News Stories : February 10th 2011
Last Updated Friday, February 10, 2012 7:24 PM


Chamber on task force
Story by Lovely St.Aime Joseph

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The Saint Lucia Chamber of Commerce says Saint Lucia’s ranking on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report is top priority for the Chamber.

Saint Lucia has continued its decline in the annual World Bank produced “Ease of Doing Business” Review.

In 2011 the country was ranked 53 – falling from a ranking a 45 in 2010.


The chamber of commerce and the Government are pursuing a joint initiative to help identify ways to improve the island’s ranking.  The Ease of Doing Business Index ranks economies from 1 to 183 with first place being the best. A high ranking means the regulatory environment of a country is conducive to business operation.

Saint Lucia’s ranking on the Ease of doing Business report has been on a steady decline. This is of great concern to both the Chamber of Commerce and the Government who have partnered on the establishment of a Joint Task Force.

Executive Director of the Saint Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Brian Louisy, says the task force has the mandate to review the report and identify practical ways of improving Saint Lucia’s ranking.

This he says is expected to be done in a ‘swift and robust’ way.

The three member task force will be headed by Honorable Justice Michael Gordon. It will also include Richard Peterkin of Price Water House Coopers and Gerard Bergasse, the new president of the Chamber.

The Task Force is expected to present its practical recommendations to set the country on a path to moving up the ranks within a year or two by March.  

The chamber has commended the Prime Minister for moving ahead with one of the measures he outlined when he addressed the Chamber’s inaugural election forum.

Louisy says the task force is a reflection of promised greater collaboration between the public and private sector.




Bar association on CCJ
Story by Sarah Peter

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President of the St. Lucia Bar Association, Andie George has called for a massive education campaign on the Caribbean Court of Justice.

He says such an initiative is needed so that persons of the region can feel more confident about the CCJ’s jurisdiction and the quality of its judgment.


George believes St. Lucia should embrace the CCJ and believe if all Caribbean countries moved in that direction, it would enhance Caribbean unity and the integrity of CARICOM. Nevertheless, he noted that there are concerns by some quarters that the CCJ is political persuaded. President of the St. Lucia Bar Association, Andie George is calling on Caribbean governments to embrace the Caribbean Court of Justice as their final court of appeal.

His pronouncement comes one week after Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony lauded former Jamaican Prime Minister, PJ Patterson for his staunch support of the Caribbean Court of Justice.

Dr Anthony also urged the Caribbean community to make the CCJ its final court of appeal. George made these arguments for moving away from the Privy Council towards the CCJ.

George also sought to debunk the reservations that have been expressed about the Caribbean Court of Justice.

The Bar Association President maintains however that Judges in the region are selected in a credible manner. 

He also added that although politicians have embraced the idea of the CCJ, lack of education is responsible for the lack of support the court receives in the region.
George added the CCJ would enhance the integrity of CARICOM and would strengthen Caribbean unity.
The islands of Belize, Barbados, Guyana have all embraced the CCJ.





Two charged for murder
Story by Carmy Joseph


Police have charged 17-year-old Kevin St.Hill and 19-year-old Gillan Leon, both of Bexon, Castries, for the murder of 46-year-old Peter Raymond a.k.a “Bounty” of La Bayee, Castries.

Raymond’s body was found partially decomposed body in an abandoned building at La Bayee. The gruesome discovery was made at about 3PM on Friday February 3rd.


A post mortem which was later performed indicated Raymond died from haemorrhagic shock, secondary to stab wounds.

The youth charged appeared in court on Friday February 10th where they were remanded at the Bordelais Correctional Facility until May 4th.


Gun possession sentencing
Story by Carmy Joseph


On Tuesday February 7th a case of possession of firearm and possession of ammunition concluded in the magistrate’s court.

Ennis Pierre-Louis of Wilton’s Yard and police officer Amis Victor were convicted after they were found guilty.


The court fined both men the sum of $20,000 to be paid in sixty days for the charges of possession of firearm and ammunition, or in default five years imprisonment.

The charges stem from an incident that occurred at about 12:35PM on Monday February 2nd 2009, at Mongiraud, Gros-Islet.

The two men were intercepted in a vehicle where one Kurz 9mm/.380 firearm and six rounds of ammunition were found.

The two men were subsequently arrested and charged with the offenses.




Caribbean Airlines in St.Lucia
Story by Winston Springer

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Caribbean Airlines commenced its non-stop daily service to George F. L. Charles Airport, Castries, St. Lucia on Friday.

The air carrier says the St. Lucia service paves the way for direct connections to South America with a daily flight to Caracas via Trinidad for passengers whose travel originates in St. Lucia. 


Tourism officials here reveal the new service provides an opportunity for the islanto tap into a potential lucrative market. CAL reiterates that St. Lucia is of strategic interest to the airline and it is excited to offer CARICOM neighbours reliable scheduled airlift within the Caribbean. The inaugural Caribbean Airlines flight to Saint Lucia touched down at the George F. L. Charles Airport on Friday afternoon.

The arrival of the turbo prop aircraft signifies the start of non-stop daily flights from Port of Spain Trinidad to Castries.

A welcome party of tourism officials was on hand to greet the pilot, crew and CAL executives after the commercial aircraft taxied on the tarmac.

Vice President of Operations of Caribbean Airlines, Captain Thomas Lawrence calls the flight a milestone for CAL.

Saint Lucia’s Director of Tourism Louis Lewis says the service returns a growth opportunity the island lost a few years ago in what is the country’s third largest market in the region.

He says the flight also encourages connectivity to north and South America.

With the island keen to prop up airlift amid challenging times for the global air travel industry, Lewis sees hope for inter-regional travel with the CAL service.

He explains the facilitation of the movement of people through out the region is more than just symbolic – it provides potential economic benefits.

Lewis adds the business sector is also buoyed by the introduction of the new service. According to CAL, the daily flights will operate as BW434, departing Port of Spain, Trinidad at 1:45PM and arriving into St Lucia at 2:50PM and BW435 departing St Lucia at 3:25PM, arriving into Port of Spain, Trinidad at 4:30PM.



WASCO update
Story by Sant Justin

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A major break on the mains conveying water from the John Compton Roseau Dam to the Theobalds Treatment Plant at Ciceron has caused a major disruption to the supply of water to the north of the island.

WASCO crews worked along the Millet riverbed through the night in challenging conditions to repair the rupture and to return water to customers in the shortest possible time.


It was one of the most difficult repair jobs to be undertaken by the crew at the Water and Sewerage Company, WASCO this year.

A critical pipe connecting the John Compton Dam to the Theobalds Treatment facility at Ciceron broke, about ten feet below the riverbed.

Once it was determined the breach was indeed along the Millet riverbed, WASCO crews began the cumbersome task of diverting the river course, before excavating the riverbed to reach the broken main.

There were two options available for the time being to repair crews. The first was to weld the breach.
If that option proved ineffective, the broken section of pipe would have to be replaced, a more involved operation.

But throughout WASCO repair, crews remained optimistic the repairs would have been completed within reasonable time.

WASCO has apologized for the disruption and remains hopeful that once repaired the water supply to affected areas would be normalized within 24 hours.



Gas prices go up
Story by Winston Springer


The Government of Saint Lucia has announced a rise in the price of gas at the pumps with the price of the LPG tanks used in households for cooking unchanged.

A press statement from the Dr. Kenny Anthony Administration explains the hike is due to the increases in international oil prices in recent times.


Government Press Secretary Jadia Jn Pierre Emmanuel says the adjustment in fuel prices in Saint Lucia takes effect on Monday, February 13, 2012.

The cost of Gasoline will increase by 8 cents from $3.22 to $3.30 per litre and Diesel from $3.31 to $3.37 per liter.

The price of kerosene will remain unchanged at $6.00 a gallon.  According to the Press Secretary the Government of Saint Lucia has decided to maintain the existing prices on the 100 and 20 pound cylinders of LPG. 

She explains that the cost of fuel will be heavily subsidized with Government absorbing half of the increase in fuel prices and reducing excise taxes on gasoline and diesel.

The Dr. Kenny Anthony administration will also increase the subsidy on the 20-pound cylinder LPG, paying $17.06 of the cost of the cooking gas tanks which is higher than the cap of $15.00 which was established in the 2011/12 budget.  

The government says it is currently conducting a comprehensive review of the pass through mechanism and will reveal its plans for the regulation of gas prices during the budget presentation.



Chou on black sigatoka
Story by Lovely St.Aime Joseph


Taiwanese Ambassador Tom Chou says his embassy is aware of the national crisis being faced by the banana industry in Saint Lucia.

And that his embassy is concerned about the impact of the dreaded Black Sigatoka leaf spot disease.

Ambassador Chou says his embassy will be quick to respond to any request for assistance from the Saint Lucian


government in addressing the spread of Black Sigatoka. The ambassador has advised that along with swift action to avert complete ruin from Black Sigatoka – there are other measures banana farms can take to salvage their livelihoods.

Taiwan has provided a tremendous amount of support to the local agriculture sector. That includes aqua culture, the development of the cut flower industry and financial assistance amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars.


Ocean conference
Story by Sant Justin


OECS officials from around the region met at the Bay Gardens Hotel for a two day workshop on Ocean Governance.

It focused on Ocean Governance in the OECS- and was held under the instructions of the Heads of the OECS.

Program Officer of the OECS Secretariat- Peter A. Murray says ocean governance refers to activities dealing with Marine Resources directly or indirectly.


Murray says the framework will seek to manage these activities through an integrated approach.

Murray says the two day activity examined the elements and essentials of the framework. Advisor at the Commonwealth Secretariat London- Julian Roberts says an integrated approach will assist the OECS member countries make easier decisions in respect to ocean governance.

The OECS Secretariat expects the project to be completed over the next few years.


Red cross workshop
Story by Carmy Joseph


Vulnerability and capacity assessment – VCA - officers in Saint Lucia are currently attending a workshop at the Red Cross Headquarters in Vigie.

The purpose is to teach vulnerability and capacity assessment strategies to participants who will then be expected to instruct others.


Disaster Coordinator Hubert Pierre says while participants will learn how map out an urban area – in this instance Sans Souci – they will not discuss the impact of building codes on ensuring disaster survival.

While he acknowledged the importance of the issue – he explained why this was the case.

This was the first time vulnerability and capacity assessment was being conducted in an urban area.
Pierre says traditionally rural districts like Fond St Jacques are studied.

He says Sans Souci was chosen because of its defining characteristics.

The workshop is part of the fourth year of a multi-phased USAID project that costs EC$800,000.



Jazz tickets on sale
Story by Sarah Peter


Tickets for St. Lucia Jazz 2012 became available online on Friday. Press Relations Manager of the St. Lucia Tourist Board - John Emmanuel has encouraged people to purchase their tickets early in order to take advantage of a number of early bird specials.

Patrons can get as much as 15 percent discounts on tickets.


Box office sales for the event will be available from March 12th. The line-up for Saint Lucia Jazz includes Allison Marquis, Ziggy Marley, Kirk Franklin, and Ronald “Boo” Hinkson.

It will be headlined by Grammy award winning superstar Lionel Richie.


Visual arts exhibition
Story by Lovely St.Aime Joseph


The National Arts Festival which forms part of activities for the island’s 33rd Independence anniversay continues with a Visual Arts Exhibition of which is currently being hosted at the Castries Town Hall.

The exhibition runs from February 10th – 21st and features a number of local artists work from paintings, to embroideries and carvings.



The Cultural Development Foundation is encouraging all Saint Lucians to embrace the festival and support the country’s talented young artists.  The visual arts exhibition is a revamping of what used to be the M&C fine arts awards. CDF Chairman, Milton Branford, says thirty artists signed up to be part of the exhibition which is currently on at the Castries Town Hall.

Branford is hoping to see greater participation from the country’s artists in years to come. He said the quality of the work on display was consistent with international standards.

This year the festival includes judging the creative work of the artists. It will culminate with an awards night where artistes will be honored for their completed work in January 2011 to February 2012.

A panel of adjudicators has been established to facilitate the judging process.

Activities for the National Arts Festival continue on Saturday evening with the Spoken Word and Literary Night.

The public is invited to the event that will feature a fusion of literature and spoken word; bringing together some of our young local literary talent for one live night of performance at the National Cultural Centre.




ECFH calender
Story by Andrew Mondesir


The East Caribbean Financial Holding Company, ECFH, is paying tribute to St. Lucia’s first Nobel Laureate through its annual calendar.

A copy of the calendar has been officially presented to the family of the late Sir Arthur Lewis, represented by Dr. Vaughan Lewis.


The calendar was presented to Dr. Vaughan Lewis at a special commemorative function at the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College by Maria Fowell the Senior Manager - Marketing and Corporate Communications of the ECFH.

The calendar celebrates the life and work of Sir Arthur Lewis, the winner of the 1979 Nobel Prize for Economics.

Sir Arthur was recognised for his pioneering contributions in developmental economics.

Fowell says the achievements of Sir Arthur Lewis serves as motivation for the organisation.

Its focus on the significance of his work in the 2012 ECFH calendar ought to provide inspiration for the wider community.




Sir Darrel Cole
Story by Sant Justin


The Sandals Grande St. Lucian is putting the final touches on its two evenings of Love and Romance featuring an international tribute artist of the legendary Nat King Cole.

Sir Darrel Cole is here and says he is ready to grace the stage. The event is in keeping with the international day of love- Valentines Day on February 14th.


The shows are slated for Sunday February 12th and Tuesday February 14th at the Sandals Grande St. Lucian.

National acts that will accompany the main attraction include Shayne Ross, Sally Elwin and Christal.

Part proceeds from the two night event will go towards the Sandals Foundation Charities in St. Lucia.

  Chamber on task force
  Bar association on CCJ
  Two charged for murder
  Gun possession sentencing
  CAL is here
  Tourist board on airlift
  WASCO update
  Gas prices go up
  Chou on black sigatoka
  Ocean conference
  Red cross workshop
  Jazz tickets on sale
  Visual arts exhibition
  ECFH calender
  Sir Darrel Cole

Saint Lucians are not paying the value of the water they use. For WASCO and its bottom line it’s a question of simple mathematics. Riddled with debt – the company spends $12 on each gallon of water it produces. It later sells that water domestically for $7.35 each one thousand gallon for the first 3,000 gallons – which is the average consumption by each household. It means therefore that with every gallon sold at that price – the company registers a $5.00 loss. The newly appointed Chairman of the National Water and Sewerage Commission has already made it clear a review of existing water prices is in order since consumers are underpaying for the commodity. Given the fight to keep WASCO in local hands and the need to make the company viable we want to know - to ensure the sustainability of WASCO – would you be willing to pay more for water?

To ensure the sustainability of WASCO – would you be willing to pay more for water?

I don't know
I don't care
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