A Government minister last night suggested that race was at play in the current controversy surrounding the Hyatt Centric Resort to be built on Lower Bay Street, The City.
Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development Donville Inniss yesterday led a broadside against a number of unnamed individuals who he said “pop their head up every now and then particularly when there are projects involving Caucasians and say that this project must not be done”.
Inniss also had some choice words for social activist David Comissiong who has threatened to go to court to prevent the multi-million dollar project from getting off the ground unless an environmental impact assessment (EIA) is carried out.
He told a joint meeting of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) St James Central, St James South, St Michael North and St Michael North East branches that Comissiong’s opposition was unfounded.
“The Chief Town Planner today is the same Chief Town Planner that was in office ten or 15 years ago, the same senior planners have been around for years through BLP [Barbados Labour Party] or DLP [Democratic Labour Party] rule and they are professionals. They are the same individuals who made decisions for projects along the coastline but all of a sudden these individuals are not bright in the eyes of Comissiong,” Inniss told the gathering at the St James South constituency office in Wanstead Terrace, St James.
Inniss said Comissiong should come clean about his hidden biases, while questioning whether the attorney-at-law had ever created any jobs of note here.
“My position is simple. The individuals who are looking for work in construction should all get up tomorrow and go by David Comissiong’s office and ask him why is he stopping them from getting work and ask him what is his alternative. This is not an issue about the beach and EIA study . . . I don’t know David Comissiong to have provided two jobs in this country but David Comissiong always seeks to find five minutes of fame and sometimes without thinking through clearly,” the minister charged.
Stating that an EIA was not necessary under the Town & Country Planning Act, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart recently gave the go-ahead for commencement of the US100 million, 15-storey hotel, which the Barbados National Trust has also opposed on the grounds that it could lead to Bridgetown losing its UNESCO World Heritage designation.