St John MP Mara Thompson is not hiding her frustration over the ongoing delay in opening of the St John Polyclinic.
In fact, speaking in the House of Assembly today, she said there was no one more distressed that she was by the situation in which her constituency now finds itself, “where we are now at the mercy of the member for Christ Church South, [Minister of Health] John Boyce.
“It has me downright depressed. But I have to ask, as I do all of the time, why are we here now? Why are we looking for a St John Polyclinic to be completed in 2015? I should have been onto the next project by now. The St John Polyclinic was left to the elements, and the elements of political nature in this instance,” Thompson said in making her contribution to the 2015-2016 Budget debate.
She further charged that a pavilion at a school was left to “the elements of political nature” by the previous Barbados Labour Party administration, but she noted that the project was now on the “radar” of the present Government.
Earlier, Thompson dismissed Opposition claims that the Democratic Labour Party was in the process of dismantling free education, noting that the current policy agenda of the party reflects a commitment to free education.
She recalled that the late DLP leader Errol Barrow had stated that his party’s mission was to ensure that every child born in Barbados had the opportunity to develop its talents, regardless of the family circumstances into which it happened to be born.
Stressing that the party was continuing on the path spelt out by Barrow, Thompson said: “We have accepted the responsibility of ensuring that the education construct is not dismantled, as some in this country would want to say, but that under the leadership of Minister of Education Ronald Jones, there have been many developments in education.”
Thompson identified several school plants that were either constructed or repaired and the $15 million that has been allocated in the current Budget for scholarships and grants for students who were experiencing financial difficulties since they were asked to pay tuition fees at the beginning of the academic year in September last year.