Monday, May 20, 2024
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HomeOpinionLettersOpen letter to Global Port Holdings

Open letter to Global Port Holdings

30th April, 2024

Mr. Lancelot Arnold

GPH Regional Director

Eastern Caribbean

Saint Lucia Cruise Port GM

Dear Mr. Arnold,

I acknowledge receipt of your invitation dated 29th April 2024 to attend a commencement ceremony on 30th April 2024, and in spite of the well publicised fact that I have and continue to be out State attending to a family emergency, I thank you for your invitation.

I must remind you that no attempt has been made to date to engage or to inform the Opposition of the terms of this concession despite our public statements and a public letter to the Prime Minister. Hopefully, this invitation is an indication that your company has recognized the necessity for public engagement which should include the Opposition. For the time being, it would irresponsible of me or anyone else from the Opposition to attend, as it may be construed as an endorsement of this agreement.

In light of the fact that your company was awarded a thirty (30) year concession and a ten (10) year extension without a bidding process, with an estimated potential revenue stream of over One Billion East Caribbean Dollars (EC$1 billion), I take this opportunity to publicly invite your company to make public the agreement you have signed with Saint Lucia Air and Sea PortsAuthority (SLASPA).

Based on the little detail provided publicly, the terms of this agreement appear to be very one sided and will have a significant impact on the longstanding contracts that have been in place with vendors, taxi drivers, shop owners and tour providers. Already, we have been hearing complaints of no consultation and lack of transparency. Also very concerning is the mid-term and long term impact this will have on SLASPA and, in particular, its employees. Your company is a publicly traded company and I would hope your internal company values and principles of governance and the current international standards would have caused you to appreciate how disconcerting this situation is.

I hope your company will understand the importance and sincerity of the request to make public the agreement. It is important that you gain the trust of all stakeholders and the population in general and that we all see this as mutually beneficial. The Government has already betrayed the trust of the public which was manifested by a Minister of Government who dubbed this a “secret deal”.

To eliminate any further speculation as to the integrity of this agreement and to avoid any unnecessary confusion I appeal to your company’s best judgment.

Yours Sincerely,

Allen M. Chastanet

Leader of the Opposition

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