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Speak the truth!


Editor: After reading the letter from “Bequia Youth” in last week’s Searchlight newspaper it is quite clear to me that this individual does not understand the role of the government, is unaware of the issues and could not possibly be a resident of Bequia.

As the elected area representative of the Northern Grenadines, the Hon Dr Friday has raised in Parliament many issues which greatly affect his constituency.{{more}} The writer made a request for Dr Friday’s contribution of $10,000 towards the refurbishing of the pavilion at the Clive Tannis Playing Field, the pavilion that

Sir James and the NDP built. My question is since when has government required a Member of Parliament to pay out of his/her own pocket for projects in his/her constituency? Is the Government that broke?

Furthermore, why did it cost over $600,000 to fix the roof and toilets and paint the building, when the initial estimate was for less than $200,000? The fixing of the pavilion is a project which should have been seen and undertaken by the Government, not as an act of charity carried out by the Prime Minister. Such projects should be seen as the fruits of taxes paid by the hard-working people of this country. Why did it require Dr Friday to raise the matter for years in and out of Parliament and before the Prime Minister obviously had no choice but to ask Lottery to fix the building? The pledge of $10,000 towards the project was nothing but a gimmick by the Prime Minister to cover up his embarrassment over the deplorable condition of the pavilion and his inexcusable failure to fix it.

And now Dr Friday is demanding that the Government fix the hard court at Paget Farm that was also built by Sir James and the NDP. If the ULP government is interested in sports and youth development, why is the Paget Farm hard court in such a deplorable condition? What gimmick will the Prime Minister and his minions use this time to try to hide their shame?

The subject of the so-called education revolution was also put forth, but a revolution for whom? Out of all the scholarship recipients for the past 14 years, how many were residents from Bequia or from the Grenadines as a matter of fact, and of those who acquired scholarships, which party do they support? I wonder when last the letter writer, so-called Bequia Youth, visited the Bequia Community High School and examined its environs. You talk about education revolution and in 2015 secondary schools in Bequia still do not offer science subjects such as Chemistry, Biology and Physics. In addition, what programmes and facilities are being put in place to help the students and teachers lift the standard in educational performance at the Bequia high schools where many students who enter fail CPEA exams and are often below the required reading level?

I am absolutely positive that this individual got Dr Friday confused with Mr Belmar when they indicated that Dr Friday is only seen at election time or when he is invited to an event to speak. Dr Friday is a community man and loves a good game of cricket. He is one of the founding fathers of the cricket association here in Bequia and has been an active member for years, playing for the team “Manicou” and more recently “Sugar Reef Bequia United.” He is also involved in football, coaching and sponsoring teams from Paget Farm for many years, not just in an election year like Mr Belmar. Dr Friday is involved in most major activities in the community, even if he does not dress them up in his party colours and put his party symbol on the shirts and others things. He does it for the love of sports and for the betterment of his community.

As a youth who is a resident of Bequia and is a part of the community, it is sad to see that Mr Belmar is promoting projects done by others, such as the Northern Grena­dines Community Develop­ment Incorpo­rated (NGCDI), as his own. In the Northern Grena­dines, not even Mr Belmar is a part of the ULP’s plan. Although he lost his seat, he stuck with the ULP, perhaps because he was well rewarded with a new position (deputy director of Grenadines Affairs) that was created by the ULP government to pay him handsomely with taxpayers’ money for running for the ULP. And did you know that he is paid a lot more than Dr Friday, the people’s chosen representative? Even so, he has never been given a place in the House as a senator or in a ministry of Government. Even as “caretaker” for the Grenadines, he has neither influence nor power to get things done. It is quite clear that “Bequia Youth” is not concerned about the issues, the real life issues that affect so many young people of this constituency on a daily basis, such as the brutal fact that so many are unemployed after completing tertiary or secondary education.

Another Bequia Youth