Developing a Revitalized and Stronger Economy

- TRANSFORMING OUR ECONOMY

- A VIBRANT TOURISM SECTOR

- AGRICULTURE, AGRIBUSINESS, FOOD AND FISHERIES

- DEVELOPING LOCAL BUSINESS

- SENSIBLE DEVELOPMENT PLANNING

- SAFE, RESILIENT AND EFFICIENT TRANSPORT NETWORK

- RELIABLE WATER SUPPLY AND EFFECTIVE FLOOD MITIGATION

- REVOLUTIONIZING THE ENERGY SECTOR

- PROTECTING OUR ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPING A GREEN ECONOMY


TRANSFORMING OUR ECONOMY

The past four years have been a period of adjustment for our economy. It was a period of shared sacrifice. Through our efforts, we saved Saint Lucia from the IMF. Now, we are beginning to see the benefits of the adjustments that we made together.

  • Our economy grew by 1.3%. We have returned to a period of economic growth.
  • Our current account surplus continued to increase in 2015/16 to $73.8 million.
  • There was an improved performance in the primary surplus, growing to $45.3 million in 2015/16 from $3.7 million in 2014/15.
  • We have reduced our deficit from 9.6% of GDP in 2012 to 3.1% in 2015.
  • Unemployment is trending downwards, from a high of 24.5% to 20% in the last Quarter.
  • There was a net increase in the employed labour force by 3.8% to 77,131 and a net increase of 5,220 persons employed in the Fourth Quarter of 2015;

INTO THE FUTURE

Your Labour Government will:

  • Maintain fiscal discipline but engage in tax reform to increase disposable income, reduce Corporate Tax and spur investment;
  • Stimulate construction by addressing key infrastructural gaps;
  • Engender economic growth and create an enabling environment for business development;
  • Stimulate new investment to increase growth and reduce unemployment.

MAINTAINING FISCAL DISCIPLINE

Your Labour Government will:

  • Enact a Fiscal Responsibility Act to set targets and benchmarks and compel future Governments to observe certain economic and fiscal benchmarks.

ADDRESS INFRASTRUCTURAL GAPS

Your Labour Government will commence or continue under this pillar:

  • North-South Link Road;
  • Millennium Highway Rehabilitation;
  • Castries to Gros Islet and Secondary Roads improvement Project;
  • Dennery Water Supply Redevelopment;
  • Desruisseaux Treatment Plant;
  • Vieux Fort Water Supply Redevelopment;
  • John Compton Dam Rehabilitation;
  • Castries Water Treatment Project;
  • Diagnostic Facility to support Agricultural Development;
  • Rehabilitation of agricultural feeder roads.

Your Labour Government will undertake the following new construction projects:

  • A new Judicial Complex;
  • A new Police Headquarters;
  • A new National Theatre Complex at Choc.

TAX REFORM

We will continue our programme of tax reforms, both in respect of Personal Income Tax and Corporate Tax. We were stymied in our efforts at tax reform because of the state of our economy over the past four years but now that our economy is better and stronger we will pursue our tax reform agenda.

Your Labour Government will:

  • Within six months, put more money in the pockets of taxpayers by increasing the Income Tax allowance from $18,000 to $30,000. This measure will exempt roughly 3,000 persons from the payment of Income Tax.
  • Grant more tax relief to our pensioners. Pensioners will receive a further $4,000.00 to the new tax
    threshold of $25,000.00;
  • Increase the qualifying threshold for the payment of Land and House Tax from $200,000.00 to $300,000.00;
  • Encourage and stimulate growth and investment by further reducing the Corporate Tax Rate. Within six months in office, we shall reduce the current rate from 30% to 28% and depending on the continued recovery of our economy, to 25%.

EXPAND ONLINE TAX SERVICES

Your Labour Government will:

  • Decrease the time and costs associated with starting a business by introducing online systems for employer tax registration and VAT registration.

ADDRESS CHALLENGES OF INSOLVENCY

Your Labour Government will:

  • Establish a unit responsible for the general administration of insolvency proceedings and introduce required legislation to govern reorganization procedures. This will provide support to the domestic banking sector and will offer incentives for more beneficial negotiations between debtors and their creditors.

ESTABLISHMENT OF CREDIT BUREAUS

Your Labour Government will:

  • Facilitate the establishment of private Credit Bureaus by developing the legal and regulatory framework necessary for their establishment.

INCENTIVES TO PROMOTE E-COMMERCE

Your Labour Government will:

  • Provide incentives to encourage local businesses to adopt eCommerce, which can grow their businesses both locally and internationally;
  • Offer Corporate Tax deductions on capital and training costs associated with the establishment of eCommerce websites to businesses which set up e-Commerce websites.

FACILITATE ADOPTION OF INTERNATIONAL QUALITY STANDARDS

Your Labour Government will:

  • Facilitate the adoption of international quality standards by local businesses, which will improve their competitiveness.
  • Strengthen the capacity of the Bureau of Standards to allow it to grow its program for ensuring that Saint Lucian products meet international quality standards.
  • Offer a 150% Corporate Tax deduction on a percentage of costs towards international standard certification.

STIMULATING INVESTMENT

Your Labour Government will:

  • Realise foreign direct investment of EC$3.5 billion in tourism, infrastructure, energy, ICT and other services over the next five years, to create the jobs that we need to reduce unemployment.
  • Strengthen our investment targeting and attraction processes to attract high quality investment which can provide badly needed jobs and support the economic, social, environmental and technological development of Saint Lucia.

CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT PROGRAM (CIP) TO SPUR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Your Labour Government will:

  • Periodically, review the CIP program to ensure that it promotes economic development and results in sustainable job creation, genuine wealth creation for Saint Lucians of all walks of life and expansion of business development opportunities for the private sector.

INVESTMENT DELIVERY AND SUPPORT WORKING GROUP TO INCREASE THE PACE OF INVESTMENT

Your Labour Government will:

  • Establish an investment delivery and support working group to increase the pace of investment.
  • Reinforce coordination among all public sector entities involved in investment approvals and facilitation by establishing a working group among these entities.

DOUBLE TAXATION AGREEMENTS AND BILATERAL INVESTMENT TREATIES

Your Labour Government will:

  • Actively seek to increase the number of double taxation agreements and investment treaties to further enhance Saint Lucia’s attractiveness to foreign investors.

SUPPORT FOR INDIGENOUS AND DOMESTIC INVESTORS

Your Labour Government will:

  • Support the growth of domestic investment by strengthening business development support services.

RECOGNITION OF THE SERVICES SECTOR

The Services Sector in our economy is beginning to show encouraging signs of growth and development. We believe that this sector has tremendous potential for growth.

Your Labour Government will:

  • Enact a special regime of incentives for this sector.

PROMOTING GOOD GOVERNANCE FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

A key aspect of development is the creation of institutions that will provide sound decision making and promote transparency and predictability in public policy. Consequently, we must focus on institution building to support governance to promote economic, political and social stability.

Your Labour Government will:

  • Implement reforms aimed at creating a single window for construction permits;
  • Focus on the development of competition policy and regulations across major sectors of the economy. Work towards the establishment of a Competition Commission.

CORRESPONDENT BANKING

Banks in Saint Lucia, and the rest of the Caribbean, have had to deal with the impact of measures associated with ‘de-risking’. This has resulted in some US and UK based correspondent banks being reluctant or refusing to hold deposits or provide other services to Caribbean banks, such as cheque clearing, wire transfers and trade finance.

This threatens the immediate, medium and long-term developmental prospects of our region and our country. This is a very serious situation, which requires considered and resolute action.

Your Labour Government will:

  • Work with the ECCB to ensure that Caribbean banks and regulatory bodies comply with the best practices and global regulatory standards in the fields of finance, banking and taxation, including those established by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Global Forum.
  • Formulate targeted requests for financial and technical assistance from international development partners and developed countries.
  • Engage in intense lobbying and diplomatic efforts in countries where correspondent banks are located.
  • Effectively articulate and communicate to the financial regulatory authorities and banks in the U.S. and UK the message that Caribbean banks are compliant, and are zones where “money-laundering” and financing of terrorism activities will not be tolerated.
  • Develop direct market-based solutions that ensure less reliance on the correspondent banking services offered by U.S. and UK banks.
  • Search for alternative markets in which banks are ready and willing to provide correspondent services
    to Caribbean banks.

EMPLOYMENT AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Providing the environment for an expansion of employment opportunities remains the number one priority for our Party.

We will continue our efforts in this term of office.

Your Labour Government will:

  • Set out the most ambitious employment strategy ever, to reduce unemployment to below 15 percent in 5 years by creating new jobs in a range of sectors;
  • Establish a new minimum wage after consultation with all stakeholders;
  • Promote the growth of micro, small & medium enterprises through special tax benefits, development clusters and incubators;
  • Develop a revitalised Youth Entrepreneurship & Enterprise Equity Programme;
  • Expand the NICE - Agricultural Workers Support Programme;
  • Strengthen the NICE - Home Help Programme;
  • Develop a new NICE - Tourism Safety & Hospitality Programme;
  • Provide training to young people in information and communications technology, using the newly established ICT Access Centres;
  • Develop new employment opportunities in the energy sector;
  • Create new economic and employment opportunities in the agricultural sector through new value-added niche products.


A VIBRANT TOURISM SECTOR

The tourism sector has been one of the many successes of our administration over the past four and a half years. We have recorded growth in virtually every single segment of the sector and Saint Lucia’s standing in the marketplace has continued to grow. This has been achieved by spending less money on wasteful and ineffective marketing gimmicks and without providing expensive revenue guarantees to international airlines.

INSTITUTIONAL SUPPORT

Your Labour Government will:

  • Develop an integrated tourism experience through better product development, destination management and stakeholder collaborations;
  • Cause investment in hotels and villas so that the number of visitor rooms will expand by over 50% or
    2500 new rooms by 2020, resulting in an additional 100,000 stay-over visitors per year to our shores;
  • Ensure that these new properties all meet high environmental standards, particularly with respect to waste management, water capture and storage, and renewable energy and energy efficiency.
  • Improve the attractiveness and competitiveness of brand Saint Lucia by developing a world-class, high standard, authentic destination that pays attention to safety, detail and comfort;
  • Expand indigenous ownership in the tourism sector.;
  • Provide support to the growing Bed and Breakfast sector that was created by the incentives provided by the Labour administration of 2001-2006. Ensure they meet the requisite industry standards and can
    continue to grow and make a significant contribution to our tourism product;
  • Support the development of niche markets including yachting, health and wellness and sports tourism.

AIRLIFT AND MARKETING

Your Labour Government will:

  • Strengthen online marketing of our island and seek out greater value-for-money for our marketing dollar;
  • Revamp and enhance Saint Lucia’s online presence, supported by a call centre handling in-bound and outbound services, including a visitor help desk;
  • Ensure that our marketing is vertically integrated to the entire product;
  • Seek to increase airlift into Saint Lucia out of our traditional markets of the US, UK and Canada. In particular, we will seek new and additional fights out of Fort Lauderdale, Dallas, Chicago, Montreal, and Manchester;
  • Attract new fights from Latin America, specifically Brazil and Panama.

YACHTING

Your Labour Government will:

  • Provide support for the enhancement of services and amenities at our major yachting destinations;
  • Improve safety at the ports frequented by yachts and pleasure craft;
  • Work with marina operators to attract more mega yachts to Saint Lucia.


AGRICULTURE, AGRIBUSINESS, FOOD AND FISHERIES

Saint Lucia is the only country in the Windward Islands that still exports bananas to the UK and last year banana production surged. Production of fruits and vegetables, and revenue from their sale to local hotels and supermarkets, continue to increase under our stewardship. There has been a revitalization of the agriculture and fisheries sectors and a renewed confidence of farmers and fishers in the sectors.

INSTITUTIONAL SUPPORT

Your Labour Government will:

  • Restructure and provide more support to the Extension services so that clients may be served more
    efectively;
  • Modernize the livestock infrastructure, with a focus on the ‘Small Ruminant’ sector and the establishment of communal systems;
  • Formalize “commodity platforms” to strengthen local and regional market access;
  • Establish a comprehensive School Feeding Programme, with a centralized production centre that purchases local produce from farmers and converts these products into packaged nutritious and tasty meals that are distributed to schools around the island. This will stimulate agricultural activity, generate
    employment, address hunger and nutrition problems in schools, and assist in the fight against non-communicable diseases.
  • Focus on increasing food security by:
    • Incorporating cassava in 40% of four preparations in public institutions;
    • Encouraging small female-led community based livestock projects;
    • Promoting value-added in major commodities;
  • Continue to repair the network of agricultural feeder roads;
  • Expand acreages in coffee, cocoa and coconut production to take advantage of domestic and external market opportunities.

VALUE-ADDED PRODUCTS

Your Labour Government will:

  • Establish Agro-parks for the production of specific pre-selected commodities for both local and export markets. Special emphasis will be placed on commodities that are in foreign markets where we already have market links. Winfresh will be engaged to partner with us in this venture;
  • Develop an Essential Oils industry by:
    • Providing assistance for structuring the sector;
    • Promoting research and propagation of “exotic” plants for oil production;
    • Seeking assistance for the setting up of a plant for the processing of oils, in partnership with private
      sector;
  • Work with Winfresh to produce agricultural commodities to supply its chain of processing facilities;
  • Orient production in suitable locations to take advantage of the growing global demand for nutraceutical products such as medicinal herbs, facial scrubs and masks, natural vitamins and supplements.

FISHERIES

Your Labour Government will:

  • Establish Marine Management Authorities to manage our shared marine spaces, with a view toward consolidating them under one management structure;
  • Expand mariculture to new coastal communities around Saint Lucia;
  • Renew efforts to promote and encourage long line fishing;
  • Seek assistance to get our fisheries facilities certified for value-added fish processing.

CLIMATE RESILIENT AGRICULTURE

Your Labour Government will:

  • Source funding for climate change adaptation activities in the agricultural sector;
  • Take advantage of the energy revolution to encourage the use of solar photovoltaic panels on fisheries facilities, solar dryers for value added in fruits and vegetables, and bio-digesters for use on livestock farms;
  • Promote sound use and management of our water resources, including providing incentives for rain water harvesting and storage for irrigation.

COOPERATIVES

Your Labour Government will:

  • Energize and modernize the long established “Friendly Societies;"
  • Enact new Cooperatives and Friendly Societies legislation.


DEVELOPING LOCAL BUSINESS

The current global economic situation necessitates that Government continues to embrace policies that support sustainable economic development through trade and investment facilitation, business development, standardization, growth of the micro and small business sector, development of the service sector, empowerment of entrepreneurs through training, technical support and access to finance, encouraging innovation, embracing green technology, and taking advantage of information and communications technology.

We will pursue these policies through a whole-of-Government approach, in partnership with the private
sector.

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT SUPPORT

Your Labour Government will:

  • Restructure and streamline the Trade Export Promotion Agency (TEPA) and the Small Business Development Centre (SBDC) to provide seamless business support services to prospective and existing enterprises;
  • Encourage new employment opportunities by creating a structured support programme for businesses during the start-up stage (the first two years of existence);
  • Introduce a national Export Advisory Service and Volunteer Technical Assistance Programme to increase the level of technical expertise available to micro and small enterprises, and to increase technology transfer by industry experts;
  • Introduce a Business Internship Programme and Mentorship Programme for Micro and Small enterprises (MSEs) to augment their human resource capacity, improve productivity and enhance performance;
  • Implement programmes to strengthen the linkages between the tourism and export sectors and strengthen the local value addition of the tourism product by creating opportunities for local producers and suppliers;
  • Develop a branding strategy to promote local goods and services in both the domestic and export markets - a Trustmark that depicts, quality, excellence and distinguishes Saint Lucian products and services;
  • Create a framework for the promotion, application and regulation of the national brand geographic indicators and other existing quality marks to enhance the benefits to producer and exporters;
  • Provide greater encouragement to young people to become entrepreneurs, particularly in areas like the creative industries, information technology and agriculture;
  • Establish an Innovation Fund to stimulate and facilitate the patenting of inventions in selected areas and generate viable new business concepts that create employment;
  • Introduce anti-dumping legislation and the corresponding implementation and monitoring capability to safeguard local producers and exporters from unfair practices by external competitors;
  • Encourage our manufacturers to embrace green technology and information technology in an effort to reduce the overall cost of operations and be competitive;
  • Develop an adequate legislative and operational framework for the development and export of local music.

OUR INTERNATIONAL GATEWAYS: MODERN AIR AND SEA PORTS

Our economic development is heavily reliant on the efficiency and effectiveness of our Ports and the services they provide. We are fortunate to have two air ports and two sea ports and over the years we have used these facilities to good effect.

However, with the passage of time the facilities at our Ports have become sub-optimal to support our continued economic growth and development.

HEWANORRA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

Your Labour Government will:

  • Begin the redevelopment of the Hewanorra International Airport so that by 2020, we will have a modern gateway capable of handling air transport demand for the next 25 years. This will involve creation of a spacious terminal building, the provision of jet bridges, new parking areas, the expansion of the aircraft parking, a Fixed Based Operator private jet facility, and expanded cargo operations.

DEVELOPMENT OF OUR SEA PORT INFRASTRUCTURE

Your Labour Government will:

  • Undertake a strategic review of our seaport operations. This will be done with assistance from the International Finance Corporation to investigate the way forward for phasing the redevelopment of Port Castries and Port Vieux Fort;
  • Explore all possibilities to come up with the best and most efcient option for a new cargo port for Saint Lucia at either Cul de Sac or Vieux Fort, capable of handling future demand, while generating new transhipment demand.

CASTRIES CRUISE AND LEISURE PORT

Your Labour Government will:

  • Begin the conversion of Castries into a dedicated cruise and leisure port;
  • Attract investment to ensure the marine real estate in Castries is maximised. The three main areas of interest for redevelopment are Pointe Seraphine and Ganters’ Bay, Jeremie Street and downtown Castries, and Bananes Bay/Faux-aChaud;
  • Commence redevelopment of the Jeremie Street/Northern Wharf/La Place Carenage Expansion as a first phase;
  • Begin redeveloping Ganters’ Bay by expanding Point Seraphine. This will include the development of a waterside promenade and include new duty-free shops, vending areas, restaurants, boutique hotels, marina and marine excursions centre.


SENSIBLE DEVELOPMENT PLANNING

We have been blessed with a beautiful country and a rich and proud cultural inheritance. This unique blend of nature and culture caused us to acquire the title of ‘Helen of the West’. Unfortunately, a lack of forward thinking and planning over several decades has resulted in the diminution of some of that beauty. It is imperative that we take action quickly if we are to save our country from an irreversible transition to a harder and less aesthetically pleasing appearance.

Your Labour Government will:

  • Ensure that Saint Lucia has a new National Physical Plan within three years;
  • Streamline the development planning process to make it more efficient;
  • Expand the use of Geographical Information Systems in development planning;
  • Establish areas that are zoned for entertainment and reduce noise pollution;
  • Promote the use of special architectural conservation areas through special incentives;
  • Curb urban sprawl and promote walkable, pedestrian-friendly neighbourhoods;
  • Introduce new planning regulations to guide developments in coastal, hillside and environmentally sensitive areas.

REVITALISING THE CITY OF CASTRIES

Your Labour Government will:

  • Enhance the historic and cultural assets of our city to make it a more attractive tourist destination;
  • Transform downtown Castries into a duty-free shopping precinct for selected products;
  • Undertake parking, greening and pedestrian improvements to make Castries a friendlier city;
  • Develop new housing options for persons in low quality housing and encourage new development;
  • Create new strategic areas for micro-entrepreneurship and work with vendors to upgrade their products and customer service;
  • Begin the process of redeveloping areas such as Faux-a-Chaud, Grass Street and Wilton’s Yard;
  • Assist in the restoration of historic structures in the Castries City Centre;
  • Develop other sites of interest in the city alongside improved directional and interpretive signage.


SAFE, RESILIENT AND EFFICIENT TRANSPORT NETWORK

Repairing our road network was a critical imperative for our administration when we took office in 2011. All over the country were signs of neglect of public infrastructure. The Barre de Lisle was littered with balconies around collapsed sections of the road. Many bridges were near failure due to poor maintenance. Very little evidence could be seen of the work undertaken from the large contracts that had been awarded for road works around the country. Direct awards for contracts had become the norm, rather than the exception.

We established a new Ministry of Infrastructure. We put in place strong measures of accountability for the award of works contracts. We diligently set about repairing our damaged and failing public infrastructure. Four and a half years later, roads have been repaired or completely rebuilt, new bridges constructed or repaired, schools rehabilitated or in some cases rebuilt, and health centres repaired or constructed.

ROADS AND BRIDGES

Your Labour Government will:

  • Reduce congestion in the north through the upgrade of the Castries-Gros Islet Highway and secondary roads. Financing for this has already been secured.
  • Commence construction of the new North-East Coast highway to reduce congestion in the city of Castries, improve transit times, and also open new swathes of land in the north-east corridor for economic development.
  • Undertake a comprehensive roads audit and development plan to prioritise road development over the
    next 20 years.
  • Ensure that future road corridors and alignments are reserved and unencumbered by residential or
    commercial development.
  • Improve critical secondary roads across the island to serve as relief/bypass roads where possible.
  • Continue major improvements to community roads.
  • Continue to build back better critical infrastructure to ensure a resilient transport network.
  • Promote walkable communities and introduce cycling lanes and bike routes as viable commuting alternatives.
  • Access climate financing to make our roads, bridges and public buildings more resilient to the impacts of extreme weather events such as flooding and hurricanes.

TRANSPORT SYSTEM

Your Labour Government will:

  • Strengthen the national public transport system through new infrastructure, incentives and concession arrangements.
  • Improve road safety through a mix of better enforcement and new safety infrastructure.
  • Together with LUCELEC, ensure that all major communities and roads are served by adequate street
    lighting.
  • Commit to a modern ecologically-friendly, affordable public transport system that serves the needs of
    Saint Lucians and visitors alike.
  • Provide special incentives to encourage the development of a night-time west coast bus service and other night-time public transport services.


RELIABLE WATER SUPPLY AND EFFECTIVE FLOOD MITIGATION

The water sector was in dire straits when we took office in 2011. WASCO was bankrupt and unable to pay its monthly electricity bills. The John Compton Dam had been neglected after having suffered signifcant damage from heavy siltation during the passage of Hurricane Tomas. Residents of Dennery North and Vieux Fort had no hope of getting access to a reliable supply of drinking water. Throughout the length and breadth of the country residents were complaining about the sad state of WASCO and the seemingly endless litany of water problems.

We have improved the water sector in the country. WASCO is moving toward financial viability and is now able to finance water supply improvements in critical areas around the island. Customer complaints have reduced significantly and relief is on the way for some residents in communities previously affected with perennial water problems.

However, there is still much work to be done before we can boast of a water sector that can meet the demands of our residents and visitors. Our focus in water will continue in our next term of office.

WATER INFRASTRUCTURE

Your Labour Government will:

  • Construct a new Dennery Water System to provide clean, potable water for the residents of the Dennery Valley. This new system will cost EC$24 million and funding has already been obtained through a grant from the Mexican government and a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank;
  • Undertake the total redevelopment of the Vieux Fort Water Supply at a cost of over EC$65 million, funding for which has already been secured;
  • Desilt the John Compton Dam, thereby securing a reliable, resilient water supply for the north;
  • Replace the raw water line from the John Compton Dam to reduce the significant leakage of water. We expect that this and other system line upgrades will reduce the loss of water by WASCO from 56% to 30%;
  • Embark on a comprehensive rehabilitation of rural water systems through the use of climate financing so that every community can be guaranteed a reliable supply of water;
  • Initiate the rehabilitation of critical watersheds throughout the island;
  • Commence preliminary studies for the construction of a new dam and reservoir on the Troumassee River to serve the south of the island;
  • Encourage rainwater harvesting and dual plumbing by households and commercial users for non-potable water needs;
  • For a period of three years, to encourage better water storage by households and businesses, zero-rate water storage tanks and place these items under price control.

WATEWATER

Your Labour Government will:

  • Improve the water quality in the Castries Harbour by investing in a new Castries Sewage System.
  • Undertake comprehensive studies to look at sewage options for the towns and villages, especially Soufriere and the Greater Vieux Fort Area.
  • Apply international water quality standards for our riparian and marine waters and ensure that all developments comply with high standards to keep our environment clean and our water sources pristine.

FLOOD MITIGATION

Your Labour Government will:

  • Tackle the problem of flooding in the Cul de Sac Valley by exploring options to mitigate the problem, including the possibility of constructing a mini dam on the Cul de Sac River catchment;
  • Implement works on food protection and mitigation measures to reduce the likelihood of flooding in the Bexon-Crown Lands area. The studies have been completed and the funds for this project have been approved by the CDB;
  • Undertake a food mitigation study for the heavily developed Bois d’Orange-Corinth River Valley, and seek support from development partners in implementing the recommendations;
  • Commission a state-of-the-art national food and hazard early warning system. This will be done through financial support from the Italian Government.

WATERSHED MANAGEMENT

Your Labour Government will:

  • Ensure that better consideration is giving in our planning regulations and physical plans for management of water through special zoning for water conservation, food risk areas and areas that will require water storage due to scarcity of potable water supply.


REVOLUTIONIZING THE ENERGY SECTOR

Our government has made great strides in its promise to develop an intelligent energy programme. In the last four and half years we have installed rooftop solar photovoltaic systems, revised energy legislation and drafted new regulations, restarted geothermal exploration, installed LED streetlights, and started work on development of a wind farm and a solar farm.

We will build on this solid platform and the goodwill developed with our wide range of development partners to accelerate what can only be described as a revolution in the energy sector.

RENEWABLE ENERGY

Your Labour Government will:

  • Construct a 3.2 MW utility scale solar photovoltaic plant at La Tourney, Vieux Fort;
  • Construct a 12 MW wind farm in Dennery;
  • Mobilise financial support to complete the exploratory phase for developing geothermal energy, which
    has been estimated at over 60 MW capacity;
  • Work toward a goal of 75% renewable energy for electricity generation by 2035;
  • Undertake a pilot project to install mini solar farms in two underprivileged communities and reduce
    or eliminate the burden of paying electricity bills for at least 60 vulnerable households;
  • Replace the Electricity Supply Act with a new Electricity Supply Services Act and a suite of regulations to support a modern, diversified energy sector.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Your Labour Government will:

  • Undertake a complete retrofit of the stock of over 21,000 conventional streetlights to LED bulbs, thereby saving the Government roughly $5 million in electricity payments annually;
  • Install solar photovoltaic panels on at least ten public buildings to reduce the expenditure on electricity by almost $1 million annually;
  • Promote the use of electric/hybrid vehicles and begin by gradually replacing the Government’s feet
    with hybrid vehicles;
  • Establish a special training programme at SALCC to train persons in renewable energy technology;
  • For a period of three years, zerorate the VAT and remove the duties on a basket of renewable energy
    and energy efficiency products to encourage homes and businesses to join the energy revolution;
  • Retrofit the stock of public buildings with LED lights and energy-effcient air condition units through a competitively tendered energy service company (ESCO) arrangement;
  • Request that LUCELEC examines the economic feasibility of introducing pre-paid metering to allow customers to better manage their use of electricity and pay for their bills.


PROTECTING OUR ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPING A GREEN ECONOMY

We have deliberately placed our policies for environmental management in the section on a revitalised and stronger economy because our Party recognises there can be no sustainable economic development
without a solid environmental underpinning. All of the economic sectors on which we rely, depend on a healthy environment. The wellbeing of our most important resource, our citizens, depend on a healthy environment.

Over the last four and half years the Government of Saint Lucia established a powerful reputation internationally as a strong advocate for action in support of Small Island Developing States. Our work in the climate change negotiations cemented our position as an important player in environmental diplomacy.

Over the next five years we will mobilize financial and technical support to transition toward an economic
development model that is sustainable and green. Our policies for the environment are based on ensuring we protect the land and its natural resources, while providing new avenues for economic growth and job creation.

CLIMATE CHANGE

Your Labour Government will:

  • Continue to demonstrate regional and international leadership on climate change and environmental advocacy to cause action to be taken and support provided to vulnerable Small Island Developing States
    (SIDS) like ours;
  • Mobilize significant financial and technical resources to fight the wide-ranging effects of climate change;
  • Collaborate with the health, tourism, agriculture, infrastructure and water sectors, among others, to develop national resilience to the impacts of climate change;
  • Continue to work toward the phase-out of all harmful ozone depleting substances.

NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

Your Labour Government will:

  • Protect our rich biodiversity, which has been threatened by poor land use practices, pollution from chemicals and other man-made threats, by embarking on a wide range of measures, including proper land zoning and more effective legislation;
  • Develop a system of protected areas, both land and marine, that will preserve these sites for the use of current and future generations;
  • Efectively manage our forest reserves so that they can continue to supply us with fresh water, timber products and serve as healthy ecosystems for our fora and fauna;
  • Work to reduce land based sources of pollution and marine litter, which are harming our marine ecosystems;
  • Partner with research institutions to develop the economic potential of our indigenous products, such as medicinal herbs and other natural products with economic value.

WASTE AND CHEMICALS MANAGEMENT

Your Labour Government will:

  • Following stakeholder consultation, implement measures to reduce on the volume of waste being sent to our landfills, which will include steps to encourage recycling and reuse, and the conversion of waste to
    energy;
  • Reduce on the volume of plastics and Styrofoam products being imported into the country;
  • Implement better chemicals management policies, including lessening the amount of harmful agricultural and toxic pesticides that are discharged into our environment.

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