Former Member of Parliament for St. George South, Phinsley St. Louis has vehemently denied that he is a member of any committee designed to look at alternative locations for Camerhogne Park.
Sometime last year during one of the weekly post-Cabinet Press Briefing, Health Minister Nickolas Steele announced that St. Louis has decided to be a member of a committee of stakeholders to come up with another location for Camerhogne Park.
Steele made the announcement amidst a heated debate in the country on the future of the Park in light of a statement from Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell that the park would be relocated to facilitate a hotel.
Minister Steele said then that the mandate of the committee was to look at how Camerhogne Park is used, and if it can be improved in the existing location or improved at another location.
Back then, three spots were said to be under consideration for the relocation of Camerhogne Park -the vicinity of The Umbrellas, another area close to the Grand Anse cemetery and the other location was is in the vicinity of the Coconut Beach Restaurant.
St. Louis, a former Communication & Works minister in the 1990-95 National Democratic Congress (NDC) government of Sir Nicholas Brathwaite, turned up for last week’s public forum on the planned relocation of the park that was organized by the grouping of Civil Society Organisations.
He used the platform to clear the air in light of accusations that he had “sold out” to the Mitchell government on the Camerhogne Park issue to state categorically he wants the park to remain where it is.
“I am not on any committee, there is no committee as far as I know, and as far as Phinsley St. Louis is concerned, Camerhogne Park must remain Camerhogne Park – where it is,” he said.
The former Parliamentarian disclosed that he spoke with Prime Minister Mitchell over two years ago when it was announced that government’s intention was to take Camerhogne Park along with the repossessing of the nearby Riviera property.
He said he held discussions on the issue with the Prime Minister, as he believes that Camerhogne Park should never be sold to anybody.
According to St. Louis, after hearing Dr. Mitchell’s 2016 budget presentation when he said that the new Rivera Hotel was being designed and during that phase of the project, the investors have agreed to construct a new Camerhogne Park nearby, he again made efforts to speak to the Grenadian leader.
He said a few days after meeting with Dr. Mitchell he had an audience with Health Minister Nickolas Steele who showed him the plans for the proposed new Camerhogne Park area in the vicinity of Umbrella, and the Grand Anse Cemetery.
St. Louis spoke of Steele informing him that government plans to put a committee in place and asked him if he was willing to serve on the body.
He said he told the Health Minister it depends on the terms of reference given to the committee.
Insisting that he never agreed to serve on the committee, the former MP for South St. George stated that he was upset and angry over the announcement made by Steele that he will be a member of the Camerhogne Park committee.
“I cannot associate with any group or persons who would want to move Camerhogne Park to anywhere else. I am one of those persons who say I am prepared to die for Camerhogne Park to remain where it is – this is how serious I am about it,” he told the forum.
St. Louis said that based on the discussions with Steele, he concluded that government already has a foregone conclusion on relocating Camerhogne Park.
He believes that Grenadians will have to engage in 24-hour resistance at the current location to ensure that nothing is done at Camerhogne Park by government or the so-called hotel developers.
A Save Camerhogne Park committee, set up by a number of influential persons including Labour Senator, Raymond Roberts will participate in Sunday’s Labour Day parade in St. Patrick as part of the campaign to get government to back off from relocating the park.