Well, well, Simon Stiell! In your haste to attack the NDC administration, you failed to do a little research. Go now to page 30 of the NDC 2008 Manifesto where we undertook to prepare a new Development Plan for the sector. Go next to the 2008 Throne Speech. There you will find a commitment to transition the GBT to a Tourism Authority (TA).
A Tourism Authority is an administrative and governance structure, the implementation of which is a matter for the policy makers. It is Government’s responsibility to make the call. It has nothing to do with managerial discretion or preference.
Secondly, being an organisational structure, a TA will not automatically by itself deliver benefits, although it holds the promise of greater efficiencies. That is why we declared our support for this model way back in 2008.
So the idea of a TA for Grenada did not originate with Simon or his Strategic Planners. The record would show that throughout his time at the GBT, Simon was concerned only with evolving a plan mainly driven by highly paid Consultants. And while that focus was fixed, the organisation sagged and softened and fell on its face.
The staff cried out repeatedly for guidance and initiative and leadership. Instead they were denigrated to the ‘max’, to the point of complaint to the Board of Directors and the Union.
Sadly, Simon was encouraged by a Board of Directors which had lost its way since 2009, at significant financial and other costs to the GBT.
Now we are hearing noise from Simon who has suddenly become concerned about everything in Grenada under the NDC government. Presumably, he could not speak out when his own party, the NNP, was plundering Grenada.
Today, he might even be brazen enough to claim that all was well with us under his party. A case of very cheap politics?
In case he doesn’t know, sensible Grenadians know how to tell what is good noise and what is politically-motivated noise. The latter is usually quickly disposed of. It seems like the NNP has decided to try to dim the light on the recent good news of two major hotel projects which will commence shortly.
In one case, a candidate for the NNP has gone as far as to claim some level of responsibility for SANDALS coming to Grenada, when she knows quite well that she has had to be seeking information on the status of things because she is not in the loop.
Ask her how many times Butch Stewart visited Grenada in the last four weeks and whether she met with or spoke with him before or during those visits? They all have problems with the truth.
Simon had his opportunity, but the extent and value of his contribution was negligible. During that time he was well paid, but his conscience was obviously not affected that Grenada was not getting value for money. Now he chooses to disturb the peace with his political noise.
He seems resolved to enter onto the frontline of Grenadian politics, no problem with that. But he must know that he will encounter fierce resistance with the truth.
Please respond soonest, Simon, but before doing so, do look into the mirror!