The ULP’s candidate for Central Leeward, Sir Louis Straker — “The Terminator”. (IWN photo)

Louis Straker — who has been dubbed “The Terminator” after he came out of retirement to be the Unity Labour Party’s candidate in Central Leeward in the upcoming general elections — on Sunday, asked Vincentians to return the ULP to office, saying the party’s “mission is not accomplished”.

The ULP will seek an historic fourth consecutive term for a Labour government in elections later this year, ahead of the March 2016 constitutional deadline.

“If it was not for the coming together of this mighty party, there would have been no Rabacca Bridge, no international airport, there would have been no help for the senior citizens and poor people would have probably been getting 60 or 70 dollars a month,” Straker said at a rally in Layou to mark 21 years since the formation of the ULP.

“Thank God for the Unity Labour Party,” he said of the party, which resulted from the merging of the Movement for National Unity and the St. Vincent Labour Party.

“And our mission is not accomplished. We have a greater work to do and we want you to stand by us,” said Straker, who was MP for Central Leeward from 1998 to 2010.

“The people of Central Leeward, we want you make sure that you give firm support to the Unity Labour Party. Don’t be fooled by NDP,” he told party supporters bussed in from across the country.

Straker replaces MP for Central Leeward, Maxwell Charles, as the ULP’s candidate in the district.

Charles was elected for the first time in 2010, but the party has called Straker out of retirement to replace him in response to what Straker himself has said was poor representation by Charles and what political observers have described as a formidable challenge by political newcomer, Ben Exeter, of the main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP).

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“Here in Central Leeward, we have accomplished a lot,” Straker said, adding that he would have liked if he had the time to answer certain charges made on the NDP platform.

A section of the crowd at the ULP's rally in Layou on Sunday. (IWN photo)
A section of the crowd at the ULP’s rally in Layou on Sunday. (IWN photo)

The former deputy prime minister said the ULP has done a lot for Central Leeward and mentioned the Layou Waterfront, which was constructed to counter the rising sea in the town, and the playing field, which, he said, was sloping and uneven when the ULP came to office in 2001.

“Comrades, we have great plans for the future,” Straker said, adding that jobs in Central Leeward are of utmost importance to him.

“I know a lot of people, young people, are looking for jobs. And I want to give you a measure of hope, because we have 500 acres at Mt Wynne Peter’s Hope, and we are working hard in order to get a credible investor to invest and build a resort even larger than Buccament Bay so that people here can get employment.”

Exeter has promised 30 IT jobs in Central Leeward within its first year in office, while the NDP has promised 500 jobs in the sector, also within the first year.

“I am looking for almost 1,000 jobs in Central Leeward here,” he said, adding that with the resort in Mt. Wynne-Peter’s Hope, there will be a need for chefs, banquet chefs, wine stewards, food and beverage managers, bartenders, supervisory bartenders, executive housekeepers, regular housekeepers, hostesses, maids, purchasing agents, activities manager, reservation clerks, attraction guides, amusement park supervisors, green keepers, landscapers, health aid workers, caddy boys, scuba divers, golf coaches, electrical workers, air condition men, refrigeration repair men, concession attendants, bath house attendants, beach boy, laundry workers, musicians, drivers, farmers, fishermen.

“We are going to have over 1,000 jobs at that resort at Mt Wynne-Peter’s Hope,” he said.

Straker said that the ULP administration wants to build a modern black fish (pilot whale) shed in Bottle and Glass, Barrouallie.

“You may not know, but the outside world frowns on what obtains there now. You can’t hang black fish on a pole with flies going on and off. That is not sanitary enough for the outside world, and we want to build a modern black fish shed that we can light coming through the roof so we can dry the blackfish.”

Residents of Layou are entitled to a pedestrian Bailey bridge across the river near the supermarket so that persons going to the supermarket or the bakery do not have to skip river stones to get there or take the long route near the school when the river is flowing heavily, Straker said.

“And I ask the Prime Minister, I ask Julian (Sen. Julian Francis), give me my pedestrian bridge across the river there.”

A “major health facility”, in the form of a polyclinic, will be opened in Buccament in the next year.

“When you go over there and you see the polyclinic that a little place like Buccament is getting, I think that is a hospital, so when pain strikes you and you are in labour, you don’t have to drive all the way to Kingstown.

“A doctor will be there to give you your delivery, people will be employed, and Buccament, that was once famous only for tri-tri and plum and tamarind, is now famous for a major health facility, famous for the resort they have at Buccament, famous for Buccament Bay Secondary School, famous for a golden age centre, so it is a major village with worldwide reputation, thanks to the ULP,” Straker said.

A section of the crowd at the ULP's rally in Layou on Sunday. (IWN photo)
A section of the crowd at the ULP’s rally in Layou on Sunday. (IWN photo)

Straker said that a foreign government has promised him 10 brand new computers for the Straker Resource Centre in Layou by the end of this year. He said he does not want more than 10 because he wants to keep the classes small.

He said the ULP has given out more than 4,000 lot of lands at 10 and 50 cents per lot to citizens, including 200 at Glebe Hill and 162 at Keartons and Wallilabou.

“But we have some other areas where we will have to give out lands,” he said, adding that more lands will be distributed in the constituency in the coming months.

Straker said that for the years that the NDP was in power, they did not even build a bus shed in Layou.

He said the first bus shed in the town was constructed when he was MP and that he is hoping that a further two can be constructed by the end of the year or early next year.

“Comrades, we have a lot to do together. You can’t afford to take a man like Ben Exeter and put him in office. The man who has said he left here at 9 years of age, and when he came back after 40 years he has seen no improvement in Layou or in Central Leeward.”
Straker sad that his grandparents worked on the Ruthland Vale Estate “and their sweat has fertilised, nourished this soil…

“And here I am, the son of estate workers offering myself once again to sit where the owner of the whole estate sat… I am offering myself to you here as your candidate for Central Leeward.”

He told party supporters that Exeter did not consider the people of Central Leeward or helping his relatives during his 40 years in Canada and stayed at Cobblestone Inn when he came home on vacation.

“All of a sudden, he loves Layou and wants to represent Layou.

“… Comrades, if he can’t see improvements in Central Leeward, then he is blind. And he has been bad talking this constituency, saying all he sees are prostitutes and homosexuals.

“And I said I have been living here, I came back here and I would love to know where these prostitutes – not that I want them for myself – but I don’t know of any prostitution ring…”

Straker said that while Exeter has said he has a plan to bottle and sell water from Layou, the people have already said they don’t support that idea.

The returning politician also described, as a “lie”, a promise he said Exeter made about bringing jobs that pay US$35 an hour.

“Foolishness. Don’t make him come here and fool you with such nonsense.”

Straker was confident that he can keep Central Leeward in the ULP column.

“I am happy and I feel confident and I feel confident that whenever it is that the prime minister announces the election, we are going to bring home the seat with the biggest margin than we have ever brought Central Leeward home.

“And we are going to bring home more seats than we have ever brought in. Stay with us. Let’s journey together, let’s hold hand in hand…” Straker said.

7 replies on “ULP’s ‘Terminator’ says ‘mission not accomplished’ ”

  1. So why only now is he talking about bringing jobs to Layou and Central Leeward? What happen for the past 14 years. He didn’t give an reason why he wanted to steal the Bigut water and the same lands he talked about is still unoccupied – why?

    He has lied so many times about Mt Wynne and has no document to prove any deal was made.
    Canadians just took back their country and so should Vincentians. The SVG election should be to do the same thing. Take back the country from Ralph and his criminal friends. Spread the word.

  2. So the government did what it was elected to do. OK, some of what it was elected to do. Come on Straker, tell the truth about the things it was not elected to do – bankrupt the country; borrow without a plan to repay; increase in rapes that go unsolved and in some cases not even investigated; unexplained demise of those who oppose/disagree; to name a few. So vote them out and let us see if we can salvage SVG before we are taken down the path of no return.

  3. Your party have over 14 years to accomplish their mission and to this day those missions have not been completed? Then that’s complete failure! You should at this time be identifying new initiatives. What are those mission Straker, to further victimize and divide the country? Because right now the entire country is so divided. The only government achievements you can highlight in over 14 years are those of bridges, an airport which is yet to finish in over 10 years and way over budget, and raising the poor relief amount? You got to be kidding me! And that poor relief program that you are championing is a slap in the faces of Vincentians. Vincentians used to be so independent, only a very few depended on the government’s monthly handout. Most of us could afford it ourselves. Now you are trying to put more people in the poor relief program to make them more dependent on the government than finding ways to make us independent and self reliance.
    Then you talking about a resort at Mt. Wynn Peter’s Hope. How much employment is the resort at Buccament is currently recreating for the people of Central Leeward? You really believe that creating another resort will create a lot of employment to the area? How is that possible when the government seems not to have a proper plan in place for tourism? Look at the state of the roads, the state of Kingstown, Little Tokyo. Do you really think that tourists would be willing to spend their hard earn money to come a place in the current dilapidated condition this country is in? And don’t even get me started on the health sector, which is so important to encourage tourists to come.
    The people of Central Leeward have been doing their black fish for donkey years. You were their representative, how come you never saw it fit to build them a black fish shed until now? You mean to tell me that your party has been in power of over 14 years, you have been the people’s representative and now, election time, you see it fitting to promise them a black fish shed? I like the way you put it, “…when pain hit you when you are in LABOUR…” because that’s what ULP seems to be offering to the people of this country, Labour Pain!

  4. The ULP have had 14 very long years to finish their mission. But their mission can never be finished because the ULP and Gonsalves in particular have an ever moving finish line.

    Gonsalves is creating a family dynasty to try and hand the reigns of control to his son Camillo that is why the line keeps moving and will continue moving for years. Gonsalves will keep trying to get re-elected until he succeeds to be in the position to launch Camillo as our new prime minister.

    Only with Camillo as prime minister will Ralph feel safe from any possible future legal proceedings against him.

    It was good of him to mention the Layou waterfront because that was not paid for by the ULP government. It was part of a World Bank and EU scheme funded by them which included a river defense using thousands of gabion rock baskets for Buccament river. It was their failure to install the bank and channeling of the Buccament river that directly contributed to the death and destruction at Christmas 2013. The ULP had been warned about the consequences in published reports of not fixing the river but failed to take action despite an annual warning every year for ten years.

    So if Straker wants to claim the good parts they must also put their hands up to the bad parts, their failures that possibly killed folk.

  5. Sad to say, many ULP supporters actually believe these empty promises. No wonder strong labour man Sir Lambert Eustace who also served as Governor General was fond of referring to the Vincentian masses as the Vincentian asses.

    These ULP scamps can’t even keep their lies on the same page. Staker said at this meeting that:

    ” … we have 500 acres at Mt Wynne/Peter’s Hope, and we are working hard in order to get a credible investor to invest and build a resort even larger than Buccament Bay so that people here can get employment.”

    Remember that a few months ago, the Prime Minister said an agreement had been signed with group of Canadian investors to build the same resort at the same place at Mt. Wynne/Peter’s Hope.

    Both of these worthless parties are lying like hell to get our votes.

  6. The people have short memories and should remember this man attempted to sell the local water to a firm from California and was going to pipe it to Camden Park for bottling without any agreement with the people. The jobs would not have benefitted local people, their water and no job offers. Such a scheme would have also damaged farming further down river.

    It was the people who stopped it, but they must not forget the out of placeness of this man who’s forbearer kept slaves.

    Nanny Straker was a Vincentian black woman who kept slaves in St Vincent. According to public records dated July 1809, Nanny Straker gave a female slave and her child to Polly Melville; Polly was Nanny Straker’s daughter. This was a gift of personal property ‘one female slave and her child’.

    Feoffment [grant of ownership] of two slaves: Nanny Straker, a free coloured woman of Saint Vincent, has enfeoffed [has given] to her daughter Polly Melville a female slave and her daughter.
    Ref: Public Records SVG, Record # f. 288 Entered 22 July 1809

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