Responding to reports that some bus drivers are threatening protest action after one of their colleagues was held recently by the police for urinating in public, Castries Mayor Peterson Francis said the bus drivers will be striking against the law, and not the mayor.
Speaking to DBS, Francis said he is not the one who made the law, but he has a job to enforce the law.
“They will be striking against the law. And not only that, the place where they are urinating is behind a school, okay. What they even going to strike for? Strike against the law? Strike against the mayor? Strike against upholding the law? I don’t know what they going to strike about. But while on that point, when they drive, I want to know what happens when they leave Castries on their way to Gros Islet and they want to urinate, what do they do? Where do they have a washroom?” Francis asked.
Reports are that bus drivers on the Monchy bus stand are upset that a fellow driver was held by the city police for committing the offence one week ago.
Peterson confirmed the arrest in his interview with DBS.
“Obviously, if he was arrested, it means that he has been charged. In other words, he has not been brought in before a magistrate. He was bailed on his own recognizant, but he has been charged and he is just waiting for his day in court,” Francis said.
However, he added that it is unfair that persons are seeking special treatment.
“I wasn’t the one who put the laws on the books, you know. All what am doing now is to adhere to the laws of St. Lucia. So, the other thing is this: we have a situation that where you find people believe that every step they make, there should be what they require in life,” Francis said.
The mayor pointed out that there is no excuse for bus drivers to be urinating in public because there are three washrooms in the “immediate vicinity” of the Monchy bus stand.
“They leave the bus and go inside of the Gardens. It is similar, the same distance or less to go to the … public washroom. We have three within that circle. Where do they want us to put up a washroom? I understand for convenience, people coming on the bus…. and we have been talking to the [taxi] association. They have applied to DCA, which we have supported so that we would put something in the immediate vicinity. But the problem I am having with St. Lucians is that we have to put everything next door for them. Next door. So just now they will ask for the washrooms on the bus,” Francis said.
The mayor noted that some St. Lucians willingly uphold the laws in foreign countries but refuse to do so in their own country.
“And we must stop these things in St. Lucia, trying to spoon-feed people, because when they travel, they observe every law. I was in New York myself recently, last year, and I wanted to urinate. I had to do every type of thing in my face, to get to a business place where I had to buy something, to adhere to the law,” he said.
Last month, history was created when a La Toc, Castries resident was the first person to get arrested for urinating in public.
Christopher Daniel appeared in court on March 26 to answer to the charge of indecent exposure which carries a fine of $1,000. He was expected to be granted bail.
Daniel was arrested on Sunday, March 25, just after 11:30 a.m. when he was caught “willfully and indecently” exposing his genitals and urinating in a public place, at West Hall, Castries, according to Police Sergeant Yone Camchon, who is attached to the Castries City Council (CCC).
“This is not the first time that this is happening but this will be the first time we will bring an offender before the court. Usually we caution them but it’s high time we set the example because when you pass on the streets it is not a healthy thing. I mean the stench on the street. So it is high time … we enforce law and order in the city,” Camchon had told reporters.
There about 15 city public restrooms that are open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.