Ladies and gentlemen, this evening I wish to address you on national matters that have been occupying the undue yet understandable attention of our nation. This is occurring at a time when we should be focusing all our energies on the development tasks at hand. During the past few months our party and government have been experiencing some internal challenges relating to the issues of trust, respect and adherence to our core values.
Given the turn of events over the past few days, some of you may be wondering about the sustainability of your government after the resignation of MP Peter David as a minister and the associated action by the opposition to pursue a motion of no confidence in Parliament.
While many are of the view that this is not merely coincidental, I want to assure you that my government remains strong and that we will continue to aggressively pursue our agenda for the creation of jobs and the socio-economic enhancement of our country.
When my government took office, we promised good governance, the restoration of integrity, transparency, accountability, respect for democratic institutions and the rule of law, the renewal of hope, inclusion, tolerance and fair play and the building of our country together, for the benefit of all.
These core values of our party were embraced by our members and subscribed to by the majority of voters. Members of my government committed to these guiding principles as we sought to pursue our contract with the Grenadian people. Unfortunately, given strong personalities, personal agendas, irrepressible ambition, immature adventurism, nostalgic ideological resurgence and the inability and resistance to team building, some have strayed from these values.
They have exhibited actions and behaviors that are inconsistent with our party’s values and the constitutional oath we all took when we were sworn in as ministers of government.
Unprofessional conduct, collusion and a demonstrative unwillingness to promote and defend the government’s progress on the part of some were dutifully noticed and pointed out to me by many Grenadians over the last two years.
In the process, the confidence of some people has waned and there has been much speculation. However, in life, particularly in politics, these things happen. What is important is that it must never be the standard which we accept, as it is not the type of the politics we wish to cultivate.
Ladies and Gentlemen, fellow citizens, the good news is that my government is in tact and we are working harder than ever to deliver on our commitments. The present cabinet has recommitted to the core values and principles of our party and to ensuring that we continue to deliver on our obligations to the people of Grenada.
Just last month we launched the TAMCC video conferencing facility which allows students in St. Patrick and Hillsborough, Carriacou, to attend classes in their respective locations without having to come to St. George’s. Families are now able to save on transportation and other costs, which can be put to more important areas of need, while guaranteeing their children’s education, with the use of ICT.
On Friday last we turned the sod to commence work on the Grenville Bus terminal.
Many more capital projects including the refurbishing of many schools will also start in the upcoming weeks and months. These projects will provide long awaited jobs and economic activity in the construction sector.
In this vein, I want to assure you that my government remains strong and we remain focused on our many programmes and tasks to bring socio-economic benefits to all. In this regard, I wish to announce that on Monday 7th May, 2012, Dr. George Vincent will be sworn in as a Senator and the new Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture.
Dr. Vincent brings to the position the requisite knowledge, experience, respect and track record to effectively perform the requirements of that position. I wish to welcome him graciously into our cabinet and look forward to a harmonious and collaborative relationship in the continued service of our country.
Senator Arley Gill will be appointed as Special Envoy on Ocean Governance with Ambassadorial status - to work in the first instance on the delimitation of our maritime Boundaries. This is an area in which he has some expertise and keen interest.
Ladies and gentlemen, in 2008 you made a wise choice. You took a stand against arrogance, disrespect for values and high morals, the mismanagement of our national resources and the denigration of our national heritage.
You also took a stand against the destruction of our democratic institutions, the debasing of our national image, the exclusion of many from active participation in our nation building process, the reckless domination by a few and endemic corruption. I say to you that you made the right decision. That’s the decision our NDC party will continue to ask you to make. We ask you to stand by that decision today and tomorrow.
The Grenada we live in today has made much progress in testing social and economic times. Our achievements in this period are a true measure of courage and character as “tough times never lasts but tough people do.”
We are a better country today. We have restored our international credibility and image. We are more peaceful, more democratic, more patriotic and a safer country. The freedoms we enjoy are greater than that of five years ago when we could not exhale.
These gains we must preserve and advance.
We should not be sidetracked by rumour, speculation and opportunistic no confidence motions, which is mainly for dramatic effect. You must remember that the leopard cannot change its spots.
As we continue to press on, I call on all to remain steadfast to building a better Grenada.
Led by your humble servant, you can place a vote of trust in the NDC government. That trust will never be betrayed.
I thank you and wish all God’s blessings.
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