Deputy political leader of the Alliance Party for Progress (APP), Lynette Eastmond, is calling on Barbadians to make the right decision when they go to the polls on January 19.
Furthermore, Eastmond has promised development of the creative, cultural and technology industries should she be elected to represent the people of St Philip West.
“In 2018 we became so disgusted that we felt we had to put an end to that Government. At this point in time, we need to ensure that in Parliament we have representatives of not just the traditional parties, but the newer parties that have emerged, such as the Alliance,” she said via the party’s online presentation of candidates on Tuesday.
The APP was formed following a merger between the People’s Party for Democracy and Development and the United Progressive Party, with former Opposition Leader Bishop Joseph Atherley leading the group. They have a slate of 20 candidates contesting the upcoming General Election.
Eastmond said that through the experience she and Atherley had gained in the Owen Arthur Cabinet, they were schooled in how a Government should be properly run and how a Cabinet should function. She said as a member of Arthur’s Cabinet, the chair ensured every voice around the table was heard and not just the experts.
She said that seemed to be missing now and would be done away with under the APP.
“The Alliance will bring us back to that position where we consult amongst ourselves, but also consult with stakeholders, as well as the wider public because of our inability, or shall I say the Government’s past inability, to deal with corruption,” she said.
Moreover, the former Minister of International Business said Barbados faced the prospect of only a small clique seeing wealth, thereby creating a superclass of wealthy people and an underclass.
“This is happening because opportunities are being hidden from Barbadians. They’re not being allowed to take advantage of the opportunities that come up from day to day because corruption is not simply about stealing money. In my view, corruption is also about preventing our people from accessing the opportunities that countries like Barbados can develop,” she said.
Two such sectors are the creative cultural and technology industries which Eastmond, founding member and vice-president of the Barbados Film & Video Association, said held great potential.
“We can develop programmes and products that can be sold to the entire world. We’re only about 300 000 people, and there are millions of people to sell to. If we were elected to office, we would invest in the creative, cultural and technology industries.
“If our Government took one per cent of what is now allocated to tourism to start these industries, we would see a massive difference. The individuals who engage in these industries come from every sector in Barbados, from every demographic, from every social background.
“Imagine what would happen if we were able to empower those people through the creative industries, through culture and through technology. It would make a vast difference for the people of St Philip West,” she said. (RA)