Edward Responds To Accusations Of Political Patronage

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Education Minister Shawn Edward has responded to accusations of political patronage in the award of school transportation contracts in his Dennery North constituency to the disadvantage of opposition United Workers Party (UWP) supporters.

“I was under pressure to fire UWP drivers. I said ‘No. I am not firing them’,” Edward said of the period after winning his seat in 2011 and becoming the Minister for Youth Development and Sports in a labor administration.

On Monday, he spoke during an appearance on the HTS Programme’ Out Goes In’.

Edward asserted that the UWP bus drivers had loans to pay, children to feed, and other commitments.

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As a result, he said the UWP drivers stayed, but two lost their contracts.

According to Edward, one of the two was transporting children from Dennery North to the Vieux Fort Comprehensive Secondary school in an SUV and continued despite several warnings, resulting in the discontinuation of the contract by ministry officials.

“Another gentleman lost his contract because of his own stupidity. I don’t want to get into that here today,” the Education Minister said.

“Some of them had three contracts. We caused two of the three to be redirected to persons who had none. Some had two contracts – we took one and gave to somebody who did not have any. But they had a contract. So you had a nice mix of United Workers Party people and labour party supporters rolling out the school transportation system in Dennery North,” Edward told his audience.

However, he recalled that when the UWP won the 2016 general elections and although he retained his seat, the incoming administration fired every bus driver in Dennery North affiliated with the labour party.

“We came in. We could have terminated in September. We allowed them to continue. They were the ones who serviced all the school routes from September to December – the first term of this academic year.”

“And come January we are saying there are bus drivers sympathetic to the labour party who had been placed on the bread line for six years, now is a good time to reinstate them and let’s give them a break because they pay loans too. They want to save up to embark on home improvements too. They have children to feed too,” Edward expressed.

“Up to Sunday I was being chided by some people: ‘Why did you retain this man who is a known United Workers Party supporter?'” Edward recounted.

“That is not the brand of politics that I practise. We cannot be that polarised. And today, under my watch ever since we came back, there are United Workers Party known operatives who played very key roles in the campaign, who have been able to salvage their contracts,” the Dennery North MP stated.

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
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  1. Bravo for Shawn Edwards unlike what was said by the Former Gros Islet Rep Spider who vindictively sent N.I.C.E workers home because there were labour supporters. We are all Saint Lucians and we need to stick together

  2. This has to stop because we are all St Lucians and need to survive in our country. Every time there is a new government so many people are displaced because party hacks must be the ones with all the jobs and contracts. To be honest this started under SLP way back in 1979. I remember them firing school bus drivers to bring in their supporters. A Mon Repos and Micoud driver was fired and Mangal was given both contracts. Imagine he was driving down to Mon Repos and another driver to Micoud all the way from Castries to discriminate against drivers from that area. Then in 1997 it was worse cause everyone was fired and the program discontinued.
    Now over to Shawn. I can tell you many drivers who were given 2 contracts on your watch. Do you know you have about 5 drivers with contracts to Vieux Fort Comprehensive who does not own or drive a bus? One of the guys in the Association has contracts to 2 different schools. A Mayor of a constituency has contracts. Shawn stop portraying yourself as a Saint cause you are far from being that.

  3. @Informer from dennery… hope you remember this come next yr if not sooner when you’re in opposition, because I can remember your people protesting last five yrs when they were fired unlike the UWP’s who stay quiet

  4. The Crow.
    Your government has a history of 40 years of incompetence.
    You have people in your administration accused of rape and significant levels of devious behaviour – from drug dealing to murder to money laundering . I have no evidence but that is the general opinion.

    The most murders were committed under your watch. 500 since 1997.
    You by reality and history are a low class devious evil administration supported by people who pretend to be of ‘ character’ .
    As bloom cooper said to paraphrase ‘ corruption is endemic in our society’ my addition – mainly support by the SLP.
    Our country is a mess confirmed by the composition of a corrupt Immoral Cabinet. Th reality speakes for itself and your support proves your own moral corruption.
    In a year I will come back here to confirm the reality of our deine under the SLP. Sick low class bottom feeders.

  5. The minister is only trying to give everyone a share of a small pie. He needs to be given credit for equally distributing among drivers of both parties.

  6. No wonder Shawn Edward wanted school to remain open so he can reward them with school contracts. And many feel it is okay because the other party did it. I say SLP is no different from UWP. We will never move forward and division will continue to widen
    All I see is educated fools and not intelligent people in government.

  7. @Aint. Have you forgotten that while your benevolent leader (Ass-wipe Chas) was in power, the number of homicides was already in the 60s? Have you forgotten that? What did you say when the rampage was on?

  8. Minister please…under pressure by who…smfh.the driver’s should come on media to prove your lies…victimization at its best..jahim host on MBC you from the valley as well and you know all what’s going on and you know for a fact that the minister is lying smfh again

  9. Job well done Hon. Shawn Edward. It is ok for the Flambeaus to do as they are please and get away with it. Once it is Labour the hacks always have alot to say.
    This time around you had to send a stern message to the UWP in the Dennery Valley( those that had all the contracts and were gloating) to let them know what time it is and who is in charge. I totally agree with your action. The empty vessels out there (UWP) must remember what goes around comes around. Do onto others what you would like others do to you. JOB WELL DONE. The construction contractors should feel the same brunt too.

  10. In 2021 St Lucia recorded over 70 murders.
    This gives us a murder rate of over 40 per 100,000 of population.
    This rates us as # 6 or 7 in the world by murder rate.

    Yet nothing being said by this incompetent government or their hacks.

  11. Wow wow wow Edward. So 6 years bus drivers who are SLP supporters could not support their family? For 6 years they could not pay their loans? For 6 years they could not find any contracts or work? That is what you are saying? If you are not working would any financial institution loan you money? So this justify you firing the current workers who still has a few years to pay their loan. So this is how your government works. And this is how I guess you solve unemployment. Not creating new avenues but by victimization. So why don’t you just go ahead and fire all other government sector workers and tell them they have been working for 6, 10, 15 20 or 30 years. Let give some who are not working for a few years now. What a stupid comment to justify your doings.

  12. No wonder things can never go right in this country. Party supporters don’t care about country it’s all about de party. Take st. Jude for example, King started with Donnelly (concrete toe), Kenny kicked him out and bring in his man Sadoo, Chas kicked Kenny and Sadoo out and bring in Guy and Freshstart. Now, PJP we waiting to see. All these ppl just there to milking the country and cannot deliver. Now you have RK behaving like a jamet on social media to get Fresh start out so he can take over the housing projects.

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