Our Readers' Opinions
October 9, 2009
Land acquisition – A ‘hot’ issue indeed!


Editor: The Land Acquisition clause in the draft constitution is one of the most debated proposals, and this is understandable when we consider that the right to Private Property is inalienable and, therefore, should be properly regarded and defined.{{more}}

The Minister of Housing Hon Julian Francis, in his contribution to the constitutional debate, referred to the Land Acquisition matter as a hot issue. Since this is truly the case, one wonders why due attention and thoroughness was not given in phrasing this clause to reflect the people’s deep wishes.

With the realization that so many Vincentians called for adequate compensation to be defined as open market value, or even better ‘to include current market value of the property at the date of the compulsory acquisition’, one would think that government will be wise and heed the people’s reasonable voices. Yes, any watchful, vigilant government that is ‘in touch’ with the people’s real heartfelt good concerns will comply.

Why boast of going ‘throughout the length and breath of this country’ to get people’s views through consultations, just to come back and blatantly disregard the recommendations of the same Vincentian people?

Like many Vincentians, I implore you to take note of the consensus request by the people in the CRC’s Final Report to the House, Sep. 28, 2006, which stated: ‘When compensation is assessed for compulsorily acquired property, such compensation should be assessed on the basis of the open market value of that property as at the date of the compulsory acquisition’ (emphasis supplied). THIS IS WHAT THE PEOPLE, IN CONSULTATION, CALLED FOR.

What is even more shameful is the authorities’ blatant, persistent failure to heed the people’s CONTINUAL request throughout the process, but yet they include the vague, unfair unreasonable proposal of one or a few politicians, who think we should settle for adequate compensation as just ‘fair and reasonable’. Come on! The issue should have been carefully addressed because it is indeed a ‘hot’ one! Do you realize that your ‘yes’ votes will be significantly reduced because you fail to listen to the people, even when you realize that their issues and concerns were ‘hot’? In fact, some have made their decisions to vote no just because of your attitude. And it is your fault of arrogance and hardheadedness! You will reap what you sow.

Ann-Marie John
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