St Lucia parliament convenes under duress

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By Caribbean News Global contributor

CASTRIES, St Lucia – On Tuesday, September 29, parliament is scheduled to convene at 10:00 a.m, amid the “cabal Cabinet instructed from elsewhere,” disarray in the Royal St Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) and the public service, following schedule sittings of parliament September 15 and 22 that were postponed in keeping with “ a lack of preparation for relevant documents” and “internal political indifference,” as reported by sources familiar with the matter.

At Tuesdays sitting, members of parliament are expected to deliberate on the following motions:

  1. Be it resolved that parliament authorizes the minister of finance to borrow an amount of US$3,750,000.00 from the CARICOM Development Fund for the purpose of providing financial assistance to support of the implementation of the Village Tourism Initiative by enhancing specified infrastructure and supporting eligible small and medium-sized enterprises;
  2. Be it resolved that parliament authorizes the minister for finance to borrow an additional sum of US$5,000,000.00 by way of credit from the International Development Association for capital expenditure for the Health System Strengthening Project; – COVID 19 Financing for Health System
  3. Be it resolved that parliament authorizes the minister for finance to guarantee a loan in the amount of EUR$5,750,000.00 from the European Investment Bank by the Saint Lucia Development Bank for on-lending to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.

The following Bills are down for consideration:
1. Credit Reporting –
2. Companies and Intellectual Property (Registry) (Amendment) – Companies and Intellectual Property
3.  COVID-19 (Prevention and Control) Bill

According to the motion to extend the State of Emergency, this instrument expires on September 30, 2020; however, a COVID-19 (Prevention and Control), will be tabled to supplant existing laws and maintain emergency powers and decision making, at the will and fancy of the prime minister and compromised Cabinet of ministers, on the eve of an election.

There are indications that attempts to extend, augment freedom of movement, and place political restriction is expected, however, unlawful and constitutes a betrayal of the people.

Minister for tourism, information and broadcasting, culture and creative industries, Dominic Fedee has advised that he does not see the need for an extension of the State of Emergency (SOE): “I think we have the confidence now that we have done well in the management and containment of the COVID-19 pandemic and we are in a more comfortable position to be able to remove the State of Emergency,” said Fedee.

“Saint Lucia has recorded a total of 27 confirmed COVID-19 cases to date. Presently there are no active cases of COVID-19 on the island,” ministry of health, September 25.

The second wave COVID-19 is said to be happening in major markets of London, US and Canada. COVID-19 infections are rising, and restrictions reinstated. At the same time, the Saint Lucia tourism authority enhances marketing efforts with a strategic campaign to boost tourism recovery.  

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci told lawmakers Wednesday, September 23 that 50 million COVID-19 vaccine doses might be available by November and possibly a further 100+ million in December, but the general public will not get them then. The general public might get COVID-19 vaccine by March – April 2021, says Dr Fauci.

Meantime, a COVID-19 recovery plan will shape our country’s future for decades to come, is not forthcoming from the government of Saint Lucia. And according to former prime minister Dr Kenny Anthony, the government has “defiled parliament by refusing to debate various COVID-19 ORDERS, all of which are blatantly unlawful and unconstitutional.”

Last week, the board of directors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) approved US$30 million to Saint Lucia to support economic recovery and resilience hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government of Saint Lucia says it continues to provide relief for citizens who have been adversely affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an Income Support Programme (ISP) for Non-NIC Contributors has been implemented and will be managed by the ministry of finance and tourism collaboratively.

“Applicants must electronically complete and submit the relevant application form which will be made accessible on the government of Saint Lucia website (www.govt.lc) and may be accessed from a computer or a mobile phone. Eligible applicants will receive a monthly payment of $500 and maybe extended on a month to month basis for a maximum period of three months,” a statement from the office of the prime minister said.

However, the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) has called on the Allen Chastanet government to embrace a plan that rebuilds Saint Lucia for the people, “ Putting the People first” not the one percent that engages in “plantocracy economics” and preferential economics.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Yes, before we implement stringent laws upon our people we need and should have taken a look at the repercussions that it would cause to the economy, and the effects on the very poor and loyal people who put you to serve them. It was a blatant error to rush the State of Emergency on the poor, most of which have been greatly affected by your poor judgment.

    Now we are trying to get the rocks to cry blood and bring back the visitors, let’s hope COVID-19 taught us a lesson; that we need to diversify our economy and refrain from putting all our eggs in one basket. It will cost you for not taking heed!

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