Prime Minister Allen Chastanet this past weekend reiterated government’s commitment to tackling crime, and outlined his administration’s plans to achieve a balanced economy, attract more direct foreign investment and attack many of the critical issues affecting the health sector. The strategies were contained in a new years address broadcast on Sunday night over most stations and via social media
Sunday’s address as the prime minister reminded viewers and listeners marked the halfway way mark of the government’s term in office. It was an opportunity to reflect on the administration’s accomplishments, and to let the public in on its plans to address many of the issues confronting the country.
The subject of crime and security he said was weighing as heavily on the government’s mind as the average citizen, and addressing several of the deficiencies in those areas, he said remained a priority for the administration
“From the onset of our administration we have taken steps to combat crime at all levels, including instituting social programmes that address crime at its root. We first reopened the Forensic Lab that was closed for some years. As a result we were able to make significant headway in the investigation and prosecution of several rape cases on the island. The Government is also now faced with another hurdle of tackling the current health and safety issues at the facility, which I am assured will be resolved in the coming weeks.We appointed a Director of Public Prosecution and increased resources for the DPP’s office. The new Police Headquarters will also include six new courts, a state-of-the-art control centre and improved facilities for our police, “ he said
The prime minister announced addressed the phased opening of the Owen King EU hospital, reminding the public that there were never adequate funds set aside for the operation of the facility and spoke of government’s plans for the controversial St Jude Hospital Reconstruction Project
The Government has taken steps to finally resolve the problem at Saint Jude Hospital, which was one of the many disasters left behind for our administration to handle.
“I am pleased to report we have already commenced clearing works for the New Hospital wing and the Ministries of Health and Economic Development have finalized the design. Construction is set to start within the next few weeks. Our nation owes a great debt of gratitude to the doctors, nurses and all the dedicated staff of Saint Jude, who continue to provide service to the people of the south under such difficult circumstances. I thank them, and the nation thanks them, for their personal sacrifice and I assure you that we will resolve this issue once and for all,” he said.
Development plans for Vieux Fort will proceed as planned with the Pearl of the Caribbean project and the construction of a cruise port
“In 2019, the south will also experience a surge in job creation with the number of projects coming on stream. Apart from Vieux Fort, we think it is high time that developments in the south begin to impact the outlying districts like Soufriere, Laborie, Choiseul and Micoud, in a tangible way, hence we also need to upgrade our infrastructure,” he said.
The prime minister went on to outline government’s plans for other sectors like education, youth and sports development, and appealed for unity. With independence celebrations fast approaching he said the time was opportune for petty political and other differences aside and for all Saint Lucians to play their part in the economic and social development of the country.