People of Trinidad & Tobago!
Thank you! Thank you for such a roaring welcome.
There’s electricity in the air today.
This is what the people’s revolution looks like.
This is reminiscent of that time when it all began right here.
Tonight I make what I believe to be one of the most important political speeches of my career…
As we face a very frightening prospect, one that is far worse than the Manning administration with its arrogance, squandermania and dictatorial tendencies.
Today your nation faces the prospect of a leader who dreams of being Prime Minister but possesses a far more insidious arrogance and contempt for democratic principles, and will stop at nothing to get there.
A man many liken to General Forbes Burnham, former dictator of Guyana…
A man described as Stalin and Mugabe and Hitler. A man without any other vision than to gain power.
A man who attacks any and everything in sight once he sees it as a way of achieving power.
A man with a history of destroying his own party to advance his political agenda, which is always a personal vendetta!
A man who viciously attacks schoolchildren as duncy, a man who describes young schoolgirls who display violent behaviour borne out of social displacement created by his very party as “hyenas in an African jungle.”
This from a man who thinks he has what it takes to lead our country.
Do you think anyone of us here would ever describe or think of any schoolchild no matter what they did as he did? “Hyenas in an African jungle?”
That is what his former leader described as “wajang” when he was faced with Keith Rowley launching an aggressive attack to destroy his own PNM Government.
Rowley today as Minority Opposition Leader aligns himself with anything and everything that supports his vendetta against the people of our country.
We have seen in other Caribbean countries where such alignment can take us. Be on guard Trinidad and Tobago.
The likes of Mugabe and Burnham is walking among us now as the confirmed Leader of the PNM.
Even the manner in which he got that position remains in question.
Ask Penelope Beckles or Montano, or Mariano Browne or Louis Lee Sing or countless other senior PNM members whether they feel Rowley won his party election fairly and squarely.
Could you imagine what he would do with the power of office as Head of Government?!
His attack methods might work for an Opposition Leader but can you imagine that in office as Prime Minister?
This country doesn’t need a PNM Prime Minister.
And worse it doesn’t need a Rowley PNM Prime Minister.
It needs a Prime Minister for all.
And if you think these are just our party’s views or my views of Keith Rowley as a dangerous man running around screaming that the sky is falling and he is the only one with an umbrella, let us be reminded of who he is by those who know him best…
So Rowley can’t build anything, all he can do is destroy!
Keith Rowley attacked every single institution in the country, labour unions, police service, judiciary, the media, young schoolchildren, the Integrity Commission; the Speaker of the House, Hindus, Rowley even attacked his own PNM party.
It’s all that he is good for…to attack. And here again Louis Lee Sing his one-time closest supporter and campaign man tells us…
That is the burning question what does Rowley stand for?
He stands for Hate, He stands for vengeance, He stands for bitterness, He stands for aggression.
Even the judiciary had to issue a statement on him and I quote from the Trinidad Express on November 10th 2011
In an article on a statement issued by the Judiciary…
“The Judiciary said the imputations of motive and even wrongdoing on the part of the judge in Rowley’s statements were not only outside the bounds of respect and objectivity that should attend the exercise of those rights, but also represented an “unwarranted and unjustified attack on the judge and are additionally potentially injurious to the administration of justice in Trinidad and Tobago”.
The statement goes on to warn us:
“This is even more disturbing when such comments emanate from an official who is pledged to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the country,” stated the Judiciary.
That is the Judiciary pronouncing on how it viewed comments made by a man who wants to become Prime Minister.
No wonder Louis Lee Sing and others dread this man.
He attacked Lennox Grant a seasoned journalist because he didn’t like an article written about him accusing him of being involved in politics.
The media then had to come to Mr Grant’s defense.
The character of Keith Rowley and his arrogant aggression is well known and was described by Manning when he fired him:
“It has been described as a tirade and it went on for over five minutes,” said Manning.
Manning said a second minister said it was “wajang behaviour”.
“A third minister described it as hooligan behaviour.
A fourth minister described it as unacceptable behaviour.
When asked, he claimed this was not the first time Rowley had behaved in an objectionable way, and said he had been warned before about it.
This is how the man who would be Prime Minister describes young school girls from Port of Spain:
Video five: Rowley on schoolgirls
So you see why I say that there lurks a danger far greater than that which we removed in 2010.
Even the race card is not above being played once it serves narrow political interests.
Fitzgerald Hinds introduced the race card talking about whether Rowley was too black to be Prime Minister.
What utter nonsense, all designed to get people to respond along ethnic lines Mugabe style.
He says that to get people to think about race.
Well here in the People’s Partnership the colour required is red, white and black first and all other colours of the rainbow thereafter.
That is the difference between us.
We represent no one group.
We govern for all.
That is why in any general election once we are united there is no way that Rowley’s divisive politics and Mugabe style leadership will ever be foisted upon the people.
This is the people’s revolution.
Entrenched interest groups might fight back and use all their agents to destabilise the revolution of change but the people are stronger when united.
And I hope the PNM is looking on at the way their clandestine machinations have backfired. Our citizens are resolved now more than before to never make the PNM mistake again.
Recently you would have seen a television station airing a video alleged to be that of a Cabinet Minister indulging in illicit activity.
My response remains as it has always been – I will examine the facts, and then whatever decision must be made in the national interest, I will make it without fear.
But even as I look at the facts, what I find very interesting is that it was the same video that, over one year ago the Opposition PNM was the first to start making comments.
And over a year later, just over a day before a protest march intended to wreak havoc in our country and openly supported by the Opposition, the story is floated again.
It is the same Opposition led by Keith Rowley who has said over and over again that he “expects an election sooner rather than later”, as if he knows something no one else does.
I hope they are watching and seeing that four years in, with unprecedented performance and still over one year away from the polls, the People’s Partnership can still inspire this excitement and that tells me that no one will be allowed to break our country again!
The People’s Partnership and the United National Congress are as strong and ready as we were in 2010!
And today, we are much wiser to the PNM and their malicious intentions for Trinidad & Tobago!
This is the first time we gathered like this to commemorate 12 months in Government, it was with a sense of hope.
We started the wheels of change turning confidently towards a future that held a place for each and every citizen of our country.
Today, we have achieved good success, and our work must continue…
We took stock of the ravaged country we inherited from the PNM and had already started moving forward with plans to restore a truly proud and productive nation.
Today, we have achieved good success, and our work must continue…
We committed to you that we would save our economy from decline and restore the confidence of investors that the previous administration destroyed, causing them to be rejected by 432,000 citizens.
Today, we have achieved good success, and our work must continue…
We assured you we would stop their programmes of rural neglect and discrimination, and will equally share development resources with everyone, in every community, in every part of Trinidad and Tobago.
Today, we have achieved good success, and our work must continue…
We vowed to improve your quality of life by ensuring that when your families faced the world every morning, the first place your feet hit would not be dirt roads with big holes, but properly built roads where taxis would come, with drainage that alleviated flooding and insect pest infestations.
Today, we have achieved good success, and our work must continue…
We promised to undo the economic and social terrorism you faced at the hands of an uncaring PNM administration.
They anointed gang leaders as community leaders, and broke the floodgates that caused an unprecedented rise in ALL levels of criminal activity, from within their own Government, to murder on the streets.
Even with a number of challenges to quell a terror the PNM deliberately built over more than 30 years in Government, today, we have achieved good success, and our work must continue…
And my friends, we set out to bring the education system into the 21st century by providing secondary school children with the technology they need to compete in a global setting, and succeed to better and more sustainable jobs in the future.
Today, we have achieved good success, and our work must continue…
BLURRED VISION 2020
But my friends, the PNM from its very beginning was never built to operate by a vision.
It was built around arrogance and dictatorship.
It was built on the basis of “not a damn dog bark”.
And with Rowley’s attitude since 2010, it is clear that rather than changing and modernizing, they are doing everything to hold on to everything the people of our country rejected.
This is why when they realized they needed a vision, they came up with a public relations plan, completely disconnected from the desires and ambitions of people.
They foisted Vision 2020 on our nation and every time murders exceeded the previous year, it was Vision 2020.
When our economy went from continuous growth to collapsing chaos, it was under the umbrella of Vision 2020.
When kidnappings jumped from double digits to 155 in the space of 12 months, it was also about Vision 2020.
If you truly have a vision for development and are sticking to it to make sure that our country progresses, you cannot talk vision while you preside over collapse.
That is why the nation rejected Vision 2020 – because it was a farce, a public relations gimmick that cost our country millions and delivered nothing except reports that were never intended to support public policy.
A TRUE VISION – CRIME & SECURITY
But when the PNM left office, they left behind a rampant crime epidemic which they consistently failed to address.
I want you to ask the people of this country why it is the only thing that increased under that Government was murder and mayhem.
Ask the people to decide how they feel now that there is a Rapid Response Unit in the Police Service, in the South Western, Central and Southern Divisions.
Ask them how they feel knowing that this Unit provides a guarantee to the public that calls for held will be responded to in the shortest possible time, with cars always on the move, and programmed to automatically find the shortest route to a distress call.
And more vehicles are being kept on standby if circumstances demand immediate additional resources.
Ask the people why the PNM failed consistently to improve human capacity of the Police Service!
And ask them why it was the People’s Partnership who came in and in four years, we have:
- Trained 355 Officers;
- With an additional 208 trained so far for this year;
- With 500 new recruits having commenced training, and
- With 1000 more officers to be trained by the end of 2014
Ask the people of our country why it took the People’s Partnership Government to:
- Train 1197 Special Reserve Police (SRP) in 2013;
- Oversee the completion of training of 90 additional SRPs by March this year;
- Commence training for 180 more SRPs at COSTAAT and UTT, and
- Return 233 Retired Officers as SRPs to be deployed across our country.
Ask the PNM why they criticised the Hoop of Life programme in their own strongholds, which aimed to deliver training for Youth Ambassadors and Life Skills.
The people must ask why the PNM bitterly opposed 340 Technical Staff involved in 60 communities across the country, which have developed 48 Youth Ambassadors, hosted 163 competitive games with no incidents, with 12 coordinators monitoring attendance and performance to ensure discipline.
I announce tonight that I have instructed that the Life Sport programme be transferred to the Minidtry of National Security and further that the Ministry of Finance together with thre Ministry of National Security conduct a full audit of same.
The PNM must also be demanded to answer why they oppose everything, and see no value in the National Mentorship programme, where we reach out to those who can encourage others to take hold of the vastly increased opportunities for training, with 124 mentors and 287 mentees have risen from the programme.
The same PNM that left us with a criminal crisis must answer whether they also oppose the overhaul of our Police Car fleet for the Police Service to create “Fit for Purpose” vehicles with the installation of GPS Tracking.
Does the PNM oppose 594 vehicles being equipped with GPS tracking, and an additional 342 vehicles to the present fleet?
Does the PNM oppose the fact that on every major highway, you finally have the return of regular patrols maintaining law and order, and ready to respond quickly to calls for help?
Does the PNM oppose our strategies to enhance the ability of the Police to gather and store evidence, by networking 73 Police Stations to prevent duplication and Inkless Fingerprint Technology for identification of persons?
Does the PNM oppose our computerization of 75 Police Stations?
And do they oppose 873 CCTV Cameras in East POS and Tobago to begin with, with plans already underway to extend into other areas to strength the Police’s monitoring capabilities?
We are working to make our citizens safe and secure again, but the PNM is in Opposition to everything, so you must make them answer for their attempts to deny you and your families safety.
A TRUE VISION – ICT AND EDUCATION
When we came to you for your vote in 2010, it was on the basis of knowing that you had been punished enough by a PNM administration that refused to listen to you, that ignored the pains you had to endure for simple daily living, and used your insecurities as weapons against you.
But we spoke, we listened to you, we planned our policies and strategies.
And the moment we entered Government, it was with a plan, driven by a vision of true prosperity for all citizens, and securing the future.
Do you remember how they attacked the laptop access programme for form one students?
The Leader of the Opposition asked why we were spending money on “duncy-head” children. That told me two things:
- Rowley has absolutely no understanding of what citizens want for their future;
- And he is totally disconnected from reality!
Because I have spoken with citizens in all parts of our country, and will share with you some of the views that have come back to us:
- Our children actually come home and tell us about events taking place in the world;
- Our children have been able to form better relationships with their relatives abroad, being able to understand and be a part of the evolving world of technology;
- Our children have more time to put energy into their homework, without having to worry about how they will research school work with no laptop and no internet;
- Our children are more confident because they know that they have as much opportunity and access as anyone else, whatever their family income;
These are the things that people have shared with me in my conversations with them over the past four years.
But what does the Leader of the Opposition say? Rowley calls it a waste of money. Rowley calls the children duncy.
That is not what a competent leader would say.
That is not what a leader with vision would say.
That is not what a leader who is in touch with people would say.
And a man who calls himself a leader by minority has no excuse for insulting and condemning an entire generation of people that we want to prepare for the future.
The vision for this programme was about our children having equal access to technology as a modern tool and basic right to secure the strength of their education.
It was about ensuring that when our children move through the secondary school system, they feel confident that opportunities can be theirs, not because of favour, but because of their hard work.
It is about bringing a world of knowledge and information to the fingertips of children who are growing in a world where a working knowledge of a vast amount of issues is not simply an asset, it is a basic requirement.
Our children can match wits with any student anywhere in the world and our vision for development and a secure future started with them, because they are the ones who will be in charge in the years to come.
That is why the 70,000 laptops now in the hands of secondary school students is worth every cent.
And this vision of technology-driven education has been unfolded further by involving not only students, but every single citizen who now has a desire to continue learning, to improve their knowledge, their skills, and their income.
The PNM opposed this programme and they must now say whether they also oppose the Star.tt ICT Access Centres initiative.
This is our second phase, targeted for citizens and business entities in remote areas of the country to quickly access information and e-Government services.
Ask the people of remote villages how they feel about being able to have this access now, and compare that to the PNM’s completely archaic and out of touch opinion.
Ask Dr Rowley, if he condemned your children, what does he really think about you?
This is why we say he PNM has no leadership, no vision, no plan and no chance!
A TRUE VISION – ECONOMY AND JOB SECURITY
Having built an ICT-driven education system, we are now able to secure the future of our country, to expand the success we have already achieved in economic management.
After finding an economy left in shambles by the PNM, our current situation is that we halted our economic decline, stabilised our economy, restructured our priorities, set off in a better direction, and we are once again growing.
Ask our citizens how they feel about our nation’s exports and foreign direct investment being at their highest levels ever.
Ask citizens how they feel about our country’s credit rating being affirmed by the major global authorities.
Ask the question, how do citizens feel about Moody’s Investors Services reaffirming Trinidad and Tobago’s sovereign credit rating based on relatively high income levels, our large and diversified energy sector AND the expansion of the economy which mainly in the performance of the non-energy sector.
We told people we would diversify our economy and this proves that our diversification strategies are in fact working.
Ask the people of our country whether they are satisfied with our progress, so much so that Moody’s said non-energy growth has been driven to a large extent by an aggressive fiscal stimulus program.
They classified Government’s strength as being “Very High” due to its relatively moderate debt burden and high debt affordability.
Ask the people whether they are happy to know that our future is more secure than at any other moment in our history, with the Heritage and Stabilization Fund having accumulated a balance in excess of 20% of Gross Domestic Product.
And ask them whether they are pleased that our economy is expected to maintain a positive momentum into 2014 with growth of 2.9% forecasted in 2014, and up to 3.2% in 2015.
People voted for new and better jobs and this is how we have been able to create those jobs.
And as we move forward, this is how we intend to create well in excess of 30,000 new, well-paying jobs over the next six years.
Ask the people how they feel that we are unmasking the mystery of how vacancies in the Public Service are filled.
I have mandated all Ministers to clear the way in all Ministries for the Civil Service to engage our young bright men and women to fill over 9000 vacancies which currently exist, in a transparent manner.
When we say we are managing our affairs so that our citizens can all prosper, this is how we are doing it!
But while all of this information is available for all the see, do you know how the PNM responded?
With the PNM’s lack of ideas, vision, plans and leadership, their only response has been to create panic and instability by fabricating a senseless claim about a devaluation.
Not a single condition exists that would even warrant a thought of devaluation, but the PNM sees progress and responds by trying to create chaos.
They did it with crime – rather than tackling crime, they embraced gang leaders.
They did it with labour – rather than completing agreements to give workers their dues, they ignored them and left us to settle up to 75 collective agreements.
They did it with agriculture – which is why food prices skyrocketed and fluctuated for every year they controlled the State.
But when we hear them talking about a devaluation, it is not because they suspect we would do it.
It is because they are actually admitting that they would do it if they are given the chance to come back.
A TRUE VISION – FOOD/LAND SECURITY
As we prepare our children for the future, and prepare our economy to boom, our vision was also to ensure that we secure our ability as a nation to provide for our food needs.
Don’t ask the Opposition – Agriculture and Food Production have ALWAYS been treated with contempt by the PNM and even now, the only hint of policy is to encourage people to illegally take possession of lands, plant food, and then call a protest when someone attempts to take their lands back.
Ask the people instead how they feel about the land for the landless programme, where people can lawfully gain access to lands so that they have that first asset which they can use to secure their future.
Ask the 5000 families who have already received lots and the 4000 families where former Caroni workers have received approved leases.
- In fact, ask the 1,241 persons who received grants for home repairs people how they feel;
- Ask the 735 families who received Home Improvement Subsides were disbursed;
- Ask the 420 families who received certificates of comfort issued to squatters between 2012 and 2013, and
- And ask the 2000 families who have had their lots regularized, and 1000 families who now have new residential lots.
And all of these were done within a structure of also ensuring that through the Agricultural Development Bank, new programmes were designed to lower the cost of borrowing for farmers, and giving them an easier way to make farming profitable.
But this is the People’s Partnership plan based on vision.
When you voted for us in 2010, the People’s Partnership plan for agriculture was focused on people to:
- Make it easier for farmers to make agriculture a profitable business;
- Increase the access to fertile lands for farming in food areas most needed locally;
- Improve the financial access to allow farmers to buy modern equipment and better raw materials;
- Ensure that the road and water access to farm lands was vastly improved; and
- Connect progress in food production to efforts to reducing our food import bill
What’s the PNM response?
They started encouraging people to find any open plot of land, and just take it!
Lands that were assigned for distribution to the former Caroni workers (another failed PNM promise), they encouraged people to unlawfully take possession of it and take away what people dutifully worked hard for.
The PNM doesn’t care about the families who invested in lands so their children could have an inheritance or to build better homes for their families.
What the PNM has done is to support the unlawful occupation of lands, rather than encouraging people to pursue the programmes we put in place, that they failed to do.
We structured these programmes because land is also the basis of our strength in securing our food supply.
This is vision my friends! Not attacking, disagreeing and marching with 1000 people and calling it 10,000.
This is vision, because on every core area we focused, we have made progress.
The food import bill has decreased by approximately 2 percent.
Food production has increased.
Livestock production has increased. Lands in productive use have increased.
And what this means is that our objective of bringing food prices down, and keeping them affordable is being achieved.
Ask people how they feel about those things, and ask the PNM why they are opposing these successes.
A TRUE VISION – HEALTHCARE
In healthcare, one of our key objectives was to ensure that we vastly improved the access to quality care for each and every citizen.
We did so by removing the corruption left behind by the former Government, and finally complete the Scarborough General Hospital, more than 10 years after the PNM started it.
Your Government has also delivered the San Fernando Teaching Hospital and started construction of the Couva Children’s Hospital which will provide the best care for our nation’s children, to complement the efforts of the Children’s Life Fund, which has so far saved 88 young lives.
We have also:
- Introduced a new breast surgery theatre at the St. James Medical Complex;
- Added 23 new Beds at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex;
- Established a Cardiology Unit and Oncology Department at San Fernando General Hospital;
- Implemented a programme for free hearing aids to students and financial assistance for the purchase of spectacles to children in need;
- Successfully negotiated a US$2.5 agreement with the United States to assist in the fight against HIV/AIDS; and
- Implemented an increase in the breastfeeding subvention from $5000 to $100,000 and commenced provision of free milk to at risk mothers and children
Ask the real people who are benefitting from these improvements how they feel about progress, don’t ask the PNM, ask the people of our country!
And after languishing since the late 1970s, when your Government brought Procurement Legislation, as we promised in 2010, the PNM opposed.
The Public Procurement and Disposal of Property Bill 2014, aims to ensure transparency and accountability in the tendering and awarding of contracts, and focuses on strong penalties for corruption.
It will provide for an independent regulating body to police the entering into contracts by all public bodies using public money, which answers directly to Parliament. It will have the power to suspend and investigate the award of contracts.
It will make a criminal offence of bid rigging and collusion (the same thing Dr No accused his own PNM of) in the tendering process, attracting a fine of $5 million and 10 years prison.
Procurement legislation will be the basis for the protection of the integrity of processes of the State in managing how money is spent by the State. And look at the two people opposing this integrity-driven legislation.
One was accused of using a Government credit-card, outside of Trinidad & Tobago, to buy personal products and services, while serving as a Cabinet Minister.
And the other has, since 2009 under the previous administration, been benefitting with $8.2 million annually in rent for a building being paid to his in-laws.
These are the two PNM people representing their party’s opposition to Procurement legislation.
And they really expect that anyone would ever take them seriously!
TALKING ABOUT THE FUTURE
But let’s not harp on the PNM’s failures, that nightmare is now history.
And the People’s Partnership Government is focused on the future.
Everything we do today is about arriving at a future that we all want for ourselves, and for the young men and women who will inherit our country.
This is why when we talk about the construction of university campuses and accommodations in Tobago, Chaguanas, Debe and Sangre Grande, we talk about making tertiary and vocational training more accessible to each and every citizen.
An education is your passport to a better life, better income and security for your family.
And in order to achieve true prosperity for all, we must not only fund education, we must ensure that anyone who wants to pursue learning, has the resources, and the access to do it.
When the PNM opposes everything, they are also opposing the fact that they left 20 percent of the population with a reliable water supply in 2010, but today, over 60 percent of the population receives water 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Ask the PNM why they don’t want people outside of their constituencies to benefit from national development.
Why do they keep condemning people “south of the Caroni”?
I want to hear from the 66,000 plus people who have benefitted from over 73,800 metres of water lines in the North East, North West, South West, South East and Central Trinidad, and in Tobago.
How do you feel about our performance?
How do the quarter of a million people who benefitted from the Navet Trunk Main and improved the water supply feel about our performance?
How do the 29,000 people in La Brea and Point Fortin feel about the Seven Seas Desal project that has brought them all to a 24/7 supply of water.
When we talk about over 237,000 metres of roads constructed and rehabilitated, ask the people why they are opposed to it! Ask them and demand that they answer:
- Why we should not have delivered a completed Overpass for the people of Aranguez;
- Why we should not have delivered a new Bridge and Bypass for the people of St. Helena;
Make the PNM answer for their opposition to our:
- Delivering the Churchill Roosevelt Highway Extension;
- A third lane on the Uriah Butler Highway;
- A new Interchange for the people of Couva and Preysal;
- A fully reconstructed Tarouba link road for the people of south Trinidad;
- A completed extension of the Solomon Hochoy Highway from Golconda to Debe;
- A completed Churchill Roosevelt Highway and Uriah Butler Highway Interchange, and
- The start of construction of the Diego Martin Highway…
The PNM thinks it must talk on everything, so rather than just saying no to you benefitting from development, force them to answer why they opposed these projects!
And when they are not opposing, they are trying to make people believe that we finishing what they started.
Tell them no and remind them that what they did was not about delivering, it was about promising!
They have a record of broken promises, and will say anything to win elections!
Because in Couva right now, construction has commenced on the National Aquatic Centre after it was promised by the PNM almost 50 years ago when Miss Laura De Neef won this country’s first international swimming medal.
When the PNM asks about the future, remind them of how many times they dashed the hopes for a secure future for our nation, and how many times we had to come in to fix their damage.
And in healthcare, our citizens will be very happy to know that I have instructed the Minister of Health to have the primary health care centres close to you, opened up to 9pm on evenings.
Up to 4pm on Saturdays,
And up to 2pm on Sundays.
This is part of how we have improved your access to quality healthcare when you need it at our 105 health centres.
I have instructed him as well to ensure that all nine district health facilities throughout T&T are fully staffed and equipped with laboratories, x-rays, ultra sounds and all required equipment to have these opened 24 hours per day.
This means we will continue to improve our primary health care services at our health centres, and the intermediate health care at the nine district health facilities.
Housing – “I Live Here” Program
The Housing Development Corporation will spearhead the much anticipated program called “I Live Here” geared towards developing pride among HDC tenants – taking responsibility, for their homes and communities across the nation.
We expect over 500 residents in economically challenged communities to be recruited and deployed to work in this massive program of upgrade and refurbishment of over 25 targeted HDC estates in Port of Spain, Diego Martin, Morvant and San Fernando.
After 30 years of neglect by the PNM we will lift those communities to feel the joy and self-esteem that comes from a clean, secure and beautiful environment.
The program “I Live Here” will expend $100 M in 2014-15.
San Fernando 5–Star Hotel, Convention Centre & Administrative Building
Your government is mindful that our priority for accessible heath care led us to convert the San Fernando Administrative Building to a world class 216 bed Teaching hospital, the first built in a generation in Trinidad.
We propose to use 30 acres of land in the vicinity of the Tarouba stadium to construct an 18 story administrative complex, in addition to a modern convention centre, the first to be built in our independence history.
This site will be in proximity to the Pointe a Pierre Petrotrin facility, minutes away from a shopping mall and entertaining centre at Tarouba and along the new highway to Point Fortin, which we will complete.
To complete this signature complex we propose to enhance business in the oil belt from Point Lisas to Point Fortin with the construction of a modern five star hotel, long awaited by the people of south Trinidad. This hotel will be integrated with the Convention centre.
This new economic zone will create a further 2,000 permanent jobs in the administrative, hospitality and entertainment sectors.
So my friends, do not allow yourselves to be confused by the PNM’s rapid fire accusations of everything being bad.
The PNM doesn’t even understand what is happening in our country and has little ability to understand information that is available to them.
What they see are things they want to see – they consider high crime to be their meal-ticket to winning!
They want investor confidence to be broken.
They will do anything to create instability and panic.
Because they have always and will always lose the fight on ideas, listening and understanding what people need to achieve their goals.
My vision today feels stronger than it ever has and as I continue my National Conversation with our country, we will continue to progress, not just by next year, but over the coming six years and beyond.
My mission is to account to you for how we have managed our nation’s resources to halt a decline, pull us back from the brink of collapse and substantially restore us to a leading economic position in the region and world.
My hope is that you will join in the conversation with me so that as we build on our successes, we do so knowing that our every policy, our every plan, will be a step forward for every citizen of our country!
Those who thrive on panic, destruction and misinformation will remain where they are and must be rejected by all citizens who want a future that is secure and stable.
Let them oppose! We will partner with you!
Let them intimidate people with different views! We want to hear from you!
Let them fail to provide alternatives, and remain out of touch with citizens! We will remain grounded in your needs and desires!
When the time comes for our nation to decide how we move forward, we are the ones who would have for the third time in our history, proven that we have a plan for our country and every man, woman and child of Trinidad & Tobago is part of that plan for progress.
As we work together for a better future I see a country more united in purpose working harder to achieve their dreams and co operating better to build a more sustainable future for our children and the next generation.
Why can’t we double our per capita income and our GDP with God’s grace and working together.
I can see a thriving energy sector as well as a T and T diversifying at a faster rate and offering jobs to better educated people and building up a larger stronger middle class.
I see greater equity and an end to poverty .
I see new entrepreneurs evolving a knowledge economy and innovating to create a lsting prosperity .
I see people from abroad wanting to live and work here and to contribute to national development.
I see people wanting to build a greater country.
My friends, may God Bless you all!
May God Bless our party and our partners!
And May God walk with us as we seek to take our country beyond a successful recovery into a stable and secure future!
I thank you!
Office of the Prime Minister