Greetings to the People of Nevis.
On Tuesday 22nd January on my call, Nevisians went to the polls to elect a new government. The people by majority voted and elected the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) to govern them for the next five years.
Very early, I decided that we of the NRP would not dispute the results. That has been our approach in the past. This is our approach now. After two years of disputed electoral lists, persons knowingly registering and voting where they do not live, demonstrations, we would have thought the island would be at peace, at last.
It is clear that all along this party called CCM was and is only interested in power and not the conduct of government. Firstly, it seems intent on dismantling every program that we developed during our term of office. Under the guise of saving $250,000 monthly- over one hundred persons have been sent home without a job. Mr. Amory has claimed that these persons were not needed. Some did not turn up to work and others never worked. The CCM propaganda machine has repeated this statement world-wide.
I am obligated, therefore to directly refer to some of the 100 who have been sent home and the programs which consequently have been affected.
Firstly, the environmental programs… over 40 persons were dismissed.
My government deliberately employed them in an effort to induce them back into the work-force and away from a life of the gang culture and crime.
During the past 18 months we have witnessed a major drop in most crime activities in Nevis.
Secondly, the island was left clean apparently to visitors to Nevis. It was a way, a very successful way to attract investment and tourists.
The Sports program was developed island- wide. It is strange that Derick Parry, a qualified coach, the second Nevisian to play West Indies cricket and a non-political figure who has an outstanding record of coaching in England and here on Nevis. Is it wrong to coach his people. I learned only yesterday that he was accused of receiving three cheques per month. I also learned that he received $4000 for the grass- roots program and another $500 for the grass roots program and another $500 for a third program.
Obviously, $5000 per month is an outrageous sum of money for working sometimes 7 days a week and transporting the young children of Nevis to various points of the island for coaching. The parents and people of Nevis are the losers here.
Trevor Chapman, known for his management skills and involvement in young people, a man who was changing the face of sports on Nevis was sent home.
Dorette Daniel was changing the craft house for the first time, into a modern and Internet friendly facility, by using the internet as a marketing tool. She was sent home! Under CCM, for 14 years the building was like a grave yard.
Kelly Maynard, one of the hardest working persons on Nevis, brought a positive work ethic and considerable know how from the private sector, was also sent home.
Now which of these persons never turned out to work, Mr. Amory? These persons have families, children at school, at University? Do you know what you and your government are doing to them presently in the name of power and politics?
You are building a massive prison around them; you are jeopardizing their choices of getting another job, having deprived them and their families of a living. Never in the history of this country have we seen this callous and vindictive behavior by anyone calling himself, “leader of Nevis”. This behavior that some people embrace as strength is really a cowardly and childish act of vindictiveness and short sightedness. You may wish however belatedly to take a leaf out of the book of the new Prime Minister of Grenada who said, “I will not interfere with the public service, people will just have to do their work.”
People of Nevis, you were given a clear choice, of programs from the NRP and whatever the CCM said to you during the campaign. Again and again I told you what the financial situation was. We have been in recession for almost five years. We are still in recession. I have explained again and again that there are three ways to reduce our annual deficit:
- Firing of people…
What did I say? “I will not fire anybody!” It could lead to social distortion and further economic unraveling. Mr. Amory is celebrating the dislocation of our people. Nevisians who have helped to build this country.
- I said we could not raise taxes and
Every government in the world is speaking and trying to promote growth! I repeat, every country is trying to promote growth.
What are the growth programs for Nevis and why is it so important to promote growth?
Here are some reasons for doing so. New investments will bring new badly needed revenues to the Nevis Treasury. New investment will create jobs for the young and old on Nevis.
New investment will create employment for some of our marginal people to properly help reduce crime.
New investment will improve the circulation of money and increased bursaries activity. Where are the programs of CCM? I hope this is why we have a new government? Tell me about New Found? Tell me about the new hotel? Tell me of the substitute investment for the Fuel bulk plant?
Finally, my party and government were criticized for closely associating with the Prime Minister, Rt…Hon. Dr. Douglas government, so tell me who should I have associated with?
People of Nevis, two times in his first month in office, Mr. Amory have journeyed to St. Kitts. I understand he is begging for financial assistance with his financial advisors, on his knees before the National Bank and the Prime Minister?
I understand he is claiming that I received help, so should he? He is claiming if it is not done it can destabilize the country? So what is Nevis please tell me? What did Mr. Amory find out in the last 4 weeks that he did not know for 20 years.
Ugly politics lead eventually to devastating results in the long term. Mr. Amory must know why he supports a vote of no confidence in the Douglas government. He must also know that, that in itself can cause instability.
But he must also know you can’t buy help from the same person you are openly seeking to destroy. Actions must have consequences!
Fellow Nevisians, enough of that. It is for you to remember and reflect for every action has in its roots a lesson for all of us. I pray to God for understanding, I hope all of us seek to learn from our experiences. Finally, I wish for you to bear in mind, the performance of the NRP during these last six years. They were great years for me, my team and the people of Nevis. We worked well together and achieved much. Nevis became the envy of all its neighbors.
As I come to the final part of this presentation may I remind you of the
- NRP established the best water supply system in the Eastern Caribbean, a system that withstood the worst drought in the last 40 years.
- The electricity supply became reliable and consistent
- Nevis has a high quality network of roads equal to any in the East Caribbean
- Our social programs have far reaching impacts on the whole society a cause for positive compliments by many visiting officials from the OECS.
(a) The senior citizen programs
(b) The skills and teaching programs in our community centers
(c) Our parenting programs
(d) Our island- wide sports programs
(e) Our library and reading programs
(f) Our training of our sixth- form students overseas with over two hundred persons trained
(g) Our housing programs for single mothers and young persons
(h) The land distribution programs have all received considerable praise and
(I) The school meals programs
NRP have revolutionized the role of Agriculture again and brought it into prominence as part of the drive to modernize our economy. There was food import substitution in the areas of meat, fish and poultry production, in the provision of white potatoes, bananas, tomatoes and lettuce.
The NRP began the development of Cruise Tourism in a structured way for the first time and was instrumental in the reopening of the Four Seasons Hotel after a Hurricane and therefore restoring over 700 jobs for the people of Nevis. Villa Paradisio is in the process of reopening and Hurricane Cove changed hands with plans of expansion.
The NRP administration supported the continuing of the Housing program at the Four Seasons in the face of stern resistance from certain forces on the basis that (a) the hotel facility could not maintain quality services to these new properties (b) present homeowners feared their property values would fall. (c) NRP promoted two new hotel developments, the Aman at Indian Castle and the Ocean Reef at Herbert’s Beach, as well as two local developments at Nelson Spring and Cades Bay.
In the area of Job creation, NRP took the initiative in the heart of the recession to increase and maintain government employment, to prevent social dislocation on the island. It is ironic that in the name of saving money the present government has sent home over 100 persons and is trying to make NRP look like demons for a policy that protected Nevisian families from the worst devastated effects of the recession. Again, via the Land and Housing Corporation, over 250 jobs were created in the heart of the recession. Today we can see the successful results in the manifestation of Golden Grove, Cherry Gardens, Hamilton, Harbour view, Jessups, New Castle and Maddens housing projects.
No government in the history of Nevis has achieved so much – over 300 houses constructed- with such few resources. Brown Hill Communications employed over 200 permanent persons which replaced the colossal failure known as Clear Harbour.
And then the NRP government deliberately sought a loan of $10 million dollars from the Social Security fund to create even more jobs and establish class rooms, community centers and police establishments. Today they are there for all to see. These efforts not only created new jobs, they assisted in curbing crime and brought great comfort to teachers and students alike in the schools.
If I may refer to Mr. Amory and his unwitting statement that he left a workforce of 6,000 persons in 2006 and met the same number in 2013. I am proud to tell him and the people of Nevis that this effort is more than commendable. It was achieved because the NRP government had initiative and succeeded in holding employment at acceptable levels in the face of the worst and still lingering recession in 100 years.
Of course, we had to restrict work permits so that our people can get work, those foreign workers who had to leave the country were encouraged by CCM and brought home to vote against NRP simply because we put our Nevisian people first.
Finally the debt, the NRP government took a bold and constructive position to work with the Federal government to restructure the Nevis and Federal debt and to reduce it overtime to achieve the following objectives:
- To stabilize the country
- To diversify the economy
- To promote growth.
Ladies and gentlemen this is where we are right now, we are out of government let us see where the new government takes Nevis.
I want to thank the people of Nevis for their support during the last six and a half years. Firstly for allowing me to establish and implement my party’s vision for Nevis and Nevisians. Always remember we put people first. Secondly, I thank all those who believe in the programs and policies of theNevis Reformation Party and supported us through thick and thin.
I personally thank the cabinet, Daniel, Hector, Powell and Cozier for their loyalty, hard work and great contribution to the development of Nevis. Sooty Byron, Alistair Yearwood, Llewellyn Parris and Patsy Hanley who must be commended in the implementation of our programs and certainly without them we certainly would not have succeeded.
And to those hard working Civil servants and government workers I say thank you!
Those who have been fired and victimized by foolish and shortsighted politicians, I say hold on! We will fight the fight with you and we shall overcome, because justice like streams of waters forever flowing from mountains to the sea will always overcome.
The NRP is your party and we will always be your party.
I wish the people of Nevis well, Thank you!