As the dialogue continues, the Constituency Representative for St. Christopher 8, Mr. Eugene Hamilton, has scheduled a meeting with residents of his district in the town of Cayon, to discuss the matter.
The meeting has been scheduled for the community Centre on Wednesday evening and Hamilton has invited the Minister of Government who has responsibilities for Agriculture and Constituency Empowerment, Dr. Timothy Harris, though it is not sure if the Cabinet Minister will accept the offer.
Hamilton indicated that they will be discussing the land swap for debt that he said has resulted in 400 acres in Hermitage and Brighton “given away by Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas.”
He added that he has asked Dr. Timothy Harris to join him at the town-hall meeting this evening at 7:00pm, but indicated that Harris has not yet confirmed. Hamilton also reminded that Minister Harris’ adjoining constituency has also been impacted by the move to transfer hundreds of acres of land formerly owned by government, into a private bank, which is however dominated by the majority ownership of the government.
Hamilton stated that the bill will be discussed in its entirety, so that the community residents can identify what parcels of land have been lost in the deal.
He stated that everybody in Cayon and the surrounding communities is invited to attend, as there is the need to take back the land in Hermitage and Brighton.
The opposition MP made a passionate plea against the bill when it was moved in parliament last month, and so did government Minister Dr. Timothy Harris and his colleague, Deputy Prime Minister Sam Condor.
It was only on Tuesday 16th October that Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas scoffed at any idea about the need for more public discussion about the land swap, indicating that there has been enough debate outside the parliament and claiming that the move should not have come at a surprise to anyone.
However, even Douglas’ two top colleagues in Cabinet, both Condor and Harris, made it clear in their objections to the move that they were given very short notice, just before the parliamentary meeting, about exactly which lands were going to be turned over to the bank, as part of a deal to eliminate some 900 million dollars’ worth of debt held with the financial institution. Douglas was adamant Tuesday, that no more discussions were needed.