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By Unity Labour Party

The issue

In the 2020 Election Manifesto of the Unity Labour Party (ULP), a Summary List of 32 large strategic initiatives to be addressed in 2020-2025 was put before the people for their approval.  This List was advanced within the overall comprehensive developmental narrative of the ULP government, its policy, matrices, and its detailed programmatic platform. This List was put forward for the November 2020 general elections in which the ULP, remarkably, increased its majority of parliamentary seats in its 5th consecutive term. The volcanic eruptions of 2021 and the increasing turmoil in the global political economy have necessitated the further elaboration of other large strategic initiatives, and a refinement or recalibration of the 32 items on the Manifesto List of 2020.

As always, the ULP government is pursuing diligently its Manifesto commitments to the people. The dishonest propaganda to the contrary of the opposition NDP and its fellow-travellers finds no fertile ground in the face of the hard facts of the ULP’s implementation record.

Below is a summation of the List and the work being done, thus far on each item on the first 16 items on the List.

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  1. Maintaining macro-economic fundamentals

These fundamentals are: Monetary financial and banking stability; fiscal consolidation; low inflation; optimal economic growth; equity and economic inclusiveness; job creation; regional integration; fair trade globally; investment-friendly environment; ease of doing business.

Every item here has been maintained and advanced except low inflation, which was temporarily undermined by imported inflation amidst supply-chain issues arising from the vagaries of monopoly capitalism globally and the Ukraine war.  There was an inflationary spike beyond our control.  However, the good news is that inflation has become moderate-to-low again over the last six months.

  • Ensuring full recovery from COVID-19

This has been achieved in each element of the COVID-19 challenge: Health, the Economy, the Social, and Security.  The details are well known.

  • Making AIA work

This is happening marvelously: Increased flights; increased passenger-flow; more hotel rooms; more business overall; and stronger performance of AIA.

4&5.  Adding 1200 quality rooms and local investment in hotels, too

This is being achieved over the 2020-2025 period: Sandals (301 – two-bedroom facilities), Holiday Inn (92 rooms) are the big ones shortly to be opened.  Soho House in Canouan opened for business.  Myah Suites is opened already.  Expansion has taken place, and is taking place, at several hotels including well-known locally-owned ones such as Beachcombers and Alexandrina’s. Numerous locally-owned guest houses and apartments have opened, and are being built.  Numerous Airbnb facilities are in operation. Black Sands Resorts at Peter’s Hope and Royal Mill at Ratho Mill are still under construction.  Marriott Resort is expected to start this year and to be completed in late 2026 or early 2027.  Other new hotels, and expansions, are in the offing.  We are well on track.

6. Petit Mustique development

The government is working with the regional investor who purchased Petit Mustique from its private-sector owner (foreigner), in respect of this island’s development.  Preparatory discussions are in progress.

7. Construction of modern cargo port

This $650 million project is being built.  Everyone can see it.  It is slated to be opened by June 2025.

8. Constructing the acute referral hospital

This 132-bed hospital at Arnos Vale is due to start construction by June or thereabouts this year.  The preliminaries are being finalised.  All the financing is in place.

9. Building out the modern city at Arnos Vale

The anchor project is the Acute Referral Hospital. All the preparatory elements for the modern city are being actively put in place.  The rehabilitated Sporting Complex is part of this overall visionary project.

10. Elaborating plans for tunnel under Cane Garden Point

This very ambitious project is in early exploratory and planning stages.  We are elaborating the plans for future implementation.

11. Making preparations to relocate Pole Yard residents

The plans to do so are in train.  We are actively identifying suitable alternative lands.

12. Continuing to pursue renewable energy

This is being done actively with solar.  We are still pursuing geothermal energy with other stakeholders with an alternative kind of technology.

13. Construction of modern parliament and modern court complex

The design is currently being done for the Modern Parliament; the consultations on the design for the Court Complex are being carried out.  These buildings are to be constructed at Richmond Hill.  The $15 million building to house the Parliament temporarily has been built, and the Parliament is meeting there in Calliaqua.

The former BOSVG building at Bedford Street has been purchased and is being converted into High Court facilities temporarily as a replacement for the existing Court House Building.  When the repurposing of the building is completed, the existing High Court Building will be fully rehabilitated.

The funds are available through soft-loans from a bank in Taiwan.

This project is ongoing.

14.  Making Ottley Hall project work

The Ottley Hall project is at work.  However, the government is engaging possible private sector investors to develop further the project for their optimal commercial use as a marina/shipyard.

It is the ULP government which secured over $160 million in debt relief in 2007 to save the project.

15. Constructing in partnership with private sectors apartment buildings and lands at Pembroke

The search for private sector partners is ongoing.

16. Building out of quarry in North Leeward

This build out is ongoing with the private sector — a company from St. Lucia.

Summation

The ULP government continues to address with urgency all its Manifesto commitments.  Part II of this article will provide information on items 17 to 32 on the list mentioned above.

The opinions presented in this content belong to the author and may not necessarily reflect the perspectives or editorial stance of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].