‘Shameless canvassing’


Opposition parliamentarian Dale Marshall has accused Government of using the House of Assembly in “shameless canvassing” for the January 20 St John by-election.
He made the charge yesterday when Minister of Housing and Lands Michael Lashley introduced a resolution seeking to vest land in St John, St George and St Lucy in the National Housing Corporation (NHC).
Marshall said it was “passing strange that days before a by-election in St John”, Government had brought to the House of Assembly a resolution dealing with making house lots available for prospective homeowners in the parish.
“Let us call a spade a spade,” he said. “This is about the St John by-election, so save it for St John, Sir.”
Marshall, in his brief presentation, said he and the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) were happy that Government was proposing to give the people of St John several house lots.
“We support any resolution vesting lands in the National Housing Corporation so that Barbadians could get housing,” he told the House.
He said they were pleased that after 52 years of DLP control of the constituency, including two Prime Ministers, that a minister could say to the people of the parish that they would get housing.
“We are happy for the people of St John. They pay taxes like everybody else. They are, for the most part, Sir, Barbadians like everybody else and they deserve to get the fruits of their labour and the benefits of all that Barbados has to offer.”
The resolution lists Cherry Grove, Henley and Pool in St John among the areas where Government would be vesting Crown lands in the NHC.
Todds in St George and Coconut Hall in St Lucy are the other areas to be involved in Government’s Housing Every Last Person (HELP) programme.
According to Lashley, the lands will be sold at $5 per square foot under a DLP 2008 election promise.
Marshall said Lashley’s comment that the housing programme for St John had long been in the works but Government was only now dealing with it  “is, in my view, shameless canvassing”.
He said announcing the programme for St John ahead of the by-election did not necessarily mean that action would be taken soon. (TY)


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