No love for St. Joseph
The Barbados Labour Party is on the road to victory. Dale Marshall, the incumbent for St. Joseph, who last night made a case for why he should be retained to represent the people of the rural constituency, said that he wanted to be able to do more and fix some of the problems that the DLP administration neglected during their rule.
“The last five years in a way have been good for me because being in Opposition I didn’t have the burden of Cabinet responsibilities and I truly believe that I was able, during those five years, to establish a greater connection and a better relationship with my constituents.
“But I want to tell you I long to be in Cabinet again, not because there’s anything special about Cabinet, but because by virtue of being in that fine place I would be able to deliver the goods for the people of St. Joseph,” Marshall said to applause.
He told his supporters that while the DLP’s message during this election campaign from their platforms in the rural constituency would be about how much they care about the people, they neglected it during the last five years.
“If you care about a constituency you’re not going to neglect it and leave it to run to ruin. Up and down this constituency we have the problem of the Scotland District and the Democratic Labour Party has not lifted a finger, not a finger, to help to solve the problem of slippage.
“When we left Government we left a plan that would cost government $35 million over a five-year period to deal effectively with the problems of slippage up and down the Scotland District. The Dems came into Government and they seem to feel that $35 million was too good, too much to spend to solve the problem of slippage all up and down Parks Road, Lower Parks, Fruitful Hill, Cambridge, Surinam, Horse Hill, Bathsheba and other places. Thirty-five million was too much to spend on the people in this constituency and they put a stop to it,” he said.
Marshall charged that the DLP Administration stopped the construction of a pavilion in Proute “the day after they won an election” and the site was now full of river tamarind and bush.
“How can they say they care about the people of St. Joseph if the things that matter to the people of this constituency have been left to ruin? If they cared about St. Joseph would they not have spent the money necessary to fix the houses that were damaged in Tropical Storm Tomas?” the candidate asked.
He added it was “shameful” that they had not fixed the houses but yet they were saying “every night vote for the Democratic Labour Party we care about the people of this constituency”.
“They fooled the people of Barbados once. They fooled the people in 2008, made promises to everybody who had ears but not a promise have they kept. The callous disregard that he DLP has shown to the people of St. Joseph is reflected in a conversation that I had with the Minister of Public Works, John Boyce, just after Joe’s River bridge cracked up. I went to [him] at Parliament and I said you know Joe’s River Bridge is in my constituency but I want you to know that it is a bridge that is important not just for Josephines, but it is important for all of those people who come down Horse Hill to go to St. John or who go to the East Coast for picnics, or the tourists who want to come into Bathesheba.
“It is important to everybody in Barbados and I want you to come and solve the problem of Joe’s River Bridge. John Boyce look at me and said with his bass voice ‘Is wunna fault. You and Mia and Roman gone and stand up on the bridge and brek it down’.
“Now honestly, are those the kinds of words that a minister of Government should be heard to say in response to a Member of Parliament who is pleading with him on behalf of the Barbados Labour Party people in St. Joseph, and on behalf of the DLP people in St. Joseph, and on behalf of the people in St. Joseph who didn’t bound to go to the polls and, on behalf of the children who didn’t even vote, all of whom use that bridge on a daily basis.”
He said when the Owen Arthur Adminstration was routed out of office in January 2008, replacement parts had been purchased to construct a parallel span to the bridge but that was “too good for the people of St. Joseph”. (DS)