Ubaldus says he was Denied Opportunity to Contribute

Ubaldus Raymond (L)—seated next to Phillip LaCorbiniere—shushing someone
In parliament during the swearing in ceremony for ministers of government.

Ubaldus Raymond’s decision to resign his position as parliamentary secretary in the ministry headed by Emma Hippolyte has pushed several obviously more important issues out of the headlines, among them the swimming pool electrocution, the performance of our Olympics representative, the rapidly increasing cost of food, the continuing unresolved murders—even the impending implementation of VAT.
Despite that Dr Ubaldus had himself explained in detail during a Choice TV interview his reasons for moving on with his family to a government appointment in Turks & Caicos, callers to the various talk-shows have concentrated their discourse on obvious misinformation.                 No surprise that representatives of both parties have been carrying on as if a general election were imminent. Commenting on the issue this week, publisher Rick Wayne said: “It really is shocking that while most Saint Lucians cannot tell you where their next meal will come from, or where they might find useful employment in this time of unprecedented horrors, when the private sector is on the brink of collapse, our people are once again at each other’s throats, this time over a personal decision on the part of a disgruntled politician.”
He said it had been obvious since April that Ubaldus Raymond, a development economist, did not see eye to eye with the finance minister when it came to recurrent expenditure. The way Raymond said it at the time, increasing recurrent expenditure while receipts sank lower and lower amounted to a disaster waiting to happen. Did he express similar sentiments to the finance minister in advance of the budget debate?
We have no way of knowing at this point, What we do know is that Raymond was totally dissatisfied with being treated by the prime minister as if he had nothing more to contribute to the country’s development besides loyal service as Emma Hippolyte’s parliamentary secretary. He felt “underutilized,” to use his own words.
It was interesting that the government expressed little regret at Raymond’s departure. Party officials and government ministers, as if reading from a prepared script, blamed the resignation on the former parliamentary secretary’s need to further his career. Some hinted that in Turks & Caicos he would be earning more money, the suggestion being that Raymond quit his job over pay issues—despite that he told Choice TV the real reason behind his resignation.
“Even when the minister was off island,” he said, “I was never invited to Cabinet or given an opportunity to contribute toward our national development.”
“Why are so many of us making a big deal about the resignation per se,” asked Wayne, “while ignoring the former parliamentary secretary’s stated reasons for his move?”
He considered it “ironic” that the other party had extended an invitation to Raymond to join the opposition. “Is this the same guy who almost came to blows with Stephenson King a few months ago at a polling station?”
Alva Baptiste, the foreign affairs minister, approached Raymond’s complaint this way:  “Government cannot provide ministerial portfolios to every member of the
St Lucia Labour Party. We need to configure the Cabinet in such a way that we can deliver. We cannot utilize all the talent we have in the party, so from time to time, you will see such movements. In 2006 we saw people like Mr Jean from the very same constituency being able to go to Guyana to seek employment and to be gainfully employed. This shows that we are marketable. We are now a net exporter of talent from our party,” said Baptiste, “and I am proud of that.”
The Laborie MP further dodged the question whether Raymond’s skills could have been put to better use. This was his reply: “Government has no problems with Raymond or his interest in seeking employment in another country. Dr Raymond is a very marketable individual who is well qualified and he will have no problems in finding employment wherever he goes.”
Meanwhile, Leader of the Opposition, Stephenson King has weighed in on the resignation of Ubaldus Raymond. “I am not too sure whether we have lost a gem to another country,” he said. “I believe Mr Raymond has simply come forward, placed his cards on the table squarely and fairly. The situation is that Mr Raymond is saying that despite his qualifications, he was not being utilized appropriately or effectively to the benefit of the country. Mr Raymond has concluded in the press release that he has found a more prestigious job in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Obviously, the job he was doing here was not prestigious enough.”
He offered Raymond the following advice: “Understand that the business of politics can be a very painful. It calls for a lot of sacrifice. It calls for a lot of conviction. It calls for an understanding of what you’re getting into. It is not a bed of roses. You are not moving into a prestigious position that is well paid. It is not one where you can continue to live in an atmosphere of luxury.”
Additionally: “If there is one thing Mr Raymond has done, it is to acknowledge he cannot continue to live in the current environment.”
Finally King said: “I wish him well and I do hope that he will make the very best of his new appointment. At the appropriate time, he can return to St Lucia to make his contribution towards Saint Lucia’s further development. Mr Raymond is a young man who has attained academic excellence; certainly he has a contribution to make. If Mr Raymond is prepared to apply himself under my leadership, I will give him the opportunity.”
Dr Ubaldus Raymond’s resignation becomes effective 17 August 2012.

Share your feedback with us.

Comments are closed.

← Go Back | Headlines Back to Top ↑
THE STAR Newspaper
Magazines available in THE STAR Newspaper
2nite Magazine
Sports & Health Inc

Lifestyle & Archives