by the SCL Group on behalf of the UK Government, the US Government, and other allied governments. We do not have the remit or the capacity to investigate these claims ourselves, but we urge the Government to ensure that the National Crime Agency thoroughly investigates these allegations.

Given that Parliamentarians in the UK are asking the Government for the National Crime Agency to investigate SCL and Henley, the time has come for the Allen Chastanet Government to come clean on the involvement of SCL and Henley and Partners in Saint Lucia.

Accordingly, we need answers for the following questions:

1. What was the extent of SCL’s involvement in the UWP Campaign of 2016?
2. Did Black Cube work for the UWP in the 2016 campaign?
3. What was Henley and Partners involvement in the 2016 Elections?
4. Did the UWP make a deal with Henley and Partners to manage the CIP which resulted in the company opening an office in February 2017?

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7 COMMENTS

  1. The SLP relentlessly keeps on bombarding and dumbing down Saint Lucians, in several areas with their own brand of profound ignorance. What a load of shysters!

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  2. I'm afraid that the SLP hierarchy appears to be unaware of the existetense of the principle of Parliamentary Svereignty.

    Parliamentary Svereignty:
    Is is a principle of the UK constitution. It makes Parliament the supreme legal authority in the UK, which can create or end any law. Generally, the courts cannot overrule its legislation and no Parliament can pass laws that future Parliaments cannot change.

    Do not rush to confusion just yet. Our constitution, symbolized by the piece of paper Mr. Compton is holding in his hand, is based on the Westminster Model. It did not throw out the Parliamentary Svereignty principle.

    The Sovereignty principle indicate that subsequent governments can REVOKE both the legislation, and by extention, agreement that depend on or are supported by the enabling legislation.

    Should any agreement itself have the force of law, it may well mean that it is something adjudicated by an international court.

    An agreement can be revoked, as said previously, with the retention of the enabling legislation left in tact. Any future government can reject or discontinue an agreement. A

    This is basic civics.

    The people are being misled and confused with superficiality. Those who are unaware or are unable to respect or cope with the principle of the Sovereignty of Parliament do not belong there. They should expatiate and take their views instead, to a Russia-type POLIT BUREAU.

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  3. Our country bumpkins cannot distinguish between an "agreement" and a piece of parliamentary legislation? My oh my! How sad!

    Then, why the hell are such country bumpkins in the parliament in the first place? They have no business being in there? What are they doing there?

    On this grand display of a total lack of knowledge of our constitution alone, we know that such people are NOT PM material. Such people are not fit for parliamentary office. They are not deep.

    Today, all the senior positions in the SLP are filled with persons with just superficial knowledge of what matters most to us, are plain mendaciou, are profoundly ignorant of finance management, and now the basic of the constitution. In other words, they are irrelevant to our development needs.

    On the matter of the raft of SLP questions, it has been said that a fool can ask many more questions than a wise man can answer.

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  4. In the third paragraph of Hilaire's statement: "the action of the PM is illegal", then, why not take him to court for the illegal act! How does this stand with the St Lucian constitution? If we cannot prosecute under our Constitution then it needs amending to ensure politicians can be prosecuted.

    I am not in St Lucia at this point - are we having to pay money to Range Developments due to delays which are the fault of the PM? Make that foreign incompetent PM pay (co shoun blanc). Hold him to account. There are lawyers in the Labour Party who can give their services free and start a public campaign to raise money to prosecute.

    It seems to me also that Government officials and Civil Servants may lack the expertise to properly scrutinise Contract matters, thus, protecting our nationals from having to pay for law suits (don't forget Govt. money is our money/resource) - because we haven't got the necessary expertise. Shameful allowing international guys to run circles around you all. Trust no foreign pale face individuals (co shoun blanc yo tout).

    A lot of illegal activities in St Lucia being carried out by people in "suits", at least the common criminal do not disguise himself in a suit just trying to exist! Corruption dressed in suits.

    These suits will be ripped off and those ers EXPOSED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    • This is one hell of a piece of inspired enlightened wisdom! The more I read it, the more I got out of it.

      Thank you. It made my day.

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    • How true. Saint Lucians seem to love to dress in suits just to talk crap. Now suits in Saint Lucia's culture are shootshate costumes. Newspaper.? Check. Dressed in a suit? Check. Shootshate starting? YES.

      We need a theatre to show off our Oscar winners. They change around just like the creatures in movie Men in Black.

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  5. Too much gossip and useless talking all political parties in saint Lucia continues to work against the people. All those so-called investors continue to rob the country it's best kids run the country.

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