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Hilaire Blasts Government Over New ‘Highly Oppressive’ Law

Asserting that ‘this Government must be mad’, Castries South MP Doctor Ernest Hilaire has strongly criticised the Allen Chastanet administration over what he described as a ‘highly oppressive’ law relating to the hospitality sector.

“At 1.00 am, a Bill is put through all its stages and becomes law. Yes, law, whilst Saint Lucians are asleep,” Hilaire wrote Wednesday on the official Facebook page of the opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP).

He recalled that despite protestations from the SLP Parliamentarians,  Saint Lucia now has a new law that is highly oppressive, unjust and unfair.

“Now let us get it clear, I support establishing standards for the hospitality sector but surely we must be reasonable and care for ordinary people trying to make a living,” the Castries South MP stated.

“Why should we pass such a law? I want you to read Section 27A and the definitions. The definition of Accommodation Service is so wide and taken literally, section 27A would mean that you can’t offer anyone to rent from you without registering under the Act,” he explained.

Hilaire’s post was accompanied by a snapshot of the sections.

“Let me give an example. You have an empty apartment downstairs your house and have some friends in Trinidad who usually visit for Jazz and Carnival. You offer that they can stay by you at a reasonable price. They spend a few days. You are not registered. You can be arrested and charged up to $100,000 and/or 4 years in jail,” Hilaire asserted.

“Another example. You have that house for rent and someone wants to rent for one month. Then another person rents for two months. Then another for one month. If you are not registered, you can be arrested and charged up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to 4 years in jail,” the SLP MP declared.

“$100,000 and/or. 4 years in prison for failing to register your room or apartment that you make available as a sleeping accommodation. Is it really necessary to criminalize such failure?” Hilaire wrote.

53 COMMENTS

  1. What, this law is only for his hotels and his hotel friends. Air bnb has become very popular and he is therefore trying to protect his hoteliers, No bread for the lay man. How cruel!!!

  2. Enough is enough! This waste of a government needs to be voted out! I voted for them last election along with twenty five family members and close friends but we have all decided that this gang needs to go. And go the will come next election.

    • You should never let this quack mislead you if he was that great fo you think the only way he can make a leaving in on tax payers money there is more to gain in the bill than lose but as usual they pick out the part they believe will create doubt why didn’t he outlined the many benefits then again we are a people who don’t like to follow rules and pay tax and the slp knows the weaknesses of many and what they do is pray on the ignorance of many social programs is what they believe in that way they are able to control you the protest in the us today the route cause is the social programs that the Democrats have made black people believe in rather than empowering them to make choices in life that can better their lives in the future the slp believes in that same social programs because they can use it to oppress us rather than empower us

      • Don’t follow suit None. Share what he didn’t. Tell me how this law helps me! I currently have an apartment that I rent out to friends visiting from Martinique. Under this new law passed at a god-forsaken hour, I will be committing a crime if I don’t register, pay more taxes than I earn and meet requirements that I can’t afford. Please tell me the “many benefits” that this law is offering. Stop attacking and politicalicing every comment and slinging mud at the opposite side. Speak your truth, don’t colour everything.

    • Minister Fedee says registration is free and that by registering you are entitled to get free concessions for your repairs, renovations, extensions, furniture etc. Some people say it is good but not at this time. Gov’t should implement this when things get back to normal. I guess you will hear more on this soon.

      • There is no such thing as a free lunch. Any law passed without adequate scrutiny is meant to be abusive by default. Worse yet they passed that in a state of emergency under the cover of darkness. How can that possibly be good. The.saddest part about this is Chastanet cannot pass laws alone. The spineless politicians present said nothing. Worry not, there will be a reckoning. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow but one day the people of St Lucia will rise up against y’all and it won’t be pretty. I’m calling it a CYWB revolution.

  3. Hungry power people stop letting politicians fool you all read and understand carefully.Stop being so hateful SLP will not fixed no problem with what they will create more they broke the country to.

  4. I can recall in 2005-2006 Kenny passed a similar law to this. That was to not let unregistered house owners make money and they crying. That same hilaire who was on the wicbc asking Kenny to pass that law now crying. Pure case of do so doh like so.

  5. this is crazy at midnight to 1am a bill is passing for law in st lucia…the things they do for the ppls blood…

    lucians its time to wake up…never have i seen this kinda nonsense in this country..

  6. I remember how SLP with Odlumanjosie made St.Lucians believe that the Public Order Act was the worst law that a gov’t could have enacted, because it was oppressive and cruel. They encouraged public servants to demonstrate against that law until the UWP gov’t removes it from the books. Guess what? SLP has won several elections, with more than two-thirds majority, and the Public Order Act is still on the books. Earnest Hillaire wants to succeed by bluffing his way and misguiding his supporters. What is wrong with registering your accommodation if you want to make money? If you don’t register your accommodation and your occupant gets electrocuted in your swimming pool, what do you expect from the law? Hillaire, for once, can you please encourage your supporters to play the game by the rules.

    • Jeffery, Jeffery, Jeffery, please practice some honesty. You know very well that the parts of the public order act were amended.

  7. I will have to read this law in its entirety before I form an opinion.

    But this is one thing i know, Airbnb has disrupted the hotel industry. Some countries have also sought to put measures in place to regulate Airbnb and the consequences it might have including citizens not being able to afford housing or long term rentals due to increase tourism OR locals not wanting their area to be too infested by tourism.

    No matter which government that is in power they would ALWAYS do something about Airbnb especially since it holds a massive amount of data that could influence government laws. Some of these regulations are not necessarily about getting a slice of the pie, but want it could prevent or how it could protect citizens in the long run.

    I will have to look into the law.

  8. Lets for lack of argument agree that the law is to the benefit of the country and tenets. My question is why a fine of $100,000.00 EC for persons who contravene the law.
    Something is rotten about that law. Whose interest is Chastanet protecting.

  9. Hilaire, I believe your examples are crappy. Why didn’t you use a guest house as an example? Why did you figure they were referring or protecting to village tourism. If I have my home and a friend from Trinidad wants to rent it, do you really believe, in your heart, that this law will convict you of a crime? Do you really believe that?

    • …you comment on every article on this site like it’s your day and night job! The snip of the actual doc clearly states that you cannot even advertise your property for rent . Do you believe the content now ..don’t take hilaires word…just read? It also defines what an accomodation is. A more prudent question would be why the rush to pass this…in the wee hours of the morning? Who the f wants to inject high expenditure into renovations right now…knowing that concessions is on imports (meaning those that buy building materials from overseas…hint hint? Maybe you can help me answer these?

      • Did the document made any direct reference to rental? If Hilaire believe it applied to house rent why didn’t he debate it and asked the government to exempt domestic rental? He just like roro! Do you believe there is a difference in renting for a Trinidadian for 2 months and renting for a local? It is so lame to believe that the government deliberately passed it in the wee hours of the morning. Its silly. This is law and if you passed it in the wee hrs of the morning it will be there at midday the next morning. Laws are not for “right now”. And yes someone can get concession on local manufactured and goods that are already being imported. Why not pass it now?

    • LMAO. Truth Being Told, you just confirm that you don’t read or cannot comprehend. Had being trying to figure out has been wrong with you every time you post here. Got it!

  10. Lucian Highgrade you just spoiled one of the most intelligent arguments I’ve come across on this medium. I’ve not read the law so I will not make any statement but reading the comments, both sides seem to be arguing different aspects of the law and that’s positive. Although I said I wouldn’t comment, I’m appauled at the penality.

  11. Where is the actual doc….during peak covid season…govt shared official docs through every medium including via smoke signals!! Where is this one?

  12. Why didn’t you figure they wanted to empower the small business like village tourism. Why would a government introduce village tourism for the malaway, then oppress them? Does that make sense. SLP has never been a government of empowerment. STEP! Nice on contract. Even had public servants on contract. They have govern with no form of control. Now they are telling our people that control is oppressive. Don’t you believe government needs a level of control to govern?

    • Truth Being Told, you have a very strange understanding of empowerment and control. Tell the truth do you come here to comment day in and day out because you have nothing better to do? Or does somebody pay you for doing this? Whatever the reason can you please do yourself a favour and try to make your comments more sensible.

      • That”s all you had to say? that was not much. I thought I did or wrote something wrong! You will definitely hear from me again. Let us have the discussion. Empowerment and control!

      • Truth Being Told you did worse than wrong. You dis stupid. That’s the point. I will only have a discussion with you when you show through your posting that you understand the terms. Your earlier posting shows that you clueless.

    • This guy must be a Bot. Wonder whether he is programed to respond to people who try to see through the shenanigans of these guys. Always responding favorably to thinks that bleeds yellow, not one ounce of criticism for all the crap we see on a daily basic.

    • Lol. Truth being told. You just confirmed 2 things…you are a gorgor to refuse to accept that this government has made a mistakes….you are on their payrol!!!! Lmao. Somethings do not make sense and yet they are done….why can’t you understand that simple fact. #chopioninyourbrain

  13. SMH… certain persons cannot justify the law so now they either attack the messenger or do whataboutism. This is obviuosly to curtail the growing airbnb industry and to benefit big hotel chains *Sandals*. Plus with the lowering of taxes for tourism sector, it seems we have still going all in on tourism and haven’t learned our lesson from Covid-19. This law must be repelled as soon as possible.

  14. This particular legislation has generated grave concerns from a wide cross section of the populace. Firstly, why a bill of this magnitude had to be passed at that unholy hour? This awful legislation, if not rescinded, will most definitely cause the downfall of this clueless administration. It takes a heartless and thoughtless government to pass such draconian legislation against its own citizens. Chastanet and his pliable, poodle-like ministers MUST GO. They are no good for St. Lucia. Miscreants they all are.

  15. I hope this government has realized how fragile this tourism industry is. And if guests can’t rent my apartments then the hotels should face the same consequences. These guys are just looking for a confrontation that will kill the tourism industry in this country. Guess who will have the most to lose!

  16. Now you see why he has the state of emergency to do what the fauq he wants! Mate need to die he is worse than trump! Avaitay!

  17. Politically independent. Hilaire did not discuss the many benefits of tje bill.This report wads done to create fear,hatred and anger against the government.He only reported on page 1 of the bill.Stop misleading St.Lucians.U must start being homest in your political reports.Otherwise no ome will trust what u say.

  18. Chastanet and his spineless flock have lost their way. They are now trying to box food out of the local people’s mouths; punish and destroy local entrepreneurs; treat public servants with utter disdain while kissing the derriere of foreign investors. This midnight legislation has exposed the government’s deep disdain for St. Lucians.

  19. If we do not take action quick enough this Island will have a blood bath that not even the Police will be able to control. Oppressive laws passed late at night while we sleep, but that Bradley Felix never found it fit to bring PRICE GOUGING LEGISLATION BEFORE THE HOUSE.Judgement day is soon at hand. Allen and your Cabinet of OPPRESSOR S. TIME IS RUNNING OUT.

  20. This prime minister has no concern for the low in come worker whoses trying to help themselves; what’s about the person whose working for less than $700 a month,who may just have a little something to help and now they have to pay from this little money. having to pay bills and traveling allow for themselves and children’s and trying to save something for later oh lord. what’s wrong with him

  21. Hilaire is a very vindictive and dishonest person.his political life has just started and he is already being so dishonest the truth is so hard for him to speak. He always picks the part of a. Story which suit him to criticize and prey on the ignorance of people this man is bad news every where he turns he is just so hungry for power .he just come he cannot wait his turn.I believe the member for laborer has been there for so long he should be first deputy of the slp not Hilaire Alva Baptist should never accept Hilaire over him being there for so long as a matter of fact Alva should be the leader of the slp they would stand a better chance at the polls.Hilaire sickens everyone you can see the deception in his face all he wants is power .hungry for leader Pierre better watch it .there is a plan for him

    • Everyone who knows mate know that he is very dishonest, a liar and a thief. ask those who have worked with that louse, they have stories to tell. the man is worst than deceitful. in fact, given his crimes, he should be in bordelais and not deputy of no party. in fact, SLP will pay the price for this and they already have. they will be out of power again. lucians not asleep they know the man is very destructive, power hungry in the worst way and a flat out gutter rat.

  22. I can’t comment on the benefits of the bill as I don’t know what they are. It is concerning though, the time that it was put through and the penalties for not adhering. In my opinion, no bill passed at that hour can be of benefit to the people and there are more serious crimes with lower penalties, not sure why this warrants such a harsh penalty.

  23. frankly rentals needed to be regulated a long time ago. one landlord in the north stole my deposit of more than 1000 dollars and i never got a cent back. there is no law in st lucia to protect renters. there is no rental deposit schemes where the money goes. as for air b and b i am glad that they regulating it. with all this corona around, having people u dont know around you and your kids is not safe. the hotels can do deep cleaning, most of you people cant do that. but will simply take a chance for the money. because a lot of you greedy like that. and before you know it, we have disease all over the place because one renter decided tp get 25 US for air b and b. next, they are all paying air b and b tax money, nothing is going to the government of st lucia. air b and b should be scrapped as far as i am concerned. some neighbours dont have peace because endless people going in an out of an apartment. this is an american company making money out of you people greed. bring the laws on Chastanet. you want to come on vacation you have 2 choices; high end or medium end hotel, or some cheap little room in a business place that caters for guests. if you cant afford that then maybe you should think of either limiting your days on holidays or pick a place that meet your pocket.

  24. Helaire and the SLP had his information days before the presentation in the how. Why didn’t they stay in parliament to represent the small business or the poor man as they would say. What they did instead is walkout and politicize it. They continue to prostitute the malaway. These are the same guys who voted against a bill that would make CIP Funds available to our local investors.

    • The point is your wicked party pass a bad piece of legislation in the dead of night. That’s the issue. You can dance around it as you please. The truth being told here is you wicked PM trying to take advantage of ordinary people through bad legislation

    • As usual – enablers – to make them look MIGHTY! Only the myopic and foolish virgins who will not enlighten themselves will believe in such fakery.

  25. Mr Hilaire is a known “ENABLER” (at least to me). I suggest that everyone obtain and read this new ACT to understand and take heed. This Act CAN BE AMENDED if it does no good to those intended. There IS an avenue for that to happen.
    Mr Hilaire does not say that, or let it be known!! Oh no!!
    Mr Hilaire is very aware that St Lucians do not read anything in its entirety, so he takes advantage of that fact, and let’s people believe what he wants them to.
    What Mr Hilaire can and should have advised, is if anyone is not happy with the wording of this Act, IT CAN BE CHANGED!! Through the proper avenues.
    There are offices for that! (I must find out which one.)
    Shame on you Mr Hilaire!
    (I myself will check it out, and look for myself where the citizens have a say on such Acts).
    This Act is NOT the say all, do all and end all.

  26. “Please get the entire ACT, then you can comment”. And there you are you don’t even know how legislation is changed – something that is taught in primary school. More than that, you should remember something learnt in primary school – the purpose of your writing. Mr. Hilaire purpose was to explain the hash penalties in the law. I guess he thought, I like me, that everybody knew how laws are changed and not commenting about ” there are offices for that and oh my goodness offering to find out which one.
    Now, I have read the entire bill and Hilaire is right.
    Imagine you display great ignorance by posting ” (I myself will check it out, and look for myself where the citizens have a say on such Acts)”. Good luck in your search you 21st century idiot. Get off the armchair you anonymous idiot.

  27. This is so true VISION. These SLP guys know that most of their supporters are very gullible so they take advantage of that. As you said this bill has so many benefits to Airbnb owners but he choose to select the penalty to show the government in a bad light. These Labour guys like most of their supporters do not like standards and regulations. Everything must be done anyhow even if it puts people’s lives at risk or even the countries reputation at risk. These are the same people are are boasting about so many countries they have lived and worked in. All of these countries have standards and regulations for all sectors and industries and they abide with them and are proud to say how well these countries are doing. But then again these guys are bent on opposing everything the government does regardless of how much it benefits the so call malaway that they claim to represent. I have been wondering whether in the SLP constitution there is a clause which states that the party must oppose everything done by the government. I hope someone can clear my thoughts my thoughts on that.
    Now I understand why SLP has been in opposition for so long. The name Oppositon party truly suits them because they oppose everything done by UWP under John Compton that helped in the development in the country; and now they want to oppose everything Chastenet attempts to do.
    They oppose the NIC initiative when it was introduced in the early 1970s by John Compton telling people that Compton wanted to steal their money. Now to hear them talk about the NIC one would think that it was saviour initiative.
    They oppose the causeway at Pigeon Point.
    They oppose the dredging of the swamp at Rodney Bay which is now Prime property and everyone of them and their affluent supporters want a piece of land there.
    They oppose the constuction of the Milllenium highway and the tunnels
    They oppose the construction of the water dam in Roseau
    They oppose the coming of Hess to St. Lucia. Can one imagine what St.Lucia would be like if John Compton had to back off on all of those projects and initiatives that these guys opposed.
    They could overcome John Compton now they trying Chastenet. But Thank God Chastenet seems to be made of the same material as John Compton and will not allow these guys to change his path of a new St.Lucia for all St.Lucians.
    Ernest Hilaire I see you as a young man with lots of potential who should be in a position to be more productive than you presently are. My advice to you is to make better use of your education, shills and potential.

    The
    I will

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