BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, FEBRUARY 12th, 2017 (PRESS SEC) — The week of activities celebrating the three-party Team Unity coalition’s resounding victory at the polls on Monday, February 16th, 2015 continues tomorrow Monday, February 13th, 2017. Tomorrow night, the Government of National Unity will hold a Good Governance and Accountability for Prosperity town hall meeting at the St. Paul’s Anglican Church Hall in Charlestown, Nevis from 7:30pm.
The organizing committee for the week of activities, which is spearheaded by His Excellency Sydney Osborne, St. Kitts and Nevis’ Ambassador to CARICOM and the OECS, has arranged for the free transportation via the M.V. Caribe Queen of persons who wish to attend the town hall in Nevis. In this regard, tomorrow, Monday, the M.V. Caribe Queen will leave St. Kitts at 6:00pm and make a return trip from Nevis half an hour after the town hall ends.
Tomorrow night’s town hall meeting will be headlined by Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris who is the Parliamentary Representative for the St. Christopher #7 constituency, as well as by Senior Minister in the Government of National Unity and Premier of Nevis, the Honourable Vance Amory who is the Parliamentary Representative for the Nevis #10 constituency, and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Aviation in the Government of National Unity and Deputy Premier of Nevis, the Honourable Mark Brantley who is the Parliamentary Representative for the Nevis #9 constituency.
The town hall meeting will fall on the heels of a meeting/retreat of the Federal Cabinet of St. Kitts and Nevis, which is also scheduled to take place in Charlestown, Nevis tomorrow, Monday, February 13th.
The decision by Prime Minister Harris and his Cabinet Ministers to spend the day and night in Nevis tomorrow reflects the state of the relationship between the two islands, which is at an all-time best under the leadership of the Government of National Unity. For instance, the Nevis Island Administration is now assured of regular budgetary support from the Federal Government for the very first time. This represents a significant policy shift and departure from the status quo that pertained under the previous administration.
On Wednesday, February 1st, 2017 at his press conference, the Honourable Prime Minister explained the importance of the change in policy, which was a promise that Team Unity had made in its Manifesto.
“The Federal Government before us never acted responsibly and never saw itself as being obliged to the citizens on the island of Nevis, as they were to the citizens on the island of St. Kitts,” Prime Minister Harris said on February 1st, adding that, “To date, this Federal Government has provided over $50 million in budgetary support, and you compare that with none by the last administration.”
Dr. Harris continued: “In addition to that, I am pleased to report that the SIDF [the St. Kitts-Nevis Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation] has approved 11 projects submitted by the Nevis Island Administration; well, those under the last administration, you could count on one hand and you don’t need all the fingers to count them. So you see the contrast in the working relationship. You see how we have attempted to bring oneness and to bring an end to the acrimony, and to bring equity in the relationship between the Federal entity and the Nevis Island Administration. Those sums that have been approved total over $50 million, and of that amount at least $13 million has already been disbursed on a variety of projects.”
Last year, on Saturday, October 22nd, speaking in Tortola before a sizable audience of St. Kitts-Nevis Nationals who live in the British Virgin Islands (B.V.I.), Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris highlighted the enhanced relations between the two islands that make up the Federation.
Dr. Harris reminded the town hall audience in the B.V.I. that, under his Team Unity Government, the official Independence Calendar for 2015 and 2016 included events in Nevis, such as the State Service of Thanksgiving and the Prime Minister’s Independence Lecture Series, respectively.
“It took Team Unity to make a difference, to take Nevisians out from where they had a sense of isolation, where they had a sense that they didn’t matter anymore,” Prime Minister Harris said on October 22nd.
The Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis added that, during the 33rd Independence Anniversary Celebrations, “For the first time, we took the Governor-General [His Excellency Sir S.W. Tapley Seaton GCMG, CVO, QC, JP] up to the Nevis Performing Arts Centre to meet with students [from Charlestown Secondary School, Gingerland Secondary School and Nevis Sixth Form College], and they had an opportunity to interact with the Governor-General who is their Governor-General, too, and ask questions, understand his life journey and see if they could learn lessons out of that. These things have happened because of your support for a Team Unity administration.”
Ms. Yolande de Castro, President of the Nevis Alliance Progressive Society (NAPS) of the B.V.I., said after the town hall meeting in Tortola that, “As a Nevisian, I am proud to know that there is so much taking place in the Federation, where the Team Unity Government is making such a great impact on the island of Nevis, and we Nevisians can say that we are proud to see so much progress that is taking place because of Team Unity.”