Monthly Archives: July 2012

Caribbean Hotelier Wants More Black Travellers

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Lyton & Eroline Lamontagne

SOUFRIERE, St. Lucia (July 27, 2012) – One of St. Lucia’s popular and classy plantation resorts is putting its efforts into attracting the burgeoning African American market.

Eroline Lamontagne, managing director of Soufriere’s Fond Doux Holiday Plantation, says St. Lucia must continue to diversify and tailor its marketing efforts, by targeting communities of color, especially those who have a voracious appetite for “all things Caribbean”.

“We are serious about this and would like to see our tourism marketers do more to attract Black and Caribbean travelers of means to our shores,” said Lamontagne.

Last month, Fond Doux supported the Associate Member Task Force of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) during the organization’s 37th Annual Convention and Career Fair in New Orleans.

The Task Force is for freelance and part-time journalists, journalism educators, public relations practitioners, as well as other media-related professionals of NABJ.

As part of Fond Doux’s sponsorship in New Orleans, Lizabeth Martin, Associate Professor of Communications at Palm Beach State College in Florida, won a three-night stay for two, including full daily breakfast, a couple’s massage, sunset cruise and candelit dinner at Fond Doux.

“Fond Doux Holiday Plantation’s partnership with NABJ’s Associate Member Task Force is important to us, and we are truly inspired by Mrs. Lamontagne’s confidence in the African American market,” noted Dawn Angelique Roberts, Associate Representative.

The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is an organization of journalists, students and media-related professionals that provides high quality programs and services to, and advocates on behalf of, black journalists worldwide.

Founded on December 12, 1975, in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization of journalists of color in the United States.

Earlier this year, Fond Doux sponsored St. Lucia’s 33rd Anniversary of Independence Gala in Brooklyn, New York, joining the Saint Lucia Foundation, St. Lucians in New York, the government and the private sector to celebrate the milestone.

For further information visit http://www.fonddouxestate.com

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PM Asks Workers to Step Up

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Prime Minister Dr. Kenny D. Anthony

Remarks by the Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Economic Affairs, Planning & Social Security, Honourable Dr. Kenny D. Anthony

INTRODUCTION
I have specially asked to join you this afternoon on the occasion of launching the special STEP UP Programme for Anse La Raye/Canaries.
I wanted to be here because I made a promise to you in the campaign leading to the General Elections of 2011, that a Labour Government will establish a yearlong STEP programme for this constituency. I am here in fulfilment of that promise.
I simply wanted to tell you that while you may have reason to be distrustful of politicians, it is also the case that there are honest politicians in our midst who understand the value of promises to the electorate. We need to rid the country of the deep and pervasive cynicism that passes for politics.

A BEDROCK POLICY
The Short Term Employment Programme was the bedrock of the Labour Party Government when we took the responsibility of reviving the economy in 1997. STEP then found a place in allowing the country to put its people to work in a variety of areas. Today, this new Labour Government continues to embrace the wisdom and foresight of our early days, that is, there is something dignifying and empowering when someone is given a chance to earn their daily bread, small as it may be.

BREAD WINNERS
Today, we come to the picturesque village of Canaries to launch a new version of what we originally started in 1997, dubbed STEP UP! This name is fitting because the Government believes that many people need a hand to assist them in standing up and becoming independent bread winners.

STEP UP is about uplifting our people from long-term, structural unemployment.

STEP UP is about breaking the cycle of idle hands, and linking these hands together into a national effort.

STEP UP is about stirring up economic activity on these streets and in homes where many persons have had no real incomes.

STEP UP is about engaging Saint Lucians all throughout this country to take pride in the beauty of their country.

VIABLE SOCIAL GAIN
Under STEP UP, in the next few days, over seventeen hundred people from all across Saint Lucian, and in every constituency, will start to work – many for the first time in months, if not years. This Government has always been confident that STEP is an indispensible programme for our country, perhaps even more for its viable social gains than for its economic impact. Although this year’s project amount of $4.5 million forms a relatively small part of overall government spending, the ability for this programme to spread income and economic activity is clearly undeniable.

Villages like Canaries and Anse la Raye will undoubtedly feel the impact of this programme. Not only will our landscape be enhanced and our country beautified, but the shop owner, the bus driver, the vendor will begin to notice greater activity as more persons become financially empowered by earning their fair wage.

A SPECIAL PROGRAMME FOR ANSE LA RAYE/CANARIES
Government has recognised that this area in particular, because of its peculiar geography of isolation, requires special attention. There can be no joy found in quoting the unemployment figures for communities such as Canaries. The last census of 2010 told us that for every two persons employed from Canaries, one was unemployed. What was even more alarming was that unemployment in this community was at an astounding 44%. These figures are unmatched anywhere else on this island and it is precisely why the Government has come directly to Canaries to commence the launch of this programme. This Government will not allow what has prevailed in the past to continue.

We have committed to having a year long STEP UP for Anse la Raye and Canaries, with about two hundred persons being employed in these communities alone, in any week during the year. This programme should reduce unemployment in Anse la Raye and Canaries by about twenty percent (20%) in the coming year.
As I explained in the budget presentation earlier this year, the basic idea is to employ 200 persons every quarter, then rotate those persons for another 200 the next quarter and so on. In, other words some 800 persons should benefit in any one year.
I wish to clear all doubts by confirming that this special programme will exist side by side with normal STEP Programme. Let me explain!

“BACK TO SCHOOL” STEP
Throughout the rest of the island, STEP UP will run for five cycles so as to induce the economy at critical junctures where our people require particular support. For example, the present cycle, the present cycle is meant to assist parents prior to the reopening of school.

While it is true that Government has kept its promise and is ensuring that every child who is moving from primary to secondary school can access a five hundred dollar ($500) assistance cheque, and while we have also increased the amount available for general bursaries, it is still necessary to support those who need help the most. As such, STEP UP could even be seen as a supporting arm of the Education Access Fund.

BLACK SIGATOKA
This year, the hope is that STEP UP will also take on a new national imperative, that of tackling Black Sigatoka, a disease which is negatively impacting banana production. This is a need for human resources to tackle the clearance of abandoned fields and the application of treatments and we see STEP UP playing a useful role in assisting the farming sector in meeting the expensive challenge of mitigating this scourge.

JOBS, THE NUMBER ONE PRIORITY
As such, ladies and gentlemen, this Government is keeping to its promise made in the lead up to the 2011 General Elections that our number one priority is jobs! We believe that the country needs this boost to keep the economy buoyant.

STEP UP, as you have well heard, forms a part of a suite of employment creating initiatives, with our flagship $100 million programme of NICE set to create over two thousand jobs nationwide. The majority of these NICE jobs will run for two and a half years. I am very certain that more people from Canaries and Anse la Raye will benefit from this programme as construction projects under NICE commence. I urge you to identify projects and job placements within Canaries that can make a long term impact on your lives and livelihood. Ensure that NICE works with you to achieve your community’s plan for itself.

DEVELOPING THE CANARIES PRODUCT
Of course, ladies and gentlemen, in the medium and long term, we must tackle the structural causes of unemployment, particularly in our rural communities.
Canaries, you have a product which must be packaged and marketed. You have your beautiful forested valley with its river and waterfalls. You have your cassava-based businesses which you are known for. You have your famous bread. You have your picturesque bays. You also have infrastructure like this renewed edifice which enhances the character and uniqueness of your space. Tomas has even blessed you with a renourished beachfront. It is now for you to add the will, collaborate with each other, innovate, create and embrace all your strengths towards meaningful pursuits. Canaries can step up!

I encourage you to work with your Government, your local council, your parliamentary representative, to work with yourselves to move your community more fully into the economic network.

CONCLUSION
To all those of you who have the privilege of having this opportunity to step up, I urge diligence and discipline on the job and wisdom in how you spend your dollar earned.

I should not hear reports that STEP workers are asleep on the job or that STEP workers don’t come to work on time. I want to hear that STEP has made a difference in your life, a difference in your community, a difference in Saint Lucia.

I know STEP UP means a lot to you, as it does to me and the entire Government of Saint Lucia. As such, ensure that you give your country your best efforts, and set your gaze upwards to new heights.

I thank you.

Prime Minister Anthony Attends Olympic Games

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Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Kenny D. Anthony left the state yesterday evening to attend the Olympic Games in London. The Prime Minister returns to Saint Lucia on August 04, 2012.

During his week long stay in London, the Prime Minister will be meeting and joining the Saint Lucia Team as they prepare and compete in the Games. The Prime Minister, in his capacity as Chairman of CARICOM, will also be meeting other CARICOM teams who are participating in the Games.

Saint Lucia will be fielding a team of four athletes which includes swimmer Danielle Beaubrun, high jumpers Darvin Edwards and Lavern Spencer and Beth Lygoe who will be competing in the Women’s Laser Radial.

Olympian Levern Spencer – high jump

Olympian Darvin Edwards – high jump

Olympian Danielle Beaubrun – Swimming

Olympian Beth Lygoe – Sailing

During his absence, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Port Services, Hon. Philip J Pierre, will act as Prime Minister and Minister for Finance.

The Prime Minister will be accompanied by his wife, Professor Rose-Marie Belle Antoine.

CDF Announces Emancipation Day Celebration

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The Cultural Development Foundation, Folk Research Centre and the Iyanola Council for the Advancement of Rastafari are encouraging Saint Lucians and visitors to attend the Emancipation Day Celebration at the Derek Walcott Square on Wednesday, August 1st, 2012, from 3:00 p.m.

More information at http://www.stluciafolk.org/

As Saint Lucia joins the rest of the Caribbean and other communities of African descendants around the world in the annual celebration of Emancipation Day, the Cultural Development Foundation has endorsed a special programme of activities taking place across the length and breadth of the island in observance of this important event in our history.On Wednesday August 1, Emancipation Day, the public is invited to attend the Annual Rally and Cultural Show entitled “Sounds of Freedom,” featuring messages, spontaneous tributes and performances by leading poets, dancers and musicians including Harmonites Steel Orchestra, Secret Band, Avotsevis Band and the reggae band 4th World.

Three other activities which the Cultural Development Foundation will be collaborating with organizers on in an effort to decentralize the celebration of Emancipation Day include;

The Laborie Stars United Sports Club’s cultural community event, which will include youth and elders in various performances;

Choiseul’s Emancipation Day Activity under the theme ‘Living our Freedom’ which seeks to encourage young people to use their freedom to express their creativity and talent; and

Vye –Fo – Mouvman Ansanm (Vieux-Fort) which will seek to engage citizens in a Freedom Walk around Vieux-Fort, Panel Discussion, Listwa Night and Exhibition and Freedom Concert.

The Emancipation Day Celebration activities continue with collaborations between the Cultural Development Foundation and the Folk Research Centre as they present two special fora as part of the Annual Lecture Series.

More at: http://www.stluciafolk.org/

Ambassador Rambally Convenes CARICOM and U.N. Meeting

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July 26, 2012 – Saint Lucia Ambassador to the United Nations (U.N.) H.E. Menissa Rambally convened a meeting of the CARICOM Caucus of Permanent Representatives on Thursday to introduce the U.N. Deputy Secretary-General, H.E. Jan Eliasson who recently assumed the post as the second highest ranking U.N. official after the Secretary General.  Ambassador Rambally took the helm of the rotating chair of the CARICOM Caucus at the beginning of July.

Ambassador Rambally chairs Caucus of CARICOM Ambassadors and UN Dep. Secretary-General

Deputy Secretary-General Eliasson previously served as  Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Darfur, as Sweden’s Ambassador to the United States, and Permanent Representive to the U.N.  He also served as his country’s Foreign Minister. Additionally, he was elected as President of the 60th session of the UN General Assembly two years following the presidency of former General Assembly President Julian R. Hunte of St. Lucia who chaired the 58th session.

Ambassador Rambally explained that the special meeting with the Deputy Secretary-General was held for the purpose of discussing issues before the United Nations of specific relevance to CARICOM countries.  “In this connection,” she said “CARICOM Ambassadors have taken a decision to conduct periodic meetings with senior level United Nations officials to ensure that the regional perspective is well known at the highest levels of the U.N. system.”

The meeting with the Deputy Secretary-General focused on issues relating to economic and social development, and how the U.N. system could further assist the developing countries, in particular small island states.  Of particular note was the discussion on the role of specific U.N. agencies in the development process including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), among other U.N. bodies.

Ambassador Rambally pointed out that “these U.N. institutions can play a vital role in assisting member states in their efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which have been identified by the international community as the primary measure to enhance the quality of life in our countries.”

She noted that the meeting “also examined the elements of the outcomes of the International Conference on Sustainable Development  (Rio+20) which convened in Brazil last June, and how the decisions taken at those multilateral deliberations can be given effect in our region.”

In conclusion, Ambassador Rambally  indicated that the Caucus of CARICOM Ambassadors and the Deputy Secretary-General “would  remain in close communication moving forward, and especially in the run up to the next session of the U.N. General Assembly which begins in September where critical economic and development issues will be addressed by the international community at the highest level.”

Heineken Unveils Plans for the Hottest Summer in Saint Lucia

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The present Summer, at a current high of 31 degrees Celsius, is about to get much hotter. That was the declaration of Gaius Harry, Brand Manager of Heineken Saint Lucia, when he unveiled the Summer long activations of the world most famous beer here in Saint Lucia. “The only remedy will be cold Heineken best enjoyed at -3 degrees C,” Harry pronounced last Wednesday.

The occasion was the launch of Heineken’s Summer long program here in Saint Lucia which will fall under the branding “H-marks the spot.” Under this banner will be the ever popular Heineken Green Synergy which rolls into action next week. The plans were made public at a press brief on Wednesday July 25, 2012 at the WLBL office in Vide Boutielle.

At Wednesday’s event Harry stated that over the last eight years, summertime here in Saint Lucia has been synonymous with Heineken, thanks to the success of the ever popular Heineken Green Synergy. He went on to thank in particular, all of the DJ’s who have participated in Heineken Green Synergy over the years, the media and the fans for their support. “Without you, our success would not be etched in Saint Lucian history as having the best summer long parties over the last eight years,” Harry said.

This year, Heineken will begin its Summer long program of activities with the “Heineken-H-marks the spot” motor treasure hunt on Wednesday August 1, 2012, a public holiday. Spearheading this event is Toni Nicholas who explained Wednesday that the activity was not a race to the finish, but points will be awarded to teams of four for collecting clues around the island at “H-marks the spot” venues. These areas will include the venues where Heineken Green Synergy will be held this year. “Participants will be drawn from teams of four, selected from a pool of WLBL Staff and friends as well as associates of WLBL including media participants and the wider public,” Nicholas announced Wednesday. “It is expected to be a fun activity with the added reward of winning some fantastic prizes from Heineken including cash,” he added. Interested persons can contact WLBL for more information. The event will culminate with a holiday lime and fun activities at a popular hang-out spot here.

“This year Heineken Green Synergy will be embraced by the “Heineken H-marks the spot” concept,” Harry reiterated adding that Green Synergy is back, bigger, better and hotter for the 9th season. 

“Once again, Heineken Green Synergy will be a DJ competition open to residence of Saint Lucia 18 and over, both male and female and we are in search of talent from all across the island,” announced the Heineken brand manager. “The format this year will allow for the competing DJ’s to showcase their tricks and mixing skills and techniques with a lesser emphasis being placed on the clash this year. DJ’s will be allowed to use the medium they are most comfortable with including turntables, Serato or Virtual DJ and will once again utilize a mic man as an added component to their set,” Harry added. Registration to participate in this event is free.

The Grand Prize winner; The Saint Lucia Heineken Green Synergy DJ Ambassador 2012 will receive Cash and product rewards and prizes as well as the opportunity to play at Heineken sponsored events all year long. This year, Heineken Green Synergy will be dishing out a total of EC$20,000 in cash and prizes with prizes also going to the second and third place winners of the event.

The public launch of Heineken Green Synergy is on August 5, with competitions on August 12, August 17 and August 26. The grand finals of Heineken Green Synergy will be September 2, 2012.

Besides the Treasure Hunt and Heineken Green Synergy, the “H-marks the spot,” activation will also include giveaways and sweepstakes, bar promotions and club events across the island.

“We’ve all had unforgettable Summers; memories of romance, countryside escapades, our first overseas trips, graduations, beach picnics; well picture all of these if you may, rolled into one, and you will get a glimpse of the summer Heineken has in store for all of you who dare to open your world to new experiences this summer,” affirmed Gaius Harry Wednesday.

August 1 to September 2, 2012 belongs to Heineken, The H-Spot and You. Can you endure the heat? The choice is yours!

ENDS

For more information Contact:

Heineken Brand Manager Gaius Harry, 1758 720 4612

Canaries Youth Say Yes to ProjectCan

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ProjectCan has caught on fire and is on again this year. Last year the “hype” Youth Club from Canaries put together what they described as a “Massive” Summer Program. This year it’s one again under the theme “Building Blocks- To Spice it up!”

The Summer Program began on Monday with training for facilitators and other interested youth. In keeping up with ProjectCan’s theme, activities focussed on building “chemistry” among members. This included a hike deep into the waterfall area, a debate and a special event on Friday.

This will be followed by two weeks of fun and education for the children in the community.

In 2011 the program gave young people an exhilarating week of experiencing what their country offers as tourists. They bathed in the Sulphur Springs, enjoyed lunch by the river and took tours. This was an eye-opening experience for these young individuals.

This year the programme is expected to bring an even more exciting line up of activities.