Member of Parliament for North Leeward, Roland “Patel” Matthews says that constituents have to be wise to attempts to “hoodwink” them as the general election approaches.
He said at a recent village meeting in the district that constituents should understand that the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) is the only party that has the constituency at heart.
“The New Democratic Party will make this constituency better and I promise tonight as I stand before you as your elected Member of Parliament, things will get better,” he said.
Speaking at a village meeting in Sharpes, Chateaubelair on Monday, Matthews said that his contender, Carlos James of the ruling Unity Labour Party (ULP), said that the government spent in the last five years more in North Leeward that it had done in the preceding decade.
“Now, that speaks for itself. Because they know that they want to bribe us, they want to hoodwink us this election, so when you look around, money start to spend everywhere,” he said.
Matthew said that while James had promised specific projects in several North Leeward communities, no provision had been made for them in the Estimates.
Matthews said that he is going “bigger and better” than a promise of a footpath here and there.
“I want to ensure that when projects come to North Leeward it is for sustainable employment… I don’t mean employment for three months or three weeks. I want that when we do something for North Leeward our young people can go to work five days a week, and if they work the weekend, seven days a week.”
Matthews proposed a cruise ship berth in the Chateaubelair-Fitz Hughes area to make lives better for the people of the area.
He said North Leeward is the most beautiful constituency on St. Vincent Island.
“And as a result, whenever the tourist boats come here, all of them come to North Leeward. Some come by bus and they go back by boat and those who come by the boat, go back by the bus. So, rather than the bus bring them down, let them experience North Leeward first hand.
“Let them go by cable cars to La Soufriere, let them go by cable cars to the Dark View falls. Let them go over to Owia Salt Pond swing back and enjoy the nice springs in Trinity Falls.
“And if we have a package like that, tell me which Caribbean island can better St. Vincent,” Matthews said.
He said there is a spring in Richmond where a bottling plant can be sent up to create employment.
“And when you vote Patel Matthews and the New Democratic Party, we will do that. So when we have our young men working 24 hours shifts on a three-shift system, producing bottles and them young ladies in their high heels working in the office…
“We can do better right here in North Leeward and with Patel Matthews and the New Democratic Patty, we will do better,” Matthews said.
Matthews said that when he got into politics in 2001, it was not because of personal gain but because he wanted to see “a better North Leeward for all the North Leeward people”.
He said that if he was still in teaching he could have been a principal in Troumaca and Petit Bordel because he went to university longer than any of the principals there.
Matthews said he was at university when he was asked to contest the 2001 elections.
“… I said if the people need my service, here I am,” he said.
“I don’t come to you because somebody say they want to get rid of Jerrol Thompson. I didn’t come to you because I believe that I want to push up myself in politics. I come to you because I believe I am living in North Leeward, I understand Leeward people and I could do a better job than anyone who is vying for this [job] right now…” Matthews said.