The New Democratic Party’s (NDP) unsuccessful West St George candidate Kay Bacchus-Baptiste says a recent survey she conducted shows seven things that have upset Vincentians the most since the 2020 General Elections. And top of Bacchus-Baptiste’s list is the firing of public servants who refused to take a COVID-19 vaccine.
Last November, SR&O No 28 — The Public Health (Public bodies Special Measures) Rules of 2021 came into effect and required that certain groups of workers take a COVID-19 jab in order to continue working in their respective areas.
Failure to be vaccinated resulted in workers being deemed to be absent from duty without leave and they were relieved of their post. Among those affected were teachers and police officers.
Bacchus-Baptiste who unsuccessfully contested the West St. George seat in the 2020 General Elections said she did the survey through social media, WhatsApp and via telephone and while she got more than 150 responses, she picked the top seven.
She listed the issues during her party’s 42nd annual convention on February 13 while noting that the question asked during the survey was, “what has vexed you the most since the last election and what has the ULP done since the last election to upset you the most.”
“The number one thing that is hurting Vincentians since the last election is the unreasonable vaccine mandate and the firing of civil servants without consultation,” Bacchus-Baptiste said.
And the number two issue is the Cornelius John incident in which John, a Diamond resident was shot on April 13, 2021 at his home.
Bacchus-Baptiste said that number three is what she considers police abuse during protests last year against the government’s vaccine policy.
Several protesters were arrested and charged for planning and holding unlawful protests in Kingstown and in one of these protests on August 5,2021 the Prime Minister was struck in his head with an object which led to him seeking medical attention in Barbados after being treated at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital. Most of the cases were later dismissed in court.
Bacchus-Baptiste highlighted the fourth most vexing thing as the removing and reinstatement of Senator Rochard Ballah in the House of Parliament during the 2022 budget debate so as to have a quorum in the House to allow passage of the budget.
“This was clearly a plot to prevent the NDP from debating the baseless budget that was passed in the House,” Bacchus-Baptiste said.
Issue number five was what Bacchus-Baptiste described as the mismanagement of government funds, poor accountability and lack of transparency; with number six being an increase in poverty, and number seven being the state of the healthcare sector.
“They don’t listen to the people. They too high and mighty,” the NDP politician said while noting that if they were to get into power, the NDP will re-employ, reimburse and compensate all the public servants fired.
“The NDP, we feel your pain,” she said while adding that in her opinion, persons were put on the bread line for “no good reason.
“The NDP is the people’s choice and the ULP will struggle to get even 35% of votes next election,” Bacchus-Baptiste proclaimed.