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How much more do we have to hurt? – The case of Buccament Bay Resort and Transparency.
There is not any room for politics when it comes to the equal rights and proper treatment of our Vincentian People.
Right will always be right and, ironically, what is wrong is the way that our people value transparency and accountability.
One may argue that there is little to no transparency in our public service and this leaves much to be desired.
I remember when the Buccament Bay Resort was to be built how the Rastafarian farmers in the surrounding Buccament Area were treated so unfairly and 27 acres of land were forcefully acquired from them at Buccament Bay (Caribbean News Now – 22.07.18) Do you remember that?
There were also some allegations of fraud floating around about the “Investor” Mr. David Ames but were quickly dismissed and which later turned out to be true.
Mr. Ames was allowed to leave here legally from a port that is not normally used for exit and entry. I digress.
Fast Forward to the year 2018 and after the Buccament Bay Resort’s closure in 2015 with hundreds of persons left unemployed and thousands, one may argue, even millions owed in unpaid wages, taxes and debt, we hear that there are talks with new “investors” and that there will be a reopening.
What happened to the Canadian company that is currently “developing” Mt Wynne? Were they not planning to bid for the opportunity to run the Buccament Bay Resort? My Government stated that they were also planning to bid on behalf of the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. What happened to our bid?
What is very disconcerting is that after all that we have been through with the Buccament Bay Resort that my Prime Minister has decided not to disclose the entity likely to manage it by passing off that responsibility to the “Trustees of Bankrupcy” (IWN 28.06.2018) and then further stating about a month later, that he is “expecting” that the entity that is “purchasing” Buccament Bay Resort will sign a deal with the trustees in bankruptcy the coming week (IWN 26.07.2018)
Indeed, this speaks volumes. One may argue that with this kind of stance being taken that there may not be much representation for the many unpaid workers who were left on the breadline.
We continue to allow this to happen to our people and I repeat; even after all that we have been through and continue to go through with “Investors” who treat our people how they want, pay them how much they want and when they want and sometimes have them working under deplorable working conditions.
Many on the Grenadine island of Canouan can tell you more about what it is like to be treated by “Investors”.
We deserve a lot more. We need proper representation We need transparency lest we start crying out for corruption. Don’t we deserve to know who the investors are so as to ensure that due diligence is being done or was done?
Are we not afforded at least that?
How much more do we have to hurt?
Christopher J. Grant
Youth Activist & Founder of the Peace4SVG Initiative