New Year Message by Dr the Hon Timothy Harris, M.P., Ph.D., Leader of Team Unity, Member of Parliament for St Christopher 7

“Happy New Beginning”

My fellow citizens and residents,

Greetings and a Happy New Year! First I want to thank the Almighty God for allowing all of us to see a brand new year. I also want to pause and take a moment to pray for the souls of the departed in 2014. Whether, the loss was from natural causes or senseless violence in the streets, a loss is still a loss.

For some, Happy New Year seems almost cliché and routine. It is something we just say. For me what we are really saying in that salutation Happy New Year is that the old year is gone. It is now history. What we are actually saying is Happy New Beginnings.

So many people are praying for new beginnings. So many people are praying for change. So many people have high hopes for their families.

A New Year is a time for new beginnings. It is a time when we set goals for our families. It is a time when we set goals for ourselves. It is a time when we think about the previous year and the victories and defeats we achieved together as a people. Let me congratulate all on their success in 2014. I commend for example our outstanding performances in various exams, in sports and entertainment and I salute all the participants in the 2014 Carnival activities.

2014 is gone. Now is the time to think of the future which 2015 beckons. It is a time for change. A time for new beginnings. What will 2015 mean for you and your family? What will 2015 mean for our great nation? What will 2015 mean for our children? Will 2015 bring more of the same or change for the better.

I say Happy New Year to you because I believe change for the better is coming. I am convinced that 2015 can be a great year for the people of St. Kitts and Nevis. I believe in the spirit of our people. I believe in the resilience of our people. I believe in the hope and the dreams of our people. I don’t have to tell you about the conditions which you face every day. However, what I will say is that in 2015 beneficial change is coming.

I want you not only to survive in 2015. I want you to prosper. That prosperity starts in 2015.

When you think of 2015, I know you think about how you can make your lives better. You also think about who you trust to make your lives better. I know you question whether people hear your cries. I know you question whether your leaders understand what you and your families are going through to make it. I know you question whether there will be a difference in 2015. Most people trust themselves which is why they wake up every day and in their own way break down the very system that oppresses them every day.

I say to you that help is coming in 2015.

You will not have to carry the burden alone. You are not alone. No man is an island. NO man stands alone. We are our brother’s and sister’s keeper.

You must know that in 2015, we are better together.

You must know that in 2015, there are those of us that wake up every day with your hopes and dreams in our hearts and minds.

You must know that in 2015, there is light on the horizon.

You must know that in 2015, rebuilding will take place in UNITY.

You must know that in 2015, the old partisan bickering has no place in our dialogue.

You must know that in 2015, you the people will have the cake and not just the crumb.

You must know that in 2015 it will be a new beginning for you and your families but also a new beginning in St. Kitts and Nevis.

This new beginning will put the people first.

This new beginning will put the people on a road to prosperity.

This new beginning will bring change for the better and not more of the same.

This new beginning will bring more peaceful resolutions of our conflicts and less resort to violent crime.

This new beginning treats everyone respectfully, fairly and decently.

This new beginning will bring jobs and economic growth.

This new beginning will grow our stay over tourist arrivals to such an extent that our hotels are filled year around, rather than serving as student dorms.

This new beginning means we need to do more with and for our farmers and fishers so that they operate successful businesses and contribute to food security, foreign exchange, savings and earnings. They too deserve a new beginning.

This new beginning will reduce mortgages.

This new beginning will introduce a Rent Assessment Board to ensure fairness in rent adjustments and in the relations between landlords and tenants.

This new beginning will relieve our young people of the high burden of student loans that are making our graduates feel like they will never prosper and which cause many to stay abroad rather than return home

This new beginning will bring jobs and opportunity for our young people now.

This new beginning will provide them with the best health care.

This new beginning will provide the best education system and give our children the head start with preschool education which will be free of charge.

This new beginning will provide them with beautiful sporting facilities.

This new beginning will support them in making a living from the practice of their gifts and talents in culture, entertainment, sports and music.

This new beginning means that we will be there to give a hand up to those who want to make it in business.

This new beginning means we will make a portion of the “SIDF” resources available to build local enterprises, giving them the start and support needed to expand and grow.

This new beginning means our country needs more profitable businesses not less. It needs more of our entertainers, artistes and musicians making not just a name for themselves but making a decent living from their gifts and talents.

This new beginning means we must correct the injustices to workers on the industrial estates, in our shops and businesses and even in the government employment.

This new beginning means that we will have a history making amicable and mutually beneficial relationship with Nevis. It’s time for Nevis to receive real support and feel the tangible presence and partnership of the Federal government at all times and not just at general elections time.

The Charlestown Accord is a New Beginning

We note there were few Christmas lightings on our homes this Christmas as persons were wary of exorbitant electricity bills to follow.

This new beginning means that we must immediately get on the road to cheaper cost of energy. The commercialization of geothermal in Nevis, and wind farms in St. Kitts and Nevis and solar developments are part of the big picture of affordable energy under Team Unity.

This new beginning will mean restoring integrity to our Citizenship by Investment Programme and the issuance of our passports. We must reorganize the CBI and make it an internationally respectable programme. We must recalibrate relations with the U.S.A and Canada. We will work with the government of Canada to provide our people with visa free access to Canada.

This new beginning means our leaders must pledge to serve the people every day. That way our roads, schools, hospitals, police stations are not allowed to run down, until election time.

This new beginning means never to allow our students, teachers and parents to be exposed to the health hazards at the Basseterre High School.
This new beginning means that our neighborhoods are safe and free from crime.

This new beginning then will be better for all of us. Accordingly, I am excited about new beginnings. I am excited about change. I am invigorated by the light on the horizon. I am thrilled about 2015. I am energized by your hopes and dreams. I am elated about your family’s future. I am exhilarated about the future of our great nation. I am motivated and galvanized by these new beginnings and the road to prosperity.

Let’s welcome

A new beginning,

A new way of thinking

Change not more of the same

Happy New Year/Happy New Beginning

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