Opposition leader Philip J. Pierre says this country needs a leader whom the people can trust.
Pierre made the remarks in an address to citizens Sunday night dubbed -‘Restoring Hope and Confidence.’
He observed that despite much demonstrable talent, Saint Lucia is operating well below its capacity as a nation.
“Major problems continue to confront us in the areas of health care; crime; education; youth unemployment; economic inequality and corruption,” the Castries East MP observed.
Pierre expressed the view that these problems have been aggravated in recent times by bad governance and in particular, blatant acts of corruption in government.
He warned that in government, the labour party will hold accountable all those responsible for acts of corruption and the misuse of public funds.
“If we are to address these problems adequately as a country, we need a servant-leader we can trust; not a sweet-talking leader telling untruths and doing so unashamedly, indicating clearly his contempt for the people of Saint Lucia,” the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) leader asserted.
“In the world of fantasy, we are free to promise anything,” Pierre declared.
He told his listeners that if every promise were to become a feel-good factor then the more the merrier.
According to Pierre, the country has been peppered with promises of all sorts.
“New hotels, major road rehabilitation, hospitals and several more – all of which to take place within the space of the next year,” he stated.
He recalled that since 2016 the nation was promised the construction of five to seven hotels, the elimination of Value Added Tax and ‘ching, ching in our pockets’.
Pierre said that unfortunately for the Prime Minister, Saint Lucia is a real place and the promises remain just that – promises.
“Now into the fourth year of this UWP administration and with nothing to show, I feel further vindicated in tabling in parliament my historic no-confidence motion in the Prime Minister in January last year,” he said.
Turning to his party’s vision and plans for this country, Pierre noted that as the country looks forward to the years ahead, there’s need for a shared vision rooted in the personal aspirations of most Saint Lucians.
“I believe that most Saint Lucians will agree to a vision for Saint Lucia that includes access to quality health care based on a need rather than ability to pay.
He also spoke of education being promoted as a right and not a privilege with learning becoming a lifetime activity, consistently improving educational opportunities for the nation’s families.
“The objective being one university graduate per household,” Pierre explained.
He also spoke of a preference for meritocracy over nepotism in the employment of public servants, among other issues.