Opposition Leader Speaks On Coconut Vending Controversy

Opposition leader Philip J. Pierre has said that the issue of coconut vending at Rodney Bay presents an ideal situation to find a way for ‘regular people’ to benefit from the tourism industry, without being disruptive.

Pierre spoke  Wednesday evening to the HTS Evening News.

Coconut vendors were recently issued notices by the Gros Islet Constituency Council to relocate from their operating area at the roadside in Rodney Bay, to an open area near the abandoned Daher Mall building at Bois D’Orange.

Pierre told HTS reporter Rehani Isidore that the new location is not an ideal place for buyers and sellers to meet.

“On the highway you have visibility, on the highway you have traffic – even the tourists themselves enjoy buying the nuts,” he explained.

The Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) leader told HTS Television it was clear that the new area that has been identified for the coconut vendors is not as lucrative as where they operated originally.

HTS quoted Pierre as asserting that the relocation order was avoidable and said he offered  alternatives, including licenses.

“You could have a system of licenses where you say you limit six vendors very other day. So you have a pool of 36 vendors and you say you only have six for six days – that could work,” he explained.

Last week, Pierre’s opposition party expressed ‘outrage’ over the move to relocate the vendors, accusing the Allen Chastanet administration of ‘consistent oppressive behaviour’ towards those seeking to make an honest living.

“The Saint Lucia Labour Party believes that there are several young men and women employed in the Trade in the said area, and that shifting them to another location with less foot traffic is going to place them at a distinct disadvantage; and could force them into the already high unemployment statistics,” an SLP statement declared.

“In government, the Saint Lucia Labour Party actively encouraged the expansion of coconut cultivation for the expanding coconut water market. In this regard, thousands of coconut seedlings tissue culture plants were brought in from Mexico. It is therefore crucial for government to urgently address what is a rapidly expanding opportunity for vendors and farmers alike,” the statement observed.

 

 

12 COMMENTS

  1. When young people are not generating adequate income, it can be a recipe for disaster. If something is working why brake it? Anyway, from reading this article, it appears as if Government and Opposition are in agreement that relocation can lead to income reduction. Let us hope that common sense will prevail and a compromise can be worked out where everyone walks away happy.

      • Truth Being Told, if that is not news then please tell me what is. People are afraid that their livelihood might be seriously impacted and so affect their ability to take care of their families is not news? Perhaps you can give us a news item by going on camera to say that this is not news. I will certainly in order to understand what news is.

    • Can’t you see the news in it? It does not fall home so we don’t care? Ask those it affects? Are you for real?

  2. 02/21/2019
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    * Those are the words of – Yahushua.
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  3. Mr Pierre I disagree with you entirely on this one.

    The Labour Party SEEMS to be making a political issue out of this potential H&S disaster.

    I strongly believe that the relocation is the right move to take for the safety of motorists, pedestrians and the coconut vendors.

    Lets not wait for a tragedy to occur to then act.

  4. What a bunch of fools. When y’all want to go to supermarket or S&S or any other place don’t y’all go to it? Perhaps the government should bring all the services to the roadsides and let the over ninety thousand vehicles be parked. These vendors are impeding the traffic flow . The country is developing these changes are necessary get on with it

    • Lol. Roadside government offices. People like too much convenience in this country. Some of those lazy ass drivers don’t even want to get out of the damn vehicles or pull of the road completely to buy the coconuts. As you said that’s a disaster waiting to happen. Imagine if a vehicle lose control and kill some vendors. What then.

  5. He’s idea of a license for the coconuts vendors is a good one. Training can also be dispensed to these vendors to make them more professional in their service

  6. Let’s not fool ourselves these guys make more money than the average worker. Imagine a van with 500 coconuts at $2.00 that’s $1000.00 tax free per day less expenses at say 300 it’s still 700 per day

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