Advertisement 87
Advertisement 211
Central Kingstown MP, St. Clair Leacock, left, and S. Windward MP, Frederick "Gustaus" Stephenson.
Central Kingstown MP, St. Clair Leacock, left, and S. Windward MP, Frederick “Gustaus” Stephenson.
Advertisement 219

Opposition MP St. Clair Leacock has urged South Windward electors to part ways with their MP,  Frederick “Gustaus” Stephenson and vote for the opposition New Democratic Party’s Andrew John. 

Leacock told the NDP’s village meeting in Diamond that Stephenson, who is the minister of the Public Service, failed to stand up for public servants who lost their jobs under the COVID-19 vaccine mandate in 2021.

“He is the Minister of the Public Service, he is responsible for the livelihood, the well-being, the future, the ability to eat, sleep, drink and feed the majority of employees in this country and he sat and allowed his prime minister to fire the public servants of this country,” Leacock said. 

“And he didn’t lift a damn stroke,” the opposition lawmaker further said. 

“You thought that was bad enough, he sat there idly by and even when the courts said they are wrong, he couldn’t open he mouth — he left it in he mooma — to put them back to work.

Advertisement 21

“You will sit in Diamond and in Calliaqua, and in Choppins and in Stubbs and allow a man who take bread out of the mouth over the mouth of your mother, your father, your brother, your sister, your aunt, your uncle, your nenen, your tennen, and put him back into office?”

Leacock said South Windward would be “wicked” to vote for Stephenson again, adding that there is “a hell of a lot of things that separate us and the New Democratic Party from the other guys.”

The meeting was jointly hosted by John and Laverne Gibson-Velox, the NDP’s candidate for East St. Goerge, where Minister of Finance Camillo Gonsalves is expected to seek a third consecutive five-year term in office.

Leacock further said that the NDP and the ULP are distinguished by his party’s support for a constituency development fund.

“We in this New Democratic Party said that … as of a right, … every Member of Parliament, every representative, must have a certain amount of money to develop his or her constituency.

“And you know those two braying guys couldn’t believe in that? They sit down and let Ralph say no. 

“But every budget Ralph aside a money for he Ralph Evrad Gonaalves to spend and the rest of them must sit down with a dose of dumb. You will allow that to happen?”

He said the NDP accepted former North Leeward MP, Roland “Patel” Matthews’ proposal that the government pay all students’ high school exit exams fees.

“… they could not support that. You will vote for people like that?” Leacock said. 

“Every single month, you struggle to pay your light bill. And if you pay the light this month, you pay water the next month, and the rent the other month because you can’t pay all ah dem the same month. You will vote for a government like that?

He said the cost of electricity to consumers is not falling although the government says there are more businesses operating in the country.

E. St. George, S. Windward have ‘have a serious responsibility on your hand’

Laverne Velox Andrew John
NDP East St. George and South Windward candidates, Laverne Gibson-Velox, right, and Andrew John at the party’s village meeting in Diamond on June 8, 2024.

“… you in these constituencies have a serious responsibility on your hand,” Leacock said, adding that by the time the next general election are called, the prime minister will have been in office for 25 years. 

“And in the most heartless of requests, he says that ain’t enough, give my son the next 25. That’s why he wants Camillo here,” Leaock said.

“You will do that yourself? What will you tell your grandchildren and great-grandchildren? Where were you when you gave 50 years of governance to one family and made them a royal family in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.  Never happen!” Leacock said.

Leacock said John has been “in the valleys” and on “the mountaintop” with the people of South Windward.

“He has worked with you when you only had candle and he work with you when you had light. He worked with you when the road was dirt and he work with you when it was pitch,” Leacock said and supported students’ education.

“He burned the night oil. You see him and what you see is what you get, a decent son of the soil… Simple and humble. 

“But he’s a thinking man. He’s a creative man. And may I say he’s a damn bright man. Andrew John will make the difference in your life. You need them and you need him now,” Leacock said of the retired educator. 

He said that Gibson-Velox would not want him to say that she was a high jumper.

“Laverne leads from in front,” Leaock said and shared a story from Christmas Floods in 2013, when his business provided service for the commercial bank for which Gibson-Velox was manager.

“Before I reach [South] River Road, she had on water boats, three raincoats, two big hats and I think that I was the major,” Leaock said, referring to his military rank.

“She said, ‘Why are you late? Why you just coming here?’ And she had three brooms in she hand. But, seriously, she knows and understands how you change a country.”

Leacock said the NDP has a five-priority plan for governance.

“They put it in their way and in their language. But it is a simple thing. If you have 100,000 people in the country, everybody needs a slice of the cake. And for everybody to get a slice of the cake, every household must have somebody working. So we have to create more jobs, more jobs and more jobs. 

“How do you get more jobs and more jobs and more jobs? You have to get a bigger cake, if it was a 12-inch it must go to 14 to 16 to 18 so that more and more could get more and more and more,” Leacock said.