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Will NDP find money to finish the airport?

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26.FEB.10

Editor: Statements made recently at an NDP Press Conference by the leader of the party Arnhim Eustace regarding their position on the construction of the international airport at Argyle were nothing short of an attempt by the leader to deceive us into thinking, God forbid believe, that they are in support of and would attempt to continue the development of the international airport.{{more}}

In his presentation at the press conference, Mr. Eustace stated that they would employ proper consultants to review the project, they would look at alternative sources of financing and they would hold consultations with all stakeholders, including Vincentians in the diaspora.

Since he did not elaborate, would Mr. Eustace now tell us: 1. What exactly will the consultants be reviewing, 2. Where is he going to look for the alternative funding when he is already on record as saying that traditional lending institutions will not lend to a project such as the Argyle International Airport Project, and 3. Since he already knows that Vincentians at home and abroad want the international airport for various reasons specified by him, why then will there be a need to hold consultations with them.

Let’s give Mr. Eustace the benefit of the doubt and say he does all of these things that he is promising, it would take him, and that’s providing he begins immediately upon assuming office, at least five years to complete all of his reviews and consultations, not to mention sourcing the alternative funding. By the time he is done, all the trees will have grown back at Argyle and it will be almost like starting over, not to mention the cost for completion will at least double. If he does not know where the money will come from to continue the airport now, where will he find it then?

I am asking Vincentians to let Mr. Eustace know that he cannot at this time in our intellectual development (remember the Education Revolution) still be trying to insult our intelligence. It is clear that this man has no intentions of continuing this project but is trying to form a new position for political convenience.

Mr. Eustace finds himself between a rock and a hard place, where Vincentians everywhere not only want but can see that the international airport is being built. He is also acutely aware that if he continues to denounce the international airport that people will not vote for him in the next general elections, since this will be one of the main issues.

Or could it be that we are overlooking the rumour, which may or may not be a fact, that the airport project will be used as payback to the Oakes Brothers for helping the NDP to win the next general elections.

Vincentians, look at it this way, if they were to win the next elections and the Oakes Brothers were given the airport project, Mr. Eustace would then be in a position to say: ‘I promised not to ignore the project and to seek alternative financing, and that is what I am doing.’ Vincentians, Dr. Gonsalves has worked too hard to bring us this project that the NDP has for years been promising. Let’s give Dr. Gonsalves the benefit of the doubt and allow him to finish the good work that he has started.

Miguel Providence

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