The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not represent the opinions or editorial position of I-Witness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to news.iwitness@gmail.com

Canada is one of the most wonderful countries in this world. A country with good honest citizens; a generous country that has welcomed millions of immigrants over the years. Included in those numbers are many Vincentians, many of whom became honest and decent citizens, joining in the wealth of Canada, making a great contribution to the success of the country.

Canada is the world’s second largest country by total area, and its common border with the United States is the world’s longest land border shared by the same two countries.

Canada is a developed country, with the ninth highest per capita income globally, and the 11th highest Human Development Index ranking. It ranks among the highest in international measurements of education, government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, and economic freedom.

In the past Canada has made great financial and physical help to many Caribbean countries. They are a country that has immense wealth in natural resources including newly found oil, oil shale and gas fields.

Isn’t it a great thing to have rich and influential friends, who have helped in the past and who could possibly help now and in the future? Canada is just that, a rich and influential friend who has helped in the past and who would be able help now and in the future.

Canada is a friend who has been used and abused by SVG in the most disgraceful way, issuing passports to criminals and undesirables in changed names, with no provision for the old names. Allowing some of our scum to creep into Canada and spoil everything for all the other decent folk. Causing embarrassment to Canadian Vincentians; causing hardship to hundreds of Vincentians.

Lots of embarrassment for Canadian Vincentians when a Vincentian Canadian human rights lawyer claimed that, whilst visiting the prime minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines in Kingstown, she was sexually assaulted by him, and laid a charge against him. The charge was dismissed by the Director of Public Prosecutions. The man Gonsalves has up to five known complaints against him, one of which was a charge of rape by a lady police officer. Gonsalves has never been before a court to be found guilty, not guilty or no case to answer.

This matter was reported on TV, radio, internet and the printed press, locally, regionally, and worldwide.

What the Vincentian people, the region and the world have noticed is that Gonsalves has never been to Canada since. Prior to this Gonsalves was never a stranger to Canada, but since never again, it’s been years since he went. He has had dozens of invitations, all refused. Is he frightened to go? Why would he be frightened to go? What we all know is that this matter is a continuing embarrassment to Vincentians in SVG, Canada, and most everywhere else. Vincentians are asked questions everywhere about Gonsalves, some Vincentians say they have stopped telling people that they come from Saint Vincent. How dreadful you may think, and you’re probably right, it is a dreadful situation.

The Canadians stopped Vincentians’ open right of free entry into Canada; Vincentians now require a visa to enter the country. I do not know if the Gonsalves matter had anything to do with that situation. But certainly the dodgy passports did.

It will come hard on many Vincentian women, because Canada had become a haven for our abused women. Rape and violence against women in SVG is out of control, they used to run to Canada and ask the government there for protection. Gonsalves told the Canadian government that the women seeking asylum were laying false claims and were really going to Canada for financial reasons.

Just something to add, a Canadian Vincentian was issued a SVG diplomatic passport in 2001 after Gonsalves came to power. The man was a man called Morgan; he never worked for SVG government, nor was he a diplomat. In 2004 this man was caught at a London airport carrying a kilo of cocaine, whilst travelling on the very same diplomatic passport.

This matter was reported on TV, radio, internet and the printed press, locally, regionally, and worldwide.

Now, what I fail to understand, we have a great friendship with Canada, a wealthy country, yet Gonsalves decides to adopt Iran, Venezuela, Cuba and a host of dubious want to be dictators in an association called ALBA, which he joined us to without reference to the people. He rejected and perhaps forfeited our ability in getting closer to decent democratic countries such as Britain, Canada and a number of others. My belief is that because of his indoctrinated left wing beliefs, he chose to turn left instead of right when choosing his friends.

What we do know is that Canada will be our friend again, at some time in the future a new leader will go to Canada and simply say that we the Vincentian people are sorry about what has happened in the past, please forgive us.

We love you, Canada.

Peter Binose
Self-appointed keeper of the whistle

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to news.iwitness@gmail.com.