Friday, December 15, 2017

pm’s three broken promises


MISSED OPPORTUNITY: Kamla Persad-Bissessar

Mark Fraser

Madam Prime Minister, you promised the people of this nation that if elected you would serve our needs; you also promised on that political platform “no highway, no byway, no way” referring to the Debe to Mon Desir highway. I beg you to look at the ripple effect of that now broken promise.

A group of bright, earnest and trusting people were prevented from commenting on and challenging the decision of the EMA to grant a certificate of environmental clearance for the construction of the highway during the allotted 90 days following its April 2010 issue.

At that time the country was in election mode. And when you were elected on May 24, 2010, we trusted you would keep your promise to us and felt no further action on our part was needed. Sadly, you did not keep that promise and the residents missed that opportunity.

The Highway Re-Route Movement then approached you to do a review of this problematic segment of the highway project. Again you made a promise that you would break.

According to the High Court’s ruling, the promise of the review was insincere. The promise was broken.

What then happened is that Dr Wayne Kublalsingh was forced, through sheer desperation, to embark on a hunger strike. The objective was to persuade you to keep your promise. The result of his hunger strike was a report on the viability of the Debe to Mon Desir section of the SW peninsula highway extension by 19 independent professionals and scientists, led by Dr James Armstrong.

This report is a 263-page document now called the Armstrong Report, which makes ten recommendations. It recommends that all work on the Debe to Mon Desir section of the Highway be stopped until further studies are conducted.

Now, as the High Court stated in its recent judgment, you have broken your promise again. You have failed to consider the Armstrong Report, as you and your Government promised. And works are now proceeding on the Debe to Mon Desir highway.

These are three broken promises by our Prime Minister.

Beatrice Taylor

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