Statement from Senator Fred Mitchell
Former MP for Fox Hill
19 December 2018
On The Fox Hill Community Centre
For Immediate Release
In yesterday’s press ( 18 December 2018), I read statements by the Minister of National Security Marvin Dames that essentially trashed the people who work at the Fox Hill Community Centre and trashed the reputation of his now deceased predecessor Dr. Bernard J Nottage and the fine work Dr. Nottage did in accomplishing the construction of a state the art Fox Hill Community Centre.
I denounce those comments. I continue to be amazed at the level of insensitivity and tone deafness of the people who run this political administration. They have no feel for people at all. They are mean and mean spirited and bloody minded with it. It is hard to believe they were raised in the same country with us. They seem to say anything that comes out their mouths without any regard for the truth firstly and secondly for the sensitivity of people who are unable to defend themselves. In this case a dead man and the staff of the Fox Hill Community Centre. Neither can speak for themselves.
The people who work at the Fox Hill Community Centre are qualified for the jobs they do. They were hired according to specific mandates and they match those qualifications. They are not called upon to perform rocket science.
The fact that the Minister thinks that they are unqualified does not entitle the Government to renege on their commitment and refuse to pay them. As of this note, they are owed six months’ salary with no prospect of getting paid.
One suspects that there is something else afoot, however. The Minister is simply setting up a pretext to fire them. The FNM’s modus operandi of “ stop, review and cancel” and “ fire not hire” is at work.
Just read the business of “unqualified” together with “hired just before the election” and you can see what he is up to. This is now a PLP/FNM thing.
With regard to hiring just before the general election: the darn community centre was completed in April 2017. The election was May 2017. So, when else should they have been hired: after the election? What a silly thing to say?
Finally, I wish to address the amnesia and negligence with regard to this administration and the Fox Hill Community Centre, as evidenced by the Minister’s inaccurate summary of the history of this matter.
The FNM has been saying since coming to office that they can’t find the files, the Cabinet conclusions, the agreements. They can’t find anything. This is false because the present Minister was briefed in extenso before he dismissed on political grounds the individual who was responsible for the superintendence of the Community Centre from his ministry.
It is all there to be found.
The Government does not own the building. George Mackey, my predecessor, saw to it that this would be the case. Prime Minister Perry Christie publicly said that he would finish the building and the building would be a gift to the people of Fox Hill. So, said so done.
I marvel that the present MP for Fox Hill has said not a word in defence of the people, her constituents who work at the Centre, who the Minister has trashed.