A press release issued by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) on the unavailability of a fire tender in St. Patrick has caught our attention.
It appears that in recent weeks three premises were burnt to the ground by fire in the parish and that the lack of a fire tender in the area did not help the cause of the firefighters stationed in St. Patrick.
THE NEW TODAY finds it hard to believe that a fire tender is not permanently stationed within our most northern parish. Unbelievable.
Why should the people of St. Patrick’s have to look for help with a fire-tender from neighbouring parishes like St. Andrew’s and St. John? Don’t they deserve better from the powers-that-be? Please give them their own fire truck.
The Acting Commissioner of Police, Winston James should offer some kind of an explanation to the nation for the existing situation. The job of head of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) brings with it certain responsibilities.
Mr. James cannot expect to sit in the chair and do not inform the people about the existing problems and what is being done to solve them.
There are so many problems that need fixing within the police force like deplorable conditions including rat infested stations.
The two Members of Parliament for St. Patrick – The Honourables Anthony Boatswain and Clifton Paul – have a responsibility to inform their constituents about the lack of fire tenders in the area.
The two MPs should be peeved to think that in this current dry season the homes and businesses of residents in their parish are so badly exposed to fire hazards.
The Hon. Paul is not a member of the Cabinet of Ministers and will not be able to raise the issue in such a forum in the presence of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell who is the Minister of National Security with responsibility for the police and firefighters.
However, this MP sits on the National Executive of the ruling party and one expects him to attend the high-level meetings where such issues can be ventilated in whole.
In the case of MP Boatswain, he sits in Cabinet every week and has an opportunity to bring the concerns of the people of St. Patrick on the absence of a fire truck in the parish to all those who make the political decisions for the welfare of the nation.
The Minister of Education might be inclined to plead the 5th amendment on the grounds that Cabinet discussions are not for the public domain.
The New National Party (NNP) as an administration has been in office for more than three years now – sufficient time for it to address some of the serious concerns in the system.
Are we serious about attracting foreign investors to the north in the absence of a basic service such as a fire tender in St. Patrick?
The people of Grenada should bemoan the abuse of the public purse over the past 25 years by our politicians.
Millions of dollars have been given away to so-called foreign investors who took the money and ran out of the island leaving us the poorer for it.
There is no need for this newspaper to remind anyone of the scandals with such projects as the Garden Group hotels in the south, the failed Ritz Carlton with E.J Miller, and the Poultry farm at St. Mark’s.
Today, the country is paying back for the mistakes of the past with a plethora of taxes never seen before in the Spice Isle.
And our people should better get use to paying the taxes and do not expect a lowering or removal because millions are needed to pay back on the over 2.6 billion dollar national debt.
The current state of affairs in neighbouring Trinidad & Tobago should also send home the message to our people that more tough and turbulent times are ahead for all of us in these parts.
Trinidad is widely recognised as the most affluent country in the English-speaking Caribbean but has apparently slipped back into recession.
The new Dr. Keith Rowley administration has publicly admitted that the country has to address the situation in which expenditure is out-stripping revenue.
Trinidad is the most diversified country in the Caribbean with a vibrant manufacturing sector but the shocks from the drastic reduction in oil prices have resulted in much less revenue intake for the government in Port-of-Spain.
The Trinidadians have to tighten their belts in order to deal with the recession – a lesson that we in Grenada should have sunk into our heads a long time ago given the events of the past three years of a Structural Adjustment Programme.