Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has promised to assist persons living in the southern section of the island, stating that for too long, they have been neglected.
This was included in his message on Thursday to mark the island’s 39th anniversary of political independence from Great Britain.
“Too many have had to move to the north, too many families have been torn apart in search of opportunity whilst others have given up entirely. Let me say to you, the people in the South: Your time has come,’ the Prime Minister said.
‘The Desert Star Holdings (DSH) project, the new cruise ship terminal, the new airport terminal, the new Fairmont Hotel in Choiseul, the new resort development at Honeymoon Beach will create jobs and opportunity the likes of which have never been seen before,’ Chastanet said in a broadcast to the nation.
He explained that there will be ‘exciting’ opportunities for restauranteurs, taxi drivers, souvenir and merchandise shop owners, farmers and fisherfolk, port workers, equine workers, tour operators and others.
According to the Prime Minister, the horse racing track, a part of the EC$6 billion DSH, will attract enormous interest from equine enthusiasts from all over the world and St Lucia will benefit greatly from the increased attention.
‘We cannot continue to ignore the problems plaguing the south, particularly its youth, and these projects will immediately provide them with opportunities for gainful and sustained employment.
“They have too much unfulfilled potential and deserve to have some hope and an opportunity to realize their dreams – for they too dream of being truly independent. I am confident the development of the south will give them that opportunity to chart their own destiny,’ he noted.
‘Why should the South not have its own Rodney Bay? Its own port? Its own bustling town? An airport we can all be proud of?’ Chastanet asked.
He observed that if the late former Prime Minister of S Lucia, Sir John Compton had listened to his detractors, St Lucia would have no Pigeon Island Causeway, no Roseau dam, no Millennium Highway, no Rodney Bay marina and many other projects.
‘Naysayers are so called because they never believe and consequently they never achieve. But as I have often stated, change does not usually come easily or without resistance. Left to the opposition, we would still be a colony. Imagine they even opposed Independence, Our Independence!’ Chastanet remarked.
‘As your Prime Minister, I am prepared to lead in making the necessary changes for the benefit of all St Lucians, where ever they may roam,’ he said.
The country is observing its 39th independence anniversary with a slew of activities islandwide, the highlight of which was a military parade held at the Vigie Playing field less than a mile from the city center.
Other activities include a food fair at the same venue, sporting competitions including a around the island motor bike extravaganza featuring bikers from St Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada, cultural performances, concerts and competitions in education among schools.