The private sector – including businessman Peter George – has had a “Come to Jesus “ moment with Government’s continued restrictions on restaurants, bars and eateries.
UNC Senator Jearlean John indicated this in yesterday’s Senate debate of the 2021 Budget.
John noted that George said the Prime Minister didn’t have the courage to make difficult decisions. But she said, “we” should have known how the PNM Government – which closed down Petrotrin – really was.
Accusing the Government of being wicked and vicious, she said they didn’t understand people were suffering especially in the hospitality industry where she said there are many poor workers and single mothers.
John said people of Trinidad and Tobago can work very hard with an objective and proper management.
But she warned that a perfect storm is coming due to the number of places closed and workers being out.
John added, “Does Government feel people can wait two more weeks? What information will be different then? “
She said the virus “isn’t going anywhere and one had to understand the new normal and how to operate.”
“But in Tobago, we have a saying: monkey know which tree to climb, he say ‘cool breeze’, one day is police, next day is thief.”
Meanwhile, Independent senator Maria Dillon-Remy who spoke after, said the elections are over and everyone should take off their party hats.
She said she’d been hearing one political side accusing the other of corruption and the other side saying everything is “a rose garden”.
Dillon-Remy knocked UNC senator Wade Mark for saying the people of Trinidad had made the wrong choice in elections.
She said the population had made their choice, “Let’s get on with the job.”
She said the COVID virus didn’t wear red or yellow.
She also told the UNC that putting laptops in schools isn’t a plan.
Dillon- Remy who commended the Prime Minister for its tough decisions in the last term, advised Government to spell out its plans to ensure that the public buys into it.
She said leadership has to be developed in this country and it should be purpose-driven, principle centred and value bound – people who knew the purpose is to serve people with fairness and justice,
She said the COVID virus will involve responsibility for self, country and community. She proposed systems in Tobago where people in communities could relay information on those who have COVID-19 speedily to authorities, rather than use the hotline services.
Dillon -Remy also recommended a maintenance system for the new ferries which are to arrive soon.
She added Tobago business people are looking out to see what the cost of transport will be.
And Government Senator and Tourism Minister Randall Mitchell agreed with Dillon-Remy that elections are over.
He said PNM is the Government and UNC would be in Opposition a very long time.
Mitchell defended Government against business sector criticisms on the COVID-19 closures.
He said Government had to plan every day to deal with the changing issues, “This is not the time for a five-day weekend.”
Mitchell said he had a slice of pizza last weekend from Buzo- a place Peter George owns.
He urged people to consider their chances of getting ill when they think about wanting a rum and coke or to weigh whether a $10 beer was worth the $10,000 cost for a funeral.
He also slammed John’s statements, saying while at the HDC – where she served under the People’s Partnership government – he had found three people were awarded huge contracts without tenders being done.