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The inept and incompetent labour minister in Trinidad and Tobago

Dear Sir:

In an attempt to do damage control for her most obnoxious and bigoted comments made in parliament earlier this week, minister of labour and small enterprise development Jennifer Baptiste-Primus further insulted the intelligence of the population by penning a letter to the editor in which she sought to castigate the opposition for her colleague finance minister Colm Imbert’s most insensitive, callous and politically damaging comments during debate on the proceeds of Crime and Central Bank Bill.

The fallout from the population was fast and furious.

Baptiste-Primus sought to defend her statement and conduct, laced with racial overtones, about “selling pholourie” as a tongue-in-cheek comment and then she told the most bold-faced lie when she denied saying anything about “cutting grass” which is quite audible from the live -recording of the session.

Do not read the Hansard but rather look at the video and one will see and hear Baptiste-Primus in her glory supporting Imbert’s most irresponsible, insensitive, shameless, pitiful, conflicted, self-hating and mendacious statements against citizens.


Both ministers were actually in fits of laughter, enjoying the insults and condescending remarks and despite her denial that it was the figment of someone’s imagination, Baptiste-Primus was indeed laughing at farmers and small business persons.

Looking at the video one can see and hear her arrogant colleague Colm Imbert actually chiding her for attempting to overshadow his delivery of political insults when he told her “I don’t need any assistance.”

And true to form in line with the Peoples National Movement (PNM) modus operandi, this successful failure of a minister went on to call anyone who criticized her statements as being “race baiters” who are attempting to fanning the flames of ethnic discord.

But exactly what do these two members of the Keith Rowley-led PNM Cabinet have against honest and decent citizens who sell phoulorie, doubles, and fish and those who engage in grass cutting for a living?

Jennifer Baptiste-Primus, the inept and incompetent minister of labour, has been an absolute dismal and abject failure.

Under Baptiste-Primus’s watch, for the last 51-plus months, over 65000 workers have lost their jobs; businesses are folding up and the economy is in dire straits, yet Baptiste-Primus remains adamant that the “Labour Sector remains strong despite continued retrenchment.”

Under Baptiste-Primus’s tenure, workers’ rights and the Employment and Labour Laws of the country have been continually trampled and the administration of which she is a Cabinet minister.

As the minister of labour, Baptiste-Primus has done absolutely nothing to advance the joint MoU signed between the PNM and the labour movement prior to the September 2015 general elections; in fact, she has done everything to show that those promises were simple PNM election platform rhetoric.

Will she subscribe to her gross failures as a minister as a figment of someone’s imagination? The only public pronouncement she has ever made on any type of job creation was a promise in the 2016-2017 budget that the Rowley-led administration is partnering with Hire Pro Drivers, a British Columbia, Canadian-based recruitment agency which is looking to ship “long-haul drivers” to Canada, as part of a move to fill “35,000 vacancies”. Three plus years later, can Baptiste-Primus tell the population how many citizens have benefitted from this so-called initiative?

Instead of sitting in parliament and laughing at decent, honest and hardworking citizens, Baptiste-Primus should be explaining to the very said institution the reasons for the delay in her being unable to deliver on her promised ten-point plan to assist all retrenched workers revolving around matching workers’ skills with job vacancies.

Jennifer Baptiste-Primus, instead of publishing a vague letter to the editor looking for self-absolution that will convince no one, should acknowledge her colossal failure and show some integrity and professionalism… resign now.

Capil Bissoon




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