PM Highlights Government Plans for 2017

PM Highlights Government Plans for 2017

Press Release:-In the opening statement at his first press conference for the year 2017 Prime Minister Honourable Allen M. Chastanet sent out New Year greetings to all Saint Lucians and in particular to his Constituents of Micoud South.

The Prime Minister, also the Minister for Finance, Economic Growth, Job Creation, External Affairs and the Public Service, met with the local media at the studios of the Government Information Service on Thursday January 5th 2016 and took questions on a variety of issues affecting Saint Lucia.

During the live press conference, the Prime Minister took the opportunity to thank his Cabinet colleagues for their support and hard work over the last six months.

Civil servants also came in for praise for embracing some of the new ideas of the Government. The Prime Minister took time to thank the Opposition for their “spirited debates” while adding that he looked forward to working with the Opposition in 2017 “in moving this country forward together.”

“We have a very exciting agenda for 2017,” the Prime Minister said. “We are in the last quarter of our fiscal year and we are in the process of announcing our new plans.”

He singled out the Ministry of Justice for significant attention in tackling crime and ensuring justice is as swift as possible.

“Criminals must know, understand and appreciate that when you do commit a crime that the judicial system is going to move very swiftly to convict you and there is a penalty,” the Prime Minister said. “I want St Lucians to know that we are very aware of the escalating crime in this country. We also know the grievance that it causes many Saint Lucians and we are never going to take our eye off the ball. This is going to require the efforts of all of us. We have to get to the point where we are ashamed and embarrassed by crime itself. The solution to crime is not just through the judicial system, it is in our social system. So we have to do more work in the schools, more work in our communities and get policemen to not only arrest people but be part of the process of preventing crime from taking place.”

The Prime Minister said that his Government will soon announce more projects for 2017 which will stimulate economic activity.

“We have some great news coming out with regards to the announcement by Sandals of the construction of a new Sandals La Source in Saint Lucia which will be located between Sandals Grande and The Landings,” noted the PM. “This will be a 350-room resort and it’s promised to be a six-star project here in Saint Lucia. We will also be announcing further investments in the south of the island.”

The Prime Minister also spoke about the extensive plans for parts of Vieux Fort, including the already announced Desert Star Holdings project and the commencement of a racetrack.

“We are working with Mr. Teo Ah Khing [Chairman of DSH] to put together a master plan for the other parts of Vieux Fort and we are also working on the Black Bay development, the Sabwisha development, as well as Cannelles,” he said. “I am hoping that we will be able to make announcements very soon in the New Year as to what is going to happen on those projects.”

In his opening Prime Minister Chastanet also spoke about the agriculture sector, stating that despite being affected by Hurricane Matthew in late 2016 there have been strides.

Said Prime Minister Chastanet: “I am excited about the inroads that we are making in agriculture. Despite Hurricane Matthew we were able to put money back into that sector to bring production back up. Our meetings with the banana producers in Martinique as well as the marketing companies in France are going well. We have commenced exporting bananas through London to Paris. For the next three months we are going to be testing our bananas in that market and hopefully we can help generate a new market in addition to our US market.”

Prime Minister Chastanet then turned to issue of road rehabilitation which he said was a priority for the Ministry of Infrastructure.

“We are having several meetings with donor agencies to be able to get additional resources,” he said. “We have made the decision to curtail the amount of money that we are going to spend on the Gros Islet to Castries Highway and we are going to be spending more money now on the back roads. We are looking at resurrecting the highway from Gros Islet all the way down to Vieux Fort. We believe that this is the long term solution to some of the traffic problems we are going through right now. In the meantime we will be beefing up the back roads and also bringing in some new roundabouts. The Ministry of Infrastructure is working hard to come up with some temporary solutions because we all recognize the delays that people are going through. At the same time we will be putting plans in place for the extension of our road network.”

The Prime Minister ended his opening statement by saying: “I am looking forward to 2017. I am looking forward to the many changes that we have been talking about and I want to say to Saint Lucians how grateful I am for their support.”

Prime Minister Chastanet then took questions from the media and questions submitted via facebook on issues including but not limited to the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP), the Desert Star Holdings Project, healthcare, the water situation and Constitutional reform.

 

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10 Comments

  1. Tracey
    January 6, 2017 at 6:38 pm Reply

    Nothing in there….NADA

  2. Roger Sutherland
    January 6, 2017 at 8:39 pm Reply

    I do not live in St. Lucia anymore but visit often and take a keen interest in many issues affecting the island. One in particular bothered me during a recent visit and I am pleased to see that there are plans to address the situation. I refer to the dreadful traffic congestion that exists at most times of the day between Gros Islet and Castries.

    Given the additional planned hotel rooms and other developments in the north, unless the traffic challenges are vigorously addressed and solutions implemented as a matter of urgency, the negative effects on visitors will take a heavy toll and which will ultimately show up in arrival figures and a poor international image.

    I make one further comment concerning any major road expansion to Vieux Fort and hope that the planners do not repeat the mistakes of the past, by creating roads without any reserve for later expansion. It is imperative that buildings, homes etc., not be allowed on the edge of any proposed highway, risking unnecessarily high costs for compensation to facilitate needed future road expansion.
    Should encroachment be callously permitted in the interim, future generations will be burdened with the financial and community disruptions that will undoubtedly result. A typical example is the first road expansion from Castries to Gros Islet in the 70’s which became obsolete within ten years.

  3. Sad-But-True
    January 6, 2017 at 11:28 pm Reply

    Go back to Martinique, Evil Chastanet!
    No one is buying your BoolSheet than the poor mon.keys you lied too, to win an election.
    Sakwe S.a-lop!

    1. Anonymous
      January 7, 2017 at 11:33 am Reply

      Sad-But-TrueJune 9, 2016 at 1:00 pm REPLY ↓
      I am prepared to help SLP supporters with jobs and some form of financing, should they be victimized by the Rogue Party of Thugs.
      REMEMBER THOSE WORDS

  4. Anonymous
    January 7, 2017 at 6:35 am Reply

    You want to spend less money on the Castries Gross Islet highway and focus on the back road. There are increasing numbers of major businesses on this road. It makes no sense leaving the road as two lanes with traffic crisscrossing while pedestrians constantly try to cross.

    1. wow
      January 7, 2017 at 11:40 am Reply

      He said less money not zero money. Example do pedestrian hv to cross the road, maybe walk overs. Even if we build 4 lanes heading to Castries there is already congestion at the current 4 lanes and further down into Castries so what’s the point when u will stick in traffic when u reach the current 4 lanes. The idea of a rethink to this simple build 4 lanes at 150 million is not bad.

    2. Sad-But-True
      January 7, 2017 at 2:02 pm Reply

      Exactly!!!
      I Dread driving up to Gros-Is-Let.
      But again the UWP doesn’t build anything. No Vision! And NO one will finance anything they have to do.
      Imagine, Evil Chastanet had to sacrifice a whole Nation with the DSH to give to the Chinese. And the Chinese doesn’t have to show any money upfront. No Direct Investment, NADA.
      No one trusts the UWP (let alone) Chastanet other than Butch Steward, so he can get his way with blocking the beaches with hotels. While the Sl.aves eat from the toilets.

  5. Charles De Coteau
    January 7, 2017 at 4:34 pm Reply

    Sad-but-true you Present yourself as someone intelligent and this you should channel in a different and better direction. Stop the “everything” to disrupt in the name of politics. Maybe we are yet convinced that our public negatives give rise to our present crime situation. You Sad-But-True know that very well. Let us begin to build a better future that our children can enjoy. We need jobs in St Lucia; What is your contribution?

    Bel leh lesh

    1. Sad-But-True
      January 7, 2017 at 9:40 pm Reply

      Certainly not DSH!
      Have you read the Agreement?
      I have a copy, and have peruse it. And it’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Perhaps Evil Chastanet did this to breed this islander out of black people. I feel sorry for our Black women. I will be very vigilant and God forbid this project takes flight, some of us are prepared to protect our women.

  6. Thinktank
    January 7, 2017 at 9:00 pm Reply

    At least the Gov. Csn widen the Castries gros islet Road..its certainly not a highway..it can be..if they were to widen it to 3 lanes at least…perhaps 2 lanes bound=1 lane southbound..gros islet needs walk overs residents , students n shoppers..we need to address the congestion..it makes no sensefocusing on back roads..ppl dont like drivingon. roads…i am here in florida and drivers hardly use them..annd those roads are flat roads and in excellent conditions.co.mpared to our meandering. And hilly. Back roads

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