‘St Lucia owes Jamaica $27 Million!’

In a heated debate in Parliament last Tuesday, Opposition Leader Stephenson King brought back memories of the Rochamel Affair of the pre-2006 Kenny Anthony Administration in defense of the Black Bay affair.
King said that the Rochamel deal was far worse than what Prime Minister Kenny Anthony is making Black Bay out to be.
In his rebuttal, Dr Anthony, visibly infuriated at this point, announced that he will direct Attorney General, Kim St Rose to carefully scrutinize every aspect of the Black Bay deal to see whether there was any negligence on the part of the former UWP Administration.
On Sunday this week, at a Castries South SLP conference, Kenny Anthony again responded to the words uttered by Stephenson King in the House. This time, PM Anthony revealed a new twist in the Black Bay affair saying that St Lucia is in a situation where it now has more money to pay but this time, it owes the Jamaican Government 27 million dollars.
“Last Tuesday we had what I regard as one of the most unusual debates in the Parliament of St Lucia. It was unusual in many ways and I want to highlight perhaps, three or four points to bring home my observation,” said Dr Anthony.
“In the close of the debate, Richard Frederick described the Labour Party slogan as demonic,” said Dr Anthony while members of his party laughed uncontrollably in response.                 He then continued, “It was very interesting because a few weeks earlier, you heard all the commotion because I used the word cult to describe how supporters of the UWP relate to their party. So far, I have not heard a single word of condemnation of Richard Frederick from anyone. Not even from the media that was hungry for my scalp when those words were used, although what I said was contextualized perfectly,” said Anthony.
He went on to state his second point referring to Guy Joseph’s comments and behaviour in the House.
“The second observation was that Guy Joseph couldn’t resist a little provocation from Philip Pierre. Guy Joseph admitted that he has construction equipment and I believe he suggested that that construction equipment, he had it before elections but the strange thing is that everybody new Guy Joseph as a bus driver before the elections.”
Dr Anthony went on: “The question is whether that admission of him having equipment also translate into Guy Joseph using that equipment or lending other people that equipment to do Government’s work while he was in office.”
The Vieux Fort South MP went on to indicate that his Minister for Infrastructure, Philip J Pierre will provide the answer to his question in a full disclosure later.
“The answer to that, we will find out very soon when Philip Pierre has to make his disclosures,” said the Political Leader while Pierre and Moses Jn Baptiste enjoyed a laugh in the background.
He went on to his third observation: “The third thing that hit me was the disclosure by Stephenson King over the Black Bay lands. Stephenson King told Parliament, and I could not believe it, in effect, what are we on the Labour Party side complaining about that they entered into a transaction, the transaction failed but the Government gets more land.
“It is at that point that I finally understood in my mind that Stephenson King could not possibly be fit either for the leader of a party or conceivably for prime ministership in this country,” said Anthony.
The PM continued to explain what he believed transpired with the deal at Black Bay. According to him, the UWP Administration took 229 acres of land at Black Bay and placed the value of that land in a company owned by the Irish.
“The Irish men took a loan, they could not pay back the loan and the company collapsed. The bank that loaned them collapsed and went after them. Now, this government, to get back that land, has to borrow 12 million dollars to get back the land.”
Dr Anthony further explained that there were another 200 odd acres of land at Cannelles which was owned by the Jamaican government and some private individuals in Jamaica who the former Prime Minister approached to acquire these lands to be placed in the same company as shares.
“So 229 acres at Black Bay and 200 odd acres at Cannelles, he puts it in the hands of the same company. The company as I told you, collapsed and what I now have to cope with as Minister of Finance in this country . . . six weeks ago, I received a letter from the Jamaican Government asking the Government of St Lucia to pay up the 27 million dollars for the lands at Cannelles because the Government of St Lucia acquired the lands in its name to hand over to the Irish company,” explained Anthony.
According to the Prime Minister, King is of the view that St Lucia now acquires more land that it did not have before but fails to see at a cost to taxpayers of 57 million dollars.

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