CHESTER COOPER RESPONDS TO THE PM
The following statement was issued by the Deputy Leader of the PLP Chester Cooper and the MP for Ragged Island in response to the Prime Minister’s National Address in which the Prime Minister promised relief for the people of Ragged Island.
PLP Deputy Leader
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAY 21, 2019
To be extremely clear, my experience with this administration has led me to the place where I believe nothing that is said about Ragged Island.
I will believe what they do.
This government has abandoned the people of Ragged Island in their hour of greatest need for nearly two years.
That the Prime Minister seeks to use a televised national address to score political points on Ragged Island’s name is regrettable.
He owes Ragged Island an apology.
He should have gone to the people of Ragged Island and explained why he neglected them after the fanciful talk of rebuilding a “green city”.
He should have had the courage to look them in the eyes, before the minister of works said they simply have no money for Ragged Island.
Parents have had to send their children away from them for schooling, something no family should have to endure.
There is no basic medical care on the island. There is no postal service. Water has only recently become a reality for them.
The Prime Minister announced dollar amounts for buildings but no timeline as to when the work will even start.
Will this money be in the next budget?
Perhaps the year after?
Why must we wait for the completion of these buildings to restore school and nursing services when there are temporary facilities that can cover these?
He talked about a solar generation facility by the end of the year.
It will be interesting to see who is awarded the contract to build it after the so-called RFP process.
What is to be the size of this facility?
How much electricity will it generate?
What is it expected to power?
What is the status of the school that is yet to be built?
I will start to believe it when I see shovels in the ground.
I will fully believe this government when these facilities are complete and operational.
And only then will I, and the people of Ragged Island, thank this government for doing its job and providing the most basic amenities of life that other islands enjoy.
Until then, Ragged Island residents and descendants will be waiting for that apology.