Minister in the Ministry of Tourism, Information and Broadcasting, Culture and Creative Industries with responsibility for Culture and Creative Industries, Fortuna Belrose, has disclosed that about $EC 3 million was budgeted for independence.
But she has defended spending on the observance.
“Remember, the events go on for the entire year so we have not seen the end of independence,” Belrose told reporters Monday.
She explained that the three million dollars will be for the entire year.
“We have had the celebration of the 40th but other events are to happen,” she stated.
According to the Minister, a major event slated this year is a monument outside the government buildings that will depict the theme ‘All In’.
Responding to public concern over the money spent on fireworks, Belrose declared that fireworks are not cheap.
“The type of fireworks that we did, did cost money. But you know, we’re only going to be forty once in our lifetime,” she said.
“I don’t think we should seek to quantity it in terms of the money. I think what we wanted was the experience and the fact that it has added so much value and connectivity for our people. I think that to me is much more than any amount of money can measure,” Belrose declared.
She added that a local provider was involved.
In response to concerns about other initiatives that needed financial outlays such as health, Belrose asserted that the good thing about the government is that it plans ahead.
“We planned for independence 40; we’re planning for the hospital; we’re planning for the airport – we’re planning for all the projects that you see will unfold over the next few months. So remember too, initiatives around patriotism should not be quantified in terms of the money.”
“I think we should be happy and for me as a Saint Lucian citizen, I was just happy with what I saw in terms of a response by Saint Lucians to the whole fireworks display. I think that lifted all of us as a citizenry and there is no amount of money that can compensate ,” Belrose declared.
She asserted that the fireworks display did what it had to do for citizens by lifting their spirits and putting them in the right frame of mind going forward as a country.