At a time when most Barbadians are expected to be in a festive mood, many in St Peter feel there is nothing to celebrate, according to Colin Jordan, the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) candidate for the parish.
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart on Saturday called for pity on those who opted not to celebrate the country’s 50th anniversary of Independence, an apparent reference to members of the BLP who had said they were not interested in festivities because there was too much was going wrong in the country, including persistent water outages.
The Barbados Investors and Policyholders Alliance has also said its members were in no mood to participate in this month’s celebrations, after having been made to wait for more than seven years for the return of their savings and investments in the collapsed CLICO.
However, without making reference to the Prime Minister’s comment, Jordan told Barbados TODAY the people in the constituency he hopes to represent felt it was a “disgrace” that they had to suffer through prolonged periods without water while the country celebrates.
“In the eastern part of St Peter they are not very interested in hearing about Independence celebrations. They are not anti-celebration but are really upset – in some cases, angry – over the amount being spent at a time when they are unable to get reliable water supply, either from taps or tankers. They think it is a disgrace that at the country’s 50th they have to go to what they term ‘stand pipes’,” Jordan said on the sidelines of a presentation at the Roland Edwards Primary School.
Like his colleagues, including Member of Parliament for St Joseph Dale Marshall, who also cited the state of the economy among the reasons for criticizing the money being spent on the Independence celebrations, Jordan contended that the country was heading in the wrong direction.
And he said the people of St Peter were equally frustrated.
“They refer to the pride of previous years and feel some unease that it seems to be going. Quite a lot, when they hear that elections are due in 2018, react as if they would prefer if elections were closer.
“In Six Men’s they see neglect. They have land issues and resent having been referred to as mere squatters by the Minister of Housing. They are also upset that the sea continues to encroach and nothing is being done. First it was Braddies, now it’s the road a little further north that seems under threat,” he said.
The hotel executive has been busy traversing the constituency currently held by former BLP leader and ex-Prime Minister Owen Arthur, who now sits as an independent in Parliament, and who has announced his intention to quit active politics at the end of the current parliamentary term.
Jordan was virtually handpicked as Arthur’s successor in the constituency, and was selected unopposed to run on the Opposition party’s ticket.