Opposition candidate for South Central Windward in the next general elections, Israel Bruce, on Sunday, attempted to present the current area representative, Saboto Caesar as having failed to advance the interest of constituents.
Speaking on Sunday in Greiggs at a rally to a mark the 40th convention of the main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP), Bruce, who, like Caesar, is a lawyer, made “a resolute commitment” to constituents.
“Commitment number 1 is to work with Dr. Friday and the rest of the team to provide quality jobs for the people of this constituency,” he said, referring to Opposition Leader and NDP president, Godwin Friday.
“Commitment number 2 is to work with Dr. Friday and our team to ensure that we provide quality jobs for the people of this constituency.
“And commitment number 3 is to work with Dr. Friday and the rest of this team to provide quality jobs for the people of South Central Windward,” Bruce said.
“You know why I made it commitment 1, 2, and 3? I know that the people of this constituency are a proud people. I know that the people of this constituency are a hardworking people,” he told the gathering of party supporters from across the country.
The aspiring politician said that he recently had a young man sign down and “fish” in a pothole in Pepper Village.
A photo of this was posted to Facebook and the government responded and fixed the road.
“So every time I say jump, my boy asks, ‘How high?’” Bruce said, referring to Caesar.
He said there were videos on Facebook with young people asking how they can trust him (Bruce).
“Mr friend, if you approach me and you say to me, ‘Israel, I need X to do something’ and I can’t help you, I look you squarely in the face and say, ‘Well, Gaybie, I can’t help you with that right now. Check me in about a month’s time and if I can help you, I will help you. But I’m not promising you.’
He said that someone made a promise to a young man from Greiggs and the young man, standing on one side of Halifax Street, Kingstown, saw and telephoned the promise-maker.
The promise-maker told the young man, “My friend, sorry, I had to run off to Barbados.”
“And the man watching him right there in Kingstown. I never knew that Kingstown was part of Barbados,” Bruce said, adding, “Fellows not serious about representing the people.”
Bruce portrayed himself as already representing the interest of constituents even before facing an election.
He said that he was confirmed in October 2016 as a candidate for the NDP, and that he, sometime thereafter, wrote the state-owned power company, VINLEC, a letter that he copied it to “Lieboto”.
Bruce said that he asked VINLEC to install some streetlights in Mt Grennan because young ladies were “living perilously” and one of them had almost gotten raped.
“One year later, there was no response so I sent that letter a second time, the only addendum was to remind them that I wrote to them a year ago.
“And, alas, it was published in The News newspaper. And the minute it flashed in the newspaper [on] Friday, by Tuesday, the lights were installed in Mt Grennan.
“That is what I do when I am out of office. When you elect me, South Central, into office, great things will happen for this constituency,” Bruce said.
He further told the rally that he had included the Roseau Mountain Road in a video he produced highlighting the poor state of roads in the district.
He said that the Roseau Mountain Road had been graded during the time of Allan Cruickshank as representative of the district under the NDP administration — which was voted out of office in March 2001.
“Years go, years come; Walters come, Walters go … They went and they fixed the road as per my request. But hear what, tomorrow, God spare life, they going to open the road…”
Bruce said that Caesar has let down farmers of the constituency – an agricultural district.
“They have bad roads, they have no markets, and if you ask Golda, if you ask Bally, if you ask Nikiesha, all of them are helping the farmers to find market in Trinidad. But whilst they are working to help the farmers, they catching hell because that lazy fella can’t find it important to work on the behalf of farmers of this constituency or this country.”
He spoke of the NDP’s land reform programme in the district, saying, “So this New Democratic Party has led the way in creating a land-owning democracy and to improve the economic lifeline of the people of this constituency.
“I will take a followership in that regard and I will do all that I can, all in my powers, working in Kingstown, and I tell you, I do not intend to go to Kingstown and become lazy. I ain’t lazy now, I ain’t go lazy then. So ah tell, Dr. Friday, ah tell Major Leacock, ah tell Mr. Eustace, ah tell Patel Matthews when I come to Kingstown, I come dey for serious business for my people.
“So I and I, Rastafari, I am I, Selassie I, not playing any second fiddle role. No, star. I fighting a big war for I and I people. When the I and I go down on the I and I iron horse, I mean business.
“Mr Friend, my Rasta brothers, don’t be hoodwinked,” said Bruce, who restated his position that possession of up to 20 grammes of marijuana for recreational or religious use should be made legal.