The New Today

Commentary

Shut-down of beach restaurant

Is Minister Nicholas Steele his brother’s keeper or a selfish man?

The Ministry of Health and the Grenada Government’s wretched temporary shutdown of the Coconut Beach Restaurant owned by a born and bred man of Grand Anse community is yet another chapter of Keith Mitchell premiership being severed and hurtful on ordinary people of the constituency of South St. George.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Shawn Charles signed a harsh letter, demanding that proprietor Dennot Mc Intyre close the restaurant indefinitely, claiming a violation of COVID 19 Protocols on Thursday, May 5.

The Restaurant’s Thursday evening activity is popular with Middle Class and working people. It’s a disciplined group of regular supporters – people, who go there will tell you that visibly posts on the restaurant’s entrance are COVID 19 Protocols.

Like everything else, not everyone follows guidelines and that has its consequences. Nevertheless, the drastic action taken by the Ministry of Health seems rather cruel. Absolutely no warning letters or engagements with the management.

Police officers arrived in the restaurant and aggressively instruct that customers vacate and shut down the place. In other words, public humiliation of the owner. People will tell you that customers in 61 West, which is less than 100 meters away from the Coconut Beach Restaurant and owned by the Minister of Health, do not rigidly adhere to the COVID-19 Protocols.

The same is true for Pier 57 owned by Patrick David, the brother of the Minister of Agriculture Peter David and Junction in Lance Aux Epines, operated by a top civil servant with ties to the ruling NNP clique.

Serious questions must be asked of the Minister of Health Nicholas Steele, the Parliamentary Representative for the Constituency of South St. George.

Three/four days per week, I am on the beach in front of these two restaurants, and both Mr. Steele and Mr. McIntyre spend long hours in their respective businesses. Clearly, a good neighbour would be his brother’s keeper.

I strongly doubt that Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Shawn Charles would have taken the most drastic decision to shut down the Coconut Beach indefinitely without informing his Minister.

Persons who knew Dr. Charles as a teacher at GBSS would tell you that he was a timid person who was afraid to take decisions on his own. It is true that man can change over the years but these people don’t see that in the CMO.

Many believe that he allowed himself to be used to get at “Scratch” for not co-operating on allowing the Egyptian businessman who owns Silversands to get his beachfront property.

The close down of the Coconut Beach Restaurant has all the ingredients of a pre-planned assault on the premises of Mr. McIntyre.

It reminds me of the evil done to Mr. Dorset Charles by the Government of Prime Minister Mitchell and his NNP party when he came to power in 1995.

The Prime Minister wanted Mr. Charles to vacate the beachfront property and used the might of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) to perform a dirty and nasty act. I looked on helplessly that early morning, watching as heartless men from the SSU supervised the use of heavy-duty equipment to destroy a million-dollar business.

This latest government action against a Working Class businessman from humble origins emphasises its burning passion to rid ordinary people from prime lands on the beach and sell them to foreigners via their clandestine real estate associates.

Minister Steele ought to be ashamed of himself! He is the Parliamentary Representative for South St. George but could care less about a business enterprise owned by one of his constituencies.

Before Nicholas Steele, there was Alexandra Otway, who represented the Constituency between 2013 and 2018, and more than anything else, she wanted to chase the poor ordinary people who make a living on Wall Street.

Equally interesting, Mrs. Otway was a champion for the sale of Camerhogne Park to foreigners. The same park where thousands of ordinary Grenadians relax and socialise.

These two affluent Grenadians from gated communities have no connection to ordinary people. They have never been a part of day-to-day life in our villages – the Valley, Golf Course and Mont Toute.

Yes, they have each won parliamentary seats on the strengths of Dr. Keith Mitchell. Thousands of poor people cast a vote for them in General Elections!

Unfortunately, their agenda was never a genuine representation of all the people. It was always self-interest through political opportunism.

The Mitchell government, acting through surrogate ministers and others, is leaving no stone unturned in their desire to make Grand Anse Beach foreign property. Locals could swim in front of Silversands but cannot hang their towels on any of the grape trees along the seashore. The security guards come and politely tell you this is private property.

In summary, today’s NNP under the leadership of Dr. Mitchell has abandoned working and ordinary people. The Minister of Health’s behaviour tells the story of the new Keith Mitchell-led Government.

As the President of the Public Workers Union (PWU), Brian Grimes told workers on Labour Day at the beginning of this month, Dr. Mitchell and his NNP will go down in history as the most anti-worker government in the history of Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique.

This should not surprise us as the current Prime Minister supported the Republican party of Donald Trump when he was living and working in the United States.

The chickens are now coming home to roost and Dr. Mitchell is now showing his true colours – a user of the Working Class to get votes but his true allies are really those with money living in gated communities especially in the south of the island.

Ray Roberts