Within a week of being appointed as Minister for Equity, Social Justice, Empowerment, Youth Development, Sports, Culture and Local Government, the Honourable Lenard “Spider” Montoute is moving full steam ahead. Minister Montoute, who previously served as Minister for Social Transformation during his last ministerial appointment, is no stranger to the impact and importance of social services to the country.
As expected, the first order of business for himself and colleagues the Honourable Edmund Estephane and Senator Fortuna Belrose was an assessment of the status quo. Minister Montoute asserted that “one of the issues we have to look into immediately is the set-up of the various boards, because traditionally when a new administration is sworn in, board members tender their resignations so as to provide the Minister with a free hand going forward. I am in the process now of ensuring that we appoint our various boards as speedily and seamlessly as possible. By and large we want to have a smooth transition without causing any disruptions.”
The three Ministers assigned to the Ministry met with heads of departments and the statutory agencies that fall under the Ministry’s purview. Honourable Montoute shared his optimism for the future of his Ministry, citing plans to improve existing initiatives to complement new plans. He said that he has every confidence that the three Ministers who share the portfolios are prepared to deliver.
“We have Honourable Estephane who is the point person for Youth and Sports, Senator Belrose who is the point person for Human Services and Local Government and I am taking responsibility for Equity, Social Justice, and Culture which is a new portfolio that has been added to the social services,” Minister Montoute said.
The Minister also hinted at his excitement about the Culture portfolio which will soon see Carnival becoming a premiere National Festival deserving of the input of more resources and recognition.