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Senator Julian Francis.
Senator Julian Francis.
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Senator Julian Francis.
Senator Julian Francis.

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, May 29, IWN — Government senator, Julian Francis, on Monday attempted to debunk in Parliament “this myth” that he told legislators on May 25, 2006 that the international airport at Argyle would be built debt-free.

Francis said that a recording the Opposition submitted to House Speaker, Hendrick Alexander, last year in an effort to confirm that he had in fact made the statement, was edited.

He said an edited version of his statement was also posted on the social networking website, Facebook.

“My statement in full was not played and the Honourable Member of Central Kingstown brought what was played on Facebook to the Honourable Speaker of this House as evidence of what I had said,” Francis told Parliament.

“It was clipped, it was edited, it was cut short conveniently to hear me say the airport without debt,” he said.

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Francis read from the Hansard what he actually said to Parliament:

“’So, the Prime Minister presented on August 8 last year his plan to build an international airport. Including is in this plan — that he went as far as saying and giving a commitment that at the end of construction of that international airport, we would not have a debt: because we have very large land resources that over the years have not been developed.’”

He commented:

“That last sentence was clipped out totally out of the recording and broadcast all over the world. That is not the end of it, because I went on to explain what I was saying about vast land resources,” he further said.

Francis also read from the Hansard his statement that lands in Bequia were identified for sale to compensate property owners at Argyle.

He quoted the Hansard as saying he had said the lands at E.T. Joshua Airport have a resale value of a quarter million dollars.

“That is a misprint by the Parliament, because I think I said a quarter billion. But they might have heard million. You always have these errors in the minutes sometimes.”

He said he told Parliament in 2006 that the E.T. Joshua Airport site is a crown jewel and businessmen will lap up the land at pre-sale once the international airport is at a certain stage.

“All that I said, Mr. Speaker. They clip it at the debt and sent to you, Mr. Speaker, … an edited version of my presentation and it continues this myth that that is what I said period,” Francis further said.

He also told Parliament that the lands at Arnos Vale could sell for $432,115,000.

“That is what we have sitting down at Arnos Vale. That is the point I was making in this House. Regardless of the interim borrowing, regardless of what we do now — and I hear the lamentation about taxpayers every time we borrow a loan, taxpayers have to pay for it. Mr. Speaker, we are using the assets of the taxpayers to help us build the international airport.

“So let me put an end to this myth from the opposition,” Francis said, adding that the public knows what he said.

The airport is now estimated to cost EC$652 million.

“We do not yet owe 432 million dollars at the airport in loan,” he said, adding that the state lands for sale will fetch far more than that.

“But what is burning them is that Dr. The Hon. Ralph Gonsalves, prime minister of this country, came up with a plan like this, unprecedented in any part of the world. You know what is burning them? That it is working,” Francis said.

“Mr. Speaker, I trust that today, this presentation has put an end to this myth and I challenge the opposition, I challenge them, repeat me word for word. Put it on Facebook what I am saying here today. Don’t just stop at debt. Go right on to the value of Arnos Vale 62 acres,” he further said.

6 replies on “Francis counters debt free airport ‘myth’”

  1. This is just one of the reasons, why they are being sued and has been taken to court so often! lies and dishonesty will always, always, come back and bite them in the butt! God nah wear pajamas! lies and deceit? Ha!

  2. The NDP like to make their FANATICAL SUPPORTERS LOOK like IMBECILES, because all they do is REPEAT their LIES and DECEIT repeatedly as if they are TRUTHS. Then come to FIND OUT it is just another EPISODE of the NDP DECEIVING the PUBLIC, especially their SUPPORTERS, by taking parts of a statement and PIECE them together to make it look as thought it was UNINTERRUPTED.

    It was a SIMILAR PRACTICE by VYNETTE FREDERICK, which has LANDED HER, currently, in the TROUBLE with the LAW COURTS.


    I will CONTINUE to say that Eustace and the NDP are not FIT to MANAGE a MAUBY SHOP much less GOVERN a COUNTRY in these hard economic times or anytime as a matter of fact.

  3. patrickferrari says:

    “We do not yet owe 432 million dollars at the airport in loan,” is a bit of a departure in numbers. Isn’t it Ju? And it is not a loan because “the lands at Arnos Vale could sell for $432,115,000.” When? I think Ju might be counting his chickens before the hatch. And he was a banker? Little wonder why … Does he know the definition of “loan?”

    They go manage to sell $432 million in lands at Arnos Vale before the Second Coming? Because he said Ralph said, “at the end of construction of that international airport, we would not have a debt.’” You hear? “At the end of construction,” not after me and you done dead and burry.

    Ju, was better to let the “myth” run, lad.

  4. VINCYPOWA, I believe you use the word Muslim instead of muslin purposely, because I have corrected you three times previously about the wrong use of these words. I know that you are intelligent enough to understand that every time you do that, you are insulting Muslims. The consequences of such can bring severe penalties for you.

    Muslin is most typically an unbleached or white cloth, produced from carded cotton yarn.

    Used for culinary purposes in cooking, typically for keeping the solids separate from the extracted fluids and concentrated juices, allowing the extract to flow out while keeping the solids in place, enclosed in the muslin wrap or pocket.

    Also used to wrap basins during steaming and boiling foods, such as suet savoury meat like puddings, keeping them separate from the water cooking medium.

    A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the Qur’an—which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad—and, with lesser authority than the Qur’an, the teachings and practices of Muhammad as recorded in traditional accounts, called hadith. “Muslim” is an Arabic word meaning “one who submits to God”.

    I am travelling at the moment in a south American ALBA country, collecting some interesting information which I will write about. When I return in ten days time I will check out the recordings for the 25th of May 2006, and also my notes and my copies of Hansard for that date. I was there and believe I remember what he said. Just to be sure that my memory is correct, I will check and let you all know exactly what was said.

    VINCYSTINKERPOO, why do you need to launch into all the nasty rhetoric which has nothing whatsoever to do with the article. Crap that in your tiny mind you launch into in an attempt to damage decent people, people who are many times you superior and many time your intelligence, why?

  5. These are the kinds of things that happen when a country is run by a lawyer. Looking for loopholes is the way that this government works. Everyone heard Francis say that the Airport would not be a debt to SVG live on radio, what is he talking about?

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