Labour Senator in the Upper House of Parliament, Senator Raymond Roberts has chided the ruling New National Party (NNP) government on its list of priorities.
Sen. Roberts addressed a number of issues on the adjornment of the Senate at last week’s sitting at the Grenada Trade Center at Morne Rouge, St. George’s.
He was critical of the Keith Mitchell-led Administration’s decision to secure a $12M loan from the Canadian Bank Note Limited, part of which will be used to provide lights for the Grenada National Stadium instead of addressing the country’s health challenges.
During last week’s post-Cabinet Press briefing, Culture Minister, Sen. Brenda Hood disclosed that the Grenada National Lotteries Authority (GNLA) had secured the loan from the Canadian financial company to get the stadium lit in order to facilitate night cricket.
However, Sen. Roberts took issue with the decision, saying that the stadium should not be lit at this point in time when “our health care is in shambles.”
He said he is not against the lighting of the stadium, but at the same time he cannot see any merit in that move on the part of the Mitchell-led government.
“I am against the lighting of the stadium at this particular time because the workers of Grenada need better health care. Spend the money on health care, improve the facilities, let the Nurses have whatever they want. When that is taken care of, in better days, we can light the stadium,” he told the Senate session.
Sen. Roberts who is an ardent sports enthusiast charged that “West Indies Cricket is dead” and took issues with the manner in which the Mitchell government is trying to lure spectators to watch cricket matches at the stadium.
The Labour Senator accused the authorities of spending “thousands of dollars on free tickets” for people to attend the last test match that was played at the stadium between West Indies and England from April 21-25 as this did not help in getting the facility filled.
Critics of the Mitchell government have alleged that scores of party operatives were seen around the country giving out free tickets to persons to attend the test match.
Sen. Roberts was also critical of government’s move to create an Employment agency.
He said the labour movement is both concerned and suspicious about that impending employment agency.
He said he does not believe that a government employment agency will create any new avenue of employment but it was a political move on the part of the authorities.
The independent Senator reminded the Upper House that there is a process through the Public Service Commission (PSC) for someone to be employed in the Public Service.
He said the Labour Movement would write government expressing its grave concerns on the issue.
During a recent post-Cabinet Press briefing, Minister of State for Sports, Sen. Winston Garraway announced that government is in the process of establishing an employment agency to facilitate the Imani Trainees who have completed the programme.
However, Sen. Garraway stopped short of giving specific details of the agency.
“That will be unveiled very shortly when we launch the agency formally,” he told the media.
Prime Minister Mitchell has often stated that the vote of the young people is critical to the victory at the polls for NNP.