How serving in local government shaped me – Part 2

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By Kamla Persad-Bissessar

The Peoples National Movement (PNM) is incapable of performing. And after four years, it is clear they cannot govern. It is clear they are incompetent, and they do not have the ability to move our country forward.

The people will choose the party that can move our nation forward – the United National Congress. Time to get to work.

Digital Economy: Leapfrog to the fourth industrial revolution

Key targets by 2025 include, increase research and development spending to at least one percent of GDP; move Trinidad and Tobago 40 places up, on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business; move Trinidad and Tobago 25 places up on the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitive Index, and create 5,000 new jobs.

The new technologies of the fourth industrial revolution are giving birth to brand new business models and economic opportunities. The tech-driven revolution comprising the internet of things, big data and advanced analytics, robotics, artificial intelligence and augmented reality can give Trinidad and Tobago a great chance to speed up the modernization of its economy.

At present, Trinidad and Tobago’s economy is focused on traditional industrial sectors and is not moving quickly enough on its technology infrastructure, leaving it trapped somewhere between the first and second industrial revolutions.

At present, our education system produces graduates with science and technology skills but there are insufficient research centres and systems in place for graduates to continue working within the sector and keep up with the rapid advances in technology.

We need to develop our own local model of the classic Triple Helix-university, private sector and government in order to leapfrog to the fourth industrial revolution.

Trinidad and Tobago could look for inspiration to China, which just two decades ago had a small tech start-up industry but is now home to nine of the world’s top 20 digital companies.

Initiatives to harness the digital economy

Increase investment in research and development to one percent of GDP; establish a National Venture Capital Fund to promote technology entrepreneurship; establish the Sevilla Digital Innovation Park; institute a National Digital Identification (Digital ID) programme; implement a National E-Payment platform for government services.

Lie or truth, [today] marks a sad one-year anniversary. November 30, this Dr Keith Rowley government shut down Petrotrin, and put so many on the breadline. But we have a plan for the energy sector.

Nothing achieved by the Rowley PNM

For four years you could not see your member of parliament, not a government minister except when they pass by to go to their lands.

  • When you were flooded out and had no food to eat and no water to drink, when you lost your animals and your crops, when your homes were damaged or destroyed…the PNM did not come to you. Because you were not important to them then. They did not need your vote then.

For four years they ignored you and treated you like second class citizens.

  • No roads were being paved except in Ro-land. They refused to build drains; they refused to create jobs. They refused to even patch the holes in the road. The prime minister and Impsbert blaming you for the floods. Remember that? Remember that. Today they are handing you money and telling you vote PNM. That is what they think you are worth.

The PNM thinks Trinidadians stupid?

Today they paving wild, wild. You have to be afraid when you park your car or if your dog outside in the road…not only because somebody could thief it…but because they may come in the night and pave over it.

They paving over water and over mud. I saw a video where they were filling holes with mud. They don’t care. Because it’s a lie. It only has to last until Monday. After that, it’s back to your suffering.

The cash they handing out… that is until Monday. After that, you back to being unemployed. Back to poverty. Back to floods and bad roads. Back to PNM ministers hiding from you.

Send them a message. Take their money because you know after Monday, they are not giving you, they will be TAKING from you.

It will be property tax, income tax, Value Added Tax (VAT), corporation tax, gas tax, tax, tax, tax. Rowley said no more tax…ent he said they not closing down Petrotrin. He lie. He makes a big deal about emailgate. He lie.

In fact, imagine this man going all over the country crying that I am calling him Rowley. Maybe he would prefer if I call him RowLIE.

Enough is enough. Tell them you cannot handle another term with these haters in the RowLIE government. They feel they have you fooled. That you do not know about the millions to Ro-land and Faris al Rental while poor people suffering. They feel you do not know about the backroom deals where companies in which ministers’ wives working getting multimillion-dollar contracts.

They have spent billions of dollars and nothing to benefit you, except their friends, family, and financiers.

UNC only hope for Trinidad and Tobago 

My friends, this local government election is critical. It is crucial to our ability to move our country forward and create the future we want for our children and grandchildren.

We are a party united in name, united in purpose. And united in our pledge to serve all the people of Trinidad and Tobago.

[Today], before you, you see the vibrancy, the strength, the diversity and the innovative spirit of the United National Congress (UNC).

Our core philosophy has been to improve the lives of all citizens of Trinidad and Tobago, and today, we recommit to work for you.

I believe in you, the people of our great nation. You inspire me and motivate me to go out there and fight for you, and to fight for a better Trinidad and Tobago. Now, more than ever before, there is a need for greater political participation across the country.

We need more women and men, of all ages and backgrounds, to come forward and engage in national service. We have some of the most dedicated, brilliant, talented and dynamic individuals who all come from different backgrounds but are united by one common quality, the love for our country.

As a people we all want to see a better country, a nation restored to prosperity, driven by hope and propelled by development. Together we will continue to build a nation proud of its diversity, with respect and love for all.

We are one family, one community, one nation. We need as many voices as possible to join the conversation and just as many hands to get the work done. And you see the “first wave” here.

They are ready, and we are all ready to return good governance to our nation. We thank every citizen for welcoming us into your communities and into your homes throughout our nation. I am sure that one of your neighbours or family members have either lost their jobs, experienced a violent crime or are fighting to keep up with the cost of living.

It is clear that many of our citizens feel the system is rigged against them and it is for this reason that our party has committed ourselves to get the nation working again for each and every citizen.

Team UNC and I have tried to reach out to every community, and we know that delivering vital local services to you and your community is what matters most to you.

Voting for the UNC on Monday will be the first step you will take towards rebuilding our country we love. Join with us. We are strong; we are united, and together we will get Trinidad and Tobago working again.

Talk done.

Related: How serving in local government shaped me – Part 1

 

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