Former MP speaks on new Sandals resort

Former Gros Islet MP,  Emma Hippolyte, has welcomed the announcement that Sandals International will be building a fourth resort in the constituency she  represented.

Hippolyte told the Times it was not the first time such an announcement was being made.

She recalled that when the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) was in government, Sandals had made that announcement.

The former Gros Islet MP noted that at the time, the SLP administration presented certain conditions.

“I am hoping that this time around they will keep their word and make the construction a reality,” Hippolyte asserted.

The former Minister for Commerce, Business Development, Investment and Consumer Affairs said as a people, Saint Lucians need to be concerned about monopolization in the tourism industry.

However, she explained that such a situation can be turned around.

Hippolyte said she believes it is time for Sandals Chairman and Founder, Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, to show that he is a Caribbean person working with the government of Saint Lucia in doing a few things.

The former Gros Islet  MP expressed the view that Sandals can become a better social partner with the government.

“When the government agreed for the construction of these properties – not the new one only, there were certain commitments that Sandals was supposed to have met and they have not,” Hippolyte said.

She said she was hoping that the current United Workers Party (UWP) administration would hold Sandals to its commitments.

The former Minister explained that those commitments  should include proper access to the beach and the construction and maintenance of a public park near the Gros Islet town.

Hippolyte told the Times there was an issue for Sandals to conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment of the project.

“We also requested then that during construction they minimize damage to the ecosystem and one of the conditions was for them to employ an engineer who would be reporting to the government of Saint Lucia. We wanted to ensure that steps were taken to prevent further damage to the ecosystem,” she said.

The former MP disclosed that the government was concerned about damage to the coral reef.

“If you speak to the fishers they would tell you that there is significant damage to the coral reef at present,” Emma Hippolyte explained.

She said that at the time she was MP, one of her concerns was the absence of dialogue with Gros Islet fishers.

Hippolyte said she recalled raising the issue of compensation for Gros Islet fishers and proposed the purchase of two modern fishing boats to be owned by the Gros Islet Fishers’ Cooperative, with Sandals providing training for young fishers.

“If you look at it now all of our fishers are older persons – for the industry to grow we need younger fishers,” she observed.

She said part of the revenue raised by the two fishing boats could go towards a retirement fund for older fishers and their families.

Hippolyte also spoke of the need to improve the Gros Islet jetty to allow yachts and boats to enter the Gros Islet Waterfront.

She said there was need to  construct moorings in the Gros Islet bay to allow vessels to come in and pay for using the area.

“At the moment we have hundreds of yachts and they are not paying – that is a loss of revenue to the people of Gros Islet,”  Emma Hippolyte declared.

She called on the government and the current MP for Gros Islet to ensure that the constituency is properly represented in regard to the issues raised.


  1. Febert
    January 1, 2017 at 9:52 am

    Butch Stewart is a TYRANT. In November of 2011 this gentleman humiliated me in front of several guests and 2 other local employees. This guy doesn’t care about local black employees….HE SPEAKS DOWN TO THEM, HE INSULTS THEM, HE DENIGRATES THEM.

  2. Anonymous
    January 1, 2017 at 10:41 am

    Emma u no about butch didn’t hold up too his part in helping the country. What makes u feel he would do anything for the country. This should not happen unless st lucians have say remember its our country even if he has money.if st lucian wasn’t beautiful he wouldn’t have try too open a fourth hotel.

  3. Anonymous
    January 1, 2017 at 11:56 am

    Butch has a major influence in St Lucia. Certain people can a test to this. The Indian woman that has the restaurant on the way to marigot and her husband is an officer can tell u that. He creates problem everywhere even in people’s relationship

  4. Donna
    January 1, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    When a country develops a change is good but is this a good thing as a visitor to St Lucia most resort can’t even have an occupancy of 40% so the government should focus on fulling those empty resorts instead of building

  5. Anonymous
    January 1, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    Wow only now emma suddenly realizes or remembers butch never or hasnt owned up to his franchise part of agreements with the st lucia government very interesting i must say good job emma good job at least u remembered. It appears when one is in power they are too busy to remember issues of that nature WOW WOW WOW

  6. Anonymous
    January 1, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    All i want to say is that they do not really care about us well said emma the global capitalist want to get is weak to control us but we st lucia need to unite to drive them off the landscape of st lucia

  7. Fesel
    January 1, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    Oh well when some Lucians stop treating the local businesses especially the small ones with scorn an shun always thinking their services are inferior or not good enough for their show off or fighting class attitude maybe then an only then we as a people will grow without much of the big fish syndrome from overseas

  8. Fesel
    January 1, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    Oh well when some Lucians stop treating the local businesses especially the small ones with scorn an shun always thinking their services are inferior or not good enough for their show off or fighting class attitude maybe then an only then we as a people will grow without much of the big fish syndrome from overseas.

  9. Rage
    January 1, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Butch knows exactly how to deal with post-slavery kneegroes. He knows that local contactors never finish projects on time or perform a good job. He knows all his staff steal rampantly and he knows st.lucian government are powerless to change any of this. They are merely another corrupt palm to grease. So the Lucian government makes a deal with the devil when Mr Stewart wants new resorts built. This comes in the form of concessions, allowing cpj to do business here, tax breaks etc.

    He has always known blacks could never get their act together and simply exploits the situation for his benefit. He knows all they want in a job is to Be fed, clothed, transported to and from work and paid for them to be singing Massa’s praise like good little chimps .All they want are jobs jobs jobs so that next election, they can say :”eh eh. UWP/SLP gave me a job.”

    1. Anonymous
      January 2, 2017 at 6:28 pm

      Very, very well stated, Rage.

      We have, collectively placed ourselves in this situation where can’t even sell un-educated, over-entitled and lazy selves, and the one thing that we have left to prostitute out is the land.

      There seems to be an overwhelming sense of lack of ambition and lots of bitterness. Those that read about us in the foreign press can’t be blamed for thinking that, for most of us, happiness is a piece of cold fried chicken, a warm Piton, and a hot domino hand.

      And as investment dollars are increasingly attracted to stable societies, something St. Lucia is increasingly not, we will continue to see the new development move to our OECS counterparts in our journey from Helen of the Caribbean to Haiti of the Caribbean. Heck, even the staid national institution BOSL has moved to foreign control, largely due to mismanagement, lack of long-term vision, and a morass of bad decisions on high-risk loan exposure.

      And those who trumpet the DSH project as the harbinger of new economic hope better give their heads a shake else feel comfortable in wearing their fantasy-coloured glasses. St. Lucia’s economy will not see, on a cost-benefit basis, any substantive benefit from the project. For most St. Lucians, all Pearl of the Caribbean will mean in their lives is driving past a large barb-wired wall past a gated community drawing on the island’s natural resources and giving little else except sadly empty bragging rights to elected officials to wax poetically about monies the island was never going to see. To their credit, the Chinese are known for getting things done. Simply stated, deeds speak. We should learn a thing or two from them.

  10. Anonymous
    January 1, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    Hello, wat makes u believe dat Emma forgot about Sandals commitments don’t b a square head plz b more real ….if u realize as soon as the news came out stating dat Steward was on the go again she attacked.WOW WOW WOW the mind set of some ppl man..

  11. Vin
    January 1, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    Well said Emma, hope that these will be put in place with minimum of fuss as investors must also be socially responsible in their dealings.

  12. Pan kaiso
    January 2, 2017 at 10:34 am

    Why is my comment not being posted

  13. Pan kaiso
    January 2, 2017 at 10:36 am

    I find all of you who a making supportive comments supporting Emma and a bunch of Hippocrates

  14. Pan kaiso
    January 2, 2017 at 11:07 am

    Mr moderator I suspect you why is certain comments that I make not posted

  15. 666
    January 2, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    That is where I don’t trust Allen, he is from the industry so naturally there’s suspicion that he will favour the Butch and Co…remember the Black Bay land fiasco, selling Helen one square foot at a time? The Butch is getting too powerful!

  16. Anonymous
    January 2, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    “When the government agreed for the construction of these properties – not the new one only, there were certain commitments that Sandals was supposed to have met and they have not,” Hippolyte said.
    in her own words
    why didn’t her government see to it that it was done
    But now she wants the present government to do what her government should have done

    WOW WOW WOW Politrickians

  17. Calvin
    January 4, 2017 at 11:11 am

    Too bad that Emma believes everything she reads else she believes that Looshans will listen to her pathetic attempt at throwing a googlee.

    Next thing we know she’ll be writing in to support this latest Butch drivel posted as a letter supporting Trump:

    Time for Emma to phone ahead to VH and make a reservation to take a few months to medicate and watch the ocean and get back to reality. I hear that they have some really good treatment programs there for those not in touch with real life and that dream in their own little alternate reality.