By Caribbean News Global contributor
KINGSTOWN, St Vincent — Last Thursday, March 26, 2020, Minerva Glasgow took the oath of office and was sworn- in as the new Senator (Unity Labour Party – ULP) in the parliament of St Vincent and the Grenadines. Senator Glasgow replaced Carlos James, current Speaker of parliament.
Addressing parliament, Senator Glasgow, said she is not excessively worried, “at a time of unprecedented changes and challenges. My experience as an educator, a social security practitioner, and a human resources consultant; I believe that my years of experience together with my Christian principles, commitment, loyalty, dedication, will allow me to make a substantive contribution to the debates and discussions in this house.”
Known as a straight talker, Senator Glasgow told parliamentary colleagues, “ while I will debate vigorously, I will still maintain the dignity and honour of this house.”
Using her maiden parliamentary speech to highlight some key issues, Senator Glasgow urged fellow lawmakers to put national development ahead of partisan politics.
“I look forward to having a positive relationship with all the members of this honourable house. Yes, we can have our divergent views but we need to put the interest of Vincentians first and foremost. We enact laws based on objective reasoning and must uphold the laws that are made. It is a privilege, and honour, for me to be asked to serve as the deputy speaker and as a Senator. With your support and God’s help, I will discharge my duties humbly and with dignity,” Senator Glasgow added.“The opportunity to have a deeper understanding of parliament, its proceedings and how we can work together to make St Vincent and the Grenadines a better place for our people.”
According to Senator Glasgow, her inauguration would have been more gratifying if her relatives and friends would have been there to witness, but “the contingent circumstances of COVID-19 militates against them.”
In the era of COVID-19, the clerk of parliament decided to restrict access only to parliamentarians and the agency for public information – the state media entity, to enforce social distancing requirements.
Senator Glasgow further stated that it is important that members of parliament understand “our role as representatives (caretakers) of our constituents.
“It means, therefore, that we should be accessible, relevant, strategic and realistic about the needs of our people. To do so effectively, we must confront the challenges of our emerging society. And although we represent our constituents, we must be cognisant of the need to stand united on matters of national interest, such as the COVID-19, because that has implications for all of us, as Vincentians. So, there’s no need for divisiveness, but we should collaborate to ensure that we fight this successfully. Yes, we’ll have divergent views but when it comes to national issues, that must be given pride of place, irrespective of our political preference. And I would have said the same thing as a committed citizen of St Vincent and the Grenadines if the reins of power were on the other side.”
Senator Glasgow advised that lawmakers should be conscious when speaking in the House of Assembly, given this new era of communication, that people in the diaspora and at home, listen to what we have to say – the information must be factual and not misrepresent the truth, particularly our youth.
“We shall be a beacon to them so that they can listen and learn and make objective assessments,” Senator Glasgow said, who is also, the endorsed candidate of the ULP South Leeward Constituency group to contest the next general elections, constitutionally due December 2020.
Senator, deputy speaker, and ULP candidate Glasgow is a retired deputy director of the National Insurance Services of St Vincent and the Grenadines and holds a doctorate.