May 31, 2016 - 5:03pm

Speaking at an SLP press conference today, the Representative for Soufriere and Minister for Social Transformation, Hon.


Weaving a Cohesive Social Fabric








Our Party has always had our eyes firmly fixed on the need to provide as many Saint Lucians as possible with the opportunity to own the land on which they live. This is why we established the PROUD initiative, which gives vulnerable families title to the land on which they and their families have lived for decades. Over the past four and half years we constructed homes for underprivileged residents in Dennery, Soufriere and Vieux Fort. We completed the Monchy Housing Project that provided 22 new homes for sale and 20 for the relocation of former Conway residents. We launched new housing projects in Mocha, Bois d’Orange/Trouya and Black Bay.

Access to land opens doors to better economic and social development, as well as allows government to
address many of the environmental issues that result where unplanned and unregulated developments occur.

Your Labour Government will:

  • Introduce new residential developments with social housing components to begin the systematic redevelopment of the city of Castries,
  • Promote the development of higher-density condominium and multi-family residential units;
  • Promote the regeneration of existing neighbourhoods to reduce on urban sprawl;
  • Continue the PROUD initiative in areas with unresolved land squatting issues;
  • Provide incentives to private developers of residential lots to encourage the use of rainwater harvesting for non-potable water needs and renewable energy and energy-efficient equipment;
  • Undertake a major land rectification programme to resolve outstanding land title problems concerning
    lands belonging to the Crown.


The work of the Saint Lucia Labour Party in positively transforming the education landscape is impressive. Among our many successes are abolishing the shift system in primary school, achieving universal secondary education, providing book bursaries to underprivileged children, initiating the one-laptop-per-child policy, expanding the school feeding programme, revamping the transportation subsidy programme, and providing bursaries to the parent of every child passing the Common Entrance examination. We are in the process of providing more computers and expanded internet access to all libraries and secondary schools around the island.

A Labour Government is always an Education Government.

Early Childhood Development

Your Labour Government will:

  • Place strong emphasis on Early Childhood Development (ECD), with the universal implementation of extended early childhood heath outreach;
  • Ensure that every child, between the ages of birth and 3 years old, is enrolled in State-certified day care facility;
  • Provide for universal preschool education for children between the ages of 3 and 5yrs
  • Implement and monitor ECD local standards adapted from the CARICOM standards;
  • Offer structured training to early childhood educators to improve the quality of learning support provided island-wide.


Your Labour Government will:

  • Implement universal physical education and sports to encourage healthier lifestyles and build greater
    team spirit and conflict resolution skills;
  • Provide greater exposure to the creative arts in school;
  • Insist on the teaching of Saint Lucian studies in areas such as Saint Lucian history, civics, Kweyol and culture;
  • Provide life skills training throughout and implement an adolescent development approach in secondary schools;
  • Introduce a programme to assist parents in meeting the cost of the fees for CXC exams. This programme will be based on need and performance and will come into efect in 2017;
  • Establish universal youth service learning as the school component of the National Youth Service;
  • Make time spent in providing service a prerequisite for graduation at all levels;
  • Introduce clubs in primary school, and insist that throughout the school years every youth must be in
    at least one constructive extra-curricular club;
  • Amend the Education Act to abolish Corporal Punishment;
  • Make the learning of French and Spanish universal;
  • Provide impetus and leadership at the OECS level for the full conversion to E-Textbooks;
  • Revitalize our community libraries and make them once again places of learning and research.


Your Labour Government will:

  • Establish a Government Tertiary Education Fund, capitalized to the amount of $3 million per year, to
    provide scholarships to deserving students, from underprivileged households, to pursue studies at the undergraduate level in a subject area of relevance to Saint Lucia’s development;
  • Convert the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College into a full degree-granting University College;
  • Make a direct connection between Foreign Direct Investment and human resource development by insisting that for every US1 million granted to companies by way of concessions, the benefiting company
    must contribute US$50,000 toward a scholarship for a Saint Lucian student in the field in which the foreign company is investing.


Our Government has always made the delivery of efficient, modern and fordable health services one of
the pillars of our administration. Our record in this area is unparalleled. Very shortly, we will commission the Owen King-EU National Hospital and St. Jude Hospital. Over the past four and half years, we have facilitated scholarships to 162 public officers to receive training in several specialised areas in the health sector. We repaired and built several health centres around the island. However, our work in the Health Sector is far from finished. We must now consolidate on the significant improvements in infrastructure and human resources to make the delivery of health services more encompassing, efficient and affordable.


Your Labour Government will:

  • Establish the Owen King-EU Hospital as the best health facility in the Eastern Caribbean;
  • Operate the new St Jude Hospital through a public-private partnership geared towards health tourism;
  • Develop Saint Lucia as an international centre for medical research in diabetes;
  • Continue the rehabilitation of Health Centres around the island;
  • Strengthen the existing organs of the Ministry, at the Council and Board levels.


Your Labour Government will:

  • Implement Universal Health Care (UHC), with a professionally managed health fund that is contributed
    to by diverse sources of revenue. In particular, we will ensure a strategy for the growth of private health
    insurance that contributes to the health fund;
  • Implement a system of governance through the establishment of a Care Commission that has the
    mandate to regulate national quality systems and licenses at all health facilities, based on documented
    standards and audits;
  • Aggressively promote a Healthy Lifestyles agenda in all sectors and all communities, which will involve close collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Youth Development and Sports;
  • Implement the Constituency Health Teams, which provide a broad based, multi-sectoral community based team that can implement health and other community programmes in a coordinated way. Register these teams as non-profit community associations that can mobilize private sector and private finance for programs;
  • Seek opportunities for public-private partnerships in service provision.


Your Labour Government will:

  • Develop a health research agenda that builds national capacity and also encourages scientific,
    peer-reviewed research into the use of local medicinal plants;
  • Develop and implement national plans in each of the following areas:
    • Communicable diseases
    • Non-communicable disease
    • Sexual and Reproductive health
    • Child and Adolescent health
    • Environmental health
    • Oral Health
    • Emergency Medical Services
    • Mental Health and Substance abuse
    • Food and Nutrition
    • Violence and Injuries
    • Eye-Health and Disabilities
    • Social Protection


Your Labour Government will:

  • Within the first six months, establish a multi-disciplinary Commission to initiate wide-ranging stakeholder discussions and make recommendations to government on a position on the decriminalization and use of Marijuana. This will be done in conjunction with the CARICOM Commission.


Throughout the Caribbean, governments are faced with the serious problem of youth at risk. In a report on
youth development, the CARICOM Secretariat noted that Caribbean youth are faced with a multiplicity of
problems, which may be mitigated by action in four areas: (i) better understanding of the transitional nature of adolescents and youth, (ii) tangible recognition of the contribution of young people, (iii) more investment in them for greater returns to the country, and (iv) a radical shift toward partnering with them to tackle many of the burning issues confronting us.

Your Labour government is committed to the meaningful integration of youth into national development. However, we are particularly invested in addressing the problems facing those young people who find themselves at greater risk or vulnerability due to societal and other issues, not of their making.


Your Labour Government will:

  • Provide life skills training throughout the school cycle and implement a comprehensive adolescent development approach in secondary schools;
  • Proceed with the plans to enact a National Youth Service Bill. The National Youth Service will have a youth corps of youth between 18 and 25 years. This corps will be part of the national volunteers and will also work in the youth service programmes;
  • Implement After School Activity Programmes (ASAP) in every school and in every community. The ASAPs will engage students as well as communities in a variety of programmes - sport, creative arts, technical, literacy, business and academic;
  • Provide Parenting Skills Training to young parents so that they have the skills and the temperament to care for and nurture the adults of tomorrow;
  • Implement a new mode of youth governance at schools in the student councils, and in the constituencies as elected youth representatives who attend Youth Parliament;
  • Establish an electronic employment database, which will be managed by the Labour Department. It will be available nationally and allow for information on jobs available in all sectors, nationally and externally.


Your Labour Government will:

  • Make comprehensive reproductive health more accessible through existing clinics, mobile clinics and health outreach;
  • Enhance broadcasting legislation to restrict the exposure of the youth to irresponsible and inappropriate vulgarity;
  • Strengthen mental health services through the community mental health programme that will work with all stakeholders to address depression, anxiety and other mental health issues;
  • Implement preventive programmes that enhance life skills and healthy coping skills through all the education levels;
  • Address the vexing issue of substance abuse. The alcohol age limit laws will be enforced in every community.


Your Labour Government will:

  • Adopt and institutionalize a zero-tolerance policy for perpetrators of youth harm;
  • Introduce peace building as a programme in every community. Community leaders will be identified and trained in conflict resolution and peace keeping;
  • Implement Juvenile Justice Reform, to include alternative sentencing as much as possible. Also we will promote sentencing to non-custodial rehabilitation programmes;
  • Introduce the use of electronic bracelets for certain youth offenders. Convicted youth will not have a police record that is available to agencies other than the police and the courts;
  • Introduce universal attendance in education and rehabilitation programmes at the Bordelais Correctional Facility;
  • Reinstate the programme of Court Diversion;
  • Expand the After-School Activity Programme (ASAP) into areas with high levels of at-risk youth and pursue all means to encourage these young people to participate in these programmes;
  • Ensure that children in need of care and protection are separated from young offenders and that children on remand are not mixed with convicted young offenders;
  • Implement a comprehensive school feeding programme to ensure that no child is without food at school because of their family’s inability to afford a decent meal.


Our Government has always had its eye firmly set on protecting the vulnerable and the disadvantaged among us. Our record in this area is unmatched. Helping the poor is part of our DNA, it is who we are. It is the motto of our Party.

In our last term we reactivated the PROUD initiative to allow poor people who have been squatting on government lands for years to gain title to that land. We revived STEP to help those people who find it difficult to get jobs earn a living to support themselves and their families. We established NICE to provide job placements for better skilled persons in various sectors. The SMILES
programme targeted single mothers, who are among the most vulnerable in our society. We provided fnancial support for families with differently-abled children in their care. We re-introduced our Home Repair Programme for the Elderly and our Home Help programme extended a helping hand to our senior citizens, our often forgotten champions, so that they could live with dignity in their twilight years.


Your Labour Government will:

  • Provide further assistance to our pensioners. We will exempt from tax an additional $4000.00 of any income from a source in Saint Lucia by way of pension for past services to all pensioners, or income earned by resident individuals who are citizens of Saint Lucia and have attained the age of sixty years;
  • Continue our Home Repair for the Elderly Programme so that vulnerable seniors may live in comfort, safety and dignity;
  • Expand our Home Help Programme to provide support for even more elderly citizens who do not have the means to care for themselves.


Your Labour Government will:

  • Continue the SMILES Programme to provide dedicated support to single mothers;
  • Work toward the enactment of minimum wage legislation so that single mothers may earn a decent pay for a day’s work;
  • Strengthen the laws to protect single mothers from exploitation and harassment in the work place.


Your Labour Government will:

  • Provide the Association of Persons with Disabilities with specialised computer equipment and internet access so that their members can access internet services for education and other uses;
  • Introduce a Sign Language service for all news broadcasts on the National Television Network;
  • Continue to provide concessions for vehicles catering exclusively to persons with disabilities.


Over the past four and half years, we have worked hard to improve the sporting infrastructure around the island. Many playing fields and courts have been built, repaired or received lighting. Our sportsmen and women have also experienced success in many disciplines during this period.

We intend to consolidate on these gains and invest even more heavily in the development of our athletes.


Your Labour Government will:

  • Restore and rehabilitate the George Odlum Stadium as part of a new modern National Sports Centre, inclusive of ancillary facilities for swimming, a national sports academy and hostel-type accommodation for an integrated sports development programme;
  • Refurbish the indoor gymnasium at the Beausejour Sports Complex to increase the comfort of athletes and spectators;
  • Maximise the use of the Darren Sammy Cricket Ground;
  • Complete the construction of the national swimming facility;
  • Continue to improve and modernise the Mindoo Phillip Park and Marchand Grounds to include enhanced spectator seating and players’ facilities;
  • Continue the installation of lighting and upgrade of playing fields at Corinth, Marigot, Banse, Mon Repos and Bexon;
  • Provide better recreational facilities in communities so that everyone, from child to senior, can walk and exercise outdoors and enjoy a healthier, more active lifestyle.


Your Labour Government will:

  • Strengthen the elite athletes and national coaching programmes;
  • Work with the countries with which we have diplomatic relations, particularly those with Embassies in Saint Lucia, to provide specialised coaches in disciplines such as football, basketball, netball, boxing, tennis and volleyball;
  • Beginning in 2017, fund one athletics scholarship annually for an outstanding youth athlete to allow him or her to develop their skills to elite status while gaining a university education;
  • Ensure that each of our 80 playing fields is properly maintained by the respective Local Councils;
  • Increase the number of junior leagues and actively promote the development of sports clubs;
  • Assist more Saint Lucian athletes to gain international sports scholarships through the National Sports Academy.

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