Gov­er­nor Gen­eral Throne Spee Themed ‘I Am Saint Lu­cian’

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

Tues­day April 25 marked the open­ing of the sec­ond ses­sion of the eleventh par­lia­ment. As a sym­bolic start to the oc­ca­sion, Her Ex­cel­lency Dame Pear­lette Louisy pre­sented her throne speech to the House of Par­lia­ment and the peo­ple of Saint Lucia.

In her ad­dress she urged the public to think of what it means to be Saint Lu­cian. She ac­knowl­edged the pass­ing of two of our icons: Sir Derek Wal­cott and Sir Dwight Ven­ner, say­ing, “We are, all, re­spon­si­ble for the fu­ture of Saint Lucia. It is the re­spon­si­bil­ity born of na­tion­al­ity. ‘I am Saint Lu­cian’ – ‘moi c’est gens Sent Lucie; c’est la moi sorti; is there that I born’ – we quote our No­bel lau­re­ate the late Sir Derek Wal­cott; we post hash­tag 758, but do we stop to ap­pre­ci­ate the full im­por­tance of be­ing Saint Lu­cian?”

Af­ter her thought­pro­vok­ing in­tro­duc­tion, Dame Pear­lette Louisy spoke about the gov­ern­ment’s plans for the coun­try’s ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem. “My Gov­ern­ment views ed­u­ca­tion as an in­vest­ment in our peo­ple, in the fu­ture of the coun­try and in our hu­man cap­i­tal,” she said, not­ing that there will be em­pha­sis on early child­hood de­vel­op­ment and work to en­sure that at least one child in ev­ery house­hold is able to re­ceive ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion. “Rec­og­niz­ing the need for ev­ery cit­i­zen to gain ac­cess to ed­u­ca­tion and to em­brace the phi­los­o­phy of life­long learn­ing, my Gov­ern­ment in­tends to es­tab­lish a First Gen­er­a­tion ini­tia­tive to pro­vide path­ways for at least one child from low­in­come house­holds to ac­cess ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion.”

Sir Arthur Lewis Com­mu­nity Col­lege is still in the process of tran­si­tion­ing into a univer­sity. A num­ber of other in­cen­tives to be taken by the gov­ern­ment to im­prove ed­u­ca­tion were high­lighted.

In her next order of busi­ness, the Gov­er­nor Gen­eral dis­cussed plans for Saint Lucia’s health ser­vice: im­prove­ments would be made to ad­dress gov­er­nance, man­age­ment and fi­nanc­ing of the al­ready ef­fi­cient health sec­tor. Mem­bers of the health ser­vice con­tinue to work hard with lim­ited re­sources but with the sup­port of the Euro­pean Union, ad­di­tional rev­enue would be pro­vided.

Her Ex­cel­lency’s throne speech noted other per­ti­nent is­sues such as cli­mate change, safety and se­cu­rity, pro­mot­ing re­new­able en­ergy and the need for all cit­i­zens to be em­braced in the gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sions.

Con­cern­ing eco­nomics and in­vest­ments, the Gov­er­nor Gen­eral high­lighted tourism and agri­cul­ture. “Real growth and de­vel­op­ment are distin­guished by a Gov­ern­ment’s abil­ity to meet the cur­rent needs of its peo­ple and in­dus­tries with­out com­pro­mis­ing the op­por­tu­nity for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions to meet their needs. My Gov­ern­ment is com­mit­ted to re­vi­tal­iz­ing the pri­or­ity sec­tors of tourism, agri­cul­ture, hous­ing, in­dus­try and com­merce in part­ner­ship with the Saint Lucia De­vel­op­ment Bank.”

The Gov­er­nor Gen­eral fur­ther stated that the gov­ern­ment is plan­ning to ini­ti­ate the Saint Lucia Tourism Author­ity. “The Author­ity will op­er­ate to ad­vance and fa­cil­i­tate the ef­fi­cient growth and de­vel­op­ment of the tourism in­dus­try, to im­ple­ment suit­able mar­ket­ing strate­gies for the ef­fec­tive pro­mo­tion of the des­ti­na­tion and to en­cour­age the es­tab­lish­ment and en­hance­ment of ap­pro­pri­ate ameni­ties, facilities and des­ti­na­tion ser­vices. The Author­ity will also fa­cil­i­tate link­ages be­tween tourism and other sec­tors of the econ­omy.”

For the agri­cul­tural in­dus­try, the Gov­ern­ment of Saint Lucia be­lieves it can cre­ate em­ploy­ment and food se­cu­rity for the coun­try. How­ever, the fo­cus is not only on ba­nana farm­ing but in­cludes the pro­duc­tion of all other crops. “The high

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