The Royal St. Lucia Police Force released statistics covering the first nine months of this year, and they show a 7% decrease in crime. In addition to the overall decrease compared to the same period last year, the murder rate dropped by 13% and the number of firearm related offenses plummeted 38%, as well as a marked increase in the percent of crimes detected.
This is progress and it's happening under our watch! These improvements to safety of our neighbourhoods would be impossible without our reforms, our commitment and the community coming together to say enough is enough.
Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro made an official visit to Saint Lucia on Saturday, 17 October. After meeting with the governor general, Maduro held bilateral talks with Prime Minister Kenny Anthony on a range of issue and spoke about the need to prioritize education and cultural programs for youth while establishing an international economic team to look at investment and trade in the Caribbean. Maduro also spoke to workers from NICE, which received $10 million dollars in grant financing over two years from the Venezuelan-led ALBA Initiative.
While Saint Lucia remains strongly allied with the UK, US, Taiwan and hundreds of other countries around the world, our relationship with Venezuela is critical as well. They have provided us with affordable energy, laptops for students and investment. And, for that, we are grateful.
Later this week, an innovative program to help small businesses create jobs will come to Saint Lucia. The Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Development Workshop and Business Incubator Management (BIM) Training will provide entrepreneurs with the support they need to build businesses and create jobs.
The training will be held in St Lucia at the Royal by Rex Resorts from October 14-16. The 3-day event forms part of a series of training sessions, designed to build an integrated ecosystem of support for early-stage entrepreneurs in the region. The objective of this project is to strengthen entrepreneurship and boost job creation across 14 CARICOM countries.
Natalia Pipia, Team Leader of Accelerate Caribbean:
“The Caribbean demonstrates a natural inclination towards innovation and entrepreneurship. People here work hard to build products, design new technology and offer services very attractive to even overseas markets, yet so many small businesses do not survive more than a few years. Accelerate Caribbean is offering training in incubation management to qualified professionals and business support companies in St Lucia and the Eastern Caribbean, to mitigate against this low business survival rate, which is critical to job creation and development in the region”
Acting Prime Minister, Hon. Emma Hippolyte, has praised the work of local educators and extolled their role in nation-building. Speaking on the occasion of International Teachers Week, October 4-10, the Acting Prime Minister noted that the Saint Lucia Teachers Union and the teaching fraternity are celebrating under the theme of “Empowering Teachers, Building Sustainable Societies” this year.
I must take this opportunity to thank and congratulate all of those who work in teaching, a profession that is second to none. We have seen the results of the work being put in by our dedicated and hard-working teachers, with the improvements in our examination results at the primary and secondary level in recent years. It is only fitting that we should all celebrate those who, along with our parents, are most responsible for the development of productive young citizens.
My elder sister, Stephanie, was a teacher. And of course I am proud and privileged to serve in a Cabinet with educators such as Minister for Youth Development and Sports, Hon. Shawn Edward; Minister for Education, Hon. Dr. Robert Lewis; Minister for Health, Hon. Alvina Reynolds; Minister for Social Transformation, Hon. Harold Dalson; Minister for Agriculture, Hon. Moses Jn. Baptiste; and of course Prime Minister, Hon. Dr. Kenny D. Anthony.
Teachers have a unique, compassionate approach and vision. They are used to getting the job done regardless of the challenges they face. They are used to doing much without much.
The theme of Teachers Week this year is especially apt, as Saint Lucia recently joined the United Nations in adopting the Sustainable Development Goals. Goal 4 is to ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning. Saint Lucia has met several of the targets, and we are attaining compliance in a number of other areas. But quality education can only be achieved with quality teachers; by and large, that is a description that certainly fits Saint Lucian educators.
The SLP is committed to improving the health and wellness of Saint Lucians. To that end, we’re pleased to announce the grand opening this coming week of a new Health Centre in La Guerre! The official opening will take place this Wednesday, 7 October 2015 at 10 am. After the opening, there will be a health fair on the grounds of the health centre that will provide the following services:
▪ Eye Screening
▪ Basic Audio Screening (Hearing)
▪ Mental Health – Health Promotion
▪ Dental – Health Education
▪ Blood Pressure, Glucose, Body Mass Index (BMI), Waist Circumference screening
▪ Nutrition: Food Demonstrations and Sampling
▪ Foot Care Clinic
▪ Environmental Health: Vector Control
▪ Blood Bank
▪ Physical Activity
▪ Papsmears and Visual Inspection with Aseptic Acid (VIAA) – Saint Lucia Planned Parenthood Association
▪ Immunization: Flu Vaccine/Heb. B
▪ Health Promotion
▪ Nephrology – Teaching and counseling on Kidney Disease Prevention
▪ Substance Abuse – Teaching and Counseling on Drug Use
▪ Human Services – Health Education
▪ Gender Relations – Health Education
We hope that you’ll attend the health fair and also make use of this new facility.
Last Tuesday, the SLP Government passed the public Procurement and Asset Disposal Bill. This bill helps root out corruption in the public service. Dr. Anthony:
One of the diseases in this country is that we do not accept and realize that corruption is rampant and rife in the private sector and public. Quite often the problems arise from persons who are in the public domain who seek to influence government processes.
This bill seeks to place accountability on those who administer the procurement process. It strengthens current anti-corruption laws and makes it easier for those guilty of corruption to be brought to justice.
The Prime Minister will be in New York City for the General Assembly of the United Nations and invites all Saint Lucians in the diaspora to join him for a special town hall meeting. The meeting will take place this Sunday, 27 September at the Mahalia Jackson Middle School, 790 East New York Ave, Brooklyn, New York beginning at 5:30 pm.
The Prime Minister's delegation will include: Hon. Alva Baptiste, Minister for External Relations, International Trade, and Civil Aviation; and Minister Hon. Dr. James Fletcher, Minister for Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology. The meeting will also feature performances by Saint Lucia's Children of Culture and singing sensation Christine "Chrysee" Charlemagne.
We hope those of you in the area can join us in New York.
After dealing with twin blows of the worst global economic recession since the Great Depression and a failed UWP regime that presided over the loss of thousands of jobs, the SLP has taken action and surely and steadily turned Saint Lucia around. We delivered record tourism and construction is on the rebound. The Prime Minister gives us the details:
During the first half of 2015, total stay-over arrivals increased by 5.3 percent to 185,424 representing a record level of arrivals over the last five years for the first six months of the year. This performance was mainly attributed to a 12.3 percent growth in arrivals from the United States, our largest source market and highest spending market per person. The performance of the United States market was largely influenced by a steady improvement in the US economy supported by additional airlift in the latter part of 2014, mainly from the North East region of the US. Other markets, such as the Caribbean, also showed improvements in arrivals.
Cruise ship passenger arrivals were also on the upswing, with growth of 9.8 percent to 399,746 passengers visiting our shores during the first half of 2015. This strong performance was mainly attributed to an increase in scheduled arrivals by cruise lines and the return of some other cruise lines. However, preliminary indications suggest that the 2015/16 winter season is likely to see a slowdown in cruise ship arrivals as fewer cruise lines are scheduled to visit Saint Lucia.
Saint Lucia’s economic performance in 2015 is likely to be strengthened by the turnaround that is currently being witnessed in the construction industry. Based on preliminary data for the first six months of 2015, the value of imported construction materials increased by 4.8 percent compared with the corresponding period of 2014. Further, expenditure on major construction projects increased for the first half of 2015 compared with the previous year.
Public sector expenditure on construction is expected to increase as several new projects get underway, for example, the Soufriere Square, the Vieux Fort Administrative Complex, the Gros Islet Human Resource Development Centre, and the Aquatic Centre. In addition, plans are in the final stages for work to start on the expansion of the Choc Gros Islet Highway.
In the private sector, work continues on a number of projects such as Tides Sugar Beach in Soufriere, Harbour Club hotel, Unicomer building and Dayana commercial building. The reconstruction of the Smugglers hotel later this year, at an estimated cost of over US$100 million, is expected to have a major impact on the revival of the construction industry.
The recovery in construction could, of course, be boosted even further, if our commercial banks adopt more aggressive lending policies in home construction.
We also saw an increase in production manufacturing fo 1.8%. We have more work to do, but, it’s clear that we’ve come to far to turn back now.
Dr. Kenny Anthony and the SLP have done it again! We’re developing a new affordable housing project in Roseau which will provide Saint Lucians with high quality, affordable homes. This project is thanks in part to a low cost loan from PetroCaribe, a program introduced to Saint Lucia by the SLP Government – and, one, that was opposed by the previous failed UWP regime.
Uplifting our people requires building friendships and alliances. And, this development shows exactly why an SLP government is better for working and struggling Saint Lucians. We’re doing what it takes to uplift our people and provide them with quality affordable homes that will improve quality of life and provide a foundation for them to improve their lives.
Last week, Allen Chastanet cried fake tears over a made up situation. But, how does he really feel about young mother’s in Saint Lucia? Let’s look at the facts:
- As Minister of Tourism, Allen Chastanet gave all concessions and opportunities to his hotelier friends while squeezing taxi drivers and other small time tourism operators.
- Allen Chastanet opposed the Labour Code which prevents the “split shift” – forcing mother’s to be away from their children in order to work
- Allen Chastanet opposed NICE which has helped thousands of the poorest Saint Lucians
So, while Allen Chastanet cries fake tears, his deeds show what he’s really all about and who he is really for.