Former Gros Islet MP, Emma Hippolyte, has expressed concern that the re-branded Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival has lost its economic impact for poor Saint Lucians.
“My concern is that we have made some changes, the government in its wisdom has made some changes to jazz – they have changed the name, they’re trying to re-brand it. But when you look at the impact on the ground, then you have to question that wisdom and that logic,” the former Minister for Commerce, Business Development, Investment and Consumer Affairs, told St Lucia Times.
Hippolyte asserted that the economic impact of the ‘original jazz’ on the people of this country and all communities has virtually disappeared.
“The government must respond to the people as to how, in these difficult times, they intend to cause the poor people to have something to eat,” the former MP stated.
She recalled that when the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) was in government, there was Jazz in Monchy for years.
“The vendors made something,” Hippolyte explained.
“We had it at Grande Riviere and the people made something – they made enough money to pay their bills for a few months. All around the Island – you had it at Marchand. Vendors made something.”
“But the jazz has moved to hotels and I am not certain – the cry on the ground is that the people are not feeling that economic impact.”
Hippolyte asserted that the government must question its position on the event.
“It is really killing the economy,” she told St Lucia Times.