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
FOR ALL ST. LUCIANS
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
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
THE PEOPLE WELCOME THE PRESIDENT
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.
“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
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
“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
A WORLD OF GLOBA
CLINTON DISCUSSES THE NEW WORLD ORDE
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
TO PROTECT, SECURE AND REHABILITATE
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
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.
“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
THE EASTERN CARIBBEAN PRESS COUNCIL
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.
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
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
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.
Saint Lucia NATIONWIDE is published every fortnight by the Department of Information Services.
Contact us at: The Department of Information Services, Greaham Louisy Administrative Building, The Waterfront, Castries, St. Lucia, West Indies
Tel: (758) 468 2116; Fax (758) 453 1614; E-mail: email@example.com; http://stlucia.gov.lc