Saturday January 18th 2003 Saint Lucia NATIONWIDE 1
No.11. Saturday January 18th 2003 A publication of the Department of Information Services
A decisive step EDITORIAL
the penal system
A FRESH APPROACH
Any effort, which contributes to uniting
St. Lucians in pursuit of common
interests, is worthy of the highest
commendation. Especially at a time
when our quality of life is under such
Back in 1958, Lord Farrington, ceremony. “We’ll be tough on crime but, serious threat from external forces
a visiting British lawmaker, made a most on the same token, we’ll concentrate on operating under the guise of
damning condemnation of St Lucia’s making every inmate a productive and tax- globalisation. Our banana farmers can
Royal Gaol. As reported by the Voice, paying citizen.” relate from experience only too well.
he described the Bridge Street prison
as an “abomination” and expressed the In a moving speech which generated Unity can be an invaluable source of
view that “the only remedy is to blow considerable applause, Prime Minister, Dr. strength in the face of adversity. Through
it up with dynamite”. Kenny D. Anthony, described the unity of purpose and action, the
investment in Bordelais as “an unfortunate impossible has often become the
On Wednesday this week, almost half necessity” brought on by “historical possible. While it’s impossible for any
a century later, St Lucia finally laid to circumstances (that) have placed the country to ever achieve 100% unity, it’s
rest the old Royal Gaol with the official failures of the past at our feet.” He said it unity on the really critical issues that
opening of the new $48 million will bring St Lucia major benefits. matter.
Bordelais Correctional Facility in
Dennery. Bordelais also signals a Peace and Security That’s why remarks made around
fundamental shift in St Lucia’s Christmas by both Prime Minister, Dr.
approach towards the treatment of It will help authorities, for example, to deal Kenny D. Anthony, and Opposition
offenders, with new emphasis on more effectively with crime. It will enhance Leader, Marius Wilson, give good cause
rehabilitation rather than just national peace and security by ensuring for hope. Their remarks pointed to an
punishment, as was the case in the dangerous criminals are kept behind bars, emerging spirit of bipartisanship in the
past. and it will contribute to creating a more conduct of the nation’s business in
conducive environment for social and Parliament.
“I want to assure you that our switch from economic development.
penal to correctional doesn’t mean we’re It’s an encouraging development,
Hon. Dr. Kenny D. Anthony Prime
going soft on crime,” Director of Corrections, “This investment in Bordelais should be considering the divisive nature of politics
Minister and Minister of Finance of St.
Lucia addressing the opening ceremony Hilary Herman, made it clear to dignitaries seen as a clear and tangible signal of the in former colonial countries, which have
of the Bordelais Correctional Facility and other guests at the two-hour-long Government’s commitment to curbing crime adopted the competitive Westminster
system of government of the old mother
see page 3
country. Hopefully, the new spirit of
cooperation between Government and
the Opposition signals too our emerging
political maturity as a nation.
In recognition of the need for a more
inclusive form of governance to confront
the challenges of the time, this
Administration has seriously reached out
to key interest groups and created
mechanisms, like the National
Economic Council, to permit their input
in policy formulation.
Notwithstanding their recent
achievement, the very nature of our
politics means there will always be
rivalry between the Government and
Opposition. “All of us here understand
that politics is a competitive business,”
Prime Minister Anthony noted, “ … but
the bottom line is that it is important
that we can say to the people of our
country that we can work together and
Bordelais, occupying 33.4 acres of Crown lands, is built to house 500 put differences aside.”This Government
and Opposition have truly embarked on
inmates. The old prison, for 60 prisoners, currently houses just over 400. a path, which augurs well for the future.
“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 January 18th 2003
SHARING PUBLIC OWNERSHIP
Government Guards Against Control of the Country’s Lone Electricity Supplier
The Government of St. Lucia regards Government - A Participant
electricity as a strategic national
resource that shouldn’t be left entirely Dr. Anthony also used the opportunity to
to the dictates of the marketplace. address a widely held myth about the
extent of Government’s involvement in
Government’s position was spelt out by LUCELEC. “Contrary to the popular opinion,
Prime Minister, Dr. Kenny D. Anthony, while the public sector owns a bloc of
as the House of Assembly passed shares, …. the combined shareholding of
legislation last December 17, regulating the City Council as well as the Government
the ownership and trading of shares in fact falls below that of CDC,” he
belonging to the St. Lucia Electricity explained.
Services Ltd. (LUCELEC).
CDC was originally set up by the British
At the same time, Dr. Anthony made it Government to support economic
clear that Government has no intention development in its colonies and other so-
of acquiring LUCELEC. He also called Third World countries through
emphasized that Government values strategic investments. CDC, however, has
public sector/private sector cooperation moved away from this original altruistic
in developing the national economy. focus and today is more driven by the profit
“In the case of LUCELEC, we cannot allow
the country of St. Lucia to be put into a The House of Assembly passed the law
vulnerable position,” he said. against this backdrop, plus the growing
trend worldwide in which large corporations
The Public Utilities (Restriction on have pursued mergers, acquisitions and
Shareholding St. Lucia Electricity Services other activities with apparent little
Ltd.) Act represents an attempt by consideration for the impact of their
Government to safeguard the national decisions on the host communities.
interest by blocking any single entity from
acquiring outright control of LUCELEC, at The intent of the legislation is to prevent
a time when market forces have virtual free LUCELEC and, by extension St. Lucia,
reign in global business. from suffering such a fate.
The head office of the St. Lucia Electricity Services Ltd.
located at Sans Souci in the capital city, Castries
“We have got to say that this asset is so OECS Stock Exchange
important to us, it is so strategic that it is can keep its 44.8 per cent but can go no “That vexed question of the fuel surcharge
vital that we have a say in its future,” said The Act was also prompted by the higher. is a matter we really have to come to terms
Dr. Anthony as he piloted the bill. “That’s establishment of the Eastern Caribbean with at some point and we have to deal
what is at issue here.” Stock Exchange (ECSE) to facilitate the “We are protecting a national asset, with. Something has to be done to
open trading of shares in public companies avoiding unnecessary speculation and rationalize that issue,” he added.
The British-owned Commonwealth within the Organization of Eastern ensuring that we continue to have a say in
Development Corporation (CDC) is the Caribbean States (OECS) sub-region. the future of LUCELEC,” said Dr. Anthony. Dr. Anthony also called for the speedy
largest single shareholder of LUCELEC He indicated that a LUCELEC-related implementation, by the Ministry of
with a 44.8 per cent stake. The remaining Under the Act, no new shareholder can matter which will next occupy the Communications, Works, Transport and
55.2 per cent is spilt up among the acquire more than a 20 per cent interest in Government’s attention, is the surcharge Public Utilities, of recommendations made
Government, the Castries City Council, the LUCELEC. However, existing investors can on electricity bills. “We still have great by the Government-appointed Review
National Insurance Corporation and several keep their present shareholding but they difficulty with the price at which electricity Commission into LUCELEC.
small investors, including St. Lucian will not be able to increase it if it’s already is sold to our consumers,” the Prime
citizens. 20 per cent or more. CDC, for example, Minister said. LUCELEC’s role in supporting the
development of St. Lucia received
considerable praise from the Prime Minister.
LUCELEC - a leader
Dr. Anthony singled out, for special mention,
the company’s capital investment
programme, which has facilitated the
island-wide expansion of electricity and also
made St. Lucia a leader in power generation
in the Eastern Caribbean.
“We have one of the most modern power
generating plants in the entire Eastern
Caribbean and I applaud the vision that led
to the upgrading of LUCELEC. We are in
producing electricity at a far cheaper rate
than some of our neighbours,” Dr. Anthony
He revealed that business interests in
nearby Martinique and Guadeloupe had
approached LUCELEC about the possibility
of accessing its surplus electricity for sale
The power station at Cul-de-Sac has been modernised to provide a relaible supply of electricity to homes and the commercial sector. to consumers in their territories.
Saturday January 18th 2003 Saint Lucia NATIONWIDE 3
Mrs. Flood-Beaubrun, who has ministerial
responsibility for the prison service, praised
her predecessor, Velon John, and the Prime
from page 1 Minister for their respective roles in making
in St Lucia,” Dr. Anthony said, noting it will the new facility a reality.
also bring an end to “the inhumanity and
indignity of the old Royal Gaol”. She said the new emphasis on prisoner
rehabilitation is “testimony of our belief in
Bordelais, occupying 33.4 acres of hill-top the most important resource in our country
Crown lands, is built to house 500 inmates. – our people and more particularly, our
The old prison, built in 1827 for 60 prisoners, youth”.
currently houses just over 400.
“On average at any one time,” she noted,
Bordelais comprises 18 building blocks, “the majority of our prison population is
including a female unit, adult male unit, between the ages of 18 and 35, young men,
maximum security and condemned unit fathers who should be heading their
with adjoining gallows and cemetery, young households, building strong families, and
offenders unit, remand unit, and segregation contributing in a meaningful way to overall
unit. national development.” Director of Corrections - Hilary Herman.
Modern Facilities “Lives will be changed and transformed for The Minister made it clear to the criminally-
good in this correctional facility,” she said. minded to expect to serve their full
There is also a courtroom on the compound, “Something which happens very sentences when sent to Bordelais, as early
workshops where inmates will learn various infrequently at Her Majesty’s Prison on release which occasionally happened to
skills to help them find gainful employment Upper Bridge Street.” ease the overcrowding problem at Bridge
on their eventual release from Hon. Sarah Flood Beaubrun Street will now be a feature of the past.
imprisonment, classrooms, library, Minister for Home Affairs Government recruited and undertook an
gymnasium and chapel, among other intensive eight-week-long training He is also hoping that critics of Bordelais,
“The construction of this very institution was
modern facilities. programme for 78 persons who will serve who said it shouldn’t be built, will grasp the
necessitated by acts of inhumanity,” said
as correctional officers at Bordelais. With philosophical basis and importance of the
Home Affairs Minister, Sarah Flood-
Bordelais allows for the separation of support services from other professionals, project and give full support to the
Beaubrun, referring to the “barbarity” of
prisoners which was not possible at the they will oversee a range of programmes Government in the fight against crime.
conditions at the Bridge Street prison.
Bridge Street prison. As a result, young designed to help offenders turn their backs
“Conversely, the foresight and subsequent
offenders will no longer come into contact on a life of crime. Possible corruption involving prison officers
decision to construct this correctional
with and be influenced by hardened is suspected to have contributed to the
facility was motivated and was an act of
criminals behind local prison walls. “With the construction of this prison, we indiscipline and other problems which
Under overcast afternoon skies, with have taken a decisive step to bring to an plagued the Bridge Street prison. Dr
intermittent rain and chilly gusty winds end the ridiculous and untenable situation Anthony said the allegations of wrongdoing
blowing in from the nearby Atlantic Ocean, of a penal system which cannot keep its will be probed by Government.
Governor-General, Dame Pearlette Louisy, prisoners behind bars,” said Dr. Anthony.
She noted that as far back as 1901, the
cut a ribbon to mark the official opening of “…. it is now more difficult for hardened When the move from Bridge Street to
Report of the Gaol and Police Commission
the facility. Prime Minister Anthony unveiled criminals to simply walk out of jail or scale Bordelais is completed, the vacant old
had found the Bridge Street prison to be
a commemorative plaque. the prison walls as was the case in the prison building is to be renovated and
“unsuitable and inadequate.”
past.” handed over for police.
GEARING UP FOR CHINESE DELEGATION VISITS
MORE GROWTH AT WASCO
The Saint Lucia Water and The Fifth Water Supply Project
A delegation from the People’s
Republic of China this week paid a
two-day visit aimed at strengthening
Several renowned entrepreneurs from
six major Chinese enterprises are
accompanied the delegation. While in
Sewerage Co. Inc. (WASCO) is involves: (a) establishment and and deepening friendship and St. Lucia they explored possibilities for
inviting sealed bids from implementation of an appropriate cooperation ties between China and trade and economic cooperation with
companies for the supply of 17,000 institutional and regulatory framework St. Lucia. the local private sector.
domestic cold water meters and 150 for WASCO; (b) implementation of
cold water turbine bulk meters. It’s critical capital works and (c) technical Invited by the Government of Saint The visit also featured a friendly but
connected with the Caribbean assistance to improve WASCO’s Lucia, the official Chinese competitive football match between the
Development Bank (CDB)-financed operational efficiency. governmental delegation was led by well-known Beijing Guoan Club
Fifth Water Supply Project. State Councillor, Her Excellency Ms. Football Team and the Saint Lucia
Each bid must be accompanied by Wu Yi. They were on island from National Soccer Team. The Chinese
Eligible firms, or joint ventures of firms, EC$27,000 as bid security. Eligible January 14 to 15. During her visit, the team won 2 - 0. The football match was
either must be registered, or have their bidders can obtain further information Chinese State Councillor held talks held at the national stadium in Vieux-
principal place of business in any and inspect the bidding documents with Prime Minister Dr. Kenny D. Fort, which was gift to the Government
member country of the CDB, the Inter between 9 am and 4 pm at the Project Anthony on issues such as bilateral and people of St. Lucia from the
American Development Bank (IADB), Management Unit , WASCO’s relations, economic and trade Chinese government.
or the Kingdom of the Netherlands. headquarters on L’Anse Road, cooperation, as well as other matters
Castries. of common concern. Among the spectators were district
Another condition is that they must be representative for Vieux-Fort South
more than 50 per cent beneficially The deadline for the submission of bid While here, the top Chinese Hon. Kenny Anthony and the Minister
owned by citizens and/or bona fide is 4.15 pm on Tuesday, April 8, 2003. government official paid an official of Education, Human Resource
residents of the said countries, or Bids will be publicly opened the courtesy call on Her Excellency the Development Youth and Sports, Hon.
owned or controlled by a government following day at 2 pm in the Conference Governor General, Dame Pearlette Mario Michell.
of an eligible country. In the latter case, Room at WASCO’s headquarters. Louisy.
the firm must be legally and financially Chinese Embassy and Government
autonomous and operate under the WASCO does not bind itself to accept Agreements on economic and officials said the visit served to further
commercial law of the eligible country. the lowest or any other bid and will not technical cooperation between the two enhance the existing strong bilateral
defray any costs incurred by bidders. countries were signed on January 15. relations.
4 Saint Lucia NATIONWIDE Saturday January 18th 2003
REPORTING an essential ingredient of
The people’s right to know is
As St. Lucians prepared for end-of-year through positive reporting; that they want What the Government has always insisted be as wide as possible to support nationa
celebrations in December 2002, the One to see the promotion of more cohesive on, and will continue to insist from the development, especially in the less develope
Caribbean newspaper announced it societies, instead of the current divisions media, is that they responsibly exercise parts in the island; and that the media mus
was shifting emphasis to highlighting stoked by partisan reporting. the freedom they enjoy under the respect the law like everybody else.
the positive side of events and issues it Constitution. Also, Government strongly
covered. Then, in a remarkably frank It’s quite a mouthful, which adds a new believes there must be some form of media Government-Media Relations
explanation, the controversial tabloid dimension to the never-ending debate on accountability, without state intervention,
provided the reason for what it the role of the media in a developing country especially in cases where persons have It’s a straightforward, uncompromising stanc
describes as a “complete turnaround such as St. Lucia. More importantly, legitimate grievances against the media. which has occasionally caused some friction i
in policy”. however, the questions provide a timely the Government’s relationship with the media
opportunity for the media to take a serious There have been numerous cases of media Whenever Government has had cause t
It said Caribbean people, with whom look at themselves, in view of a significant irresponsibility in St. Lucia in recent times. complain, the media’s usual reaction is to charg
its publisher had come into contact criticism coming their most important Take, for example, an erroneous newspaper that an attempt is on to muzzle the press. Suc
during recent travel around the region, ‘public’ – their customers – that they are report last September suggesting that the accusations, which sometimes serve to dive
were demanding this type of reporting. overwhelmingly negative. administrator of the Victoria hospital was public attention from the real issue, stem from
One Caribbean, therefore, was being paid at a particular level, not on the an erroneous view held by the media that the
answering the call. Environment for Press Freedom basis of his qualifications, but because he somehow enjoy absolute freedom when, in fac
“…We constantly meet with persons The incumbent administration, may not have
who expressed the belief that always agreed with the media’s approach
newspapers around the region are too on some issues in the last five years.
‘die-hard’ and identify too closely with Indeed, it has had reason on more than one
government or opposition and were too occasion to chide the media for
critical of the side they opposed,” said unprofessionalism.
the explanation. “These people felt that
our biggest need as far as the media is Yet no one can seriously question this
concerned, is for a medium which Government’s commitment to enhancing
brought good positive news to the the environment for press freedom and
people.” facilitating the development of a more
professional media corps through various
Coming from a newspaper, which confesses training initiatives for journalists and other
it previously, considered its job was “to find media personnel. The latest training
fault and criticize”, it’s an explicitly revealing workshops, sponsored by the Department
statement, which implicitly challenges of Information Services in conjunction with
several fundamental assumptions, held by UNESCO, were held last November.
the local media.
“No one can doubt that the press, the mass
Positive Reporting media, the field of broadcasting, have a very
important place in contemporary society,”
Tacitly through the One Caribbean said Dr. Anthony, the minister for information
explanation, newspaper readers, radio and broadcasting, at the official opening of
listeners and television viewers are saying the new HTS headquarters on March 8,
several things. 1998.
That they aren’t as interested in a constant “The press, both print and electronic, are Three of the local weekly newspapers with the largest circulation - sou
diet of sensationalism and scandal as the guardians of the public’s right to was supposedly related to the Prime their freedom is limited by law, as is the cas
some journalists seem to believe; that they information,” he added. “The people’s right Minister. The allegation was untrue and the with every body else.
wish the media to play a more to know is an essential ingredient of a free newspaper had to apologize to the Prime
Notwithstanding these claims, the latest annua
developmental role by inspiring confidence and democratic society.” Minister.
human rights report produced by the Unite
States, has given St. Lucia top marks fo
Then, there was a case last month where
respecting press freedom and other forms of fre
a talk show host blatantly misrepresented
expression. This worldwide report is well know
the contents of a Government letter,
for exposing abuses of press freedom and othe
explaining new operating requirements for
human rights around the world.
broadcast companies designed to ensure
proper management of the local media
Human Rights Report
landscape. Government had to set the
record straight and show up the “The Constitution provides for freedom of speec
misrepresentation for what it was. and of the press, and the Government generall
respects these rights in practice,” the 200
Extensive Coverage edition of the report observed.
Government is saying, in a nutshell, that It went on: “There are four major privately owne
the media have a responsibility to ensure newspapers, two privately owned radio stations
that the information they put out is always one partially government-funded radio station, on
accurate; that their reporting should be fair, government-operated television station …., an
balanced and unbiased by telling all sides two private television stations. These media carr
of the story so that readers, listeners and a spectrum of political opinion and often ar
viewers can make up their minds critical of the Government.”
independently; that opinion should never
be presented to the public as fact, as What may surprise many St. Lucians is that fiv
Government has continued to provide training opportunities years ago, Government considered the fu
happens fairly often; that coverage should
for the improvement of media practice in St. Lucia
Saturday January 18th 2003 Saint Lucia NATIONWIDE 5
free and democratic society
RELIEF FOR BUSINESS
Government is giving additional support to help certain St. Lucian
companies to adjust to a challenging new business environment, being
shaped increasingly by the forces of globalisation. .
rivatization of state-owned Radio St. Lucia “an similar mission and provides a distinct St.
ttractive prospect”. In other words, Government Lucian alternative to the largely US Through an amendment to the Income Tax Act, a company, which is a
was leaning towards getting out of the media and programming which dominates local subsidiary of a group, can now claim any losses against the profits of
llowing an entirely private sector-run industry. television. another company belonging to the same group.
t was a time when the Government felt that the Eastern Caribbean Press Council
“This bill is very timely because Government accepts and recognizes that
rivately-owned media was capable of providing
There was a major triumph for Government there are a number of companies which are experiencing difficulties of
quality of broadcasting which would meet the
eeds of all the people of St. Lucia, particularly late last year in its campaign for media one kind or another,” said Prime Minister, Dr. Kenny D. Anthony, as he
he rural folk,” said Prime Minister Anthony at a accountability. The regional media, piloted the Income Tax Amendment No. 2 Bill at the final sitting of the
Radio St. Lucia visioning workshop last July. including St. Lucia’s, agreed at a meeting House of Assembly for 2002.
in Barbados to set up an independent, self-
Regrettably, the private media did not live up to regulatory mechanism in a bid to raise the “I refer specifically to those companies which operate not only on the basis
hese expectations and Government rethought level of professionalism in response to the of a single company but on the basis of a group, meaning that there are
s position. The administration sees a continuing, criticism about declining standards. several companies. In other words, you may have a situation where you
mportant role for a state-owned RSL, especially
have a parent company with several subsidiaries…,” he added.
where meeting the need for community-type;
An objective of the tax measure is to encourage companies to restructure
to cope with challenges and position themselves to take advantage of
opportunities in the present operating environment.
“(This legislation) is signaling to the business sector that … it would be
wise for many of them to begin to examine the possibilities of rationalizing
their own operations internally,” said Dr. Anthony, who is also Minister for
Finance and Economic Affairs
He added: “The Government intends to go one step further very shortly. It
proposes to amend the existing stamp duty legislation to provide relief to
companies, which, as a result of such restructuring, incur costs.
“We recognize that this is a challenging period and we would want to
assist as much as possible,” Dr. Anthony said.
Companies registered under the International Business Companies Act
do not qualify for the new tax benefit. “Those companies operate under
a totally different regime,” the PM pointed out.
public opinion formation Information Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony FOR ACCOUNTANTS
ublic service broadcasting which can have a The Eastern Caribbean Press Council is to As St. Lucia becomes more integrated into a single economic space under
avourable impact on national development. scheduled to be launched here in Castries the banner of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS),
“I am convinced now more than ever that on January 25. At the meeting of chartered accountants on the island will soon be operating under the same
Government must continue to maintain an interest newspaper editors where the issue was
rules and regulations as counterparts in other OECS countries.
n local broadcasting,” said Dr. Anthony at the discussed, the Barbados Nation publisher,
RSL workshop. Harold Hoyte, said: “Self-regulation has the
potential to strengthen the public service At its final sitting for 2002 on December 17, the House of Assembly passed
e then explained why: “Firstly, we need to
component of publishing, expand civic into law the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Eastern Caribbean
maintain a public broadcasting system which will
media sensitivity, tackle media Agreement bill, fulfilling St. Lucia’s obligations as a member country of the
ive extensive prominence to national issues
without commercially influenced editorial irresponsibility and identify maverick Monetary Authority of the Eastern Caribbean.
ecisions. publications and drive governments away
from the distasteful trend of media law.” The law is to be adopted in the other member countries.
Secondly, our country needs a radio station
which is sensitive to the information needs and A draft code of ethics has also been drawn “The Monetary Authority decided that it is necessary as part of the process
anguage abilities of all St. Lucians. Thirdly, we up for the broadcast media.
of putting in place adequate financial arrangements into the community, to
eed an institution which will assist in the enact a single act to govern the work of chartered accountants throughout
ontinued expansion of our democracy and our Recent events at least present a glimmer
of hope of positive change. Whether they the Eastern Caribbean,” Prime Minister Dr. Kenny D. Anthony explained as
vic awareness and responsibilities. Fourthly, we
are the birth pangs of a more professional, he introduced the bill.
eed a national radio station to serve as an
ncubator for national institutions like the Cultural responsible media is left to be seen. Only
evelopment Foundation charged with the time will tell. He added: “As we begin to move even more into an integrated market, a
mandate to develop the culture industry.” single financial space, it is really very vital that we begin to create entities,
organizations, organs that all of us can identify with, with ease.”
ust over a year ago, Government set up the www.stlucia.gov.lc “It is with accountants today. I hope that in the near future, that it will also be
ational Television Network (NTN) which is The Official Website with other professional bodies,” he said.
eaping tremendous success as it pursues a
6 Saint Lucia NATIONWIDE Saturday January 18th 2003
IMPROVEMENT TO THE MAJOR on major roads
US$16 million to be spent
Phase 1 of the Castries-Gros Islet
Highway Improvement project and
Phase 3 of the Road Development in the next two years.
Programme (RDP3) – are scheduled to Thanks to RDP3, the long-standing pleas building up its in-house capacity to
come on stream as Government steps of the community of Trois Piton for a better undertake more road repairs and provide a
up its effort to improve the national road will be answered. more ready response to the needs of some
road network. communities.
Parliamentary Representative, Menissa
Regrettably, progress always carries a Rambally, is happy for the residents. “I am The ministry has on order an additional
price. And, in the short term during very happy that the residents of Trois Piton grader, a potholing unit, and other pieces
construction on the various projects, will get some relief in the new year,” she of equipment. In addition, the Dennery
road users can expect some said. workshop is to be refurbished.
inconvenience. Government is
appealing for the understanding and 14 kilometers of secondary roads Finisterre endorsed the self-help approach,
cooperation of the general public and which some communities are adopting to
is promising to do everything possible RDP3, being financed by the Caribbean improve their roads. He pledged the
to minimize the discomfort. Development Bank (CDB), involves the Ministry’s support.
rehabilitation of 14 kilometers of secondary
An outline of road works to be undertaken roads over an 18-month period. Besides Community Self-Help
in 2003, was provided on December 17 at Trois Piton, other communities which will
the final sitting of the House of Assembly benefit are Grand Riviere, Monier, Pais “Micoud North, in fact, was the first
for 2002, in presentations by Prime Minister, Bouche, La Croix, Rich Fond, Grand constituency to implement its community,
Dr. Kenny D. Anthony, and Minister for Ravine, Derniere Riviere and La Resource. self-help project,” the minister revealed.
Communications, Works, Transport and “That is the kind of approach that we have
Public Utilities, Felix Finisterre. Other phases of the road project will involve also tried to implement with respect to the
Hon. Felix Finnisterre, Minister of the complete resurfacing of the farmer-assisted road programme.”
Phase 1 of the much-anticipated Castries- Communications, Works, Transport and Desruisseaux Road, from the highway way
Gros Islet highway improvement focuses Public Utilities. up to the rainforest, and this will be done He added: “A number of farming
on the stretch of road from the Choc The Kuwait Fund is providing some US$8.75 towards 2004-2005. communities have each had at least one
junction to the Vigie Roundabout million towards the project and is seeking such road done. The approach essentially
connecting to the John Compton Highway. an additional US$2 million from the OPEC Dr. Anthony praised the CDB for relieving is that our ministry would supply the
It involves, among other things, the Fund. Government is providing the St. Lucia of the original requirement of technical assistance, rent the equipment
construction of flyovers to ease the remainder of the financing for the US$16 having to come up with counterpart and supply the material. The farmers, once
recurring problem of heavy traffic congestion million project. financing for RDP3, which is benefiting from they were mobilized, would come in and
at peak time. a US$2.8 million loan. CDB relaxed this get those roads done.”
Meanwhile, the contract for RDP3 – part condition in light of the economic challenges
To minimize inconvenience for the traveling of a five-year project involving the facing Eastern Caribbean countries, which The additional road projects are coming on
public, Government is improving side roads improvement of 117 kilometers of primary have suffered a decline in revenue as a result stream as the Soufriere to Vieux Fort
in the north – for example, the Corinth Road and secondary road island-wide — is of the global recession. highway improvement, expected to
– as an alternative means of access to the expected to be awarded sometime soon. revolutionize travel in the south, is making
City. Motorists are being encouraged to use At year-end, tenders for the project were Communications and Works Minister, Felix good progress.
these roads wherever possible. being evaluated. Finisterre, revealed that the Ministry is
IMF UPBEAT FORECAST ECPC L A UNCH
September 2001 terrorist attack on the
United States,” the PM warned.
St. Lucia will be the venue next weekend for
the official launching of the Eastern Caribbean
The International Monetary He added: “There will be a reduction in travel Press Council (ECPC), a recently formed
Fund (IMF), the global financial agency far better than we otherwise would,” the
by US citizens and citizens of allied regional organization established by
which assesses the economic PM told the nation in his New Year’s
countries, there will be continued fear of publishers, editors and journalists from
performance of its member countries address on January 7.
retaliation from pro-Islam quarters, the across the OECS and Barbados.
around the world, is upbeat about the economies of the major production centres Established last year in Barbados
2003 prospects of St. Lucia’s economy. Dr. Anthony warned, however, that despite following meetings between editors from
already in deep recession may suffer
the efforts being made by Government to participating states, including St. Lucia, the
setbacks as a result of a war, and most
An IMF delegation was on island late stimulate economic activity to create the ECMC will provide, among other things, a
critically, there will be an increase in the
conditions for increased growth, there are forum to address media standards and
last year conducting what is called an price of fuel, with its attendant complaints involving media in the territories
Article IV Consultation. This is a routine certain factors which could impact on the
consequences.” that have subscribed to its objectives.
exercise in which the Washington- island’s economic performance that are
Chairman of the Steering Committee
based organization makes a periodic entirely out of St Lucia’s control.
“So while we look forward to a year of for the ECMC is noted Barbadian journalist
visit to take a close-up look at the improved economic performance, we must Harold Hoyte, who is President and Editor in
economic policies of member countries He referred, as an example, to the real Chief of the well-respected Nation newspaper.
all pray that a war is not unleashed against
and express an opinion to the relevant threat of a US-led war on Iraq. The opening ceremony for the
Iraq, as the consequences of such war will
authorities. St Lucia is an IMF member “If such a war is unleashed, we will be launching is slated for the Bay Gardens Hotel
be a tremendous blow to the economic
country. immediately faced with a repeat of many on January 25 and the feature address will
recovery of St Lucia and the Caribbean
of the difficulties which followed the be delivered by Prime Minister Dr Kenny D.
region as a whole.” Anthony, who is also the island’s Minister of
Prime Minister Dr. Kenny D. Anthony, who Information. Also slated to address the
is also the Minister for Finance and ceremony are local attorney Michael Gordon,
Economic Affairs, says the IMF’s forecast QC and Editor of the Grenadian Voice
that the economy “will enjoy a positive newspaper Mr Leslie Pierre.
growth rate over the 2002 figure” is Members of the local steering
“encouraging”. committee for the ECMC include Mr Gordon,
Mirror Editor Mr Guy Ellis and Star Publisher
Mr Rick Wayne.
“. It proves the point that we have often
Some 40 journalists and media
made – that despite the rigours of the executives from eight Eastern Caribbean
challenges that we face, the management territories are expected to attend the opening
decisions of this Government and the ceremony and the other functions associated
policies pursued have enabled us to fare External trade and transportation sector provide opportunities for economic growth with the January 25 launching.
Saturday January 18th 2003 Saint Lucia NATIONWIDE 7
THE MYTHS AND PREJUDICES about LEPROSITY
The following is the full text of an address designated authority on any disease. to infect the next vulnerable victim.
delivered by Minister of Health One of the greatest obstacles we are For those already affected by leprosy
Hon. Damian Greaves in observance on faced with is the fact that many people and are on treatment, we encourage
Leprosy Month who suspect or know that they may you to continue and remember that the
The year 2002 marked a be victims of leprosy, do not seek battle is soon over. For those who
significant year of mixed changes medical attention. This is sadly so have been non-compliant with the
for various sectors of our society. because of the fear of being ostracized treatment, we encourage you to return
The health sector experienced its from a society that conveniently for treatment. Remember that only
share of opportunity and hardship. embraces only those diseases that are treatment can guarantee the
Sad to say, some of our negative seemingly well understood and are avoidance of those serious disabilities
experiences included an increase apparently harmless. When an like blindness, loss of limbs and
in the number of HIV/AIDS cases infected individual is not treated, he/ crippled hands or feet.
and the number of individuals she is capable of transmitting bacteria
presenting high blood pressure, to unsuspecting susceptible An appeal is going out to the nation to
kidney problems and diabetes, to individuals. embrace those affected by leprosy, to
name a few. give them moral support and to respect
Minis santé jafé anpil pou fé asiwé ki their right as human beings to live as
Although we have so often focused our poblenm lad anba kondwit, épi pou sa, every other member of society. We
attention on these diseases, we must Minister of Health nou ka wimésyé toute twavayé santé. implore you to show support by
Hon. Damian Greaves. mwen ka wimésyé osi, tout participating in different activities
not forget that our nation is still affected
by one of the oldest, yet curable The Ministry of Health of Saint Lucia ogannizasyon entennasyonal kon designated throughout the month of
diseases to date. This disease is has been active in sustaining the paho, carec, ek fon Hollandé kont January, to mark leprosy awareness
none other than Hansen’s disease or Leprosy Control Programme. There maladi lad, ki ka asisté nou wann pou month. We further urge you not to rely
leprosy, which has its own history as has been a visible sustained effort twétman lad, san mandé piblik-la pou on misinformation.
far back as 600 B.C in China and India. throughout the different community péyé pou sévis sala.
health centres and public hospitals Call the Ministry of Health, your
Maladi sala épi nou toujou towards leprosy elimination. For this La ni an bagay ki ka anbété mwen community nurse or doctor, to find out
I wish to thank our various health anpil: zafé moun ki pa vlé vini chaché more about leprosy.
Lanné pase, nou pousé douvan anpil centre attendants, community nurses twétman lad pis yo pé sosyété-a
an zafé santé sent lisi, magwé adan and health aides. In particular, I wish widitjilé yo. moun poko kopwann ki nou Mwen ka mandé tout moun pou sipóté
divés mannyé, bagay pa maché to thank Dr. Granderson-Didier for her sa tweété maladi lad. moun anpami nou ki afékté épi maladi
mannyé i té siposzé. nou wé pa tireless effort in sustaining the There are some of us in this society lad. annou wespékté yo épi si ou vlé
ékzanmp, pli moun afékté épi maladi programme and now Dr. Joseph who who think that we have an innate pli enfómasyon asou maladi lad, eben
kon hiv/aids, pressure, pisadou, épi has continued in the same vein. immunity against leprosy and even the mannyé pou viv épi moun ki ni maladi
poblem nwa. jik an jou kon jodi, an idea of possibly being at risk of sala, telefóné minis santé, ében kwiyé
maladi ki té ka afékté nou dépi tan jézi The country has also received contracting leprosy is perceived as a népot nós ében dókté.
kwi, an maladi nou sa djéwi, maladi substantial technical and financial huge insult.
sala épi nou toujou. sa sé maladi lad. assistance from the Netherlands
Due to our negative attitudes, we shun Thank you for listening, good day and
medical attention when affected and may God bless you.
“One of the greatest obstacles we are faced with is are become time bombs just waiting
the fact that many people who suspect or know
that they may be victims of leprosy, do not seek
medical attention. This is sadly so because of
the fear of being ostracized from a society that
conveniently embraces only those diseases that
are seemingly well understood and are apparently
Unfortunately, leprosy is still prevalent Leprosy Relief Fund, PAHO and
in Saint Lucia. To date, eighteen (18) CAREC towards the fight against
more cases have been discovered, leprosy. Leprosy services and
adding to the already existing cases. treatment are easily accessible and
This disease has affected a wide free to everyone, thanks to their
cross-section of our society and it assistance and that of the Ministry of
dispels the myth that leprosy only Health.
affects certain social classes, ages,
or geographical locations. We are proud of the achievements
made towards leprosy control.
In 1976, the World Health Organization However, the Ministry of Health cannot
(WHO) estimated that there was a work in isolation against leprosy
worldwide prevalence of 10.6 million control. The nation must be proactive
cases of leprosy. By 1995, that in dispelling the myths and prejudices
number decreased to approximately against leprosy. One can only better
500,000 cases. This is a healthy understand a disease when one seeks Following the successful opening of the Bordelais Correctional Facility, government
indicator that the fight against correct information from the officials are looking towards the completion of other major infrastructural projects
elimination of leprosy is effective. including the southern police headquarters in Vieux-Fort.
8 Saint Lucia NATIONWIDE Saturday January 18th 2003
READY TO SERVE COUNTRY AMILY”
PREPARES FOR NEW TASKS
They are among the finest St Lucia
has to offer, having passed with flying
colours the rigorous recruitment
criteria and intensive training
required by Government for persons
seeking employment at the new
Bordelais Correctional Facility.
Over 300 persons who had applied for
appointment as correctional officers
didn’t make it. They came up short in
On Wednesday, at the official opening
ceremony for Bordelais, the 78 new
correctional officers demonstrated
their military-like discipline, plus their
readiness and determination to get
on with the challenging job of
rehabilitating the nation’s offenders
and making them fine citizens.
Describing the officers as “my family”,
Director of Corrections, Hilary
Herman, says they’re well trained
motivated and will aim in everything
they do to get it right the first time.
“We’ll make sure our inmates stay
inside,” Herman promised.
Government is designating 2003 as
the Year of the Child. It’s a move to mobilise
the nation into taking decisive action to
improve the lot of children.
It is expected that Governor-General, Dame
Pearlette Louisy, will make the official
designation during her Throne Speech to
mark the official start of a new session of
Parliament for 2003. Amid heightened
concern about a worrying level of child abuse
in the society, Government also intends
during the year to get Parliament to enact a
number of measures aimed at improving
and protecting the rights of children.
The initiative, announced by Prime Minister
Dr. Kenny D. Anthony in his New Year’s
address, will ensure that children’s issues
are kept at the forefront of the national agenda
through a yearlong programme of activities
and sees a major role for the private sector in
A BRIDGE IN GOOD SHAPE
The Caico bridge, damaged a few years ago by Tropical Storm Debby, is in good shape again. Much-needed rehabili-
helping to improve the quality of life for the tation work was carried out last year by contractor, C.O. Williams Construction, under the OECS Emergency Recovery
and Disaster Management project, financed by the World Bank and the Government of St. Lucia. The cost of the
“As I drive around St Lucia, I am immediately
project was $578,427. An almost identical amount — $586,451 –was also spent to rehabilitate the Marc-Floissac
struck by the absence of parks and other bridge, in Bexon, that was similarly in bad shape. A Nationwide photographer visited the Caico bridge site last month
recreational facilities where our children can as heavy-duty equipment was clearing the river below as part of the finishing touches on the project. Government has
meet, play and have fun with their peers, spent millions of dollars in the last five years to improve the island’s physical infrastructure to enhance the general
closely supervised by parents,” he noted. prospects for economic development and to raise the quality of life for St. Lucians.
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