Submitted by BourneLucian
I stumbled upon this blog a few days ago while updating my Facebook account. I found it so interesting that I immediately bookmarked and linked to it on my Facebook page. My family roots are deeply embedded all over that beautiful community called Choiseul. Barring the exigencies of the job I pledged to myself to contribute regularly to this wonderful initiative by the community of Choiseul. Bravo to the team of Choiseul Powerhouse. Some of my other posts can be read at Luciantalk. There you will also find powerful writers such as Shakespeare(sample post 1, sample post 2), Demetrius and Sue D. Nym, and Tricycle.
Last week Rufus Bousquet, the Foreign Affairs Minister, stepped into his lavishly design and decorated $1 million office adjoining the Baywalk casino for the first time. You will recall that the 6 year lease agreement came into effect on May 1st 2010.
More details from Lease agreement:
8 X 114,765 + security deposit (114765) = 1,032,885, i.e. over $1 million dollars of the taxpayers money has been paid to the landlords of Baywalk Mall, even before Bousquet moved into his office.
The UWP administration continues to manufacture lackluster reasons for moving to the Baywalk office.
Initially, Bousquet claimed it was the poor working conditions at the Carpark and the 6th Floor of the Francis Compton Building at the Waterfront and in the process broke the gentleman’s agreement between the NIC and government; in effect, jeopardizing the investment income of our only social security organization. Now he claims it is because “his office is the most important in the country” (more important than the Ministry of Finance, Economic Affairs, National Security or C&W).
Million dollar office justification -
First his office space wasn't enough
While Bousquet was bragging on one news media outlet, press secretary to the government, Darnley Lebourne, was offering a different explanation on another: “moving the foreign affairs ministry to Rodney Bay is part of government strategic plan to decentralize its services, relieve congestion in the center of Castries and reduce cost.” Isn’t the Castries-Gros Islet route the most congested in this island? Isn't the Baywalk office several times more costly than the NIC's? Please Mr Lebourne, don't insult our intelligence.
Then it was part of Gov't strategic plan to decentralize.
Now, it's because his ministry is the most important one.
Will we ever know the real reason for this additional burden which has been slammed on the taxpayer – was it part of any campaign finance deal? The public continues to speculate: "was it to move Mr Bouquet’s work place closer to his home? Does any Minister own a condominium at the Baywalk and was this part of a deal to negotiate this condominium at a lower price?"
Meanwhile the constituents of Choiseul are being asked to organise fund raising events to build the "Bruce Tucker Stand". If Bousquet is so keen on improving the sporting infrastructure in Choiseul . . . why is he so excited to move into his $1 million office. Couldn't some of that money have been used on the BTS?
Season’s greeting Choiseul. By the way, have you registered to vote? Voting is your right and responsibility. Enjoy the season and register early next year.
Publishers’s Note: Welcome BourneLucian. Your contribution is most welcomed. We encourage Choiseulians and other St Lucians, at home and in the diaspora to submit their articles to the Choiseul Powerhouse. Hope to read some more of your posts soon.