The structural appraisal report of the George Odlum Stadium (GOS) reveals many things and the Recommendations and Conclusions portion of that report makes for quite an interesting read.
- The structural condition assessment concludes that there is uncertainty in determining the structural integrity of roof structure when exposed to an extreme event such as an earthquake or hurricane.
- the roof structure is in an extremely dilapidated state and may be approaching a premature end to its design life.
- The levels of deterioration observed in the structure is not consistent with the age of the structure. Therefore it can be concluded that some form of urgent intervention is required to improve the structural capacity of the structure.
Based on the report so far, things really don’t look good for this Administration. But let’s take a look at a few of its “major findings”, before we condemn it for negligence.
“The major findings are as follows:
- -Catastrophic collapse of the roof structure is possible under extreme loading or through the continuous deterioration of the structural members by corrosion
- -There has been lack of maintenance of the roof structure
- -The constant shedding of degraded materials from the roof structure represents a hazard to human life
And those are just a few of the major findings. You know what? Shame on the UWP Administration for ignoring these recommendations. The SLMDA has been right all along. Clearly, there was an urgent need for . . .
Wait. What’s this? The above Structural Appraisal report was tabled in 2015! But where’s the proof? “Structural Appraisal Report Created 12-22-15” cited from . . . the Structural Appraisal Report.
So that would mean the Kenny Anthony led Labour Party was in office when the structural appraisal report revealed that “the constant shedding of degraded materials from the roof structure represents a hazard to human life”?
Surely, the kind-hearted members of the Labour Government, who have for months been condemning Allen Chastanet’s government for doing nothing about the hazardous conditions at the George Odlum Stadium, would in the 7 months they had left in office, after receiving this report, do everything they could to alleviate the suffering of the staff and patients housed in the George Odlum Stadium under these terrible conditions. Right?
Wrong! The Labour Party did nothing about the deplorable conditions because as usual it had no money. Or maybe it was just callous, a word it usually applies to the current administration over healthcare.
Yet today, Moses Jn Baptiste has the gall to continue to implore the Government to address the structural problems at the GOS given the threat the hurricane season poses. While in office however, and while believing that they would retain power beyond June 6 2016, the SLP, despite the impending hurricane season, and despite receiving this report which stated that “there is uncertainty in determining the structural integrity of roof structure when exposed to an extreme event such as an earthquake or hurricane”; did absolutely nothing to address the situation.
Criticism of the UWP over the amount of time it has taken to address the problems at the Stadium is more than fair; but at least they have done work and continue to do work at the George Odlum Stadium to help alleviate the problems there. (Even that was criticised too. But I digress!)
The point is, the SLP had more than enough time to do something about the report, yet they did nothing.
In addition to this, given the very apparent, deplorable condition of the Stadium and especially the roof back then, and also given the very “passionate” nature of the SLMDA’s criticism of the UWP government; surely its laundry list of public statements, press releases and threats of industrial action against the then Labour Government, would be a very long one.
Well, no it isn’t very long at all. In fact it’s non-existent. And this sort of double standard is why about half of the country does not believe the SLMDA is sincere in its criticisms and stated concerns (right or wrong) about the GOS.
For the record, the SLP when in power did nothing to address the situation at the GOS; and while the UWP has taken its time, it has at least done something. Yet, the SLP went without public shaming at the hands of the SLMDA, while the UWP has been put through the ringer.
That is hypocrisy and inauthenticity to the highest degree!
And while some may argue that the SLP only had 7 months while the UWP has had 2 years, the fact is that although the appraisal report was requested and tabled in 2015, it never stated that 2015 arrived and voila! Conditions all of a sudden became untenable.
No, these conditions were present for some time before 2015 and the Labour Government did nothing. In addition to that, the SLMDA said nothing about it. At least not publicly and what makes it worse is that they have been the leading voice over the St. Jude’s/GOS issue over the last 8 months; while a different Party is in Office. Hmmm…
I remember the SLMDA’s first press conference about this issue; it couched its criticism by saying that this isn’t politically motivated.
It did so because it knew that everyone was going to put 2 and 2 together, and realise that the GOS had been in a bad way long before Allen Chastanet, and so ask, “why now?” They knew those questions were coming, so they preempted them by stating that their criticism isn’t political.
But the sad reality is that “POLITICAL” is written all over the SLMDA’s face now.
Take a look at its stance over the death of Curtis Marius claiming that it was due to the absence of a dialysis machine and an ER at the OKEU, in yet another thinly-veiled swipe at Chastanet’s government.
We’ve been told to believe them over health issues because they are “professionals” and thus they know what they’re talking about. Yet OKEU Consultant Nephrologist Dr. Merle Clarke, another health professional, said this: “I disagree with the SLMDA’s stance on this particular position!”
Why in her professional opinion did she disagree with the SLMDA over this question? After describing Marius’ cardio pulminary arrest and the subsequent hour-long CPR performed on him, Dr. Clarke put it simply: “Even if the patient had crashed 10 feet away from an Emergency Room, that is what you had to do. Get a flat surface and start CPR. So I disagree completely with the notion that just because we don’t have an Emergency Room that this patient passed. That is false categorically!”
Pretty strong words from the doctor, who clearly doesn’t believe the SLMDA, when politics clouds its judgement and neither will I.
It is fair to say that the UWP has taken too long to address the conditions at the GOS. What is not fair is to lay the blame entirely on their shoulders. What isn’t fair, is to publicly criticise them for the very things you failed to criticise the previous Administration for. What isn’t fair, is to blame them for the death of a patient, while using the weight of your position to convince the Mob that this is true.
The SLMDA has unwisely politicised healthcare in this country, the very thing it accuses the UWP Government of doing. It has been compromised and has de facto become a prominent wing of the Opposition party. Many no longer believe what the SLMDA has to say on healthcare (whether true or false) and that is a shame. It’s even been reported that there is even division and contention among its members!
I think the only solution to this standoff is for the SLMDA executive to proverbially fall on its sword, resign its position and allow the election of a new executive; so that whatever valid criticism of this Administration is postulated by it, may be credible in the eyes of the general public and in the eyes of all of its members.
After all, it is clear to all that the present SLMDA is suffering from a serious case of Red Eye!