The Government decision to close the Union Island seaport to pleasure vessels was not communicated to the leader of the Opposition, New Democratic Party (NDP), Godwin Friday or the Member of Parliament for Southern Grenadines, Terrance Ollivierre.
On Wednesday December 30th, the Cabinet, on the recommendation of the Chief Medical Officer (CMO), took the decision to close the Union Island seaport to pleasure vessels.
The NDP has a strong grip on the Grenadines parliamentary seats, but Dr. Friday, when responding to a question by THE VINCENTIAN at a press conference on Wednesday 13, said that he was not informed as to why such actions was taken.
“I mean, I can’t tell you why the government choose at that time to do it. They didn’t communicate with me and I am sure they didn’t communicate with the Honorable Terrance Ollivierre who is the representative for the Southern Grenadines regarding this action,” said Dr. Friday.
“This is part of the difficulty we have. As you know we always said that we are open to provide …. as a responsible political leader and opposition parliamentarians of a mass political party, to play our role, but the government has tended to not heed that,” the Opposition Leader added.
Dr. Friday, born on the Grenadine island of Bequia, conceded that one of the challenges the country faced, was the monitoring of the yachts as they come through the islands, not least because SVG is a collective of many bays and islands, a lot of water in between the islands.
“It is a lot for the Coast Guard to police and so we have had a situation where people have raised a lot of concerns about the yachts coming and (persons) being unsure as to how they ( the yachters) have done there quarantine, and whether they are free to move about,” said Friday.
He asserted, though, that the major problem was a lack of information from the authorities.
“I don’t know how much information was given or how much explanation was provided to the community of Union Island, but I certainly will follow up with the honorable member there.
“The yachting business is very important to the country. It’s very important to the Grenadines but we have to make sure that health comes first and that the people who come observe the guidelines, and that those persons who interact with them are safe because you can’t have a situation where people are feeling insecure,” the opposition leader said.