Election ploy?

Opposition raises questions about new debushing programme

Parliament today debated a resolution in support of a near $5 million national debushing exercise, with the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) raising concern that it might be a cover for the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) to undertake electioneering activity.

“I hope that this $4.6 million is not used for feathering the nest of the Government,” said Barbados Labour Party St George South representative Dwight Sutherland during his contribution to the debate, in which he pointed out that in total, more than $12 million had been voted for over the past year for debushing purposes.

The Opposition spokesman further charged that this was the “silly season” with elections around the corner; therefore he said MPs had to be vigilant.

Earlier, Leader of Government Business John Boyce, in leading off the debate, said the sum of $4 639 775 from the Consolidated Fund would be used to clean up overgrown properties, including those owned by persons living overseas. Boyce said the initial target would be residential areas with 170 general workers expected to find jobs under the programme which is to be led by two coordinators and 12 supervisors.

He told the House today that abatement notices had been issued by the Environmental Health Department to the offending property owners. However, Boyce, who is Minister of Health, admitted that abatement notices were largely ignored because the fine for offending landowners was a minuscule 18 cents per square foot.

Boyce further acknowledged that Government was one of the chief offenders when it came to overgrown properties which pose health risks by encouraging illegal dumping, rodents and mosquitoes. They are also sometimes used as hiding places for criminals.

While supporting the measure, Sutherland questioned the usefulness of Government’s decision to send home workers from state institutions such as the National Conservation Commission, the Drainage Unit and the Beautify Barbados while trying to clean up waysides and lots in an ad hoc manner.

Sutherland also called for the re-employment of the displaced workers from these institutions in the new debushing campaigns.

“They should be the first to be employed under the programme,” the Opposition MP contended.

However, in his contribution to the debate, Member of Parliament for St Lucy Denis Kellman rejected Sutherland’s claims of electioneering and currying favour with the electorate. He said debushing projects were routine exercises carried out by both administrations over the years.

7 Responses to Election ploy?

  1. SSS September 27, 2017 at 2:19 am

    When it comes to the DLP you should question there every motive.

    Reply
  2. Richard Johnston September 27, 2017 at 3:43 am

    The first thing to do is cut back the vegetation encroaching on road surfaces that presents a traffic hazard.

    Reply
  3. Greengiant September 27, 2017 at 4:57 am

    Both parties use these type of programs to push their reelection campaigns. So this is nothing new. BLP and DLP is one mother’s children.

    Reply
  4. Kim Smith
    Kim Smith September 27, 2017 at 5:06 am

    Eat drink and vote them out.

    Reply
  5. Colin Daniel September 27, 2017 at 6:53 am

    Hopefully this does not mean that the bush will stay in the gutters for weeks and eventually wash into the drains.

    Reply
  6. Freeagent September 27, 2017 at 7:43 am

    Barbadians should not be asked to pay for debushing people’s bushy lots. These lots have owners and successive governments promised to clear the lots and bill the owners but to date nothing has been done, now we are asked to foot this bill. Scandalous!

    Reply
  7. BaJan boy September 27, 2017 at 9:02 am

    DEMS will try everything to fool bajans but fool me once shame on you fool me twice shame on me. Bajans eyes open to the nasty devious behaviour of these lying cant careless indifferent bunch. We have had enough of the Learner government that has takes us back 20 years whilst they are now ahead of where they were when coming to office by 50 years.
    The dead one once said he would lie,cheat or steal and he seemed to left it in the will for this classless empty bunch. Remember we discovered he did all three and we only discovered after he dead. Tell Freundel,Chris,the Denis-es,Donville,the Lashley- es and The other David the living one that we have found out who they are before they dead so we will not wait and let them kill us.

    Reply

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