SLP Successes 2011 - Present
FOUR YEARS OF PROGRESS AND GOOD GOVERNANCE
Below is a highlight of some of the achievements of the Saint Lucia Labour Party Administration since November 28, 2011.
- The National Initiative to Create Employment (NICE) was established, and has created over 6,000 jobs.
- The National Home Help Programme employs some 400 individuals, with more in training, and has helped hundreds of elderly persons.
- 169 young people were trained as art of the Farm Labour Support Programme, gaining technical knowledge and expertise, as well as a Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) recognized in all CARICOM territories.
- 1412 persons have benefited from apprenticeships and training, including 745 in technical and vocational that included crop production, small engine maintenance, multimedia production, customer service, office admin, beauty therapy.
- 47 private sector firms have benefited from employment support under the Private Sector Partnership arrangement providing more than 140 employment opportunities over a 6 month period, with 62% of the persons employed being retained in full-time employment.
- All primary schools are now benefiting from the assignment of caretakers, Principal's Assistants, and IT assistants.
- School Feeding programmes are benefiting from NICE through the Farm Labour Support Programme and revitalization of school gardens
- The Cruise Ship Employment Programme has helped more than 500 individuals receive jobs in the cruise industry by financing their training, application, and possible medical expenses. 92% of participants in the first cohort succeeded in finding employment.
Personal Development Under NICE
- Many citizens have opened bank accounts for the first time
- Will have future benefits will NIC
- Improved the livelihoods of many families
- Beneficiaries have acquired new employable skills and job experience
- Improved mobility in the job market
- STEP was reintroduced
2012-2014: Number of persons employed follows:
- Cycle 1: 2,398
- Cycle 2: 2,122
- Cycle 3: 3,212
- Cycle 4: 1,744
EDUCATION, HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT AND LABOUR
The following schools were refurbished under the Basic Education Enhancement Project (BEEP)
- Saltibus Combined School
- Denierre Riviere Combined
- Dennery Primary
- Desruisseaux Combined
Construction has been competed at the following schools, which were refurbished and/or expanded:
- Vieux-Fort Infant
- Corinth Secondary
- Clendon Mason Memorial
- Fond Assau Combined
- Canaries Infant
- Micoud Primary
- Dennery Infant (ongoing)
- Choiseul Secondary (expansion in planning stages)
- Anse La Ray primary and infant school
- Soufriere Special Education School
Other education accomplishments include:
- The Micoud Infant School was disestablished by the Ministry of Education and a new block was constructed at the Micoud Primary School, to accommodate the students.
- The One Laptop per Child Initiative was introduced in September 2012 and has been expanded from fourth to third form students, meaning every child from third to fifth form will all have laptops. Additionally, 550 desktop computers and 125 projectors were distributed to schools and a programme was developed to give 500 teachers in new Information and Communications Technology training.
- Starting in 2014, teachers received a $700 bursary to purchase school supplies for their classrooms.
- All students who were victims of the Christmas Eve Trough received a cash donation from the Government, for the replacement of school supplies.
- Families whose children graduate from primary to secondary school receive a one-time bursary of $500.
- Partial Zoning was introduced, to reduce the burden of transportation costs for many.
- The Castries Central Library was refurbished and renovated.
- Creation of SMILES, a training and job placement programme for single mothers.
- Introduction of the Labour Code.
- The development of a dynamic School Feeding Programme (currently implemented in 15 schools) to increase community involvement in education, local farming, and nutritional awareness while ensuring no child's education is threatened by hunger.
CONSTITUENCY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME
- 2012/2013: 231 infrastructure projects completed. So far in 2014, 52 projects have been completed. Financing has been received for 92 additional projects, to be completed by the end of this financial year.
- 2012/2013: Expenditure $8.5 million dollars 1,472 jobs created
- 2013/2014: Expenditure $24.046,596.55 million dollars 3849 jobs created
- 2014/2015: Expenditure will be $18,010, 940.00 million dollars 4,000 jobs will be created
PUBLIC SERVICE AND ICT
- Extension of hours for payment at all collection agencies
- Introduction of electronic payment (credit cards, debit cards) at collection agencies
- Introduction of a GPS tracking system to improve efficiency in use of Government vehicles
- Launch of a new dynamic Government Web Site/Web Portal
- Opening of new Government Digitization Centre to convert Government documents to digital, easily indexed and retrieved format
- Commissioning of Saint Lucia Internet Exchange Point – SliX to improve access speed of local internet traffic and reduce costs
- Launch of Electronic Document and Records Management System (EDRMS)
- Launch of Government Contact Centre – 311 Service
- Provided short-term overseas training to 246 Public Officers in 2012-13 and 212 officers in 2013-14; while 423 Officers received local in-service training in 2012-13 and 681 officers received similar training in 2013-14
- Development and implementation of a new performance appraisal system for the Public Service
- Launch of $2.5 million Business Incubation and Training Grants project to provide grant funds of up to $100,000 for businesses using information and communications technology or training in ICT
- Establishment of a Kweyol Unit for the GIS and regular news breaks presented in English and Kweyol
- Launch of Tax E-Filing system to make possible tax e-registration, e-filing/e-declaration and e-payment.
Community Access ICT Centres were established or upgraded in the following areas:
- Vieux Fort
- Anse La Raye
Free public Wi-Fi has been made available in Soufriere as a first step towards island-wide Wi-Fi.
The new Central Police Station was opened, the Babonneau Fire State is under construction, and a new Forensics Laboratory has been commissioned.
The SLP created a new Ministry of Infrastructure, and between 2011 and 2016 more than $73 million was allocated to the Constituency Development Programme (CDP), which completed hundreds of projects spread across all 17 constituencies.
23 Bridges have been constructed or rebuilt since 2011:
- Main Bridge (Soufriere)
- Cresslands (Soufriere)
- Mocha (Soufriere)
- Ravine Claire (Soufriere)
- Deville (Soufriere)
- Mini Bridge (Soufriere)
- Fond Assau (Babonneau)
- ALBA (Dennery North)
- Dubonnet (Dennery North)
- Bonne Terre (Gros Islet)
- Bois d’Orange (Gros Islet)
- Assau Canal (Gros Islet)
- Rodney Bay Bridge (Gros Islet)
- Esperance Bridge (Gros Islet)
- De Mailley (Vieux-Fort North)
- Aupicon (Vieux-Fort North)
- Fond Jayeaux Bridge (Vieux Fort North)
- Rouame Bridge (Vieux Fort South)
- Derriere Morne (Vieux-Fort South)
- Canaries Bailey Bridge (Canaries)
- Piaye Bailey Bridge (Choiseul/Saltibus)
- Park Estate Bridge (Choiseul/Saltibus)
- Sans Souci Bridge (Castries Central)
The following roads have repaired and restored since 2011:
- Clarke Street intersection through to Cedar Heights
- Ceder Heights Road
- Bruceville Promenade
- Maghattan Road
- Main roads and sidewalks in Soufriere Town
- Sulphur Springs road and Car Park
- Upper and Lower Market Roads
- Lésperance Road
- Bois Den Road
- Chateau Belair
- Morne Jacques - Choiseul
- Fiette Road
- Balca Road
- Darban Road
- Mongouge Road
- Jetrine Road
- Delcer Road
- Chou Tigre
- Esperance Road
- Morne Jacques
- Over $4 Million worth of drains being constructed in Park Estate
- Roblot Road
- Debreuil Road
- Banse La Haut Road
- Barranger Road
- La Haut Road
- Aubrier Road
- La Croix Road (sections)
- Damiel Hill
- Vincent Drive
- Lake Side View
- Conrad Larcher Road
- Ernest Hilaire Drive
- Julian Hunte Drive
- Diwi Doo
- La Refrein Monchy
- Parrot's Hideaway
- Hilltop Avenue
- Hunter J Francois Drive
- Charles Monche
- Assau Canal Connecting Road
In addition to these roads in Gros Islet there is the Choc Bay-Gros Islet Road Upgrade Project, which includes:
- Widening of the existing two lane road to a four lane dual carriageway from Choc to the Gros Islet Junction.
- Upgrading of seven junctions (Marisule, Monchy, Glace Motors, Bois d’Orange, Rodney Bay, Bonne Terre, and Gros Islet).
- Pavement strengthening and construction of pedestrian walkways with safety bars and foot paths.
- Construction of nine overhead footbridges (Marisule, Glace Motors, East Winds, Bois d’Orange, Monchy, Rodney Bay, Bonne Terre, Gros Islet, and Wyndham) with reinforced concrete capable of withstanding high impact and lateral loads resulting from earthquakes and hurricane force winds.
- Upgrading of drainage infrastructure and ancillary structures.
- Belmont Road
- Grand Ravine
- Post Office Road
- Ti La Ressource
- Derniere Riviere
- Limierre Road
- Green Mountain
- New Field
- Fond Cacoa Road
- Red Road
- Union Terraces
- Pois Doux Road
- Ti Morne Road
- East Coast Roadway (sections)
- Dormel Road
- Victoria Street
- St Louis Street
- Eldrica's Drive
- Independence City Road
- Ciceron Road
- Millennium Highway
Castries South East
- Cul de Sac
Vieux Fort North
- Aupicon to Belle Vue Road
Anse La Raye and Canaries
The Caico - Millet Road Project will spend more than $1.4 million to rehabilitate approximately 1,270 meters of road, including concrete drains, headwalls, metal grills, and concrete pavements.
Additionally, extensive work has been done to improve the sidewalks and increase pedestrian access. For example, sidewalks were added or improved at New Dock Road, Balata, and in Castries Central. Footpaths were repaired or installed in Coolie Town, Castries South East, Tomazo, Boguis, Maynard Hill, Ty Pee, Delcer, Palmiste, and Harbour View.
A number of retaining walls were built to stabilize slopes to protect property and reduce flooding and mud slides during periods of heavy rainfall. Most notable are the:
- Entrepot Slope Stabilization
- Guesneau Slope Stabilization
- Barre d'isle Slope Stabilization
- Marchand River Bank Stabilization
A universal postal code system was also implemented.
The SLP has achieved a number of successes in ensuring affordable and livable housing is available, including:
- A reinstatement of PROUD
- Conway Relocation Project completed
- Monchy Housing Project completed
- First phase of the Mocha Housing Project completed, with phase two under way
- Bois D’Orange/Trouya Development, Black Bay Housing Development, and Talvan Housing Project under construction
- Introduced a construction stimulus programme from 2013 to 2015
After record declines under the UWP, the SLP's tourism turnaround is well underway:
- In 2013, Saint Lucia welcomed 317, 000 stay over visitors, which was a record.
- Today, we are experiencing stay over arrivals that are 4% above the recorded figure for the same period last year. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, we are set for a record year in tourism arrivals.
- The island received numerous awards for having one of the best Romantic products and scenery. In 2014 we again walked away with the coveted title of Best Caribbean Honeymoon Destination. Also several St. Lucian properties continue to win world renowned accolades. In 2014 nine (9) resort were recognized by Conde Nast Traveler Reader Awards under the category of “Best Resort in the Caribbean” listing. This is largest number of resorts ever awards for any one country in this Top Resorts Line Up having overtaken both St. Barths and Jamaica and also Antigua.
- Transformed and rebranded Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts in 2013 to include more local performers on main stage and close to 100 local artisans involved in cultural craft and talent.
- Marketing efforts increased in the US, Canada and Caribbean to include full use of St. Lucia’s Culinary Ambassador Chef Nina Compton, the “Pitons Touch the Top” social media campaign and a revitalized Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) programme which now includes ARC Plus and the now annual hosting of World ARC. All three events ending on St. Lucia.
- The Tourism Enhancement Fund was started, proceeds from which are being used to develop the sector. Ten of thousands of dollars have been expended via the fund.
- Airlift from key source markets increased tremendously over the years, with the US in particular growing by 11% between 2012 and 2013. Additional airlift from new gateways was also acquired from the US, UK and Canadian markets.
- The first annual Mercury Beach even was held at Pigeon Island which drew over 4,000 visitors.
- The Community Tourism Promotion Programme was launched.
- United Airlines will launch weekly nonstop services from Chicago to Hewanorra Airport, and flights from Charlotte, NC, Boston, MA, and Montreal, Canada.
- The P&O Cruise Lines selected Saint Lucia to be its home porting destination. The Britannia, will sail from Southampton, United Kingdom to Saint Lucia to begin its Saint Lucia cruises on Monday, 12 November, 2016.
Investments in Tourism
- Capella Marigot Bay (former Discovery) officially opened December 15th, 2014;
- Sunrod Properties Inc. officially opened the Dive Center at Rodney Bay on November 7th, 2014 (proposed 112 room hotel, The Harbor Club, is ongoing with an estimated completion date of mid-2016);
- Duty Free Pointe Seraphine – recorded several new investments:
- Island Fantasy expanded the service offerings at the shopping center through its investment in photography services;
- Glammo - a jewelry retailer;
- Embroidery World - a company which uses embroidery patterns to inscribe business logos and other captions on fabric.
- The former Smugglers Cove Resort and Spa was bought over by Blue Diamond Saint Lucia Limited;
- Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort, continued construction of private residences with the project impacting positively on employment and the construction sector;
- Preparatory works for the construction of Six Senses at Freedom Bay St. Lucia progressed with significant site preparation including, among other things, construction of the entrance facility and sales office, structural repair of the existing bridge and positioning of Gideon baskets for the commencement of phase one of the resort’s construction, the completion of at least 3 villas;
- The Landings St. Lucia completed an expansion project;
- Coconut Bay Resort and Spa continues to undertake refurbishment works with plans to construct an additional 150-300 rooms in the future;
- The Body Holiday Le Sport, Rendezvous, Rex Resorts and Windjammer Landings all undertook refurbishment works throughout the year making significant financial investments and impacting positively on employment;
- Activity was also recorded among villas with Allamanda Villas and Calabash Mountain villas engaged in villa construction;
- A New luxury hotel is being built in Choiseul. The Sunset Bay Hotel is in the planning stages and should bring in around $200 million in foreign investment to the community.
Saint Lucia has also received a number of awards, such as:
- Best Caribbean Honeymoon Destination
- Nine local resorts received the Conde Nast Traveler Reader Award for Best Resort in the Caribbean, the most awards given to any single country
- Best Caribbean Destination Award from Classic Vacations at CHTA Marketplace
- Sexiest Caribbean Destination Award
We've eased the burden on working and middle class families.
- Tax amnesty granted for all in arrears (Penalties and interest waived)
- Property tax threshold increased from $100,000 to $200,000
- Personal tax threshold was increased (As a result, many persons have been removed from the tax bracket and others pay less income tax)
- Introduce a basket of goods to protect the poor from VAT. As promised, electricity and water are VAT free
- The Construction Stimulus Package (All taxes were waived from select building materials and loans were made available at lower interest rates)
- Introduced an amnesty for citizens owing WASCO, St. Jude Hospital and Victoria Hospital
We're providing assistance for those who need it most.
- Public assistance increased by 25%
- Monthly assistance of $200.00 to children with special needs was instituted
- Reconstruction of the Morne Lay by
- Construction of homes for underprivileged residents in Dennery, Soufriere, and Vieux-Fort
- Constructed the Vieux-Fort Square and the Soufriere Town Square
- Met with UNICEF and World Bank officials to improve the efficiency of the social programmes, including by implementing the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey, a global survey used to gauge the human development of a community
- The Saint Lucia Social Development Fund donated more than EC$20,000 to the Feed the Poor Ministry, the Soufriere Soup Kitchen, and the Mongouge Club 60 Adult Daycare Centre
- The planned construction of the Laborie park and market facility
- Launched the Koudmen Sent Lisi Programme, which provides a variety of services, such as educational assistance, housing assistance, social support, health assistance, job training, and more
- Disbursed Christmas Vouchers
- Built a new Ravine Poisson Public Sanitation Facility
- Construction is nearing completion on the new Vigie Beach Vending Facility
- Expanded the After School programme from 7 to 14 centres
- Refurbished the community market on the Morne-Lay By and the Gros Islet market
- Added a number of facilities to the Pigeon Island park, including a rangers hut, a life guard tower, public use huts, food and drink vendor booths, a tour booth, and a washroom with shower facilities
- Provided more than $2 million in concessions for churches
- A new cemetery was built at Bexon and an expansion and refurbishment is planned for the Northern Cemetery
- Preparatory work has begun on a viewing area and museum at Moule a Chique, Vieux-Fort
Human Resource Development Centres (HRDCs) have been refurbished across Saint Lucia:
- Grande Rivere
- Belle Vue
- Bouton Community Centre
- Marchand Community Centre
- Faux a Chaud Community Centre
- Belair Community Centre
- Babonneau Community Centre
- Wilton's Yard Community Centre
- Monchy HRDC
- Entrepot HRDC
- Jackmel Community Centre
- Bois Patat Community Centre
- La Feuille Mothers and Fathers Hall
- Vieux-Fort Regional Offices
- Choiseul Regional Offices
- Boy's Training Centre
- Plans are being drawn up for a new Gros Islet Human Resource Development Centre
- Gros Islet Early Childhood Centre (constructed)
Additionally, we consulted with constituency councils to discuss drafting a Local Authorities Act, which would empower constituencies to generate more revenue to address problems themselves, giving them more freedom and more control.
The Walcott House Project transformed lower Chaussee Road and Grass Street into a centre for arts and am economic hub, while also memorializing two of Saint Lucia's most talented citizens.
Food security is a top priority for the SLP, and we have worked hard to promote the agricultural industry:
- We revamped the School Feeding Programme to incorporate backyard gardens, alliances with local farmers and changes to the school menus.
- Stabilized banana production by bringing Black Sigatoka disease under control.
- Provided subsidy to poultry farmers by absorbing part of the cost of feed.
- Initiated the Coconut Replanting Programme.
- Built two new jetties at Praslin and Savannes Bay to facilitate fishing and tourism, and storage facilities for fishers at those locations are currently under construction.
- Increased the fuel subsidy for fishers by 100% and developed a new National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) for boating.
- Collaborated with local entrepreneurs to establish five new Sea Moss products.
- Facilitated major growth in the fishing industry, with 132 new fishers registered and 82 new boat owners licensed.
- The Agriculture and Fisheries Incentives Act was passed and has brought millions of dollars of investment into these areas.
- Staged an agriculture symposium with the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association and the Ministry of Agriculture to bring stakeholders from throughout the food supply chain together.
- Revenue from hotel purchases reached $6.7 million, a $2 million increase over 2011. Revenue from domestic purchases local crops reached $18.1 million, a $4.3 million increase over 2011. Supermarket purchases of local crops reached $11 million, a $2 million increase over 2011.
- Implemented the 2013 Trough Rehabilitation Programme to aid farms in recovering.
- Designing and constructing a new honey processing facility in Dennery Valley and trained individuals in the area about honey production.
- Expanded cultivation of numerous agricultural products, such as 120 new acres of cocoa, 1,200 new fruit trees, and 200 acres of plantains.
- The Coconut Replanting Programme has distributed almost 10,000 seeds.
- Launched the Coffee Rehabilitation Project to spur new production.
- Facilitated the opening of the new Meat Processing Plant at Cul de Sac and has rehabilitated and opened the National Meat Processing Plant at Beauséjour.
- Construction of the Caribbean Grains Flour Mill is underway.
We've improved and opened clinics across Saint Lucia:
- Completed and reopened Dennery Hospital
- Refurbished the Soufriere Hospital
- Ti-Rocher Wellness Centre was completely renovated
- Gros-Islet Polyclinic was expanded and its hours of operation extended
- Babonneau Health Centre refurbished
- Entrepot Wellness Centre refurbished (World Bank financing was secured to offset the cost)
- Micoud Health Centre refurbished
- La Guerre Wellness Centre constructed
- Etangs Health Centre refurbished
- Castries Health Centre refurbished
- New Beginning Transit Home for Children repaired
- Mental Wellness Centre refurbished
- Women's Support Centre refurbished
- Soufriere Hospital Vulnerability and Structural Assessment undertaken in preparation for possible work
Other projects included:
- launching the 123 Hotline for crisis prevention and the 203 Hotline for suicide prevention
- meeting with international organizations to establish effective anti-Ebola protocols
- making free medication available to those with diabetes and hypertension
- hosting a Chronic Disease Self Management Programme
- raising HIV/AIDS awareness by having cabinet members get tested
- playing a key role in helping the region be declared Rubella-free
- expanding the Health Management and Information System to 30 wellness centres island-wide and providing Victoria Hospital with a telemedicine facility
- Introduced and amnesty programme for those owing money to Victoria Hospital
- signing a cooperative agreement with Cuba to bring in medical professionals to oversee and assist with various aspects of the Saint Lucian medical system
- launching a national initiative to combat the rise of diabetes
YOUTH AND SPORTS
Governance and Administration
- The creation of an autonomous Ministry of Youth Development and Sports
- Developed, unveiled and operationalized a 5 year strategic plan of action for the Ministry
- The establishment of the Communications Unit and the assignment of two officers from NTN has given much visibility to the ministry’s work and also enhanced the image of the Ministry.
- The establishment of a Sports Scholarship desk
- Re-registration of Youth and Sports clubs
- Operationalize the Beckwith International Leadership Development (BILD).
- To date fifty two young people have been trained. It is projected that over twenty thousand (20,000) young people between the ages of twelve (12) to eighteen (18) will be trained within the first three years of the programme. Those trained will create a vibrant network of young leaders to volunteer for the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2017 as well as national and community initiatives.
Support to Unemployed Youth
- Officers mobilized Youth for Jobs/Employment Opportunities
- Officers also made referrals to the National Skills Development Centre
- We successfully launched the CEBO initiative in collaboration with CARICOM
Revitalization of Youth & Sports Councils
- Re-registration exercise to ascertain the status of the youth and sports organizations in the country. To date a number of clubs and associations have registered.
- We continue to provide support to the NYC as it continues to work on strengthening its capacity, membership and leadership to serve the young people of the country. During the period under review we worked with and supported the National Youth Council in strengthening the Student branch and executing other initiatives for youth leadership and life skills development within the schools
- National District Debating Championship (18 districts registered and participated and close to 100 debaters exposed)
- EC$300,000 will be injected into the Elite Athletics Programme.
School Sports Programme
- Increased promotion and coverage for the school’s sports programme
- Secured long-term private sector sponsorship packages for various competitions.
- Hosting of school events on a weekend to engender greater spectator attendance and community support.
- Awarded sports scholarships to deserving students
- Inclusion of Sir Arthur Lewis in restructured schools sports Programme that reflects age categories.
- Recruitment of three Cuban coaches to assist in the sports of boxing, cycling and athletics. Continuous upport from the Government of Cuba in this regard.
- St Lucia has won sub-regional under 15, under 19 and senior male cricket competitions.
- Expanded the cricket coaching programme to include a component for the development of women’s cricket. Appointment of female coaches
- In collaboration with NICE and the FA, deployed scores of football coaches to schools and communities
Sports for All
- Hundreds of St Lucians are involved in aerobics and keep fit programmes at least twice weekly. The programme is designed to engage citizens in physical activity for the sake of good health and reducing the incidence of non-communicable diseases which continue to plague our country.
Sports Facilities Upgraded
- The La Clery Playing Field lighting project completed.
- Refurbishment of the Mon Repos Playing field
- Refurbishment of the La Farge Playing Field
- A new pavilion added at the Canaries Playing Field
- Pavillion at the Anse La Raye Playing Field
- Micoud Playing field lighting project completed
- Grand Riviere, Gros Islet playing field lighting project completed
- Laborie Playing Field refurbished
- Aupicon Playing Field Refurbished
- Entrepot Playing Field refurbished
- Lights and refurbishment at the Fond Assau Playing Field
- Mon Repos Playing Field refurbished
- Dennery Playing Field renamed Remy Lesmon Recreational Facility. A change room will also be construction along with a sitting area.
- Rehabilitation of the Marchand Grounds. The grounds received a new surface and lights.
- Rehabilitation of Phillip Marcellin Grounds. A new surface and installation of lights.
- Upgrade of La Ressource (Dennery ) Playing Field
- Rehabilitation of Anse La Raye Playing field (improved surface, installation of lights.
- Soufriere Playing Field grassed
- A new Pavillion at the La Ressource Playing Field
- New Pavillion for the Fond Assau Playing Field
- SALCC playing field refurbished
- Refurbishment of the Bexon Playing Field
- Installation of lights at the Remy Lesmon Playing Field
- New court at Riviere Mitan
- New multipurpose court at Fond St.Jacques, Soufriere
- Rehabilitated multipurpose court at Belle Vue, Vieux Fort
- New Boguis Court
- New Pavee Court
- Mongouge Court
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, ENERGY & WATER
- Launched the Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project (DVRP), which will reduce the island’s vulnerability to natural hazards and prepare for the adverse impacts of climate change by strengthening critical infrastructure and improving the national capacity to rehabilitate damaged infrastructure.
- Completed Limits of Acceptable Change (LAC) Study and saved the Pitons Management Area (PMA) from being placed on list of World Heritage in Danger
- 80 landslides rehabilitated and 773 check dams established
- 18 hectares of Forest Reserve restored for soil and water conservation
- Seventy-five (75) hectares of landslide areas restored within the forest reserve
- Replacement of 48 High Pressure Sodium Street Lights with LED lights as first phase of island-wide Street Light Replacement Programme
- Training provided to farmers in construction and use of solar dryers
- Partnership with Clinton Climate Initiative to advance negotiations for the development of geothermal energy in Soufriere
- Partnership with and support of Sir Richard Branson’s Carbon War Room for the development of Request for Proposals for utility-scale 3 MW Solar Photovoltaic plant and Waste-to-Energy plant
- Securing of grants from the World Bank and the Government of New Zealand for geothermal exploration and the project has progressed well into phase one, with plans to begin drilling as early as 2018
- Installation of solar photovoltaic panels and rainwater harvesting equipment on the Marchand Community Centre/Disaster Shelter
- Commencement of retrofitting of interior lights in Ministry of Infrastructure building to LED fixtures
- Provision of support for the development of a 12 MW wind farm on the east coast
- Publication of tender documents for grid-tied solar photovoltaic installations for the National Wellness Centre and NEMO Headquarters
- Publication of request for proposals for complete electricity and cooling retrofit of the Greaham Louisy Administrative Building
- Reduction of duties on all hybrid (renewable energy) vehicles
- The water distribution network was extended in
- Green Mountain and Over the Bridge in Dennery
- Morne Cisseau in Jacmel
- Moca in Soufriere
- Construction of new water treatment plant at Micoud
- Construction of new water intake at Desruisseaux
- Retrofitting of Desruisseaux water treatment plant
- Procurement and installation of water meters for Non-Revenue Water Programme
- Works at Au Leon to upgrade intake, raw water line and treatment plant
- Works in Errard River to upgrade intake and raw water line
- Reconstruction of Louisy intake and installation of pipeline
- Rehabilitation of Millet, Ravine Poisson and Vanard intakes
- Establishment of a water storage facility at Union for securing stock from floods and weathering
- Establishment of regional cooperation and capacity development exchange programme with WASCO and SICSM (Martinique)
- Cas En Bas water mains installation
- Works on Rocky Lane/Green Mountain, Dennery water supplies
- Bruceville, Vieux Fort Water Extension Project
- Installation of a Geographic Information System (GIS) for mapping of critical water infrastructure
- Commencement of work on upgrade of Vieux Fort Water Supply
- Completion of technical studies for Dennery Valley Water Supply Improvement Project
- Installation of equipment to collect information on river flow, rainfall, water quality and in some cases water level at four main rivers - Canelles, Mabouya, Deglos and Dauphin, and improvement of database on information collected from 30 hydromet stations around the island
- Commencement of technical appraisal and feasibility studies for the desilting of the Roseau Reservoir/John Compton Dam
- Completion of groundwater exploration studies at selected sites around the island
- Invasive plant species were removed from the Gros Piton National Trail
- More than 100 trees were planted to combat desertification
- Environmental Education was implemented in schools to teach children about sustainability and the environment
- A 12MW test wind tower was erected in Dennery. This marked the commencement of work on the ground for the first utility scale renewable energy project here in Saint Lucia.
- Saint Lucia Electricity Services Limited’s requested proposals for the construction of a 3 megawatt solar energy farm, and received interest from 70 potential bidders
- Ten bidders also responded to call to build a waste-to-energy plant, which would generate 1-3 megawatts of electricity while also reducing the strain on existing landfills
- A total of 1,500 households in Saint Lucia participated in a survey that will provide critical input into the design of a US$5 million Climate Adaptation Financing Facility (CAFF), to be established for the benefit of households and businesses.
- Saint Lucia was chosen to be a recipient of funds from the Coastal Protection Project in the Caribbean, which seeks to help island nations and coastal populations prepare for the effects of climate change.
- The Flood Early Warning System has been established to help protect communities at risk during sever weather events.
COMMERCE, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, INVESTMENT AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS
Establishing clear standards and ensuring the protection of our consumers.
The St. Lucia Bureau of Standards (SLBS):
- Provided training and developed Code of Practice and guidance on the implementation of standards to Beauty and Wellness, Baking,
- Approximately 231 persons trained in the Food and Beverage sector during 2013/14 by the SLBS
- Developed standards of relevance to various sectors including agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, health, education, construction etc. A total number of twelve (12) standards were developed for the grading of plantains, breadfruit, sweet peppers, cabbages, hot peppers, and mangoes.
- Standards were also developed for laundry detergent powder, child safety, water safety signs for workplaces, and public areas and beaches.
- Five spas will receive the SLBS Quality Logo after meeting criteria.
- The Consumer Protection Bill was enacted.
- Launch of the Small Business Development Centre (SBDC)
- With assistance from the University of Texas San Antonio, the Ministry of Commerce, through its Small Business Development Unit (SEDU) linked with ten (10) partners in academia and the private sector to form a network to serve the micro and small business sector.
- Work has is underway or has been completed in multiple malls and commerce areas, such as the Courts Mega Centre, the Dahana Mall, and another in Rayneau.
- The Ministry has focused on development, the furniture sub sector, and has entered into dialogue with the furniture manufacturers and their main purchaser, Courts Unicomer. This has resulted in one manufacturer, with the help of Courts, shipping a container of furniture to Grenada and is now exploring sales to other OECS countries.
- 100s of persons have graduated from business development courses conducted by The Small Enterprise Development Unit (SEDU) held during the three year period
- Together with other Government Departments worked with the business community to prepare for the introduction of VAT through providing free of charge Peachtree accounting software as well as training of participants in Peachtree accounting and VAT processes
Mentoring Sessions for Young Entrepreneurs
- SEDU collaborated with UWI Open Campus – Saint Lucia on Thursday, November 21st, 2013 to afford nine (9) young SEDU clients mentoring via Skype with Ultrapreneur, Julian Hall, of the USA.
Business Name Registration Assistance
- 222 persons were assisted with business name registration between Jan-Dec 2013. Of the 222 clients who sought to register their business name, 78% were sole proprietorships and 22% partnerships.
Promoting Trade and Commerce
- A new Act establishing the Trade Export Promotion Agency was passed in November 2013.
- With respect to Trade Promotion, TEPA continued to develop marketing and promotion strategies to increase exports in the main export markets. In the Canadian market, a targeted project was undertaken to pursue market entry for 10 local firms in this market. Market assessments were done for the 10 firms and a detailed action plan is being executed to address all inadequacies. Work in ongoing to effectively position these products and services and promote them in this market.
- A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed with Cuba, which has lead to Baron Foods exporting goods to Cuba.
- Crafting of a number of policy papers (Transition from NDC to ISL; PPP Policy; Role of Foreign Missions; Toward a Development Philosophy/Agenda; Investment Road Map), which make a determined contribution to the national development and investment policy dialogue and formulation);
- Formal launch, presentation of vision and rebranding of Invest Saint Lucia;
- Signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Invest Saint Lucia and the Federal Owens Group (FOG), which secured FOG’s agreement to set aside, without penalty, the original Joint Venture Agreement (JVA), which disproportionately favoured FOG and threatened to dispossess ISL, and ultimately the country, of approximately 300- 600 acres of strategic land in Fond D’Or Bay Dennery without any development or investment taking place. The new agreement, which was negotiated by a high level Invest Saint Lucia delegation In New York On February 1st 2013, also explored the possibilities for fresh negotiations leading to a new, fairer, more transparent and ;better balanced Master Development Agreement (MDA) on the proposed project. (Rescue of 600 acres of land and possible saving of US$5 million in compensation)
- Investment Flows: St Lucia received US $138 million net foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2012, up by 81.6 percent from last year, according to data collected by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).
- Successful hosting of Inaugural Saint Lucia Investment Forum;
- Formal change of name from NDC to Invest Saint Lucia by way of Legislative amendment as well as New National Investment Bill;
- ISL elected to CAIPA Presidency for the very first time defeating the formidable Head of the host Dominican Republic’s IPA in the process;
- Developed an online resource centre with regularly updated information on available investment opportunities in Saint Lucia , which is frequently shared with potential investors;
- Participated in a number of regional and international investment missions and promotional events, including hosting inward investment visits, to develop more investment leads and business contacts with potential investors ( e.g. Apple Leisure Group; Martinique Investment Forum; CHRIS 2014; World Investment Conference and CAIPA presentations to the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce in Turkey; NABHOOD Summit; World Investment Forum in Geneva and side visits to Zurich and London; CAIPA presentations to AndrewsInstitute visit in Pensacola; CHICOS in Punta Cana; C3 Arab American Summit; Israeli investors visit to St. Lucia)
- Developed and adopted a new investment policy;
Creative Industries is taking the ideas, creativity, and originality of Saint Lucians in all creative endeavours and turning them into sustainable economic gains through training, business development, marketing, and promotion of intellectual property rights.
To promote this the SLP has:
- launched the Creative Industries website
- initiated the National Performance Programme
- JETE Dance Competition started
- sent a contingent of Saint Lucian musicians and artists to New York, USA, to represent Saint Lucia and increase awareness and recognition of Saint Lucian arts and music.
- Caribbean Grains Ltd, a French enterprise with some Singaporean share holding, is involved in the manufacture of animal feed for the local market and started operations in 2013 in the Hewanorra Free Zone.
- Canada Plastics, a manufacturer of plastic products, established operations in Cul-de-Sac in 2013 and commenced production of plastic film, clear bags and shopping bags.
The Ministry External Affairs play a critical role in our country’s development, as it helps secure, coordinate, and facilitate the receipt of international investment and aid. To that end, during the five years of SLP control we established formal diplomatic relations with a half dozen countries and officially opened
an an embassy in Taiwan.
SLP Successes 1997 - 2006
From 1997 - 2006, the Saint Lucia Labour Party delivered. We built a major hospital. We built schools across the island. We improved education. The economy boomed. Jobs were created. While we had more work to do, under the SLP, Saint Lucia was moving forward.
In 2006, the UWP made you a number of promises. They said they would create thousands of new jobs. They failed. Under the UWP regime, unemployment reached record levels. They said they would reduce crime. They failed. Under the UWP regime, crime skyrocketed to record highs. Corruption. Disregard for the Constitution. Weak leadership. Scoundrels in Government. This is what the UWP has brought to the people of Saint Lucia.
It's time for change. Better Days are Coming Under an SLP, that, from 1997-2006, delivered for you. Remember our many accomplishments:
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Advancing Our Economic Development
- Creating a Caring Society
- Expanding Education Opportunities
- Better Health Services
- Protecting the Vulnerable
- Investing in Sports
- Strengthening National Security
- Major Infrastructure Improvements
- Modern Communications
- International Recognition
On May 23rd, 1997 the Saint Lucia Labour Party entered into a Contract of Faith with the people of Saint Lucia to undertake the task of transforming our country and restoring its national confidence. Team Labour set about that task diligently, honouring its obligations in the Contract.
Nine years later, we are continuing to faithfully discharge our responsibilities. Our commitment to Saint Lucia is as strong as it was in 1997. We are confident that our nation is a better country today than it was ten years ago. Saint Lucians enjoy improved standards of living and a better quality of life because Labour has delivered. Saint Lucians can feel the benefits of the decade of positive transformation that Labour has presided over.
Eyes Don't Lie! See the Photos of the SLP Government's Many Successes:
In 1997, the Saint Lucian economy was anorexic, having experienced three straight years of subpar growth. By the time our Party was elected to office in 1997, agriculture had suffered its fifth consecutive year of decline. The downward trend reflected the decline in banana production and more than 3000 farmers had left the industry amid much strife and bloodshed. The manufacturing sector did not fare much better, having almost died due to its lack of competitiveness. Tourism represented the only flicker of hope on the otherwise bleak horizon.
In the nine years of our rule, GDP has grown at the following rates: 3.3% in 1998, 3.89% in 1999, -0.29% in 2000 due to a devastating drought, -4.05% in 2001 because of the adverse impact of 9/11, 0.54% in 2002, 3.09% in 2003, 3.99% in 2004 and 5.4% in 2005.
Unprecedented Support for Bananas
We recognised the importance of stabilising the banana industry and modernising it so that it could better withstand the shocks of a competitive and liberal external market. In a little under ten years, we injected over $140 million worth of support into the banana industry.
• The debt of the old SLBGA was wiped out
• Three modern Inland Reception and Distribution Centres were built
• Funds were provided for a Production Recovery Plan
• All duties were removed on banana inputs
• Assistance was given on three occasions to fight Leaf Spot disease
• A revolving Input Credit Scheme was established
• The price of banana cartons was subsidised
• $20 million dollar farm irrigation infrastructure was installed
• Support was given for post-Hurricane Lili rehabilitation
• A Banana Emergency Recovery Programme costing over $20 million was put in place
No Government has ever done more for any single industry in any comparable period in our history!
Growth in Fisheries
We saw the importance of providing modern facilities for our fishermen so that they could meet the growing demand for fish and sea food. So, with the help of the Japanese Government, we constructed three modern, state-of-the-art Fish Landing Facilities in Vieux Fort, Soufriere and Choiseul.
We also installed Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) and pioneered Long Line Fishing so that our fishers could exploit resources that had previously eluded them.
Protection for Livestock Farmers
We established quotas for chicken production and pork production in order to allow those industries to grow and profit from opportunities in tourism and hospitality.
A Vibrant Tourism Sector
We recognised that the tourism sector held the key to our future growth and development. So we deliberately set about establishing the necessary environment that would give local and foreign investors the confidence to develop the industry.
An essential element of our strategy was venturing into areas in which previously we had not participated. So our construction of the Beausejour Cricket Ground was undertaken not only to provide better facilities for our cricketers, but also to allow us to benefit from the tourism opportunities that some of our neighbours had enjoyed for so long.
Several New Hotels
The results have surpassed even our most optimistic expectations. Since our Government assumed office in 1997, the following hotels have either been built or completely refurbished:
• Sandals Grande Hotel
• Coco Palm Hotel
• Coco Creole Hotel
• Almond Bay Resort
• Coconut Bay Resort
• Discovery at Marigot Bay
In addition, several hotels have commenced construction and are due to open soon, such as:
• Cotton Bay
• Bay Gardens Suites
• The Landings
• A new Golf Course is now being built at Le Paradis, in preparation for the commencement of construction of the hotel.
• 160 properties have received incentives for development in time for the 2007 Cricket World Cup
• 25 new Bed and Breakfast properties are also expected to come on stream for the World Cup.
Record Visitor Arrivals
Total visitor arrivals to Saint Lucia surpassed 800,000 in 2004. Last year the stay-over arrivals topped 300,000 for the first time in our history.
Incentives for Taxi Drivers and Car Rental Companies
We also provided special incentives to car rental operators and taxi drivers to allow them to improve their fleet of vehicles.
Despite stiff international competition, manufacturing has enjoyed four consecutive years of expansion, fueled by growth in the food and beverage sector. Our targeted support for this sector, with the systematic reduction of taxes, the granting of generous incentives, and the implementation of policies to encourage export, has yielded positive results. Our manufacturers are more vibrant and active now than at any other time in recent history.
The construction sector is perhaps the area where we have seen the most impressive growth performance. Despite significant increases in the cost of building materials caused by fuel-led increases in shipping costs, construction’s contribution to Gross Domestic Product has averaged well over 8 percent during our first two terms. This provides unequivocal support of the confidence that the private sector has had in the policies of our Government and the economic stability that we have provided.
Declaring War on Unemployment
Despite continuing contraction in the banana industry, caused by an increasingly unfriendly external market- place, our Government has been able to provide new spheres of economic activity and employment for our citizens.
This has resulted in unemployment reaching a fifteen- year low of 15.3 %.
Other Economic Achievements
During our decade of work advancing our economic development, we have also presided over the following major achievements:
• The construction of the Goods Distribution Free Zone in Vieux Fort
• The establishment of the Bank of Saint Lucia
• Completion of the Pointe Seraphine Redevelopment Berth
• Extension of the George F.L. Charles Airport Terminal building
• Resurfacing of the George F.L. Charles Airport runway
• Rehabilitation of the Northern Wharf
• The construction of La Place Carenage
• The establishment of the Desmond Skeete Animation Centre
• The construction of a new Ferry Terminal
Reducing the Tax Burden
Perhaps the area in which our detractors have been most dishonest is their charge that we have increased the tax burden on Saint Lucians. However, an analysis of our record over the past nine and a half years will demonstrate the exact opposite.
No Taxes on Tips
One of our first acts was to abolish the taxes on the gratuities and tips paid to hotel workers.
Reductions in Corporate Tax
We reduced the rate of Corporate Tax from 33.3% to 30%, which is one of the lowest Corporate Tax rates in the Commonwealth Caribbean.
Property Tax Reduction
We inherited Property Taxes of 7%, 8% and 14% of the assessed rental value of the property. In 2001 we introduced a single uniform rate of 5%, and for com- mercial properties we established a rate of 0.25% tax on the open market value.
First Time Home Owners Given Relief
In some cases we exempted, and in others made reductions for a period of three years, the Property Tax payable by a first-time home owner. This was meant to encourage home ownership and facilitate first- time owners during what is usually a difficult period.
Home Ownership Savings Plan
In order to assist young people invest in their own homes, our Government introduced a Registered Home Ownership Savings Plan, which allows for an Income Tax deduction of $6,000 per year.
Exemption for Low-Income Earners
We completely exempted any owner of a property whose household income is less than $6,000.00 per annum from the payment of Property Tax.
New Commercial Properties
The owners of commercial properties that were completed after April 2001 were also exempted from the payment of Property Tax on that property. This measure was intended to help local entrepreneurs who invest in new commercial properties.
We exempted all pensioners from the payment of Property Tax.
Employment Tax Credit
In 1998 we introduced an Employment Tax Credit to companies that employ University graduates. This credit allows the company to claim the salary of the employed graduate plus an additional amount of 25% of the total salary paid during the income year.
Interest on Delayed Tax Refunds
Also in 1998, we introduced a system of interest payments on delayed tax refunds. Where a refund is not paid six months after the date of assessment, the refund attracts interest at the rate of 4% per year.
Incentives for Small Business
We also provided relief on Corporate Tax to small businesses. Where these businesses used to pay a flat rate of 33.3%, we have introduced a sliding scale over 5 years from 15% to 30%.
Student Loan Interest Allowance
Our Government introduced a provision that entitles individuals to a Tax deduction of as much as $3,000.00 per year on the interest paid on student loans.
No More Exit Certificates
We abolished the requirement for an Exit Certificate from the Inland Revenue Department every time someone travelled out of Saint Lucia.
No Entertainment Tax
We abolished the Entertainment Tax that people holding dances, shows or other entertainment activities had to pay to Inland Revenue.
Increase in Tax Deduction for Savings in Credit Unions
We increased the tax deduction for savings in Credit Unions from $3,600 to $5,000.00
Reduction in Stamp Duties
In 2001, our Government reduced the Stamp Duty on Leases, Share Transfers and certain Banking transactions.
Other Tax Concessions
Over the two terms of our administration, we introduced several other tax concessions:
• We removed duties on surveillance and security equipment for businesses and households
• In 1999, we exempted certain power tools from import duties and taxes
• In 2003 and 2006 we reduced Excise Duties on motor vehicles
• On several occasions we announced exemptions on taxes on building materials for the refurbishment of business places
• To encourage people to buy shares in companies, we introduced a tax deduction in the year of purchase of the shares
• We provided tax concessions for the purchase of solar water systems
• In 2002 we removed Import Duties and Consumption Taxes on CD ROMS and Hard Drives
In 1997, our Government inherited a country whose social infrastructure had been neglected. In almost every area we had witnessed a gross underdevelopment of our ability and our potential. So we immediately set about creating a more caring and compassionate society. The result is one of the proudest legacies of our administration. Today, Saint Lucia is a more egalitarian society than it has ever been in our history.
Recognising the importance of education as a vehicle out of poverty, we immediately sought to and succeeded in expanding education opportunities for all Saint Lucians.
No More Shift System
We abolished the shift system, built several new schools and trained more teachers. To ensure that students were not merely allowed to pass through the system, we introduced national performance standards for primary school students. Any student whose performance was below the benchmarked level was provided with remedial assistance.
Book Bursary and Textbook Rental
Hunger and poverty prevented some children from performing better at school. So we expanded the school feeding programme in a number of primary schools, developed a book bursary programme for the primary schools, and introduced a textbook rental programme for Forms 1 to 3 at all secondary schools.
Universal Secondary Education
We believe that education is a basic right and not an elitist endeavour for a select few. Every year parents and students would agonise over their fate, as they worried whether the school system would weed them out and cut their futures short. We made the bold commitment that every school child would be guaranteed a place in a secondary school and we delivered. We have transformed our education system by introducing Universal Secondary Education.
Focus on Skills Training
The focus of our improvements in the educational system was not confined to academic subjects. We introduced the National Skills Development Centre (NSDC) in 2001 to train unemployed youth in technical and vocational programmes. To date, NSDC has trained over 2000 formerly unemployed individuals.
Through the NSDC, we established six Learning Enrichment Centres in Grande Riviere Gros Islet, Vide Bouteille Castries, La Croix Maingot Castries, Patience Mon Repos, Soufriere and Reunion Choiseul
In the past, many young people left school with few technical skills and no experience that would qualify them for available technical jobs. In 2005, we established a Youth Apprenticeship Programme to facilitate the transition of skilled unemployed people into the world of work through formal and on the job training. The NSDC collaborates with private and public sector agencies to implement the YAP.
More University Scholarships
Not only have we expanded the number of students receiving a secondary education, we have also expanded the numbers receiving university training. Over the past decade, we have increased the number of offers of undergraduate scholarships to various Universities in the USA, Mexico, Venezuela, the French Antilles, Cuba, the UK and Canada.
National Enrichment and Learning
We recognise that many older Saint Lucians were denied opportunities for education. We believe that learning is a lifelong process, so we established the National Enrichment and Learning Programme, popularly known as NELP. This programme has been designed to give adults another chance at acquiring skills and knowledge that they missed out on during their earlier years.
No previous government has had the courage and vision to address the health care needs of Saint Lucians as comprehensively as we have done. Since 1997, the Government of the Saint Lucia Labour Party has been revolutionising the health care system in Saint Lucia and getting it set to become world class.
Prior to 1997, the daily news headlines were inundated with stories related to problems in the operations of the island’s health care system. People complained about the availability, the quality and the cost of health care. In recent times, such issues have virtually disappeared from the news, because we have expanded the public’s access to quality health care services.
We were able to make these positive changes by doing the following:
No Doctor’s Fees
• We eliminated doctor’s fees at all Health Centres.
Improved Emergency Service
• We redesigned and improved our Accident and Emergency (Casualty) Care Service.
Health Centres Repaired
• We refurbished 15 Health Centres islandwide
Doctors & Nurses Trained
• We trained over 75 doctors and recently provided opportunities for over 250 Saint Lucians to study nursing.
Free Diabetes Treatment
• We have provided free screening and free diabetes and anti-hypertension medication under the UHC Diabetic and Hypertension Pilot Programme.
Free Eye Care and Surgery
• We screened, free-of-charge, over 8000 Saint Lucians for various eye diseases and made it possible for over 2000 nationals to receive free eye surgery in Cuba.
• We provided massive in-service training for all health care workers.
Medical Complaints Commission
• We established a Medical Complaints Commission to deal with complaints about health care professionals and workers.
The neglect of the United Workers Party was perhaps most glaring in how it dealt with the vulnerable people in our society. Our Government identified this group as one in need of special assistance and among other things we undertook the following:
Increased Public Assistance
• We increased the allowance received by persons on Public Assistance by 100%.
Homes Repaired for Elderly
• The Labour Government repaired 273 houses owned by elderly persons under a Home Repair and Care of the Elderly Programme.
Women’s Support Centre
• We established a Women’s Support Centre to protect victims of domestic violence.
• The SLP provided financial support to HIV/ AIDS positive persons in need.
• We implemented a national protocol and procedures to address child abuse, resulting in more cases being identified and addressed..
• We launched a Foster Care and Adoption Programme to protect vulnerable children.
No Property Tax for Pensioners
• We exempted pensioners from the payment of Property Taxes
Assistance to Victims of Natural Disaster
• We relocated the residents of Black Mallet after the unfortunate land slippage in that area.
• We rehabilitated the Soufriere and Gros Islet Waterfronts after the passage of Hurricane Lenny and provided assistance to the affected fishermen.
No Income Tax for Low Income Workers
• We exempted over 5,500 low income earners from Income Tax by increasing the taxable threshold to $16,000.00.
Increased Maternity Benefits
• We Increased Maternity Benefits.
New HRDCs and Day Care Centres
• Our Government constructed 7 Human Resource Development Centres (HRDCs)
• We built 6 new Day Care Centres.
Support for Tens of Thousands with PRF, BNTF & BELFUND
• Among other things, we installed footpaths, drains and other community infrastructure to benefit over 15,000 persons in over 50 communities in the past 5 years via the Poverty Reduction Fund.
• We disbursed over 400 low cost loans under the BELFUND, totalling in excess of $4 million to poor, previously unemployed young persons.
• The SLP provided assistance to over 40,000 persons under the Basic Needs Trust Fund in water supply installations, roads, drains, health care, footpaths, and skills training.
We have invested heavily in sporting infrastructure. Prior to 1997, Saint Lucia had no world class sporting facilities.
World Class Sports Facilities
Now we boast an Olympic standard National Stadium in Vieux Fort and the Beausejour Cricket Ground, the best cricket ground in the Caribbean.
Beausejour - Simply the Best
Since its official opening in 2002, the Beausejour Cricket Ground has played host to India, New Zealand, England, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Australia and Pakistan touring teams. All have hailed it as the best in the Caribbean and one of the best in the world as far as facilities for teams and match officials.
The Home of the World Cup
In 2004, Beausejour Cricket Ground was selected by the International Cricket Council as the venue for Opening Round matches in the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup involving England, New Zealand, Kenya and Canada, and the place where the semifinal between the top ranking team and the fourth qualifier will take place.
First Day-Night International Cricket Match in the Caribbean
This year, the Beausejour Cricket Ground made history once again when it became the first cricket ground in the Caribbean to host a Day-Night One Day International cricket match.
First Indoor Gymnasium
A legacy project of the 2007 Cricket World Cup will be the construction of Saint Lucia’s first Indoor Sports Facility at Beausejour. This facility will provide our local basketballers, volleyballers, netballers, boxers and table tennis players, among others, with a high quality venue to further improve their skills.
Improved Cricket Grounds
Two of the many positive spin-offs of the hosting of the Cricket World Cup are the improvements to the Mindoo Phillip Park and the Gros Islet Playing Field, where practice sessions will be held.
The outfield of the Mindoo Phillip Park is being completely resurfaced and its player facilities improved, while the Gros Islet Playing Field is being fenced, with an improved outfield, a new pavillion, and changing rooms for players.
Community Sporting Facilities
Saint Lucia can now boast of playing facilities in almost every community. There are now close to ninety (90) playing fields and over fifty (50) multipurpose courts around the country.
More Multi-Purpose Courts
New multipurpose courts were constructed in Ravine Poisson Bexon, Vanard Roseau Valley, Monchy Gros Islet, Au Tabor Anse La Raye, Mongouge Choiseul, Balata Babonneau and La Caye Dennery. This year, new courts are planned for Pavee and the Vieux Fort Comprehensive School.
New Playing Fields Constructed
New playing fields were constructed in Morne Cayenne Vieux Fort, La Guerre Babonneau, Grande Riviere Dennery, Marigot Castries, and Banse La Grace Laborie. This year, a new playing field will be built at the George Charles Secondary School in Castries.
Major Upgrades to Soufriere and Vigie Playing Fields
In addition, the long awaited Soufriere Grandstand project will commence shortly, and will provide Soufriere with a first class 1000 seat facility capable of hosting national, regional and international events. The Vigie Playing Field upgrade has also commenced with the assistance of the Venezuelan Government.
So bad had the crime situation already become under the previous administration, that the most senior member of that administration, John Compton, described Saint Lucia as the murder capital of the Western Hemisphere. This was the situation a Labour Government inherited in 1997. Since that time we have done many things to protect and secure Saint Lucian citizens.
Expanded Police Force
We expanded the Police Force by training over 450 new officers. We also trained our police in the handling of evidence and crime scenes.
Support from British Police
Recently, we recruited a team of ten highly skilled former British Police Officers to provide ongoing training and assistance for our police officers.
New Police Stations
New police stations have been constructed at Anse la Raye, Marchand and Vieux Fort. In addition, six more police stations have been refurbished in Gros-Islet, Marigot, Canaries, Soufriere, Choiseul and Laborie. A new Police Station was recently completed in Micoud. Construction has commenced on two new stations in the Mabouya Valley and Dennery Village.
New Frame Relay System
We also invested in a modern Frame Relay System to ensure that Police Stations and Divisions can communicate with each other.
New Fire Stations
We recognised that our Firemen were also in need of new stations. Therefore, we constructed new Fire Stations in Dennery, Vieux Fort, Gros Islet and Micoud.
New Forensic Laboratory
We have begun construction and will soon commission a new Forensic Laboratory to aid in the speedy scientific investigation and prosecution of cases.
We improved the legislative framework within which law enforcement operates. We introduced a new Evidence Act, modernised the Criminal Code, introduced measures to deal with money laundering, responded to the increasing sophistication of criminals by introducing measures for tracking their communication and passed legislation making it more difficult to profit from criminal proceeds. We also offered some comfort to our farmers by introducing new legislation on Praedial Larceny.
Response to Crime Against Visitors
Again, in our effort to strengthen the police response, particularly in our tourism communities, the Saint Lucia Labour Party Government introduced Rapid Response Units, manned by former police officers and special constables. The units exist in Gros Islet, Castries and Vieux Fort. New vehicles were provided for these units and they have been successful in reducing the incidents of crime in these areas.
In a bid to reduce crime on our beaches, we introduced a new Unit, the Beach Rangers. The Rangers patrol our beaches and help to protect both citizens and visitors. They provide a vital link to our Police. Since their introduction, there has been a noticeable reduction in the harassment of locals and tourists on our beaches.
More Police Vehicles
Since coming into office, our Government has bought 45 new motor vehicles and 23 new motor cycles for the Police. On top of that, we recently placed an order for another 53 motor vehicles and 15 motor cycles for the Police Force.
Bordelais Correctional Facility
We built a new prison to strengthen the security of our people and our nation, and to rehabilitate the criminals among us. Since we opened the Bordelais Correctional Facility we no longer hear the horror stories about criminals escaping on a daily basis or prisoners rioting and endangering our national security.
Criminal Division of High Court
We also abolished periodic Assizes and established a Criminal Division of the High Court. This provides for year-round hearing of cases and people accused of crimes being brought to trial more speedily.
Crown Prosecution Service
On top of that, we established the Crown Prosecution Service to assist the Director of Public Prosecution with the prosecution of criminal cases.
National Crime Commission
Our Government created the National Crime Commission to assist the Police in the development and implementation of a nationwide community policing programme. It also collects and compiles vital statistics that the Police use to target their crime prevention strategies and efforts.
Duty Free Security Equipment
We removed the duties and taxes on security and surveillance equipment and encouraged businesses and private households to invest in their own security.
Regulation of Private Security
Recently, we passed a Private Security Bill that regulates the operations of private security companies in Saint Lucia.
We invested heavily in developing the tertiary road network because we recognised its importance to economic and social life and its value as an important national asset. Under our tertiary road repair programme (TRRP) we upgraded the following tertiary roads:
• La Croix Chaubourg - Desbarra
• Monchy – Desrameau
• La Bonne
• Fond Assau – Chassin
• Guesneau – Forestierre
• Anse La Raye - Venus
• East Winds
• Cas En Bas & Extension
• St. Lawrence Estate
• Millet - Tete Chemin
• Millet - Venus
• Victoria – Martin – Le Riche
• Delcer – La Point – Le Riche
• Esperance – Raveneau
• Estangs – Union Vale – Delcer
• Fond St Jacques – Diamond Soufriere
• Fond St Jacques – Migny
• Chateau Belair
• Canaries Valley
• Belvedere – Anse La Liberte
• Mahaut – Calypso
• Mahaut - Six Leiu
• Volet - Mahaut
• Grace - Augier
• Grace - Joyeaux – Belle Vue
• Moule a Chique
• Mamicou Loop
• Dennery, St Joseph – Errard
• Des Cartiers – Rain Forest
• Bois Canoe Road
• Morne Panache
• Bois d’Orange - Windjammer
• Paix Bouche – Boguis
• Desbarra Road
3 Major Highways Rehabilitated
• We undertook the complete reconstruction of the Soufriere to Vieux Fort Highway.
• We have commenced the resurfacing of the East Coast Highway
• We are widening and rehabilitating the Castries to Gros Islet Highway.
• We reconstructed the Beausejour Bella Rosa Ring Road.
8,000 New Street Lights
We facilitated the installation of 8,000 new Street Lights.
We brought electricity to communities like Bouton that had been left in the dark for decades.
An End to Floods
We undertook Flood Mitigation Projects in Castries, Dennery, Anse La Raye and Vieux Fort.
New Sanitary Landfills
We commissioned new sanitary Landfills at Deglos and Vieux Fort.
Northern Water Supply Improvement
We embarked on an ambitious Northern Water Supply Project to alleviate the water shortages in the most densely populated part of our island.
The Saint Lucia Labour Party championed the liberalization of the telecommunications sector, making it possible for almost everyone to own a phone. Today, nearly every citizen owns a cell phone.
Another positive outcome of our work in this area is the increased access to the Internet that Saint Lucians now enjoy. This has been of tremendous benefit to the education sector and the business community.
Establishment of Call Centres
Our efforts have resulted in the modernisation of the economy through the various applications of Information Communications Technology, including the establishment of Call Centres, providing employment for hundreds of young Saint Lucians and allowing more people to travel on the information super highway.
Cheaper Telephone Rates
By liberalising the sector we provided the opportunity for a wider section of Saint Lucians to access telephone and other telecommunication services, and to benefit from lower rates for phones.
Better Community Postal Services
We pursued a conscious decision to introduce and implement a door-to-door mail delivery service. The door-to-door delivery has been expanded and to date 40 communities benefit from this service.
National Television Network
Our Government established the National Television Network to provide a medium for Saint Lucians to be better informed on national social, cultural, economic and historical issues.
In 1997, we made a commitment to restore national pride and confidence. We needed to raise Saint Lucia’s profile in the international community after embarrassing scandals involving our country at the highest level. We can report with pride that we accomplished that mission with distinction.
Establishing Relations with China
Also, a positive outcome of our establishment of diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China has been the gift of a Goods Distribution Free Zone, a National Stadium, and a new Mental Health Facility. On completion of the Mental Health Facility, China will construct a state-of-the-art Cultural Complex for Saint Lucia.
Presidency of UN General Assembly
Saint Lucia attained its crowning achievement in External Relations when in 2003/2004 it assumed the Presidency of the 58th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Saint Lucia was the smallest member of the International Community to hold this position and made all small States proud because of the success of this Presidency, which was held by our very own, Honourable Julian R. Hunte.
Our Friendship with Cuba
Our continued friendship with the Government and people of Cuba has resulted in the training of hundreds of young Saint Lucian men and women who otherwise would not be able to receive University training and professional qualifications. Over 550 Saint Lucian students are currently in Cuba.
World Heritage Status
As a result of the sterling work of committed Saint Lucians, under the guidance and direction of our Government, Saint Lucia’s Twin Pitons were accorded the prestigious status of a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.