Press Release:-The Office of the Prime Minister, working in conjunction with the Vieux-Fort South Constituency Council, hosted a TOWN HALL Meeting on the DSH Project on Wednesday, February 01, 2017 at the Vieux-Fort Primary School. According to our information, “Invest St. Lucia and other stakeholders will be there “to provide an opportunity for persons to ask questions, make suggestions, learn and influence the plans”.
The VFCCCC welcomed this action and thought that would be a real opportunity for Vieux-Fortians and other Saint Lucians to get the “facts” on the project and put to rest any misinformation that was being circulated. It was the expectation that those attending the meeting would be well informed and be convinced about the benefits of this project to Vieux-Fort and the island at large.
As it turned out, the straightforward answers to the questions were not forthcoming and people were left more confused and disappointed with what they heard. For example, the presenters could not explain clearly, fully or convincingly:
- Why is the DSH Project being pursued in a segmented manner and will a separate agreement be needed for each segment?
- Why is it that the Agreements were signed without the knowledge and approval of Cabinet?
- Why is it necessary to convert the National Stadium into a horse shelter?
- How will the five-mile buffer zone around the race track work and how will it affect residents? The disadvantages vastly outweigh the benefits based on the information presented on screen by the representative of the Ministry of Agriculture.
- Will the EIA on the racetrack be released for public consumption and comment? Will the findings and conclusion of the EIA be the determining factor as to whether the racetrack stage goes on or not?
- Why is it that Cabinet has serious issues with the Buy Back Clause?
- What level of employment can be expected from the construction of the racetrack?
It is important to state that not one person asking questions stated categorically that he/she supported the project as is presently. There were many, many questions and concerns but the responses lacked substance, details, punch and conviction.
The VFCCCC wishes to reiterate that the DSH Project will have enormous, deep-seated and long-term consequences – financial, legal, environmental, and developmental – for Vieux-Fort and the rest of Saint Lucia. The VFCCCC hopes that those presenting the case for the DSH Deal will give clear, complete and factual details to the above and other questions when next they convene a Town Hall Meeting in Vieux-Fort.
Statement issued by :
Vieux Fort Concerned Citizens Coalition for Change