Document Sample
					 Saint Lucia
Saturday February 1st 2003                                                                                                      Saint Lucia   NATIONWIDE                1

No.12. Saturday February 1st 2003        A publication of the Department of Information Services

HEALTH INSURANCE                                                                                                               EDITORIAL

                                                                                                                                  A REASONABLE CASE
                                                                                                                               During his recent visit to St Lucia, former
                                                                                                                               United States President Bill Clinton
                                                                                                                               shared some profound thoughts with a
                                                                                                                               largely local audience on what future
                                                                                                                               US-Caribbean relations should be like.
                                    A new day is about to dawn for
A system in which
                                                                            health insurance for St Lucia, and taking it
                              health care financing in St Lucia.            to the public for discussion with a view to        Mr Clinton argued a strong case for
every    St. Lucian           In another landmark initiative to
                                                                            making amendments before submitting the
                                                                            final recommendation to Government.
                                                                                                                               America “to do more to develop the
                                                                                                                               Caribbean … through trade, through aid,
resident       has            improve the quality of life for St.
                              Lucians, the Government of Prime              The task force, under the chairmanship of
                                                                                                                               through investment, through debt
                                                                                                                               relief.”. He also noted that America’s
access to a set of            Minister, Dr Kenny D. Anthony, is
                              moving to set up a national health
                                                                            National Insurance Corporation (NIC)
                                                                            executive director Emma Hippolyte, has
                                                                                                                               “future is in the hands of our neighbours
                                                                                                                               and we have to be good neighbours.”
ser vices without             insurance scheme which will bring an          chosen consultant pathologist, Dr. Stephen
                              end to the long-standing nightmare of
fear or favour,
                                                                            King, to head up a sub-committee looking           There’s hardly any doubt that the
                              costly medical care, and improve              specifically at the health insurance initiative.   Caribbean has always sought to be a
without        any
                              public access to health care.                                                                    good neighbour of the United States.
                                                                            The task force is also advising Government         While pretty much the same can also
barriers.                     A task force, established by Cabinet almost
                              a year ago, has been assigned the job of
                                                                            on the establishment of a farmers pension
                                                                            and an unemployment insurance scheme
                                                                                                                               be said about America, there have been
                                                                                                                               times when America took the Caribbean
                              coming up with an appropriate model of                                    cont’d on page 3       for granted.

                                                                                                                               A case in point is the US-led campaign
                                                                                                                               before the World Trade Organisation
                                                                                                                               (WTO) against longstanding European
                                                                                                                               preferences for Caribbean bananas. That
                                                                                                                               action had the effect of undermining
                                                                                                                               several Caribbean economies, including
                                                                                                                               St Lucia’s, which depended heavily on

                                                                                                                               As the United States pushes for the
                                                                                                                               establishment of the proposed Free
                                                                                                                               Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), the
                                                                                                                               Caribbean hopes, this time around, that
                                                                                                                               America, as a good neighbour, will
                                                                                                                               appreciate and understand the region’s
                                                                                                                               case for special consideration.

                                                                                                                               Otherwise, Caribbean economies will be
                                                                                                                               at a disadvantage against the more
                                                                                                                               powerful economies in the proposed
                                                                                                                               hemispheric trade bloc. The more
                                                                                                                               powerful countries in the European Union
                                                                                                                               certainly accept the need to extend
                                                                                                                               concessions to less developed
                                                                                                                               members to support their economic

                                                                                                                               Though no longer directing policy in
                                                                                                                               Washington, President Clinton at least

                                                                                                                               showed what is possible in US-
                                                                                                                               Caribbean relations. And he still has
                                                                                                                               some influence in Washington’s power
  Amidst the tight security provided by local        whistle stop at the Castries market, Clinton                              circles.
  police officers and United States Secret           reached out to the crowd. See pages four and
                                                                                                                               The Caribbean is making a reasonable
  Service officers, former USA president Bill        five for the full story of the visit, and the
                                                                                                                               case regarding its participation in the
  Clinton was lured by a crowd of warm St.           highlights of his speech at a dinner reception                            FTAA. It’s a case deserving
  Lucians eager to get a handshake. During a         hosted by the Government of St. Lucia.                                    sympathetic consideration.

                                                                                                                               Government Notebook
               “Take 2 ” - A fifteen minute news review of the week.                                                            A fresh news package
               Every Friday at 6.15 p.m. on NTN, Cablevision Channel 2.
                                                                                                                               on all local radio stations
2        Saint Lucia     NATIONWIDE                                                                                                                            Saturday February 1st 2003

    SHAPING ETHICALlaunch of the ECPC as a giant step
    Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony describes the
       The Eastern Caribbean Press                  sub-region. Several years ago, I called for     of all of us Caribbean citizens, for his
Council was formally launched at the                                                                                                                mutual distrust. The Press has an overriding
                                                    the establishment of a similar council in       professional contribution to journalism in
Bay Gardens Hotel in St. Lucia on                                                                                                                   responsibility to jealously guard the public
                                                    Saint Lucia. An attempt by the local Media      the region. I speak, of course, of Rickey
Saturday January 25th 2002. The feature                                                                                                             interest, that is the right of the public to
                                                    Association was torpedoed in its infancy.       Singh, who is also a member of the
address was delivered by Prime Minister                                                                                                             receive accurate, honest and timely
                                                    Clearly, it makes far more sense to             Council’s leadership.
and Minister responsible for Information                                                                                                            information.
                                                    establish a regional entity. The Council        Clearly, with the other members, including
and Broadcasting in St. Lucia, Dr. Kenny            offers a wider protective umbrella, but more    Monsignor Patrick Anthony and the
D. Anthony. The follwoing is the full text                                                                                                          While distrust is unavoidable and is at the
                                                    importantly, it is somewhat removed from        energetic Leslie Pierre, the leadership you
of the address.                                                                                                                                     heart of the relationship between
                                                    the local domestic passions. This will          have chosen is representative of a broad        Governments and the Press, the abuse and
                                                    engender greater trust and confidence           collection of minds, ideas and experiences
        “Let me first of all invite all of you to                                                                                                   disrespect of public functionaries and
                                                    among those who are compelled to turn to        that favours the ECPC.
Simply Beautiful St. Lucia, where, I trust,                                                                                                         citizens is an unacceptable trend. I fear that
                                                    the Council for advice.
you were not asked at the airport “Where                                                                                                            if the press is not careful, then its audience,
                                                                                                         Need to Broaden Jurisdiction               in the words of Tocqueville, will become
you’re from?” and “How long you’re                  Of course, the idea of establishing a Press
staying?” If these questions were asked of                                                                                                          “deaf.” As he put it:
                                                    Council is not new. Other countries have
our Barbadian friends, then I would say to                                                          I have noted that the ECPC will be
                                                    established similar mechanisms to insist
them that Barbados must make haste to                                                               concerned, initially anyway, with                       “ If one wishes to know the real
                                                    on observance of agreed standards and
join its OECS family, so as to enjoy our                                                            newspapers, news magazines and other            power of the press, one should pay
                                                    conduct. Indeed, we are all familiar with the
policy of Freedom of Movement.                                                                      print publications. However, in view of the     attention, not to what it says, but to the
                                                    respected Press Complaints Commission
                                                                                                    increasing importance of the electronic         way in which it is listened to. There are
                                                    of the United Kingdom. It is a Commission
Saint Lucia is honoured to have been                                                                media (that is, of radio and television) in     times when its very heart is a symptom
                                                    that, I understand, respected regional
selected as the site for the launching of                                                           communicating with the public, it is to be      of weakness and prophesies its end. Its
                                                    media figures such as the distinguished
the first-ever attempt by the print media of                                                        hoped that sooner, rather than later, the       clamours and its fears often speak in the
                                                    Editor-in-Chief of the Nation newspapers of
our sub-region to establish an Eastern                                                              ECPC’s mandate and functions can be             same voice. It only cries so loud because
                                                    Barbados, Mr. Harold Hoyte, maintains a
Caribbean Press Council. This is really a                                                           extended to encompass all segments of           its audience is becoming deaf.”
                                                    very close working relationship. The fact
giant step towards shaping ethical                                                                  the media in this sub-region and, eventually,
                                                    that Mr. Hoyte has played a vital role to
                                                                                                    throughout the Caribbean Community.
                                                                                                                                                              Media practitioners are public fig-
                                                                                                          Accountability of the Media               ures. As such, they must attract account-
                                                                                                                                                    ability – perhaps with less intensity than
                                                                                                    There are other reasons why the                 politicians, but accountability nevertheless.
                                                                                                    establishment of the Council is so              Of course, there will always be some de-
                                                                                                    necessary and timely. Governments of the        bate about what accountability of the press
                                                                                                    region have searched for mechanisms to          means. The press cannot behave as if they
                                                                                                    engage the media in dialogue to shape           are without sin when some among them
                                                                                                    policy for our Caribbean Community. The         are guilty of breaching, personally and oth-
                                                                                                    diverse and fractious nature of the Press in    erwise, the same standards they vocifer-
                                                                                                    the region has made this difficult. There has   ously condemn.
                                                                                                    been no representative body that the
                                                                                                    governments could tap for advice and            If the objectives of the Eastern Caribbean
                                                                                                    guidance on matters pertaining, for             Press Council are met, then it might help
                                                                                                    example, to the rights and privileges of        to reduce the temptation to haul media
                                                                                                    media personnel in our regional community.      practitioners before the courts for
                                                                                                                                                    defamatory statements. Until now,
                                                                                                    Speaking for myself, however, there is an       politicians have depended on the courts of
                                                                                                    even more compelling reason for supporting      law for protection. A functioning Press
     Prime Minister and Minister responsible for Information of St. Lucia Dr. Kenny D.              the establishment of the Council. It can        Council, one that is fair, just, balanced and
    Anthony chats with Mirror editor Guy Ellis (St. Lucia), and Mr. Carl Ince (Barbados             never be in the interest of our democracy,      courageous, can act as a buffer between
           Advocate). Both newspapers were founding members of the ECPC                             or indeed the public, for the Press and the     the aggrieved politicians and the offending
standards in a business that, by its nature         make today’s ceremony a reality adds to         Government to sleep in the same bed.            journalists. But it is not just the politicians
and responsibilities, defies regulation.            the credibility of the ECPC.                    Indeed, there is good reason why the            who need the council. Media practitioners
                                                                                                    relationship should be conditioned by           need it just as well.
                                                                                                                                                                               cont’d on page 8
This initiative comes thirteen years after the      I am also particularly pleased to note that
demise of the Caribbean Press Council               in its composition, the ECPC encompasses
(CPC), then under the chairmanship of the           the entire Eastern Caribbean and with
respected and distinguished Caribbean               citizens of our region of doubtless
jurist and great friend of the regional press,      experience and integrity. Without being
the late Aubrey Fraser. It is a welcome             invidious,       let    me    salute your
initiative, particularly as it springs from the     distinguished chairperson, retired Justice
efforts of the publishers and editors of the        Lady Marie Simmons. The ECPC is
Eastern Caribbean and Barbados.                     fortunate to have attracted the leadership
                                                    of Lady Marie Simmons. She is known for
The days of Aubrey Fraser were purposeful           her fairness, firmness and sound intellect.
and exciting. This is not nostalgia speaking,       She brings to the Council great prestige,
but merely a wish to see the rekindling of          experience and capacity for independent
the spirit that fired the press to seek a           judgement.
definition of itself in our evolving Caribbean
society.                                            Similarly, the Council’s richness of
                                                    experience, integrity and depth of
     A Welcome Regional Initiative                  knowledge will also be enhanced by the
                                                    presence of that little man who stands so
                                                    tall. He was not too long ago honoured by       Mrs. Gwendolyn Evelyn signs the charter on behalf of the New Chronicle newspaper of
It is without reservation that I welcome the
                                                    the University of the West Indies on behalf      Dominica. Assisting is Executive Officer Ainsley Sahai while Roxanne Gibbs of the
establishment of this Press Council in our                                                                                Nation Newspaper (Barbados) looks on.
Saturday February 1st 2003                                                                                                                      Saint Lucia    NATIONWIDE                 3

   NA          TH
from page 1                                                                                                                                  In St Lucia, the most common health is-
“One of the principles that we are adopting                                                                                                  sues which not only result in death but also
… is equity,” says Dr. King. “We would like                                                                                                  cause significant losses to the economy,
to have a system in which every St Lucian                                                                                                    are cancer, heart disease, cardiovascular
resident has access to a set of services                                                                                                     disease especially strokes, diabetes and
without fear or favour, without any barriers                                                                                                 accidents.
and we need to find a system that can do
that.”                                                                                           Please insert photo                         “Our package of benefits has to respond to
                                                                                                 of Dr. Stephen King                         these types of illnesses,” says Dr. King.
Dr. King says the present system of user                                                         from files
fees, which patients have been paying at                                                                                                     Financing medical care overseas is also
public hospitals here since 1992,                                                                                                            under consideration but it’s an aspect task
represents a “barrier for certain people”.                                                                                                   force officials think will have to be monitored
Further, he adds, it has contributed to                                                                                                      closely to ensure there’s no abuse of the
“constant tension” between patients, public                                                                                                  system.
hospitals, the Ministry of Health and the
Ministry of Finance.                                                                                                                         Patients who are covered by the scheme
                                                                                                                                             will be able to receive care from the private
         Who Pays the Bills?                                                                                                                 sector, for example Tapion Hospital, but it
                                                                                                                                             is very likely that patients may have to pay
                                               Executive Director of the National            Dr. Stephen King heads a special
Approximately $100 million is spent            Insurance Corporation Emma Hippolyte          committee for National Health Insurance         any difference if the cost of service exceeds
annually on health care in St Lucia.                                                                                                         the limit set by the scheme.
Government accounts for 60 per cent, with      The International Labour Organisation (ILO)   “Based on the discussions we had, we saw
the bulk coming out of the Consolidated        is also playing an advisory role.             the initial financing as a broad-based tax –    “We are going to establish fixed fees say
Fund. User fees paid by patients account                                                     not a payroll tax — which will be on certain    for, for example, bed nights and that is going
for around $8 million. The remaining 40 per    “If you are going to have a national health   commodities,” says Miss Hippolyte. “In          to be the same throughout the private or
cent is through the private sector. Private    insurance that allows universal access and    general, the whole public will be affected.     public sector,” explains Miss Hippolyte. “If
insurance, patients paying for health care     universal access means that every man,        That also has its pros and cons and that is     you choose to go for a private sector one
services on delivery, etc.                     woman and child would have equal access       why we are going to get technical               which is higher, you pay the extra cost.”
                                               to the system, then you need to look at a     assistance from an actuary to advise us
The task force has already held discussions    funding mechanism that is going to fund       which is the most feasible one for us at        “That is the initial thinking of the task force,”
with key health sector stakeholders – public   that,” says Miss Hippolyte.                   this time.”                                     she adds.
sector administrators, local pubic and
private hospitals, doctors, nurses, and               Workers to Contribute
pharmacists, among others — on the
health insurance proposal.                     “It is going to be a lot more expensive
                                               because everybody should have access,”
Based on these discussions, the task force     she points out.
has come up with a number of financing
options, which an actuary is currently         A task force team visited Antigua to have a
studying to determine their feasibility. An    look at their medical benefits scheme,
actuary is an insurance industry               which is financed through a payroll tax and
professional who gathers and analyses          caters primarily to workers who contribute
data to calculate insurance risks and          to the scheme. It was seen as having some
premiums.                                      benefits but also deficiencies.

After the actuary gives an opinion on the      The task force considered using a so-called
various options, the task force’s next move    “sin” tax on tobacco and alcohol to finance
is to embark on an island-wide series of       the scheme but it was ruled out because
consultations to hear what St. Lucians have    the island’s present economic base renders
to say.                                        such a measure unfeasible.

                                                                                                                 TAPION HOSPITAL: a private sector provider
                                                                                             Once the crucial financing issue is settled, Dr King says there exists a strong case for
                                                                                             the next matter to be resolved is a list of primary health care facilities to be beefed
                                                                                             health services that will be covered by the up under current health sector reform
                                                                                             scheme.                                      initiatives.

                                                                                             “What we’ve got to do is look at how much       “Primary care is the bedrock of your health
                                                                                             money we have, what are the people’s            service,” he notes. “That is where you
                                                                                             health needs and then come up with the          develop wellness.”
                                                                                             most cost-effective set of interventions to
                                                                                             meet those needs,” Dr King explains.            “Whatever we do with national health
                                                                                                                                             insurance,” he adds, “we need to make
                                                                                             “You have to look at every health               sure (there are) more resources for primary
                                                                                             intervention and decide how effective it is,”   care….. If we design it properly and do it
                                                                                             Dr King adds. “I must say from a principled     well, the public should expect better
                                                                                             point of view so far and to make people feel    hospital care as well as better community
                                                                                             at ease (that) what is presently available to   care.”
                                                                                             the public in St Lucia at Victoria Hospital,
                                                                                             St Jude’s Hospital, these benefits will            NOUVEL NOU MENM
                                                                                             remain. We will not reduce on the                  KWEYOL NEWS on NTN
        VICTORIA HOSPITAL: St Lucia’s principal health care institution.                     benefits…”
4       Saint Lucia    NATIONWIDE                                                                                                                         Saturday February 1st 2003

      Globalisation is a contemporary
world reality to which Government
frequently refers when discussing the
performance of St Lucia’s economy.

And, during a whirlwind visit to the
island on Saturday, January 18, former
US President Bill Clinton reinforced the
point that globalization today is an
inescapable fact of life not only for St.
Lucia and the United States, but all

The 42nd US president, who left office
two years ago after serving two terms,
was on a private one-day visit to get
some rest and relaxation and a
welcome break from the unusually
freezing    winter      America     is
experiencing this year.

Government hosted a dinner in his honour
and Clinton used the opportunity to speak
about US-Caribbean relations, the serious
challenge posed by HIV/AIDS, and also to
graphically illustrate examples of              William Jefferson Clinton, 42nd President          Her Excellency, Dame Pearlette Louisy, Goveror General of St. Lucia shares a light mome
globalization in action before an audience      of the USA, addressing dinner guests at                                 with President Clinton at the dinner reception.
of 200 that included the prime ministers of           the Sandals Grande in St. Lucia
the OECS countries.                                                                                                                            tourists come up to me and thank me for m
                                                so I prefer the term interdependence.           Clinton attracted a large crowd of curious
                                                                                                                                               work for peace in Ireland (during his tenure a
                                                Interdependence means that you’re               on-lookers who warmly greeted him during
     Freedom and Opportunity                    connected in lots of ways and that you can’t    a surprise mid-morning visit to the Castries
                                                get unconnected, “he added.                     Craft Market. As he mingled with the crowd,
                                                                                                                                               He added: “And I thought this is the 21st centur
“We are living in a world in which all people                                                   he came face to face with an example of
                                                                                                                                               world. I am standing on the street in St Lucia i
who love freedom and want opportunity are          Support for work on HIV/AIDS                 globalization through contact with cruise
                                                                                                                                               January, it’s 15 degrees (Fahrenheit) in New York
interdependent but we are also                                                                  ship tourists who were spending the day
                                                                                                                                               it’s about that cold in Dublin so these poor Iris
interdependent with people who do not           The visit took place as the William Jefferson   on the island.
                                                                                                                                               people come to St Lucia to escape their col
necessarily share our values, our hopes,        Clinton Foundation, set up by the former                                                       (and) I come down here to work on AIDS an
or recognize our responsibilities,” he said,    president to support humanitarian causes        He related the experience to his dinner
                                                                                                                                               play a little golf and we are talking on the stree
a reference to international terrorists.        around the world, is laying the groundwork      audience in the ballroom of the Sandals
                                                                                                                                               about the rest of the world.”
                                                for the launch of a major anti-HIV/AIDS         Grande.
“Most people describe the world we live in      project to benefit the countries of the         “If anybody wanted a picture of the
                                                                                                                                               The face-to-face encounter with globalizatio
as globalization but globalization to most      Caribbean. The team, in fact, arrived in St     globalization of the world in a positive
                                                                                                                                               came home to the ex-prez in an even mor
people means economics. It means trade          Lucia on the Tuesday following Clinton’s        sense, you could’ve just walked down the
                                                                                                                                               personal way when he ran into some visitors from
and investment and other economic things        visit after stops in St Kitts and Dominica.     street with me today. I had all these Irish
                                                                                                                                               his old home state where he served as governo
                                                                                                                                               before becoming president. “I met three peopl
                                                                                                                                               from a little hometown in Arkansas where I live
                                                                                                                                               when I was a teacher many years ago here i
                                                                                                                                               your community today.”

                                                                                                                                                            Illegal Drug Trade

                                                                                                                                               Clinton pointed to the September 11, 200
                                                                                                                                               terrorist attacks on America to illustrate th
                                                                                                                                               extent of interdependence that exists betwee
                                                                                                                                               the Caribbean and the United States, especiall
                                                                                                                                               at the economic level.

                                                                                                                                               “After September 11, 2001, America was hu
                                                                                                                                               economically and so were you. On Septembe
                                                                                                                                               11, 3,100 people from 70 countries were killed i
                                                                                                                                               New York City, Washington and Pennsylvania
                                                                                                                                               including many from the Caribbean.”

                                                                                                                                               “My wife is a senator from the State of New York
                                                                                                                                               She represents people from every island in th
                                                                                                                                               Caribbean in New York,” he said.

                                                                                                                                               Clinton also referred to the illegal internationa
                                                                                                                                               narcotics trade as another example o
             In addition to the hundreds of St. Lucians who turned out to greet former president Bill Clinton, were visitors                   globalization in action to show up anothe
                                from the USA and Europe who wanted their (photo) shot at the president
                                                                                                             RELIEF FOR BUSINESS
      Saturday February 1st 2003                                                                                                                      Saint Lucia   NATIONWIDE               5

LISATION                                                                                             “We may be different. We may have different religions.
                                                                                                     We may be of different races but we have a certain core set
                                                                                                     of values and they are very simple. Everybody counts.
                                                                                                     Everybody deserves a chance.” Bill Clinton


                                                                Two Leaders meet: President Bill Clinton and Dr. Kenny Anthony during informal discussions prior to the dinner.
                                                      “We may be different. We may have different    Clinton is expected back in the Caribbean      President Clinton’s next visit,” she said.
    Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony chats with       religions. We may be of different races but    later this year to take part in the official   St Vincent and the Grenadines’ Health Min-
        St. Lucia’s Ambassador to UNESCO              we have a certain core set of values and       launch of the programme his Foundation is      ister Dr Douglas Slater, who is working with
                Mr. Gilbert Chagoury.                 they are very simple. Everybody counts.        supporting to combat HIV/AIDS in the           the Clinton team in designing the
 imension of the interdependence between the          Everybody deserves a chance. Everybody         region. “Impressive” was how he described      programme, said the support was critical
Caribbean and the US.                                 has got a role to play, and we all do better   the approach regional governments have         to enhancing the anti-HIV/AIDS fight in the
                                                      when we work together,” he said.               adopted towards the scourge.                   region.
 f you’re hurt economically and the narco-
 affickers get a bigger foothold in the Caribbean,    Clinton said there were two obstacles to       Lyn Margherio, head of the Clinton             “With the help of the Clinton Foundation,
hey sell the drugs that go into the bodies of         building “an integrated (global) community     Foundation team which visited St Lucia,        all the partners in the OECS and CARICOM
hildren in America,” he said.                         of shared benefits, shared responsibilities    said the support programme seeks “to           etc, we are seeing some light,” Dr. Slater
                                                      and shared values”. One was terrorism; the     scale up the care and treatment being          said during the visit here with the team.
  e went on: “If you do well, we do well. If you’re   other is the tendency of some people to        provided to people living with HIV and AIDS
 appy, we tend to be happy. If you’re getting more    want everything for themselves and deny        in the region”.                                “We are very glad that they are coming on
 rosperous, we are too.”                              others the same opportunity for self-                                                         board because we have been trying in
                                                      improvement.                                   “Our aim is to have a completed business       several ways to raise resources. We feel
             Interdependence                                                                         plan by the end of March in preparation for    confident they will deliver.”

Clinton said while the US and Caribbean generally
 ke each other and enjoy a friendly relationship,
we have undervalued the extent to which we are
 ompletely dependent upon each other in going

We need to find organized ways of working
ogether,” he added. “We can’t forget about the
act that a lot of our future is in the hands of our
eighbours and we have to be good neighbours.”

We have to put together a community of people
n the Americas who are committed to sharing
he benefits of the future, shouldering the
esponsibilities of the future and affirming the
mportance of our common humanity,” Clinton

Recognizing America’s interdependence with the
Caribbean, Clinton said America should do more
o support Caribbean economic development
hrough trade, aid, investment and debt relief.

n relation to the wider world, he said the US
must “do more” to promote economic growth in
 oor countries, help send more children to school
 nd enable them to attain at least a secondary
 ducation, and combat the spread of HIV/AIDS.
                                                       The Clinton Foundation team meets Hon. Damian Greaves and other officials of the Ministry of Health during a visit to the island.
6       Saint Lucia    NATIONWIDE                                                                                                                            Saturday February 1st 2003

The Bold Mission for Bordelais
        St. Lucia, the first CARICOM            Bordelais’ mission is to change all of that.
country to establish a National Crime           Rather than just locking away offenders to
Commission to research and identify             serve out their sentences, as happened at
the root causes of major crime, is taking       the island’s old congested jail on Bridge
another pioneering step in the field of         Street, the Bordelais method will seek to
criminal justice within the region.             find underlying issues which may have
                                                contributed to the deviant behaviour, and
With the recent opening of the $48              to provide each inmate with professional
million, start-of-the-art Bordelais             help to effectively manage or overcome
Correctional Facility in Dennery, the           those issues altogether.
Kenny Anthony administration is setting
out to transform the traditional                       From the Old to the New
Caribbean approach to imprisonment,
by shifting emphasis away from the              For Minister of Home Affairs and Gender
mere punishment of offenders to their           Relations, Sarah Flood-Beaubrun,
successful      rehabilitation    and           Bordelais represents a new beginning in a
reintegration into society as law-              number of fundamental ways. Not only will
abiding citizens.                               it end what she describes as the “barbarity”
                                                of the old Bridge Street prison but, more
“This project is the first of its kind in the   importantly, it offers hope that offenders
Caribbean and it signals a departure from       will discover there’s a better life outside
traditional methods of incarceration,” says     the world of crime.
Margaret Thompson, general manager of
NIPDEC, a Trinidadian company which             “Lives will be changed and transformed for
managed the construction of the new             good in this correctional facility, something
prison.                                         which happened very infrequently at the Her        Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Kenny Anthony unveils the palque at the Bordelais facility
                                                Majesty’s Prison on upper Bridge Street,”
                                                                                                Bordelais is a fully self-contained complex       The approach will be gender-sensitive,
Government’s policy shift is in response to     says Mrs. Flood-Beaubrun, who has
                                                                                                made up of 18 buildings surrounded by solid       taking into account the particular needs of
the ineffectiveness and irrelevance of the      ministerial responsibility for the prison.
                                                                                                barbed wire fencing. Built to accommodate         men and women.
old British colonial-style penal system                                                         500 inmates, the facility contains six
introduced more than 100 years ago. Meant       “We will employ a scientific approach in
                                                                                                separate prison wings: a female unit, adult       “The correctional system is based on the
                                                                                                male unit, maximum security and                   recognition that offenders have the potential
                                                                                                condemned unit with gallows and adjoining         to be rehabilitated and to live as law-abiding
                                                                                                cemetery, young offenders unit, remand unit       citizens,” explains Marcia Philbert-Jules,
                                                                                                and segregation unit.                             Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of
                                                                                                                                                  Home Affairs and Gender Relations.
                                                                                                There’s a court room to hear cases, as well
                                                                                                as classrooms, a gymnasium, library,              “This approach is based on the principle
                                                                                                industrial kitchen, chapel, land for farming,     that society is best protected when
                                                                                                and workshops where various skills will be        offenders are able to re-establish
                                                                                                taught.                                           themselves into the community under
                                                                                                                                                  conditions that minimize the risk of
                                                                                                        A Humane Environment                      reoffending,” she adds.
                                                                                                                                                  An integral part of the rehabilitation process
                                                                                                What Bordelais offers inmates is a humane,        is equipping offenders with skills that they
                                                                                                compassionate environment conducive to            can use on their re-entry into society for
                                                                                                their rehabilitation. It doesn’t mean, however,   gainful employment. Inmates will be taught
                                                                                                that theirs will be a life of five-star hotel     farming, carpentry, bread and pastry-
                                                                                                luxury, as some critics have claimed.             making, arts and craft, and plumbing
                                                                                                                                                  among other things.
                                                                                                                                                                              cont’d on page 7
                                                                                                According to Director of Corrections, Hilary
                                                                                                Herman, strict order and discipline will be
                                                                                                maintained. “Our switch from penal to
                                                                                                correctional doesn’t mean we’re going soft
                                                                                                on crime,” he says. “We’ll be tough on crime
     Former Minister of Home Affairs Velon John, flanked by Hon. Mario Michel and
    Hon. Ignatius Jean, at the opening ceremony of the Bordelais Correctional Facility.
                                                                                                but, on the same token, we’ll concentrate
                                                                                                on making every inmate a productive
to deter crime, the system ironically           our rehabilitation programmes using             citizen.”
became part of the problem through a major      methods internationally recognised which
shortcoming. It only punished offenders but     have been proven to work,” she adds.            Jail breaks, which were a fairly frequent
never sought in a structured way to find out    “We’ve employed that same scientific            occurrence at the overcrowded Bridge Street
what caused the transgression and offer         approach …. even in choosing correctional       prison, should also be a thing of the past.
suitable help.                                  officers who had to succeed at many levels      Males in the 18-35 age group make up the
                                                of testing to ensure that they are the best     majority of the prison population.
          Mission of Change                     our country has to offer for that particular
                                                type of work.”                                  Here’s what will happen when someone
As a result, prison became a revolving door                                                     enters Bordelais. After being booked in,
for countless offenders who walked in and       Occupying a scenic 33.4 acre site on a          each inmate will be assessed by a
walked back out with the same wayward           wind-swept hilltop overlooking the Atlantic     professional team comprising a doctor,
ways that landed them in trouble in the first   Ocean, Bordelais was officially opened on       psychiatrist and counsellors. Based on the
place. In some cases, criminals came back       Wednesday, January 15. Governor-General         findings, an appropriate correction plan will
out more hardened than when they went                                                                                                                     Mrs. Marcia Philbert-Jules
                                                Dame Pearlette Louisy cut the ribbon, and       be drawn up with a specific set of objectives               Permanent Secretary,
in.                                             Prime Minister, Dr, Kenny D. Anthony,           to be achieved by the inmate during his or            Ministry Home Affairs and Gender
                                                unveiled a commemorative plaque.                her stay.                                                         Relations
Saturday February 1st 2003                                                                                                                               Saint Lucia    NATIONWIDE                7

from page 6
       Community Participation                                                                     CHEAPER ENERGY
Community participation in the rehabilitation                                                              As the possibility of a US war with
of offenders is seen as crucial. Hence,                                                           Iraq increases and the strong likelihood that
authorities are extending an invitation to the                                                    petroleum prices will go up as a result, the
various churches to play an active role in                                                        Government of St Lucia is stepping up efforts
providing spiritual guidance for inmates. The                                                     to promote greater use of alternative energy.
authorities are also looking to the private
sector to give support by providing an outlet                                                     Coinciding with the annual observance of
for goods and services inmates will be                                                            Energy Awareness Week ending today,
                                                                                                  came word that a fresh attempt is on to tap
                                                                                                  the rich geothermal resources around the
                                                                                                  Sulphur Springs, as a cheaper and cleaner
Former South African President Nelson                    Hon. Sarah Flood-Beubrun
                                                                                                  alternative source of electricity.
Mandela, who was the world’s best known          determining the character of the persons
prisoner during the anti-apartheid struggle,     who serve time in St Lucia,” he adds.            It’s just one aspect of an ambitious renewable
once said: “…. No one knows a nation until                                                        energy programme aimed at reducing rising
one has been inside its prison. A nation         “We have done all this in a bid to ensure        energy costs. Another aim is protecting the
should not be judged by how it treats its        that those who leave the prisons repudiate       environment, considering the growing
highest citizens but its lowest ones.”           and renounce a life of crime.”                   international concern about global warming
                                                                                                  and the vulnerability of small island states
                                                                                                  like St Lucia.
The truth is that prison conditions in St        At a time when a country’s respect for
Lucia have been appalling for a very long        human rights matters in the eyes of the          Emissions of carbon dioxide and other so-
time. As far back as 1901, the Report of         world, Bordelais will undoubtedly lift           called greenhouse gases which result from
the Gaol and Police Commission said Her          St Lucia’s image. A favourable human             the burning of petroleum-based fuels are
Majesty’s Gaol, built in 1827 to                 rights rating does enhance a country’s           linked to global warming. Scientists blame          Bishnu Tulsie, Chief Sustainable
accommodate 60 persons, was “unsuitable          chances of reaping greater economic              this phenomenon for rising sea levels and           Development Officer - Ministry of Physical
and inadequate”.                                 benefits from its international relationships.   changing weather patterns which, among              Planning, Environment and Housing.
                                                                                                  other things, have resulted in more powerful        commercial water heating, and wind-
                                                                                                  hurricanes in the last decade.                      generated power, a source which LUCELEC,
                                                                                                                                                      the national electricity supplier, is now
                                                                                                              Geothermal Potential                    considering after some initial reservations.
                                                                                                  Bishnu      Tulsie,   Chief     Sustainable         St Lucia spends in excess of $65 million every
                                                                                                  Development Officer in the Ministry of Physical     year on imported fuel. Within the economy
                                                                                                  Planning, Environment and Housing, says             itself, it’s estimated that consumers spend
                                                                                                  talks are taking place with French interests        roughly $120 million a year on energy, with
                                                                                                  about another attempt to exploit Soufriere’s        electricity and public transport accounting for
                                                                                                  abundant geothermal potential which is              the lion’s share of that expenditure.
                                                                                                  related to volcanic activity at the Sulphur
                                                                                                  Springs.                                            “Energy consumption is on the rise,” says
                                                                                                                                                      Tulsie. “My own assessment – and this is not
                                                                                                  Within the economy itself, it’s                     based on any research – is that St Lucians
                                                                                                  estimated that consumers spend                      generally are not very energy conscious and
                                                                                                  roughly $120 million a year on                      energy is used without any serious thought
                                                                                                                                                      given to the consequences of energy use.”
                                                                                                  energy, with electricity and public
                                                                                                  transport accounting for the lion’s                        Promoting Renewable Energy
          Acting Assistant Comptroller of Inland Revenue, Peggy Ann Soudatt.                      share of that expenditure.
                                                                                                                                                      Energy Awareness Week is an attempt to
                                                                                                  “The work that has gone on in geothermal            address such concerns through public
                                                                                                  confirms the existence of an exploitable            sensitization. As part of the week’s activities,
                                                                                                  resource,” says Tulsie, referring to a previous     the Ministry of Physical Planning, Environment
                                                                                                  project which had to be called off because          and Housing staged an exhibition at the
                                                                                                  holes to extract steam used to produce the          Castries City Hall to expose consumers to
                                                                                                  electricity were drilled in a location that         alternative energy technologies and to pass
                                                                                                  generated a lot of corrosion.                       on energy-efficiency tips that can save them
                                                                                                                                                      some money.
      The infrastructure at Bordelais is built according to international standards.              “Once we have the funding in place, we will
                                                                                                  look for places away from the Sulphur Springs        The promise of geothermal energy
The most damning condemnation came in            Bordelais’ significance, however, extends        to see if we could find suitable well locations,”    is particularly great from an
1958 from a visiting British lawmaker, Lord      beyond combatting crime through the              says Tulsie. “Geothermal must play an                economic standpoint. St Lucians
Farrington. He said the Bridge Street prison,    punishment and rehabilitation of offenders.      important role in our future energy supply. It is    currently pay around 20 cents for
which was home to 400 inmates in its final       It reaches into the realm of St Lucia’s social   there. It is cheaper.”                               each kilowatt of electricity generated
days, was an “abomination” and the only          and economic development where it’s a big                                                             using imported diesel.
solution was to blow it up with dynamite.        plus.                                                    Enhancing Competitiveness
Conditions deteriorated further over the next                                                                                                         “Government has done a lot to promote
                                                                                                  The promise of geothermal energy is                 renewable energy,” says Tulsie. “The
40 years.                                        “There can be no economic and social
                                                                                                  particularly great from an economic                 Government has removed all customs
                                                 development in a society plagued by crime,       standpoint. St Lucians currently pay around         charges and consumption tax on all
“….We have not followed Lord Farrington’s        social disorder, insecurity of person and        20 cents for each kilowatt of electricity           renewable energy technologies so that they
directive to dynamite the old prison out of      property, anarchy and lawlessness,” says         generated using imported diesel. By                 come into the island at cost , plus shipping.”
existence but we have taken a monumental         Dr. Anthony. “Economic development and           comparison, consumers in the country of
step to ensure that we bring an end to the       prosperity can only thrive in societies that     Iceland pay a mere two US cents for electricity     He adds: “In the last budget, the Prime
inhumanity which it sustained and facilitated    enjoy peace, tranquillity, security and          generated from geothermal sources.                  Minister and Minister of Finance introduced a
for nearly half a century,” says Prime           stability.”                                                                                          measure that will allow purchasers of solar
Minister Anthony.                                                                                 Imagine what such an achievement could do           water heaters to remove that from their
                                                                                                  for enhancing the competitiveness of the St         chargeable income for income tax purposes.
                                                                                                  Lucian economy!
“By the construction of the Bordelais            Bordelais will contribute to such an
                                                                                                                                                      A solar water heater costs around $3,000 as
Correctional Facility, we have ensured that      environment as it pursues its bold new           As other alternative energy sources,                opposed to a more expensive electric heater.
the conditions at the old Royal Gaol no          mission.                                         Government is also promoting greater use of         However, the solar water heater pays for itself
longer have any place in shaping and                                                              solar energy, especially for domestic and                                      cont’d on page 8
8           Saint Lucia   NATIONWIDE                                                                                                                              Saturday February 1st 2003

from page 2                                                                                                                                            develop an independent capacity to judge
    In my own experience, I have discovered                                                                                                            ourselves.
    that media practitioners hate to admit when
    they are wrong. Some are as arrogant and                                                                                                           Secondly, there is unfinished business. The
    self-righteous as the politicians they seek                                                                                                        late Aubrey Fraser constantly championed
    to condemn. Apologies that are insincere                                                                                                           the need to modernize the laws governing
    and misguided only drive politicians to the                                                                                                        broadcasting, access to information and
    courts to seek vindication.                                                                                                                        defamation. Unquestionably, the extant
                                                                                                                                                       legislation in the OECS is obsolete, archaic
    This council offers to media practitioners                                                                                                         and irrelevant to the freedoms, which our
    and media houses an opportunity to get                                                                                                             Constitutions have entrenched. I urge our
    another opinion, this time from an                                                                                                                 Editors and Publishers to conduct an early
    independent source. If this Council is to                                                                                                          review and join governments in enacting
    earn respect and engender confidence,                                                                                                              harmonized legislation across our
    then all of us must agree from the outset                                                                                                          boundaries.
    to accept its judgements and implement
    its recommendations. A commitment to                                                                                                                        Savour the Beauty
    that effect is vital to its credibility.
                                                                                                                                                                 Having said all of the foregoing, it
                Code of Practice                                                                                                                       is only left for me, once again, to welcome
                                                                                                                                                       our visiting friends and invite them to savour
                                                     Members of the Eastern Caribbean Press Council: Msgr. Dr. Patrick Anthony                         the best of what we have to offer in the short
     When defined ethical practices are adhered
                                                     (Windward Islands representative); Mr. Kendol Morgan (OECS Secretariat                            time they have here. We also wish you well
    to, everyone benefits – owners or publishers     representative); Dr. Rickey Singh (Journalists representative); Mr. Harold Hoyte
    of the particular media enterprise,                                                                                                                at this conference and hope that its
                                                     (Publishers representative) Mrs. Bernice Lake (Leeward Islands representative)
    practitioners of the journalism profession,                                                                                                        objectives are met in full, so that our sub-
                                                     Lady Marie Simmons (Chairperson); Mrs. Ann Hewitt (Barbados representative).
    consumers of information (or the reading,                                                                                                          regional media landscape could be one that
    viewing and listening public, if you like).                                                                                                        is more of our own making than one which
                                                               Broadening the Scope                  the press in each country falling within its      tends to blow according to winds generated
    The Code of Practice induces a sense of         I hope that once the Council is consolidated,    jurisdiction. This review should be published     by others.
    comfort, if not security, for benchmarks        it will broaden its mandate in two directions.   for public comment. The Reports of the US
    exist to measure infractions and standards.     First, I would urge that the Council conducts,   State Department on the state of the press               I wish you well.
                                                    on an annual basis, a review of the state of     in the region are helpful, but we need to

                                                                                                       The Bouton Combined School and the St Lucia National Trust-
                                                                                                       owned Anse La Liberté camp site – are fully solar-powered.
from page 7
in about a year and half because of the savings
on electricity bills that the consumer will

Government is also promoting the use of bio-
digesters by pig farmers to meet some of their
domestic energy needs. Waste from the pig
pens goes into the bio-digester where it
breaks down, releasing the gas, methane, in
the process. Methane can be used for cooking
among other things.

            Promoting Bio-Technology

Bio-digesters also have an environmental
benefit because they eliminate the pungent
stench which usually exists wherever pig
farming occurs. Because the construction
cost is a bit high – around $10,000 –
Government is looking at a possible trial
project in which bio-digesters costing around
US$600 each will be brought in from overseas
and assembled

Government’s promotion of alternative energy
is reaping some success. More and more
houses are switching to solar heating. In
addition, two establishments – the Bouton
Combined School and the St Lucia National
Trust-owned Anse La Liberté camp site – are
fully solar-powered.

Existing legislation granting LUCELEC a                             Solar heaters have, in recent times, become the preferred energy source for many households
monopoly in the production and distribution         At the regional level, the OECS countries are    Environmental and other considerations            “Government of necessity must look at the
of electricity, is seen as a major obstacle to St   having discussions with the World Bank           aside, Government’s efforts to promote            long term,” says Tulsie. “Government needs
Lucia making a faster shift to renewable            regarding possible financing for an energy       alternative energy is a strategic move that has   to think in terms of how a country will provide
energy. It’s an issue that is likely engage         sector reform project. There’s also the          to be seen in a long-term context. Petroleum      itself with energy in those times when fossil
Government’s attention as part of reforms           Caribbean Renewable Energy Development           fuels are expected to run out in the future.      fuels are no more.”
underway in the energy sector following a           Project which, according to Tulsie, has around   Government is seeking to ensure that St Lucia
review of LUCELEC by a Government-
appointed commission a few years ago.
                                                    US$30 million for investment in the
                                                    development of renewable energy.
                                                                                                     is prepared to deal with that reality when it
                                                                                                     occurs without adverse economic impact.
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