Education and Human Development Minister, Senator Franka Bernadine has committed herself to face the challenge of contesting the Town of St. George on a ticket of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the upcoming general elections that are constitutionally due next year.
Sen. Bernadine who was one of four Caretakers in the St. George’s area to be presented during a public meeting last Sunday at the Morne Rouge Playing Field said she has had the privilege to be asked to serve the people of Grenada as a Senator from July 2008, and now she is making a bid to become the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Town of St. George.
The others, officially presented on Sunday were Finance minister Nazim Burke (St. George North-east), Alie Dowden (St. George North-west) and Merle Byer (South St. George).
The current MP for the Town of St. George is Peter David who was expelled from Congress in September in the wake of infighting and an attempt to remove Prime Minister Tillman Thomas from the helm.
Sen. Bernadine promised to provide selfless and committed service to the people of the town of St. George and the country as a whole if elected as the MP in the upcoming general election.
“I am a committed person and a loyal person. I believe in stewardship, service and servility and getting the job done,” she said.
The NDC Caretaker stated that her strategy will simple be to meet with all of the groups in the various communities in the town, and plan with them the way forward.
She said there would be continuity from what the current MP, Peter David started and may have accomplished.
David is reportedly giving mixed signals on whether he would contest the upcoming poll or fancy his chances of re-election in the 2018 general elections.
According to Sen. Bernadine, there has to be two approaches towards the development of the Town of St. George.
The first she spoke of is to better the lives of the people by doing whatever improvements can be done in assisting them to raise their standard of living, and to make life better for their children.
The second approach, she articulated is to develop the Town of St. George into becoming a picturesque and beautiful area.
One of the projects identified by Sen. Bernadine is the soaring problem of the St. John’s River at River Road, St. George’s.
“We must aim to make our City of St. George the Jewel of the Caribbean since it is already blessed with the natural beauty,” she said.
Sen. Bernadine is confident that the team of Caretakers under the stewardship of Prime Minister Thomas who guards the interests and assets of the country can guide Grenada forward.
In his maiden speech on an NDC platform, Alie Dowden promised to give the incumbent in St. George North-west, Dr. Keith Mitchell a run for his money to hold onto the seat, which he held for the past 28 years since the 1984 poll.
In his maiden address the 20-year old Dowden said he comes as a servant leader to the constituency and that he has heard the cries of the people in St. George North West for jobs and better representation.
Stating that very soon there would be light at the end of the tunnel, the newcomer to the political arena said that his vision for St. George North West is to create people-centered development for all by allowing people to fulfill their potential and to be in control of their destiny.
Dowden said it hurts his heart to see the state of dependency, which lies in the constituency where on Saturday mornings people will gather at an office in Happy Hill to receive $50.00.
“We must never allow politicians to make us into a people of dependency, rather we must continue to be an independent nation,” he told the cheering crowd.
Foremost on the NDC Caretaker’s mind is to make a number of schools in the constituency conducive for learning.
Dowden said it is his vision to see the Happy Hill Pre-primary School that has been in a state of disrepair for years, and abandoned by Dr. Mitchell and his New National Party (NNP) government become once again a school where all can be proud to send their children.
He also pledged to ensure that a state of the art pre-primary school at Grand Mal be built.
He described as not conducive for learning the environment that surrounds the school that is currently housed at the Grand Mal Community Centre.
According to him, that environment is dangerous for the health of the young ones as the school is in close proximity to a storage plant of oil and gas.
The rebuilding of the primary school at Mt. Moritz is another area that has caught Dowden’s attention.
Dowden pledged to ensure that better housing, health care and social programmes be provided to benefit the needs of the people.
“While our current MP (Member of Parliament) only gave us some roads, I am going to give you people-centered development,” he remarked.
Dowden, as a new kid on the block committed himself to pursuing a political career that is inclusiveness.
He said he has commenced his political career with an open mind by allowing everyone, no matter their colour of skin, or colour of party to be allowed to air their views on issues affecting them.
The NDC St. George North West Caretaker disclosed that his immediate goal is to introduce greater transparency and accountability to the people of the constituency, and by extension, the whole of Grenada.
“Going forward, I pledge to take on an all-inclusive approach to politics whereby the ordinary man on the streets would feel comfortably enough to take part in the decision-making process of this country,” Dowden said.
Speculation is rife that Prime Minister Thomas intends to call the poll within the first half of 2013.