Looking ahead in the ‘new normal’ amidst COVID-19, the Political Leader of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) is calling on the nation to unite in national efforts to build the economy.
“…This is a time when we have to review our Health system, our Education, our Agriculture
and ability to feed ourselves, our Economy, indeed every facet of our lives, have to change and
adjust. But together, we can do it,” said Franka Alexis-Bernadine in an address aired on local radio and streamed on social media.
She noted that “We must see this time for the opportunities which present themselves; opportunities for our entire nation- on a macro and micro level- to embrace and advance technological reliance, in the work place, by entrepreneurs, in the school system and socio-economically.”
Bernadine pointed out that “The innovation of our people in these challenging times has seen the birth of many novel businesses as a result of the constraints placed on us by the pandemic.”
She stressed that COVID-19 forces Grenada to revisit and readjust its economic plans suggesting that its priority must be self-reliance and food security.
Noting that systems should be in place to ensure this, the Political Leader cautioned that these systems should not be tempered with Political favouritism, and called on the Government to put an end to the political approach to providing food supplies and housing assistance. “We are aware because the
complaints reach us every day,” she said.
Mrs Bernadine suggested that agriculture and agri-business must also be a priority stating that “We need to engage our local, regional and intentional experts, to renew our agricultural thrust, using traditional as well as cutting edge technology to get the greatest yield possible from our land!”
In addition, she said animal husbandry and fishing must be equally addressed.
As it relates to tourism, which has been a major pillar of Grenada’s economy in the past, Bernadine noted that the pandemic has shown how unsustainable it is. Thus, she said, “We cannot, and should not continue to build massive hotels as our approach to the tourism industry. We must revisit this approach and find a more environmentally friendly and sustainable method.”
Further, she recommended that “We need to examine Geo-tourism, cultural tourism, and promote tourism within the region, and from neighbouring islands, even within our island, parish to parish for
those who want to, in addition to our usual guests from further afield.”
Addressing the issue of unemployment, Bernadine said it is worrying as the number of unemployed people continues to grow.
“This is not a problem affecting our youth alone. Our deteriorating economy, COVID-19, the
disruption of the global supply chain, and other factors, have resulted in people of all ages being
unemployed and under-employed,” she reasoned.
The Political Leader said her party has been reviewing this with local and regional Economists with the aim of finding creative solutions and promised to share this in a public forum.
Bernadine said after hearing the “Prime Minister’s last address, and the confused handling of oh so many issues – the market venders, the Cocoa and Nutmeg Boards, the La Sagesse Beach issues, the electoral process, the poor management of the education system, many Grenadians have been saying, including we in the NDC, ‘We can do better than this!’”
She stated that the NDC offers better, “because we always put the people of Grenada first and not ourselves and our pockets! We therefore invite all patriotic Grenadians of all ages and of all walks of life, to join hearts and hands on this journey to rescue our beloved Grenada. Our country is in crisis, but there is hope.”