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Monday, December 20, 2010

THE STADIUM BLUFF - PT 2


Safety vs Sports: Is it a matter of priority?
The other major counter-argument to the BTS is related to priority. I boldly argue that it is not based on priority but on satisfying the ego of Mr Tucker and the pursuit of his political propaganda. It is clear that Tomas dealt a massive blow to the farming community in Choiseul/Saltibus and the farmers are reeling from that blow. Most farmers lost all their crops. Saltibus, Gertrine and Daban also have serious geotechnical challenges and navigating their roadways is extremely life-threatening. Tomas dealt major blows to those communities and certain sections of their road network. Just as Fond St. Jacques was declared as a disaster area, I am of the opinion that some parts of these communities should have been so declared.

In the midst of these prevailing disasters, Mr Bousquet has an abnormal fixation on an elusive and nebulous BTS project when many people in the constituency need urgent help. In that context, why can’t we re-prioritise and re-allocate those funds to the urgent cases bordering on emergencies? Why can’t we use those funds to create an economic stimulus package to help put people back on their feet again? Why can’t we tackle the extremely dangerous slides on the Saltibus, Daban and Gertrine roads? Do we prefer our people traversing these risky roads to die? Are sports more important than the safety and economic livelihood of the people of Saltibus, Daban and Gertrine?

Bruce Tucker is very insensitive. His only focus is “wanting to win” the upcoming elections at whatever costs. Just prior to Tomas and immediately after Lorne was introduced, we saw him embarked on a proliferation of unplanned projects. He hardly did anything during the first 4 years; his excuse was he had to spend most of his time out of Saint Lucia. But the question being asked now is: “Doesn’t he travel anymore?” In fact,  he spends so much time in Choiseul that we are now asking: does he still work as minister anymore? What are the benefits of his frequent traveling? We will explore this in another article.

Does Lorne have a vision for Sports?
On the issue of Lorne’s vision for sports, he can eloquently speak for himself. Suffice it to this son of the soil must be regarded a national sporting hero – just as his Mom and Dad are heroes in their respective fields. In fact there’s no shortage of heroic acheivements in the Theophilus and Cox/Darcheville lineage.

Lorne’s record as a sportsman
Lorne has an impressive array of sporting achievements both as a sportsman and sporting administrator. Among other things, he was national sprinter and a long and triple jumper for St. Lucia. He was and still is a top karateka and also played competitive table tennis and Volleyball for St. Lucia. He has been Team Captains at every institution he has attended, from St Mary’s College right through to University.

He is a member of the International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC). In fact, he was national shooter of the year in 2002.

Lorne’s record as a sports administrator
Once the chairman of SPORTS SAINT LUCIA INC (SSI), he was also a sporting administrator par excellence and at the highest level.

During his tenure as chairman of St. Lucia's premier sporting body (SSI), he proposed the upgrading of the La Fargue field as a major legacy project to include stadium facilities, the provision of seating and changing facilities as a legacy project of Cricket World Cup. The minutes are there to substantiate this. To that end, the seats for this facility amongst others were purchased by SSI and may still be found in containers at Beausejour where they were stored after purchase. Lorne never blew his trumpet on that project and in due course and when time is right, he will debunk the BTS myth because he has both expertise and institutional memory on the matter.

Hijack?
When the Ministry for Culture commandeered the Mindoo Phillip Park for carnival activities - after SSI refused permission for the same - they gave an undertaking to meet the costs by Terra Forma - which was the contracting firm – to get the field back into shape but refused to honour the agreement.  As a result, Terra Forma pulled out of St.Lucia and their expertise was no longer available to SSI to upgrade the La Fargue field to the level that Lorne envisioned.

Being a pure son of the soil, his uncompromising vision for Choiseul was nothing less than a state of the art, quality legacy project which the Sporting authorities did not support and so they abandoned the project. More details will be provided in a subsequent article. The point here being, if you are doing something do it good or don’t do it at all. In addition it was extremely upsetting to Lorne that the sportsmen who were to benefit from the upgrade of the Mindoo Phillip Park also lost out, after hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars which were wasted on the works that had to be abandoned.

No choc-en-bloc projects
Lorne has a comprehensive vision for Choiseul – a vision which includes sports and healthy lifestyles. He will implement it fully, methodically and transparently – not in a cloud of corruption and choc-en-bloc; but with transparency and accountability. As a multi-talented and highly educated businessman, Lorne does not subscribe to the “choc-en-bloc”, uncaring approach to development.

2 comments:

  1. Those participating in this pork project are nothing but "sue-ti-wez". How can you support a project of this magnitude when you know nothing of the source of funds? It's like accepting gifts from a 'jumbie' brother or drug baron; knowing that the money he used to buy the gift was acquired from robbing SALE MART or selling drugs to your cousin down the road.

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  2. Congo Man from ChoiseulDecember 20, 2010 at 1:34 PM

    Thank you, my boss for opening my eyes. Your articles enlighten me a great deal. The more I think, the more I believe that this Stadium is a political Bluff. I agree with you that it is no where close to stadium but a stand. To build a stadium on that field would maybe cost $100 million. I suspect, Mr Bousquet wants to improve on the existing structure there. $1.5 million for a stadium - I mus laugh at that. That's an outright bluff. May be Mr Bousquet is looking for work for one of his main supporter and I suspect who.

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