Former Trade Advisor for Grenada Dr Patrick Antoine is warning the National Democratic Congress (NDC) led government to tread cautiously regarding the popular White in the Moonlight fête, (WIM).
The controversy continues to unfold over the staging of the annual fête on the same night as the national Panorama competition (Pantastic Saturday) carded for the National Stadium. Antoine said that regional artistes scheduled to perform at the show that will be held at Moonlight City in LaPotrie, St Andrew can do so without obtaining work permits from the Grenada Government.
He said that as CARICOM nationals, the Treaty of Chagaramas signed by the heads of governments allows the artistes free movement and that a CARICOM artiste is allowed to perform in another territory once he has a certified document from his country’s government bearing the necessary information. He reminded the media that artistes holding CARICOM skills Certificates are eligible to travel the region to seek employment.
Antoine warns that Grenada stands to lose a lot if it disregards the Treaty “We will not come out the winners if we continue to give the impression that we’re not in conformity with the Treaty on these matters “, he said.
WIM is yet to obtain the “go ahead” from the Commissioner of Police but its promoters foresee no obstacles. Antoine makes it clear that the show will proceed as planned as the Spice Mas Corporation does not have any legal power to stop the show from taking place.
Antoine’s take on the situation is that the present controversy between the SMC and WIM is not about the protection of panorama but two Soca shows going head to head on the same night because by the SMC’s promotion posters a number of regional artistes will perform during Pantastic Saturday.
“This is not about pan … it is about two Soca shows one of which has some pan men playing. If you look at the posters, if you listen to the advertisements, this is two Soca shows that seem to be going head to head … This is about a naked piece of action by the Spice Mas Corporation to protect one Soca show versus the other, that is what this is about”, he said.
The former advisor under the New National Party (NNP) led Government made it clear that the issue at hand is not with the Government of Grenada but with the “creature” known as the Spice Mass Corporation as it seeks to violate their constitutional rights.
He pointed out that they (WIM) has a compendium of emails including one regarding Attorney at Law attached to Cooney Chambers, Gurgles Ferguson, but refuses to divulge the contents of the alleged string of messages to the media.
Antoine believes that the Congress Leader is not party to what is unfolding within the SMC, “If this was indeed your position, you’re right”, he said. He warned government that this issue can take on a life of its own.
Dr Antoine in his capacity as lead negotiator butted heads with the NDC led government earlier this year when a lock-out of workers of the Grenada Breweries Ltd (GBL) represented by the Technical and Allied workers union (TAWU) led to a near shut down of the country. GBL employees remained off the job for two months before a settlement was reached and workers were taken back to work.