Ahead of the UWP’s planned protest on the site of the St Jude Hospital, party mobilisation officer, Nancy Charles, argues that residents of the south are dissatisfied with their representation. She says the reconstruction of the original St Jude Hospital is at the centre of residents' dissatisfaction.
“At the end of the day, we just don’t understand what is going on. Again, a lot of people from the South are not happy that we are completing an old structure and we have a brand new structure that could easily be completed as well,” she explains, while a guest on a talk show. Charles says the government has not been transparent about the reasoning for a loan of that size.
Prime Minister Hon. Philip J. Pierre, however, explained that the Saudi Fund for Development had dispatched two technical teams to both the SJH site and the George Odlum Stadium. These teams were responsible for devising the agreed loan amount. “Two technical teams have arrived in Saint Lucia…As soon as that team left, I got a letter from the Saudi Fund saying that they had approved a loan of…[over] EC $201 million,” Pierre had said on August 3, 2023, at the ceremony for the loan agreement.
Nancy Charles went on to state “And so, we are hoping to achieve sensitisation from the public about the St Jude issue, and equally for us, a broader understanding of the South’s standing. As someone born and raised in the South, we are seeing nothing happening in the South.”
In 2016, the construction of the administrative buildings in Vieux Fort was stopped and replaced with a building which is to house WASCO. The public has also had to deal with the closure and relocation of the Southern Divisional Police Headquarters which the now government claims was left neglected; a $300,000 roof repair was left to deteriorate into a $3 million bill. Vieux Fort has had to deal with the selling of 1000 acres of land for the development of the Pearl of the Caribbean and a $13 million road realignment to facilitate horse racing and the closure of the landfill during the Allen Chastanet-led administration.